I’d like to ask you something, how many of you reading this post right now is the type of person who actually likes being scared? Are you the type of person who loves the haunted house? Who can’t wait for the next horror film? Who loves playing horror games like Amnesia the dark descent or Outlast? Do jump-scares make your day?
For all you people who are like that I have to ask, does a good scare provide for a good distraction from everyday life? Could you theoretically get so scared that you forget about what is stressing you out? Well that is what I am trying to discuss in this post.
Can getting scared actually help you with stress? I tried looking into it, but I couldn’t find any proper studies on the subject, I guess no one has actually thought of it before. So this post is just going to be me talking about what I think on the subject; I’m no expert and I don’t know if anything I am about to say is right so if I turn out to be wrong I apologise, just keep that in mind before you continue reading.
When it comes to scary things I tend to have mixed feelings; sometimes I absolutely hate it when something pops out of nowhere and scares the living daylights out of me, and sometimes I like it. Something comes out and I feel the initial rush of terror and then when it’s over I feel relief and maybe some appreciation, “Oh that was a good scare bro, you really got me,” and it’s that feeling of relief that I want to bring your attention to, the rush of relief you feel after a scare and you know it’s over and you’re safe, you forget about the world around you completely for a while.
The best example I can think of is a roller coaster; you get on the ride, you rush through the tracks feeling excited and maybe even terrified, and then when it’s over you feel the relief wash over you. That relief takes away all your fear and anxiety for a while.
Another way scary things can help you out is as a distraction, when you watch a good scary movie, read a good horror book or play a good horror game, you get invested in the story, it drags you in and latches its claws into you grabbing all of your attention, sometimes it even legitimately scares you and you can enjoy the rush of relief afterwards. I think a goods scary situation with a good story behind it is the perfect combination; you get the benefit of the scare and the distraction of the story which helps you forget about your fears, anxieties and stresses.
We’re coming close to the end of this post so I think I’ll make some recommendations for some good spooks. There aren’t that many horror stories that I actually liked, but there are a few. Fair warning though, the stuff I am going to recommend has some adult content and gore in it so it might not be for everyone. One of the best horror movies I have seen in a long time is ‘The Conjuring.’ It has a good story, good spooks and I had fun watching it; I recommend watching it, and if you can watch it with friends, the spooks can get really spooky and you’ll want someone there to keep yourself anchored onto reality and remind you it is just a movie!
When it comes to games, my favourite horror game so far is ‘Amnesia The dark descent.’ It’s a good game, has a dark and spooky story and has multiple endings so you can play it through again and again if you want. The main thing about this game is that you can’t fight back; you can only run away from the monster that is after you which brings the creepiness factor to plus 100.
Another good game that follows similar mechanics to Amnesia but is set in more modern times is ‘Outlast.’ The only thing I didn’t like about this game was that the ending seemed a bit abrupt. But that’s just my personal opinion and it doesn’t spoil the game, it’s still quite good.
Now for books; when it comes to books, the ones I have to mention are the Stephen King Novels, there’s a reason they call him the ‘king if horror.’ I’m a big fan of his writings and I personally like his stories very much. One very good example of a horror story by him is ‘It.’
It’s very disturbing, very gory but a great story none the less.
Another good horror book series, and this may seem a bit strange coming from a grown adult, is Goosebumps (reader beware, you’re in for a scare).
Goosebumps is a horror book series aimed at teenagers. I mention them because it was Goosebumps that got me into the entire horror story genre and sometimes I still read the old books I have when I’m really bored. The only thing bad about Goosebumps is that there is never a happy ending; it’ll look like the good guy wins and then boom the story takes a 180 turn, not sure why R.L. Stine did that, but oh well.
We’re coming to the end of the post now and I’ll close it with this: if you like scares or are just open minded to the idea then try getting rid of your stress with something scary. However, if you don’t like scares or if by chance you have a heart problem, then obviously you should just ignore this. Remember this is only a suggestion; you don’t have to do this if you don’t want to. That said, have a good day and a good scare, wait a minute, what’s that behind you!?