The GuardianThe Guardian

Why we enjoy fear: The science of a good scare

By Katherine Latham

23 Oct 2022 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

Rollercoasters, horror films, haunted houses - why do we seek to be scared? Researchers have found a good scare can have long-lasting psychological benefits.

Palms sweat, heartbeat quickens, muscles tense. Your skin prickles and stomach churns. When fear subsides, we can be left with feelings of pleasure. Is this just the relief of having survived – or is it something more?

Fight or flight

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