General Mayhem: Watch Horror…Be Happy

Usually, when I’m right it sucks. People around me think I’m Chicken Little and more times than not, I turn out to be Cassandra—predicting the winners of elections, telling everybody that the pandemic was going to be massively deadly…and that there would be major conflicts by the other Cassandras and the Deniers.

I was also the first to wear a mask.

But every now and then, my intuition can be a happy thing—I’ve always said that horror is healthy, especially for people with traumatic childhoods and now more than ever. Why? Because we are being deluged with the real horror that we can’t control…but horror movies offer the opportunity to exorcise that anxiety and rage, because that horror isn’t happening to you…and no matter what becomes of the characters, you will (presumably) still be alive when it’s over.

Watching horror also gives you the illusion of control—you have the power to turn it off at any time. In other words, the vicarious scare you experience while watching horror is cathartic and a very healthy way to release some of that relentless anxiety. I’ve said this for years; I even mentioned it in an earlier post.

Well, turns out I’m right: A neurological study confirms that horror can be comforting . Instead of trying to do a crap job of explaining the science, I recommend that you go to the source—read the article and rejoice. And the next time a horror-shamer makes some Disney-ass judgment about your love for horror, tell them that not only is horror healthy, you are probably a lot saner than they are.

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