The Spearhead

Halloween Psychology

Marissa Beaver, Reporter

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October is commonly associated with the popular holiday Halloween. Activities such as trick-or-treating, eating candy, watching scary movies, and attending haunted houses are common for those who enjoy the scary holiday season. Contrary to those who enjoy these activities, a lot of people try to stay away from the festivities and ideas of Halloween. Psychology behind this frightful holiday can answer why people act so differently when it comes to getting scared.

Fear is something your body experiences when you are in danger. Your heart may begin to race, your palms will become sweaty, and in some cases you will enter the “fight or flight” mode. Though fear is typically thought of as negative, a lot of people purposefully chase this feeling around Halloween.

Sophomore Callie Brinkman considers herself as someone who is not easily scared during Halloween because of the exposure she has had.

“I have had enough real life situations in comparison to situations that aren’t going to likely happen,” Brinkman said when thinking about real versus unlikely scenarios.

She also expressed her awareness of what is occurring around her and how that affects whether she gets scared or not.

“I know the difference of something that is fake and something I should actually be afraid of,” Brinkman stated.

Her words match the words of Inverse, an American digital media company. According to Inverse, fear, especially fear experienced during Halloween, has everything to do with context. This means that the way you perceive things can completely control how you are feeling in a situation.

Inverse states that your “thinking” brain will send knowledge to your “emotional” brain, allowing you to realize that in reality, you are not in great danger. This causes you to be able to go from complete fear to enjoyment during activities like walking through a haunted house.

It seems like a simple process that all people should be able to experience, yet a lot of people continue to claim they are “easily scared” and avoid many Halloween festivities altogether.

Sophomore Mia Contreras can relate to the idea of avoiding some of these activities. Contreras considers herself as someone who does get easily scared and always has been. This makes you wonder why people like Contreras get easily scared in comparison to people like Brinkman who do not get easily scared.

“Maybe some people just can’t handle it,” Contreras stated, referring to those who are easily scared, “or maybe something happened when they were a kid.”

According to the publication Broadly, some people can overthink a situation which makes it seem more scary than it actually is. This can be explained by the fact that those with bigger imaginations can make themselves more nervous than they should be.

“Your thoughts can play tricks on you, and your mind is not always your friend. This can be demonstrated by making yourself believe things even if they are not true or not possible to happen,” said Broadly.

Whether you are the friend trying to persuade everyone to watch a scary movie or the friend trying to persuade everyone that going to a haunted house will not be fun, everyone has different reactions to scary events and it can be difficult to change their mind. Some people are good at knowing the difference between real and fake, while others let their imagination get the best of them. People are different in many ways and the term “easily scared” can  be an example of how different our minds are.

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Halloween Psychology