Thoughtful Thursday: Fright

October 31, 2013

Thoughtful ThursdayI’m glad to see Halloween end. I adore little children in costumes, and I’m often amused by big kids and adults in costumes. I’m fine with pumpkins and candy. But I do not like all of the scary stuff. I don’t like the scary movies on TV and in theaters all month, I don’t like the death-themed decorations, I really don’t like the horrifying costumes. Last year, two different trick-or-treaters who came to our door were so scary that they made Burrito cry (out of more than a hundred, so the odds were small, but still). I abhor haunted houses. Few things in life sound less appealing than someone jumping out at me or, worse, grabbing me in a dark room.

Burrito and Tamale are consistently confused by all of the scary Halloween stuff. Why would someone make their lawn into a graveyard? Why do so many big kids choose to dress in scary costumes? Why does our neighbor’s door have a ghost that makes scary noises when you walk by? Why would people want to be scared?

Beyond Halloween, they both don’t understand the drive for being scared. One of their favorite activities is adjacent to an amusement park, and they can hear the people on the roller coasters screaming. They are so perplexed by people voluntarily putting themselves in a situation where they would be so afraid. Burrito in particular has no plans to ever, ever go on a roller coaster. Tamale at this point wouldn’t particularly seek it out, but she’s game for pretty much anything, so I predict that in a few years I’ll be sitting next to her on roller coasters while Burrito and his dad watch from the ground. I’m fine with roller coasters, not because I like to be scared but because they don’t particularly scare me. I’m not seeking thrills because I don’t experience a thrill. Sometimes they’re whatever, and sometimes I enjoy the weightless feeling of coasting and flying, but it’s not exciting for me. Based on the number of people lining up for roller coasters and haunted houses, I am clearly in the minority.

Do you enjoy being frightened?

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9 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday: Fright”

  1. Sara Says:

    I’m a real wuss when it comes to visual fright, e.g., movies. As part of the bachelor party I planned for my best friend in College, we (he, me, his brother, his best friend, and my fiance) went to see “28 Days Later”. I spent most of the time with my hands over my eyes.

    If I am home alone at night, and the rest of the house is dark, I can sometimes creep myself out with fear of intruders. Luckily, keeping a light on in another room helps with that, and now that I’ve got a kid, I’m never home alone. (It also helps that our apartment is on the 2nd floor, it’s unlikely that anyone would come to our place first.

  2. Mina Says:

    I have ridiculous reactions when someone scares me. I know I am being over the top, and I hate I cannot control the screams and startling and especially that feeling of having my heart in my throat. I have never liked horror movies, and I cannot explain the fascination with them, since they are so predictable. But then most movies are nowadays.
    That said, we come from a culture where we do not have halloween. We do celebrate the dead, we have a patron saint that helps us fight the evil spirits, and we use garlic to keep them out of our houses. Most probably the children will celebrate it, since by now the import of American festivities is sucessfully done, and Halloween and Valentines are marketed and celebrated in Europe as well. The kindergarten had a small party yesterday, both children ignored the costumes, but not the cookies, and did not like being scared by older children. I completely understood.


  3. In the minority. Some motions (circular) and sudden fright feel stressful to my body.

    But someone I know well considers such things pleasurable.

  4. Ana Says:

    I am exactly like Sara, and I learned to avoid any scary movies, books, etc… if I wanted to sleep (and simply LIVE) comfortably for the near future. I read some silly anthology of scary stories once as a pre-teen and was so frightened I had to immediately throw the book away, deep deep in the trash OUTSIDE the house. I jumped at shadows and couldn’t sleep for days after watching one of those silly teen scary movies (Scream 3, I think?) even with my whole family in the house every night. There are still rituals/habits I follow based on some fear instilled by some movie I watched as a young child (e.g. I HAVE to tuck my bedclothes under my feet because I once saw a movie in which the undead murderer came from under the bed through the covers to “get” the protagonist while sleeping).

    I do not go to haunted houses, either, I keep thinking that it would be the perfect venue for a serial killer to get a job—no one will think anything of the screams….

    So, no, I don’t like the “scary” association with Halloween. With little kids, we try to keep it “cute” with animal-themed costumes, fun decorations (spiders! black cats!), and a focus on going out and having fun with neighbors. I hope to keep it that way—not sure what I’ll do if they want to wear a “scary” costume or go to a Haunted house…I know my fears are somewhat irrational and not shared by the majority of people in our culture who LOVE this stuff, so I don’t think I’ll keep them from participating simply because its not my thing…

    Physical thrills I do enjoy…though less and less as I get older. I haven’t been on roller coasters in a while, but I used to LOVE them. I get dizzy easily these days (I can’t even swing in a hammock!) so I’m not sure I’ll enjoy them anymore.

  5. strongblonde Says:

    I HATE being scared! :( I love fall stuff, so that’s about all I like about Halloween. Well, also those cute little butterfingers!! I find that I get uncomfortably scared with things that don’t involve me, too. Maybe it is just anxiety… Like for example, I was just freaked out in Thailand while watching people on motorcycles. With no helmets. And multiple kids. I didn’t get it. And it made me so uncomfortable. And scared me. Mostly bc I can picture what will happen if someone gets in an accident.

    I don’t like roller coasters either. Or plane turbulence. Or fast elevators.

    In other words, I like to be in control also! ;)

  6. Cat Says:

    I do not enjoy being frightened at all. I avoid scary movies and haunted houses. “Friday the 13th” type movies scare me in the moment, but movies like “Sixth Sense” are worse because they stay with me. I’m 36 years old and I still practically leap into bed at night so my feet are never within reach of the monsters under my bed. Not that I believe in monsters or ghosts, but I just don’t want them to hear me say it.

  7. St. Elsewhere Says:

    In general, no but I have been through a fair share of Stephen King, Koontz and other suppliers of horror.

    Also, I can’t peel away if there is a horror/thriller flick on TV, even though there was a time when I decided to not see those kind of movies, because I seem to include scenarios from them in my sleep-deprived state or when I am having nightmares.

    I also enjoy crazy rides, and they are more thrilling than scary for me.

    I will not want to physically experience a prank of this kind though.

  8. St. Elsewhere Says:

    My commas are whacked out…sorry.

  9. Elana Kahn Says:

    I hate being frightened. Horror movies are not my thing at all, and I’ve seen several of them. I really don’t enjoy them. Give me a good chick flick any day…


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