voices in the family

The lure of scary things



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October 31, 2011 — This time of year, scary things abound: the latest blood-soaked horror films, shadowy corn mazes, haunted hayrides, houses, and prisons — yikes! And while some of us hide under the covers or look the other way because it’s just too much to handle (real life can be scary enough, right?), others are drawn to the intensity and rush of all things frightening. Dr. Dan Gottlieb takes a look at scary things – what draws some of us to them (or not) and how they’ve affected humans since the beginning of time.

We’ll speak with Glenn Sparks, Ph.D. and David Gilmore, Ph.D. Glenn Sparks is a professor of communication at Purdue University. He’s studied the effects of horror films on viewers’ physiology. David Gilmore is a professor of anthropology at Stony Brook University. He’s written Monsters: Evil Beings, Mythical Beasts, and All Manner of Imaginary Terrors (2003).

Photo by Flickr user Devra

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