You take the thrills, leave me the candy

The scariest part of Hallowe'en is coming home to find that the candy is all gone.

I like mysteries, but I don’t like surprises. In fact, knowing how a story ends doesn’t ruin the book for me – I just want to make sure that I’m not disappointed by the thrilling conclusion. And if the ending happens to be the best part of the book, what’s the point in reading the rest of it?

On the other hand, you can have your scary movies with the scheduled gory interludes every 10 minutes. Haunted houses? I can admire and appreciate the hard work and effort that someone went through to create it, but go out of my way to be scared? Sorry, no.

Why do some of us like to be scared by “things” when it goes beyond common sense? After all, don’t our instincts guide us to protect ourselves?

To preserve our lives, as in not to jump out of airplanes; or drive in fast cars; or swim with the sharks; run with the bulls….

Hmmmm. Apparently some of us are not guided by instincts. Or not “those” instincts, at any rate.

Screams and yells and loud noises are constantly erupting from our television as my lifelong partner, Tool Man, attempts to view every horror film made since 1980 before he dies.

Okay, so I exaggerate a little. But I know what he’ll be watching tonight while I’m down at the Cache Creek Community Hall taking pictures of the annual Hallowe’en party.

I asked him the other day what the attraction was to these movies. The adrenaline rush was part of it, the imagination of a good story. He said he didn’t like all of the blood and gore, but it comes with the genre. He summed it up as “The vicarious thrill of a world gone wrong.”

Or, as some psychologists have called it: The Thrill Factor (also known as The Fear Factor). In this case, the viewer takes a thrilling ride from movie beginning to end  while, on one hand the body experiences tangible reactions to the horror while the brain keeps telling itself it’s just a movie.

It hasn’t convinced me to go through our collection of horror movies – the images creep me out for days, but I can appreciate the attraction of a good scary movie.

Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal

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