Monday, November 2, 2009

The Spooky Stuff

halloween spook factor

Halloween is all about the spooky stuff, and it's fun. My husband prefers Halloween to Christmas, and we have almost as many decorations stored in our attic for this holiday as we do for the other.

So why do we enjoy all this fake blood and gore and seemingly celebrate nastiness? Why do people enjoy horror movies and haunted houses?

I've done a little research, and the prevailing theory seems to be that it is an adrenaline rush followed by endorphins from feelings of relief. It's an explanation I can believe - so these movies and stories are like emotional roller coasters.

A little bit of spooky stuff seems like harmless fun to me. I draw my line at the more sadistic stuff (like Saw), and personally I have a low tolerance for scary things. But I can see the appeal.

Here's the Spooky Stuff we've enjoyed this month:

Who Said Boo?: Halloween Poems for the Very Young by Nancy White Carlstrom, wasn't exactly spooky by adult standards, but Hypatia enjoyed the illustrations and the poems lend themselves to very dramatic readings. Be ready to yell "Boo!"

R.L. Stine is for the junior crowd what Steven King is for the adults, and the DVD of Goosebumps: One Day at Horrorland managed to creep out the whole family.

Coraline was almost too much for the kids, and I probably should have previewed it before letting them watch it. This is some very creepy animation! They ended up watching it huddled under a blanket on the sofa with me.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan was a stretch for me, because I HATE zombies. They freak me out - I wasn't even able to watch Shaun of the Dead because I found that too scary. But I heard that this was a very good YA novel about post-zombie apocalypse, and I got it from the library. I couldn't read all of it, and had to skim through some of the zombie attack scenes, but I thought the book was really good. Teen angst and love triangles and the last people alive, surrounded by a world full of zombies! My husband, who has read and seen most of the zombie stuff out there, wasn't blown away by this one, but he did say it was "pretty good".

1 comment:

  1. The adrenaline-endorphin theory sounds right to me! I hadn't ever researched it or heard it put so succinctly, so thanks. :)

    We didn't do as much creepy stuff this year, though we love Halloween too - this year we mostly did the happy-pumpkin style of celebrating. My kids did delight in going to the Halloween store and shrieking at the scary, disgusting talking displays, though.