As I take my kids to haunted forests staffed by zombies and ghoulish dolls and clowns and look for horror movies to watch with my husband, I am struck by how, especially as the leaves turn to orange each year, we seek out fear.
There are real, psychological reasons why Stephen King has sold more than 350 million copies of his books, and why films like “The Sixth Sense,” “The Exorcist,” and, the one that ruined camping for some people, “The Blair Witch Project,” have become part of our pop culture of terror. We love to be scared.
Writer Amy Stewart takes things further. She planted a garden of deadly delights, full of poisonous plants and a few creepy skeletons. We talk with her and others in this week’s show, "Rituals of Fear," about why we thrive on fright. Is it like roller coasters, where we know it’s going to end, and it gets our heart racing without completely stopping? Or maybe these moments of sheer terror make us more grateful for our everyday lives, knowing we can drive away from the haunted house, or turn off the slasher movie. But we’ll remember that fear buzz and revisit scarier things next year.
What are your October rituals, and how do you embrace your inner fears? Let me know at email@example.com.