BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A new study suggests that the physical sensations you have when you’re afraid are real and that horror movies are literally blood-curdling.
Watching horror movies may not be for everybody and many people find them actually too disturbing so they choose against them. However, there are many horror movie enthusiasts who enjoying getting the chills each time the villain enters the scene. But it looks like the saying ‘getting the chills’ could easily be taken literally as scientists have found something happens with our blood when we get scared.
The concept of blood getting curdled or in other words congealed dates back to the medieval era when people believed that fear makes your blood run cold. It seems that people in those times actually knew what they were talking about, as researchers of our times have discovered the physiological effect fear can have upon us.
The study was conducted in Netherlands and it involved 24 participants. All of them were healthy and in their 20s and 30s. From the group, 14 were assigned to watch a horror movie and an educational movie, labeled by scientists as frightening and non-threatening, respectively. The remaining 10 were asked to watch the same movies but the other way around.
The participants watched the first movie and then waited for more than a week to watch the second one. However, the movies were seen at the same time of the day in a comfortable environment and they lasted about 90 minutes.
The researchers took blood samples from the subject immediately before and after the movies and analyzed the samples for clotting in relation to fear. Also, the subjects rated the fear they felt after each movie, using a visual scale from 0 to 10, in which 0 meant ‘no fear’ and 10 meant ‘worst fear imaginable’.
The level of coagulation increased in half of the participants while they were watching the horror movie and only in 3 of them during the other film. But the level of coagulation also decreased in 18 of the subjects during the educational movie and in 9 of the subject during the horror movie.
All in all, although fear is definitely a factor that triggers blood coagulation it doesn’t actually lead to forming of clots. Of course there could be other factors taken into consideration when we link fear to blood clots, but concerning this particular study conducted on young, healthy adults, horror movies are literally blood-curdling but not blood-clotting.
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