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'Recreational fear' investigated

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New research accepted for publication in the journal Psychological Science reveals that horror entertains us most effectively when it triggers a distinct physical response—measured by changes in heart rate—but is not so scary that we become overwhelmed. That fine line between fun and an unpleasant experience can vary from person to person.

"By investigating how humans derive pleasure from fear, we find that there seems to be a 'sweet spot' where enjoyment is maximized," said Marc Malmdorf Andersen, a researcher at the Interacting Minds Center at Aarhus University and lead author of the paper. "Our study provides some of the first empirical evidence on the relationship between fear, enjoyment, and physical arousal in recreational forms of fear."

Full article at Medical xPress: Link

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I've always been a fear junkie.  When I was eight years old I would stay up on Friday nights watching the classic old horror movies like Frankenstein, the Mummy, and Creature of the Black Lagoon by myself in the dark.  I freakin' loved it.  My younger brother on the other hand cried and had nightmares for weeks and wouldn't join me after trying a couple of times.

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