CITGO INNOVATION ACADEMY
A lonely girl walks along Archer Avenue in the middle of the night. She is dressed for a special occasion and although you have been taught not to stop for hitchhikers, you can't help but pull over and offer her a ride. She sits in the passenger seat warming her hands on the vent and you offer her your sweatshirt to warm up, her only words a hastily given address not far from where you are driving.
What is it about scary stories that appeal to readers so much?
I have said it before and I'll say it again, Lemont High School Students love to embrace the horror!
It is a scientific fact that whatever you read effects your brain, creates a chemical reaction and definitely makes you smarter and horror stories are no exception. (Time, 2013) They trigger the hypothalamus and our fight or flight response causing a physiological reaction, but there is also a psychological component that can not be ignored! In answering the question, theories abound, but some of the most common, according to Cynthia A. Hoffner and Kenneth J. Levine, who have written profusely in Media Psychology about the subject, are related to adrenaline rush, excitement transfer, a lack of empathy and sensation seeking. (Hussung, Concordia University) Personally, I have always loved the tension of a good thriller and the moment when the "trap" or "monster" has sprung. Luckily I did not have to live through the suspense... the fictional character did!
They say about 10% of readers gravitate to horror stories, but I honestly think, here at LHS, that number is much higher. A good horror story won't stay on the shelves and stays checked out long after the return date. Whether you are a fan or not, fall is the perfect time to curl up with a good, scary, creepy or gory story!
So how does the story above end...?
Your route to the address takes you past the infamous Resurrection Cemetery. Just as you turn to say, "Doesn't the cemetery look creepy at night?", you realize you are looking at an empty seat. She has disappeared.
Till next Halloween!
Hussung, Tricia. (2016) The Psychology of Fear: Exploring the Science Behind Horror Entertainment. Concordia St. Paul: Blog and News Updates. Retrieve from https://online.csp.edu/blog/psychology/psychology-of-fear
Paul, Annie Murphy. (2013) Reading Makes Us Smarter and Nicer. Time.com. Retrieved from http://ideas.time.com/2013/06/03/why-we-should-read-literature/
Dawn Scuderi has a Masters in Library Science from Dominican University. This is her 3rd year as Library Director at LHS.
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