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Digital Methodology: Why is Horror so Popular?)

The appeal of the horror genre is black and white. Most people either love it or hate it. Horror is a genre that has caused intense disgust, fear, shock, or anxiety, ever since the creation of stories such as Dracula and Frankenstein. Those stories also fascinated and intrigued readers so much that they were later made into iconic films by Universal Studios.

The phantom from Phantom of the Opera

Authors, such as H.P. Lovecraft, were also fascinated by horror’s fear element and, according to Owlcation.com, Lovecraft “… ascribed its fascination to the fact that horror deals with fear, not only one of humanity’s primal emotions but also “the oldest and strongest emotion of mankind.” He recognized a “physiological fixation of the old instincts in our nervous tissue, demonstrating that the fears of our primitive forefathers are still omnipresent in the modern individual.”

In addition to psychological horror, sociological horror extends the horror further and has normalized horror, desensitizing readers and viewers. Psychological horror author Stephen King believes that “everyone has an untamed, atrocious side which we need to feed to keep controlling it.” King recognizes that the themes of his books symbolize a deviation from the norms of society, but he also regards horror as a chance to show “that we can, that we are not afraid, that we can ride this roller coaster.”

With the example of the two famous authors, H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King, I have researched the differences between the two writing styleshttp://www.voyant-tools.org/?corpus=a2eaa601b18dcaa25d6648b598b10755&visible=500&view=Cirrus

The Owlcation article stated, “Exposure to terrifying acts, or even the anticipation of those acts, can stimulate us mentally and physically in opposing ways: negatively (in the form of fear or anxiety) or positively (in the form of excitement or joy). Another reason we seek horror is to gain novel experiences. Apocalypse horror films, for example, allow us to live out alternative realities — from zombie outbreaks to alien infestations. Lastly, horror entertainment may help us (safely) satisfy our curiosity about the dark side of the human psyche.”

As well as the universal monsters, there are also the classic horror toys (or, puppets)

Finally, Owlcation quoted Lovecraft’s observation that “only a few people possess the imagination and capacity for detachment from everyday life” to enjoy the horror genre. Harbor Business Review said, “Fear isn’t everyone’s cup of tea (or coffee). While some people would spend money for the love of a scare, many would run in the opposite direction.” All of these aspects of horror contribute to people deciding whether they enjoy or hate it. How you feel about the genre of horror is up to you.



Why Is Horror So Popular? – Owlcation

The Psychology Behind Why We Love (or Hate) Horror (hbr.org)

Why Do We Enjoy Horror Movies? (verywellmind.com)

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