The ghouls, ghosts, monsters, and zombies: it’s that time of year again! Halloween! Every year, millions of people enjoy the thrills and treats that are commonly associated with Halloween. Children dress up and go trick-or-treating, while adults enjoy haunted houses and parties. The appeal of Halloween falls into the category of social psychology.
Fear is a natural and inescapable part of everyday life. Usually, fear makes people uncomfortable; it is a feeling people want to avoid. Why, then, do people pay to be scared? It turns out, fear in a safe, controlled environment provides a rush which can be addicting. When you are startled, your body releases a surge of adrenaline to help you deal with the situation by putting your body into motion. This can be addicting. A haunted house with many small startles is the perfect way for you to feel the adrenaline high your body craves while still being perfectly safe. This is the same reason that people continue to watch horror movies, participate in extreme sports, and ride roller coasters.
Another reason Halloween is so popular is because it allows you to display your inner demons or deepest desires on the surface- even if it only for one night. No, this doesn’t mean that everyone is a monster; it simply means that many people have a dark side to them which is constantly repressed because of societal standards. On Halloween, you can safely display this side without being shamed for it. Along the same line, it is always fun to pretend to be someone you are not. Halloween gives you an opportunity to do so without everyone asking you, “What happened? Why did you completely change who you are?”
Among children, Halloween is popular for one major reason: candy. Children are especially attracted to the concept of trick-or-treating because they can usually get away with eating more candy than they are usually allowed. This little bit of rebelliousness is very attractive, as is the rush sugar provides. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love free candy? With a little more insight into the love of this holiday, go forth and have a safe Halloween! Enjoy all your favorite candy, and live for the little thrills!
Want to know what your Halloween costume says about you? Take a look: