Professional Reader

why do we like feeling scared?

Why do we like feeling scared and reading true crime and thrillers?

It’s that spooky, pumpkin time of year for a Halloween post!

If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I love nothing more than a dark, under the skin, scare the pants off you, stalker, psycho, in your head thriller.  While I was brainstorming ideas it came to me. Rather than do a book list of my favourite frighteners, I would explore why some of us love to have the wits scared out of us, weird little bookworms that we are.

We think we should have been homicide detectives

We love true crime and shouting ‘He did it!’ at the TV screen.  We like to think we’ve solved the Jon Benet Ramsey case and reckon we would have an excellent time on a date with Horatio Caine (just me?). There’s the thrill of the twist and the uncovered clue that we carve.

We seek the ‘high’

There’s the rush of adrenalin when IT appears for Georgie and the suspense and heart rate builds when we read the tap. tap. tap on the door by a man in the dark, or the growing apprehension as your favourite character is taking a long cold walk down a dark street at midnight. We’re freaky little critters who thrive on the rush and the fight or flight mode a good thriller brings us.

We also like to think we’re psychologists

Yep. Us thriller seekers love the thought of delving into a complicated mind and working out what’s driving these monsters to kill, hunt, or destroy.  The story of an innocent child moulding into a complete psycho has us glued. What happened? Is it nature or nurture?  Would Joe Goldberg from You be a part-time model and full-time bookstore owner if he hadn’t decided to kill anyone who mildly annoyed him?

We know it’s not real

We know what we read is fiction. Suspense bookworms aren’t all weird little would be murderers and stalkers. It’s an escape, a thrilling escape and one that grips us and keeps us for the journey, making us realise that our boring 9-5 maybe isn’t so bad.

We know we’re safe

Thriller bookworms can read their way out of any frightening situation. We’ve read so many thrillers we have worked out how we would escape and how we would befriend a psycho to survive. All in the comfort of our cosy book nook or bed. We are constantly planning to stay alive in any creepy situation, and as a species of bookworm, we are evolved beings, constantly in a state of cat-like readiness.

What are the reasons you read spine-tingling thrillers? Why do we like feeling scared? 

Browse and buy yourself a thriller for Halloween here!