By Nancy Bowne
Autumn, often coined “Spooky Season,” contains crisp, cool air, brings fun to local farms with corn mazes and has its costume dress ups and haunted houses. So much of the season is built on tradition, yet it gets us newly festive every time. After all, the holidays keep us on track throughout the course of the year.
One of the traditions this time of year is built on is fear — the emotion that emits such question and intrigue into the dark side of this season.
Throughout Halloween, our fears are tested, or even rejuvenated, in the form of haunted hayrides, haunted mazes and haunted houses that catch our attention. But why?
A couple of years ago, I went to my first haunted hayride with a group of friends. While the experience was terrifying, we were all excited about getting scared. I gripped my friend’s arm the entire time, especially when people with chainsaws came out. But after a while, we got out and laughed over our fear.
Do these activities provide a way to cope with fear? Are we afraid of these situations or about how we will react when our instincts will overcome us?
I believe these fall festivities are a way of doing a reality check. We all have our fantasies and ponderings of dramatic events — we don’t know how we’d react during an apocalypse, but perhaps a haunted hayride would shed some light on our fight or flight instincts.
These activities help us get in touch with how we handle fear. Sometimes, we overcome fear and learn how to handle it, even though they’re not true representation of events.
We get this same feeling about horror movies. If you are like me, even the slightest scary scene in a Disney movie can freak you out. Watching horror movies like “Insidious” with friends in the lounge becomes hilarious. I would always scream at the jump scares, but looking back, I can now appreciate its dark humor and obnoxious dialogue. Perhaps, it is in the face of fear that we can discover a camaraderie with companions and friends nearby.
Through maturity, time or practice, we overcome some of our fears, whether it is eating broccoli, riding a roller coaster or seeing your traditional Halloween monsters like vampires, werewolves and witches.
We cope with the supernatural so we hope to persist and feel braver. So, this Halloween, consider why we set up ghouls, witches and the paranormal and how this truly affects us.