So I’ve made it, with a sustained pulse so fast it almost flatlined and enough buckets of sweat to fill the oceans twiceover, it’s safe to say ‘Ghost Stories’ did it’s job of being terrifically terrifying last night at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith, London.
Not to give the plot away too much, but it basically follows the narrator on a journey through 3 individual ghost encounters, executing a jumpscare once every couple of minutes it felt like. It got me thinking, what causes us to ‘jump’ when we’re scared, surely the little skip in your seat wouldn’t serve you much of a purpose, or would it?
What Is A ‘Jumpscare’
A technique bringing about an abrupt change in audio or image in order to frighten the audience.
What Happens When We Are Scared By A Jumpscare:
The sudden change of stimulus causes a series of chemical reactions in the brain to facilitate the ‘fight or flight’ mode. Specifically a part of the brain called the ‘hypothalamus’ activates two systems in the body which prep you for that survival instinct on whether to run for the hills or fight it out. These are the 1)sympathetic nervous system and 2) the adrenal cortical system.These systems work to transfer stress hormones throughout the body to cause the symptoms we know of including an increased heart rate, tense muscles and dilated pupils. Increased heart rate = more blood can flow to the muscles energising them to run or fight and to the brain for quickfire decision making in the face of danger. Muscles tense energized by glucose and adrenaline. Dilated pupils allow as much light in as possible so the perceived threat can be seen clearly.
So now that you know a little about what happens inside of you when you’re scared, will any of the below trigger the physiological effects above in you?
Courtesy of Bros Top 11 (not my material)
Did it work on you? If not, would you pay money with the intention of getting scared out of your mind like I did?