Good News: Watching Horror Movies Is Actually Healthy

To continue the Halloween marathon !

© United Artists

Whether we admit it or not, deep down, we love to watch a good horror movie. At least that’s Psychology Today's conclusion after reviewing various behavioural studies. This genre apparently holds a real cathartic power, allowing us to free ourselves from repressed emotions.

Living a traumatic emotion vicariously - through the screen - could allow us to detach ourselves from all the smothering feelings we’re piling up inside. According to Lady Gaga, who loves to relax in front of a good old slasher movie, it has a real therapeutic value.

As the website explainshorror cinema helps us deal with our fears in a controlled environment so we can do the same in the real world, following the principles of exposure therapy, a method that psychologists use to treat patients suffering from severe phobias.

A paper published in The International Journal on the Biology of Stress indicates that there are positive effects of watching horror films on the immune system, with a "significant increase in [...] the number of activated circulating leukocytes, haemoglobin [...] in response to the stressor."

Indeed, "brief bouts of stress have often been linked to improved immune function and activation" confirms Firdaus Dhabhar, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine interviewed by the TIME

So of course binging horror movies will never replace a good old fashion therapy, but at least you now have a pretty good excuse to (trick or) treat yourself with a good thrill.