Thursday, November 29, 2012

What Scares You?

Everyone has basic fears.

Some are ingrained into our survival code.

Others stem from experiences we've had.

Some become phobias.

The person who declares he's not afraid of anything is likely one of the biggest cowards in the room.

There are fears of poverty, of homelessness, of our children going hungry.

There are fears of bugs or birds or cats or sharks.

There are fears of ghosts, spirits, monsters.

There are fears of what another human will do to us.

Fears seem to be categorized into different sections.

As a writer, I enjoy exploring fears from every level.

Sometimes I find writing about what scares me helps me understand why I'm scared.

When you're writing about scary things, you have to have a basis about WHY it's scary.

You also have to walk that fine line about what is scary to one and may not be to another.

In fact, some people find some fears utterly ridiculous yet another person would actually die of a heart attack if they were in the same situation.

Did you see that Youtube video that's making the rounds about the scary pranks on people trapped in the elevator?

I was watching that thinking that at first, I'd be scared then I'd realize that it has to be people fooling around since I know so many people who work in Halloween Scream Houses.

However, even though I'm a big fraidy cat, once my initial fear is gone, I start to analyze what is going on. If I was in that situation, it wouldn't take me more than the initial jolt to realize it's a trick. No way would I believe that it's really a ghost. I'd instantly know there's a trap door. All those years of theatre, ya know!

But I was thinking about some people might freak right out, perhaps even have a heart attack.

That video is an interesting experiment in discovering what truly scares us.

We are afraid, watching the video while thinking "what if it ISN'T a fake?"

What if that really happened to me but it wasn't a cheesy haunted house trap door creepy kid prank?

What if it really WAS A GHOST?

I would freak out, you betcha.

But this particular video set-up would have the average person be initially startled and frightened and then laugh and realize it's a joke.

What do you think about this prank?

Is it scary?

Is it mean?

Is it dangerous?

Is it dumb?

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