In Defense of Fear

Maddie Loverich, Writer

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We’ve all heard the cliche. It’s spooky season. Every college kid is going to dress up in a (most likely) cheap and easy costume to go out in. If you’re like me, it’s the perfect excuse to force your friends to watch horror movies with you. If you’re normal, you’re probably very opposed to watching a movie that’s going to make it hard to fall asleep at night. Most likely you’ll do it anyway, in the spirit of Halloween and peer pressure. 

It’s a season full of fun traditions, but, in my opinion, there’s one thing that a lot of people are missing out on: Haunted houses. 

Most of you will probably react like my friends did when I asked them to come with me to a haunted house. My question was greeted with confusion. Why on earth would you want to do that to yourself? You want to pay money to hate your life for 20 minutes? 

The answer is yes. And if you asked those same friends again after the haunted house experience, they would’ve ended up agreeing with me. Regardless of how you feel about ghosts and ghouls, I believe everyone should give it a try this Halloween season. 

Science would agree with me. According to Healthline, when we are scared, we experience a rush of adrenaline and dopamine. These chemicals speed up your heart rate and blood pressure, which introduces oxygen to the muscles, resulting in a rush of energy usually associated with a fight-or-flight response. Being aware that you’re in a safe environment can create a fun type of fear, as opposed to being scared when you’re in actual danger. 

Now, to step away from science, being scared in a safe environment is just simply a really good time. It’s a great bonding time for friends, bringing everyone closer together after experiencing the fear together. Letting loose and immersing yourself in an alternate world for a few minutes is a great way to let go of your anxieties and forget about them entirely. 

If I’ve just convinced you to give a haunted houses a chance, let me point you to the perfect place. Just a quick 35-minute drive east will get you to Milburn’s Haunted Manor. The Milburn family started the haunt in 2002, meaning they’ve had lots of time to perfect their craft. They have created an amazing haunt that would parallel any big production in Portland. It was voted best haunted house in Oregon for the last four years, and most certainly seems to live up to the high expectations this year. Don’t let the rural and dark farm location scare you. It’s a great family business that continues to entertain Oregon residents year after year. You could be next, as they “dare you to come to our house…”

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