Do You Enjoy Being Scared?







Article by Wendy McCance

Halloween is just around the corner.  It is a holiday that has always been full of good memories while providing me with a little anxiety at the same time.  I don’t enjoy being scared.  In fact, it is a component of my personality that has always disappointed me.

I grew up enjoying wearing a costume and going door to door with my friends trick-or -treating.  I remember dreading the idea of ending up on a porch with someone else who was trick-or-treating in a scary costume.  Worse yet was when the house I went to had spooky music playing, props in the yard and someone in a creepy costume answering the door. There were many times I skipped those homes.  I was too chicken.

As an adult, I still get creeped out easily.  I can’t go to haunted houses, I get nervous answering the door on Halloween when kids in costumes ring our doorbell and going down the aisle at a store selling Halloween costumes makes me uncomfortable.

I have tried to hide my scaredy-cat ways from my own kids.  I wanted them to grow up fearless.  I hoped that they would be excited to go to the haunted houses and would laugh at the people in creepy costumes.  They are definitely more willing to take part in the scary stuff these days.

When the kids were small, there was a street a few blocks down where a particular house went all out for Halloween.  Scary props, spooky music and people in creepy costumes took over the front and side yard of the home.  It was an interactive experience with actors who really got into their roles.  The home was so popular that television crews would come by to interview the owners.

The first year I took the kids to visit the home, we were trick-or-treating in the neighborhood and you could see the home from the corner of the street we were on.  There were people milling around everywhere.  You could hear a lot of laughing and a lot of screaming.  The kids begged to go over and check it out.  I was hesitant to take them because I was afraid they might get too scared.  Honestly, I was also afraid that I would get too scared as well.

We ended up going over to the home, but kept our distance across the street.  The kids loved the experience.  I was not as thrilled.  I kept imagining someone coming up behind me. Even so, I was glad I had taken them over there.

To this day, I feel a bit ripped off.  I will see people posting comments on Facebook about some of the scary shows on television.  They can’t wait to watch a new season of spooky stuff.  The last two years I have wanted to see the show American Horror Story.  It seems so interesting, except for all of the killing and grisly scenes.  I have watched snippets of the show hoping I could get through a full episode, but each time, I end up too overwhelmed and the images stay with me for days and sometimes weeks.

I have often wondered what some people have that makes it easy for them to watch or take part in some scary fun.  Actually, I really wonder how being scared is fun at all.  So another year of Halloween will have my husband and son going off to a haunted house. There will be disappointment again when I pass on going.  Honestly there is nothing worse than having your middle school kid try to talk you into going with reassurances that it won’t be that bad and that I can handle it.  I’m just glad my child can handle it.



Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]

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12 thoughts on “Do You Enjoy Being Scared?

  1. Hi Wendy — well, here we are another year (2015) and Halloween is almost here again. I wonder what it was that makes you scared. Believe me, I can relate and, like you, can’t watch horror movies, as it stays with me, and don’t go out of my way to watch the latest blood and guts thrillers. I can feel the negative energy.

    Hope this year is better for you and you enjoy it with your family. Happy Halloween. 🙂

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  6. I don’t enjoy being scared, either, in the sense of reading a grisly book. But I have had several important experiences that taught me a lot of these “odd” fears go back to an incident in childhood, something we’ve maybe long forgotten — yet it had enough impact that something got “bent” in our psyche and has stayed bent.

    For example, I hated going to funerals (and especially viewings) and seeing those dead bodies. I saw them as unreal-like wax dummies or something-and I was loath to look at them. One day i was getting dressed to go to a funeral and dreading it as usual, and suddenly I asked God, “Why do feel this way? Why do I hate this so much when others find it normal.” And He popped a memory back into my mind.

    I was three-and-a-half when my baby brother died a few hours after birth. The funeral was small, held in the living room of my Aunt & Uncle’s house; Uncle Tom made the coffin. I don’t remember that I cried, but my aunt told me years later how I cried and didn’t want them to take the baby away.

    My memory of the day is of a group of people; I was told that the baby was in the coffin on the table. Someone lifted me up to look in and I saw (and I still remember this!) a tiny doll. To this day I remember the disgust I felt. They’d lied to me; there was no baby. This was just a doll! (No, it wasn’t; it was my little brother. But in my tiny mind I was seeing a little wax doll.)

    The day I asked God for an answer he took my mind back to the disappointment I felt, the feeling that this wasn’t a real person, and He told me, “This is why you feel the way you do about bodies.” I was amazed that an incident like that could have such an impact!

    But I was even more amazed when I got to the funeral. As is the custom in our church: the mourners filed by the coffin and we did, too. And for the first time ever, as I looked down on the deceased, I saw him as a REAL person, not just some made-up wax mannequin.

    I’m guessing your dislike of being scared probably goes back to something you don’t really remember or recognize anymore, either.

    • Wow, what a memory. I am so very sorry for your loss. I can definitely understand where your fear would come from. I’m sure you are right about an early trauma. I do know that any funeral where there was an open casket, I would stay at the back of the room. It was so scary to me that a dead person was in the same room with me. I just couldn’t look.

      • I hadn’t thought about his for awhile, but I’ve saved my comment to you — I think I’ll write this up as a post on my own blog.
        The oddest things impress and impact children; an adult can never anticipate them all. Had anyone realized what was going on in my mind, they could have explained it to me that a dead newborn baby does look like a doll.

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