Horror films can often send your pulse racing, even leading you wanting to jump behind the sofa, but it appears they could actually be good for your health.
Academics have found horror films like The Exorcist and The Shining release chemicals in your brain that often reduce stress, reports MailOnline. This can trigger happiness as well.
Doctor Kristen Knowles, neuropsychologist at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, says the films produce endorphins and dopamine.
She said: “Researchers have found that watching horror can improve pain tolerance due to endorphin production.
“The body’s response to fear or suspense is to ramp up production of stress hormones, such as adrenalin, which mobilise your body’s energy resources. This is paired with increased heart rate and focused attention.”
Dr Knowles says the tension is released at the end of the film, creating an “exhilerating” experience for the viewer. She says this is a similar experience to activities such as skydiving.
Endorphines make us feel pleasure and offer reward. They are often produced when we are eating or exercising.
However they are also produced when the body feels pain or stress. This can happen during jump-scare horror films.