Thrill-Seekers Thrive on the Scary
Exploring the 'dark side' may be a psychological need that's met when the scare is actually over.
The Scariest Films continued...
Sparks describes a woman in her late thirties who saw
Silence of the Lambs, and found the film so terrifying that she didn't
eat meat for the next six months. When The Exorcist was initially
released three decades ago, there were several cases of adults who experienced
such high levels of distress that they needed to be hospitalized.
Yet for adolescent boys in particular, they may consider these
kinds of films to be a rite of passage, exposing themselves to images and
stories that were taboo when they were younger.
"Most of these films depict transgressions of conventional
values and morality," says Rappoport. "There's an attraction to their
'forbidden' nature, in the same way that many adolescents want to know what
it's like to drink too many beers, smoke cigarettes, or drive their car too
The Ultimate Fear Experience
For people who just aren't satisfied with the run-of-the-mill
terrifying movies or the everyday shaking-in-your boots novels, New Yorkers can
now take the fear factor to the next level. The prescription: Order your own
For a rather hefty price tag (ranging from $1,500 to $4,000), a
newly formed business in New York will arrange to have you abducted, tied up,
gagged, and kept confined for hours or days to instill as much fear in you as
possible. The specific twists and turns of your own kidnapping can be
customized depending on your own preferences and idiosyncrasies for personal
As of late October (2002), about three dozen people had paid
for the thrill of being grabbed at a bus stop or the shopping mall, or even
from their own bedroom, thrown into the back seat of a car, blindfolded, driven
to a warehouse, stripped down to their underwear, and slapped around a little.
It's everything a masochist could ever want.
"This company apparently conducts a 'pre-interview,' finds
out what your fears are, and then plays into them," says Farley. "I
view this as a very decadent indulgence. It's violent and very scary, but
people do it voluntarily."
And a designer-kidnapping business may be coming to a town near
you. The young artist-turned-entrepreneur who started this enterprise is
contemplating opening up similar dare-to-be-scared operations in other parts of