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Why Are Scary Stories So Important?

by David Mack
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Sometimes parents and some teachers have asked me to consider the possibility of reading scary stories to children who are just beginning to learn. They were worried about how kids would react to an incredibly terrifying person or scenario in some instances. In some instances, they worried that a child could feel overwhelmed by the intenseness of a situation. In other cases, they were worried that children might be convinced that they were the masters of magic or witchcraft.

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Although these issues raise legitimate concerns, it wouldn’t be advisable to expose a child to the excellent Stephen King books or Anne Rice’s vampire stories; the horror stories are an essential and unique contribution to a child’s development.

The degree of tension or the creepiness of a character should always be considered when choosing a scary story suitable for children of any age. If you are unsure, I suggest asking the librarian to help you choose from “librarian approved terrifying tales” suitable for the maturity and age of the child in question.

scary stories

Feeling afraid

It is intense emotion scientists believe helped our species to survive. The majority of people have a natural fear of leeches, snakes, spiders, or rats. The celebration of Halloween today is among the most anticipated fall occasions. While Halloween was first celebrated more than 2,000 years ago with the ancient Celts and Celts, nowadays, youngsters and adults enjoy wearing costumes, exploring haunted homes, and telling scary tales. Something about being scared is exciting and interesting for kids from all age groups, ranging from 7 to 75.

With this in mind, I’d say that stories about scares are more relevant than ever before in our ever “sanitized” environment. Let’s examine how stories that scare us can effectively enhance children’s mental and emotional development.

Stories from horror can teach life-changing lessons for the future

If we face the fear of frightening scary stories, the body experiences a “rush” of excitement resulting from the hormone release, which allows us to feel and confront our fears at an appropriate distance. The joy of reading or listening to a good horror story can be as thrilling as the experience of riding a raging rollercoaster on a curve that is blind and then dropping three feet, only to find that we’re OK and enjoying the roller coaster. Both of these experiences allow kids to get their minds and bodies moving in a safe environment without physical risk.

As adults, we often tend to ignore the benefits of confidence that children gain when confronting their fears and realizing that they’re stronger than they imagined. It’s OK to be scared, and that fear is a valid emotion that can be positive is a valuable lesson for every child.

The experience of experiencing fear when reading a well-written story is a unique way to teach a child how to handle fear to get the desired outcome (seeing how the story concludes). If a child isn’t taught to manage and experience fear in the first place, how can they become a better coping mechanism for their fears when they have to face difficult situations in the real world? Stories of terror offer the opportunity to explore anxiety in a “safe” space while also discovering that fear can be controlled and used to progress.

 It’s OK to be scared

Beyond the thrill or the entertainment factor, we can assist kids in understanding that it’s OK to be scared. Scary Stories about ghosts teach youngsters that it’s not just acceptable to be afraid, but it can be a valuable tool to help discover how to tackle issues. The award-winning author Roberta Simpson Brown, “Queen of the Cold-Blooded Tales”, and an experienced educator, believes that horror stories help children understand that it’s right to be scared. She also explains that terrifying stories make us aware that we all fear things and that it’s healthy to confront our fears.

However, anxiety can be overwhelming for children, and I sometimes wonder whether we’re “cheating” children by not providing them with incremental experiences of fear and accepting that it’s normal to be scared? The stories of horror provide a simple and effective method to confront anxiety and practice dealing with anxiety in low-risk situations.

scary stories

Resilience to Learning

Consider this: Childhood can be a very frightening period for children. Children are less potent than adults, possess less control than adults, and depend on their family and strangers for food, care, and safety. These factors could be enough for adults to be anxious, particularly in the presence of people who were physically bigger and had power over their needs. Children live in such conditions all the time.

Children thrive when they master their psychological tools to manage a variety of life situations successfully. As adults, we often overlook that going to school every year, learning to ride a bicycle, performing a skit in school, or moving into a new area are significant difficulties for children. They could feel stressed or even overwhelmed.

In the present, we are often reducing the chance of failing children to make their lives more secure. In the end, frightening stories with a certain amount of frightening creatures, ghosts, or trolls could help children recognize a threatening situation, respond effectively to danger, and perhaps discover how to confront their fears to resolve any problem, particularly when they’re terrified. If a character in an adventure confronts her fears to end the issue and then overcomes an intimidating, terrifying adversary, children can observe a role model dealing with the fear and moving on in their lives.

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Managing stress

I believe that the combination of these three aspects (entertaining ability to feel anxiety, learning how to feel scared, and embracing the role models of resilience) aids children in learning to deal with the inevitable pressures of modern-day life. Stories that make kids step away from the “safe zones” can help build confidence and may even help develop the ability to handle threatening situations.

We can be sure of this: sure that many generations of young readers love stories written with a great slant because they are an absolute blast to read and be able to share. When kids have an extra ten or fifteen minutes in the afternoon, before lunch or when it’s not the time to get ready to go home, how about going for an edition of Roberta Simpson Brown’s most terrifying stories ever told or Tim Tingle’s Spirits Light and Darker The August House Book of Scary Stories and you can share one or two scary stories? These classic tales will not just enthrall kids, but they could also learn some essential life lessons.

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