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I Can’t Handle Scary Stuff

Now is that wonderful time of year when everyone is sharing their favorite horror movies and scary books as we get closer to Halloween.

But I have a confession to make:

I can’t handle scary stuff!

It’s probably because of an overactive imagination. If I see or read about something scary, it sticks in my brain. Then I start to jump at every strange noise, imagine monsters lurking in every shadow, and hide from the windows so nothing can see me from outside.

I have been this way since I was young. I had nightmares from kids’ cartoons like Sleeping Beauty and All Dogs Go to Heaven. The first time that I saw a PG-13 movie in the theater (Jurassic Park), I left the theater in tears before the halfway point because I was so scared. I thought I would toughen up and grow out of it, but that hasn’t really happened.

If anything, I am more afraid now of particular triggers that remind me of actual horrifying experiences I’ve had. Mainly s*x related violence.

It’s worse watching something for me. I can read stuff that’s a little scarier. In movies, the jump scares get me every time. Video games are also disturbing because it feels more like it’s happening to me. Haunted houses are right out except for Disneyland. In books, it’s usually extreme violence or r*pe that really bothers me, but I can skim bad parts sometimes if I like the rest of the book.

I don’t avoid horror completely, though. What I do is look at spoilers when I’m trying to decide if I can read/watch something. Reviews, parental guides, trigger warnings, etc. That’s why I try to include this info when I review something.

But what I really enjoy is more fun-scary things. It’s more entertaining for me to watch Nightmare Before Christmas or Hocus Pocus than the latest slasher film. That’s what I do mostly in October. And I like to read Gothic novels like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.

How do you feel about scary things? I think real life is scary enough!


I'm an author, a blogger, and a nerd. I read and write fantasy.