Appetite for horror loses bite post-pandemic

Chennai-based psychologist Dr Chitra Aravind says that spooky videos tend to incite feelings of fear and anxiety.
Appetite for horror loses bite post-pandemic
Back in the day, a haunted house would be a staple of any given public exhibition at Island Grounds, just like the goblin’s ghetto set up in a mall at Purasawalkam.

CHENNAI: Friday the 13th will be an innocuous little day in Chennai with no themed events to speak of, or even scary movies being released in the theatres here.

Back in the day, a haunted house would be a staple of any given public exhibition at Island Grounds, just like the goblin’s ghetto set up in a mall at Purasawalkam.

But all these are figments of the past now as such means of entertainment have lost their relevance.

Back-toback lockdowns and a ban on exhibitions during the pandemic had literally throttled entertainment avenues that depended on the thrills and chills factor.

However, content creators agree that such material has a sizable audience on social media and video-sharing sites, thanks to inquisitive kids and youngsters.

“Horror and superstitions continue to rule the roost when it comes to content searched for by children. Haunted houses, abandoned classrooms, family-friendly scares and ghostly pranks are some of the top searches by school students. Such content is available both in Tamil and English,” says social media content provider Karthick Kamalakannan.

The lockdown had triggered youngsters to watch more spooky content, admit influencers and therapists dealing with kids.

Chennai-based psychologist Dr Chitra Aravind says that spooky videos tend to incite feelings of fear and anxiety.

“It might not be everyone’s cup of tea. In one way, it stimulates that sensation of fear. But watching such content for a prolonged duration might not be advisable as such images get registered in memory.”

It takes self-awareness to steer clear of addiction to such content as it does affect mental health.

Dr Deepak Arjundas, neurologist said that such addiction eventually diverts the thought process of a person, resulting in behavioural changes, and can even lead to seizures.

“Parental guidance is advised for kids as far as exposure to scary material is concerned.”*

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