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Horror Movies Are Literally Blood-Curdling

Watching a scary movie will cause blood clotting on a harmless level

(Mirror Daily, United States) – That frisson down the length of your spine is not just in your head, as researchers found that horror movies are literally blood-curdling. The expression has gained scientific validity behind its more poetic meaning. Your blood actually does curdle, or congeal, while you’re watching a scary flick.

A team of researchers from Leiden University in the Netherlands conducted a study on 24 healthy adults, ages of 30 years old or below. The participants were split into two groups, of 14 and 10, and were set in the comfortable chairs to watch two movies, each one week apart.

The first group enjoyed the horror movie ‘Insidious’ (2010) first, and seven days later were switched to watch the documentary ‘A Year In Champagne’ (2014). The second group watched the same movies, but in reverse order. All the participants gave blood samples 15 minutes before and after each movie.

According to their findings, both before and after the horror flick, the participants saw to an increase in levels of a clotting agent called ‘Factor VIII’. Their blood literally became more congealed under the fearful influence of watching the scary movie. Their results showed that a spike in Factor VIII occurred in 57% of those watching ‘Insidious’, while only 14% of those watching the documentary experienced the same change.

Not everyone gets scared during a horror movie though. That, and the fact that the documentary is about a wine importer getting a glimpse into the champagne business. Perhaps there is something scary there to see. Naturally though, the horror motion picture was deemed as scarier by a factor of 5.4 in rating scores.

The researchers also observed that levels of Factor VIII actually decreased for 86% of the participants watching ‘A Year In Champagne’, and only in 9% watching the horror movie. That means that those watching the latter literally had a blood-curdling sensation because it was actually happening. The scientists also stated that there was no increase in levels of other blood-clotting agents.

That means that it doesn’t genuinely pose any health risks. Their blood literally curdled, but not in any way that it would actually present with perilous blood clots. However, the term is now scientifically justified in literature.

The researchers explained that this might be an evolutionary benefit. In the face of danger, life-threatening situations, or anything that causes fear, the body essentially prepares itself for blood loss. Curdling, or congealing, will successfully aid in decreasing the amount of blood a victim would lose after an injury. While that’s not very likely to happen while watching a horror movie, our body prepares itself just in case something bad is about to happen.

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