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Why do thrill seekers enjoy being scared?

Haunted attractions are booming right now, but why do people like to face their fears?

GREENBACK, Tenn. — Haunted attractions near Halloween are a must for some people.

"Around 76% of Americans fear some kind of paranormal activity," Associate Professor of Sociology at Maryville College, Dr.Tricia Bruce, said.

But, why would anyone want to be scared?

"Because it gives us a rush because you don’t know what will happen, but at the same time you’re safe," Allison Seaton from Madisonville, said.

Allison and her friends recently visited Maple Lane Farms to find a good scare.

"People are afraid of clowns and zombies and things that go on in their personal lives," Dr. Bruce said.

For some, feel-good chemicals like dopamine are released when they’re scared.

"I think part of being scared comes from our inability to control our environments. So, we think of fear as something psychological, but there’s a sociological element too," Dr. Bruce said.

Dr. Bruce said this time of year some people want to see things that scare them.

"A lot of Americans say they are afraid of things so it provides a welcome relief to be able to have a time of year to make fun ourselves and deflate some of that fear," Dr. Bruce said.

She said haunted houses or corn mazes are a good way to tap into the fear, since there’s no real danger there.

"It’s a fun way to control that fear and make it a game and perhaps make ourselves feel more comfortable because we are in control again," Dr. Tricia Bruce said.

Experts said people come to haunted attractions for similar reasons they go to amusement parks. It’s a time you can have fun, not think about bills, relationships or your future and you can just enjoy yourself.

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