Posted by G. Monet


Fear is not only some abstract concept, this is a natural response to prepare our bodies for possible blood loss as you might sustain if attacked by a tiger or Freddy Kruger, for instance.

Dutch researchers have been researching the psychosomatic response as it has proven beneficial in debilitating situations.

The final results, horror flicks are by every concise explanation of the expression a ?blood-curdling? experience, and will not be great for the health. A report showed a boost on Factor VIII, a blood clotting protein, contained in the blood during viewings of movies designed to excite fear inside the viewers.

This research was presented within the Christmas edition of BMJ in an article that suggests while using term ?blood-curdling? to clarify a lapse of fear and high anxiety would not an exaggeration.


Dr. Banne Nemeth working at the Leiden University Medical Center said, "We have conducted research and found that watching these "blood curdling" movies is assigned to a rise in a blood coagulant known as Factor VIII". 

"But you will find clinical implications to this particular. It is extremely likely that specific flicks can increase the blood clot quantity of the blood up to a fifth."

The word "blood curdling" goes back towards the middle ages if it was considered that fear made the blood "run cold", "curdled" or or "congealed". It was just poetic licence until scientists probed deeper to find out if there is some fact behind the saying.

Dutch researchers were interested in finding out if there was clearly some important evolutionary benefit in this particular blood clotting action as a reply to acute fear and believe that it is a precautionary measure to prepare the entire body for sustaining injury and possible blood loss.

They chosen to test their hypothesis. They selected 24 healthy individuals from your faculty and student body of Leiden University Medical Center. A small group of 14 test subjects were shown a really frightening movie followed by relaxing educational movie, other team viewed these films inside the reverse order.


A showing of the 2010 supernatural horror movie "Insidious" was discovered to boost Factor VIII levels as much as 11 IU/dl*. Readings of this high level are usually linked to the likelihood of thrombosis or blood clots.

12 in the participants, or 57%, showed an increase in this clotting agent through the scarey movie, only three, or 14%, in the participants showed indications of clotting through the educational film titled "A Year in Champagne".

Factor VII levels were reduced in the educational movie in 18 (86%) of the participants, but only decreased in 9 (43%) participants in the horror film.

"The average increase of Factor VII associated with the acute fear can be as much as 11.1IU/dl, I believe this may be clinically relevant. Every increase of Factor VIII by 10 Iu/dl is directly associated with 17% greater risk of venous thrombosis."


The test subjects were put through the exam movies per week apart on a single day, the surroundings was kept comfortable and relaxed. Both movies were an hour or so and a half long.

Blood samples were collected from your test subjects pre and post the film and were analyzed for symptoms of "Fear Factors" or any clotting activity. After the movies each of the participants were required to rank the fear they experienced with a visual analogue scale starting from 1 to 10. 10 being the "worst imaginable fear" and 1 indicating "no fear at all".

Participants were also inspired to report on certain relevant facts about lifestyles and movie preference, additionally they reported whether or not they had seen this movie before. As expected, the horror movie was found to become much scarier compared to educational movie, around 5.4 average fear points higher.

They did not find any proof other coagulating actions happening inside the blood during the movies, which means that although coagulation might be triggered by fear it can not actually complete the action and coagulate the blood.


Dr. Nemeth also commented, "The deeper biological mechanism of fear that is associated to increased coagulant activity is not really yet fully understood. Although the benefits of this step have yet to get fully grasped, we have now successfully removed the figurative quality from your term "blood curdling? when employed to describe fear."



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