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Mike Snoonian

Horror’s Profound Empathy, Tarot Del Toro And MORE!
The Bite #118

Horror’s Profound Empathy, Tarot Del Toro And MORE!

What is it about horror as a genre that can lead to increased empathy for others? Over time, horror has transitioned between being a source of entertainment and a learning tool that teaches us about the privileges we take for granted. For a couple of hours, the character’s terror becomes our own, making space to engage with different backgrounds and experiences than our own. There are specific terrors I fail to consider in the real world; broken street lamps don’t give me pause; footsteps from behind me aren’t a reason to turn keys into a makeshift weapon; a minor traffic violation or accidentally bumping into someone in a store won’t lead to a gun pointed in my face. I have it easier than most.

Horror’s Profound Empathy
Bigger Bites

Horror’s Profound Empathy

I love horror. I love the sound of a hundred voices in a theater gasping in terror then letting out cathartic peals of laughter to relieve tension. I love listening to ghost stories with my kiddo outside in her tent. During the scary bits, she talks fast over the audio as a way to cope, and nothing brings me more joy. I love horror movies because that ball of worry that threatens to chew a hole in my stomach during the scariest bits mirrors how I experience anxiety. Taming those anxieties through controlled breathing or slowing down racing thoughts reminds me that I can do the same during real-world situations. I’m not alone in this; millions live with anxiety. What makes us unique is how we process and act on our symptoms. Horror affords people the opportunity to work through crippling worry that repeats itself like a needle stuck in a groove. It even gives us the chance to learn what scares people different than ourselves, who share different cultures, values, and experiences from our own.

Horror’s Helping Hand, Saying Goodbye To John Lafia And MORE
The Bite #109

Horror’s Helping Hand, Saying Goodbye To John Lafia And MORE

It may seem antithetical to surround oneself with fictional terror when the real world is a scary hellhole. Yet, like many, when I turn to my stack of horror movies I come away comforted. It’s not just a love of monsters and serial killers that keeps fans coming back for more. For many, horror provides a boost to their mental health and acts as a form of self-care.