Oh, the horror

Friends recently asked me to go to Netherworld, Atlanta's version of a haunted house attraction.  My hands started sweating immediately as I blurted out (a bit too loudly) "No!"

I hate being scared. I hate haunted houses. I hate horror movies. I hate the commercials for horror movies.

It's even invading TV! Shows like The Walking Dead, True Blood, Penny Dreadful and The Strain are OVER THE TOP with the graphic stuff. And it keeps getting worse.

Since it's the Halloween season let's dive into this more.

Don't get me wrong, I try. If there's a new show with lots of buzz and talent, I want to watch it. That's what got me on to American Horror Story. The first season was rough -- some of that shit was pretty freaking scary/shocking/gross -- but I made it to the end (I love me some Tami Taylor). I cut out early from season 2 (the "Asylum" = no thanks) and watched most of season 3 ("Coven"). Witches don't bother me, however the scenes with Kathy Bates putting that bull head on the slave dude will stay with me for quite a while.

That leads me to season 4 of AHS: "Freak Show."

I'm not exaggerating when I say this season has probably the scariest motherf&cking clown I've ever seen named Twisty (the photo above isn't even a 1/4 as scary as he is). I am scared of all clowns, but they've really taken it to a new level with this clown's shtick. He's dirty, raggedy and has horrific jagged teeth twisted into a smile "mask." And the kicker: yup, he goes around stabbing the shit out of people and stealing children.

I don't think I will ever sleep well again.

Other things I don't think humans need to be subjected to seeing, especially on TV:

- a worm coming out of someone's eyeball - the cutting off of limbs - torture of any variety - the slitting of throats - the smashing in of faces/heads (There are certain things we are just not meant to see the inside of: computers, sewers, our colons, human heads.)

Why is this stuff so popular? Why do people love being scared out of their tits? Is it adrenaline?

Apparently scientists think it’s bananas too so they have tried to figure it out. I checked out WedMDPsych Central and The Atlantic to see what they were saying about this phenomenon and they all seem to chalk it up to yes, adrenaline (as well as endorphins and dopamine), but it could also be the sense of self confidence that comes with enduring/overcoming fear, or a fascination with special effects, or an obsession with death, or just your basic machismo.

They say that those who do not enjoy being scared or seeing graphic images may have been traumatized by scary images at a young age or it might be a case of just being “wired” differently: some people have a harder time screening out unwanted stimuli in their environment and therefore are more likely to have intense physiological reactions to horror films (according to Glenn Sparks, Ph.D, of Purdue University).

That sounds just like ME!

I remember seeing my first horror movie - Dracula no less - at my babysitter's house when I was four or five years old. That night my mom and I were home alone during a thunder storm (eek!). We lost power (EEK!) and I remember vividly being terrified that a vampire was coming for us. And as you can see that whole experience was forever burned into my brain.

But just for the record, as a kid I did like movies like The Shining, Poltergeist and The Exorcist. Granted, these flicks mostly relied on suspense and story line as opposed to over the top gore and horrifically disturbing images and situations that are so common nowadays. And maybe I was more tolerant or adventurous or rebellious when I was younger. I certainly didn't have to worry about living by myself and what I would do if Freddy Kruger or Jack or Linda Blair came for me in the middle of night. I'd just call dadRick and I'd be fine.

So yes, I hate horror: the movies, the commercials, the houses, the whole damn genre. I don't like feeling afraid. I don’t like seeing arms and legs getting chopped off. I don’t want to see brains coming out of heads. I don't want to see someone running for their GD life by a maniac with a saw. My life is quite complete without any of that.

Have fun at Netherworld without me. I’ll be lounging on my couch watching Real Housewives and getting my thrills from cat fights and bad outfits.

Happy Halloween!