When Fear Was Fun

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When Fear Was Fun

This week on Motherboard, we’re getting right up in fear’s face and making it fun again.

When we were kids, fear was fun; ghost stories around the campfire, haunted houses in the school gymnasium, Goosebumps books and episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark? Getting scared was anything but serious business. It was thrilling, silly, and we sought it out at every opportunity: delighting at the slumber party Ouija boards and moonlit bike treks to the cemetery.

These days, fear is a lot less fun. It can stifle us, limit us, even take root deep inside of us, riddling our body with an insidious, constant anxiety. But if we can find a way to confront the fear, we are often able to strip it of its potency. And maybe even make it fun again.

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That's exactly what we're doing this week on Motherboard with All in Your Head: confronting the fear. We're getting right up in fear's face and inspecting it, dissecting it, and sucking out all of its power.

Motherboard's podcast takes on fear. Radio Motherboard is also available on iTunes.

We went to Indonesia to learn why the one thing we fear most in our culture—death—is one of the things most celebrated in others. We dug up fun, true spooky stories to share with you from space mysteries to haunted websites. We got to the bottom of what makes some scares fun, what happens in our head when we hear creepy noises, and the obsession with the little girl trope in horror movies. We even interviewed the master of fun scary, R.L. Stine, about the art of spooking kids without traumatizing them and what about the future frightens him.

So put on your spooky sound effects cassette tape, grab your flashlight, climb under the covers, and dive into our frightful fare. We promise it will be the fun kind of scary.

All in Your Head is a series that takes a scientific look at all things spooky and scary. Follow along here.