Horror fans often see the word “bloodcurdling” when describing a new story, film or experience. The idea that we’ll be so scared that the blood will turn into a sanguine cottage cheese, can be a deterrent for some or a welcome sign for others. But, is the term just a description of that tingling feeling we get when the tension rises and we know the monster is lurking or does the blood actually thicken?
In a small study, published by the BMJ, 24 victims…er volunteers were asked to watch a horror film (if you are wondering, they watched Insidious) and also an educational video, and then tested to see if the blood thickened.
What did they find? That it’s true, the blood coagulated.
However, as it is in science, they have to look at any possible limitations to the study and this was a small study and there needs to be further tests. Even the authors admit that it is possible that the horror movie genre itself may not be scary enough and that, “there is definite room for the enhancement of fear. However, such designs might elicit ethical controversy and would likely be confounded by physical exertion.”
Oh, and in case you wanted to know, the educational video was a documentary, A Year in Champagne. Scary.