A new study conducted by researchers from the Medical Center of Leiden University discovered that horror movies could actually be bad for your health. This is the first study that researched the accuracy of the old saying “bloodcurdling”.
The scientists say that behind the term bloodcurdling – used for intense and scary situations – is a medical explanation. It appears that while watching horror movies, the body releases a protein called Factor VIII, which causes the clotting of the blood. 18 horror flicks are said to raise the possibility of a blood clot appearance with 5%.
Researchers say that there is a logical explanation behind this. The brain associates these scares with a possible life threatening situation and so the body prepares for blood loss by curdling blood.
The concept of bloodcurdling goes back a long time and refers to the fear that makes the blood congeal or curdle.
For the experiment, 24 healthy volunteer students were selected from the Dutch university. They were of maximum 30 years old. Two movies were assigned to them: an educational movie – “A year in Champagne” and “Insidious”, a horror one. 10 people watched the non-threatening movie first and then the horror one and the remaining 14 watched them in opposite order.
The Factor VIII associated with blood clotting was calculated using as unit of measurement international unit/deciliter, on short IU/dl. While the volunteers watched the popular horror movie, the Factor VIII raised over 11 IU/dl, which is associated with high risk of blood clot or thrombosis. These levels increased the chances of venomous thrombosis by 17%. The high Factor VIII levels decreased while the volunteers watched the other, more soothing movie.
The volunteers were asked to rate each movie based on a fear scale. The conclusion was that the scary movie was perceived as being with five points above the educational one.
Blood samples of each volunteer were taken before and after each movie and were analyzed by scientists who searched for any clot formations. They found out that even though the protein for coagulation is activated by fear, no clots are actually formed. Although their premise was that horror movies could be bad for your health, their conclusion says otherwise. So go ahead and watch your favorite horror movie without fearing any blood clots.
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