Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Stranger Things shows we humans are just programmed to seek out fear

Cillian Murphy in 28 Days Later, which scared Mike so much he felt physically ill.
Cillian Murphy in 28 Days Later, which scared Mike so much he felt physically ill.

I’m easily frightened – and people are right to laugh at me for it.

So, when the 80s-style horror story Stranger Things became the latest big thing in online TV, I resisted for days, out of sheer terror.

That’s hard to do in a newsroom, where the worst fear is spoilers.

The latest big thing is never far from your eyes and ears amid the growls of the content-devouring news beast.

However, after about four days of buzz about this new Netflix show, I accepted I’d rather watch than have it ruined.

No spoilers here but it’s about some kids in a small town where frightening things are happening.

There’s a lot of Stephen King in there and John Carpenter, plus others. It’s pretty much perfect for people of my generation, who rented every tape in the video shop (on Betamax) and recorded all the blockbusters off the TV at Christmas. It evokes a time in our lives.

But more importantly, it’s scary. It’s so scary that, watching it alone, late at night, in an enclosed room, in the dark, I repeatedly checked behind me for monsters. I was hooked and repelled – tremendous.

The people who know me discourage me gently when I want to watch something in the horror genre. They know I’m not going to cope but they secretly want to watch me fall apart, because it’s a giggle.

I’m always the person in the pictures who makes a fool of himself by screaming when the monster jumps out. I know it’s coming but I can’t help it. I buy into films too much.

Even at home, I’m a challenging individual. The film 28 Days Later scared me so much I felt physically ill but I couldn’t stop watching.

In the end, I Googled for spoilers and forced myself to switch it off. In my defence, zombies should not run. It’s just too much.

Why do we put ourselves through this stuff? Because the thrill of fear, encased in a compelling story, is part of what makes us. We seek fear, like a hungry creature shambling through the night.

And because sometimes the right story makes us feel like kids again.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]