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While most of us are naturally curious and suffer from more or less pronounced FOMO, meaning we have to know, see and hear everything others do, it’s not always best for us.

Some things are better left unknown or at least not put in the nightmarishly dim light like the facts shared on the “Creepy.fact” Instagram account. Followed by 231k followers, the page calls itself “the scariest account on Instagram” so we are about to see if that’s true. We wrapped up some of the most interesting posts shared on this page, so pull your seat closer, as you may want to leave your lights on.

The truth is... nothing beats the enduring appeal of things that fall under the categories of horror, grotesque, and mystery. Just look at the recent craze around gothic and horror TV shows (I refuse to believe there exists a person who hasn’t yet watched Tim Burton’s Wednesday) and serial killer documentaries (Netflix’ spin on Dahmer, anyone?!).

So to find out more about what it is that makes us tick when it comes to horror, we spoke with Lauren McMenemy, a south London-based writer of gothic-influenced folk horror who is currently working on a novel set in the world of the Victorian occult. And she was happy to share some very interesting insights into the topic!

#1

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Hailie
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1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I asked my counselor about these types of thoughts! She said they're completely normal.

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“Humans are inherently morbid, whether they like to admit it or not,” Lauren McMenemy, a professional writer, journalist, and experienced writing mentor and coach told Bored Panda. “We are fascinated by death - by avoiding it, by cheating it, by embracing it, by understanding what comes next.”

“And I think the last bit is really why we love the creepy stuff; ghosts and skeletons and vampires and other creepy things help us to explore what comes after death. As for mysteries, well, who doesn't love a good mystery! As well as being morbid, we are also inherently curious creatures,” McMenemy explained.

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SydneyGirl
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1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Bloody huntsman. Those dinner plate sized ones creeping out from behind a picture on the wall do tend to create stained undies.

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McMenemy argues that it's what marks out humans and has helped us to grow and develop over generations and millennia. “We want to figure out the things we don't understand, and when we can't figure them out then some of us become obsessed by them.” McMenemy still remembers her own childhood obsession with the Bermuda Triangle, and who didn’t have one!

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When asked whether horror as a genre is becoming more popular lately, McMenemy said that it definitely feels like it. “A large part of that is down to social media and the growth of self-publishing. The 'establishment' publishing houses still don't seem to like much in the way of horror - though serial killer fiction used to be considered horror, once upon a time! - but there is a huge online horror community, and they love to share discoveries,” the writer explained.

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Minath
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1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Happened in South Africa as well. Two Orcas called Port and Starboard turned up and after they killed and ate the livers of a few Great Whites, the sharks moved out. There were a few years with basically no sightings of the sharks.

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Moreover, “Self-publishing has made it easier for people to share their own stories, too. And then we have the visual medium, and streaming services making access to horror much easier. I think the appetite has always been there, but it's just easier to get hold of that ‘fix,’” McMenemy explained.

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We were also eager to find out what makes a book or a film particularly creepy. The academic answer to what makes things creepy, McMenemy argues, lies in the concept of the "uncanny", or the psychological experience of something as mysterious and creepy in a strangely familiar way.

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“It's the strangeness of the ordinary, the field where we are unable to distinguish between pleasure and displeasure and so we become anxious. Creepiness is about the uncertainty of a threat; you think there's something to worry about, but the signals aren't clear enough to send you into action,” the writer told us.

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Elita One
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1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Think I'll just stick to pictures from the people who've been there and done that, thanks.

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Meanwhile, “in books and film, this often takes the form of things just outside of our vision, or of familiar signals such as old and dilapidated houses, cobwebs, the unkempt and unloved. It results in that tingling down your spine, the goosebumps on your arms - you can't quite figure out what's going on, but you are intrigued…” McMenemy concluded.