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Just plain scared

Something that I have never been able to understand is why so many folks, large and small, are obsessed with the supernatural. Some of it is the taste fairy thing. While many are intrigued by love stories and thwarted romances, a huge number find ghosts and scary stuff entertaining.

Through my experience in education, I have been fascinated by the connection between many kids and the spine-chilling. Every one of them has a tale of horror and unexplained phenomena. Mom, cousin, aunt, brother, grandma or next door neighbor has either seen, heard or found evidence of some form of paranormal.

Trying to explain it, I identify several possible reasons. Kids often want to outdo parents, teachers and peers. It may simply be convenient to do so in realms for which there is no scientific, hard proof.

Another possibility is the inherent unpredictability of the supernatural. We spend countless hours with the finite in the form of math, spelling, history and science. All of these have immutable explanations. Perhaps some of us have need for worlds that defy traditional descriptions.

Or it may be that it’s simply fun to be scared. Many never outgrow the adrenalin associated with being frightened. One student reported that she loves “mystery in my world.” Another indicated, “It’s creepy and it’s cool to watch.”

Horror is entertaining, in small quantities. As one who dabbles in fiction and concentrates on non-fiction, horror is not my preferred genre. However, if I run out of good topics in the classroom setting, it will always be provocative and attention-grabbing to bring up horror. Maybe we all need a bit of scary and unexplainable in our worlds. Shalom.

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