Why People Read Horror Fiction?

Horror: ‘an intense feeling of fear, shock, or disgust’. Doesn’t exactly sound like the best time ever, right?

But the horror genre is huge. There are thousands, if not millions of people out there who just love to be scared.

But what is it that draws people to horror fiction?

It’s exciting

We all have a fight or flight survival instinct inside us. And adrenaline is what fuels it.

Fear goes hand in hand with adrenaline. Adrenaline rears its head in two situations. When you’re scared. And when you’re excited.

Think about what happens when you get scared. Your heart rate increases. Your palms get sweaty. Your mouth dry. And now think about what happens when you’re about to do something exciting, like go on a rollercoaster. The same thing.

The physical reaction to being scared is literally the same as the physical reaction to being excited. And it makes you feel alive.

Because we all have a weird fascination with the genre 

Just like some people are glued to the workings of real life serial killers and true crime documentaries.

We’re all fascinated by what we can’t understand. We can’t actually relate to stories of murder and post-apocalyptic disaster (or at least hopefully we can’t). And that’s exactly what draws us to them.

We’re breaking out of our own world and exploring the unknown.

To feel

This one sounds a little deep. But horror is one genre that can evoke very strong emotions from us.

While you might read a light romance novel or an autobiography. And be entertained or learn something. You probably won’t experience any strong emotions toward the book.

Horror, on the other hand, encourages feelings of fear, disgust and empathy. All of which have the potential to resonate with the reader. And it turns out, we as humans love to feel things. Good or bad.


I don’t mean to brag. But I’m pretty hardcore when it comes to horror.

I can’t really imagine experiencing real fear at the hands of a book that I know is the product of someone else’s imagination. I can understand them being entertaining. But that’s it. I read other books and feel sadness and empathy for the characters. But I just can’t imagine feeling genuine fear.

I read horror out of curiosity. Can anyone really write something genuinely terrifying? If they can, I want to find that book. Just to know what it feels like.

To test their nerve

Some people are driven to read tales of horror to prove to themselves that they can get through the whole book despite being scared.

If they can, it makes them feel brave for a while. Like they can do anything.


Sometimes, it’s normal to feel bored of your daily routine. Reading is a great form of escapism. And horror is one genre that is definitely not predictable in the slightest.

Why you read horror fiction and what is your favorite book?