Who doesn’t love an old-fashioned ghost story? Whether it’s something scary around Halloween, or a frightening tale shared late at night around a campfire, ghost stories have been around for as long as humans have been telling stories.
In fact, I’m such a fan of ghost stories that I created a whole series that combines the psychological thriller genre with a haunted house. (Because who doesn’t love a haunted house? Except … is the house actually haunted? Hmmm.)
My award-winning series is called “Secrets of Redemption,” and to celebrate the launch of my third book in it, The Evil That Was Done, I thought I’d dive into answering the “Why ARE we so obsessed with ghosts?” question.
Below are five reasons that help explain our ghostly fascinations:
1. Overall, stories provide a safe container for us to feel our emotions.
So many of us spend our lives trying to push our uncomfortable emotions (like sadness and worry and shame) away, or numb them, or run away from them … or whatever it takes to not feel them.
The problem with that is, if we aren’t feeling our difficult emotions, we also aren’t feeling our joyful, happy emotions. And, as humans, we need to feel our emotions in order to feel, well, human.
That’s why stories (and fiction in general) are so valuable. They give us an outlet for feeling those emotions without wreaking havoc in our lives. (In other words, we can feel scared because of what a character is going through without us being in any actual danger.)
2. Feeling fear is good for us.
While worry and anxiety (which is fear gone amuck) is NOT all that healthy for us, fear definitely has an important place in our lives.
A healthy dose of fear keeps us physically safe. It keeps us on our toes. You could even argue that it helps us become the best version of ourselves. Without feeling fear, we could grow lazy and complacent, and in worst case scenarios, put ourselves in danger.Could ghost stories be GOOD for us? Check out 5 Reasons Why We Love Ghost Stories and see what you think. Click To Tweet
3. Ghost stories are a metaphor for all the “ghosts” we’re dealing with in our lives.
All of us are “haunted” by things in our past or are struggling with our own “ghosts” of things that have failed (such as relationships or careers). We might even contend with the ghosts of people we loved who are no longer with us.
Even if you don’t necessarily believe in ghosts, we’re ALL dealing with ghosts on some level. Reading or watching a ghost story helps give us the sense of closure we may be seeking in our personal “ghost stories.”
4. Ghost stories help us explain the unexplainable.
We all have had events that have happened in our lives we can’t explain—that we can’t come up with any good reason for what happened or didn’t happen.
Unfortunately, our brain is wired to dislike things we can’t explain or don’t understand, so a lot of times, we look for an explanation even if it’s pretty unlikely or far-fetched. Ghosts can be a great explanation when we can’t find any other.
5. Sometimes we just want a good scare (and there’s nothing wrong with that!).