BHA66: The Science & Philosophy of Horror

todayOctober 15, 2023

share close

Happy Halloween season to you all and thanks for tuning into Black Hoodie Alchemy! This week it’s all things horror, even more than usual. We’re diving into everything that constitutes horror — particularly the movies, but to include literature, artwork, and music like heavy metal.

You can listen to the episode right here or wherever you stream your podcast action!

Why do people enjoy horror while others don’t? If horror is such a primal emotion based on survival, why do people seek it out in artistic experiences, and what might there be to gain from these experiences? Are these people sadistic, masochistic, or both? Are they thrill seekers or grief-tourists?

While all of these less-than-desirable traits may be present in the rare horror enthusiast, the vast majority of horror fans are seeking to experience a catharsis that is something similar to a very small slice of the shamanic vision quest, where the initiate takes a whopping dose of psychedelics, heads into the wilderness at night with no plan, and seeks to find his way home come dawn. After all, Christ wandered in the desert for forty days and nights in confrontation with his shadow, and the Buddha himself sat under the bodhi as he was tempted my Mara the devil on his pursuit of enlightenment.

That is the philosophical angle, which we will explore at more length! But there is also the scientific side. What is there to be said about the evolutionary responses? How does horror play a role in psychological therapies like “exposure” and “desensitization” therapy? How does early viewing of horror movies disturb childhood development and what kinds of people are more likely to enjoy horror?

It’s all this and much more this week! I hope you dig it.


A Review of the Empirical Research on Psychological Responses to Horror Films – G. Neil Martin


This week’s featured music — don’t forget to support that black hoodie rap and all your favorite independent artists!

The Most Violent – School of Thought

Red Hook – Umang x Kickback

Moonrays – Umang x BBZ Darney

Round n Round – Epidemic


Written by: Anthony Tyler

Rate it

Become an Outsider and stay up-to-date with all things fringe

Sister Music Station

Contact Us