Are Horror Movies Really Bloodcurdling?

Synopsis: ‘Bloodcurdling’ isn’t just a term the movie trailer voice-over guy uses.  It’s been around since the medieval times, when it was commonly believed that fear could ‘curdle’ (coagulate) blood. To test this out,  researchers measured the coagulation activity in 24 healthy volunteers when they were shown the horror movie Insidious, and later shown the documentary A Year in Champagne.

Conclusion: Results showed an increase of blood coagulant factor VIII (mean increase of 11.1 IU/dL) in participants during the screening of Insidious, which was perceived to be more frightening than the documentary. Although there was no actual thrombin formation, the increase in factor VIII may be clinically relevant since every 10 IU/dL increase is associated with a 17% increase in venous thrombosis risk.


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