Real Halloween horrors scare students
Published: Monday, October 29, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 29, 2012 23:10
This Halloween, many students at Southern Miss will be attending a costume party or watching Paranormal Activity 4 with a few close friends. No matter what age though, the majority of students cannot resist the one horror of Halloween: CANDY. One may not realize how excessive candy is during Halloween and how bad it is for one if we eat too much of it. Deidre Imus, a Fox News writer, says, “Not only is processed candy made almost entirely of highly refined (and difficult to digest) sugars like high fructose corn syrup, they are rife with artificial colors, fat, sodium, and other worthless components.” The real horror is one can find themselves with ten candy wrappers around oneself and not realize where all those wasted calories went along with an aching belly. Imus says she likes to eat and give out dark chocolate because it helps lower people’s blood sugar levels.
A lot of students may be unaware of another horror; the masks and makeup bought for costumes are full of toxic substances that are in things like cleaning supplies and personal care products. “Go green by reusing clothing and other supplies you’ve already go on hand in the house, or stop by secondhand store pick up whatever accessories you may need,” says Imus. Also, the Environmental working group suggests avoiding the use of face paints and lipsticks that contain lead, which can cause cancer or skin irritations. So if one plans on being an elaborate Disney character, dig out that crafty side and spend an evening making an original costume. One will not have to worry about the toxic horrors of an expensive costume anyways.
Finally, the scariest, most controversial Halloween horror of all: Can you literally be scared to death? Most scientists say yes but that the phenomenon is rare. Martin A. Samuels, a chairman of the neurology department at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, says there is a lot of people who have died in frightening situations such as a child who died on an amusement park ride, car accident victims with minor injuries, and even victims of break-ins whose assailants never touched them. “The unifying factor is that the nervous system controls the heart and it can do a lot of damage,” says Dr. Samuels. Dr. Samuels also says that most people who die in these situations had sudden heart failures that were perfectly healthy an hour earlier. Fox News says “being scared to death” shows how fear from the brain can affect the heart, specifically with a rush of adrenaline. In a sociological perspective, Ann Kinnell, a sociology professor at Southern Miss, says, “So if everyone around you is acting terrified this could enhance your own feelings of terror and increase the stress hormones that are released by the body.” Kinnell also says that the social cues are leading us to feel more stress not less, which for people with heart conditions would be bad. Therefore, is it our own fear or the fear of others as well?
Therefore, students should keep any eye out for the things they are most scared of on Halloween; whether it is clowns or a girl dressed up as the “Grudge.” Dressing up and acting scary are all fun and games but sometimes real horrors can affect our life.