How science can help you survive scary movies

Taking control of "bump in the night" anxieties is possible — but it definitely isn't easy

Scary movies
(Image credit: (Bettmann/CORBIS))

My mother's favorite story to tell in October features me as a 3-year-old, sitting down to breakfast at a local diner. The restaurant's walls and windows were bedecked with Halloween cutouts — think cartoonish ghosts, goblins, and, of course, vampires. I took one look at Dracula and went into a full-blown meltdown, so my mom's friend hurried over and covered him up with a napkin.

Upon her return, I leaned over and whispered, "I can still see his toes."

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