This Friday 13th, ahead of the second season of Sky Atlantic’s scary Arctic thriller Fortitude, independent research has been released into how Brits respond to fear.
Two thirds of us (67%) love watching scary movies and TV shows, but when it comes to confronting real fears, research out today reveals a generational gulf has emerged. UK pensioners (over 60s) are significantly more likely to investigate a nerve-racking bump in the night (82%), compared to a timid 48% of 16 to 29-year olds.
The nation’s men also appear nervy, with one in 10 sending their partner to investigate a strange noise in the dead of night because they were too scared to go themselves.
Sky Atlantic’s ‘Fortitude Fright and Fear’ study also revealed that 79% of the younger group (16 to 29yr-olds) regularly pay to experience thrills and be frightened, compared to only 46% of the over 60s.
Richard Wiseman, Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology said: “Fear is a strange emotion. When it’s genuine fear we don’t like it, but we do like to rehearse fear in a very safe environment like watching scary movies or TV. When you are with other people, it becomes a social signal, you want to let them know you have seen something threatening and you believe they should know that for the good of the group. When it comes to other situations like Friday 13th, because you are nervous, because it’s allegedly an unlucky day, you get that feeling of anxiety and you start to create fear in your mind.”
When it comes to watching scary programmes, only 24% of us are brave enough to go at it alone. As a nation we prefer to watch with our friends and family, with 30% opting to view with a friend and 46% choosing their partner.
According to the data, a staggering 35% keep a weapon under the bed in case of intruders, ranging from a cricket bat or walking stick to a broom, kitchen knife, golf club and hammer
Despite those concerns, the study also found two thirds of us (64%) admit to being ‘scare junkies’ who revel in the buzz from watching chilling TV.
Of those who took part in the survey over half (55%) said they enjoyed the thrill of watching scary TV and films, with Liverpudlians coming out on top as the biggest thrill seekers (64%) followed closely behind by Cardiff (63%) and Brighton (62%). Meanwhile Bristol residents are the wimps of the survey with 41% admitting to being too scared to watch scary TV shows or film, followed by Edinburgh and Glasgow (39%).
The research is published ahead of the second series of Fortitude, which returns to Sky Atlantic and Sky Box Sets on Thursday 26January 9.00pm.
Starring Dennis Quaid, Sofie Gråbøl, Richard Dormer, Luke Treadaway and Parminder Nagra, Fortitude returns with big plot twists set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Arctic Circle. In the series’ gripping return, a mysterious stranger will terrorise the residents of the remote town.