still from film Contagion

Horror movie fans are better at coping with the coronavirus pandemic

Fans of horror films like Contagion seem to be coping better with the pandemic

Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy

Everyone is entitled to one good scare – and it may be good for us. People who watch a lot of horror films and those who are morbidly curious about unpleasant subjects seem to be more psychologically resilient to the covid-19 pandemic, a study reveals.

“Horror users tended to have less psychological distress,” says Coltan Scrivner at the University of Chicago.

The research was prompted by a question from New Scientist news editor Penny Sarchet. In a Twitter conversation with horror …