6 Tips To Watch Horror (If You Hate Being Scared)​

Frightened Woman Watch Horror Movie

I’m a baby with horror but I wanted to watch some vintage horror lesbians. I do it for the girls and the gays, that’s it.

Today we’re going over Six Tips to Watch Horror (if you hate being scared). Here’s how I did it.

I am incredibly baby when it comes to scary visual media, but I still love a good story, and sometimes I want to watch them for the plot and not for the spook. I also want to consume them for the ladies loving ladies and horror has been giving us a lot of leads like that. The Haunting of Bly Manor, Ratched, and The Haunting of Hill House all have lady leads that love ladies. It was like luring me into my worst nightmare with representation. If you want to consume the stories but don’t want to be scared, it’s possible for some of them.

The reason I don’t watch horror is because it tends to give me nightmares and also tends to make me paranoid. Some stories, like the Grudge, have moments that have freaked me out years down the line. I wanted to watch the vintage lesbians in Bly Manor, but I also didn’t want to traumatize myself or end up looking over my shoulder for ghost murderers for weeks.

Let’s get into the tips so that all you horror babies can enjoy a new brand of horror for the gays.

At the end I’ll talk about my experience with each of the three horror options and how effective the tips were for them.

Tip #1 - Spoil Everything

Spoilers will set you free.

Some people hate spoilers, and if that’s you, well I can’t help with this tip, but I personally love spoilers. I find when something is “spoiled” for me, it lets me appreciate the story-crafting that leads up to it and I notice small details that I would have otherwise not even paid attention to.

If you’re worried about having too many things spoiled by articles or discussion videos you can find a friend who’s watched the show/movie is and ask them to spoil specific things they think makes it scariest.

How does spoiling make horror more bearable?
  1. Learning the motivations can de-fang certain spooky elements. Maybe that creepy child ghost is actually helpful and just trying to protect someone. Maybe the tragic backstory of a ghost makes it more sympathetic and less terrifying. Maybe the motivations twist everything and change the meaning of what happens.

  2. Knowing when key scary moments happen lets you prepare yourself to encounter it, or to skip it entirely. Sometimes the music will give things away, but not always. If you spoil when murders or ghostly appearances happen, you give yourself the option to experience them or not.

  3. Knowing key plot events can drain some of the tension. While this wouldn’t necessarily be a perk for a lot of people, I don’t mind one bit. If I’m not worried about specific things I can simply enjoy the story a lot more.

Tip #2 - Watch Horror During The Day Or With The Lights On

This might be a no-brainer, but just in case it’s not, I’m including it.

Watching these things earlier in the day or in broad daylight gives your brain the chance to process it differently than when you watch it at night. Human brains are naturally more tuned to threats at night so if you want to downplay that natural response you’ve got to start watching spooky stuff early.

Also, if you have terrible memory like I do about many things, then watching it early gives you a chance to forget some of the details.

Tip #3 - Embrace Glare

If you can’t see it, it can’t hurt you. That’s my motto with scary movies.

I turn on my desk lamp when I watch spooky things and it creates a ton of glare on my screen. This lets me ignore the presence of any hidden ghosts, spooky faces, subtle movements that herald the presence of something otherworldly.

Using this method, if a ghost isn’t front and center on the screen, I’m very unlikely to see them which alleviates a lot of tension while I watch, but it doesn’t prevent me from consuming the story.

This probably wouldn’t work for horror movies like Midsommar which are much brighter than typical horror movies, but if you’re watching the usual style that embraces night-time scenes with low lighting then this tip should help a lot.

Tip #4 - Watch Horror at a Lower Volume

A lot of jump scares are reliant on sound.

I watch spooky stuff on half volume and I’m pretty much ready to mute at any point. The lower volume in general is one of those tension reducers. You’re more likely to miss those spooky footsteps, the whispers, and other quiet hints that make the hair raise on the back of your neck.

Tip #5 - Do Something Else While You Watch Horror

If you’re not giving the horror your full attention you’re more protected from jumpscares.

I’ll read random things that don’t require a lot of brain power but still distracts from the horror. It’s a bit similar to hiding under the blankets while watching and it keeps me half focused on something light, which allows some of the darkness of the media to sort of flow over me without having the same strength.

Pro Tip: If the camera starts focusing on a single thing, that’s a great time to invest your attention in something else to save yourself a scare.

Tip #6 - Take a Break

Run away off to that kitchen and bake a cake. Seriously, taking a break whenever you feel too stressed by a horror is going to allow you to decompress. Make a snack, do some chores, look at cute animals, anything to make your brain switch gears away from the spooks and onto lighter things. When you’re more relaxed you can get back to it. Remember that there’s no set time in which you need to finish a piece of media and if you have to watch it in 10 minute doses there’s nothing wrong with that.

How Did My Tips Work For Me?

My first watch through was The Haunting of Bly Manor, which I highly recommend. I was able to binge the entire thing in a couple days, loved the story, and didn’t ruin my sleep or make myself paranoid. It’s sort of a medium-low scary as far as horror goes, or at least that’s how I experienced it. The characters were excellent, and I loved the focus on personal grief and letting go.

The Haunting of Hill House was significantly more difficult for me to get through and I almost tapped out after the first episode. Funnily enough, it wasn’t the show itself that got me. I was looking up spoilers for myself and one of the articles had a picture of Nell’s face from episode 1 where she goes all scary, and while I looked away in time in the show, I knew what the face would be and just that combined with the sound triggered the paranoia. I made Snow (one of my kitties) stay in the bathroom with me when I showered the next morning so that I wouldn’t be ghost murdered. However, I did try Hill House again, and the second attempt was much more successful. The glare was particularly helpful in saving me from a lot of jump scares.

I started off with Ratched and had to tap out initially due to the extremely graphic murders within the first few minutes. Gore is different than horror to me, and I just didn’t want to see it. I went back to it after developing these tips to see how it would go and honestly, I got bored of it.

All of these tips are basically about breaking the full immersion with the story. For some people, they love to be terrified and want to experience every single hair-raising moment. I like stories but I hate being scared. If you’re like me and want to experience the dark, intense vibes of horror without maximum fear, then try these out and let me know how it goes.

Thanks for reading!

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