As a performer, being able to create and build tension during a Murder Mystery event is key to its success. By controlling the different levels of tension throughout the evening you create an event that can be both entertaining and unpredictable with shocking character revelations and surprising twists and turns for the guests to enjoy. Here we look at both sides of the coin when it comes to fear's impact on your health.
The fact is that people the world over love the thrill of a good scare – whether it's the steepest roller coaster, taking part in a Murder Mystery or getting into ghoulish costume over Halloween.
But why do people like to be scared?
People like the buzz of getting a fright. It makes them feel alive, and the whole experience can induce a rush of energy followed by euphoria.
An important feature is that the fear is controlled and in a 'safe' environment.
If you're taking part in a Murder Mystery event, you know you're going to be safe at the end of it.
The danger is simulated, and this means you can enjoy it as a sensation without fearing any consequences.
The same applies to a scary movie. The action is all on the screen, even if it feels like you're living every terrifying moment.
What effect does fear have?
Fear actually does have a profound physiological affect on the body, which evolved to help us in a 'fight or flight' situation.
In the first few seconds, adrenaline levels soar – leading to a state of heightened alertness and the muscles are primed for immediate action.
The heartbeat quickens and the rate of breathing accelerates. As soon as the fear diminishes, it's replaced by a sense of powerfulness and euphoria, which can be addictive.
Can you die of fright?
It has been known for people to literally drop down dead in scary situations – and this has even lead to manslaughter charges against individuals who have caused the fright! Hopefully Whodunnit Events never have a real-life Murder Mystery of this sort to contend with!
Although numerous laboratory studies have shown cardiovascular changes following psychological stress, it's almost impossible to prove that the link is direct.
Victims usually have a predisposing condition that makes them vulnerable when their heart rate speeds up and breathing rate increases.
According to Gladeana McMahon, accredited counsellor and co-founder of the Centre for Stress Management, 'If you have a weak heart or another medical condition, the shock of a severe fright could be enough to kill you. But healthy individuals are not likely to die simply from fear alone.'
If you would like to take part in an event that promises unpredictable twists and turns, book tickets for our upcoming event 'Murder on the Titanic!' at the Butterfly & The Pig on April 21st 2018. Limited tickets available, book early to avoid the dread of having missed out!