So, you like watching scary movies, visiting scary haunted houses and going on scary rides. But how much fear can you actually handle when the shit really goes down?
Liseberg, an amusement park in Sweden, wants to find out. With help from Gothenburg agency Welcom, it’s seeking volunteers to take part in a scientific-ish “Peak Fear Experiment” to test the outer limits of being frightened. And it’s promising quite the unnerving experience to those willing to be “a lab rat” (their words) in this twisted game.
First off, there’s this video to get you in the mood...
The experiment, which is being conducted in collaboration with scientists from the Recreational Fear Lab at Denmark’s Aarhus University, will take place Oct. 11, ahead of Halloween season. Liseberg will cover travel and hotel expenses for all participants. There’s no word on what the experiment will entail, but you’ll need a health check first, so it’s likely to get your heart rate moving.
Liseberg is defining “peak fear” as that fine line between enjoying being scared and starting to really not enjoy it. “We will find the sweet spot between fun and unpleasant,” promised Mårten Westlund, PR and communications director at Liseberg. “The experiment will subject the participants to different types of fear to discover their ‘Peak Fear.’”
You can apply here. And as you can see from the prompt below, they really want to go after your weaknesses where horror is concerned.
“Frightening entertainment may have a range of positive psychological effects; it may actually be good for us to play with our fears by, for instance, watching scary movies or visiting ‘haunted attractions,’” said Mathias Clasen, co-director of the Recreational Fear Lab. “Such entertainment, it seems, can function as a kind of fear vaccine and build up resilience to stress and anxiety by practicing emotion regulation and expanding our limits. So, we’re very excited about this collaboration with Liseberg and about seeing how our research results may be used to optimize scary entertainment in the real world.”
The end goal, of course, is simply to drum up more visits to the park.
“At Liseberg, we are experts at creating emotional experiences, whether these concern G-forces, concerts or, as during Halloween, fear,” said Westlund. “Through ‘The Peak Fear Experiment’ we aim to deepen our knowledge of fear and horror so that in the future we can attract more people of all ages and customize frightening and entertaining experiences for everyone.”