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Why is the world scarier at night?

  1. Feb 1, 2012 #1

    Char. Limit

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    Although the topic title probably explains it all, allow me to elaborate.

    There are many things that I can read at, say, 3 PM, and they aren't scary at all. I'd list an example or two here, but I'm not sure that's necessary. However, the same things, if read at 1 AM, are suddenly the most frightening stuff I've ever looked at. What is it about night-time that makes the mind more easily scared? (And as a side question, why am I more driven to look at the scary stuff when it's night?)
     
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  3. Feb 1, 2012 #2

    wukunlin

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    i think the most common answer has to do with the fact that our night visions are no where near as good as our day vision. We rely a lot on our sense of sight. When we can't see things clearly we start to wonder if some of the things we can't see can be of harm to us. that leads to us being more alert and paranoid, and in a lot of the cases, more easily scared.

    That is the explanation i know of, there might be better ones I'm not aware of though...
     
  4. Feb 1, 2012 #3

    Pythagorean

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    yeah, I agree with Wuk, it's basically fear of the unknown.

    And also maybe the social knowledge that criminals and fictional monsters prefer night time for that reason (they're better cloaked).
     
  5. Feb 1, 2012 #4

    Ryan_m_b

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    Our brain is predisposed to imposing patterns on stimuli (the primate who perceives the rustle of the bush as a predator may be paranoid but he more likely survives). In low light it is easy for innocuous objects to be perceived as threats e.g. the crumpled coat appearing like a person. Naturally this makes us skittish.
     
  6. Feb 1, 2012 #5

    Borek

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    I am not sure Char refers to reading in the dark.

    Not that I disagree with the idea that darkness plays on our nerves after millions of years of evolution.
     
  7. Feb 1, 2012 #6

    Evo

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    Yeah, creepy movies and books are scarier at night because most people are asleep so won't hear you scream when the zombies break in. You can't see what's outside, but you can hear things, which are probably demons or zombies. :surprised
     
  8. Feb 1, 2012 #7
    First off, I don't consider the world I live in to be a scary place. Also, I've camped throughout my lifetime and have enjoyed it. Looking up at the stars brings me comfort and listening to the crackling of a fire brings me joy.:biggrin: I'm fearless when night falls gently upon me. My mind relaxes and I reflect on the beauty of the day as it unfolded. :smile: I have always looked for the best that life has to offer.
     
  9. Feb 1, 2012 #8

    turbo

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    I love camping and light tenting. I was a bit un-nerved when a bear was snuffing around our tent one night. My wife woke up and I told her that it was a racoon, though I knew better. The next morning when we we got up, there were muddy paw-prints and lots of nose prints on the windows of our Nissan Pathfinder. Got a thin layer of rip-stop nylon between you and a black bear? The night can get a bit scarier...
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  10. Feb 1, 2012 #9

    Ryan_m_b

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    I agree with the last two posts. I spent a large part of my childhood playing and camping in the nearby forests. Oddly when I'm in a forest at night I feel safer than I do in my house at night. I remember distinctly once in my first year of university when me and a bunch of friends (who were all city kids) went into the woods at night, they were incredibly freaked out just by being there which I couldn't understand. I felt comforted by where we were.

    However this is just association. I live in a safe part of the world and visit the woods for fun and aesthetic enjoyment. It's only natural that I would associate it with a safe and comforting place.
     
  11. Feb 1, 2012 #10

    Pythagorean

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    I have bears up here. I only feel safe in the woods at night if I have a 12 gauge...
     
  12. Feb 1, 2012 #11
    The forests' I have been talking about are remote locations that are far away from civilization.:smile: Also, I had an experience long ago in my 20's when I too lived in a very well to do community. I opened the front door and proceeded to head to the kitchen then I turned around to look back at the door and low and behold a man that I didn't know was in my livingroom. He was jacking off in front of me. I remained calm and kept my distance. I was not afraid. If I had become a afraid I would have shown that to him. Fortunately, the kids next door to me saw the man enter my home and told their father. He opened my front door and well let's say that was the end of the stranger. It is always best to be calm. You have to stay cool and calm or you could end up in a bad situation. I should mention I have taken karate. As a woman I think it wise that women should learn how to protect themselves.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  13. Feb 1, 2012 #12

    Ryan_m_b

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    :bugeye:
    It is always best for people to learn some self-defence coupled with learning to stay calm and know when not to fight.
     
  14. Feb 1, 2012 #13
    Yeah, and that event happened in the afternoon.:eek: I learned early on after that event to always lock my front door once I got into the house even though I live in a very affluent area. Infact, just the other day a man posed as a PGE guy and thank goodness there was a neighbor who saw him and low and behold the phones were ringing around the neighborhood, those at work, and police department. As you already know, community plays an important part in protection services. :wink: Ryan , it's been a pleasure chatting with you.

    :biggrin: Have a great day!
     
  15. Feb 1, 2012 #14

    Ryan_m_b

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    Sounds like an enviable place to live :smile, you too.
     
  16. Feb 2, 2012 #15
    Wow that's scary :eek: I'm glad that the forests in Portugal don't have bears or any dangerous animal :smile:
     
  17. Feb 3, 2012 #16

    Borek

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    No wolves in Cantabrian Mountains?
     
  18. Feb 3, 2012 #17

    turbo

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    No carnivores there? That's a very special place. Black bears are not normally dangerous, but once they are acclimated to a camp-site and have found food there before, they get brave and are persistent.

    In Baxter State Park, the rangers insist that if you are tenting, you must hoist any food up into the trees (you'll be fined if you don't, and they catch you). They also insist that if you rent any of the rustic cabins, you leave them as clean or cleaner than you found them. Many years ago, my cousin's husband got stopped at the trail-head and was told to go back and clean out the stove. His son had tossed a cardboard potato-stix can into the stove, and the metal bottom did not burn. Larry had just hiked 7-1/2 miles out with his pack and gear, and had to hike a 15 mile round-trip to lug out that scrap of aluminum, fording a frigid river each way. Lesson learned! At least he didn't have to lug his pack and gear back and forth that time.
     
  19. Feb 3, 2012 #18

    Pythagorean

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    Our interior bears are pretty aggressive. Even the grizzlies that (at least on my home island that shares their namesake) are known to be more tolerant of humans than black bear.

    Interior bear got Timothy Treadwell.
     
  20. Feb 5, 2012 #19
    I can't explain this. Scary/spooky things have always fascinated humans, but I'm not sure why. We deliberately expose ourselves to what should constitute something to be avoided and seem to enjoy it.

    The best I can suggest is that it seems to be part excitement and part inoculation.
     
  21. Feb 6, 2012 #20
    Yes there are wolves in the North, but I thought they didn't attack people. Just looked at wikipedia and it says they do though :tongue:
     
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