The term "blood-chilling film" can be taken literally. Leids University Medical Center researchers found that watching a horror movie causes more blood clotting factor VIII to get into the blood.

The research results are published in The British Medical Journal.

"We had the suspicion that fear could cause the blood to clog faster", says Banne Nemeth, doctoral researcher at the LUMC Clinical Epidemiology. A threatening situation can be associated with injuries. It is then an advantage if your blood prompts faster, so you are less likely to suffer from fatal bleeding.

 14 healthy participants, all under the thirty years, watched about 90 minutes to the horror movie Insidious; A week later, they watched for a not so scary but educational film about champagne (A year in Champagne). Ten participants watched these two films in reverse order. Blood values were measured before and after the films. In 12 participants (57 percent), the amount of coagulation factor VIII increased after watching the horror movie, which occurred only in 3 (14 percent) participants after the movie about champagne.

Avoid Horror Movies?

Increasing coagulation factors does not mean that blood clots are immediately triggered, Nemeth reassures. People with increased clotting tendency therefore do not have to avoid horror movies. Blood clotting is caused by a cascade of proteins that become active. "We have measured four proteins and only blood clotting factor VIII is shown in a significant proportion of horror film viewers," said Nemeth.

There is always a balance between clotting and anti-clotting in the body, the researcher explains. The body appears to get ready to allow the blood to clot quickly, but need more incentives, such as a wound. "Damaged tissue releases tissue factor, which activates the clotting, but it's probably faster if there are more clotting factors in the blood."

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