Why We are Addicted to Murder Porn

Crime Shows
Crime Shows

Evolution has led us to a point where we are hard-wired through survival instincts to enjoy true crime shows, crime podcasts, violent video games, murder mystery books or what I like to refer to as Murder Porn. Murder porn, by nature, spikes our adrenaline giving us that extra boost we animals want to find. We, by nature, find adrenaline through things like rollercoasters, rock climbing, combat, and other sports, and of course, crime entertainment like shows and podcasts.

Adrenaline in small doses can make us have a feeling of excitement. Murder porn gives us the adrenaline rush was seeking through terrifying malicious acts committed by the worst people. Well, we remain somewhat comfortable from the seats of our lazy boys and couches. We stay in no real danger, so we have eustress known as the suitable “good type” of stress.

From the time we are born, our survival instincts are baked into the fabrics of our beings and brains, always searching for fearful situations even in the most comfortable of homes. A researcher who specializes in horror, Mathias Clasen, looks at our paradoxical obsession with horror.

Homer Simpson Picture
Homer Simpson Picture

Clasen points out that our captivation with horror starts in childhood playing games like playing hide-and-seek in our youth. “The simulation of predator-prey interaction,” as Clasen calls it, is one of many ways at getting a cheap adrenaline thrill surviving danger that is not a real threat. From movies, tv shows, video games to virtual reality games, we exploit an ancient and evolved set of biological defence mechanisms called the “evolved fear system.”

Your instincts are most likely right when “feeling” people out, and if you get a weird and or disturbing vibe from that person, run away as fast as you can and cut all ties. Learning deviant serial killer motives and behaviours in a cocktail of crime shows, podcasts, and books can help teach the viewer things to watch for and what to do in situations like burglars in your house. For example, if you are home alone and someone breaks in, if you can, bring your phone into the bathroom and hide in the bathtub. Then, as you dial 9-1-1 or on iPhones, send an emergency alert to the police.

Watching murder porn stimulates our curiosity that stems from the disturbing thoughts we tend to ignore most.  Just because you may be as fascinated and addicted to murder doesn’t make you an evil, deviant person. Being attracted to murder porn for the reasons above most likely implies your ethical and moral compasses are aligned with most others. It is okay and a bit fun to enjoy a bit of murder porn now and then.

Murder porn or crime shows are like a puzzle our minds are trying to figure out as we follow the clues along with the investigators to put the pieces together to solve the crime. Crime shows also occupy our imagination in a childish fantasy of good versus evil. But, of course, we all like a happy ending as most murder porn is solved, and the bad guy goes to jail in the end.

Although rarely the murder is never caught, which may give you that extra adrenaline shot at the end of the show to keep you up the rest of the night thinking, what if the serial killer came in right now? My doors and windows are locked, right? I better get up and check…

Serial Killers Picture
Serial Killers Picture



TED Talk: Why WE Enjoy Horror


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