Can the scary monster sneaking up behind you in reality scare you come death? The answer might be as spooky as it gets.

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Halloween is about the corner, and with that comes haunted houses and also corn mazes, mummies, ghosts and creatures of the night jumping out at you—all certain to offer a unauthorized fright, or so we thought. Can that scary monster sneaking increase behind you in reality scare you to death? The answer might be as spooky together it gets.

“It is feasible for someone to have actually health complications or die from fright,” said John P. Erwin III, MD, a cardiologist and professor at the Texas A&M college of Medicine. “It is an ext probable for world who have pre-existing conditions, however it is possible to experience a cardiac-related death as a result of gift scared.”

How can fear turn fatal?

Your body has an automatically nervous system, dubbed the sympathetic nervous system, that governs the fight-or flight-response—the body’s herbal protective mechanism. When confronted with a life-threatening situation, the nervous device triggers the relax of the hormone adrenaline right into the blood, sending impulses to organs to develop a certain response (typically enhanced heart rate, raised blood flow to muscles and also dilated pupils). If the adrenaline rush can make world faster and also stronger (hence the advantage to primitive humans), there is a under side in revving up her nervous system. In rare instances, if the adrenaline absent is too high or lasts too long, your heart may overwork and also cause tissue damage or constriction that blood vessels, in turn, elevating blood pressure.

“This exaggerated response can actually damages the cardiovascular mechanism in number of ways,” Erwin added. In addition to raising the blood pressure and also risking heart assault or stroke, it can cause more long-lasting damages to guts if this neuro-hormones are elevated in time or if over there is an imbalance in the chemicals.

While it may be rare for a completely healthy separation, personal, instance to autumn dead native fear, those v a bias to heart condition are in ~ an raised risk of sudden death. “Some world with hereditary heart abnormalities who gain a sudden sirloin of adrenaline have the right to have a cardiac arrhythmia,” Erwin said. “They have the right to have one episode whereby their love goes the end of rhythm, and that can be fatal.” for example, if a woman v damaged heart organization were to be held at gunpoint, she could experience deadly rhythm abnormalities or enhanced oxygen needs of her heart that might not it is in adequately supplied because of blockages or abnormal responsive instrument of she blood vessels.

People who suffer a an excellent fear can additionally develop a problem called takotsubo syndrome, or broken-heart syndrome. Scientifically recognized as stress-induced cardiomyopathy, ‘broken heart syndrome’ can existing in healthy and balanced individuals through no former cardiac problems. In rare cases of takotsubo syndrome, a suddenly weakened heart can not pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs and the rapid rise of anxiety hormones in the body basically ‘stuns’ the heart.

“We generally run across this with psychological stress,” Erwin said. “People can develop a blood circulation abnormality that deserve to temporarily shock the love or perhaps leave the human being with some degree of long-term damage to the heart.”

What room some long-term impacts of being scared?

It’s regularly said, “What doesn’t death you, will just make you stronger,” however that’s absolutely not the instance when it involves repeat exposure come fear.

“Constant exposure to fear can be prefer a steady drip the water until it overflows,” Erwin said. “People who are chronically fear or anxious have actually a higher risk of arising high blood push or depression and also many other physical ailments.”

Depression and fear have the right to live along the exact same emotional spectrum, as many world can express fear instead the a sadness together a authorize of depression. And, unfortunately, depression and also anxiety can also increase the odds of being scared come death.

“One symptom of depression, because that example, is learned helplessness, or are afraid of things you can’t control,” Erwin said. “This fear and also depression deserve to exacerbate pre-existing medical problems or perhaps make them an ext susceptible to other conditions by weakening your immune system.”

And while continuous exposure to fear may lead to typical heart troubles or anxiety, there is a opportunity that it can lead to even greater problems down the line.

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“Research has presented that there is a greater risk the immunological problems such as cancer or various other inflammatory problems,” Erwin said. “But either way, there are deleterious results on the heart and also other offal in a human with consistent fear.”

While functioning your heart muscle have the right to be an excellent for her health, constant exposure to fear does not have actually the same beneficial effects together a jog in the park.

“The chemical buildup the happens once you’re scared and also when you’re exercising is different,” Erwin said. “The chemicals, such together adrenaline, room necessary, however when you exercise, you’re in reality helping to maintain the healthy balance through other important chemicals. In a sense, you deserve to ‘burn off’ several of the overabundance adrenaline as well.”

“There is no doubt the there is a small possibility of fatality or lasting symptom from fear.” Erwin said. “Fear has its objective in life, such together alerting you to danger, however in rare instances the scare is sufficient to be a peril in itself.”

While the odds the this happening space rare, it absolutely puts a various spin top top the famed line indigenous Franklin D. Roosevelt: “The just thing we have actually to fear is fear itself.”