Freshman Realizes Greatest Fears


Photo courtesy of the Everett Collection.

(Above) The iconic movie Scream is watched in many households year round. The movie comes with an amaz- ing collection of actors including Drew Barrymore, Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich, and many others. This is just one reason why the movie is so appealing. Photo courtesy of the Everett Collection.

Emily Cypher, Staff

Introduction: The experiment is a shear test of willpower. The subject has never seen a horror film before and, will be observed throughout the experiment process. Discoveries will be made on what makes a person scared, and which films do the best job producing fear. The experiment will be formatted as a lab, starting with a question.

Question: How easy is it to terrorize a Freshman who has never been exposed to a horror film?

– Emotional Support Squishmallow (named Jacob)
– Lots of candy
– Ice cream
– Blanket
– Notepad
– Emotional Support person

Hypothesis: The subject will barely survive. During each occurrence, there will be sudden pauses
and “bathroom breaks” at sections of each trial when fear levels shoot high. The research found before selecting the subject leads us to believe this speculation because of the background questions asked. It was discovered that the subject has encountered fear,
very few times, leaving an outstanding impact on her during times when there was an encounter. The subject, Ms. Emily Cypher, shared that she once watched part of the movie Bugs’ Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and she wanted it to be clear that it was viewed in 3D. This produced a terrifying result. Ms. Cypher emphasized, “The praying mantis creeped me out, so I cried. It was in
3D which made it look real, and it clawed at me.” With the background information known on the subject, this is a knowledgeable theory.

Trial 1: The subject started with a movie lower on the fear scale. The movie chosen was Scream. While the subject viewed the movie, her actions were observed and noted. The way she reacted to certain sounds, music pieces, and moments in the movie was recorded. It was found that the sections of the movie conveying the biggest reaction from the subject occurred during part of the first murder. In the beginning, Ms. Cypher showed high amounts of stress in anticipation of the movie’s beginning. The subject stated that the movie was perplexing because one of the killers in the film, stated, “Did we ever find out why Hannibal Lecter
liked to eat people? Don’t think so! See? It’s a lot scarier when there’s no motive, Sid.” This line confused the subject, and she simply voiced, “What does he mean by no motive? That just makes the whole thing pointless and stupid.” After watching the movie, the subject was more confused than frightened.

Trial 2: The information was gathered, and the next decision in the experiment was made while the subject waited in anticipation. With that in mind, the next movie chosen was IT. The experiment’s guinea pig had more knowledge of the movie since it was released during her lifetime, leaving her with some advanced warning of what awaited her. The movie displayed an abundance of results on the scare-o-meter, based on the subject’s knee-jerk reactions. Ms. Cypher was most definitely “spooked,” to put it lightly.

When watching, it became apparent that within the first 15 or so minutes of Georgie being alive in the movie, the subject had a ridiculous amount of emotional attachment to the character. Knowing what was bound to happen, the subject could hardly watch the scene unfold, where Georgie’s death occurred. The test subject further explained moments later that she found it hard to view, because of Pennywise’s odd walk, smile, and balloon. Ms. Cypher further disclosed, “While many of the scenes from the movie scared me, the scariest part was not knowing and waiting for what happened next.” With reactions seen during the trial, the subject will definitely be staying away from all sewer drains in the near future, and possibly forever.

Trial 3: With the test subjects’ confidence at an all-time high, Ms. Cypher felt fearless. She was ready for her next movie waiting to test her limits. Trying a different type of horror, the next movie chosen was A Quiet Place. The iconic movie was known by the subject, but not to the point of familiarity, meaning she went in fundamentally blind. A Quiet Place seemed to place the subject in stages of anticipation and confusion. Around half of the movie was absent of all dialogue, forcing the subject to wonder what was the cause. The movie left the subject at the edge of her seat. The subject expressed, “The movie left me constantly waiting for something to happen, and then something entirely new came up, surprising me even more.” Even with that said, in the end, Ms. Cypher found that, “There were definitely a few scary sections. I found it to be more of a thriller than a horror movie.”

Trial 4: With the information collected from the previous trials, the next movie was in clear sight: The Conjuring. The subject had no prior knowledge of the movie. Before viewing it, she decided to watch the trailer to see what she was up against. After watching the trailer the subject was too stunned to speak and forcefully stated, “Not tonight. Maybe tomorrow, but definitely not tonight.” Ms. Cypher stated her decision with such determination and willpower that it was deemed fit to meet her request.
The next morning the subject proceeded to watch the movie, and her reaction was inde-
scribable. It was as if a toddler were left without a nightlight. She was terrified. The number of emotional support animals grew throughout the movie, and with each second the terror in the subject’s eyes increased. The subject now carrying emotional damage, had only one comment. Ms. Cypher blankly voiced, “It was nonstop. You expect one thing and got another. That is a horror movie.”

Conclusion: Ultimately my hypothesis proved to be correct. There were many pauses throughout the trials, as well as many moments of emotional distress. The subject went through ups and downs and truly discovered her biggest fears. This will forever live in the subject’s memory and haunt her dreams. For Ms. Cypher, she truly accomplished a big step. With no prior experience with watching horror movies, and with all evidence in the trials uncovering her determination, she completed each movie. Even though she did just barely survive, the subject ended the experiment with, “I am truly grateful for this experience, and am glad to have accomplished something I never would have normally done.”

(Above) The iconic movie Scream is watched in many households year round. The movie comes with an amazing collection of actors including Drew Barrymore, Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich, and many others. This is just one
reason why the movie is so appealing. Photo courtesy of the Everett Collection. ( Photo courtesy of the Everett Collection.)
(Above) A Quiet Place is an award-winning film with a Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie, a Screen Actors’ Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, and two more brilliant awards. A Quiet Place is available to stream on Roku Channel, Spectrum TV, Prime Video, Vudu Movie & TV Store, Redbox, VUDU, ROW8, or Apple TV. Photo courtesy of (Photo courtesy of
(Above) The iconic movie IT features the terrifying clown Pennywise. He’s best known for his shapeshifting abilities, as well as the ability to make anyone’s worst fear come true. The franchise currently has two movies, with one more on its way in 2023. Photo courtesy of MTV. (Photo courtesy of MTV.)
(Above) The Conjuring is known for its terrifying stories portrayed on the screen. The franchise of movies attracts many people because viewers can watch the series beginning with any movie. Many of the movies are also based on true stories. Photo courtesy of (Photo courtesy of