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Halloween is certainly “spooktacular.” To celebrate, people decorate their homes with cobwebs and gravestones or put on costumes that make them look like mythical monsters. But did you ever stop to wonder why people feel fear in the first place? Fear is often a survival mechanism. When you sense something that could hurt you, your brain starts a process called the fight-or-flight response. It is designed to help you either fight off an attack or get away fast. Common symptoms of fear—such as your heart pounding or fast breathing—help you have as much energy as possible to get out of danger.

Learn more about how our bodies respond to fear.

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