How to Scare Kids the Right Way

The Denver Post just did an article on campfire stories that they interviewed me for. Here’s the link if you want to know more: Why We Love Campfire Stories —and how to tell them

Image from the Denver Post article

Image from the Denver Post article

Kate (the DP reporter) and I had a long discussion about ghost stories. Unfortunately, most of that couldn’t fit in the article, like:

—How ghost stories are instructional in that they give kids a way to practice mastering their fear.

—And how being scared together is an ancient way of reinforcing tribal affiliations (the tribe that fears the same sticks together).

—And how what we’re scared of changes as we grow older (fear becomes more internalized, and less escapable).

—And how ghost stories convey social morals and values, and change with time periods and cultures (the Golden Arm and suburban greed).

So what’s your favorite campfire ghost story? And why do you think we tell them as kids?

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