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VERIFY: Yes, watching a scary movie can burn calories

October is a month when more people turn on the horror flicks but could watching a scary movie actually be good for your health?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — 'Tis the season of pumpkin spice, trick-or-treating and scary movies. Believe it or not, one of those can be good for your health. 

October is a month when more people turn on those classic horror flicks, and one study from the United Kingdom claims those heart-pumping screams you get from a slasher movie can actually be good for you. 

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Can watching a scary movie burn calories? 



This is true.

Yes, watching a scary movie can burn calories. However, the number of calories can depend on the person. 


Claims say watching scary movies can burn up to 184 calories during one sitting. 

"They get up they scream and I think that’s what leads up to calorie loss," Patel said. 

Geier agrees, saying the benefits are like going to the gym. 

"Watching a scary movie does appear to be similar to exercise," Geier said. "Better heart rate, better breathing, exchanging of oxygen and carbon dioxide."

Both Patel and Geier agree that these movies burn calories much like you would when exercising. However, how many calories you burn while watching one of these movies depends on several factors. 

"Certain individuals that have anxiety problems or some other medical condition these kinds of movies do not have a good reaction on them, so I think it depends on the audience," Patel said. 

Before you decide to drop your fitness club membership for a Netflix subscription, Patel has a warning: Too much could be bad for your well-being.

"There is a population of people who do not like scary movies," Patel said. "So it is in that sense it is unhealthy, and it provokes different responses to different people."

If you don't like scary movies but still want the benefits, Patel said there's no reason to torture yourself by sitting through it. Taking a walk instead is just fine. 

Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit /verify.

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