JF Ptak Science Books Post 1680 Part of a new series on the History of Fear
Perhaps you become scared of what is taught you or is available to you, or made available, or dreampt. Perhaps you can dream not-so-terrible things unless you have been exposed to them in one form or another, already. I can certainly recall from my childhood things that made me feel fear, and they weren't very fearful--not really--at all, though they were at the time, because there was no way for me to process the weird adaptations to my imagination.
Certain things are taught to children as a matter of course, I guess, certain fearful things, like for example the oldish child's prayer ruminating on a sleeping death, or some exacerbating tale from the brothers Grimm--how else are children to come up with the ideas of not waking up or being boiled alive or eaten by a witch?
And so I wonder about the fear factor imaged and implied in these early wonder/sci-fi magazines, meant for distribution to high-adolescents and adults. They simply do not look so terrifying, though I guess it is because the true business end of FearSell USA Inc had not yet been prioritized in the national economy--and certainly it was orders of magnitude away from approaching anything that we have today. Even the constant state of storm/terror available to us in a relentless flow from a simple avenue like The Weather Channel must be a testament to the dept of our fear depravity.
The stories--or the ideas of the stories, anyway--seem scarier to me now than the images of them on the covers of these magazines. It would be an interesting thing to make a timeline of fearful images to see how these things changed over the decades. Or centuries.