Why are we fascinated with serial killers?

06-13-2020 06:38 PM By Sandbox Member
By Dopamine Anarchy

Where our fascination with ultimate bullies comes from? The serial killer is a real-life bogeyman. They make us experience horror movies up close. Stephen King says that horror fiction was so popular throughout the centuries because it gives us a free trial of death. Serial killers are like horror writers. With them, we can experience death from afar. Which leads me to my next point, why are we so fascinated by death in the first place?

I never in particular agreed with Freud’s theory. Psychoanalytic theory was never scientifically proven and the idea of a child’s sexuality is wrong. But discussion made me reevaluate one aspect of Freud’s theory. He assumed that human minds have two natural instincts: the instinct of life and death. Life instinct consists of needs that are vital for living such as the need for food, water, sex. The death instinct is made of several other instincts: destruction, aggression, killing, and suicide.

Jung had a similar concept as well. In his theory, a shadow is an archetype that is based on socially unacceptable sexual and aggressive impulses and thoughts. This part of human nature is stored in the collective unconscious. According to Jung, all humanity shares the collective unconscious because of our shared past.

Through serial killers, we project our own shadow, our instinct of death, need for destruction. The dark side of the mind that all humans have, and yet control so well. With serial killers, we can experience that dark side, without harming another human being. And that is, in my opinion, why we are fascinated with serial killers.