Halloween came and went again and with this season of spooks and scares, of grinning pumpkins and skeletons often hanging in the shop windows, there always comes a question about our rules concerning scary content on Momio. Simply put: it’s not allowed. Momio is a place for kids of all ages and of course different things scare different people in different ways. A picture or video that might be simply amusing to one child can be scary to another. That’s why we always ask all Momio users to be mindful of others.
Halloween is a bit special, though. Momio becomes a bit darker, pumpkins and spiders become a part of decor and spookiness becomes more acceptable. And it’s not just us and not just now. Scary stories have been a part of human lives for ages and they serve an important purpose. Take fairy tales for example – and not the happy endings Disney versions of them, but the real deal – the Brothers Grimm and H.C. Andersen. They contain elements that don’t sugarcoat the scary things (witches, werewolves and ghosts), or the loneliness or abandonment (like Hansel and Gretel), which often are what scares kids the most.
They don’t just induce fear for fear’s sake, like so many modern horror stories. They actually teach moral values, in simple terms they show the good and the bad, and they make children face things that they are most afraid of. Not just by scaring them, but also by showing them how to deal with those uncomfortable things.
Let’s face it. Adults like to be spooked from time to time. There is a reason why Stranger Things is such success, despite the unnerving nature of the show. We shouldn’t completely shield children from everything that the world is – sometimes it’s not pretty, sometimes it’s not fair. And they need to learn how to cope with that in a safe way. If they are familiarized with some aspects of what can frighten them (through fairy tales for example), they are better equipped to deal with them in the future.