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You are watching a horror movie. As the music builds to a crescendo, the scene you see makes your heart beat faster. In some scary scenes, you literally feel the hair on your forearm standing up. Apart from the excitement you feel on being absorbed in the movie, here’s some welcome news.

A study in the University of Westminster seems to indicate that seeing horror movies actually helps you burn calories. I guess it’s the director’s skill in packaging the movie to scare the hell out of you. As a kid years ago, I remember seeing the thriller, “Where Eagles Dare” based on the book of the same name by the famous author, Alistair MacLean. There was a scene when the drums crashed and rolled and from the middle of nowhere the camera panned on the castle atop a mountain peak for the first time. The effect was so startling that my Dad almost jumped up in his seat. I remember how I gulped even though decades have gone by since that evening.

If you want a list of horror movies (and not only to lose calories) take a look at this impressive list from the Boston Globe of the most scary movies of all time.

As a writer of thrillers, I wondered whether readers too would experience these bodily results and burn calories as they curl up with a book that scares the daylights out of them. As an aside, the by line for my soon to be released thriller, “Lucky For Some, 13″ is “You Can Smell The Fear.”

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