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CBS News poll: One in two Americans enjoy watching scary movies

October is the month to celebrate the spooky and the scary, but watching scary movies isn't for everyone. About half of Americans surveyed in a recent CBS News poll said they enjoy watching scary movies, but half say they do not. 


 There isn't much difference between men and women on this (though women do tip slightly more in the "no" category), but there are significant differences by age. Scary movies appeal more to younger people: 71% of Americans under the age of 35 say they enjoy scary movies, while just 23% of seniors 65 and older do. 


Do scary movies return to torment your dreams? Most Americans say this rarely or never happens. But a small percentage of Americans say they always or mostly have nightmares after watching a scary movie.  


That doesn't seem to deter some Americans, however. Half of those who say they sometimes have nightmares after watching a scary movie still say they enjoy watching them.  

This poll was conducted by telephone October 12-17, 2021 among a random sample of 1,010 adults nationwide.  Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Glen Mills, PA.  Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.  

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone. 

 Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus 3.6 percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.   

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