MTV Fear (+Understanding how fear works)

This article will discuss the MTV reality show Fear, which went on the air in the early 2000s. It will describe how the show was made, and people’s opinions about it over time.

Aside from that, the article will discuss what emotion is fear, how people experience and how they cope with being afraid.

MTV Fear 

Fear was an MTV reality show that aired between the years 2000 and 2002. It had two seasons. The program had an aesthetic based on the movie The Blair Witch Project, and it was one of the first ones in the paranormal reality show spectrum.

It showed a group of people that were left in supposedly scary places, that could be a haunted location to deal with some dares throughout two nights to figure out if the place was haunted.

Once the group is left at the island, they are told that they can rest during the day, and during the night, divided into smaller groups of two people each, they receive the dare they should fulfill that night. 

The place where they stay has no electrical power, so during the night, while doing the dares, they will use their perception, and sometimes radio or EMF detector to do the dare. The dares start from an easier one, and as time passes, they grow harder.

A person can fulfill their dares or decide to give up at any time, but if they don’t do it, they lose the prize at the end of the show.

Although the show had great ratings, being one of the most seeing shows at the period, the cost of the product caused it to be canceled.

What is fear?

It is a natural human emotion, it has a universal biochemical response as well as a subjective trait to it. It is what alerts people to danger or a threat, be it physical or psychological.

The physical part of fear can cause sweating, increased heartbeat, and high adrenaline that can make the person alert. This is the fight-or-flight effect, that prepares your body to run or confront the danger. This is an evolutionary reaction.

The emotional part of fear is a subjective one, each person reacts in their particular way. And because fear affects some areas in the brain that are also impacted by excitement and happiness, some people might similarly experience fear as fun.

This will make some people turn into those adrenaline junkies, while others will try to avoid this feeling as much as they can.

Fear can come from real things, but it can also come from imaginary situations. Depending on how a person reacts to the imaginary fears, it can cause a person to develop anxiety, panic disorder, phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The main symptoms of fear, which can be physical and emotional are chest pain, chills, dry mouth, nausea, increased heartbeat, shortness of breath, sweating, and trembling.

When did people feel fear?  

People can feel fear for many reasons, it might be the fight-or-flight reaction, or if it can be from an emotional nature, meaning they can be caused by past traumas, other people might experience fear from the loss of control. It might also be that people feel fear because it causes them a physical reaction.

There are some common triggers to fear, such as: thinking of the future, certain events or objects (flying an airplane, or snakes), imagined situations, and the unknown.

How do people treat fear?

There are so many types of fear and ways of experiencing it that if a person starts understanding how they feel it might be prejudicial to them, it might be time to look for treatment. Some types of it can help a person. 

As people are exposed many times to what they are afraid of, at first they are shown images of it, and it gradually increases, until a person can handle their fear. Making the person desensitized to it, and is the basis of phobia treatment. 

This is a form of treatment called Systematic Desensitization. Through it, the person also learns new strategies as ways to cope with their fear.

It can also be done by flooding, meaning a treatment that will expose you to many things you fear, or one specific thing for a prolonged amount of time in a controlled and safe environment, this tends to make you not react in that intense first answer, and with time the person realizes they are fine when exposed to the thing they fear.

What are ways to cope with fear?

There are other ways a person can cope with fear if they are exposed to the cause of it regularly. It might be good to have social support so you can have people close to you that will understand you.

It is also good to bring the practice of mindfulness to your life, one can do that through meditation. This will help them be more aware of their feelings and once they experience fear, they will be able to place that negative emotion in another place.

Another thing that can help a person cope with fear is doing stress management techniques. These will help you relax through breathing exercises, for example, and help you feel less stressed.

The Show vs The emotion

The show MTV Fear shows people trying to figure out if scary places are haunted, the whole premise of the show is based on the notion of imagined fear. The notion that something might be there.

When dealing with those situations of expectation, the person will manifest the effects of fear and can also show signs of anxiety, being that they are dealing with an unknown situation of probable danger, which is the meaning of what being anxious is.

In dealing with situations like those, the participants would be recommended to take deep breaths, as a way to reduce their heartbeat, also as a way to deal, if it is possible, with that situation in a more calm way.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): What is MTV fear?

Did the MTV show Fear end because one of the participants died?

No, when the show ended there was this commentary that the show was over because a person, one of the participants had died, but after a while, it was discovered that it had to do with the high production value.

Although it was a popular show and had great ratings, when considered the MTV standard, it was an expensive show that would set each episode in a different location, making it financially difficult for it to go on.

Can a person die from fear?

A person can’t die from the emotional reaction of fear, but the physical effects of fear can cause a person to have a health problem, even die.

When a person has a heart condition, for example, it might be that if they go through an extremely intense situation of fear, their heart might react badly to it. People can have heart attacks from fear, for example.

That is why it is so important for people to learn and deal with their fears is not such a negative way, it can be a way of protecting your health from the effects fear might have on your body and mind.

Were the contestants of the show left alone at the location?

Yes, the contestants of each episode were left alone in the haunted and scary location they were in. The concept of the show, similar to The Blair Witch Project movie, only showed footage made by the cameras each participant had attached to their bodies.

There were no other cameras, camera crew, or even producers leading the way or giving them clues as to where to go in each of the tasks. The crew that took them there would leave them blindfolded at the location, and they could only take it off after the whole crew was gone.

What was the scariest type of task in MTV’s Fear?

There were many scary tasks to be done in the show. There was one in which a participant had to stay in a jail cell where many were killed for 15 minutes. In another one, with a more concrete scary situation, a participant had to put their head in a hole full of rats.

Another one was to perform a blood ritual to summon evil spirits. So there were a lot of extremely scary situations they had to tackle. Most of them had to be done alone, which makes it even scarier.

Did MTV’s Fear end because a participant was possessed?

No, MTV’s fear didn’t end because a participant was possessed. The same as it didn’t end because a participant died. Because the show ended suddenly, in the middle of its second season, many people started to question what happened, and many theories were formed.

But in reality, the show ended because of its high production value, being that finding the scary locations, traveling to take people there and back, was more than MTV wanted to spend on making the show.

Was MTV’s Fear the first TV show to talk about scary situations?

MTV’s Fear was one of the first ones to bring, to the small screen, scary situations. Before it, the horror genre of entertainment was mostly seen in movie theaters, but after the praise MTV’s Fear got, many shows started popping up.

And nowadays having horror and scary tv shows, on cable or streaming is more than a usual thing. After it, shows like Ghost Hunters, which ran on Syfy, Ghost Adventures, and VH1’s Celebrity Paranormal Project found an audience that was missing those sorts of shows.

Is it possible to live life without feeling fear?

It is highly improbable that people will go through life and not experience fear, at any moment, fear. It is a basic human emotion, and in many cases, it is what protects people from dangerous situations. The fear a person would feel when facing a wild animal in the jungle is exactly what would make them run away, and survive.

So there is a need for fear in human life. Otherwise, how would people know not to put themselves in dangerous situations? But it is also important to observe your level of fear because if it is too intense, and based mostly on fantasies, it can prevent you from living things you might enjoy.


This article discussed the MTV reality show called fear, explaining what it is, how it worked, and what people have said about it over time.

Aside from that, the article described what is the emotion of fear, when it happens, and how people cope with it.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write it in the space below.

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