Podcast Goodness: Can people really die of fright?

Charles Bryant

This week on the Stuff You Should Know podcast we discussed a couple of interesting topics. Yesterday's show was about how to stop junk mail, which is something everyone definitely should know. Tuesday's show was a gem called "Can people really die of fright?" It was based on a stellar article by staff writer Molly Edmonds. Josh and I delved a bit into the science of fear and the potential medical issues that could arise if you were really scared -- aka the "Baskerville Effect."

We also looked at some interesting studies. One took a look at the death rate of people in China and Japan on the fourth day of the month, four being an unlucky number in much of Asia. They found that there was a 13 percent increase in heart failure on the fourth of each month compared to a Caucasian control group. So there's something to be said for chilling out on the fourth if you're Chinese or Japanese.

Toward the end of the show we discussed the weird and creepy "voodoo death" and got to the bottom of whether or not your hair can turn white overnight after a good scare. Pure podcast goodness, I tell you. Head on over to the HowStuffWorks room in the iTunes music store and give it a listen.

We want to know some of your scariest experiences. Has anyone ever stared death in the face?

Your homework for today: Can you really scare someone to death? How Fear Works How Haunted Houses Work Could you have a heart attack -- and not know it?