The romanticisation of serial killers | The psychology behind the attraction

Hello everyone!

I am currently researching a particularly gruesome murder case for next week's post (and video), so I decided to "take a break" from that case and delve into the unsettling world of serial killers, unmasking the reasons behind our morbid fascination and exploring the consequences of romanticising these notorious criminals. Get ready to uncover the secrets behind the dark fascination with serial killers.

Watch on YouTubeThe romanticisation of serial killers | The psychology behind the attraction

In a world filled with mysteries and intrigue, few subjects captivate our collective imagination quite like serial killers. These enigmatic figures, lurking in the shadows, have long fascinated and horrified us in equal measure. But what is it about their dark deeds that hold such a disturbing allure? 

To understand the disturbing appeal of serial killers, we must first explore the origins of their romanticisation. It is believed that this fascination can be traced back to the infamous case of Jack the Ripper in the late 1800s. The media coverage surrounding his brutal crimes sparked a public obsession with unsolved mysteries and the dark minds behind them. As time went on, fictional portrayals of serial killers in literature and movies further fueled our morbid curiosity. 

From the chilling tales of Edgar Allan Poe to the psychological thrillers of Alfred Hitchcock, these stories ingrained the image of the charming yet sinister killer in our collective consciousness. The rise of true crime documentaries and podcasts in recent years has only intensified this fascination, as we delve deeper into the twisted psyche of these criminals. 

The influence of media cannot be underestimated when it comes to the romanticisation of serial killers. From books to movies, these forms of entertainment have played a significant role in shaping our perception and fascination with these dark individuals. In literature, authors have skillfully crafted stories that delve into the twisted minds of serial killers, captivating readers with their chilling narratives. The likes of Thomas Harris with his iconic character Hannibal Lecter and Bret Easton Ellis with his controversial novel American Psycho have left an indelible mark on popular culture.


Collage - Jack the Ripper, Edgar Allan Poe, Alfred Hitchcock, Hannibal Lecter, American Psycho
Jack the Ripper, Edgar Allan Poe, Alfred Hitchcock, Hannibal Lecter (The Silence of the Lambs), and Patrick Bateman (American Psycho).

These books not only explore the psychology of these killers but also blur the lines between fiction and reality. Moving beyond the written word, movies have brought these characters to life on the silver screen, adding another layer of intrigue. Films like PsychoSilence of the Lambs, and Se7en have become cult classics, showcasing the charisma and cunning of these fictional murderers. Through the power of visual storytelling, they have further perpetuated the allure of serial killers in our society. 

What is it about serial killers that captivate our attention? The psychology behind the attraction is complex and multifaceted. One factor is the morbid curiosity we have as humans, wanting to understand the darkest corners of the human mind. Serial killers represent the extreme end of the spectrum, embodying the very essence of evil. Their actions resist societal norms and challenge our understanding of human behaviour. Besides, the element of fear plays a significant role in our fascination. 

We are drawn to the thrill and suspense that comes with exploring the minds of these dangerous individuals from a safe distance. It's a way for us to experience the adrenaline rush without actually being in danger. Furthermore, the psychological appeal lies in the desire to comprehend what drives someone to commit such heinous acts. We seek answers to questions like; What motivates them? Are they born evil or shaped by their environment? 

Three famous on-screen serial killers: Joe Goldberg (You), Jeffrey Dahmer (Dahmer), and Dexter (Dexter)
Three famous on-screen serial killers: Joe Goldberg (You), Dexter (Dexter), and Jeffrey Dahmer (Dahmer).

While the allure of serial killers may seem harmless, it's important to recognise the real-life consequences of glamorising their actions. By romanticising these individuals, we risk perpetuating a dangerous narrative that can have devastating effects. One of the most concerning consequences is the potential for copycat crimes. When serial killers are idolised and celebrated, they can inspire disturbed individuals to seek notoriety through similar acts of violence. This phenomenon has been observed in numerous cases throughout history, where one killer's actions have sparked a disturbing trend. Another consequence is the impact on the victims' families and loved ones

Glamorising serial killers can minimise the suffering and trauma experienced by those directly affected by their crimes. It can also create a culture that sensationalises violence and disregards the pain of the victims. Moreover, glamorisation can hinder the justice system. When society becomes fixated on the persona of a serial killer, it can overshadow the importance of the legal process and the need to hold them accountable for their actions. By focusing solely on the fascination with these criminals, we risk neglecting the voices of the victims and their families. It's crucial to understand that behind the allure lies a trail of devastation and heartbreak. 

It is time to shift the narrative surrounding serial killers. Instead of glorifying their actions, we must promote awareness and empathy. By understanding the factors that contribute to the fascination with these individuals, we can work towards dismantling the allure. Education plays a crucial role in this process. By learning about the psychology behind the attraction, we can develop a deeper understanding of why some people are drawn to these dark figures. This knowledge can help us empathise with those who may be struggling with these morbid interests. It is important to highlight the real-life consequences of glamorising serial killers. 

By shedding light on the devastating impact on victims' families and the potential for copycat crimes, we can create a more responsible and compassionate society. Through media, literature, and other forms of storytelling, we have the power to shape the narrative. Let's use this influence to humanise the victims, amplify their stories, and give them the recognition they deserve. By shifting the focus from the killers to the lives they've affected, we can foster empathy and understanding. Together, we can work towards dismantling the fascination and promoting a more empathetic and responsible narrative.

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Talk soon,



I'm a vegan with a passion for sustainability and clean, cruelty-free products. I mainly write lifestyle, wellness and self-care articles. Since I'm a true crime enthusiast, sometimes I also write about true crime and post videos on my two YouTube channels.

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