How to Give Yourself Goosebumps

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The physiological response of your body trying to retain heat produces goosebumps, and you can give yourself goosebumps other ways than simply feeling chilly. When ancient man had thick coats of hair on his body, goosebumps raised that hair on his arms and legs to create a mat which trapped warmer air next to the skin. Though you don't have thick layers of hair like prehistoric man did, you can still induce the same goosebumps for yourself.

Read a horror story to yourself. In the medical field, goosebumps are also called horripilation, derived from the Latin "horrere." This Latin word resulted in the word "horrible," which makes perfect sense. Horror and horrible stories often cause goosebumps. Pick an especially frightening tale, and sit in a dark room, with a lamp or beside a few candles, and read it to yourself. Rest assured, after a few pages, your hair will stand on end.

Watch a scary movie. Pop one into your DVD player, and sit back. Watch the film at night when no one else is around. Pay close attention to the storyline of the film, and watch intently. The silences and shocks in horror films are sure to give you goosebumps.

Read a touching book of poetry or a romantic book. Like horror, romance also inspires goosebumps in people. A particularly dear book from your childhood can also give you the chills. Emotional stimuli causes a nerve discharge from your sympathetic nervous system. The nerve discharge causes small muscles to contract, raising hair follicles above your skin. So, when you feel certain emotions, such as fear or nostalgia, your body physically reacts. Try it for yourself.

Stand in a cold or drafty room or hallway. The cold air inspires the skin to react, forming goosebumps. You can also have a friend lightly run their fingers up and down your arms while blowing on your neck. They must use an extremely light touch when doing this on your bare arms. The combination of these two actions can also result in goosebumps. Take turns!


  • If you have a heart condition, use caution before watching horror movies by yourself. You could induce a heart attack if your heart is weak.

    Do not stand in a cold room or hallway for too long. Doing so can cause frostbite or hypothermia.

    Do not read next to dim lighting longer than 10 or 20 minutes, as this can cause detrimental eye strain. Consult an eye doctor if you plan to read text by dim lighting for longer than this period of time.