When Halloween Mischief Turned to Mayhem

Nineteenth-Century Urbanization Unleashed the Nation's Anarchic Spirits

Imagine. Pre-electricity, no moon. It’s late October, and the people whisper: This is the season for witchery, the night the spirits of the dead rise from their graves and hover behind the hedges.

The wind kicks up, and branches click like skeletal finger bones. You make it home, run inside, wedge a chair against the door, and strain to listen. There’s a sharp rap at the window and when you turn, terrified, it’s there leering at you—a glowing, disembodied head with a deep black hole where its mouth should be. …

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Haunted House 101

How to Scare Your Neighbors with Creepy, Do-It-Yourself Halloween Decorations

I took Stewie out of storage on the first of October. The eight-foot-tall scarecrow with a massive, mutated pumpkin head (he may have grown in the abandoned gardens near Chernobyl) …

My Job Is to Scare the Crap Out of You

At Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights, Dead Bodies and Killer Clowns Are My Artistic Medium

I always knew that writing and visual arts would be unpredictable career paths. But I’ve discovered that there is one thing that I can always count on: dead bodies.

As the …

Haunted Houses

All houses wherein men have lived and died
Are haunted houses. Through the open doors
The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
With feet that make no sound upon the …

Here’s Your Snickers. Just Don’t Kill Me.

Halloween Has Gotten Milder Over the Years. But—Take It From a Vampirologist—It’s Still About Rule-Breaking and Bargaining.

I am a vampirologist. I have a blood-red business card to prove it. And a doctoral dissertation in Slavic folklore. Because of that, people tend to give me things they …

Even Halloween Has Become Aspirational

Why Get To Know the Neighbors When the Trick-or-Treat Experience Is So Much Classier In Another Part of Town?

Last Halloween, I felt like the victim in a horror film. I was the guy ignoring the wise warning of my older next-door neighbor.

You’ll need at least 15 bags to …