Get into the Halloween spirit with our best stories on the holiday, which include a look into the Salem witch trials and the obsession with Satanism in nineteenth-century France. No tricks, only treats: all stories contain free links to the supporting academic research on JSTOR. Happy Halloween!

The Origins of Halloween

Halloween history and ethnography.
Cuisine des sorcières

What Caused the Salem Witch Trials?

Looking into the underlying causes of the Salem Witch Trials in the 17th century.
Vintage engraving from 1876 of a old victorian haunted house.

How Victorian Mansions Became the Default Haunted House

Quick: Picture a haunted house. It's probably a Victorian mansion, right? Here's how these structures became signifiers of horror, haunting, and death.
The Mummy movie poster

Why We Love to Be Scared

Nearly 1.5 billion tickets to horror movies were sold in 2015 alone. But why do we love being scared so much?
Ghostly road

A Belief in Ghosts: Poetry and the Shared Imagination

An essay from poet Dorothea Lasky on poetry, ghosts, and the shared imagination.
satanism

Satanism and Magic in the Age of the Moulin Rouge

How did some of the most illustrious names of fin de siècle French literature  end up in a newspaper battle over witchcraft and evil spirits?

From Samhain to Halloween

Exploring the Celtic origins of everyone's favorite harvest holiday celebrating thresholds between life and death.
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