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!

Do We Have to Tell Them the House Is Haunted?

On the law and mythologies of haunting, from antiquity to today.
English Herbarium

Herbs & Verbs: How to Do Witchcraft for Real

Like for real real.
Halloween pumpkins

Trick or Treat Sadists: A Halloween Urban Legend

Are there a group of trick or treat sadists poisoning the candy they distribute on Halloween?
scared kid

How Scary is Too Scary?

Halloween poses questions for parents, like how scary is too scary for their kids? The answer depends on when we ask the question.
Dracula in a 1931 movie poster

The Real Vampires of Europe

In general, a vampire is a malicious spirit or soul of the deceased who is not confined to the grave. Where did the idea come from?

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.
Print