What If We’ve Been Misunderstanding Monsters?

Fictional evil creatures might be more nuanced—and have more to teach us—than has long seemed.
Photograph: Marley Shelton, Marla Sokoloff and the rest of the girls at a sleepover in a scene from the film 'Sugar & Spice', 2001

Source: Getty

Slumber Parties and Folklore

Slumber party rituals are indeed alive and well, and being passed down to the next generation in person and online.
Poster promoting a circa-1960s theatrical reissue of the 1931 film Dracula.

Do Vampires Really Exist?

And how would we know? Let's ask the Enlightenment.
From the video game State of Decay

The Therapeutic Value of Horror Video Games

In stressful situations, seeking out even more stress can be cathartic.

Martin Luther’s Monsters

Prodigies, or monsters, were opaque and flexible symbols that signaled that God was sending some message.
The apostles

The Pious Undead of Medieval Europe

Bishop Thietmar of Merseburg's eight-volume history contained stories of the living dead—and, he believed, proof of the Christian resurrection.
St Cuthbert Gospel

Why Europe’s Oldest Intact Book Was Found in a Saint’s Coffin

The St. Cuthbert Gospel is the earliest surviving intact European book. Some time around 698, it was slipped into the coffin of a saint.
Frig goddess

Should We Thank Frig it’s Friday?

The Anglo-Saxon goddess Frig has often been cited as the origin of the word Friday, but one scholar questions whether such a deity ever existed.