October 31, 2013
Hollywood's Greatest Hauntings, in One Horror-Filled Map

(Source: theatlanticcities)

October 31, 2013
Why Do Some Brains Enjoy Fear?

This time of year, thrillseekers can enjoy horror movies, haunted houses, and prices so low, it’s scary. But if fear is a natural survival response to a threat, or danger, why would we seek out that feeling?
Dr. Margee Kerr is the staff sociologist at ScareHouse, a haunted house in Pittsburgh that takes all year to plan. She also teaches at Robert Morris University and Chatham University, and is the only person I’ve ever heard referred to as a “scare specialist.” Dr. Kerr is an expert in the field of fear. I spoke with her about what fear is, and why some of us enjoy it so much.
Read more. [Image: Wikimedia]

Why Do Some Brains Enjoy Fear?

This time of year, thrillseekers can enjoy horror movies, haunted houses, and prices so low, it’s scary. But if fear is a natural survival response to a threat, or danger, why would we seek out that feeling?

Dr. Margee Kerr is the staff sociologist at ScareHouse, a haunted house in Pittsburgh that takes all year to plan. She also teaches at Robert Morris University and Chatham University, and is the only person I’ve ever heard referred to as a “scare specialist.” Dr. Kerr is an expert in the field of fear. I spoke with her about what fear is, and why some of us enjoy it so much.

Read more. [Image: Wikimedia]

October 31, 2013
Happy Halloween from The Atlantic!

In honor of today’s spooky, candy-filled festivities, here’s a collection of some of our best Halloween-themed articles. Have an eerie day!
When Cameras Took Pictures of Ghosts: When photography was new, people used it to suggest the endurance of the departed. 
Global Ghosts: 7 Tales of Specters from Around the World: In Nordic countries, ghosts pinch you and cause a plague-like disease, but in Japan, they just want you to tell them they’re pretty.
When Governments Go After Witches: In some parts of the world, being suspected of sorcery can result in harsh sentences.
Why So Many Icelanders Still Believe in Invisible Elves: How the country’s history and geography created the perfect setting for magical creatures, whose perceived existence sparks environmental protests to this day. 
What Vampire Graves Tell Us About Ancient Superstitions: Hundreds of years ago, ignorance about decomposition and disease sparked fears that the dead returned to drink the blood of the living.
Martians at the Halloween Sock Hop: Photos of Bizarre Vintage Costumes: Aliens, gnomes, and assorted food items made trendy costumes way back when.
In Lieu of Candy, Woman Handing Out This Letter That Says Child Is Fat: Unsolicited neighborhood judgment is not how childhood obesity is best addressed.
A Profoundly Horrifying Reinvention of Dorian Gray: For Halloween, check out this creepy portrayal of immortal man’s descent into depression and hedonism.
[Image: William Hope/National Media Museum Collection]

Happy Halloween from The Atlantic!

In honor of today’s spooky, candy-filled festivities, here’s a collection of some of our best Halloween-themed articles. Have an eerie day!

[Image: William Hope/National Media Museum Collection]

October 31, 2013
Global Ghosts: 7 Tales of Specters from Around the World

The ghost has long been seen as the laziest of Halloween costumes—a white sheet, a pair of scissors—bam, done. But while Americans may envision ghosts as pale blobs hovering above the floor, other countries are home to far more vividly described—and far more terrifying—spirits. Here’s a guide to the scariest.
Read more. [Image: Christian Charisius/Reuters]

Global Ghosts: 7 Tales of Specters from Around the World

The ghost has long been seen as the laziest of Halloween costumes—a white sheet, a pair of scissors—bam, done. But while Americans may envision ghosts as pale blobs hovering above the floor, other countries are home to far more vividly described—and far more terrifying—spirits. Here’s a guide to the scariest.

Read more. [Image: Christian Charisius/Reuters]

October 30, 2013
When Cameras Took Pictures of Ghosts

William Mumler's downfall came about, in part, because of P.T. Barnum. The world’s first known “spirit photographer” had captured an image of Barnum posed next to a ghost of an exceptionally notable variety: that of the recently assassinated Abraham Lincoln. During Mumler’s 1869 hearing for fraud, Barnum—the trickster, indignant about trickery—was called to the witness stand to testify against Mumler. Barnum would serve as an expert, the Oxford University Press notes, on “humbuggery.”
Read more. [Image: William Hope/National Media Museum Collection]

When Cameras Took Pictures of Ghosts

William Mumler's downfall came about, in part, because of P.T. Barnum. The world’s first known “spirit photographer” had captured an image of Barnum posed next to a ghost of an exceptionally notable variety: that of the recently assassinated Abraham Lincoln. During Mumler’s 1869 hearing for fraud, Barnum—the trickster, indignant about trickery—was called to the witness stand to testify against Mumler. Barnum would serve as an expert, the Oxford University Press notes, on “humbuggery.”

Read more. [Image: William Hope/National Media Museum Collection]

October 30, 2013
A Profoundly Horrifying Reinvention of Dorian Gray

“We are each our own devils, and we make this world our hell.”
So said Oscar Wilde, reportedly. So said Oscar Wilde to Dorian Gray—or, at least, so he did in the first episode of The Confessions of Dorian Gray. The series, a creation of the British audio drama company Big Finish Productions, imagines that Dorian Gray was real and immortal, friends with Oscar Wilde, and Wilde made The Picture of Dorian Gray by fictionalizing Gray’s life. In Confessions, Wilde says the words when his old (but still young-looking) friend visits him on his deathbed. And though Wilde passes by the end of the episode, his words haunt the title character throughout the 20th century and into the 21st.
It’s those words that help make Confessions such a terrifying series. On the occasion of Confessions' Halloween special, the show is well worth checking out as an example of what makes horror work—and should provide new kinds of scares to anyone used to rewatching classic slasher flicks each October 31.
Read more. [Image: Big Finish Productions]

A Profoundly Horrifying Reinvention of Dorian Gray

“We are each our own devils, and we make this world our hell.”

So said Oscar Wilde, reportedly. So said Oscar Wilde to Dorian Gray—or, at least, so he did in the first episode of The Confessions of Dorian Gray. The series, a creation of the British audio drama company Big Finish Productions, imagines that Dorian Gray was real and immortal, friends with Oscar Wilde, and Wilde made The Picture of Dorian Gray by fictionalizing Gray’s life. In Confessions, Wilde says the words when his old (but still young-looking) friend visits him on his deathbed. And though Wilde passes by the end of the episode, his words haunt the title character throughout the 20th century and into the 21st.

It’s those words that help make Confessions such a terrifying series. On the occasion of Confessions' Halloween special, the show is well worth checking out as an example of what makes horror work—and should provide new kinds of scares to anyone used to rewatching classic slasher flicks each October 31.

Read more. [Image: Big Finish Productions]

August 29, 2013
Obama Voters Like 3D Movies, Rom-Coms, and Horror Films More Than Romney Voters

6:35pm
  
Filed under: Obama Romney Movies Romcoms Horror 
November 28, 2012
Catching the References in ‘Hitchcock,’ From ‘The Birds’ to the Blondes

While Psycho was considered a risky departure for Hitchcock, the film shared much with the director’s prior work, ranging from the influence of ’20s German Expressionist cinema to Hitchcock’s obsession with beautiful blondes, voyeurism, and split identities.

Read more. [Image: Fox Searchlight]

Catching the References in ‘Hitchcock,’ From ‘The Birds’ to the Blondes

While Psycho was considered a risky departure for Hitchcock, the film shared much with the director’s prior work, ranging from the influence of ’20s German Expressionist cinema to Hitchcock’s obsession with beautiful blondes, voyeurism, and split identities.

Read more. [Image: Fox Searchlight]

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