A SCary Halloween Feature

Get the scoop on zombies and witches, gothic literature and haunted buildings on campus. Learn about the origins of Halloween and why everyone loves horror movies. See what creepy courses you can take next semester. From all of us here in the Arts and Sciences, we wish you a spook-tacular Halloween!

Beware ... and read on if you dare!



Anthropology Professor Jeff Cohen gives us a crash course in all things zombie-related. 

Zombie 101 Video


Halloween Origins

Merrill Kaplan, associate professor, Folklore and Scandinavian Studies in the Departments of English and Germanic Languages and Literatures, gives us some insight into the origins of Halloween and explains some similarities and differences between the spooky holiday of the past and today's trick-or-treat fest.


Sarah Johnston, Arts and Humanities Distinguished Professor of Religion in the Department of Classics, has taught classes on magic and witchcraft, focusing on its history and culture from medieval and early modern periods and its far-reaching impact on society. Her current research concentrates on Greek myth and the afterlife. 

Horror Cinema

Jane Greene, of the Film Studies Program, discusses why we like the horror genre so much, what elements go into a successful horror movie and gives us her recommendations for the best horror movies to watch this Halloween.

Gothic Literature

Maryna Matlock, a graduate teaching associate in the Department of English, describes her favorite Gothic fiction novel and what about the genre of Gothic literature interests her.


Vampires and Zombies and Witches — oh my! In the Arts and Sciences, you'll have the opportunity to learn about monsters, supernatural creatures and anything else that goes bump in the night, from historical perspectives to modern day popular culture. Check out these spooky ASC courses guaranteed to give you goosebumps!

courses you might take:

SLAVIC 2230: Vampires, Monstrosity and Evil: From Slavic Myth to Twilight

Changing approaches to evil as embodied in vampires in East European folk belief and European and American pop culture; function of vampire and monster tales in cultural context.

MEDREN 2666: Magic and Witchcraft in the Middle Ages and Renaissance

A study of the history of witchcraft and magic from 400 to 1700 C.E. within sociological, religious and intellectual contexts.

ANTHROP 3334: Zombies: The Anthropology of the Undead

Students will understand how culture and social organization help us define the living, the dead and the undead in the contemporary and archaeological record, and how we create social categories that organize our world and our place.