From baristas preparing pumpkin spiced lattes to grocery store aisles lined with bags of candy, the season has arrived for all things sweet-toothed and scary. Still, centuries after the holiday known as “Halloween” became cultural phenomenon, little is known to popular culture about its religious, artistic, and linguistic dimensions. For instance, who were the first trick or treaters? What are the origins of zombies? What makes creepy music…well, creepy?
In this month’s episode, we sat down with Katherine Connor Martin, Head of US Dictionaries for Oxford University Press, Greg Garrett, author of Entertaining Judgment: The Afterlife in Popular Imagination, Jason Bivins, author of Religion of Fear: The Politics of Horror in Conservative Evangelicalism, and Jim Buhler, co-author of Hearing the Movies: Music and Sound in Film History to broaden our understanding.
Image Credit: “Reaching for Halloween” by Will Montague. CC BY NC 2.0 via Flickr.