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David Skal

Biography:

Touching on everything from chilling urban legends to our society's fascination with ghoulish and ghastly, David Skal examines the fascinating phenomenon of Halloween. He is the author of Hollywood Gothic, The Monster Show, V is for Vampire, Screams of Reason, and, with Elias Savada, Dark Carnival. With Nina Auerbach, he is co-editor of the Norton Critical Edition of Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Past Shows:

Zombies: Truth & Legends

Author Dr. Bob Curran explored beliefs, folklore, and truths regarding zombies, the frightening manifestation of the dead returning. Ancient cultures, such as the Viking, Egyptian, and Celtic all believed in the idea that the dead could return from time to time, in physical form. During Medieval England, certain days were set aside for visitations from the "blessed dead"-- who were said to return to warn, advise and enjoy physical activity, he added. It wasn't until Victorian England that the idea of ghosts as apparitions rather than solid forms took hold, he explained. The condition of catalepsy, where living people were sometimes mistaken for dead, may have accounted for some cases of zombie-ism, Curran noted. The expansion of the medical profession in the late 1700s created the need for grave-robbers or "Resurrectionists," and they sometimes delivered bodies which actually were still alive-- contributing to the zombie lore, he commented. In the Caribbean, and later in ... More »

Host: George Noory

Horror Films & Monsters

Touching on everything from chilling urban legends to our society’s fascination with the ghoulish and ghastly, David Skal examines the fascinating phenomenon of horror films and Halloween. He is the author of Hollywood Gothic, The Monster Show, V is for Vampire, Screams of Reason, and, with Elias Savada, Dark Carnival. With Nina Auerbach, he is co-editor of the Norton Critical Edition of Bram Stoker's Dracula.First Hour:EARTHFILES reporter and editor, Linda Moulton Howe, is an Emmy Award-winning TV producer, investigative reporter and author. She reports on an unidentified aerial sighting caught on tape at an airport in Albany, NY. ... More »

Host: George Noory

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