Halloween is bigger than ever — kids are getting ghoulish and heading out to haunt the streets. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, the real Halloween story. Why we carve jack-o-lanterns and beg for candy. Also Joyce Carol Oates on why we love being scared. The current vogue for vampires, and how mad scientists and their monsters took over the movies.
Historian Lesley Bannatyne talks with Jim Fleming about the history of our Halloween traditions. She says it all started as a way to remember the ancestral dead and explains how we got to jack o-lanterns and begging for candy. Also, storyteller Hugh Lupton gives us a Halloween tale, enhanced by engineer Marv Nonn. Lupton is the author of "Freaky Tales from Far and Wide."SEGMENT 2:
Joyce Carol Oates tells Steve Paulson why we enjoy scaring ourselves, and relates our interest in boxing and serial killers to a taste for the Gothic. Oates teaches at Princeton and is the author of many novels. Her latest book is a collection of essays, "Where I've Been, and Where I'm Going." Also, Laurence Rickels has a cult following on the UC-Santa Barbara campus for his course on vampires. He's turned it into a book: "The Vampire Lectures." Rickels tells Judith Strasser why vampires appeal to teenagers; relates the vogue for vampires to young people's experience of AIDS; and says the dark side of Goth is really a problem because of the accessibility of guns.SEGMENT 3:
David Skal is a horror and monster movie historian. He tells Steve Paulson how Hollywood played up to Americans' distrust of science and intellectuals with a series of films about mad scientists, from Frankenstein to Hannibal Lechter. And we hear movie clips! (Mmmm, fava beans and chianti!) Skal's latest book is "Screams of Reason: Mad science and Modern Culture."Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 99-10-31-B.
Page Design and Management by Jim Fleming at Wisconsin Public Radio.
© Copyright 1999 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.