Why does horror fascinate us? Why are we obsessed with scary movies? As your newsrooms prepare for Halloween coverage, researchers from CU Boulder are available to discuss these topics and more.

Reach out to cunews@colorado.edu to set up an interview.

On the sociology of horror

Marshall Smith and Laura Patterson: Smith is a sociology instructor with the Philosophy Arts and Culture Residential Academic Program and teaches a class, Sociology of Horror. Patterson is an instructor in the Department of Sociology. The two co-host the "Collective Nightmares" podcast, which covers horror films from a sociological perspective. They can discuss how horror films reflect the fears, desires and tensions in society at a given time and how different groups and ideologies are represented in horror films. Read more about their podcast and favorite horror flicks.

On the horror genre and mythical creatures

Stephen Graham Jones is an Ivena Baldwin Professor of English and the author of several critically acclaimed horror novels, including his most recent book “My Heart is a Chainsaw.” Jones can discuss how the horror genre reflects society’s fears and helps us process them, and why young people are increasingly attracted to the macabre. 

On haunted theaters 

Heather Kelley, a PhD student in the Department of Theatre & Dance, researches haunted theaters in the United States. She can speak about the scary stories behind infamously haunted theaters and why they tend to get a chilling rep.  

Kelley also studies depictions of the supernatural in theater and on screen. She applied her research this month as co-director of CU’s iteration of “ShakesFear: An Autumn's Tale”––an immersive haunted performance set in the world of Shakespeare.