UPM Guide to Celebrating Halloween

It’s that time of year again. The leaves are turning, a chill is in the air, and Halloween is just around the corner. It’s easy to see how much we at University Press of Mississippi love Halloween—if you look at our film, folklore, and popular culture lists, you’ll notice we’ve published dozens of books on horror films, witches, vampires, zombies, and more.

Below you’ll find UPM’s guide to celebrating Halloween, complete with book pairings to add a little academia to your trick and treat.

Host a Scary Movie Night

Watch a classic—or two or four—and then learn the tricks of the horror trade by reading interviews with some of the world’s greatest directors. Our suggestions include:

Night of the Living Dead and George Romero: Interviews

Psycho, Rear Window, or Vertigo and Alfred Hitchcock: Interviews

Rosemary’s Baby and John Cassavetes: Interviews

Or pretty much anything with Tim Burton: Interviews

For a full list of volumes in the Conversations with Filmmakers series, click here.


Go on a Haunted Tour

From cemeteries and historic houses to college campuses and city streets, there are more haunted places in the South than you’d think. If you’re brave enough, take a tour (or lead your own) through one of these spooky spots.

Tell Ghost Stories

It’s hard to beat telling scary stories around a camp fire. These books are filled with tales of fright that are perfect for telling in the dark:

Binge Watch a Spooky Show

In the age of streaming, there are so many great shows to watch to get into the Halloween spirit, from The Walking Dead to True Blood to Bates Motel and American Horror Story. As you watch, check out interviews with the writers of these frightening and fascinating shows and learn all about what it takes to create horror for TV.

 #ReadUp on the History of Contemporary Legends and Folktales

Sometimes there’s nothing more frightening than the “true” stories we tell ourselves. This Halloween, we recommend spending some time reading about how contemporary legends and folktales get started and spread around the world:

Baba Yaga: The Wild Witch of the East in Russian Fairy Tales