Seven BILLION dollars.  That's not chump change, and it is what Americans spend on Halloween every year... decorations, costumes, candy, all of it. 

Sure, it's a party, but it's a party in part about scaring people. 

Why DO we like to scream, at least if it's followed by a good laugh?  That's the domain of sociologist Dr. Margee Kerr, the rare academic who is considered a "scare specialist." 

She shares the findings of some of her research with us... and psychologist David Zald from Vanderbilt University visits to talk about the biological roots of fear.


Maybe between answering the doorbell for trick or treaters and helping yourself to the candy, you wonder about the history of Halloween. 

Not the long-ago stuff, the Celtic festival of Samhain and all that... but the way in which we Americans observe October 31st. 

Historian Ben Truwe of Medford has looked at the stuff we bought and used in Halloween celebrations past, and even wrote a book about it. 

Celebrating Día De Los Muertos

Oct 28, 2016

Death isn't usually cause for celebration in the United States.

But a tradition born in Mexico changes that from Oct 31-Nov. 2, when Latino communities celebrate Día de los Muertos. These festivities swap mourning black for bright colors, emphasizing quality time with family members both living and passed.

Rogue Valley resident Erica Ledesma is a frequent contributor to the bilingual magazine, Revista Caminos. She studied Cultural Anthropology and Ethnic Studies at the UO.


Halloween seems like an opportune time to explore things that go bump in the night, besides the toes we stubbed groping our way from bed to bathroom.

Luckily for the Exchange, there's a Rogue Valley firm dedicated to helping people who suspect their house is haunted, free of charge.

Monsters In Our Midst

Oct 28, 2016
Public Domain/Wikimedia

We certainly have an imagination for monsters, especially on Halloween. 

But imagination does not equal reality.  Or does it? 

Linda Godfrey, author of a dozen books on hauntings and the paranormal, returns with a new volume called Monsters Among Us: An Exploration of Otherworldly Bigfoots, Wolfmen, Portals, Phantoms, and Odd Phenomena

She joins us to unveil the evidence of things that go bump in the night... and sometimes in the daytime. 

On Halloween night, Monday October 31st at 8pm, JPR will broadcast a two-hour Halloween special featuring Orson Welles' original 1938 radio drama "War of the Worlds" on our Rhythm & News Service.

(Sort of) Ghost Stories For Halloween

Oct 31, 2014

Ghosts and goblins and more will take to the streets tonight.  Naturally: it's Halloween. 

But sometimes things happen to people that they simply can't explain.  Who you gonna call? 

In Oregon, the choices include Oregon Paranormal, which attempts to explain or at least debunk weird happenings. 


At last, it's here… a day to act all creepy and ghouly, and nobody has a particular problem with it. 

Halloween is such a big deal in Ashland, the police shut down the main street so the kids can parade in their costumes.  

Dutton Children's Books

Maybe you noticed that kids often like gory stories, whether in movies or on the printed page. 

Adam Gidwitz must have known that from his eight years of teaching.  He's delighted readers young and old by retelling the fairy tales of the Grimm brothers in full-blooded glory.