Beyond Halloween: 5 Global October Holidays

Beyond Halloween: 5 Global October Holidays

As the sun starts to set on October 31, children dressed as ghosts and superheroes go door to door asking for candy. Along their trick-or-treating route, they’ll visit houses decorated with skeletons, spiderwebs and jack-o-lanterns. Halloween is a popular American tradition that is associated with scary movies, costumes and tons of candy. But around the […]

Seven Foreign Language Horror Films to Watch for Halloween

Whether October has you curling up with Hocus Pocus and the Addams Family, or a level up in terror is more to your taste, it’s likely that you’ve watched your favorite scary movies over and over again. As a visually-focused genre reliant on universal tropes with often minimal dialogue, horror movies are the perfect medium […]

Etymology of Halloween

Like many modern holidays, the history of Halloween links an ancient pagan ritual with the Christian effort to eradicate it, ending in the repackaged consumer holiday we know today. Halloween began as the ancient Gaelic holiday of Samhain. On the 1st of November, the Celts celebrated the bittersweet end of the warm summer and autumnal […]

Is it easier to learn a language when you’re young?

We’ve all heard some variation of the ultra-absorbent, spongy brain explanation that suggests children’s talent for second language acquisition comes as naturally to them as a sugar high on Halloween night. But is it actually true? Empirically speaking, yes. To achieve a native level of fluency in a second language, it’s best to start learning […]

An International Survey of Spooks: From Baba Yaga to El Hombre del Saco

Not every country celebrates Halloween at the same time or in the same way as the USA. Most countries do, however, have a rich tradition of monster lore that reveals cultural norms, behavioral expectations, and methods for reducing wayward children into quivering heaps of terror. In the following selection, loosely categorized, you can see human […]

The Problematic Language of Corn Sugar

Only a few days have passed since Halloween, but some of you might already be reaching for the last few sweet treats in your (or more likely your child’s) candy bag. Among all the delectable chocolates, hard candies, and gelatinous goodies, you’ll surely find some form of corn syrup residing in your fun-size wrappers. This […]

Now Playing: 20 Best Foreign Language Horror Films

Around this time every year, a significant proportion of the American public (and perhaps even the international community) undertakes the admirable task of scaring its pants off. From haunted houses, to ghost tours, and horror films, the Halloween season is teeming with intimidating entertainments. Now Playing usually highlights some of the best foreign films currently […]

Holidays Bring Out Spirits and Conspiracies

The last week of October and the beginning of November brings together some fairly disparate events, holidays, and emotions. For one, especially here in the U.S., October 31 is Halloween, that strange co-opted holiday where kids dress up in cute or ghoulish costumes and beg for candy from their neighbors. The following day, November 1, […]

A Ghoulish Season

Today marks the first unofficial day of Fall and where I am, at least, the weather is starting to cloud up and cool off a bit and the kids are back in school. To celebrate the close of summer, the New York Time’s Gail Collins, wrote a summer quiz—what interesting and salacious newsworthy tidbits happened […]

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