Halloween | KERA News

Halloween

From Texas Standard:

Texas is number one in a great many things: oil, ranching, rodeo, cotton. But you may be surprised to know that we are also number one in horror. That's right, our very own charming little low-budget film, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," is considered by many critics to be the best (and most horrifying) horror movie ever made.


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Boo! Did we scare you? Happy Halloween, y’all! Little ghosts and goblins will be robbing you of candy soon. But, once your kiddos go to sleep, you can always pick through their loot.

To get you in the mood, here’s a frightening Halloween roundup. (OK, it’s not too scary – we are public media, after all …)

When America was younger: Ladies wore hats, men sported spats and Halloween could be hard on the family buggy or wagon.

By the late 19th century, All Hallows Eve had become – all across the country — a night for playing tricks on neighbors. This was a breach of the social contract, of course, in an unsettled and unsettling country where neighbors trusted in, and depended on, neighbors for succor and survival.

Dark Hour Haunted House

Every Halloween, millions of people pay to be scared. Did you know professional haunted houses use high-tech scare methods to make you scream? In 2014, we visited Plano’s year-round haunted house with a neuroscientist to find out what makes a good scare. 

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The simple rhymes and songs we know courtesy of Mother Goose weren’t actually written for children. For the most part, nursery rhymes were composed by peasants in an exercise of solidarity. Themes in these rhymes range from infanticide to political treachery, and when you find out what most of these poems are really about, it can be downright scary.

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People living in the United States have little to no reason to fear contracting Ebola, a deadly viral illness causing an epidemic in West Africa. Yet on Friday night, some Americans will dress up in hazmat suits akin to what health workers wear when treating an Ebola patient.

And, of course, there's even a "sexy" version.

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Take a look at a variety of people and animals in their awesome Halloween costumes -- a carhop! Mineshaft! Even Superman! Happy Halloween!

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Ready to get your spook on? Halloween isn’t just about dressing up and scoring lots of free candy. Across North Texas, it's prime time to take tours of dirty, dark haunted houses, filled with cobwebs, ghosts, mysterious noises, bloodcurdling screams and kooky creatures — if you dare.

After all, you might not get out alive. And if you do, the hair-raising experience could haunt your dreams for years to come.

But how did these mansions get to be so terrifying? In North Texas, many haunted houses have developed elaborate, creative "stories" — or are they nightmares?

What makes trick-or-treaters happy is candy. And more candy is better, right?

Well, it turns out that might not actually be the case. A few years ago researchers did a study on Halloween night where some trick-or-treaters were given a candy bar, and others were given the candy bar and a piece of bubble gum.

We've rounded up some Halloween-related news. Think of this as our treat bag:

-- Bad Moms And Dads. "Eighty-one percent of parents surveyed say that they take candy from their children's Halloween candy haul for their own enjoyment (with 26 percent admitting that they sneak treats after the children go to bed or school)." National Confectioners Association

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These jack-o’-lantern scraps are the healthiest part of the whole pumpkin. Pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, pack in a serious dose of magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, vitamin E and vitamin K. Here are some creative ways to make them part of your meal.

This Halloween season, the cereal monsters are on the loose. Count Chocula, Boo Berry and Franken Berry have consumers in their grasp — for a limited time only.

General Mills' line of "Monster Cereals" originally hit the market in the early '70s, but the company decided in 2010 they would only be available during the Halloween season.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen / U.S. Air Force via Creative Commons

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