At the gravesite of Mercy Lena Brown, right, sightseers leave offerings such as plastic vampire teeth and jewelry.

The Great New England Vampire Panic

Two hundred years after the Salem witch trials, farmers became convinced that their relatives were returning from the grave to feed on the living

At home and abroad, vampire scares usually began when a person died and others in the vicinity began dying, too, usually of the same sickness.

Meet the Real-Life Vampires of New England and Abroad

The legend of the blood suckers, and the violence heaped upon their corpses, came out of ignorance of contagious disease


The Physics of Eating Candy

For certain sweet treats, researchers found, patient indulgers can enjoy a single piece of candy for up to nearly half an hour - so long as they resist the urge to bite or chew


The Ax Murderer Who Got Away

In 1912, a family of six was murdered by ax in the little town of Villisca, Iowa. Might these killings be linked to nine other similar crimes?

Anyone dressing up as a mad scientist today?

Five Last-Minute Science-Themed Halloween Costume Ideas

No one else will be dressed like dark energy

What if we could make masks to look like these models in the Natural History Museum's Hall of Human Origins?

The List: Smithsonian-Inspired Halloween Costumes

For all you last-minute costume shoppers, here's this year's list of Smithsonian DIY ideas

Colonel Sanders, a great Halloween costume idea

Stuck for a Halloween Costume Idea? Think Food

Paula Deen, Colonel Sanders, the Swedish Chef—the food world is rife with costume potential

A vampire bat feeds on a pig

How Vampire Bats Find A Vein

They may not be Dracula in disguise, but vampire bats are still creepy nocturnal critters that need blood to survive

Fakes are an all too real part of the museum world. “There are always artists capable of making and selling things that seem old,” says anthropologist Jane MacLaren Walsh.

Why the Smithsonian Has a Fake Crystal Skull

The Natural History Museum's quartz cranium highlights the epic silliness of the new Indiana Jones movie

Chocolate truffles

A Brief History of Chocolate

Uncover the bittersweet story of this ancient treat and watch a video

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