Vampires came when folk tradition filled the void of scientific knowledge. In this illustration, men gather a gravesite to kill a purported vampire.

Decomposing Bodies in the 1720s Gave Birth to the First Vampire Panic

How superstition collided with public health concerns to create a modern monster

Meet your new zombie overlord.

Cool Finds

These Wasps Hijack Spiders' Brains And Make Them Do Their Bidding

Larvae of the newly discovered species in Ecuador hijacks the spider to build a super-tough incubation chamber

To Krasinski’s relief, the audience at his film’s premiere “stood up and made the craziest noise” when the screening was over.

2018 Smithsonian Ingenuity Awards

How John Krasinski Created 'A Quiet Place'

The actor turned director creates a genre-busting horror movie with a terrifying twist—silence

Celebrate the spookiest night of the year by participating in a "game" that lets you guide a real person's actions

This Halloween, a Social Experiment Will Allow Internet Users to Control the Actions of a Real Person

MIT Media Laboratory's BeeMe is the love child of ‘Black Mirror’ and psychologist Stanley Milgram’s notorious experiments on free will and obedience

An original 1932 lithographic film poster of "The Mummy" designed by Karoly Grosz

Spooky Poster for 'The Mummy' Poised to Take Back Title of World's Most Expensive Movie Poster

The relic from Hollywood’s golden age of horror is expected to surpass auction record set by fellow horror film poster from the 1930s last year

‘Frankenstein’ Manuscript Shows the Evolution of Mary Shelley’s Monster

A British publisher is releasing 1,000 facsimiles of the two notebooks in which Shelly scrawled her iconic novel

Trove of Rare Stephen King Books Destroyed in Flood

The author said he was ‘horrified’ to hear about the loss


An A.I. Bot Named "Shelley" Is Generating Spooky Stories on Twitter

And you're invited to collaborate on her very weird tales

William Castle was adept at using marketing ploys to lure audiences to the movie theaters for his horror films.

The Hair-Raising Gimmicks of the Abominable Showman

William Castle went all-out to fright audiences with his horror movies and marketing strategy

Even the venus fly trap, which takes an active role in catching its prey, is almost nothing like us.

Getting to the Roots of "Plant Horror"

From the serious—pod people—to the farcical—”feed me, feed me!”—this genre has produced some strange stuff

A bust of the legless "bicycle girl" zombie executed by Rick Grimes in the Walking Dead pilot.

America's Undead Are Immortalized at the Smithsonian

The cast of "The Walking Dead" donates a set of perfectly macabre Halloween gifts

Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.

Washington, D.C.

Real Places Behind Famously Frightening Stories

Discover old haunts that inspired thrills and chills in fiction and film

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