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Horror Films

Professor Emma Rees kicked off our week of Halloween videos, and gave us a glimpse into why the Halloween movie franchise keeps us glued to our seats. Since the first film in 1978, many ‘slasher’ movies have followed, so what makes John Carpenter’s so special? It turns out that the setting for the film itself, Halloween night, plays a big part in this.


Next up, we had Dr Alana Vincent, Associate Professor of Jewish Philosophy, Religion and Imagination, who told us about a monster we may not have all heard of, the golem. One of the most famous Jewish monsters around, golems are created by humans themselves. We found out more about one of the most well-known incarnations, which was created to defend the Jews of Prague from an attack.


Later in the week, Professor Emma Rees, told us about a pivotal moment in 1597 that played a huge part in the history of witch hunts and women. One book contributed enormously to the mass persecution of non-conforming women in Europe and beyond, all in the name of witch hunts.

Dr Alana Vincent gave us a second instalment of her expertise in her discussion of the parallels between witch hunts and blood libel, which is an accusation aimed specifically at Jews. In both cases, the blog explores our human tendency to see those who we perceive to be different, or who hold different views to our own, as an inversion, something that is the complete opposite of ourselves, and therefore something we instinctively fear and try to oppress.

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Why We Love to be Scared

We couldn’t finish off our Halloween week without asking the question ‘Why do we love to be scared?’. Dr Nicola Lasikiewicz, Senior Psychology Lecturer at the University of Chester, gave us an insight into this, and talked about when genuine fear can begin to take over, and the fine balance between something we find scary and what happens when it becomes too far-fetched.

Thank you to all of our academics who have shared something with us this Halloween! If you’d like to share something spooky with us tag @uochester and #MyChesterStory.

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