Ghosts, Zombies, and Vampires — Why We Love ‘Em

Do you like being scared? That Is, do you enjoy horror movies, scary books, thriller TV shows?

What is it about the thrill of fear that we enjoy?

A few years ago, an English professor named Walter Kendrick decided to investigate. He wanted to know why, over the last couple of centuries, our taste in entertainment had taken a dark turn

The result was his 1991 book called The Thrill of Fear. And if you are a fan of ghosts, ghouls, zombies, and vampires, stick with us.

I spoke with him a couple of days before Halloween in 1991. So here now, from 1991, Walter Kendrick.

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Stephenie Meyer

When I was a kid, all my friends and I were into The Twilight Zone, the Rod Serling TV series.

Photo: Gage Skidmore

But in the later 2000s, another “twilight” captured the world’s imagination: the “Twilight” series of novels by Stephenie Meyer.

Four, in all, chronicling the stories of teenager Bella, vampire Edward. and werewolf Jacob.

The third book in the series, “Eclipse,” was published in 2007. And that’s when I met the author — who, as you’ll hear, was still getting accustomed to the fact she had become more popular, book-sales-wise, than J.K. Rowling.

Here now, from 2007, Stephenie Meyer.

Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” books have been turned into popular movies. And her books continue to sell tens of millions of copies worldwide.