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Halloween and popular culture, masks, ritual games, garlic (wards off birds and vampires) covered by UAlbany's Halloween experts

Contact: UAlbany's Office of Media Relations (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 11, 2005)

  • HALLOWEEN BIGGER THAN CHRISTMAS? Not yet, but it is No. 2, with some estimates show Americans spending $7 billion annually on the night of ghosts and goblins. Sociologist Richard Lachmann explains what has become the culture of Halloween.

  • A HOCKEY MASK in the U.S. or skeletons in Mexico… Kids (and adults) enjoy Halloween as a time to dress up in their favorite costumes. In her book Dressed for Thrills: 100 Years of Halloween Costumes and Masquerade, art professor Phyllis Galembo documents the customs behind costumes from all over the world.

  • VAMPIRES DREAD GARLIC, but it looks like birds don't care for it much, either. Distinguished professor of chemistry Eric Block offers insight into the peculiar-smelling herb used to ward off creatures of the night on All Hallow's Eve.

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