Lisa Morton is a screenwriter, author of non-fiction books, and prose writer whose work was described by the American Library Association’s Readers’ Advisory Guide to Horror as “consistently dark, unsettling, and frightening.” She is a six-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award®, the author of four novels and over 150 short stories, and a world-class Halloween and paranormal expert. Her latest releases include Calling the Spirits: A History of Seances and The Art of the Zombie Movie. Recent short stories appeared in Best American Mystery Stories 2020, Final Cuts: New Tales of Hollywood Horror and Other Spectacles, and Classic Monsters Unleashed. Lisa lives in Los Angeles and online at



Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween
Calling the Spirits: A History of Seances
Halloween Beyond: Piercing the Veil


Today’s Halloween is a far cry from its ancient Celtic iteration, when ghost stories were told in anticipation of the time of year when the spiritual and physical worlds were believed to come closer, even converge. In this course with author Lisa Morton, we’ll trace the history of Halloween all the way back to its pagan roots, and learn how Samhain traditions were co-opted by the Catholic observances known as All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. We’ll explore how these traditions arrived in the United States and how they morphed into the festivities that have been exported around the globe. By the end of our time together, not only will you have a deeper understanding of Halloween—and more nuanced context to cover it journalistically or include it in any creative endeavor—but also a more nuanced appreciation for this special time of year that’s been deemed both sacred and scary for centuries.