UH Scares Up Halloween Experts, Story Ideas

UH experts can talk Halloween-themed topics, and several festive events are planned for this week.

It’s the season for tricks, treats, costumes and creepiness. If you’re seeking story ideas or sources for Halloween-themed stories, look no further than the University of Houston. Faculty experts can address various topics including healthy treats, fears and phobias, and party planning tips.

Famous Folklore: Many scary stories were created to encourage children to behave. Texas author Rene Saldana Jr’s first bilingual collection of short stories features supernatural characters and superstitions rooted in Latino folklore. These include the infamous “La Llorna” tale about a weeping woman who haunts a Texas river searching for her lost children. “Dancing with the Devil and Other Tales from Beyond” is published by Arte Público Press at UH. For a copy of the book or to interview the author, contact Marisa Ramirez at 713-743-8152 or mrcannon@uh.edu.

Party Planning: Plan your Halloween party using tips from the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management event planning instructors. Tips include working with your existing home décor when decorating for a party; creating one big “impact decoration” that creates your theme; layering your Halloween treats and buffet table like the pros; and learning how to efficiently purchase adult party beverages.  Contact Marisa Ramirez at 713-743-8152 or mrcannon@uh.edu

The Trick to Less Treats: Nancy Graves, associate professor at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, has some suggestions for curbing a “treat” tooth and offering healthier treats. These include eating a dinner with vegetables and whole grains before trick or treating. She also recommends offering alternatives to candy as treats…stickers, art items, jump ropes. Contact Graves at 713-743-2426 or nsgraves@uh.edu.

Face Your Fears: As director of the UH Anxiety Disorder Clinic, Peter Norton faces fears every day. From psychopathology to anxiety, Norton's research deals primarily with the world of phobias. Reach him at 713-743-8675 or pnorton@uh.edu.

Fangs for the Memories: Before "Twilight," Bram Stoker's "Dracula" offered a different kind of vampire. English professor Margot Backus can discuss this original bloodsucker and the character's relevancy in comtemporary pop culture. Contact Marisa Ramirez at 713-743-8152 or mrcannon@uh.edu.

Haunted Penthouse: UH’s Department of Campus Recreation hosts its annual Haunted Penthouse. Faculty, staff and students can visit this scary site in the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. Closed-toe shoes are recommended! The Haunted Penthouse is free with a non-perishable food donation. It will be open from 4 – 7 p.m., Oct. 29 and 30. To cover this event, contact Marisa Ramirez at 713-743-8152 or mrcannon@uh.edu

Back in Black: The UH Cougar football team takes on the University of Southern Florida on Halloween night. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. in Reliant Stadium. After treating fans to a big win over Rutgers, the Coogs will no doubt have some tricks up their sleeves – which will be a different color. For this Halloween game, the Cougars will wear new black uniforms. Young fans can visit the KidZone before the game and participate in trick or treating and a costume contest. More details on Halloween promotions are available here. 

Creepy Cuisine: If you’ve always wanted to sample Graveyard Pie or Cursed Apples, drop by Cougar Woods Dining Hall. UH Dining Services serves up Halloween-themed lunch items from 5 – 10 p.m., Oct. 31 and hosts a carnival with games, pumpkin painting and costume contest (which begins at 7 p.m.). Contact Marisa Ramirez at 713-743-8152 or mrcannon@uh.edu

Dia de Los Muertos: On Nov. 1, UH’s Fresh Food Company celebrates the Day of the Dead. This Mexican holiday honors family members who have passed away. Lunch items include pollo caliente with pan de muerte, posole and sugar skull cookies. Contact Marisa Ramirez at 713-743-8152 or mrcannon@uh.edu.