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A Brief History of Horror

Sunday, July 14th to Friday, July 19th Pre-College Summer 2024
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Learn more about this program!


Course Description

A Brief History of Horror

Who doesn't like to be scared once in a while? People have been entertaining each other by campfires for thousands of years—in fact, horror is one of the world’s oldest genres of fiction—and the stories are getting better each year. In this mini-course, we will explore the early origins of horror stories from Ancient Rome and Greece, read the werewolf tales of Medieval France, visit the ghost-loving Victorians, reckon with early American Gothic writers like Poe, read the weird fiction of H. P. Lovecraft, and consider the impact of modern British and American writers such as Clive Barker and Stephen King. We’ll look at the development of ghosts, vampires, zombies, and witches across the ages in both literature and film as we consider the central questions: What scares us? And why do we love it so much?

 Open to students entering Grades 11, or 12 in the fall. 

Meet the Professor

Dr. Mark Fabrizi

Dr. Fabrizi is an Associate Professor of English Education, and has been teaching within the education field for more than 30 years. He teaches courses in English methods, literacy and education. He is also a former high school English teacher of 18 years where he taught courses in creative writing, fantasy literature, film, and AP Language and Composition. He edited a book of scholarly essays on using fantasy literature in the classroom in 2016, and another book on using horror literature in 2018. He is currently editor of "The Leaflet," the professional journal of the New England Association of Teachers of English.



Draft Class Schedule

Schedule is Subject to Change


Introduction and expectations: What is horror? 

Horror’s earliest days: Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, and the ancient world 


The Middle Ages: Origins of the werewolf The European witch craze 

Tuesday PM 

The first horror novel and the Gothic tradition Early vampires in literature 


Frankenstein: Who’s the monster here? The Victorian ghost story 


Interlude: What about film and theatre? Adaptations and interpretations on screen The theatre: Grand guignol 

Thursday PM

Poe and the American Gothic 

Well, that’s weird: Blackwood, Lovecraft, Machen, and Weird fiction 


The modern masters: Shirley Jackson and Stephen King Splatterpunk: Clive Barker and Poppy Z. Brite 

What is horror? 

Schedule at a Glance

Weekly Schedule Monday thru Friday
8:30am - 9am  Breakfast
9:15am - 12:15pm Class
12:15pm - 1pm Lunch
1pm - 1:50pm Optional Activities
2pm - 4pm Class or Workshop
4pm - 5pm Free Time
5pm - 5:45pm Dinner
6pm - 9pm Social Programming
10pm Room Checks

2pm - 4pm Closing Ceremony on Friday