Though most people only think about ghosts and vampires during the month of October, some MU professors think about them all year round. MU has several classes that touch on the myths and creatures of Halloween.
Introduction to Folklore: Anthropology 2150 and English 2700. According to the course catalog, this class introduces the study of folklore, including the methodology, approaches and genres of folklore. What the course catalog doesn’t mention is that it also has a section on vampires in literature. The professor, Scott Mitchell, could not be reached for comment.
Haunting and Healing: Religious Studies 4130. According to the class description in the syllabus, provided by Professor Richard Callahan in the Religious Studies Department, this course begins with the premise that ghosts exist, and that haunting is real. That is, ghosts and haunting are social and cultural facts: as people talk about them, relate their lives to and through them, express their beliefs and experiences and narratives about them, ghosts and haunting have real effects on people’s lives and the world we live in.
During the semester, the class studies examples of hauntings and seeks to discover the roles that spirits and ghosts play in society, Callahan said.
American Film Genres as American Mythology: Honors Humanities Curriculum 2120. According to the course catalog, the course examines a range of texts from the of the most important genres of popular film-the western, the police story, and the vampire tale-as a way of determining how genres function in our society to shape our ideas about what it means to be American men and women, particularly in relation to the social problem of violence.
Other University Hauntings:
And just in case there is someone in Columbia who hasn’t heard about the haunted areas of the universities, rumor has it that Senior Hall of Stephen’s College is supposedly still home to the ghost of a young female student, who died with her love, a young soldier. Also, “ghostly apparitions” allegedly haunt the Residence on Francis Quadrangle at MU.