Written by Erin Hawes

These professors just might know who – or what – goes bump in the night.

Dare to learn more about Halloween’s chilling stories? Ask one of our experts below: Also, be sure to visit other experts at

Zombies and Horror Movies

Rob Weiner, pop-culture guru and horror buff at Texas Tech University, can speak about horror in movies, literature and comic books – his forthcoming book about Captain America actually has an essay on zombies in Marvel Comics – and the use of dark and satanic imagery by heavy metal bands. The associate humanities librarian can be reached at(806) 742-2238 ext. 282, or

Shopping Frenzy

When it comes to the money Americans will spend on Halloween, it’s downright scary. And the psychology behind the spending fury is as hard to pin down as a ghost in the night, says a Texas Tech marketing and retailing expert. Debbie Laverie, a marketing professor, can discuss Halloween’s marketing impact. Laverie can be reached at (806) 742-3953 or


The sexy vampires of today’s movies are very different from the monsters of eastern European folklore. Erin Collopy, an assistant professor of classical and modern languages, can speak about their origins and their changing image in pop culture. She can be reached at (806) 742-3286, or


Genaro J. Perez, professor of Hispanic literature, can speak about ghosts, legends and the devil in Mexican literature. He can be reached at (806) 742-3145ext. 281, or

Dia De Los Muertos

Jane Bell, director of special projects for Texas Tech’s International Cultural Center, and Tina Fuentes, professor and interim director of the School of Art, can speak about the history, modern beliefs, decorations and objects associated with Dia de los Muertos. Fuentes has experienced the ceremonies in Mexico and helps organize the Lubbock Dia de los Muertos procession each year. Bell can be reached at Fuentes can be reached at (806) 742-3825 ext. 255 or


James Cokendopher, research associate for the Natural Science Research Laboratory in Texas Tech Museum, can speak about a new species of spider found in Alaska. He identified the harvestman – a type of daddy longlegs – as a never-before-seen species of arthropod. He can be reached at (806) 742-2486, ext. 266 or


Robert Baker, Horn professor of biology,can discuss the vampire bats that drink the blood of their hosts under cover of darkness to a new species he discovered this year in South America.  He can be reached at(806) 742-2702 or