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Best Costumes, Horror Movies And Halloween Folklore With Mary Katherine Ham

Special guests join the Federalist Radio Hour for a festive and spooky seasonal episode.


On a very spooky edition of the Federalist Radio Hour, we are joined by author and Halloween enthusiast, Mary Katharine Ham. As the “Wendell Berry of costume-making” and a grade A horror junkie, Ham shares tales of her own Halloweens past and reviews some of her favorite scary movies.

They also discuss the news of the RNC suspending their partnership with NBC for the next GOP debate.

“It does sound like these guys really went over the line,” Ham said. “And know that we know what Reince is saying, might even have violated some of the actual agreements that they had come to.”

Bre Payton, staff writer at the Federalist, and Aaron Mahnke, storyteller and producer of the Lore podcast, talk about why supernatural thrillers can be so frightening and why people come up with them. 

“Folklore, from what I’ve seen, is focused on teaching things,” Mahnke said. “When you have no idea why something happens, you can either make up something or say ‘I don’t know’ and ‘I don’t know’ is a little boring.”

After explaining the eerie similarities between The Shining and Disney’s Frozen, Ham lists some of her favorite scary movies and what she enjoys most in the genre. She said her love of horror comedy and artistic horror is part of her search for a rush of adrenaline.

“Probably my favorite is the artistic horror movie–you’re not quite sure if what’s going on is real or not or if it’s someone’s mental breakdown,” Ham said. “How much of this is supernatural and how much is in this person’s head? To me that’s a fascinating human conundrum, and very creepy.”

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