New podcast – Halloween as ‘therapy’

Little girl holding a plastic pumpkin

Our latest podcast examines the therapeutic side of Halloween and also answers the question ‘Why do we find clowns scary?’. The podcast, entitled ‘Halloween as ‘Therapy’’ is available to download, review and subscribe on iTunes, Tunein and Blubrry.

Professor Peter Kinderman, from the University’s Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, returns to the podcast to discuss why we like to be scared. With Halloween around the corner, people are flocking to horror films and preparing ghoulish costumes. But why do we do this?

For children the answer is easy, the treats. But for adults, our attraction to things that frighten us is a bit more complicated.

‘a paradox’

One in six people in the UK experiences either anxiety or depression each week. However, while many struggle with inner demons, they are also attracted to the macabre and the terrifying. It seems like a paradox but Professor Kinderman states that taking part in Halloween traditions can be ‘therapeutic’.

Peter Kinderman is a professor of Clinical Psychology is an honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist with Mersey Care NHS Trust, and possesses a keen passion for the promotion of fundamental human rights, democracy, and social justice.

You can listen to the podcast here or by following the links above.

Positive change

The podcasts aim to bring listeners closer to some of the academic experts, authors and innovative thinkers from the University who, through their in-depth analyses, research and discoveries are affecting positive change in the world today.

The series, hosted by Canadian journalist and producer Neil Morrison, features in depth conversations with one or more of our academic experts discussing research in their specialist field.

The podcasts, which have been produced in collaboration with the University of Liverpool online programmes team, are intended to provide a quick route to insider knowledge on new trends and upcoming key issues.


Other episodes available include; ‘Are Sugary Drinks The New Tobacco?’, ‘Tofu solar panels vs big business’, ‘What if medicine becomes a lot more personal?’, ‘Who stopped the Ebola outbreak?’, ‘Why do we love mermaids?’, ‘Help! Is my dog obese?’, ‘Interrogations – why respect gets results’, ‘The business of football through a Liverpool lens’, ‘Help! Is my child a psychopath?’, ‘Who will tell the robots what to do?’, ‘Big Data and the search for MH370’, ‘Suzi Gage on ‘Say Why to Drugs’, ‘Nano-medicine shrinks the cost of HIV treatment’, ‘Liverpool – Cradle of the Beatles’ and ‘Follow your nose’.

If you would like to contact our podcast with feedback or suggestions for future recordings please e-mail

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