Credit: Cameron Shepherd


Last year on Halloween it was the asteroid headed for earth that caught the attention of scientists. Disaster averted, team Altmetric have plunged into their database to see what’s in stall for this year…. Hold on tight to your broomsticks!

  • The psychology of fright and Halloween horrors

    Trick or treat? This research looks at why we seek out experiences that we know will expose us to dread, disgust and terror, and examines what influences enjoyment of horror movies. The authors found that people who find horror appealing tend to enjoy heavy metal or punk music, cult films and erotica. They also tend to be young males, and their personalities lean towards risk-taking, antagonism, imagination and tough-mindedness.

    Check out the Altmetric attention for this article


  • How (and Why) Do Witches Fly? 

    It’s a “burning” question: how can witches fly? This special issue of Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft focuses on their imagined flight, tracing the historiography of flight from classical antiquity into the early modern period. The article also dispels other common myths: black cats, pointed hats; all of them are the work of imagination and folklore.

    Check out the Altmetric attention for this article

  • The over-policing of the devil: A sociology of exorcism 

    The devil’s in the detail! This article illustrates how it is located in contemporary culture and specifically in the religious field. Following the study done by Michel de Certeau on the mass possession of the Ursulines’ convent of Loudun (France) in the 17th century, the authors differentiate between the ‘possessed’ and the ‘possessionists’, that is between those who are possessed by the devil and those who are convinced of the reality of possession.

    Check out the Altmetric attention for this article



  • Preserving fright, one haunted house at a time 

    The ride of your life: Haunted Houses have long been a part of funfairs and fright nights around the world. This piece traces the history of ‘dark rides’, and examines what attraction they hold for today’s audiences. It also describes the innovative conservation project underway to preserve the experience for years to come – using low-level light cameras to record the journeys and recreate them in virtual reality.

    Check out the Altmetric attention for this article


Altmetric Top 100 2016 – coming this December!

Which research has captured the public imagination this year? The Altmetric Top 100, released this December, will introduce the ultimate breakdown of the academic papers which have attracted attention from the news and social media. Stay tuned for more!