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FROM THIS EPISODE

Stories of things that are supposed to be scary, but aren't.

Dark Shadows. Ira visits John, Thax and Ericka who meet everyweek to watch the gothic soap opera from the 1960's &quotDark; Shadows." Thestories are slow, the actors forget their lines, props smash to the flooraccidentally, flies rest on performers' faces. In short, it's funny,rather than scary, proving the point that humor is not too far from fear.

Haunted House. The true story of Carol Estler, a scientist inMassachussetts who comes to believe her house is haunted.

Vampire Girl. The story of another scientist who changes herbeliefs. By day Shawna Kennedy is a lab technician in a biotech firm, shyand quiet. By night she plays Lady Cassandra at Haunted Verdun Manor inTerrell Texas, 30 miles outside of Dallas. She used to bellydance, beforeplaying a vampire in skintight clothes, and she says playing a vampire isas sexual as bellydancing. She loves frightening people because she lovesthe sheer power of dominating them. Fear is not only close to laughter,it's close to sex she says.

The Evil Within. A story about another Texas girl who discoversher own dark side. Writer Julie Showalter on a Halloween day when one girldiscovered that she was not a good baptist girl but a sinner.

Screams. Weeks ago, This American Life invited listeners toparticipate in the research done by Dr Greg Whitehead of the Institute forScream Studies. Whitehead believes there's more meaning to screams thanfirst meets the ear and has collected screams from around the world. ThisAmerican Life listeners called a special voicemail box set up to receivetheir screams, and left their screams and stories.

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