Call Number Podcast: Oh, the Horror!

Episode 76 celebrates the fun and frightening genre

October 17, 2022

Halloween is nearly here. And leading up to the holiday, many of us do all sorts of things to put ourselves in a spooky mood—take haunted hayrides, watch horror movies, carve pumpkins. Sometimes we dust off that shelf of Stephen King, Shirley Jackson, and Anne Rice books, and sink our teeth into a terrifying story that keeps us up at night.

In Episode 76 of Call Number with American Libraries, we examine what it is about the horror genre that fascinates us, sometimes repulses us, and yet keeps us coming back for more.

First, American Libraries Associate Editor and Call Number host Diana Panuncial talks with Goosebumps and Fear Street author R. L. Stine. In this interview from ALA’s 2022 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., the two discuss what it’s like writing horror for kids and how Stine fuses spooky and silly concepts in his books.

Next, members of the Call Number podcast team and a couple of listeners answer the question: What horror or nonhorror movie scared you as a child, and does it still scare you?

Finally, ALA Editions Senior Editor Jamie Santoro chats with Becky Spratford, a readers’ advisory specialist based in Chicago. Spratford runs RA for All, a blog that connects librarians with book recommendations for patrons. She and Santoro discuss how to tailor horror media recommendations to different audiences and identify trends emerging in the horror genre today.

For fun facts about the holiday, check out the By the Numbers section in the September/October issue of American Libraries. Next episode, we’re exploring the marvels of medical libraries.

Is there a story or topic you’d like us to cover? Let us know at You can also follow us on Twitter and SoundCloud and leave a review on iTunes. We welcome feedback and hope to hear from you soon. Thanks for listening.


R. L. Stine

Haunting and Hysterical

Goosebumps author R. L. Stine on how humor and horror intersect

Call Number Podcast: Zombies!

Conversations about libraries and the living dead

Call Number podcast logo: Episode 55 Monster Mash with silhouettes of monsters on a hill

Call Number Podcast: Monster Mash

Episode 55 celebrates Halloween with the authors and cryptkeepers of creature literature