NPR: "For centuries, the autumn months have been associated with pagan (and Christian) celebrations of harvest and the hereafter — the Celtic tradition of Halloween, the remembrance of All Saints' Day, the Aztecs' Day of the Dead. In today's more secularized consumer society, fall is marked by the release of scary movies.
Claude Levi-Strauss wrote that myths provide a way for societies to resolve the tensions that are liveliest in the culture at a given moment. Myths and stories get passed on from one generation to the next, playing this role for each age. Horror films, too, are allegories for the social tensions and anxieties of their day: As collective nightmares, they help us unravel perceived threats to society."