Dr. Mirabello to lecture on Halloween, the occult


Portsmouth has a lot of traditions, from jumping in the Ohio during Polar Plunge to handing out potatoes during the St Patrick’s Day Parade. One of the creepier traditions happens in October, when Professor Mark Mirabello, Ph.D gears up for his annual lecture on Halloween.

“A former student, now named Mrs. Jennifer Reed, came up with the idea at the turn of the 21st century,” Dr. Mirabello explained of the lecture’s roots. “There was a fireplace in the University Center in those days (SSU strangely removes useful infrastructure, from fireplaces to a coffee shop in the library), and I delivered the lecture in a darkened room in front of the fire.”

When asked about the length of the lecture, Mirabello pointed to history.

“Professor John Ruskin, the Victorian scholar, went insane while lecturing at Oxford and had to be dragged from the podium,” Mirabello said. “I plan to close my career in that fashion!”

Dr. Mirabello says that he covers the “badlands” of intellectual history—the paranormal and the weird—from ghosts, demons, and zombies, to sorcery and necromancy.

“Many of the subjects are in my books, which cover the natural, the unnatural, and the supernatural. I believe all great professors write books,” Dr. Mirabello said. “I do not write journal articles, however. Academics publish 1.8 million articles each year, in about 28,000 journals, and I dislike crowds!”

Mirabello claims that telling history is his goal, and, as he likes to say, “I try to make the dead come alive, and not put the living to sleep!”

Professor James Miller, now retired, once jokingly said that Shawnee students would attend protests only if given extra credit. Dr. Mirabello said that no student receives extra credit for the event, but it doesn’t stop hundreds from attending in typical years.

Dr. Mirabello enjoys all of history but is happiest when he can freely speak of sorcery and magic in today’s world, which his Halloween lecture allows.

The professor points to Janet Douglas, known as Lady Glamis, an ancestor of Queen Elizabeth II, who was burned alive in 1537 as a witch. He says that would have been his fate in earlier periods.

“I want to welcome all of your readers to the lecture, but, be warned,” Dr. Mirabello said. “My words will give nightmares to small children and atheists.”

The event will be on October 27, at 7:30 p.m., in the Morris University Center. People can also find the lecture and other materials at https://www.markmirabello.com/.

Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

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