Beowulf’s Grendel, Hamlet’s ghost, Frankenstein’s monster, and many other figures inspire fear in the fictional worlds they haunt. Plays, poems, and novels can themselves have the capacity to scare their audiences and readers. Literary works have been especially attuned to the anxieties of their own periods, and have often retained the power to unsettle readers of later times. In this series of lectures members of the School of English will survey the literature of fear from the Anglo-Saxons up to the present, exploring how literary works have set out both to frighten their audiences and to reflect on the very nature of fear itself.