Such a Nightmare: Conversations about Horror

Such a Nightmare: Conversations about Horror is a podcast and YouTube channel featuring co-hosts Katherine A. Troyer, PhD and Toni Tresca as they explore horror texts that are, for better or worse, giving us nightmares.

We created this podcast for everyone who loves horror and who might have thought to themselves: “Gee, I wish I could have studied spooky stuff in school.” We believe that the horror genre matters and that studying it helps us better understand the world around us. So we seek to create content that allows us to join a bigger conversation between horror fans, creators, and scholars alike as we critically think about the genre we love.

Described by one listener as “if public radio dedicated serious airtime to discussing slasher films,” Such a Nightmare is ultimately the spot where the horrifically nerdy meets the terrifyingly academic.


Tresca (left) and Troyer (right) enjoying “A Conversation with Bruce Campbell” at The Aztec Theatre (2021).

Katherine A. Troyer, PhD , describes her aesthetic as creepily whimsical (meaning she likes watching horror while working on Disney puzzles). She received her PhD in Humanities from the University of Louisville where she studied placelessness in American horror film and literature. She now works and teaches at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX. Katherine has a number of publications on topics such as nostalgia in The Purge film and the carnivalesque in King’s novel It. She has a great family, a menagerie of animals, and the best partner ever. Some of Troyer’s favorite horror texts include: the novels The Shining and Hunger, the films The Rise of Leslie Vernon, and the games The Walking Dead: TellTale Games and Betrayal at House on the Hill.

Toni Tresca was raised in Mineola, Texas before moving to San Antonio to attend Trinity University; they graduatedsumma cum laudewith a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a minor in Theatre in December 2021. Tresca has received research grants to study pedagogy, Adolphus Busch, and American Horror; founded the Shakespeare Performance Group, a weekly group for students to perform Shakespeare’s work; co-founded New Works SA, a nonprofit theatre production company; and, of course, co-founded and co-hosts the Such a Nightmare: Conversations about Horror podcast with Dr. Katherine Troyer. Some of Tresca’s favorite horror films include: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Midsommar, Black Christmas (1974), Titane, American Psycho, and Scream (1996).