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Horror reigns on TV and in movies, and we love to be scared, especially this time of year. But ever wondered how some classic monsters were created? The Natural History Museum’s latest exhibit, “Natural History of Horror: The Science of Scary,” explains the origins — some true, some myths — of four horror icons, namely Dracula, which was derived from legend that vampires spread diseases throughout Europe; The Mummy, based on the excavation of King Tut’s tomb; Frankenstein, inspired by Luigi Galvani, an Italian doctor known for experimenting with animal electricity; and Creature from the Black Lagoon, taken, in part, from the story of an amphibious humanoid living in the Amazon. The display features movie props, film footage, items from the museum’s holdings and interactive areas, including a “lab” where you can reanimate a frog.

Natural History Museum, 900 Exposition Blvd., Exposition Park; daily, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., through April 19; Included in regular museum admission, $15, $12 students, $7. (213) 763-3466, nhm.org.