If there’s one thing that gets me in the mood for Halloween, it’s a good ghost story. Nothing is really as creepy or as spooky as hearing about some haunt or another.
So what do you do when there isn’t a campfire accompanied with darkness and faces being lit up with a flashlight? You read one yourself! There are loads of great Halloween reads, some of them specifically about the holiday, and others that have given way to many of today’s pop culture ideas about Halloween, like Frankenstein.
If you really want to get into the spirit for October 31, you can try reading one of these selections, or reading one to your children (I haven’t left them out!)
- Frankenstein – Mary Shelley. The biggest (and most aggravating) misconception about this novel is that the name of the creature is Frankenstein. Well, it isn’t. His name is simply “Creature,” and Frankenstein is the scientist who cobbles him together from the body parts of dead criminals. The adventure is much different in the original novel than many of the modern films and adaptations – and far more creepy and disturbing! Fun fact: when Shelley’s husband died, she cut out his heart and kept it in a jar of formaldehyde. Talk about romantic.
- Corduroy’s Halloween – B.G. Hennessy. This one is for the kiddies (you can purchase it here). Corduroy is a popular icon in children’s storybooks, and this one is about his Halloween adventures. It’s got several cute lift-up flaps, and I personally recommend it because my four-year-old brother adores it!
- Dracula – Bram Stoker. Another classic, creepy tale. This book was written over 100 years ago, so the language is rather hard at times, like Frankenstein. But never fear! It’s so very scary, you can’t put it down. Again, the classic version is my favorite; I prefer it over the modern retellings and films.
- Anything by Edgar Allan Poe. Poe was a disturbed guy in many ways, and the majority of his stories were extremely creepy. I mean, the man proposed to his lover in a cemetery, for crying out loud! Anyways, you could pick almost any story or poem of his for Halloween, but I recommend “The Raven” or “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Both can be found online.
- Ruined: A Novel – Paula Morris. This book isn’t a classic by any means, but it rounds out the list. We’ve covered zombie-type characters, a kids’ story, death and insanity (Poe), and a vampire. Now, we need a real ghost story! Well, here you have it. This book fits for younger audiences (I’d say someone in the sixth or seventh grade could read it), but provides thought-provoking scenes for older readers. We follow a young girl’s journey to helping a New Orleans ghost “pass on” to the other side – and she almost is forced to do the same.
I hope you enjoy these spooky reads – Happy Halloween!
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