Happy Halloween: 10 Top Scary Reads this Halloween

by Jennifer Devine, Senior Assistant, INALJ Maryland

Happy Halloween: 10 Top Scary Reads this Halloween

Jennifer DevineIn the month of October Libraries, Archives, Museums decorate and prepare for Halloween with books for the season. Children grow up understanding Halloween is a day you dress up in a costume and collect candy from neighbors by trick or treating or attending a party. It’s spooky and traditionally includes ghosts, witches and skeletons. There real history of Halloween or All Hallows’ Eve/Evening originates from the Celtics celebrating Samhain (the festival of the dead) it marked the last day of the harvest season and the beginning of the winter and bridged the living world and the dead world during the changing of the season. Eventually Christian Missionaries tried to change the religious practices of the Celtics. However in changing Celtic beliefs the Missionaries eventually adopted the rituals of the Celtics to convert them to Christianity. All hallows’ eve became synonymous with the Christian Hell, evil and the devil. Halloween traditions can still be traced back to Samhain. The wearing of costumes is symbolic of the souls of the dead. Offering food/ treats is related to the food and drink offerings that were left out for the souls. Eventually people began to mummy these traditions and dress up as the souls and mystical creatures to obtain food and drink, translating to our tradition of trick or treating. Other customs that are related are apple bobbing. Carving vegetables, fruits and nuts and cider are all remnant from Samhain.

If your not into trick or treating or parties and are planning to curl up with a book instead here is the top 10 Halloween novels this 2014:

1. The Halloween Tree- Ray Bradbury
2. Gods of The Nowhere: A Novel of Halloween – James Tipper
3. Something Wicked This Way Comes – Ray Bradbury
4. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow- Bo Hampton
5. Dracula- Bram Stroker
6. It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown- Charles M. Shultz
7. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark- Alvin Schwartz
8. Frankenstein- Mary Shelley
9. The Complete Tales and Poems- Edgar Allen Poe
10. The Haunting of House Hill- Shirley Jackson

For more about the history of Halloween:



For more Halloween books: