Do you love Halloween? Or do you find it daunting, dastardly, dangerous or downright demented? How about something in between? I guess I'm one of those in-between people because I love the pumpkins, candy, costumes and little kids trick-or-treating - notice I said little kids, not six-foot-tall teens banging on the door at 10 PM. I don't like the gory and gruesome side of the decorations or the mean spirited "tricks" of the holiday.
We live across the street from the "Haunted Yard" in Des Plaines. Every October the neighbors watch as the haunted yard expands to include a dining table of skeletons, a horse-drawn hearse, tombstones, coffins, the bride and groom from Beetlejuice, ghosts, witches and their cauldron, and a bloody selection of fake (at least we hope they're fake) body parts. Fog machines, torches, eerie music, motion sensitive devices, and live monsters are all in place on Halloween night. Last year we had over 300 kids stop by and yell "trick-or-treat" on their way over to the big display. Usually everyone behaves and has a super scary time, but I am always really glad once November 1st rolls around.
Just like the holiday, books related to monsters, ghosts and vampires, and Halloween in general are either terrifying and gory, or just slightly scary and maybe even cozy. Here are a few titles from our collections to help celebrate the holiday.
If you like your Halloween stories gory and gruesome:
The Awakening - Shannon Drake
The Mist - Stephen King
The Animal Hour - Andrew Klavan
The Relic - Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
If you like cute pumpkins and baking cupcakes with orange icing:
Trick or Treachery - Donald Bain and Jessica Fletcher
Wolf in Sheep's Clothing - Ann-Jeanette Campbell
Halloween Murder - Shelley Freydont
Trick or Treat Murder - Leslie Meier
And finally, one of my favorite quotes for the holiday:
"If you haven't found something strange during the day, it hasn't been much of a day."
John Archibald Wheeler (the physicist who coined the term "Black Hole.)
Linda Knorr - Readers' Services