I’ll say it loud, I’m a Halloween freak and I’m proud! It’s only the second day of October and my head is already swirling with visions of candy corn and big colorful bags of fun-sized chocolate deliciousness! But most of all, I’m looking forward to curling up with a pumpkin spice latte and a spooky ghost story on a dark, blustery October night. In honor of my most favorite holiday, I bring you my top Halloween reads.
The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
This is the book I turn to every October when I want to wax nostalgic about that one special night of the year when the parentals allowed me to run rampant on the streets in a sugar-high induced candy craze. The story follows a group of kiddos as they travel with the harbinger of death across oceans and time to save their friend, Pipkin, from an untimely death. They learn all about the origins of trick or treat, ancient death rituals, witchcraft and Celtic celebrations of All Hallows Eve. Such ghoulish fun!
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
With a hip hip and and hippity clop, he’s out looking for a head to chop! Who doesn’t love this wonderful tale of fright? The short story and the old-school Disney cartoon are Halloween classics! Washington Irving’s lyrical descriptions of the dark road back to the school house really gave me the chills. And what better way to set up the headless horseman chase scene than by filling the reader’s heads with spooky stories told around the fire at Baltus Van Tassal’s Halloween party? I’m pretty sure the story was meant to be a cautionary tale about social climbing, and that the headless horseman was just a hoax to scare Ichabod away. But I’d like to believe he was really spirited away by the headless horseman on that fateful night.
Something Wicked this Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
When it comes to evoking the sights, sounds and smells of autumn in good ol’ Americana, nobody does it better than the late, great Ray Bradbury. Set in a small Midwestern town, the book follows two boys as they investigate a mysterious traveling carnival filled with angry midgets, evil fortune tellers, and time-bending rides. When the sinister ringmaster, aptly named Mr. Dark, finds the two boys know more than they should, he sets out on a quest to destroy them and their loved ones. This is one creepy story that will definitely get you in the mood for Halloween. If you haven’t seen the Disney movie, go put it on top of your Netflix list now!
Of course, there are plenty more books on my Halloween reading list. From now until Halloween, I’ll post a spotlight a spooky book – from cozies to young adult thrillers to gothic ghost stories – on my Facebook page.