Halloween is such a nostalgic holiday for me. Some of my best memories are from Halloween. And there are certain books that just capture that Halloween feeling perfectly. So let’s talk about a few of the must read Halloween Classics.
This project started out as a checklist for myself, but I decided to share it with you guys. With that being said, I haven’t read some of these. Some I’ve read and loved. But some are just recommendations that I’ve been given and want to check out myself.
Something Wicked This Way Comes
A carnival rolls in sometime after the midnight hour on a chill Midwestern October eve, ushering in Halloween a week before its time. A calliope’s shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. And two inquisitive boys standing precariously on the brink of adulthood will soon discover the secret of the satanic raree-show’s smoke, mazes,-and mirrors, as they learn all too well the heavy cost of wishes-and the stuff of nightmare.
Something Wicked This Way Comes is a must read. Carnivals are already a little spooky, but you’ll never look at one the same after this. Plus, Ray Bradbury’s writing is so atmospheric. You can almost feel the chill in the air, which is impressive considering it’s still in the 80’s in Alabama.
The Witches of Eastwick
Synopsis:In a small New England town in the late 1960s, there lived three witches Alexandra Spoffard, sculptress, could create thunderstorms. Jane Smart, a cellist, could fly. The local gossip columnist, Sukie Rougemont, could turn milk into cream. Divorced but hardly celibate, content but always ripe for adventure, our three wonderful witches one day found themselves quite under the spell of the new man in town, Darryl Van Horne, whose hot tub was the scene of some rather bewitching delights.
I kept seeing The Witches of Eastwick all over Instagram. It sounds like something that I would love. It sounds like a more edgy version of Practical Magic and I’m here for it. But when I looked it up on Goodreads I discovered that it’s mildly controversial. Some people really liked it while some really didn’t. Some of the problems sound like the writing just didn’t age well, but I’m interested to see my thoughts.
The Woman in Black
Synopsis:Arthur Kipps is an up-and-coming London solicitor who is sent to Crythin Gifford–a faraway town in the windswept salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway–to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of a client, Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. Mrs. Drablow’s house stands at the end of the causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but Kipps is unaware of the tragic secrets that lie hidden behind its sheltered windows. The routine business trip he anticipated quickly takes a horrifying turn when he finds himself haunted by a series of mysterious sounds and images–a rocking chair in a deserted nursery, the eerie sound of a pony and trap, a child’s scream in the fog, and, most terrifying of all, a ghostly woman dressed all in black.
The Woman in Black has all of the buzzwords I need. This sounds like a classic ghost story that I would just eat up. I really think I need to give this one a read.
The Halloween TRee
Eight costumed boys running to meet their friend Pipkin at the haunted house outside town encounter instead the huge and cadaverous Mr. Moundshroud. As Pipkin scrambles to join them, he is swept away by a dark Something, and Moundshroud leads the boys on the tail of a kite through time and space to search the past for their friend and the meaning of Halloween. After witnessing a funeral procession in ancient Egypt, cavemen discovering fire, Druid rites, the persecution of witches in the Dark Ages, and the gargoyles of Notre Dame, they catch up with the elusive Pipkin in the catacombs of Mexico, where each boy gives one year from the end of his life to save Pipkin’s.
The Halloween Tree captures the anticipation of Halloween. Just like in Something Wicked This Way Comes, Bradbury captures the atmosphere perfectly. It’s full of buzzing energy and a foreboding feeling.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
There are few readers who are unfamiliar with Washington’s timeless story of schoolmaster Ichabod Crane and the terrifying Headless Horseman. But The Legend of Sleepy Hollow offers more than a mere ghost story, providing readers with an excellent social commentary about how people lived outside the cities and circles of politics in the early 19th century.
Like I said in my tbr, I can’t believe I haven’t read this yet. It’s literally one of the first things that comes to my mind when I think of Halloween. So many movies and traditions are based from this story. It’s a classic for sure.
The Haunting of Hill House
Synopsis:It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a haunting; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers–and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.
I didn’t love The Haunting of Hill House, but I recognize it’s importance as a forerunner to the modern horror genre. The Haunting of Hill House is a valuable asset to the genre and I think it’s something every Halloween lover should check out.
So those are a few of the Halloween classics that I’ve read and want to check out. Are there any that you would add to this list?
Reading Journal Insert
In the spirit of Halloween I wanted to treat you guys! I wanted to incorporated this list into my bullet journal so I decided to make this cute little Halloween classics graphic. If you want a copy of it feel free to download it and print it off! If you use and want to show it off tag me on Instagram @wildwoodreads. I’d love to see your journal spreads!