We went to the Little 5 Points Halloween Parade on Saturday. Couldn’t have asked for better weather: Autumn sun, warm on the back, with just the hint of a cool breeze. It was the perfect day to be a fish in a sea of strange creatures. Actually we missed the parade, which was scheduled from 4 to 6; we arrived at 5 and it was all over. Luckily, some of the paraders were still mingling in the crowd. We love the quirky, alternative atmosphere of Little 5 the other 364 days of the year, but the day of the festival is something else completely. Inundate Euclid and Moreland with a crowd of costumed revelers, park a few food trucks on the sidewalks and allow open containers on the streets, and it feels like the universe has given the neighborhood a free day: Drop the facade, relax, show your true colors. For just 24 hours. Very fairy tale-esque.
I’ve mentioned my love of Halloween reading before. This has been an especially good year for them. Now I’ve got my eye on these titles, some old, some new.
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness – This Indie favorite in 2011 sounds like a mix between Anne Rice, the Twilight series, and Neil Gaiman. Set in Oxford, England, a young witch who wants nothing to do with sorcery stumbles upon a rare manuscript in the Bodleian Library and accidentally unleashes a rare and ancient curse that only she can counteract. In the meantime, vampires, daemons and witches descend upon the library.
The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury – I’ve heard so many people describe this as the quintessential Halloween book, like A Christmas Carol for Christmas. It’s about eight boys on Halloween night who lose their friend, Pipkin in a haunted house to the “dark Something.” The boys team up with the unsettling Mr. Moundshroud, traveling across time and space to discover their friend and the true meaning of Halloween. In the end, all eight of the boys must sacrifice something precious in order to save Pipkin.
Dracula by Bram Stoker – I’m basically a whimp when it comes to gore and all things scary, but I figure, if I could handle Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, I can handle Dracula. I’d love to read about where it all began: with an aristocratic vampire haunting the Transylvanian countryside.
Poems Bewitched and Haunted – In my mind, nothing sets the mood at Halloween better like Homer’s (and by that I mean Homer Simpson’s) recitation of The Raven. I love how poets seem to operate on a no holds barred set of rules when it comes to writing spooky, dramatic poetry. Nothing is off limits. I’d love to find some other ghostly classics besides Poe.
Readers, I’d love to know: what are some of your favorite Halloween reads?