Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Reading

I've always loved Halloween. One of the many advantages of being the oldest child is that as long as you're willing to supervise younger siblings, you're allowed to go trick-or-treating long past the age when you might reasonably be expected to give it up. (Though, nowadays it seems that great big hulking teenagers with, little pretense of a costume, turn up on one's doorstep with an open pillowcase in shameless expectation of treats. And I'm not going to argue with those big guys.)

When you have small children, trick-or-treating is going to take up most of the evening. But our family also had a tradition of holding a Halloween Read Aloud party. Everyone had to bring a short story appropriate to the season and read it aloud to the group. Sometimes this party consisted only of ourselves; sometimes it included our adult friends and their children. The only rule was that outright horror was prohibited in deference to those of tender years and Catholic Bibliophagist (who finds enough to scare her silly in real life without even trying).

I thought I would share some titles with you even though it's really too late for you to go out and find any of these in time for tonight.

"The Accountant" by Robert Sheckley, - A nice middle class family of wizards discovers that their 9 year old son Morton has bound himself to a more sinister profession. In the anthology Tomorrow's Children, ed. by Isaac Asimov.

"The Perfectionist" by Margaret St. Clair - Aunt Muriel was a tender hearted and generous old lady. Drawing was her new hobby -- but her model had to remain absolutely still. In Stories of Suspense, ed. by Mary E. MacEwen.

"Swept and Garnished" by Zenna Henderson - How wonderful to be free of the obsessive fears that used to haunt her! Then Tella discovered something even scarier. In Holding Wonder by Zenna Henderson.

Oh, dear! Time for me to leave. Fillius2 and I have a long trek to the dentist's office this morning. I'll try to finish after class tonight.


mrsdarwin said...

Have you ever read anything by Arthur Machen? That's a name that keeps popping up recently for me. He was a contemporary of Conan Doyle's, I believe, and wrote rather Gothic horror. His most famous story is called The Bowmen and involves St. George and the Agincourt archers coming to the aid of some beseiged British troops in WWI.

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

No, I haven't. But I will have a look out for him; he sounds interesting.