Halloween 2017

Posted on October 20, 2017. Filed under: Fiction, Nonfiction | Tags: , , , , |

Halloween is celebrated on October 31st. Some of its traditions can be traced back to an old Celtic holiday called Samhain, which is why fans of Halloween are named Samhainians.

According to legend, it is one of the times of the year when the veil between this world and the next is thin; this is why ghosts and other things that go bump in the night cause trouble and play pranks. It is also a harvest festival which lends itself to hay rides, apple cider, and pumpkin everything.

For more information, or a chill up your spine, please check out some of these library offerings:

9780198759492_p0_v1_s550x406The Classic Horror Stories
by H.P. Lovecraft

“H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) was a reclusive scribbler of horror stories for the American pulp magazines that specialized in Gothic and science fiction in the interwar years. He often published in Weird Tales and has since become the key figure in the slippery genre of ‘weird fiction.’ Lovecraft developed an extraordinary vision of feeble men driven to the edge of sanity by glimpses of malign beings that have survived from human prehistory or by malevolent extra-terrestrial visitations. The ornate language of his stories builds towards grotesque moments of revelation, quite unlike any other writer.

This new selection brings together nine of his classic tales, focusing on the ‘Cthulhu Mythos,’ a cycle of stories that develops the mythology of the Old Ones, the monstrous creatures who predate human life on earth. It includes the Introduction from Lovecraft’s critical essay, ‘Supernatural Horror in Literature,’ in which he gave his own important definition of ‘weird fiction.’

In a fascinating contextual introduction, Roger Luckhurst gives Lovecraft the attention he deserves as a writer who used pulp fiction to explore a remarkable philosophy that shockingly dethrones the mastery of man” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9780544483910_p0_v2_s550x406Bellweather Rhapsody
by Kate Racculia
“Fifteen years ago, a murder-suicide in room 712 rocked the grand old Bellweather Hotel and the young bridesmaid who witnessed it, Minnie Graves. Now hundreds of high school musicians, including quiet bassoonist Rabbit Hatmaker and his brassy diva twin, Alice, have gathered in its cavernous, crumbling halls for the annual Statewide Festival; Minnie has returned to face her demons; and a colossal snowstorm is threatening to trap them all in the hotel.

Then Alice’s roommate goes missing—from room 712. The search for her entwines an eccentric cast of characters: conductors and caretakers, failures and stars, teenagers on the verge and adults trapped in memories. For everyone has come to the Bellweather with a secret, and everyone is haunted” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).


“In a world that has become overrun with zombies, two men must figure out how to survive. Wimpy Columbus is afraid of his own shadow, while Tallahassee is the biggest, baddest, gun-toting zombie-slayer who ever lived.

When they meet two sisters, Wichita and Little Rock, the four strike out for an amusement park that is said to be zombie-free. This mismatched group will have to rely on each other to survive, which could be worse than surrendering to the zombies” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9780809335381_p0_v1_s550x406Chicago TV Horror Movie Shows: From Shock Theatre to Svengoolie
by Ted Okuda and Mark Yurkiw

“Although the motion picture industry initially disparaged and feared television, by the late 1950’s studios saw the medium as a convenient dumping ground for thousands of films that had long been gathering dust in their vaults. As these films found their way to local TV stations, enterprising distributors grouped the titles by genre so programmers could showcase them accordingly.

It was in this spirit that Chicago’s tradition of TV horror movie shows was born. Ted Okuda and Mark Yurkiw’s new book is the first comprehensive look these horror movie programs, from their inception in 1957 to the present” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

Want to see an example of an early horror movie show? Check out this clip of the original Svengoolie:

9780415235624_p0_v1_s550x406Horror, the film reader
edited by Mark Jancovich
Horror, The Film Reader brings together key articles to provide a comprehensive resource for students of horror cinema. Mark Jancovich’s introduction traces the development of horror film from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari to The Blair Witch Project, and outlines the main critical debates.

Combining classic and recent articles, each section explores a central issue of horror film, and features an editor’s introduction outlining the context of debates” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9781441197979_p0_v2_s550x406Post-9/11 Horror in American Cinema
by Kevin J. Wetmore

“The horror film is meant to end in hope: Regan McNeil can be exorcized. A hydrophobic Roy Scheider can blow up a shark. Buffy can and will slay vampires. Heroic human qualities like love, bravery, resourcefulness, and intelligence will eventually defeat the monster.

But, after the 9/11, American horror became much more bleak, with many films ending with the deaths of the entire main cast. Post-9/11 Horror in American Cinema illustrates how contemporary horror films explore visceral and emotional reactions to the attacks and how they underpin audiences’ ongoing fears about their safety. It examines how scary movies have changed as a result of 9/11 and, conversely, how horror films construct and give meaning to the event in a way that other genres do not.

Considering films such as Quarantine, Cloverfield, Hostel, and the Saw series, Wetmore examines the transformations in horror cinema since 9/11 and considers not merely how the tropes have changed, but how our understanding of horror itself has changed” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9780810945357_p0_v1_s550x406Hollywood Horror: From Gothic to Cosmic
by Mark A. Vieira

“The horror film, which Mark A. Vieira calls the escape valve of the American psyche, is imprinted on popular culture. Hollywood Horror captures all the mystery, power, dark humour and chilling beauty of the genre from its roots in the silent film era to 1968, which, according to Vieira, marks the end of the classic scary movie aspect of cinematic horror, from seminal icons such as James Whale’s Frankenstein and Tod Browning’s Dracula to the steamy pre-Code jungle sorcery of The Island of the Lost Souls” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9781780231877_p0_v1_s550x406Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween
by Lisa Morton
“Every year, children and adults alike take to the streets dressed as witches, demons, animals, celebrities, and more. They carve pumpkins and play pranks, and the braver ones watch scary movies and go on ghost tours. There are parades, fireworks displays, cornfield mazes, and haunted houses—and, most important, copious amounts of bite-sized candy.

The popularity of Halloween has spread around the globe to places as diverse as Russia, China, and Japan, but its association with death and the supernatural and its inevitable commercialization has made it one of our most misunderstood holidays. How did it become what it is today?

In Trick or Treat, Halloween aficionado Lisa Morton provides a thorough history of this spooky day. She begins by looking at how holidays like the Celtic Samhain, a Gaelic harvest festival, have blended with the British Guy Fawkes Day and the Catholic All Souls’ Day to produce the modern Halloween, and she explains how the holiday was reborn in America, where costumes and trick-or-treat rituals have become new customs. Morton takes into account the influence of related but independent holidays, especially the Mexican Day of the Dead, as well as the explosion in popularity of haunted attractions and the impact of such events as 9/11 and the economic recession on the celebration today.

Trick or Treat also examines the effect Halloween has had on popular culture through the literary works of Washington Irving and Ray Bradbury, films like Halloween and The Nightmare Before Christmas, and television shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Simpsons. Considering the holiday in the context of its worldwide popularity for the first time, this book will be a treat for any Halloween lover” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

9780691173207_p0_v1_s550x406Zombies and Calculus
by Colin Adams

“Zombies and Calculus is the account of Craig Williams, a math professor at a small liberal arts college in New England, who, in the middle of a calculus class, finds himself suddenly confronted by a late-arriving student whose hunger is not for knowledge. As the zombie virus spreads and civilization crumbles, Williams uses calculus to help his small band of survivors defeat the hordes of the undead.

Along the way, readers learn how to avoid being eaten by taking advantage of the fact that zombies always point their tangent vector toward their target, and how to use exponential growth to determine the rate at which the virus is spreading. Williams also covers topics such as logistic growth, gravitational acceleration, predator-prey models, pursuit problems, the physics of combat, and more. With the aid of his story, you too can survive the zombie onslaught.

Featuring easy-to-use appendixes that explain the book’s mathematics in greater detail, Zombies and Calculus is suitable both for those who have only recently gotten the calculus bug, as well as for those whose disease has advanced to the multivariable stage” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

Zombies An Undead Collection

Did you know that the BiblioBoard platform features collections of e-books that are available to any Illinois resident? They are available right now, with no waiting, no holds, and even no library card! Plus, there is no cost courtesy of RAILS’ partnership with BiblioLabs. Besides their Zombies: An Undead Collection, you can dig deeper to discover more primary source material and other memorable, useful, or ghastly collections.

-posted by Kevin Purtell


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