Information about the author.
Trick or Treat provides a thorough history of this most misunderstood phenomenon. Offering a fascinating overview of how Halloween has spread around the globe, it asks how festivals as diverse as the Celtic Samhain, the British Guy Fawkes Day and the Catholic Holy Days of All Saints and All Souls could have blended to produce the modern Halloween. The holiday was reborn in the United States—where costuming and ‘trick or treat’ rituals became new customs—with parallels in the related, yet independent holidays of Central America, in particular Mexico’s Day of the Dead. The recent explosion in popularity of haunted attractions is discussed and we see also how Halloween’s popularity is rising in non-Western countries like Russia, Japan and China. Finally, Morton considers the impact of such events as 9/11 and the economic recession on the celebration as urban legends and costuming wax and wane. …[more]
Theatre director Beth Ortiz is the newest resident of The Castle, an exclusive Los Angeles artists’ community. Anxious actors aren’t all Beth has to worry about in her new space, however, for The Castle has a secret history of madness and murder, and a celebrity artist who develops a strange fixation on Beth…And The Castle also happens to be haunted…By some particularly uneasy spirits…
This unique anthology gathers together some of the most intriguing and useful works on the history of Halloween. Ranging from pre-Christian Celtic myths to early 20th century articles, the book’s 27 entries include poems, short stories, sections from 19th and 20th century folklore books, a one-act play, Irish and Scottish folk tales, and the first book on the holiday ever published.
Noted works contained in the anthology include William Wells Newell’s 1904 study of the history of Jack-o’-lantern legends in “The Ignis Fatuus” and Alexander Montgomerie’s oft-quoted 1584 poem “Flyting Against Polwart.” Organized chronologically, most works are presented in their entirety and many include extensive annotations designed to make the original source materials more meaningful for modern readers. The book also includes 34 vintage photographs and illustrations.
In these pages you’ll find the dark stars you grew up watching: Frankenstein, Dracula, Mr. Hyde, the Phantom, the Hunchback…all the silent ones and the first to find their voices are here, and they’re even presented in roughly the order in which they first appeared on a silver screen. The Haunted House of the ‘30s gives way to the Werewolf of the ’40s, the Monsters of L.A. Creature of the ’50s, and so on, all the way up to our favorite modern boogeyman, the Zombie.
In some of these stories, you’ll find an earthly incarnation of a famous namesake: Frankenstein is a patched-together, homeless vet, the Invisible Woman is so ordinary you’d never see her; but some of these familiar friends—Dracula, the Devil, or those seriously creepy Clowns—will be instantly recognizable.