Wednesday, October 20


Greetings, dear readers!

As we prepare for Halloween and all the festivities therein, I would like to take this time to share with you some of my favorite Halloween plays, movies, books, etc. Obviously, this is a MUST SEE/READ for anyone with the slightest affinity for the Wizard of Oz...

I have made a list of "classic" books I would like to build a library of leather-bound, gilded, embossed, and vintage-esque books...this past Christmas my eldest got me my first installment (pictured above). Isn't it just wonderful? And the storyline is's about the witches in the Wizard of Oz. Here's a brief synopsis from Wikipedia:

Wicked tells the story of Elphaba, the future Wicked Witch of the West, and her relationship with Galinda, later Glinda, the Good Witch of the North (in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz novel, Glinda is the Good Witch of the South). Their friendship struggles through their opposing personalities and viewpoints, rivalry over the same love-interest, their reactions to the Wizard's corrupt government, and, ultimately, Elphaba's public fall from grace. The plot is set before and during Dorothy's arrival from Kansas, and includes several references to well-known scenes and dialogue in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz as a backstory.

Brilliant! Also, I have several movies on my "Must Watch" list each Halloween. I have told you before that I am a fan of Edgar Allan Poe, and homage is never better paid (in my opinion) than with Vincent Price and the old, theatrical versions of his writing: The Tell Tale Heart, The Pit and the Pendelum, The Fall of the House of Usher (one of my faves), The Masque of the Red Death, and The Raven. Classic. Absolutely Classic.

Halloween is a WONDERFUL time to introduce kids to gothic fiction are some ideas to kickstart your thinking:

  1. Host a Halloween Read-Aloud. Ask your friends to bring along their favorite literary tale of ghosts or goblins, scares and terrors. When you all get together, each reads their story. If you want to make it more academic, you can even discuss the literary significance of the tale.

  2. Plan a Halloween Creatures Party--With Only Literary Monsters Allowed. There are lots of tales of monsters to draw from in literature. Invite your friends to dress up as their favorite literary creature: Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, Grendal, or any one of the other many monsters from the pages of your favorite book.

  3. Put on a Halloween Theatrical Show. The tales of Edgar Allan Poe (and other literary masters) are perfect for putting on a theatrical show. Get some of your friends to act the parts; find an audience; and remind them all why Poe is such a master--perfect for Halloween.

  4. Celebrate With Your Favorite Author. Of course, Halloween doesn't have to be about frights and spooky legends. You can invite your friends to dress up as their favorite authors: Mark Twain, William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, etc. It's even more fun if you all stay in character for the party.
You can finish the night with a classic movie, that tells the tale of one of the literary works. (Some of the tales can be a bit gruesome, be sure to have age-appropriate versions available.) While many of the Vincent Price movies may seem a bit "hammy" or "campy" compared to more modern versions, the quality of a well written story still makes for great suspense and a wonderful Halloween experience!


Ann Nichols said...

A really great list for those looking for some spooooky reading!:)

NanE said...

Great list Paula! We are big Wicked fans too, in fact my dd performed Popular in a school pageant a few years ago, here's a link to a video if you want to see!

Paula Clare said...

Hi Nan!
Watched the video ... loved it! AGAIN! Thanks for sharing the link!

BucksCountyFolkArt said...

oooooooooooo!!! I totally forgot about those classics! Thanks for the reminder! My favorite is still, "Legend of Sleepy Hollow"!


Meri Wiley said...

Hey Paula,

How's Batty doin'? I'm sure he's lovin' all the attention you pour on him.....LOL. I'm adding my favorite Halloween movies to your list...even though they're not classics (they should be): Hocus Pocus, The Witches of Eastwick, Practical Magic, and The Craft. Just throwin' in my two cents worth.

Love ya,

NanE said...

Thank you Paula, she was only 15 in this video and is now off at college studying voice and wants to be a Music Therapist and work with disabled vets, autistic kids or Seniors.