Christina Rossetti, Halloween, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Jane-Emily, Lizette Woodworth Reese, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Rick Moody, Salem Witch Trials, The Heretic's Daughter: A Novel, Young Goodman Brown
Jane-Emily by Patricia Clapp
In 1912, a nine-year old orphan, Jane, goes to visit her grandmother for the summer. Years before Jane was born, her aunt died of pneumonia at the age of twelve. Emily, spoiled brat turned malevolent ghost. In the way of classic ghost stories, this turns the ordinary terrifying. A peony. A doll. The atmosphere is so thick, I was relieved during the daytime scenes. And it’s a book.
Demonology by Rick Moody
The story begins on Halloween with the narrator’s older sister taking her young son and daughter trick-or-treating. It’s a fun, yet exhausting day for the divorced working mother that takes a sharp, sad turn that is taken directly from Moody’s own life. He wrote the story in 1995; in a 2001 NY Times interview, he said he has not read it since.
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
A hysterical governess? Ghosts? Are the children angels or are they evil?
Rappaccini’s Daughter and Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne
In the former, a beautiful girl has been turned into poison by her father and in the latter, a man has an encounter in a forest—a witches’ sabbath?—that causes him to lose his faith in humanity.
I read both of these stories in grammar school and recently realized I had forgotten the names of the women. Beatrice Rappaccini and Faith Goodman, I would love to hear your voices.
The Heretic’s Daughter By Kathleen Kent
Kent is a descendant of Martha Carrier, who was hanged as a witch in August, 1692. This is a riveting fictionalized account of the Salem witch trials, told from the point-of-view of Sarah, Martha’s young daughter, who was also arrested and who testified against her mother.
Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti
“Morning and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry:”
Haunted Houses by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“All houses wherein men have lived and died
are haunted houses…”
All Hallows Night by Lizette Woodworth Reese
“Two things I did on Hallows Night:–”
Halloween by Robert Burns
“Upon that night, when fairies light
On Cassilis Downans dance,”