Halloween Encyclopedia, The – Second Edition (Book)

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 The Halloween Encyclopedia, Second EditionWritten by Lisa Morton

Published by Published by McFarland & Company
(Order Line: 800-253-2187)

Halloween may be over for another year (boo, hiss), but that doesn’t mean we Halloweeniacs have to stop our year-round celebrating/decorating/salivating for next year’s bacchanalia. Just published by McFarland is the second edition of Stoker Award-winning (for A Hallowe’en Anthology: Literary and Historical Writings Over the Centuries, 2008) author Lisa Morton’s fascinating The Halloween Encyclopedia.

The first edition was published by McFarland in 2003, but according to the publisher this new edition contains over 50 new entries, expanded and revised existing entries, new illustrations (black and white only but many are vintage), a “Chronology of Halloween” (I did not know that the urban legend about razor blades being put into apples started in 1964!) and “Halloween in Literature and the Arts”, wherein Morton discusses such fare as some of our favorite Halloween films, Halloween and Trick ‘r Treat, as well as an expanded bibliography. And everything is deliciously readable!

From “Acorn” to “Zoos”, the book has entries on nearly everything you could wish to read about Halloween and its origins, traditions, mythologies, how it is celebrated in other guises (there is an extensive entry on “Dia de los Muertos”) as well as other countries and people and places that have associations with the holiday. A scholarly work but in no way difficult to read work, The Halloween Encyclopedia should be on every Halloween fan’s bookshelf. Where else can one find so much information on “Punkie Night”, “Guy Fawkes Day/Night”, “Halloween Origins”, “Jack O’Lanterns”, “Fairies”, “Tam Lin”, “Scarecrows”, Aztec Festivals of the Dead (I’m not going to even TRY and spell them!), “Haunted Houses”, “Mischief Night” and how Halloween is presented in the 21st century in literature and film. And SO much more!

The Halloween Encyclopedia is a fascinating, accessible and extremely fun book on our favorite holiday.

4 out of 5

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