A Recipe for Haunting Your Book ListDouble, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake, In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog, Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting, Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing,—
For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
The witching time is upon us, my dear ladies and gentleman of the HPA! In exactly thirteen days, we will be celebrating All Hollows’ Eve – (allegedly), the one time during the year when the boundary blurs between our world and the supernatural. (Does that mean we can FINALLY skip the owls, portkeys, and flu powder and hop into the Wizarding World automatically?!) To get into the spirit of this ghoulish gathering, let me offer some dark and twisted recommendations – candy corn for the mind, perhaps- as a precursor to our Ogre-bashing, goblet-of-fire-picking, favorite holiday of the year:1 part Poe 2 (hundred and 50) pages Franky ½ fang of Dracula A dash of pumpkin spice latte
While these classic favorites might SEEM cliché and obvious to even the most trained mind- and believe me, I have to stop myself from becoming Two Face on you and offering a personal favorite Jekyll and Hyde- think again. Even Sherlock Holmes needed to carefully peruse these pages a few times to get the full-bodied meaning from their grapes of wrath.
First, Poe. The Raven. Once upon a midnight dreary… If that can’t get you into the mood for a good spooking, I don’t know what can. Dracula: My (bat)Man. Bats have always scared the draught-of-the-living-dead out of me. Perhaps, Robin would not have been as keen to join our favorite Gotham City hero if he knew who the original was. Eat some Cocoapuffs while you ponder the Count… and stay away from castle-like houses on your trick-or-treating routes.
But the real meat of this cauldron is Frankenstein. A story within a story within a story. It is a true ghost story that has become fantastically popular. Imagine this:
You, your lover husband, and a famous author-friend are on vacation. It’s cold and dark, thanks to a recent volcanic winter, so you are sitting around a campfire to keep warm. What happens? Ghost stories ensue. You all make a bet: “let’s see who can write the best supernatural tale”. You, surprisingly, win! AND, the story is so good that everyone begs you to make it into a full length novel (which will end up becoming popular for generations and generations). But, your lover (now husband) commands you to let him write the beginning and end. Whose characters are they? Where is the point of view? You title it Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus. But, who is Frankenstein? Who is God – the author(s), characters, or both? Who is the monster- the author, the characters, or both? And there you are, in the story amidst all of your creations. A ghost story come alive. How do you time travel out? It’s impossible. What is scarier than that?
Also: your famous author-friend comes up with a similarly epic story that births a whole new genre of fan fiction: vampires. That’s a whole new pot to stir.
What are your favorite Halloween movies, books, or songs?