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Halloween Readings: Home
A list of readings to get you in the Halloween spirit
Ever since horror leapt from popular fiction to the silver screen in the late 1890s, viewers have experienced fear and pleasure in exquisite combination. Wheeler Winston Dixon's A History of Horror is the only book to offer a comprehensive survey of this ever-popular film genre. Arranged by decades, with outliers and franchise films overlapping some years, this one-stop sourcebook unearths the historical origins of characters such as Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolfman and their various incarnations in film from the silent era to comedic sequels. A History of Horror explores how the horror film fits into the Hollywood studio system and how its enormous success in American and European culture expanded globally over time.
The 1970s represented an unusually productive and innovative period for the horror film, and John Carpenter's Halloween (1978) is the film that capped that golden age - and some say ruined it, by ushering in the era of the slasher film.
Boasting a rich, complex history rooted in Celtic and Christian ritual, Halloween has evolved from ethnic celebration to a blend of street festival, fright night, and vast commercial enterprise. In this colorful history, Nicholas Rogers takes a lively, entertaining look at the cultural origins and development of one of the most popular holidays of the year.Drawing on a fascinating array of sources, from classical history to Hollywood films, Rogers traces Halloween as it emerged from the Celtic festival of Samhain (summer's end), picked up elements of the Christian Hallowtide (All Saint's Day and All Soul's Day), arrived in North America as an Irish and Scottish festival, and evolved into an unofficial but large-scale holiday by the early 20th century.
Why do so many American college students tell stories about encounters with ghosts? In Haunted Halls, the first book-length interpretive study of college ghostlore, Elizabeth Tucker takes the reader back to school to get acquainted with a wide range of college spirits. Some of the best-known ghosts that she discusses are Emory University\'s Dooley, who can disband classes by shooting professors with his water pistol; Mansfield Uni-versity\'s Sara, who threw herself down a flight of stairs after being rejected by her boyfriend; and Huntingdon College\'s Red Lady, who slit her wrists while dressed in a red robe. Gettysburg College students have collided with ghosts of soldiers, while students at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College have reported frightening glimpses of the Faceless Nun.
In "The Specter of Salem," Gretchen A. Adams reveals the many ways that the Salem witch trials loomed over the American collective memory from the Revolution to the Civil War and beyond. Schoolbooks in the 1790s, for example, evoked the episode to demonstrate the new nationOCOs progress from a disorderly and brutal past to a rational present, whilea critics of new religious movements in the 1830s cast them as a return to Salem-era fanaticism, and during the Civil War, southerners evoked witch burning to criticize Union tactics.
Creatively spent and politically irrelevant, the American horror film is a mere ghost of its former self--or so goes the old saw from fans and scholars alike. Taking on this undeserved reputation, the contributors to this collection provide a comprehensive look at a decade of cinematic production, covering a wide variety of material from the last ten years with a clear critical eye. Individual essays profile the work of up-and-coming director Alexandre Aja and reassess William Malone's much-maligned Feardotcomin the light of the torture debate at the end of President George W. Bush's administration. Other essays look at the economic, social, and formal aspects of the genre; the globalization of the US film industry; the alleged escalation of cinematic violence; and the massive commercial popularity of the remake.
A Nightmare on Elm Street. Halloween. Night of the Living Dead. These films have been indelibly stamped on moviegoers' psyches and are now considered seminal works of horror. Guiding readers along the twisted paths between audience, auteur, and cultural history, author Kendall R. Phillips reveals the macabre visions of these films' directors in Dark Directions: Romero, Craven, Carpenter, and the Modern Horror Film. Phillips begins by analyzing the works of George Romero, focusing on how the body is used cinematically to reflect the duality between society and chaos, concluding that the unconstrained bodies of the Living Dead films act as a critical intervention into social norms.
In Making and Remaking Horror in the 1970s and 2000s author David Roche takes up the assumption shared by many fans and scholars that original horror movies are more "disturbing," and thus better than the remakes. He assesses the qualities of movies, old and recast, according to criteria that include subtext, originality, and cohesion. With a methodology that combines a formalist and cultural studies approach, Roche sifts aspects of the American horror movie that have been widely addressed (class, the patriarchal family, gender, and the opposition between terror and horror) and those that have been somewhat neglected (race, the Gothic, style, and verisimilitude).
Haunting has long been a compelling element in popular culture, and has become an influential category in academic engagements with politics, economics, and aesthetics. While recent scholarship has used psychoanalysis and the Gothic as frameworks with which to study haunting, this volume seeks to situate ghosts in the cultural imagination.
Few films have had the influence and impact of The Blair Witch Project (1999). Its arrival was a horror cinema palette cleanser after a decade of serial killers and postmodern intertextuality, a bare bones 'found footage' trend setter. In this Devil's Advocate, Peter Turner tells the story of the film from his conception and production then provides a unique analysis of the techniques used, their appeal to audiences and the themes that helped make the film such an international hit, including the pionerring internet marketing.
Ghosts and other supernatural phenomena are widely represented throughout modern culture. They can be found in any number of entertainment, commercial, and other contexts, but popular media or commodified representations of ghosts can be quite different from the beliefs people hold about them, based on tradition or direct experience.
This comprehensive resource explores the intersection of religion, politics, and the supernatural that spawned the notorious witch hunts in Europe and the New World. Witch Hunts in the Western World: Persecution and Punishment from the Inquisition through the Salem Trials traces the evolution of western attitudes towards magic, demons, and religious nonconformity from the Roman Empire through the Age of Enlightenment, placing these chilling events into a wider social and historical context.
Witchcraft in Early North America investigates European, African, and Indian witchcraft beliefs and their expression in colonial America. Alison Games's engaging book takes us beyond the infamous outbreak at Salem, Massachusetts, to look at how witchcraft was a central feature of colonial societies in North America.
This guide was originally created by Heather Cook.