"Those who follow this book carefully are sure to win every Halloween contest they enter."
--Booklist The literature of Halloween began in a time when poets, playwrights, and storytellers told tales inspired by fear of fate, the unknown, and the inexplicable--stories about dead souls and otherworldly creatures who drifted through the dark only on Halloween, when the spirit world seemed close enough to touch. This sourcebook of Halloween lore spans British, Irish, Scottish, French, Canadian, and American literature from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries, from Robert Burns, W. B. Yeats, and James Joyce to Edgar Allan Poe, Edith Wharton, and H. P. Lovecraft. Each of the poems, stories, and plays in this anthology provides a link to Halloween celebrations of the past. Treasures abound, such as a rare Halloween mention in a colonial American play and a French journalist's retelling of a night spent amongst the bones of a Breton charnel house. The "Hallowoddities" section includes witch-trial testimony, journal entries, and other spooky pieces related to Halloween.