By Thirteen for Halloween on Oct 27, 2008 | In Halloween Stories
Many of the classic Halloween and ghost stories that have become a part of our popular culture have long been in the public domain (meaning they belong to the public and can be freely copied and used - any book published before 1923 fits into this category). One of my favorite online resources is a repository of these public domain books which have been edited and proofread by volunteers: Project Gutenberg.
This page lists a few selections from Project Gutenberg appropriate for your Halloween inspiration. I’m also including links to some of the popular movie adaptions of these books, with comments when I have them.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
- Sleepy Hollow in the Movies : From the famous Disney cartoon to the bloody Tim Burton adaption. Also many lesser known versions. One of my favorites is the Jeff Goldblum version that is no longer in print, but that you can get used (Katrina is spunky, strong and cute in this one). There are also versions that I have never seen before, including a Shelly Duvall version and a Hallmark version.
- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in Concert (Utah) : I have actually played a small part in this show as well as providing thier preshow music. Hopefully it will end up on CD someday.
Dracula by Bram Stoker
- Free Dracula Audiobook : Read quite well, I’m enjoying it as I write this post.
- I Bid You Welcome : A Creepy Chronology of Dracula Films : My favorite has always been the classic Bela Lugosi version, but there are many here to choose from. Among the more recent is Van Helsing, which though a bit campy is fun and has a lot of cool visuals.
- Something left off the list above is the Dracula comedy, Love at First Bite. Dracula and Renfield take on the disco scene in the 70s classic. The performance of Renfield in this is wonderfully memorable. Not really a good one for kids (though the free love and drug references went right over my head when I was seven).
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- The classic Boris Karloff portrayal of Frankenstein is the one I have enjoyed the most.
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