Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Bagful of Goodies

• To commemorate Halloween, AbeBooks has assembled a collection of vintage fright novels. “They were all published before 1960,” the book-selling site explains, “and these books--some of them forgotten, many out-of-print--illustrate how authors and publishers tried to scare people in the days before JFK, The Beatles and everything else that came with the Swinging Sixties. You will find ghosts, monsters, witches, the undead, general strange happenings and a diverse range of supernatural elements in this selection. Some stories might not have aged as well as others--are tales of giant beetles and huge spiders really horrifying for a modern reader?” See for yourself.

• The Little Professor provides a rundown of “19th-century (and a few Edwardian) haunted house tales.” Works by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Margaret Oliphant, H.G. Wells, and Bram Stoker are all included.

• Retrospace recalls some “wicked reads” from the 1970s.

• Meanwhile, English author Kate Mosse (Sepulchre, The Winter Ghosts) writes in The Guardian about her 10 favorite ghost stories, a list that includes Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-tale Heart,” Edith Wharton’s “Bewitched,” and Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black. (Hat tip to The Campaign for the American Reader.)

• If you’re still stuck for reading material befitting Halloween, click on over to The Broke and the Bookish, Reading in Reykjavik, or Bookgasm for a few interesting ideas.

• Alternatively, turn to Bill Crider’s Boppin’ at the High School Hop.” Or try out “Amanda,” by horror writer Juliette “Rizzy” Rodham.

• TV Confidential hosts a 15-minute-longpitch episode” for The Munsters (1964-1966), shot in color and featuring only two of the cast monsters ... er, members who became so familiar from the finished series, Fred Gwynne and Al Lewis. Watch it here.

• Classic TV Showbiz offers scenes from the 1964 Halloween episode of Bewitched, the situation comedy in which Elizabeth Montgomery starred as spellbinding suburban witch with a twitchy nose, whose husband doesn’t want anyone else to know about her powers. Click here to see these scenes, with guest star Shelley Berman.

• Yes, you too can turn yourself into a zombie.

• Crime Time Preview reports that in honor of this occasion, BBC Radio 7 will unearth its 90-minute, 2007 adaptation of Loren D. Estleman’s Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula (1978) for an encore airing. The show is set to begin on Sunday at 9:30 p.m. GMT, and--if the usual rules apply--should be available for the next seven days. Listen to it here.

• Gary Dobbs is raising lots of spirits with his weekend-long “Fangs for the Memory” celebration of All Hallow’s Eve. Contents include a hair-raising homage to The Wolf Man, a compact history of cinematic spooks, and an interview with Shaun Hutson (Epitaph).

• Master of the horror film Wes Craven picks his top 10 scary movies (among them War of the Worlds, Psycho, and Don’t Look Now) for The Daily Beast. (Hat tip to Mystery Fanfare).

• The Classic Film and TV Café suggests satisfying today’s hunger for fearsome flicks with showings of The Shining or Village of the Damned.

Still more “films that give you nightmares.”

• Ed Gorman’s “favorite horrific film”? The Seventh Victim (1943).

• For the male viewers out there, Nobody Move! showcases a beauteous bevy of “scream queens” from moviemaking’s past.

• She Blogged by Night has its own phantom-packed photo tribute to this occasion. Don’t miss the “Halloween cheesecake” posts.

• Three good pieces from Mercurie’s A Shroud of Thoughts:The Golden Age of Horror Movies,” “The Second Golden Age of Horror Movies,” and “ This ... Is a Thriller,” a remembrance of Boris Karloff’s 1960-1962 TV anthology series, Thriller.

• Script-penning demons Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunston, contributors to the Saw series of big-screen horror movies, write in the Mulholland Books blog about “the culture of the scare.”

• The 1988 film Vampires on Bikini Beach is among the Halloween treasures, horrific and horrible, that you can watch from the safety of your computer screen this weekend, thanks to the Web site SlashControl. Also available: original Addams Family episodes and the beloved Peanuts special, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

• Sink your teeth into Evan Lewis’ gallery of Dracula film posters.

• What were trick-or-treaters wearing a century ago? National Geographic’s Web site provides a gallery of the ghoulish and weird. (Hat tip to Bill Crider’s Pop Culture Magazine.)

Spooky fingernail paintings. (Hat tip to Women of Mystery.)

• Author Timothy Hallinan (The Queen of Patpong) explains why “Thais take their ghosts pretty seriously,” in a post for Murder Is Everywhere.

• Mystery Fanfare’s Janet Rudolph, who has recently put together a series of guest posts having to do with October 31, invited mystery writer and party planner Penny Warner to give readers instructions on “How to Host a Vampire Party.”

• Finally, in this era of easy mobility, it seems there are travel opportunities for every taste. The Virginia radio program With Good Reason recently sampled paranormal tours. (Hat tip to Elizabeth Foxwell.)

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