The Halloween Encyclopedia

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McFarland, Jan 1, 2003 - Reference - 232 pages
8 Reviews
The concept of Halloween as a holiday and cultural phenomenon worthy of serious study is only a few decades old, and only since the mid-1980s have scholars started to accept that Halloween's place in modern society (especially in American society) merits attention beyond horror fiction and children's books. The first book devoted solely to Halloween was published just over a century ago, and now, Halloween has its own encyclopedia. Major entries include Samhain, the Celtic ancestor of Halloween; witches, a major Christian addition to the mythology of Halloween and one that still generates interest and controversy; skeletons, a universally recognized symbol of death; the Day of the Dead, the Mexican holiday that is often compared to Halloween; the jack-o'-lantern, which has its roots in folktales starring the rascally Jack who always manages somehow to beat the Devil; and trick-or-treating, the most loved and misunderstood American Halloween ritual. Hundreds of small entries cover Halloween history and mythology, fortune-telling lore, harvest legends, and 20th century additions to the holiday's rituals.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Ed_Gosney - LibraryThing

The Halloween Encyclopedia, Second Edition, by Lisa Morton, is a most-worthy edition to any library of Halloween aficionados. McFarland & Company, Publishers, continues to put out some of the most ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Mendoza - LibraryThing

This extensively researched and documented encyclopedia, while appearing to be aimed at scholars and as an addition to reference shelves, is actually very readable to the lay person. The 263 pages ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Laura Benedict's latest novel is BLISS HOUSE (Pegasus Crime), praised as "Eerie, seductive, and suspenseful," by Edgar award-winning author, Meg Gardiner. BLISS HOUSE is the first in a series of supernatural suspense novels set in Virginia. Laura is also the author of DEVIL'S OVEN, a modern Frankenstein tale, CALLING MR. LONELY HEARTS and ISABELLA MOON. Her work has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, PANK, and numerous anthologies like Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads and the upcoming The Lineup: 25 Provocative Women Writers. She currently lives with her family in the southern wilds of a Midwestern state. Visit her on Twitter (@laurabenedict) and at to learn more about her and her work. Lisa Morton is a screenwriter, author of non-fiction books, award-winning novelist, and Halloween expert whose work was described by the American Library Association's Readers' Advisory Guide to Horror as "consistently dark, unsettling, and frightening." Her most recent releases are the novel Zombie Apocalypse!: Washington Deceased and the novellas The Devil's Birthday and By Insanity of Reason (co-authored with John R. Little). In 2015 her next non-fiction book, Ghosts: A Cultural History, will be published by Reaktion Books. She lives in North Hollywood, and can be found online at Carolyn Haines is the Harper Lee and Richard Wright award-winning author of the Sarah Booth Delaney Mississippi Delta mystery series. She exercises her dark side under the pseudonym R.B. Chesterton. The Darkling and The Seeker are both available from Pegasus Books, New York. "The Hanged Man," a short story, is available in digital formats. As a reader/writer, short stories and horror were her first loves. An advocate for animals, Haines founded Good Fortune Farm Refuge in lower Alabama. She cares for horses, cats, and dogs. Find out more at

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