I have always loved the month of October…the pumpkins, leaves, brisk air, football, my birthday! October is basically the best month of the year and I have always thought so. Lately however, I have really changed my perceptions of the classically, “Halloweeny” aspects of October. I’ve never loved Halloween and still leave my house lights off in hopes that I will not have to give out candy to trick-or-treaters (full disclosure: we always buy candy just in case, but almost always just eat it ourselves.) But over the past few years I have come to savor the creepy, scary, cold, windy, and dark that comes with the month of October. As a kid I never dressed up for Halloween and to this day I have never gone trick-or-treating myself but as an adult I now embrace the license that comes with Halloween and dress up every year for my class at Villanova.
Last year I decided to expand my reading into Gothic literature and specifically the classic Gothic literature that is most often associated with Halloween. I have to admit that as a person who never enjoyed the creepy/scary aspects of Halloween I was surprised to discover how much I enjoyed getting myself ‘in the mood’ with some excellent ‘October reads.’ Last year I read Dracula, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Frankenstein, and Wuthering Heights all of which are great reads and classics that we all think we know but few of us have actually read them. This year I decided to continue my Gothic lit. ‘October reads’ and I am happy to report that once again I do not regret my decision.
Since I am using Frankenstein in my night class I started my ‘October reads’ reading a bit early and re-read it at the end of September. Since then I have read, Eight Ghosts: The English Heritage Book of New Ghost Stories, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Hell’s Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men, Haunted Castles, and am currently reading The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. These are the kind of books that normally I would never pick up to read but as part of my ‘October reads’ reading they make perfect sense and I enjoy getting myself into a creepy mood with ghost stories, scary castles, and mad science.
Not surprisingly, I also succumb to mood reading in December. I have a number of books that I read every December because they make me feel like it’s Christmas. Reading creates a state-of-mind for me and my reading in October and December certainly reflect my seasonal moods.
Read on my friends.