Halloween is more than a holiday. It’s a season: a vague, end-of-summer haze when Twitter breaks new ground in spooky puns and bars drape cotton cobwebs over their cash registers. Maybe the actual day mattered once, when a pillowcase full of two-bite candy bars was all you needed for a good night out. But times change, The Monster Mash doesn’t last forever, and we keep swapping old costumes for new ones.
To celebrate, we’re featuring a few of our favorite stories about All Hallow’s Eve. The scary, the spooky, the… actually very insightful stories about reportedly haunted places. Plus, a few deep-dives into the history and culture of Halloween itself. How did an ancient harvest festival evolve into David S. Pumpkins, and why does it matter? These reads might do the trick:
Historian Mitch Horowitz breaks down the history (and future) of Halloween, from its pagan beginnings through today.
In a series of bite-sized vignettes, Lisa Renee expresses exactly why she loathes Halloween: candy is a corn syrup-infused racket, and trick-or-treating brings out the greed in just about everybody.
Ever wondered about those Halloween pop-ups that seem to invade U.S. strip malls every October? Ernie Smith delves into the economics.
In a less literal take on Halloween, Hanna Brooks Olsen confronts her personal ghosts and wonders, Can you ever be haunted by something that never was?
Writer and researcher David Metcalfe asks: would you even know a ghost if you saw one? Reported paranormal activity, Metcalfe explains, may tell us more about our relationship with reality than it does about ghosts themselves.
In this 2015 classic, Jeff Maysh tells the story of 2475 Glendower Place, a legendary haunted house in Los Angeles. Maysh’s reporting goes deep into the home’s history and lore. It’s one part true crime, one part urban legend, and all parts… the kind of story you’ll want to read with every light on.
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