Featured Book: “Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween”

trick or treat

Where did Halloween come from? If you’ve ever wondered about this unique holiday, you’re not alone. Author Lisa Morton put together a complex and varied history of Halloween, as well as how Halloween themes have permeated American popular culture. You can read a brief description of her book, Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween, below:

Halloween has spread around the world, yet its associations with death and the supernatural as well as its inevitable commercialization has made it one of our most puzzling holidays. How did it become what it is today? This book examines the origins and history of Halloween and explores in depth its current global popularity. The author reveals how holidays like the Celtic Samhain and Catholic All Souls’ Day have blended to produce the modern Halloween, and she shows how the holiday has been reborn in America, where costumes and trick-or-treat rituals are new customs. She takes into account the influence of related but independent holidays, especially Mexico’s Day of the Dead, as well as the explosion in popularity of haunted attractions and the impact of events such as 9/11 and the global economic recession.

  • Publisher’s description

Lisa Morton looks at history through the changes and updates to the celebration of Halloween. It’s easy to get lost in the unique stories that surround this holiday.

You can check out Trick or Treat from the library’s Family Room.

“Spooky” Classics for Friday the 13th


Friday the 13th has long been mythologized as a day “fraught with peril” or “bad luck.” Over time, movie creators have turned Friday the 13th into a spooky holiday as well, with the famous 1980s horror movie franchise.

Whether or not you fear this day, it seems like the perfect chance to feature some of the library’s classic spooky novels. Check the list below for your favorite!


One of the original vampire tales, Dracula is a must for any fan of the horror genre. Bram Stoker’s story has inspired vampire myths and legends since its publication in 1897. Equal parts horror and mystery, you’ll be enthralled as you discover the secrets of Dracula and his life in the Carpathian Mountains.


Frankenstein was all over Union’s campus this past year, from art projects to the theatre production to the book being analyzed in classes. Whether you empathize more with the monster or with Victor Frankenstein, their strange and painful relationship will keep you turning the pages for more.




Featuring famous stories such as “The Masque of the Red Death” and “The Tell-Tale Heart,” this collection spans Poe’s major works. Most of the stories can be read quickly, but their creepy settings and unhinged characters will remain with you long afterward.


This novella falls under many genres: mystery, horror, crime thriller. It’s a short but gripping read, and the familiar struggle of man vs. his inner desires is at the forefront of the plot.


dr jek


The Invisible Man is frightening simply because it allows a person do things- whatever he wants- completely unseen. Or perhaps it’s the imagery of the Invisible Man’s bandages, or his anger that will scare you…regardless, H.G. Wells knew how to craft a spooky story!


This list wouldn’t be complete without the household name of H.P. Lovecraft. Tales is a great compilation of his most chilling stories of monsters and indescribable terrors. Read “The Call of Cthulhu” to learn about an ancient creature and its siren call.


hp love


Oscar Wilde’s wit and macabre sense of morality shine through in this brilliant story of a young man’s downfall. It’s another short read that packs a punch!


Before it was an award-winning musical, The Phantom of the Opera was an intriguing novel. Who is Christine’s mysterious tutor? Why do unfortunate incidents happen at the opera in Paris? If you’re a fan of the musical, you’ll have a hard time putting this book down.




There are many more classics to discover on the library’s shelves or online- just search for your favorite by using our catalog!