Millvale Community Library October | 2018 |

Reclaiming the Witch

Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Skylar Houck


Some of the most famous Halloween movies feature witches and witchcraft. From Hocus Pocus to The Blair Witch Project, witches have remained a pop-culture craze for many years. Where did the popularity come from? Literature has long been the cause of the fear surrounding witches. This perhaps began in 1487 with the publication of Malleus Maleficarum or Hammer of Witches. Author Heinrich Kramer encouraged the prosecution of witches and brought about the idea that it was mostly women who practiced witchcraft. This book spread rapidly after the invention of the printing press and was largely cited during the Salem witch trials1. This fear… Read More »

Zombies in Literature

Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Skylar Houck


We’ve all heard of brain-craving zombies whether from The Walking Dead or George A. Romero’s film Night of the Living Dead. However, few know of the zombie’s origins in literature. The first usage of the word “zombi” in American literature is claimed to be in W.B. Seabrook’s 1929 novel The Magic Island. The novel traces the zombie’s origins to Haiti, with the word zombie possibly coming from the Kongo word “Nzambi,” or “soul.” Groups of Haitians who dabbled in Voodoo and ritual magic believed that people who died before their time were at risk of being reanimated as a mindless… Read More »

History of Vampire Literature

Monday, October 29, 2018
Skylar Houck


Literary vampires have undergone huge changes over the years. What was once a monstrous blood-sucker ready to wreak havoc on humans has transformed into a handsome, refined character with human emotions. Despite what we know from Stephanie Myers’s Twilightseries, vampires were once connected to extreme misfortune and disease. The belief was not always that one had to be bitten to become a vampire. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that the recently deceased or became vampires, returning from the grave to unleash evil on a town that somehow wronged them. Decomposition processes that scientists now understand were mistaken for… Read More »

Books Inspire Hollywood’s Scariest Stories

Saturday, October 27, 2018
Skylar Houck


If you like watching horror, somebody has probably recommended that you watch Netflix’s latest original series The Haunting of Hill House. The show is guaranteed to scare and has received outstanding reception with a 9/10 rating on IMDb and a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. But did you know that the Netflix series is based on a book by the same name? The novel “The Haunting of Hill House” was written by Shirley Jackson in 1953 and had as much of a reputation for scaring as its Netflix adaption. “The books that have profoundly scared me when I read them —… Read More »

Truly Nightmarish Tales

Friday, October 26, 2018
Skylar Houck


It was a dark and stormy night when a teenage Mary Shelley developed her idea to write Frankenstein. Her tale was fueled by a nightmare: “I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together,” she writes of her dream. “I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life and stir with an uneasy half-vital motion1.” The popularization of the horror genre itself may be owed to teenage Mary Shelley’s nightmares, as Frankenstein has sold between 80 and 100 million… Read More »

The Importance of Native Plants & Pollinators

Thursday, October 11, 2018
Sheena Carroll


This guest post was written by Donna Pearson of the Girty’s Run Watershed Association   About a third of the plants in Pennsylvania fields and yards are invasive species that simply do not support the insects and caterpillars needed to support wildlife. They haven’t developed the specialized relationships they need. Flowering plants and pollinators co-evolved, and pollination is the key event for a plant and for pollinators in the cycle of a year. Some species of pollinators have co-evolved with one species of plant, and the two species time their cycles to coincide, for example, insects maturing from larva to adult… Read More »

Steel City Shakespeare Comes to MCL

Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Skylar Houck


“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” or should I say the Millvale Community Library. If you need plans for the weekend (Oct.12-14), look no further. Steel City Shakespeare Center’s performance of Hamlet, directed by Alan Irvine, is sure to entertain. With 80-90 hours of rehearsal, these five actors and actresses deliver Shakespeare’s text with a mix of pure emotion and humor. You may be surprised to find five actors playing fifteen roles. The memorization and performance of lines is astounding to say the least, and there was never any confusion concerning when actors switched between characters. The clever usage… Read More »


Recent Blog Posts

Reclaiming the Witch

Zombies in Literature

History of Vampire Literature

Books Inspire Hollywood's Scariest Stories

Truly Nightmarish Tales


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    Tuesday: 12:00pm-8:00pm
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    213 Grant Ave
    Millvale, PA 15209