Millvale Community Library Blog Archives |

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 »


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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