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Publisher's Summary

A Vintage medley of spooky fascination and fun for every grown-up who still thrills to the sight of carved pumpkins, straw witches and the eerie promise of a full, golden moon crowning a crisp October night! In Ruth Edna Kelley's The Book of Halloween, you'll discover the roots of our modern Halloween holiday in the religious and cultural traditions of the ancient Celts, Irish, Scots, Welsh, Britons, Germans and other Peoples of Old Europe, while also catching an enticing firsthand glimpse of how the holiday was enjoyed during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, in both Europe and America. Filled with Halloween poems, games and tried and true ancient methods for divining the future, The Book of Halloween opens a captivating window onto the past of one of today's most beloved holidays.

©2010 Better Days Books (P)2016 New Paradigm Press Audio

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting, but a little rough.

This is one of the few, if not the only, book I could find on Audible about the history of Halloween or any holiday for that matter. Written in 1919, the book focuses on customs and traditions from the old world with a brief look at how they changed upon arriving in America. I found the content of the book fascinating for the most part, as the author starts with the ancient pagan holidays that inspired Halloween, and then moves through various parts of the Celtic world and discusses how each celebrates differently. Chapters are interspersed with some wonderful poetry.

Unfortunately, the narrator was not for me. I found him a little bland and lifeless and the structure of the book, with the poetry inserted randomly into the chapters, sometimes made it hard to follow along. Rather than draw me into the spooky customs and lore of Halloween, the narrator made it difficult to keep my focus on what he was saying.

Still, I'm giving this book an overall positive rating because I really did enjoy it, and hope to see more books on the subject make their way to audible in the future. If you've ever wondered what Halloween was like before it was heavily commercialized, or where many of our Halloween myths and superstitions originate from, this book is definitely worth a listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The Mystery History of Halloween

Where does The Book of Halloween rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top ten

Who was your favorite character and why?

It's full of History, superstition, and strange beliefs that will make you stop and ponder.

Which character – as performed by Oliver Vale – was your favorite?

Witches and little girls telling the future at dinner parties.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The Mystery History of Halloween ...you never knew about!

Any additional comments?

This is fascinating & Midnight-colored description of the old-world customs that immigrated to North America from Ireland, Scotland, and England sure as a Pointy-Hat-Hag riding a broom-stick. Discover that not only was your grand-mother (and great grand-mother) a practicing WITCH, but that everyone's was! Everyone who has a drop of Irish or English blood in them, or lived in North America at the turn of the last century, or the turn of the century before that. This new-world is covered in superstitious pranks and practices as thick as a glowing-green-ghostly grave-yard fog. Break out your "Bell", "Book" and "Candle" and heat up the black iron cauldron and lets get to cooking up some spooky Feasts fit for King "Sam Hain", Pumpkin lord of the Harvest Festival. A great book if you want to know where all the strange "Tricks R Treats" came from!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Informative fun

If you love Halloween, then know all of the various traditions just adds to the season. This book provides all you need to be a Halloween expert.