The Special Collections Research Center is continuing its new open house series, Special Collections After Hours, and this time we're getting ready for Halloween! Join us to see the Skeletons in Our Closets on Tuesday, October 9. We'll be showcasing spooky stuff from across our collections. Here's a small preview of a few of the items we'll have on display!
We'll display two collections of ghost stories edited by William T. Stead, who believed the dead communicated with the living through spirit mediums. The stories collected here aren't literary, but purportedly genuine accounts of contact with the dead. There's even a note of caution noting "that the narratives in these pages had better not be read by any one of tender years, of morbid excitability, or of excessively nervous temperament." Read at your own risk!
If your temperament is too nervous for ghost stories, learn about the lore and practice of witchcraft in 1970s issues of The Witches' Almanac. Each issue is packed with a variety of information, like lists of famous witches, simple spells, herbal remedies, and even a short quiz to judge your witch potential.
For those who prefer the darker side of Halloween, we'll display some reminders of mortality in the form of the danse macabre. This genre of art features skeletal figures claiming various representatives of human life--the young and old, the powerful and weak--as a reminder that death comes for us all.
Drop in to our presentation space in Hatcher room 660D any time between 4 and 7 pm on Tuesday, October 9 to see these materials and more, including pop-up books, spirit photographs, and a sixteenth century copy of the most famous book on witchcraft, the Malleus Maleficarum. Light refreshments will be provided. And don't forget to keep an eye out for more open house events every second Tuesday of the month during the fall and winter semesters.