Halloween, Hauntings, Ghosts, Vampires and Other Literary Fare
The festival that is Halloween has become so pervasive and ubiquitous to the extent that its origins have been somewhat obscured. The traditions associated with it, however, are rooted in the ancient Gaelic harvest festival of Samhain, giving it pre-Christian and pagan origins. It transitioned into the Christian milieu as All Hallow’s Eve (the day that precedes All Saints’ Day in the Christian liturgy). Irish and Scottish migrants, most likely, carried the traditions with them to the New World until, by the 20th century, it gained a worldwide following, aided no doubt by the growth of new media with vaster, more global reach – including literature but also in the form of cinema, TV, etc.
Bram Stoker and the Irishness of Dracula
Dressing up in costumes that invoke legendary characters – such as Count Dracula, for example – is just one part of the Halloween fare. Much like Halloween itself, however, the lore that surrounds the figure of Dracula has gained a life of its own – one that has come to surpass its origins which, in fact, have nothing to do with Halloween at all although, they are Irish.
Author, Dennis McIntyre in his book, Bram Stoker and the Irishness of Dracula brings it all back home as far as the world’s most enduring, much imitated but never emulated vampire story is concerned.
Once in a while, a book comes along that is definitive in its subject matter – this is one such book
Bram Stoker and the Irishness of Dracula by Dennis McIntyre is published under the imprint of The Shara Press and is available to buy online.
From the Pen of Susan R. Murphy
Susan R. Murphy reckons that she has been “addicted to horror” since an early age. “While other children played with the Ken and Barbie dolls, I played Vampires with mine!”
Over the years, her interest in horror, science fiction and mythology grew. One day, in 1993, she sat down and wrote a series of short stories on these subjects. The Immortals: Thrills, Chills, Tales of the Macabre is a collection of “truly terrifying tales”, containing a blend of ancient Greek mythology, American Gothic horror, UFO abductions, Halloween scares and campfire tales. In much the same vein is The Ghost in My House, a short story on a haunted house theme.
These and other books by Susan R. Murphy are available to buy online, in print and e-book editions.
Stories on Irish Mythological Themes
The Battle for Coman’s Wood by Mario Corrigan is a fast-paced, action-packed adventure story, told on the back of Irish mythological themes that will leave you gasping!
An American family have come to Ireland in time for Halloween, for the ancient Festival of Samhain. Their journey becomes a quest to thwart the evil plans of Queen Medbh and The Morrigan, as terrible, evil creatures issue forth from beneath the earth. Our brave heroes must face the might of these supernatural forces, in an epic showdown in Coman’s Wood in County Roscommon (the name, Roscommon deriving from the Irish Ros Comáin, meaning ‘Saint Coman’s wood’).
The Battle for Coman’s Wood by Mario Corrigan (with illustrations by David Butler) is suitable for all ages. It is published under the imprint of Do Fish Wear Pyjamas Publications and is available to buy online, in print and e-book editions.
The GhostÉire Investigates Series
Finally, for those who like to ‘keep it real’ where horror and ghostly hauntings are concerned, the GhostÉire Investigates series attempts to do just that.
GhostÉire are an Irish-based group of paranormal researchers, whose quest to find spiritual and scientific explanations for the paranormal, the supernatural and similarly unexplained phenomena take them to many locations, the length and breadth of Ireland. In their reports on their investigations into possible hauntings, they offer personal insight and suggest rational thinking towards any strange phenomena that has been observed.
These investigations have been recorded and documented in two volumes to date, comprising written and audio-visual accounts. The Rising of Haunted Ireland, published in 2016, has been followed by the publication, earlier this year, of Drowned-Out Voices, which takes up where the previous volume leaves off (an investigation into Ireland’s famous Blarney Castle).
Both The Rising of Haunted Ireland and Drowned-Out Voices by GhostÉire are published under the imprint of The Manuscript Publisher and available to buy online, in print (both paperback and hardback) and e-book editions, fully illustrated and accompanied with video footage (DVD and online video formats).
Parental Advisory: The books in the GhostÉire Investigates series are suitable for age 16 and over only. They contain strong language and possibly disturbing themes.