13 Halloween Bookish Trivia

What do you like to do during Halloween? Read a scary book? Pig out on candy? Watch a scary movie? Hand out candy? Or just turn off the lights and wait until this holiday passes?

Whatever your preference, celebrate Halloween with some creepy trivia about authors and books from Book Riot.

1. As part of his recollections in The Uncommercial Traveller, Charles Dickens would often visit the Paris Morgue. The morgue was also visited by Robert Browning as part of his inspiration for his monologue, “Apparent Failure.”

2. While books bound with human skin can be found in collections in several libraries, the Boston Athanaeum holds one of the few books bound with the skin of its author. While imprisoned, a highwayman wrote of his life, but could not afford to have it bound. Upon his death, he requested his skin be used and the memoir gifted to the man who had originally caught him.

3. Author Thomas Harris gained inspiration for his infamous character Hannibal Lector from a real person, a man named Alfredo Ballí Treviño. Harris met Treviño while interviewing another inmate at Nuevo Leon State Prison.

4. Virginia Poe, late wife of Edgar Allen Poe, startled the family one night while singing and playing the piano. During that time, her lungs began to hemorrhage from her Tuberculosis and she started bleeding from the mouth.

5. The Willard Library in Evansville, Indiana, is known to be one of the most haunted libraries in America. A former Victorian home, the library is said to house a few ghosts, with the most famous being that of the Grey Lady. Sightings of the Grey Lady date back to the 1930s, and the library currently has “ghost cams” installed in case anyone hopes to catch her on camera.

6. J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan, is rumored to have been quite the odd character. However, after his brother died in a skating accident, Barrie would routinely dress up in his dead brother’s clothing in order to ease his mother’s grief. The tragedy of his brother’s death would come to inspire the character of Peter Pan.

7. “Burking,” or the act of murdering an individual for the purpose of selling their body to science for money, is a frequent theme in Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers. However, this burking theme plus Dickens’ fondness for young, orphaned characters was partially inspired by the very real death of a young Italian boy.

Head over to Book Riot to read the rest, if you dare…

13 Creepy Bits of Bookish Trivia

About the author

Bette Lee Crosby

USA Today Bestselling and Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby's books are "Well-crafted storytelling populated by memorable characters caught up in equally memorable circumstances." - Midwest Book Review The Seattle Post Intelligencer says Crosby's writing is, "A quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about important things in life and madcap adventures." Samantha from Reader's Favorite raves, "Crosby writes the type of book you can't stop thinking about long after you put it down." "Storytelling is in my blood," Crosby laughingly admits, "My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write." It is the wit and wisdom of that Southern Mama Crosby brings to her works of fiction; the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away. Her work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. She has since gone on to win nineteen awards for her work; these include: TheRoyal Palm Literary Award, the FPA President's Book Award Gold Medal, Reader's Favorite Award Gold Medal, and the Reviewer's Choice Award.

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