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…