As the air turns crisp and the nights chilly, the colors of Fall burst around us. And as we reach the middle of October, the fun of sharing our favorite spooky stories nears its zenith. The tradition of gleefully whispering an eerie tale or local legend has always appealed to me, so perhaps it is no surprise that my favorite spooky story is Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
I’ve always loved its rich description of a New England Fall and its subtle humor. Both are achieved through Irving’s use of arcane language. For instance, it is Irving’s use of words like peradventure (an old fashioned way of saying possibly) that immediately set the tone of Sleepy Hollow in terms of both mood and time period.
The other reason why Sleepy Hollow is such a favorite of mine is that it is just spooky enough. It leaves much to the imagination, and even suggests a practical joke at the root of the legend, rather than the supernatural. It is the lanky Ichabod Crane that lets his imagination get the better of him, something we are all at times apt to do, making for a fun read.
As Halloween draws near, families are often on the lookout for friendly scares. For example, Blue Manatee will join the rest of “Kids Row” in celebrating Halloween Hop on Sunday, Oct. 28th from 2-5pm, where children can wear their costumes and Trick-or-Treat at their favorite stores. But if you’re looking for a great spooky read, why not start with a classic? And, peradventure, begin a new spooktacular reading tradition with your family.