All Hallow’s Read

I’m a big fan of All Hallow’s Read.  On Halloween I give out candy but I also have a bowl full of books that kids can pick from if they want one.  The first year I did it I expected that most of the kids would be far more focused on snickers than Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark but I was happily surprised at how excited the kids were to get a great book and to talk to me about the scary books that they loved.  It was awesome because children skip all the awkward small talk so I get to interact with small people who don’t scare me as much as the big ones.  Last year I gave out Ruth Chew books because I loved her when I was a kid.  This year I’m doing a Neil Gaiman selection, which is a good fit since he is the king of All Hallow’s Eve:

Amazon has a deal on the 3-box set of Coraline, The Graveyard Book, and Fortunately, the Milk.  If you order today you can still get them by October 30th and they average out to less than $5 each.  (The Graveyard Book may be too scary for little kids but middle schoolers will love it.)

You can also pick up great bargains at resale shops and indie stores and local bookstores and it’s great fun to relive your childhood favorites.  Except when you go looking for books that you loved at a kid and they’re a billion dollars because you’re old and they are out of print.  I’m looking at you, Grampa’s Ghost Stories.

What was the best scary book you read as a kid?  Or as an adult?  I’m looking for good ones.  (Whoever recommended The Girl With All The Gifts last time we shared is my new best friend.)

PS. I’m meeting David Tennant tomorrow.  Sort of.  I’m going to do everything in my power to not lick him on the face or hide under a table.  More on that later.

243 replies. read them below or add one

  1. What a great idea – never thought of giving out books.
    Why hold back though, lick that lovely Tenant face, give him something to remember you by.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. My favorite book. Read it in 6th grade and re-read it about every 2 years even now… 30 years later. A great mystery with fantastic characters.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. That is such a great idea, Jenny! I wasn’t allowed to imbibe in anything scary as a kid, not even trick or treating. Now an adult, I really enjoy edge of your seat books. I have enjoyed all written by Blake Crouch. The Wayward Pines series along some of his short stories and a serial killer series starting with Desert Places.

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  4. This is the best idea ever. Also, I don’t know if I could resist licking David Tennant’s face. I admire your self restraint if you manage not to, and look forward to the great story that will come out if you do lick his face.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You should definitely lick his face. And then do it again and let him know it’s for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. All Hallow’s Read sounds like a great idea. It’s amazing how many of my honors students claim to ‘not like reading’ but are fine with writing scripts and stories. Almost every article written by a major author that discusses how to improve as a growing writer includes the advice KEEP READING. So anything that continues to support the printed word is okay by me!

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  7. This English teacher HIGHLY ENDORSES this post! Hooray for reading! With the advent of tablets and smart phones (not to sound like a broken record, neoluddite, or honorary Amishman), I get worried about kids losing their imaginations. When I ask my high school students to even draw me something, they refuse to envision it and just look up an image on the webz. I have to ban internet usage for DRAWING assignments. Lame.

    I am a fan of the antiquated stuff these days, so the best scary story I ever read (which might put a lot of you to sleep) is called “The Willows” by Algernon Blackwood. He, along with E.A. Poe, inspired H.P. Lovecraft’s horror stuff. There’s another snoozer that I just LOVE called “At the Mountains of Madness” by H.P. Lovecraft. That, along with Dunwich Horror, Innsmouth Horror (or whatever it’s called) and some of his other random good ones (like Reanimator and such) are pretty amazing. Of course, Cask of Amontillado and Telltale Heart are always fun.

    If you’re bored and looking for a totally RANDOM read by the original master of the supernatural, read “Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket” by E.A. Poe. It has no idea what it wants to be, but winds up being about supernatural horror… sort of.

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  8. #1 – All Hallow’s Read sounds awesome and I’ll be heading to all the Goodwill and used book stores immediately after work!
    #2 – OH MY GOD!!!! David Tennant!!!!!!!!! Lick him for me!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That’s a fun idea!

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  10. Helter Skelter. Oops. Wrong kind of scary. That one creeped me out.

    Also the Stephen King story where the decapitated head talked…forget the name.

    Liked by 1 person

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  11. This is a brilliant idea and I need someone to remind me to do this next year!

    Also, say hi to David for me.

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  12. Brian Harmon’s Rushed series (self published on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Rushed-Book-1-Brian-Harmon-ebook/dp/B00AXTOIJM/ref=sr_1_1).

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  13. Great idea about giving out books! I think I’ll try that this year….

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  14. Thanks for the inspiration. I love this idea. I had heard of people giving out non-candy items (like glow sticks and such).. but I like this book idea so much better. It is a “keeper” item, not a throw-away. And that is great on so many levels. Love it!

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  15. I was just reading along thinking how much I love those books, and then BAM. YOU’RE MEETING DAVID FREAKING TENNANT. We have GOT to work on your priorities.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Ruth Chew is the best. What the Witch Left and the Would-Be Witch were my absolute favorites growing up. I read them so many times and am still ticked my sister moved across the country with them years later!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I as just reading along thinking about how much I love those books when, BAM. YOU’RE MEETING DAVID FREAKING TENNANT. We have GOT to work on your priorities. (No offense books, I love you until the end of time. But that hair.)

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Seconding The Girl With All The Gifts, adding Carrie and regretting that I’ve not really read many scary books yet. But I am hearing good things about A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay.

    PS – I AM BECOME EXCITED on your behalf. He may let you ruffle his hair if you ask him nicely?

    Liked by 3 people

  19. What a great idea!! My son has outgrown so many books. This would be a great way to find a new home for them!!

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  20. Betty Ren Wright’s THE DOLLHOUSE MURDERS was my absolute favorite scary book as a kid. I just read it recently as an adult and it still scared me lol. And of course, as a preteen/teen, I loved Christopher Pike and RL Stine.

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  21. I as just reading along thinking about how much I love those books when, BAM. YOU’RE MEETING DAVID FREAKING TENNANT. We have GOT to work on your priorities. (No offense books, I love you until the end of time. But that hair.)

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  22. My girls loved The Spooky Old Tree in the Berenstain Bears series. We wore out several of them and they’d recite it along with me or their dad when we’d read to them. They are in their 30s now, but I gave them a copy of it last year for Christmas.

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  23. If there’s not a global headline, breaking in on all the primetime shows, and alerts sent to my phone, that say BLOGGESS LICKS 10TH DOCTOR, I’ll feel like we were robbed. ROBBED!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  24. I don’t know if I ever actually read the original story, but I remember being obsessed with “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” as a kid, and tuning in to any version I could find on TV, or in a magazine, or… hell… I think we even had a version on a 78rpm record.

    Speaking of scary: anyone else old here enough to remember record players? Sheesus.

    Liked by 4 people

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  25. 25
    Kelly Stoker

    I’m so doing this next year. I’ll start saving books now! Thanks!

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  26. Oh, forgot to mention a scary book. The last one I read was Bird Box by Josh Malerman. Great book!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I still love Stephen King’s It and The Stand. Just masterful.

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  28. When I was in 4th grade I read The Amityville Horror and was so in love with it I sewed myself a stuffed demon pig (complete with red button eyes) to sleep with. I must have read that book 30 times.

    This is also the first time I have commented and it’s to admit to sleeping with a demon pig…..huh.

    Liked by 7 people

  29. I have never been a big scary book person, but I’m a huge huge Neil Gaiman fan. Just yesterday I finally sat down to start Sandman after getting over my innate fear of graphic novels. So far enjoying it, and holy cow, it’s giving me nightmares. So rare and kinda cool! All Hallows Read sounds awesome!!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs scared me and The Dark Is Rising books by Susan Cooper did some too

    Liked by 1 person

  31. What a wonderful idea! I give all of my grands a book for Christmas and check back to see if they read it. I love reading and try hard to pass that on. Great idea! Thanks…

    Liked by 2 people

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  32. 32
    theladygnome

    Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing scared the living crap out of me as a kid. I am pretty sure it was also the first book that I was compelled to devour in a few days too!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Thank you for the recommendation! I just reread my edition of The Bloody Chamber, a collection of Angela Carter’s sinister and profound take on some classic fairy tales.

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  34. Maybe Day of the Triffids, or Midwich Cuckoos? Lord of the Flies or The Lottery?

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Great to do if you can afford it. But i have to be honest, with your this post, most people will be focusing on the David Tennant comment (like wow!)

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  36. How have I never heard of All Hallows Read before?! This is a fantastic idea!

    Liked by 2 people

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  37. My favorite grown-up scary books are The Passage Trilogy by Justin Cronin. Post-apocalyptic western epic full of horrible vampires and determined Texans.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. I don’t remember the names, but Bruce Coville wrote some good scary YA. He also did the “My Teacher is an Alien” series, which is sci-fi/kind of scary.

    I would also be tempted to lick David Tennant. Maybe if you ask politely?

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  39. As a kid, Betty Ren Wright’s ghost stories scared the DICKENS out of me. shivers

    For sheer feelings of horror, I’d have to go with Madeline Ashby’s vN (and I mean that in the best way, it’s not gory or gross, READ IT.)

    For “book that made me lie in bed for hours wide awake with the lights on” it would be Misery, largely because I made the idiot decision to finish reading it alone at 1am.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. @TheLadyGnome OMG THAT BOOK. Wait Til Helen Comes scared me SO BADLY.

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  41. My favorite from the late elementary/early middle school time period was Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn – https://www.amazon.com/Wait-Till-Helen-Comes-Ghost/dp/0547028644/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477665698&sr=8-1&keywords=wait+till+helen+comes. Scared the beejezus out of me at age 9.

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  42. Giving out books is an amazing idea. But I’ll have to wait until next year to gather a bunch.

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  43. Ditto the Gaiman sentiment! The Sandman he did with Yoshitaka Amano is haunting and beautiful. I also think American Gods is one of my favorite books of all-time. Not scary in the Halloweeny way, but worth a read for sure.

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  44. I love the books instead of sweets idea!! I”m not sure if it counts but around age 12 I was totally addicted to those terrible teen horror books. Badly written and trashy but I couldn’t put them down, they were a bit naughty in places too which made be feel so cool and grown up 😎😂

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  45. The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

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  46. I love Girl with all the Gifts!!! I was so engrossed in the story, completely in the world. I wish more people would read it, I am always curious to hear what people think of Dr. Caldwell and the ending. Best novel I’ve read in years!

    Liked by 1 person

  47. I read Salem’s Lot in high school & had to sleep w/ my light on for a week. If I even think of it NOW (25 years later) I still get a case of the heebie jeebs.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. When I was a Children’s librarian, one of my favorite picture books to read the the toddlers and preschoolers that’s a little scary was Wolf’s Coming by Kulka. If you haven’t read it, totally check it out the next time you are at your public library =)

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  49. My favorite scary book is ‘the Merman’ by Carl-Johan Vallgren. It has some difficult scenes one should be prepared for, but it’s a top-notch fairy tale in the old-school sense of the term.
    P.S. David Tennant!!!

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  50. As an older elementary kid I loved Mary Downing Hahn books. They were creepy, yet fun at the same time. My girls read a few over the years and they hold up pretty well. All of us are fans of scary stories to tell in the dark. Books as Halloween treats, I love it!

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  51. I love the Abarat series by Clive Barker…it’s not scary per se, but has some seriously scary moments. Also, some of his (stunning) illustrations are pretty darn creepy.
    Also, I remember being traumatized by The Doom Stone in 7th grade. Haven’t ever done a re-read to check scary factor, but 13 year old me is still scared and wonders who decided it should be assigned reading material.

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  52. 1) have never heard of all hallows read until now but as a bibliophile myself I am all about this idea! I never get any trick-or-treaters where I live but hopefully when we move next year I can have a basket ready.
    2) OMG DAVID TENNANT!!!!! I think I would have a hard time not licking him or hiding under a table if I met him, too! I had a hard enough time keeping it together when I met John Barrowman, I can only guess what it would be like to be with the Doctor himself!!! Good luck on keeping your cool!

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  53. Are you coming to Megacon Tampa?

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  54. If I met David Tennant I would just apologize A LOT for squeeing uncontrollably.

    I started reading horror books when I was about 8. My first was John Saul’s “Suffer the Children” my second was “Carrie” by Stephen King. I remember finding Suffer the children creepier at the time because HELLO kids going missing and I was a kid.Then I read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and was creeped out for a month. I didn’t read true horror stories for children until I had children then became a children’s librarian.

    I LOVED Girl With All the Gifts!! Have you read 14 by Peter Clines? It is horror, mystery and sci-fi all in one and some weird fiction. Also I am madly in love with the whole Lockwood & Co. series. It may be barely YA but it’s fun. It’s by Jonathan Stroud and starts with The Screaming Staircase. I could literally babble on for ages about horror books, it’s one of my favorite genres.

    P.S. I just finished And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich which definitely has a supernatural bent and has some creepy atmospheric moments. Just throwing it out there. Also a suggestion to read Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire which only has a small hint of creep but IMO was the best book I read in 2016. AMAZING!!!

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  55. you are the master of brilliant ideas! im adding that one to my list – ALSO suggesting handing out packets of bee friendly seeds for the kids with king size candy as payment for planting them around town. go team bloggess!

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  56. Yay for meeting David Tennant! When I met him (for a Comic Con photo) it was awesome. I had trouble speaking at all, but managed to say thank you. There were threatening signs telling us not to hug him, so that kept me from licking him, too.

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  57. The Tell Tale Heart was the most scary thing I read as a kid. As an adult The Historian gives me nightmares every damn time I read it. It’s so good!

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  58. “Ghosts Beneath Our Feet” by Betty Ren Wright was a favorite of mine around age 8-10.
    oooo….I just looked at some other comments and someone mentioned “The Dollhouse Murders” by the same author. Great Book!! I forgot about that one. I need to get a copy to re-read.

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  59. 59
    Supercatgrrl

    I was into the Goosebumps series as a kid. And of course Stephen King as an older kid… but I stopped reading King after I read Pet Semetary because I read it while living in a house where one of the former owners killed cats and buried them under the floorboards in my room. My cat at the time took to growling at the floor, and it freaked me out. I was too scared that another book of his might connect to my life…

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  60. Yay!!! I love this!!

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  61. Please lick David’s face and let us know what he tastes like!

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  62. The Elementals by Michael McDowell (published 1981). Read it as a teen – it’s a slow burn but it really stuck with me. Just searched for it and there is a Kindle edition – woo hoo!

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  63. What a fabulous idea…. luckily g I’d always good. Have fun and Happy Halloween and Happy All Gallows Read. I do love that idea and never heard of it before. I unfortunately cannot afford to give out books do I have to give out candy… before I eat all if the candy myself. Yikes!!!

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  64. Love it! We have a lot of extra kids’ books to give out with candy. Also, David Tennant will taste like sunshine and mystery, with a little bit of Lemon Skittles as an aftertaste. At least in my imagination…

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  65. 65
    SharonCville

    I have to second The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and pretty much anything by Poe. I loved scary stories and everything Halloween when I was a kid! I know Stephen King is an easy answer, but I’ll throw in one of his older stories: Strawberry Spring. That one stuck with me!

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  66. As a wee kid I loved The Monster at the End of the Book (I think it was the first book I read). While it’s not scary per-se it’s suspenseful and your mind can go nuts.

    As an older kid I loved anything I could get my hands on that was creepy – Fear Street, Christopher Pike, Caroline B Cooney etc.

    As for adult I just finished The Ruins and that was a fantastic haunty read for those that are late to the game like me.

    Liked by 1 person

  67. Oops noticed I made a lot of typos oops. I am very terrible at texting and I am on my phone. I use the painstakingly slow inaccurate one finger process… tap tap tap… I am terrible at it… meant to say licking is always a great idea!!! sorry for the typos…

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  68. As a child, my favourite scary book was The Ghost-Eye Tree. It was lost or donated or eaten between childhood and adulthood but I was able to track it down by special order through an indie bookstore. (Go indie bookstores!) One day, when I have children, I plan to read this to them every Halloween.
    As an adult, The Killing Circle by Andrew Pyper still gives me chills. He’s since moved more into horror (The Demonologist, The Damned), but The Killing Circle is a wonderful ghost story and every time I look out a window into my back yard I expect to see a ghoulish figure standing there.

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  69. My adult favorite (not -that- kind of adult) is Mira Grant’s Newsflesh series, which starts with Feed.

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  70. I totally love Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and The Lives of the Mayfair Witches, even though they are more than just “scary” books, encompassing much more about the human condition. I also quite enjoyed many of Dean Koontz’s books, especially the ones that throw in a bit of humor in unexpected ways. His Frankenstein series is amazing! He takes Shelly’s original premise, but really makes it his own, both horrifying and delightfully quirky at the same time.

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  71. Anyone have a good recommendation for a Halloween-y book that isn’t scary?

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  72. Doll Bones
    The Darkest Part of the Forest
    Both are by Holly Black. Doll Bones was just creepy. The Darkest Part of the Forest made me want to sleep with the lights on.

    Also, David Tennant might let you ruffle his hair if you ask nicely….

    Liked by 1 person

  73. Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. I read it when I was around 15 — couldn’t put it down, yet it scared me so much that I had to bury it in a dresser drawer at night so it wouldn’t get me while I slept. OMG, traumatizing.

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  74. The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury. I also watch the animated movie every year and I actually just wrote an article on it!

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  75. The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury! I also watch the animated movie every year (which is narrated by Bradbury and stars Leonard Nemoy), I actually just wrote an article about it

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  76. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. Who is David Tennant??

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  77. I absolutely love that you give out books for Halloween…more awesome stuff you do!

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  78. I don’t like Hallowe’en. I’d really LIKE to like Hallowe’en but I had enough scary shit in my life when I was a kid to appreciate other scary shit. I do like the tiniest Trick or Treaters though – the babies carried to my door dressed up like a princess or superman and who arrive at 6:00 sharp. The extra large Trick or Treaters – the ones with voices like Morgan Freeman and beards not contained by the Chainsaw Massacre mask – I don’t like. Am I supposed to give them a Snickers bar and hope they turn into Betty White or just hand my wallet over with a 6 pack of beer?

    Honestly? At 8:00pm The Viking and I build a fort out of quilts in the kitchen and crouch inside like Golem, with our tablets set at the lowest brightness setting so no one knows we’re home. We endure and hope the house survives the Tricks part.

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  79. I wouldn’t say it’s scary, but I loved “The Witch Family” by Eleanor Estes and still read it. It’s about two girls who draw and create stories about trying to reform a wicked witch and eventually meet her. It’s charming, fun, surprising, and well written. Estes packed so much story into this kids’ book.

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  80. I love book and have collections of famous authors and ey you might want to check out http://www.tdcurtainpartners.com.au
    I found some nice swag curtains there, might fit some windows in your place.just sharing

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  81. This is a great idea and I will likely combine it with the Teal Pumpkin project (put out a teal pumpkin to let kids with food allergies know you have a non-food treat for them!) next year. It will give me an excuse to hit thrift stores and garage sales all year stockpiling books! I will probably have some non-scary options (like Fortunately, The Milk) for kids (like I was) who get nightmares – even though I LOVED Stephen King!

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  82. I love this idea! We love Halloween and are living in a new town – so this might be a perfect ice-breaker!

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  83. 83
    spidermonkey79

    I absolutely love The Girl With All The Gifts! I didn’t read scary books as a kid but now I can’t get enough of them. I recently read Broken Monsters. I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning reading it. I could not put it down. It did raise my anxiety at certain points but that’s what scary books are supposed to do, right? By the way… David Tennant is my one and only celebrity crush. I don’t blame you for wanting to lick him. I hope you do and enjoy every second of it!! Give an extra flick of the tongue for me!

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  84. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. I read the Reader’s Digest version when I was a kid and it scared everything out of me. My girlfriend and I watched the movie over and over and over. Then as an adult I read Helter Skelter, The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and I barred the doors for months afterwards in true terror.

    And David Tennant….oh man!

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  85. 85
    PibbityBibbity

    I always read way above my grade level, because my mom let me read whatever I wanted and the books I had access to were the books she had available. This is reason why one of my elementary school teachers had to explain to me why “Jaws” and “The Exorcist” were not appropriate choices for book reports. My favorite/least favorite scary book as a young boy was “Salem’s Lot” by Steven King. I loved the fact that the terror of it comes from the fact that it’s just an everyday town filled with regular people who all know each other and, as things go wrong one after another, it becomes scarier. That’s also the reason I hate the book; I’ll never forget the chapter where the boy’s best friend has turned and is hovering mid-air outside his window trying to persuade him to let him in. That book made me sleep with the lights on as a kid and, every time I reread it as an adult I still have to sleep with the lights on.

    Needless to say, I won’t be giving out books this year because I am not familiar with scary children’s books. But I loved the idea and hope to do it next year after reading recommendations here and researching more!

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  86. You’ve probably read all these, but I found the Stephen King books so scary I could not have them in the same room with me. The Shining scared the s**** out of me and I cannot ever re-read it. Nearly all of his books creeped me out because they mess with your mind. Had to stop reading them once I had kids because there were so many dead kids in his books. Shudder.

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  87. I’ve never thought about giving out books either, but that is a really good idea🙂 I want to try that next year.

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  88. Slade House by David Mitchell. CREEPY.

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  89. I never was one for scary stories–or movies, either, come to that. Halloween is probably my least favorite holiday. But “The Best Halloween Ever” by Barbara Robinson (same lady who did “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”; it’s got the same characters) is a not-too-freaky book for those who just want the candy. Also the “Franny K. Stein” series by Jim Benton about a girl evil scientist are funny & not terribly scary. Just some ideas my girls liked.

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  90. Such a great idea! I wish we got trick-or-treaters to hand out books.

    I was 12 when I read VC Andrews and Flowers in the Attic. That shit CHANGED me. I went on to read Stephen King’s Christine and then Dean Koontz after that. I still love a good spine tingling read.

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  91. Oh, PLEASE, lick David Tennat for all of us!! And give “A Head Full of Ghosts” a shot. Creeped me right out.

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  92. […] of books that kids can pick from if they want one. The first year I did it I expected that most … Continue reading → […]

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  93. About 23 years ago, my son was given a book trick or treating. I thought that was the coolest thing. I don’t remember the author but it was “Dem Bones” and was a silly skeleton story. Perfect for little kids. My daughter always loved the Bunnicula stories and Goosebumps. I don’t recall the scary ones I used to read as a kid, bunch of mediocre scholastic books. My son’s anxiety kept him from trick or treating at an early age, so we would take his younger sister out together and he would hold the flashlight. We only made it through 5 houses one year because the host scared her when he opened the door dressed as a vampire. We enjoyed passing out candy more I think. Not sure why I shared that except to say that Halloween can be a difficult time for highly sensitive kids and adults so we tend towards the sillier aspects of the holiday rather than the scarier.
    Be safe and sane!

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  94. Books for T or T is a great idea. The scariest I read as a young adult was “The Birds” — way scarier than the movie. My all-time scariest book was “The Shining”.

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  95. That’s a great idea. I never thought about doing that. As for scary books – I love the Charlie Higson series The Enemy. It is for teens and is set in London after everyone above the age of 16 has turned in to a zombie. The Troop by Nick Cutter is a very good scary adult novel.

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    theycallmetater recently posted Tater’s Friday Ramblings.

  96. ps. Is it not normal to lick people’s faces when you meet them? Oops.

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    theycallmetater recently posted Tater’s Friday Ramblings.

  97. Have you heard of the Teal Pumpkin Project? Giving out books is a great idea to have for those kids with food allergies – I was trying to decide what to offer and this is going to be it! Now I need to hit the book store to get some.

    https://www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project#.WBN3etUrKUk
    Apologies if someone already posted about this, I scanned comments quickly.

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  98. Jane-Emily by Patricia Clapp (Finally now offered on Kindle!). An oldie but great read, even a re-read as an adult.

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  99. I loved “Jane Emily” and “Mirror of Danger” when I was a kid – so creepy!

    I also want to know what David Tennant tastes like…

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  100. Jenny, you are a blessing to the world. What a FANTASTIC idea. Younger me would have loved getting books (I might have to order myself some, too, ha!) on Halloween.

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  101. Great idea to give books for trick or treat. Scariest I read as a kid was “The Birds.” Scariest ever was “The Shining.” Both books were way scarier than than the movies made from them.

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  102. House of Leaves

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  103. Oh, books! That’s an awesome idea! And top it off with chocolate so they are jacked up on caffeine and can read it all. night. long. Gawww, I would have loved that as a kid!! Hell, I love that idea as an adult!
    Girl, you totally rock, btw! Like Def Leppard kinda rock! Like 80’s hair bands rock! Like throw your bra on stage and shake your bewbies rock!! Woooo-hoooo! Awesome party! Wait… SQUIRREL! {breathing deeply, getting refocused, and……now….}. OK. You are awesome.

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  104. I loved The She by Carol Plum. This is such a cool idea. This is my first comment ever on a blog so that’s pretty cool.

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  105. This is absolutly genius!!!! As a kid I used to read constantly; I would have died and gone to heaven if this had happened in my neighborhood. So glad that I know about this!!!

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  106. One of my favorite when I was 8-10ish was The Snow Ghosts by Beryl Netherclift. It was about a group of siblings that go to stay with their Aunt Amethyst at a run down old English country house called Farthingales. They discover a snow globe that takes them back in time to when the household and family were thriving and they meet ghosts that help them figure out the mystery of the lost family fortune.

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  107. I second whoever said “The Dollhouse Murders” by Betty Wren Wright and anything by Christopher Pike or R. L. Stine. Also, a few years back (as a Paraprofessional) I read “Something Upstairs” by Avi with an 8th grade class. It”s a ghost story/murder mystery/time-traveling adventure! It’s awesome!

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  108. David Tennant is going to be downright damp from all this licking.
    Book that scared the bleep out of 16yo me: Peter Straub’s Ghost Story. Read in shiny sunny daylight while working the reservation desk at a tennis club and screamed in holy terror at a nice lady in a tennis skirt who startled me.

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  109. If you had a mentally ill mom like I did, you don’t do scary books. Just growing up was scary enough.

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  110. P. S. I forgot to add that I’m currently reading “The Worst Witch” by Jill Murphy with my 8-year-old daughter. When we’re done I will show her the awesome 80s movie of it with Tim Curry as the Grand Wizard (sigh)!

    P. S. S. I also forgot to add “DAVID TENNANT?!?!?!?!” kermit flail THUD

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  111. The Voices, F.R. Tallis. Scary and heartbreaking.

    The Terror, by Dan Simmons…action-packed and extremely well-written historical fiction.

    The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, by Stephen King…not his typical fare.

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  112. That is the best idea ever.

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  113. Love this idea. Thanks for sharing. I still get the creeps when I think about a giant rat sitting in a dark basement corner surrounded by minions thanks to Stephen King.

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  114. Rarely recommended but hysterical AND scary is Richard Laymon’s “The Traveling Vampire Show”. I think you’ll love that one, Jenny.

    As for my kid scares: I was 13 when I stole mom’s copy of The Shining and pulled my first all-nighter to finish it. I also stole The Omen, The Exorcist, and a number of other King books starting at about age 10.

    My more kid appropriate scares included The Mystery of The Green Ghost (Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators) The Black Stallion’s Ghost (I was horse obsessed) And for the wee ones? “What Was I Scared Of?” (otherwise known as The Pants with No One Inside Them). I think Mom must have kept me away from most scary things…. which is why I stole her grown up scary books🙂

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  115. What an awesome idea! I will have to keep this in mind for next year….start collecting now. I can’t remember a scary book as I was a wuss when it came to scary so never had one😉

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  116. My favorite scary Halloween book as an adult is Gods of the Nowhere https://jackiesforgetmenots.me/2016/10/19/its-time-to-indulge-in-scary-books/
    I enjoyed The Graveyard book and Click-Clack the Rattlebag. All Hallows Read has been around for more than a few years and I’m glad it is still being recognized. I wish I had gotten a book in my trick or treat bag.

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  117. Wonderful idea! Wonderful Gaiman! (though the video freaky in a different sort of way…)

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  118. I LOVED the Graveyard Book!

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  119. I read Poe’s short story “The Black Cat” when I was about 14 and didn’t sleep for days.

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  120. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (there are 2 other books in the series as well) is really good. I think it’s classified as teenage/young adult though, so it’s probably not good for trick or treaters. I haven’t read many books that I would truly classify as scary, but I’m a huge fan of Dean Koontz, especially his Odd Thomas series. The Goosebumps series would probably be good for handing out t trick-or-treaters, my brothers loved them when they were younger.

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  121. The worst (best?) ghost story I encountered was written by Rose Wilder Lane – yes, daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder. It’s in “A Little House Sampler.” Perhaps it was because I didn’t expect it in between additional writings of old time life, but that story creeped me out SO bad. I put a post-it in the book “SKIP THIS CHAPTER IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE CLINGING TO YOUR HUSBAND ALL NIGHT AGAIN”

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  122. I miss the good old days when amazon had their 4 for 3 deal, then you could easily afford to give out books for Halloween! If you’re not committed to scary stories and you’re aiming for the younger set, search amazon for Annikin and you’ll find several books in the just under $2 range they are adorably pocket sized and heavily feature Munsch stories, but there are some really good ones with strong female protagonists such as The Paper Bag Princess and Angela’s Airplane. They seem a little low on stock right now, but you can remember them for next year. . . .

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  123. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson! Such an amazing atmosphere. Shirley is Queen.

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  124. I love this idea. I like it better than handing out all the little junk that gets broken or thrown away th next day. I love scary reads! My favorites lately are Brother by Ania Ahiborn, Swerve by Vicki Petersen, The Boy Who Could See Demons and Plague by Lisa Hinsley.

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  125. Shirley Jackson is the absolute Queen of psychological horror stories for adults. As a teenager, I read the Haunting of Hill House and to this day, whenever I find myself alone in the dark, I am haunted by one particular scene from that book. I don’t know how else to emphasize its scariness-level except to add that my super tough and unshakeable older sibling, who used to read True Crime novels for fun, would hide this book under the couch as soon as the sun started to set. (It was a library book. We were all relieved when it went back to the library). Jackson also wrote The Lottery and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, which you should get only if you want to think really, really hard about just how close you are to madness at any given moment. After all, we’re all mad here!

    Margaret Mahy’s Tricksters is an awesome choice if you like family relations and some adult themes with your creepy YA ghost-children stories.

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  126. Oh gosh I forgot to re-mention John Bellairs, too. Great for kids, still scary for teens, haven’t re-read as an adult…yet.

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  127. The scariest read for me may be Bradbury’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes.” I really like Stephen King’s Twelve After Midnight, but I can’t remember if there is anything in it that will disturb neighborhood parents.

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  128. The poem “Little Orphan Annie” by James Whitcomb Riley – it still scares me!

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  129. I’ve been doing All Hallow’s Read for coming up on three years now. I don’t have a big income so I go to the library’s weekly book sales to find Hallowe’en-appropriate books for everyone from toddlers to teens. I clean up the books and hand them out with the candy. The first year I didn’t expect kids to be impressed – boy, was I wrong! The kids would get their books and turn around and holler at the parent waiting on the sidewalk, “Look, Mom! I got a BOOK!” Well, I was hooked. Last year I was garage-saleing and came across one mounted by several retiring teachers – the mother lode! I stocked up on like 30 books and when I went to pay for them, one of the teachers asked me what I was buying them for. So I told them about All Hallow’s Read – and they GAVE me the books I’d selected! This is a brilliant addition to our traditional fun holiday. I’m going to include a link to my Instructables post about how to clean up used books to hand out.

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  130. Oops – that link is reachable by clicking on my name at the top of my post.

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  131. 131
    Tracey Lucas

    I am crazy super jealous!! David Tennant?!? Good luck not licking HIM. I mean, is that even possible? Not licking him? I mean, he looks sooo… lickable! Yum.

    And just thinking about 2 of you being in the same room makes me squeal with glee. And want to run and hide. After all, just you in the room made want to scale book shelves for a safe plac, while also wanting to sit at your feet and share cookie dough. I did neither, but had a great time. I hope you at least have a great time with… Oh holy crap, David Tennant!!! Forget it. Just lick him. For me?!? faint

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  132. Ghost stories were pretty much all I read as a kid! I loved anything by Betty Ren Wright, and the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series was great. Stonewords was another favorite. I also first read The Yellow Wallpaper when I was 8 and was thoroughly confused/freaked out. As a younger kid, I had a copy of The Speckled Band with glow-in-the-dark illustrations that haunted me.

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  133. Pet Sematary! Couldn’t sleep, had a priest bless the house……( I was young) Stephen King made it seem so real, I still think about that poor little kid, Gage, getting hit by the truck…

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  134. BEST. IDEA. EVER. You, are brilliant!

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  135. When I was a kid my favorite bed time book was the complyworks of Edgar Allan Poe. Looking back I was a weird child but that’s what I begged my mom to read me. Ps what do you mean ur sort of meeting Dr who

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  136. For kids, I would recommend the Grim Hill series by Linda DeMeulemeester (http://grimhill.com). The first book is The Secret of Grim Hill. Plucky heroine, evil faeries, spooky setting, what more could you want? Also, it’s won a couple of awards. https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Grim-Hill-Linda-DeMeulemeester/dp/1897073534

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  137. 137
    Ella Melioris

    guess what I’m Wednesday adams for a halloween party

    >

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  138. 138
    DiAnne (always telling Anne to die)

    Um, no. More on that now pretty please?!!!

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  139. That is such a fantastic idea and if I weren’t such a poor college student I would totally do that!

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  140. Omigod that was so fucking funny!! And here I am, thinking that I’ve had the worst day of my life today because I failed an exam and I’m losing followers on my blog (yes poor me and my first world problems) because I posted a miniature of a hearse and a casket and talked about a movie where a family flushed their dead mother’s ashes down a toilet. I’m not losing followers because I failed my exam but because I’m fascinated by hearses and caskets and cemeteries and what people do with dead people’s ashes. And then I came here and I didn’t feel so alone and horribly scary and awkward and alone anymore. Thank you Jenny for being the one redeeming bacon of light in my life this week. I think I meant to say beacon but bacon just sounded so much cooler and you could hand out strips of bacon for bookmarks for your halloween books to the kids, like the non-vegan glutten (sorry gluten) free kids. I love everyone.

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  141. Actually it’s one of my fairy tale wishes to be interviewed by Alan Carr the chatty guy or whatever his show is called. And I’ll ask for pellegrino but abruptly change my mind, have a shot of whiskey and give him a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. Yes indeed I will.

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  142. It´s good idea. Better than candy.
    In Portugal we celebrate the night of witches. There is a village that is the tradition women join the evening without men. There are also small halloween parties with costumes of wiches and vampires.
    However, the November 1 is more important because it is the day we visited the dead in the cemetery. Yes, we visited the graves of our loved ones who left and put flowers and candles. As a kid, me and my cousins, while mothers washed their graves and adorned with flowers, we voted the grave that was better decorated.
    It is a strange custom, but is the respect for the dead.

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  143. I’m still in two minds about Halloween. I can see the fun but it’s just not been a thing in Australia. With a shrinking world and with more influence in our culture from other nations there continues to be a small but growing interest in Halloween. Given supermarkets here import northern hemisphere pumpkins when they are out of season is one example of how consumerism is leading this.

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  144. 144
    Nicol Carrasquilla

    Are you coming to Megacon Tampa?

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  145. 145
    MadGrannyBK

    Talk about burying the lead. P.S-ing about David Tennant? Where,when,how, why and can I come too? P.S. Scariest book (and film) ever: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.

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  146. Just discovered your writings, you’re amazing! And Neil Gaimen is one of my favorite authors😀

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  147. 147
    ocularnervosa

    Tell him I said “Hi”

    And I was a bit of a wuss when I was a kid so I didn’t read scary books.

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  148. YOU’RE MEETING DAVID TENNANT?!?!?!?! ALL THE PICTURES!!! please take all the pictures and share all the pictures here so that we can all live vicariously through you!!!

    Also, all hallows read sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing. I’d never heard of it before🙂

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  149. 149
    solskensbarn

    I… I think I reccomended that?😀 (The girl with all the gifts). Holy Crap. You actually read my comment, got the book and liked it!😀 Yey! I might be fangirling a bit right now. Wow.

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  150. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie is the most-published scary novel ever! It’s a good one.

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  151. I never thought to hand out books, but I participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project, and hand out Halloween mini comic books and other non-allergy things.

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  152. i endorse licking David, fully and completely! horror books i’ve loved that aren’t already posted The Collector -john fowles, creepy af. also, Exquisite Corpse -poppy z brite…for ya know if you want to read a cannibalistic love story.❤ scary stories to tell in the dark, esp with the original b&w drawings.

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  153. The Harry Potter books can be amazingly scary in spots, but my one truly terror inducing book is “Ghost Story” by Peter Straub. It’s a stretch, as it really doesnt get rolling until about half way through, but once it does, it’s one of the best Ive ever read.
    The whole idea of giving out scary books is wonderful.

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  154. –oh and one more. Edward Gorey. All of his stuff, it’s illustrated and hysterical and I love it any time of the year but especially right now. He does creepy funny sooo well…

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  155. Endorsing the Shirley Jackson fan, all the way. I wonder if she was scared forever by the same scene as me in The Haunting of Hill House – where Eleanor and the other girl hold hands all night across their twin beds, while the ghosts are marauding all over and trying to get into their room, and when it’s over Eleanor finds out the other girl slept through it all and so she was holding some OTHER hand…
    Sorry for the spoiler if you haven’t read it, but it’s just punishment because everybody should have!

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  156. Halloween should always include creepy, atmospheric novels. Two favorites: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield and Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger.

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  157. Legion by William Peter Blatty (Exorcist sequel). I was 16 when I read it and I had to be in the room with people…I could not read it alone!

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  158. 158
    Lynn D Dougherty

    Victoria Holt
    The Night of the Seventh Moon
    And Mistress of Mellyn
    Were a couple of my favorites as a young girl

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  159. You could pretend to be one of the weeping angels and sneak up on David Tennant and lick him. Then you would be much less scary than the actual weeping angels. That is how I would do it. Just sayin.

    I am no longer allowed to read scary books because then I stay up for the next two nights with all the lights on and a bat ready to attack zombies, clowns, and non-sparkly vampires. My neighbors find it very disturbing.

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  160. My parents let me read whatever I wanted to when I was young. I loved Stephen King’s It when I was in 6th grade.

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  161. I’m partial to Serena Valentino’s “Nightmares and Fairtyales” graphic novel series, especially the early ones illustrated by FSc. Though they’re probably not great to give to children😛 Anthony Horowitz’s “Horowitz Horror” and “More Horowitz Horror” are pretty good for all ages, and Vivian Vande Velde’s short story collections, “Being Dead” and “All Hallows’ Eve”, have some solid chills. ‘Drop by Drop’ in the “Being Dead” collection is the best of the bunch.

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  162. I just bought 20 spooky kids books at the thrift store. Our house will be very popular this year as I’ve been told we’re handing out full sized chocolate bars in addition to the basket of books I’m adding.🙂

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  163. NOS4A2 or The Fireman Joe Hill
    The Troop Nick Cutter

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  164. I’m a sucker for Gothic horror, especially those written in the 18th century or so. Jane Austen’s “Northanger Abbey” includes a list of some of the most delicious horrid novels of her time. Ann Radcliff’s “Mysteries of Udolpho” thrilled me and I was gasping throughout “The Monk.” I totally understand Catherine’s imagination and Austen’s cheekiness is parodying the genre. Reading those books are like a Gothic romp through the ghosts and magics of the time.

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  165. 165
    Trudy Black

    What a super idea. My 9 year old granddaughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 2 years ago. This is such a FABULOUS alternative for not only her but my grandson who would rather read than play. Is that good or bad? Just a BRILLIANT idea!

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  166. So…David Tennant? Yumm!
    I read The Exorcist in 8th Grade, just before the movie came out (yes, I am that old). I knew my mother would not approve, so I hid under the covers and read by flashlight after she went to bed. When I got towards the end, I couldn’t put it down. Finished the book at 3:00 a.m. in the middle of a terrible thunderstorm. Did not sleep for weeks. I was so traumatized that I am still a wimp when it comes to horror movies or books. I rented Zombieland to watch on Halloween. My kids are still laughing at the thought that this is my idea of a really scary movie.

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  167. Let’s see. If you lick David Tennant’s face and then I lick yours, by the transitive property I will have licked his face. OK. Cool. Please proceed.

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  168. […] Source: All Hallow’s Read […]

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  169. Not scary but completely halloween related – Bunnicula!

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  170. Just when I think you could not get any more awesome, you do. Giving out scary books on Halloween! What a cool idea!
    And, I’m guessing someone else has already licked David Tennant. Maybe you could ask him politely if it would be okay? You never know until you ask.

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  171. I got to meet David Tennant last year. I am STILL amazed that I didn’t pass out or become utterly speechless or just giggle like a demented schoolgirl. Especially when he complimented my Rose Tyler (Idiot’s Lantern) cosplay. The picture with him does feature an unfortunately doofy smile on my face, though. Alas.

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  172. Stephen King for me the “king” of scary, I think the two of his that scared the pants off me was Salems Lot….when the vampires would come to the window at night and scratch asking to be let in, oh geez….and then the Shining with little Danny in the bathroom about to pull back the shower curtain! I could not go in a bathroom with a shower curtain drawn for a long time after that book! LOL

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  173. A book call Michelle Remembers. Read it when I was very young and started me towards a career in woeking with Trauma.

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  174. Love the idea of All Hallow’s Read, I haven’t heard of that, and am now Googling away🙂 I remember loving some scary book as a kid called Southern Fried Rat and Other Gruesome Tales!

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  175. One of my favorites which isn’t really “scary” to me is SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES by Ray Bradbury, which I’m sure you’ve probably read before cuz I know you like Bradbury as much as me.

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  176. OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG You’re going to meet David Tennant? I am not normally a fangirl, but for David, I would definitely squee. You are a lucky girl.

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  177. Great idea! My daughter recently tore through Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

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  178. OHMYGODYOUGETTOMEETDAVIDTENNANTTOMORROW!!!!!!!

    breathe, emelle, breathe. Jenny, I love the idea of handing out books as well as candy, but hubby and I just moved into a (new for us) gated apartment building, so I have no idea what kind of foot traffic we’re expecting, so hopefully Next Year, you’ll remind us. I do have candy, JIC. I’m dreading when the hubby finds out that I have candy.

    PLEASEBESURETOLICKDAVIDTENNANT’SFACERATHERTHANHIDINGUNDERATABLETANKYOUBELLYMUSH.

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  179. 179
    Dragonladymlb

    Wow love this idea about the books. One of the books of my high school years was written by Thomas Tyron called The Other. And any of Poe’s works. BTW last week I read both of your books. Now I am obliged to recommend them to everyone who will listen. And being southern and bi-polar means I can talk to people in all sorts of different places.

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  180. OH MY DOCTOR WHO!!!!!

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  181. 181
    Jeffery Reed

    David Tennant is amazing. Lick him once for me.

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  182. Scariest book I read ever in my life was in Middle School and it still haunts me. I don’t know where my parents were that I was allowed to read it, but it was about these people who kidnap an entire school bus full of children. It was horrifying and I never trusted substitute bus drivers again. Seriously scarred me. (Going to google it….) “Hide the Children” by Victor Miller. OMG NEVER AGAIN (I lie, I just one-click bought it on Amazon for $3.) (((shudder))) I will NOT be giving this to the kids in my neighborhood because generally they’re decent kids. If they annoyed me I’d DEFINITELY put out a ton of copies.

    I like your going with Neil Gaiman much better!!! I wish I was stopping by your house for Halloween because I have yet to read the Graveyard Book, and I LOVE Neil Gaiman.

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  183. What a great idea🙂

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  184. I really wish I could come trick-or-treating at yours this year…I absolutely love Neill Gaiman’s work. Thanks for this, though🙂

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  185. Not Halloween scary, but filled with peril and fairy tale twists: The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly. His Samuel Johnson series is great for middle schoolers. Totally my favorite author

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  186. For very young readers, Rabbit, Skunk and the Scary Rock by Carla Stevens (https://www.amazon.com/Rabbit-Skunk-Scary-Carla-Stevens/dp/0590001116) It scared me as a kid and makes me laugh out loud as a grown up.

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  187. I was reading Stephen King by the 6th grade- my mom was not pleased- but as a littler kid it would have been Poe stories in these thick but oddly small illustrated paperbacks. I know I had a whole series. I think they were supposed to be versions of the Classics for kids. I remember being very creeped out by some scary comic books but I only remember the visuals not the titles. ***oh! The thing in the back of the closet from Cujo! Bluuurrggghh!

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  188. 188
    Stephanie S

    Try The House of Leaves. It’s a bit of an intellectual take on scary with loads of crazy added in. I loved it.

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  189. Has any one reminded you that you have a nice skeleton? Dead sexy.

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  190. I can’t afford to do this Halloween but now I will be buying second hand, thrift store, garage sale books all year just for this idea!! Excellent! I love all the good ideas you share with the world thank you Jenny!!!

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  191. My 5yo and I discovered “The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child. & Room on the Broom” by Julia Donaldson, maybe not so scary but he is almost 6 and we have been reading them since he was toddling. He asks for them every year, and acts them out knows them by heart…and we still laugh and giggle and squeal with fright.

    As far as scary books for adults…I read “The Exorcist” by William Peter Blatty when I was 12…and that book scared the crap out of me then and still does today. And now I am watching the series on Fox.

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  192. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark was easily the most terrifying book I read as a child. Even as an adult I struggle to read it… When I was 17 I made the intelligent choice of starting Stephen King’s “Misery” one night before bed… I finished it in a matter of days, not only because it was good, but because I was so damned terrified that I couldn’t sleep! WAY better than the movie…

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  193. This is brilliant! I’m now on a mission to gradually stock up on inexpensive books for next Halloween.

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  194. I LOVE the idea of All Hallows’ Read!!! Just one question: does it have to be scary books? Cuz 1. I just heard of it today with two days til Halloween and 2. I don’t have much money but we always need to clean our bookshelves and 3. My kids won’t read scary things so they’re not ON our bookshelves. (I’m really trying to get my 9 year old into goosebumps but no luck). Plus I’m friends with lots of people who don’t like their kids reading scary things. (Sigh. Man, we’re a lot o’duffers. I’m throwing my annual Halloween party and I have to be so careful how far I go before people say too far. I mean not even any ketchup blood on the finger hot dogs!). But I would LOVE to hand out books!!

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  195. Fabulous idea; nobody really NEEDS more candy, but everyone can use another book or two.

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  196. I liked a lot of Betty Ren Wright’s books when I was a kid. Still have a lot of them, actually. I think my very favorite scary story, even now, is Wait Till Helen Comes, by Mary Downing Hahn. It’s not scary-scary, but it is about a ghost trying to lure children into a pond to drown, and it’s just scary enough, I think. I’m definitely not into scary-scary books.

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  197. 197
    Danielle E.

    It was R.L. Stein’s Goosebump series when I was younger and Scary Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series by Alvin Swartz when I was older… It makes me want to go back and read the Scary Tales! Instead, I will scare the h*t out of myself watching John Carpenter’s Halloween and if I’m feeling really brave from all the wine, The Exorcist!

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  198. 198
    Danielle E.

    Dang it! I meant Scary Stories to tell in the dark… Not Scary Scary.., Time to put down the wine lol.

    Like

  199. Hang on hang on hang on. You can’t just just mention David Tennant as a throwaway line. GIVE! RIGHT NOW!

    Like

  200. Currently reading Ghostland. It’s not scary, but it’s very seasonal. Nonfiction about haunted places and what role ghost stories and haunted spaces play in society.

    Like

  201. Daniel Pinkwater’s books aren’t technically scary books, but they kind of are. They are all a little skewed and involve really demented things happening to children and have images that freak you out.

    I think his books almost singlehandedly made me weird as a kid.

    Not sure why you’re meeting with Tennant, but that is amazing!

    Like

    Nasreen Iqbal recently posted Cloudhead.

  202. I can’t believe no one has mentioned Marianne’s Dream yet! So creepy. Also, Salem’sLot is by far the scariest book I have ever read, and for Gaiman fans, The Ocean at the end of the Lane is also pretty scary.

    Like

  203. 203
    krahman1970

    What a great idea! I’m going to watch for scary books at garage sales & thrift stores over the next year so I’ll be ready to give out books next All Hallow’s Read!

    Like

  204. Lick him! And run your fingers through his hair! Totally worth the restraining order and/or arrest record.

    Liked by 1 person

  205. This is AWESOME! I told my husband I wanted to do this and he looked at me like I told him I was going to pass out kale. Ugh.

    Like

  206. It was me! I recommended Girl With All the Gifts! Me! Me! Can we be best friends, now?

    (Okay, it probably wasn’t me. But it could have been because I lurve that book! So excited about the movie!)

    Like

  207. What a wonderful idea! Well, in 5th or 6th grade I began reading the V.C. Andrews Series – Flowers In The Attic. Can you believe that they were in my elementary school library?! I do not recommend these books to 5th or 6th graders but, they were pretty scary…and sick, now that I think about it.

    Like

  208. The first scary book to come to mind was Down a Dark Hall, by Lois Duncan. . I remember reading it while alone at home at night during one of the first outings that my parents didn’t insist that I had to have a babysitter for. I heard a strange rattling sound from the basement (kind of like a glass jar being rolled across a concrete floor) and gave up on the book for the night.

    Like

  209. I love this idea!
    I’ve never been a big fan of scary books, but since I love Christopher Moore, I read The Stupidest Angel, and actually enjoyed it. I loaned it to a friend who never returned it, so my story has a sad ending. BUT… it’s good karma to share a book.

    Like

  210. DYING OF JEALOUSY. I love David Tennant. (Have you seen him in Fright Night, the movie? I liked it.) I also participate in All Hallow’s Read. I have a Little Free Library in the shape of a TARDIS. I filled it with tons of spooky books for all ages. I had a reading at my library for kids last weekend, and gave them treats after I read spooky books. Last year I dressed AS my TARDIS and handed out books as treats from my library on Halloween. PS – Neil Gaiman is my favorite author. I met him at a signing he did for Ocean a couple years ago. I thought he would get a kick out my TARDIS filled with his books, so I showed him a pic. I joked that sadly it is not bigger on the inside. Of course, he had the perfect thing to say. “Oh but it is! Because it is filled with books, and they can take you anywhere.” Sigh.

    Like

  211. ok, so this has nothing to do with All Hallow’s Read . . . or does it . . . but I read this article on NationalGeographic.com about how to move hundreds of taxidermy animals and thought immediately of you. apologies for the fumbly URL:
    http://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/proof/2016/10/norway-natural-history-museum-animals/?utm_source=NatGeocom&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=pom_20161030&utm_campaign=Content&utm_rd=15189927

    p.s. i don’t think anyone could really blame you if you licked David Tennant. these things really can’t be helped.

    Like

  212. I loved books by Zilpha Keatly Snyder (which, let’s face it, is one of the coolest names ever). The Velvet Room, The Headless Cupid, the Witches of Worm. Brilliant.

    Like

  213. Brilliant idea! It sure beats the wrinkled apples and toothbrushes that people put in my trick-or-treat bag as a kid. It was the 80’s, though, I know everyone just did the best they could coming off all that acid from the 70’s.

    Like

    the incurable dreamer recently posted the fart machine and death.

  214. Ooh I really loved The Girl With All the Gifts, too! Fellside was excellent as well but it couldn’t beat zombies. None of the books I’ve read recently have been strictly horror, but there’s definitely been some creeptastic elements in books I think you’d like.

    Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch opens with a policeman using a Victorian era ghost as a witness to a bloody murder. The whole series is so brilliant and full of nerd references.

    This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab depicts a world where our sins have begun to physically manifest as monsters and hunt us (such a cool idea! Also LOVE her Shades of Magic series).

    Both Uprooted by Naomi Novik and Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge have forests that want to consume you (if you go out in the woods today..no, just don’t).

    And finally, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel really haunted me after I finished reading it, with the idea of a single holiday separating you from your family forever and realising you were in a hotel where the disease was being unintentionally pumped through the air-conditioner (I was in a hotel room on the other side of the country from my family as I was reading it!)

    Hope you and your family have a lovely Halloween. I’m in the middle of exams so not able to get dressed up or celebrate (and would probably stress eat all lollies before the kids could knock on the door) but would love to see any of your costume pics.

    Like

  215. 215
    brightshadowsky

    Man, I wish I could hand out books to the kids. But when we regularly get 600-1000 kids (low end is “school night & heavy rain” conditions) regular cheap candy almost breaks the bank. I spend $80 if I buy nothing but dum-Dums, can’t afford that many boos.😦

    Like

  216. Now I feel bad I give out toothpaste samples. Coming from a dentist!

    Like

  217. […] and no one comes to our house for treats, so that kind of takes the pressure off. OH! I did just read a post by The Blogess about how she gives books as an alternative to candy. Too late for this year, but next? Hitting up […]

    Like

  218. The View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts always freaked me out. Also, the newer editions have cutesie covers but the older versions were appropriately freaky: https://www.goodreads.com/book/photo/3201334-the-view-from-the-cherry-tree

    Like

  219. The Graveyard Book is one of my favorites, ever.
    I also loved Her Fearful Symmetry – kind of a cool ghost story.

    Like

  220. 220
    Jennifer Jones

    The Wednesday Witch was one of my very favorite books growing up. My boyfriends name is James, and I get great pleasure out of saying “Home James” to him when we are out and about!!!

    Like

  221. “Stories that Scared Even Me” by Alfred Hitchcock

    He was one scary bastard.

    Like

  222. My favorite from my childhood – a poem though, not a book: Little Orphant Annie by James Whitcomb Riley. Scared the beejesus out of me as a kid!

    Like

  223. Because of Winn Dixie- there’s a “witch”, but also a great story and lots of other memorable characters. Plus, they can watch the movie after they read it and compare their ideas with what they see in the movie!
    I referenced it, and you in my most recent post🙂

    Like

  224. the aforementioned post being…. http://girlinjams.blogspot.com/?m=1
    Don’t worry, the next one will have plenty of dogs (and maybe a bunny) in costume.

    Like

  225. *****Excellent** idea, but why limit it to scary books? I would rather have a selection of books, not just scary ones, and let the kids pick what they wanted. 99 cents each for paperbacks at the Goodwill store. Sometimes even cheaper at yard sales. But I would not give out a book I had not read first.
    No trick or treaters come to my door, as I live too far out away from people. But if they did, I would do All Hallows Read for sure!

    Like

  226. Catherine–comment 155–if you’re still reading–YES. YES THAT WAS THE SCENE. THE HAND HOLDING SCENE. I’m still scarred. Especially if I’m in a strange house, I sleep with my hands tucked under the covers to make sure no one is trying to hold my hand. Now THAT is good scary writing!!

    Like

  227. I was an advanced reader when I was young. I remember reading “Jaws”, “The Exorcist”, and even “The Godfather” creeped me out (the horse head scene). For really scary books I love Dean Koontz and Steven King, but I think my all-time favorite is Edgar Allen Poe. “The Telltale Heart” gets me every time.

    Like

  228. When I read Pet Cemetery by Stephen King it
    scared me so much I kept in in the freezer when I went to sleep.

    Like

  229. I’m Thinking of Ending Things is probably one of the creepiest books I’ve read. Not scary necessarily, but definitely spooky.

    Like

    Rita recently posted What I'm Eating This Week: Pumpkin Spice Cake.

  230. I’m sorry. I lost all track of what you said when you slipped in a meeting with David Tennant. Um…WHAT??

    Like

    Karen Marie Peterson recently posted Top 3 Fictional Villains I Actually Kind of Get.

  231. Tonight is All Hallow’s Read Part III for me. I was shocked by how much the trick or treaters loved the idea and vowed to keep it up as long as they’re interested. Last year I gave out 43 books, this year I’m ready with 60! I also give out candy, because I’m not a monster. But possibly a witch…Got to go set up the books now🙂

    Like

  232. 232
    Gail Murphy

    This is the best idea in the history of best ideas. How did I not know about this before last night?? I only had time to buy books that Amazon could deliver in one day. And let me just say, hearing a child say, as he walked away from my house, “they’re giving away BOOKS! Cool!” made my heart sing. And surprised me, more than it should have. I hope the kid that got the James Herriott book receives even a fraction of the joy that it gave me. Nearly every book was gone in the first hour. And guaranteed that next year I will have a rolling library indexed by boy/girl/unisex, age range and subject matter. I’m starting now. Thank you Jenny – you continue to amaze. Gail

    Like

  233. I am SO doing this next year! I just wrote a post on our local library’s annual October book sale. Children’s books start at 50 cents. That’s the perfect time to pick up some spooky reads for the trick-or-treaters! Thanks for the great idea!

    Like

  234. Ruth Chew was my favorite author as a little kid. I wrote her a letter and she wrote me back a very personal letter. I still have it 30 years later. I’ve read Ruth Chew to my own kids and they seem a little odd now….but I was an odd child…and am now an odd adult, so I guess it all turned out!

    Like

  235. Thanks for the inspiration! Headed to the library today. I’m scared spitless of the dark side, but that doesn’t stop me visiting. Ha. Have a fantastic day and keep up the stellar writing. It’s appreciated.

    Like

    Toni recently posted Yes, You’ve Had An Acorn Experience…remembering it will help you heal.

  236. I’ve never heard of giving away books. That is AWESOME!!! Wait….David Tennant?!?!?!?!?! PLEASE tell me more!!!!! (I wouldn’t be able to decide between face licking or hiding under the table either.)

    Like

  237. Jamaica Inn by Daphne DuMaurier is hands down the scariest book I ever read (as a child and as an adult). Soooo creepy and good.

    Like

  238. I liked Whispers From the Dead by Joan Lowert Nixon when I was in middle school.

    Like

  239. All Hallow’s Read is the best idea ever!!! Our children need to read more.

    Like

  240. Freaking LOVE this idea with the books!!!! New to blogging, reading other blogs to get ideas on what a “normal” blog is. I hope mine is as normal as your some day

    Like

    Katy recently posted Trying to hard.

  241. Late to the party, as usual…but yard sales and thrift stores often have lots of books for super cheap.

    I wasn’t into super-scary books, but the choose-your-own-adventure series sometimes had an unhappy ending….Also, in middle school, I LOVED Lois Duncan – she had a few books around the supernatural. A little different than “horror” or “scary” but they were absolutely mesmerizing….to this day the supernatural fascinates me.

    Like

    KatieComeBack recently posted Creature of the Fright.

  242. Garfield’s Scary Stories
    As in Garfield the cat.
    I have a moderate fear of computers coming to life/becoming self aware and it all stems from a story in this book. I still love the book though! And I’ve reread the story as an adult- it’s still WILDLY unsettling.

    Like

  243. Based on your comment, I just finished reading “The Girl with All the Gifts.” Whoever your new best friend is, count me in as well. What a ride!

    Like

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