"Monsters: A Celebration of the Classics From Universal Studios" text by Roy Milano (Ballantine-Del Rey)
Not much is scarier than seeing Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's monster. His image, complete with neck bolts, graces the cover of this photo album which recalls the horror films made by Universal, the studio that brought Frankenstein's monster to life and wouldn't let Dracula die. Among its other prominent films in the genre are "The Phantom of the Opera," "The Wolf Man" and "Creature From the Black Lagoon." Readers can see "The Invisible Man" and get wrapped up in "The Mummy" through the book's black-and-white images of movie scenes, publicity stills and off-screen doings taken from the studio's photo archives. There are also color reproductions of movie posters. Roy Milano's text is accompanied by essays by horror film fans Jennifer Beals, John Landis. Gloria Stuart, and Sara Karloff and Bela G. Lugosi, Boris' and Bela's children, respectively. There's also a chronology of the studio's 31 monster movies, including sequels, from the 1920s to the 1950s, and a "fearword" by Hollywood horror honcho Forrest J. Ackerman.
"Alfred Hitchcock: The Master of Suspense" by Kees Moerbeek (Little Simon)
Alfred Hitchcock knew a thing or two about scaring moviegoers. A lucky seven of his thrillers are celebrated in an unusual way -- in colorful, 2-foot-wide pop-up displays. Turn the page and up springs the long, winding, dizzying staircase so central to the plot of "Vertigo." Open to "The Birds" and see a flock of ominous black birds take flight. And greet a long-dead but grinning skeleton when she "sits up" for visitors to the Bates Motel in the display for "Psycho," probably Hitchcock's best-known film. Explaining the action are brief plot summaries and behind-the-camera production information. What's more, Hitchcock himself pops up on every page -- as he did in each of his films. Browsers will witness 3-D depictions of a strangling, a knifing, and an animated, hollow-eyed skeleton, but it's only cardboard.
"Creepy Crawls: A Horror Fiend's Travel Guide" by Leon Marcelo (Santa Monica Press)
This paperback will make armchair travelers happy to be in the safety of their own homes. Leon Marcelo provides a tour of some of the spookiest spots in the world -- haunted sites, horror movie locales, and the final (we trust) resting places of horror icons Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney and Peter Lorre. Destinations include London and Paris; Poe's Baltimore, Stephen King's Maine and H.P. Lovecraft's New England; and the locales of scary films including "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," "The Amityville Horror," "The Blair Witch Project" and, fittingly, "Halloween." Readers visit the Tower of London and the Poe Museum; Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., and Les Catacombes in Montparnasse, France; New Jersey's Blairstown Diner, from "Friday the 13th" fame, and "The Shunned House" in Providence, R.I. More than 300 black-and-white photos accompany the text, as well as site addresses, horror trivia, travel tips and curiosities. For some sites, there's also a phone number. Just hope the line doesn't go dead.
"Ghostly Ruins" by Harry Skrdla (Princeton Architectural Press)
Skrdla visits 30 examples of "America's Forgotten Architecture" in text and 250 black-and-white photos. There are mansions, hotels, factories, a prison, an amusement park and even an entire town -- all abandoned and left to fend for themselves. Text and photos describe the structures as they were when fresh and vibrant and new and useful, and compare them to their present neglected state. Among the examples is the Packard Motors plant in Detroit, which went the way of the Packards that were built there and whose proposed demolition has been blocked by the property owners' lawsuit. Little is left of Windsor, a Civil War-era plantation house in Mississippi, besides 23 of its original 28 columns. They now rise high into the sky and abruptly end, no longer having any structure to support. And visitors to the 1964-65 New York World's Fair might remember the futuristic New York State Pavilion, designed by Philip Johnson. The fair is long gone, but the pavilion still stands, waiting for someone to find a use for it.
"Haunted Homeland" by Michael Norman (Forge)
Norman takes readers on a tour of about 90 locales in the U.S. and Canada that have been the source of strange phenomena, some dating back to the 17th century. Norman investigates reports of banshees and poltergeists, and of spirits, spooks and specters. He visits haunted crime scenes, and relates reports of apparitions of famous people including Mary Todd Lincoln and Mary Surratt.A separate section describes some eerie doings at U.S. colleges, including, appropriately, Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky.
"Ghosthunter: A Journey Through Haunted France" by Simon Marsden (Flammarion)
Simon Marsden has spent 40 years roaming the world in search of ghosts to shoot -- with his camera. In "Ghosthunter" he chronicles some of his discoveries. This large-format volume contains descriptive text and black-and-white images of 50 haunted sights, including chateaux and churches, forests and fortresses, castles and cemeteries and ruins that have long been sources of ghost stories.
"Vampires: Encounters With the Undead" edited by David J. Skal (Black Dog & amp; Leventhal)
Readers who like a good scare will want to sink their teeth into this 600-page trade paperback of a 2001 hardcover that offers a 200-year survey of vampire literature, lore and history. Contributors include Edith Wharton, Robert Bloch, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and, of course, Dracula's daddy, Bram Stoker. Accompanying the text are 200 illustrations and Skal's commentary.
"The Big Book of Horror: 21 Tales to Make You Tremble" by Alissa Heyman (Sterling)
This book offers 21 stories that promise to "make you tremble." Its abridged versions of classic tales don't dawdle -- they get to the horror in a hurry. So several can be read in one sitting, preferably around a fire as it blazes and crackles in the quiet chill of night. Authors represented in the anthology include Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Dickens, Guy de Maupassant and H.P. Lovecraft. Among the characters readers will be glad they are meeting only on paper are a stranded traveler who must spend the night in a haunted house; a hunter who is the victim of revenge wrought by the detached hand of a man he killed; and a man who escapes from lifelong imprisonment only to encounter a hideous monster whose identity shocks him.
"Scary Stories" with Barry Moser, illustrator (Chronicle Books)
Twenty classic and modern-day writers are represented in this book, including Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart," Ray Bradbury's "The Man Upstairs," Ambrose Bierce's "The Boarded Window" and Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery." And what sort of havoc could be wreaked by six innocent "Kittens"? Find out in the story by Dean Koontz.
TRICKS THAT TREAT
"The Art & amp; Making of 'Monster House"' by J.W. Rinzler (Insight Editions)
There are houses that house monsters. And there's a house that is a monster. That house was featured this past summer in the movie "Monster House," and that movie is featured in a slipcased and generously illustrated "scrapbook" that takes readers behind the scenes to show how the animated film was made and its special effects created. The title character is the spookiest house in the neighborhood, the where grouchy Old Man Nebbercraker lives. When anyone or anything dares come close, the house comes to life, quaking with anger as its porch beams splinter, giving the appearance of a fierce, gaping mouth with jagged teeth. Now, three neighborhood kids are in danger after having managed to irk the house big-time. Besides its 400 illustrations, the book features gatefolds, stick-on notes, and bound-in booklets about monsters. Removable artifacts include a poster, bookmark, skeleton key and 25 trading cards, whose backs can be arranged to form a drawing of the house.
"It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: The Making of a Television Classic" by Lee Mendelson (Harper)
This paperback album by executive producer Lee Mendelson celebrates the 40th anniversary of the classic animated show, which premiered on Oct. 27, 1966. The story takes place on Halloween night. All the "Peanuts" gang are out trick-or-treating and having their sacks filled with candy -- except Charlie Brown, who keeps getting rocks. Linus, though, is patiently and faithfully sitting in the pumpkin patch, waiting for the benevolent Great Pumpkin to arrive. The book includes reminiscences by animator Bill Melendez, commentary from the child actors who provided the characters' voices, and 150 illustrations, including photos, story boards, sheet music and, of course, Charles M. Schulz's "Peanuts" gang. Also, the original script, illustrated with scenes from the show.
Halloween in pictures
"Mommy?" by Arthur Yorinks with art by Maurice Sendak (MDC/Scholastic, 24,95, all ages)
A little boy in a blue onesie and bright red cap who toddles through a haunted house asking everyone he meets, "Mommy?" But, in this house, he has a better chance of finding a "mummy" -- which he does, among the other creepy 3-D creatures that emerge in the paper pop-ups engineered by Matthew Reinhart. Unfazed by his ghoulish greeters, the fearless little fellow finally finds his mommy, but not before he runs into a vampire, a wolfman, and a one-toothed, green-faced something-or-other.
"I'm Going To Eat You!" by Matt Mitter with art by Jimmy Pickering, (Reader's Digest, 10.99, 4-6)
Another little boy searches through his house when he is awakened by a scary voice that says "I'm going to eat you" in this lift-the-flaps book. The boy goes from room to room, opening doors (liftable flaps for the reader) to reveal several scary-looking but innocent creatures. He finally finds the unexpected source of the voice when the kitchen door opens to reveal ... guess whom?
"Clifford's First Halloween" by Norman Bridwell (Scholastic, 7.99, 3 and older)
In this abridged version of Bridwell's 1995 book, Emily Elizabeth can't find a costume for her frisky pup. But little Clifford accidentally finds one on his own and proceeds to scare the daylights out of all the kids at the Halloween party.
"Dora's Spooky Halloween" (Simon Spotlight, 5.99. ages 2-5)
Dora can't decide what to dress up as for Halloween -- there are so many good choices! So in she explores the neighborhood, collecting ideas from the friends she meets and from the old broomstick she finds.
"The Costume Copycat" by Maryann Macdonald with art by Anne Wilsdorf (Dial Books, 10.99, 4 and older)
"What to wear?" is a problem, too, for Angela. Year after year, at trick-or-treat time, her costume is overshadowed by older sister Bernadette's -- that is, until one Halloween when Bernadette has to stay home with chicken pox.
"Behind the Mask" by Yangsook Choi (FSG, 16, 4-8)
A little Korean-American boy named Kimin decides to trick-or-treat as his grandfather after he finds the "tal" (mask) Grandpa wore as a mask dancer in his native Korea. The mask not only provides Kimin with inspiration for his costume, it holds a wonderful surprise for him.
"Trick or Treat!" by Melissa Arps with art by Hector Borlasca (Golden Books, 4.99, 2 and older)
This jack-o-lantern-shaped board book with a black carrying string tells the story of a young trick-or-treater dressed like a cowboy who's sharing his goodies with all the "monsters" he meets on his rounds. But -- and keep this under your hat -- he has saved some treats for himself in a secret hiding place.
"Dirk Bones and the Mystery of the Haunted House" by Doug Cushman (HarperCollins, 15.99, 4-8) .
It's no news when someone is scared by a ghost. But when ghosts are scared -- well, that's news! Dirk Bones, skeleton and ace reporter for The Ghostly Tombs, investigates.
"A Very Brave Witch" by Alison McGhee with art by Harry Bliss (Simon & amp; Schuster, 12.95, 4-8)
It's normal for humans to be afraid of witches, but it's a switch when a witch is afraid of us. A little witch flying her broomstick summons the courage to "drop in" on some human trick-or-treaters and learns a thing or two about them -- mainly, not to be afraid of someone who's different.
"Los Gatos Black on Halloween" by Marisa Montes with art by Yuyi Morales (Henry Holt, 16.95, 4-8)
Witches, skeletons, ghosts and other creatures are celebrating Halloween in a haunted house. They're having a ball until a knock on the door disturbs their fun. The story is told in rhyme and introduces several Spanish words.
out of the pumpkin patch
"Pumpkin Town" by Katie McKy with art by Pablo Bernasconi (Houghton Mifflin, 16, 5-8)
What's worse than a town with no pumpkins? One with too many pumpkins, that's what, as one town learns when pumpkin seeds that were accidentally scattered all over the place finally sprout. But with the help of some young brothers from a nearby farm, the problem is solved for good. Or is it?
"The Fierce Yellow Pumpkin" by Margaret Wise Brown with art by Richard Egielski (HarperCollins, 6.99, 3-6)
This paperback edition of the classic book tells the story of a docile little green pumpkin that grows into a fat orange one and gets a ferocious-looking mouth and glowing eyes, thanks to a couple of kids with a carving knife and a lighted candle.
"Plumply, Dumply Pumpkin" by Mary Serfozo with art by Valeria Petrone (Little Simon, 6.99, 2-5)
A board book version of the story about an orange-and-black tiger cub in search of the perfect pumpkin. He finds it, but just what is he going to do with it?
"Halloween Fun With Spookey the Square Pumpkin" by Joe Troiano art by Susan Banta(Sterling, 5.95, 6-9) .
This board book features a maze, connect-the-dots game and pumpkins of all shapes to color, all on reusable, wipe-clean pages. Nestled into the back cover is a package of crayons in six colors -- including orange, of course.
"Colors" and "Numbers" (Sterling, 4.95, 2-3), both by Troiano with art by Nan Brooks
Two books in one, in a flip book in which Spookey and his pumpkin pals help kids learn their colors and how to count to 10.
Reviews by Ron Berthel of The Associated Press
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