My Halloween recommendations

I realised today why I like Halloween so much; for a few weeks, the world looks like the inside of my mind. People decorate with ghosts and pumpkins and let in the dark and scary with reckless abandon. Horror films dominate the TV. And we all eat more sweets than is good for us. It’s my Christmas.

Every year, I choose a Halloween read, a Halloween horror film, and a Halloween treat (not chocolate, I eat that all year round anyway!) This year, I’m going to share them all with you.

My Halloween read is, thanks to Netgalley and Amulet Books, Blood Countess by Lana Popović. Here’s the summary:

A historical YA horror novel based on the infamous real-life inspiration for Countess Dracula

In 17th century Hungary, Anna Darvulia has just begun working as a scullery maid for the young and glamorous Countess Elizabeth Báthory. When Elizabeth takes a liking to Anna, she’s vaulted to the dream role of chambermaid, a far cry from the filthy servants’ quarters below. She receives wages generous enough to provide for her family, and the Countess begins to groom Anna as her friend and confidante. It’s not long before Anna falls completely under the Countess’s spell—and the Countess takes full advantage. Isolated from her former friends, family, and fiancé, Anna realizes she’s not a friend but a prisoner of the increasingly cruel Elizabeth. Then come the murders, and Anna knows it’s only a matter of time before the Blood Countess turns on her too.

I’m really looking forward to it. I love the history of Countess Elizabeth Báthory, so am chomping at the bit to get my teeth into this one – too much? If you’d like to read it, you’ll have to wait until the New Year :(

My Halloween Horror film is the Ginger Snaps trilogy – yes, I’m being greedy and having a three for one. Featuring sisters bonded by more than just blood, and believable werewolves; it even takes us back to the start of the curse with Ginger Snaps Back. I would highly recommend all three films. If you have the channel, they’re on Starzplay, or you can still find them on DVD.

My Halloween treat is going to see Dracula the ballet performed by the Northern Ballet . I’ve never seen a ballet before, and I’m hoping that with its Gothic costumes, beautiful scenery and amazing feats of grace, it’ll start a life long love of this art form. Who knows, I might even meet a real vampire there…probably not!

I love this time of year, and I hope you do too. So get out there and carve scary pumpkins to keep the evil spirits at bay, buy overpriced sweets that somehow taste better shaped as ghosts, zombies and witches. And feel, just for a little while, that the supernatural world is close enough to touch – and to touch you back!

Happy Halloween!

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