What’s more fun at Halloween than sitting around in the dark and listening to scary stories by candle light? Ok, for the sake of safety, make it a flashlight. But regardless, this is one tradition that you and your kids definitely shouldn’t miss out on this Halloween. But for this to work right, you need to be organized. You need the right time (the dark, dark, dead of night), the right setting (a dimly lit room with appropriately scary props), brains shaped snacks, and finally the stories themselves. But where do you get these stories? Do you show your creativity, and make them up? Unless you are the latest incarnation of Edgar Allen Poe, it’s probably better to use someone else’s stories. That being said, let’s see where you might find your stories.
First off, there’s your home library. You might well have books lying around that would work, either in your own collection, or your children’s. However, there is one caveat that needs to be addressed here. Keep in mind that a story that might be fine for you or even your teenager (something by Steven King for instance) would be wholly inappropriate for a six year old. The goal here is fun, not a life-scarring trauma requiring expensive counseling. This point applies either to your books, or to those your get elsewhere.
Next, of course, there is the public library. It will almost certainly have a children’s or young reader’s section with something to suit your needs. And the librarians will be happy to help you find the right books. In fact, just before any holiday, librarians often set up a separate display for works related exclusively to that holiday. But plan ahead! Just as you are thinking of this, so are lots of other parents. Show up on Halloween and all you will find are the books no one else wanted. It should be noted that everything stated above about public libraries applies equally to bookstores, except for the fact that they want money.
Finally, let’s assume you don’t have the books you need at home, you waited too late to visit the library, and that the greedy booksellers charge too much. What’s left? You know where I’m going; the internet, of course. There are many free story sites that have exactly what you need, as long as you are selective. One of the better ones for old fashioned scary stories is American Folklore, found at americanfolklore.net. They have a section specifically for Halloween stories (http://www.americanfolklore.net/halloween.html). Another good one is Halloween is Here (HIH), which has a nice Ghost Story section, as well as other Halloween related items. Stories for older kids and teens can be found at http://www.extremeintellect.com/ei2016/holidays/halloween/halloween.html. And finally, you can’t do any better than The Legend of Sleepy Hollow itself, the text of which can be found at http://www.amlit.com/twentyss/chap4.html. With these sites and others, all you need do is print out a large font copy to read from, and you’re all set for a screaming good time.