Happy Halloween! This morning, button up your coats against the (unseasonably) cold weather and bring out your ghost stories for a creepy, spooky, Halloween edition of Reading on the Rails.
On Your Kindle
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Start your week with a classic: an original, oft-parodied, sci-fi horror story. Stevenson tells the well-known tale of Mr. Hyde, the ground-breaking brain scientist who goes too far. He uses himself as a subject, creating a monster of a specimen with a mind of its own—who happens to share his body. If you love classics but balk at the prices they can garner in traditional print form, check out Amazon’s kindle store for great bargains on old favorites.
On a Smartphone
Edgar Allan Poe, a Bostonian writer during the Romantic era, became an iconic creator of the spooky short stories we love so much today. His tales of the macabre gained almost instant notoriety, and he’s often celebrated for creating the detective story.
This site has compiled many of Poe’s stories and poems and is perfect to sift through on a cold commute on Halloween Monday morning. Complete with helpful hyperlinks to definitions of tough Romantic-era vocab, find favorites such as The Pit and the Pendulum, the tale of a tortured prisoner during the Inquisition, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, one of the first detective stories, and, of course, The Raven, the eerie, shiver-inducing poem with a rhyme scheme as intricately twisted as its subject matter.
On a Podcast
The fun of Halloween, with its candy and costumes, can often eclipse the historical significance of the day. When you’re munching on Milky Ways and rocking a killer costume, it might slip your mind to question the origins of Halloween’s decidedly weird traditions. This quick clip from National Geographic explains how Halloween began from the pagan traditions of the Celts and how it evolved into the candy-maker’s mecca it is today.
This sinister story—another horror classic—is creepy as much for the details its narrator omits as those he includes. James tells the story of a governess who encounters the haunting aftermath of a pair of deaths in a country manor. A “modern” take on a ghost story, the novella turns the everyday into the supernatural with unidentified figures looming in the wooded scenery who, according to the protagonist, might be the restless souls of recently-deceased inhabitants of the house. The story will leave you frightened and also thoughtful: James’ turn-of-the-century technique will raise questions about the reliability of the narrator and the origins of evil itself.
Photo courtesy of Janne Moren.
TopicsWhat to Read on the Subway This Week by Hope Bordeaux , Education , Break Room , Book Reviews
Molly is The Daily Muse’s resident bookworm. She currently works in communications and is begrudgingly learning to be a grownup. She likes coffee shops and (the bakery aisle of) grocery stores, reading about other places but not necessarily traveling to them, keeping things clean, and stalking the Harvard Opportunes, her beloved college a cappella group.More from this Author