Spooky Stories

The stories I chose from Project Gutenburg are a series of stories titled Hallowe’en at Merryvale by Alice Hale Burnett and a poem titled Splores of a Halloween, Twenty Years Ago by Alexander Dick.

Hallowe’en at Merryvale: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/17145

This is a series of short stories about boys in a typical American town. This is one in a series of this type of story by the author who said they “are written so the boy may read and understand them and the action faithfully portrays boy life in a small town”  Young adult fiction in the 1910s was very different that The Hunger Games it seems. Less world-changing freedom fighting and more bucolic idyll it would seem. I chose this because I read something similar ad nauseam (the Homer Price stories by Robert McClosky) when I was so this appealed to me.

Splores of a Halloween, Twenty Years Ago by Alexander Dick: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/34780

This story was interesting partially for the content, but partially for the author’s foreword about the provenance behind it. Apparently the poem was initially a submission to a newspaper contest soliciting Halloween poems and this one wasn’t initially published. The editor of the paper took issue with the fact that some of the poems were judged “worse” than others and “judged not fit for public recitation” so he decided to publish them anyway and let the public decide. I think that kind of statement associated with this artifact makes in interesting. I can’t help but think that this author and editor would be pleased from beyond the grave that this poem was being reworked in a modern time.

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