A Halloween Reading Challenge

When I come across reading challenges that I think are great ideas, I like to share them.  I think I am unfortunately too late in finding this challenge to start, but a really good idea for a personal reading challenge, if you are stuck for finding a new genre to read.

This is a Hogwarts Reading Challenge and the full details can be found HERE.

You pick books according to what class at Hogwarts they would fall into (for example, I would say most classical literature would fall into the Muggle Studies category).

I absolutely love how this blogger has made their website look like J.K Rowling’s website.  J.K’s website can be found HERE.

And don’t forget: Harry Potter makes you hotter!

Maybe a good Halloween costume?


Halloween Countdown: Costume #4

4. The vampires from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. We all know that there are going to be a lot of sparkly-skinned vampires running around this year, or even perhaps what has become the classic look for the vampire: black hair with widow’s peak and cape.  But what was Stoker’s real vision for these monsters of the night?

Description of Dracula by Bram Stoker: “There he lay looking as if youth had been half-renewed, for the white hair and moustache were changed to dark iron-grey, the cheeks were fuller, and the white skin seemed ruby-red underneath; the mouth was redder than ever, for on the lips were gouts of fresh blood, which trickled from the corners of the mouth and ran over the chin and neck. Even the deep, burning eyes seemed set amongst the swollen flesh, for the lids and pouches underneath were bloated. It seemed as if the whole awful creature were simply gorged with blood; he lay like a filthy leech, exhausted with his repletion.”

Now for the brides of Dracula. In Stoker’s novel, the three women that live with Dracula are never referred to as his brides.  Two are described as having dark hair, while one, the leader, is desrcibed as being blonde. The only description Stoker really gives is of there “high aquiline noses, like the Count’s”. I could not find any descriptions of their clothing, but in almost ever photo of them in Google images, they are wearing long, white flowing gowns.

Halloween Countdown: Costume #3

3. The three witches from Macbeth are probably my favourite characters in all of Shakespeare’s texts.  You could say their role is insignificant and minute, but from a literary perspective, they rule the play Macbeth by foreshadowing all that is to happen. They are also both the opening and closing acts of this play. Plus, this is where the most classic lines ever spoken by witches come from.

I absolutely love their lines:

Act 4, Scene 1

SCENE I. A cavern. In the middle, a boiling cauldron.

Thunder. Enter the three Witches

First Witch:  Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d.

Second Witch: Thrice and once the hedge-pig whined.

Third Witch:  Harpier cries ‘Tis time, ’tis time.

First Witch:
Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble

It seems most witches in other tales stem from these three. Such lines as “In the Cauldron boil and bake; / Eye of Newt, and Toe of Frogge, / Wool of Bat, and Tongue of Dogge, / Adder’s Fork, and Blind-worm’s Sting,  / Lizard’s leg, and Howlet’s wing,  / For a Charm of powerful trouble  / Like a Hell-broth boil and bubble ,” seem to have been used countless times in our plays, movies and books (hello Harry Potter!).

So what is the vision of the witches that Shakespeare had in mind?  Here is a description by Macbeth when he first encountered them:

—”What are these
So wither’d and so wild in their attire,
That look not like the inhabitants of th’ earth
And yet are on ‘t?”

Artists and costume designers have interpreted the witches in many ways, but the most consistent  costume seems to be long, white flowing hair and bodies covered with a long, black flowing cloak, sometimes with a hood.

So if you are a party of three this Halloween night, try this costume out (and don’t forget to speak in verse!).

If you happen to have an extra male on hand, make him your Macbeth and torment him throughout the night!

Creepy actions by the three witches from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Act 1, scene 1:

Halloween Countdown!

Welcome to my Halloween room!

When I was younger, Halloween was one of my all-time favourite ‘holidays’.  I would stay up all night, waiting for midnight on October 31, believing that magic was truly in the air.

Now being grown-up and not believing in magic anymore, except that magic of books, I am going to focus this month on Halloween-themed books and each week provide a number of Halloween costumes that have been inspired by classical literature (and how to do their authors proud!) For example, does the monster in Frankenstein really have green skin?  Stay tuned to find out…

Welcome to my Halloween Town!