The spookiest day of the year is just around the corner, when little witches and ghouls stalk the streets and adults willingly scare themselves witless. In honor of this haunted holiday, we’ve pulled together three great reads about Halloween’s surprisingly romantic history, the origins of your favorite monsters, and the joy at the heart of Dia de Los Muertos. These stories may not chill you to the bone, but they are sure to get you in the spirit.
The Origins of 25 Monsters, Ghosts, and Spooky Things
Sonya Vatomsky, Mental Floss
Ever wonder why we carve jack-o-lanterns or go trick-or-treating? Or where the legend of the headless horseman or a witch’s flying broomstick come from? The story behind these and other ghoulish customs and creatures might surprise you.
Boo? Halloween Used to Be About Finding True Love
Niraj Chokshi, The New York Times
Halloween wasn’t always so scary. A century ago, the holiday was less about fright—and more about flirtation.
Top 10 Things to Know About Día de los Muertos
Logan Ward, National Geographic
Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is not a Mexican version of Halloween. While Halloween is a dark night of terror and mischief, Day of the Dead festivities unfold over two days in an explosion of color and life-affirming joy.
Now that you’ve read up on your ghosts and goblins, tell us: What’s your favorite part of Halloween? Tweet us @Pocket and share your favorite Halloween stories.