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Book Review: Halloween Nation – Author Lesley Pratt Bannatyne

HALLOWEEN NATION: BEHIND THE SCENES OF AMERICA’S FRIGHT NIGHT

A book made for the festive ghoul in all of us, “Halloween Nation” is a work of passion written by author Lesley Pratt Bannatyne. This new release which is subtitled “Behind the Scenes of America’s Fright Night” is actually that. It proudly boastthe symbol of “I love Halloween” which is apparent from the 2 years of research she did to bring us this new ode to all things Halloweeny. From pumpkins to goblins, from zombies to seances, the book takes a focal look at not JUST the celebrational event but things that are created, shared and explored around this once a year event. As one notes, its the time of year when one can wear odd clothes or costumes without being laughed or pointed at. For some reason, the nation decided that at the end of October…..we can all let our hair down, look scary, look extra sexy, look alive, dead, or anything in between and do it with a common understanding.

Now with this event comes several subjects, business and creative offerings that fuel the time of year with great products and events. If you’ve never been to a zombie walk, then your missing out on the flavors of life. Within we look at pumpkins big and small, pumpkin carving, pumpkin lore and even a pumpkin at the hand of one headless horseman. Seances seem to ramp up considerably. I was fascinated as we hear about Houdini and the final attempts to contact his spirit. Or about souls from beyond and our fascination with calling them back without letting time get too far away from us.

Witches as we find out are much different than the green skinned hags that litter our Halloween decor. Of course, most of us know that real witches follow a Wiccan tradition including various rituals that give their respect for the dead. The Book goes a bit into some of the modern cultural aspects such as “The Secret” and some quantum advancements. In all though it’s fair to say that the covens are especially active during this time of year for SamHain celebrations.

Giant pumpkins that weigh several 100 pounds are a prime addition to the festivities of Halloween. Whether you are purchasing detailed glass models or growing your own for competition, it still stands as a premier icon for October end.

Subjects are a plenty in this collection from Halloween models, to towns composed of psychics and mediums. Rock bands, Halloween groupies, fancy glass pumpkins, zombie weddings, artists, painters, tattoo artists, and especially our bets friends for this time the practical effects artists who create dead bodies and masks. What the book provides in its premise is an all-inclusive look at things that relate or activate during the season. With businesses who prepare all year round to sexy vixens who reveal there dark side during the full moons, Lesley has had a blast documenting and writing about the details.

It’s a fascinating collection and makes for a great seasonal coffee table book. You can flip thru to subjects of interest or flip to the back for some research notes on the Halloween history itself. It was impossible for me to read page to page with so many cool pictures directing me to other sections. Horror fans will of course revel in this book because horror is really a primary theme here, whether in fear or just for the playful participation. “Halloween Nation” is published by Pelican and is printed as an easy to read professional product. The book is intended for Social Science but regardless is a cool horror product shelfer.

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