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Lisa Morton ‘Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween’ Review


Written by: Drake Morgan

Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween is precisely what it claimed to be—a history of the centuries old holiday that has become Halloween. Morton’s work is not a scholarly study, but instead strives for a more popular style of writing, including illustrations.

As this is not a scholarly study, the question then arises as to why we need another popular history of Halloween. Morton begins her work with the Celtic holiday of Samhain. She provides a thorough background of the Celtic mythology and links to Beltaine as well. She then moves to the continent, focusing on an eclectic combination of holiday influences from Denmark to Guy Fawkes Day in England. There are chapters on The Day of the Dead from Mexico and other global traditions. The book closes with an extensive chapter on modern Halloween, including movies and theme parks. As I finished, I couldn’t help but feel as if I had just finished several Wikipedia articles. There was little fresh information here for fans of the holiday. The work was well-detailed, but those details could come from any decent blog site or encyclopedia article. Simply put, there was little reason to write this book and even less reason to read it.

For horror fans, Halloween is the holiday of the year. Scares, frights, ghouls, and monsters come out of the shadows to invade our streets, our homes, and our imaginations. This holiday is rich with history and symbolism, and Morton tries to bring that history to life. Unfortunately, it’s merely a retelling of the basics instead of an enlightening journey into the past. Three stars because it’s well-written and well-detailed, but check out a few of the big Halloween web sites and you get essentially the same thing.

Order Trick or Treat right here.

Rating: 3/5

About The Overseer (1669 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

2 Comments on Lisa Morton ‘Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween’ Review

  1. Thanks for the honesty about this book…while I have loved Halloween all my life …and would probably enjoy knowing more about the history of its origins…I to think that is something I can do on mine own….It may well suit others who are curious about the history to take the time to read this…vitina


  2. I really want to read this.


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