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Halloween & Día de Muertos Resources

The Library of Congress is home to an array of resources on the folk customs, fine art, pop culture, and literature of Halloween and Día de Muertos. Collections range from classic film clips to recordings of storytellers, and more.

Introduction

The Library of Congress is home to an array of resources on the folk customs, fine art, pop culture, and literature of Halloween and Día de Muertos. Collections include classic film clips from "The Bride of Frankenstein," "Nosferatu," and "Carnival of Souls;" audio recordings of traditional storytellers spinning yarns about ghosts and witches; and recorded readings by authors playfully blending the living with the dead, such Álvaro Enrigue’s Muerte súbita, Valeria Luiselli’s Los ingrávidos, and Juan Rulfo’s Pedro Páramo. There is even documentation of spooky séances with the great Harry Houdini, iconic artwork of Edward Gorey and José Guadalupe Posada, and the timeless poetry of Robert Burns and Rafael Campos.

Costume sketches (from left to right) Scarecrow, Dorothy, and “The Wiz” Herman Smith by Tony Walton, Tony Walton Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress

Halloween Events in 2018

October 26-27 - "The Wiz" Mini-Series
“Ease on down the road” to the Library for its celebration of the 40th anniversary of the film version of The Wiz. Harlem and Oz intersect in this magical re-telling of L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, starring luminaries like Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. Catch one or both screenings, as well as several opportunities to hear and interact with Tony Walton, the production and costume designer for the film. Be sure to see a display of the Library’s holdings related to The Wiz and don’t miss the chance to see the movie on the big screen! Learn more

October 31 - "Frankenreads"
It has been 200 years since English novelist Mary Shelley captured our imagination with the gothic classic "Frankenstein." To commemorate this bicentennial the Library of Congress will host “Frankenreads,” a Bloomsday-style public read-athon of the novel in its entirety on Oct. 31 in the Library’s Main Reading Room. The reading will begin at 10 a.m. and is open to the public. Tickets are not required. Learn more

November 1-5 - Community Altar/Ofrenda in the Hispanic Reading Room
The Library's Hispanic Division will be celebrating Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) by creating a community altar. All are welcome to leave ofrendas beginning on November 1. The altar will remain in the foyer of the Hispanic Division through November 5, with an open house from 3:00-4:30 on November 1st. You can leave ofrendas, honor those already in place, and enjoy some pan de muerto, atole, and most importantly – a celebration of life and death.