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Halloween & Día de Muertos Resources

Prints and Photographs

Carol M. Highsmith, photographer. Kelp’s Pumpkin Patch, Indiana. 2016. Prints and Photographs Division.

The Library's rich visual collections feature a wide variety of fine prints, photographs and other materials related to Halloween and Day of the Dead traditions and celebrations. Use the Library's search to view a wide variety of visual materials celebrating these traditions.

VIew all digitized visual collections

Suggested search words and phrases:

  • halloween
  • posada
  • "spirit photographs"
  • ghosts
  • calaveras

Edward St. John Gorey (1925-2000)

The Edward Gorey Collection, comprising 802 items (467 books, 89 periodicals, 92 posters and theater-related materials, 147 items of ephemera, 7 works of art, and 25 reference documents) collected by Gorey expert Glen Emil, is now housed in the Library's Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

José Guadalupe Posada (1851–1913) and Calaveras

Posada was a Mexican illustrator known for his satirical calaveras (from the Spanish word for "skulls"). After his death, Posada's illustrations featuring skeletons would become closely associated with the mexican holiday Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead). 

Documentation of Halloween Traditions

Several collections housed in the Library's American Folklife Center feature Halloween traditions and celebrations.

#FolklifeHalloween2014 Collection

Photographs taken by a diverse cross-section of Americans that document local Halloween traditions.

Spirit Photographs

Can you take a photograph of a ghost? Claims of capturing a spirit with the camera lens were made as early as the 1850s, when photography was relatively new to the world. Learn more about the techniques employed by photographers to capture ghostly images, and view images from the Library's Prints and Photographs Division.

Selected Spirit Photographs