Trick or Treat

A History of Halloween

Lisa Morton

Trick or Treat

Lisa Morton

Distributed for Reaktion Books

232 pages | 53 halftones | 5 x 7 3/4 | © 2019
Paper $14.00 ISBN: 9781789141580 Published September 2019 For sale in North and South America only
Halloween has spread around the world, yet its associations with death and the supernatural as well as its inevitable commercialization have made it one of our most puzzling holidays. How did it become what it is today?

Trick or Treat is the first book both to examine the origins and history of Halloween and to explore in depth its current global popularity. Festivals like the Celtic Samhain and Catholic All Souls’ Day have blended to produce the modern Halloween, which has been reborn with new customs in America—but there are also related but independent holidays, especially Mexico’s Day of the Dead. Lisa Morton lifts the cobwebs off everything from the explosion in popularity of haunted attractions to the impact of events like the global economic recession, as well as the effect Halloween has had on popular culture through literary works, films, and television series.

Taking us on a journey from the spectacular to the macabre, this book is a treat for anyone who wants to peep behind the mask to see the real past and present of this ever more popular holiday.
Review Quotes
Library Journal
Trick or Treat covers the history of Halloween from its ancient Celtic roots to its stunning growth in global popularity in the twenty-first century. Morton is an accomplished horror short story writer, and her ability to draw readers in quickly and keep them turning the pages shines through in her nonfiction as well. Lavishly illustrated, this solidly researched and concise work is fun to read and a great choice for readers who want to know why we seek out the scary each October.”
Times (UK)
“If you want to know anything at all about the subject, you ought to find it in Trick or Treat.”
Choice
“[Morton] playfully sets the record straight on the origins of Halloween. . . . This book is an excellent example of the scholarship on holidays as a means of accessing many facets of history. Highly recommended.”
Fortean Times
“From an authority on Hallowe’en lore comes all you need to know about this ‘misunderstood’ festival. . . . Well written and illustrated, informative and entertaining.”
Michael Dougherty, writer and director, "Trick 'r Treat"
“Full of historical nuggets and strange folklore, Morton’s Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween is the perfect bible for all devoted disciples of the holiday.”
Kim Newman, author of "Nightmare Movies" and "Anno Dracula"
“This is an excellent survey of the Halloween scene, informative and accessible, far more treat than trick.”
Del Howison, editor of "Dark Delicacies" and "Book of Lists: Horror"
“In a modern world, increasingly filled with pop culture fads and gimmicks, Morton reveals much of the underbelly history and unknown facts regarding the biggest pop culture event in history—Halloween. Her sheer delight and well-researched enthusiasm in tackling many of the unrecognized aspects of this monstrous topic makes one wonder what we don’t know about everything else that should be as commonplace to our psyche as a bag of candy.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://www.press.uchicago.edu
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