Happy Halloween all you rare book lovers! Welcome to another installment in our annual creepy old book series.
Today. we’ve got the occult,
quite a lot of spirit communication,
a pinch of doom and gloom,
and some pestilence and poisons.
Still looking for a costume? The past is here to help!
How about as a personified plant? Poppy perhaps, or hemlock? Please, please click on Ms. Hemlock to get a better view of the vomiting mouse and the rabbit in a toga.
Or perhaps you’d like some inspiration from 19th century theater?
Of course, real historical characters are often the creepiest. May I suggest Cotton Mather, Dr. John Dee, Johann Weyer or St. Dunstan (don’t forget your tongs, you never know when temptation might strike!)
Some of our books are themselves creepy, subject matter aside:
These frankenbooks come to mind. As do the many books that move on their own on the shelves, whether to spit out their own text blocks or to spread their covers and throw their neighboring books on the floor:
Last but not least, I would like to introduce you to the scariest book in our whole collection… a book so creepy that its mere catalog record is enough to raise chills:
Yes, indeed, this is Cotton Mather’s personal copy of Agrippa‘s renowned works on occult philosophy and magic:
Now that is enough to keep me up at night…