Spooky Stuff in Special Collections

With Halloween right around the corner, it seemed like the perfect time to find some ghost-y books in Special Collections. You never know what you’ll come across in the Special Collections stacks, and this spooky excavation was no different.

First up is Harry Houdin’s A Magician Among the Spirits, Houdini’s 1924 attempt at debunking well-known spiritualists of the 1920s. While Houdini wanted his audiences to believe his “magic” escape routines were the result of skill, many other magicians of the time advertised their acts as being made possible by the supernatural.

Best of all, this first edition print is signed by Houdini himself!

"To my friend Father Heredia Best wishes Houdini May 7/1924

Next, nothing says “children’s stories” like William Faulkner, right? While Faulkner’s reputation may be more for the experimental style of his many fictional works, the children of his Oxford, MS home knew him as “Pappy” and thrilled at his ghost stories, recounted in this book by Faulkner’s niece Dean Faulkner Wells.

Jeanne deLavigne’s Ghost Stories of Old New Orleans is extra spooky because its stories comes from “old newspaper accounts, interviews and neighborhood hearsay.”

Finally, any discussion of ghosts and New Orleans wouldn’t be complete without Lafcadio Hearn, the 19th century writer and Japanophile. Hearn lived in New Orleans for almost ten years and wrote for both the New Orleans Daily City Item and the Times-Democrat. While Hearn has become one of New Orleans’  favorite ex-residents, it is Hearn’s writings from Japan and China that have made him most famous. Books such as In Ghostly Japan and Tales Out of the East introduced Western audiences to cultures and stories they’d never heard before, and Hearn frequently focused on the folkore of these countries in his writings.

To view any of these books in their entirety, contact Loyola University Special Collections & Archives at archives@loyno.edu or come see us on the third floor of the Monroe Library.

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

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