Literary Halloween Tour of Terror
For travelers as crazy about Halloween as I am, I've prepared this Literary Halloween Tour of Terror:
We'll start close by with a visit to the Edgar Allan Poe House in Philadelphia. Access is somewhat limited now as the Park Service installs a new exhibit in celebration of the bicentennial of Poe's birth in January. (I hope they pull up a few floor boards and look for that beating you know what....)
Then we'll drive up to Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., to visit the gravesite of Washington Irving, author of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," which gave us the memorable Headless Horseman. (Whatever you do, don't cross the bridge at night alone.)
Precede back to the coast, to Providence, R.I., to the Swan Point Cemetery, to pay our ghoulish respects at the gravesite of H.P. Lovecraft, one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century. Hurry: Ten years ago, vandals tried to dig up his body.
Now, keep driving up the coast to Salem, Mass., which -- as you might imagine -- is completely bewitched this time of year. You can visit the House of Seven Gables, the 17th-century mansion that inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne to write his famous novel. And in Hawthorne's old house nearby, you can see a wildly melodramatic play about the witchcraft crisis of 1692.
I wanted to conclude this whirlwind trip with a stop at the Villa Diodati in Switzerland where -- in 1816 -- Shelley, Byron and Mary Godwin challenged each other to write a ghost story. (Mary -- later Mary Shelley -- wrote the story we know as Frankenstein.) Alas, the villa was torn down long ago. But some say....
Know of any other must-see stops for a Literary Tour of Terror? Click on "Comments" and let us know. Before it's too late.
-- Ron Charles
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