Halloween is almost here! But as we get older, going trick-or-treating becomes less and less appealing than it used to be. Instead, we now turn to scary movies, haunted houses, and ghost stories. I do enjoy a good ghost story, but not all the time. Is it wrong to want to be able to sleep at night? So, I found a book series that had just the right amount of scary for me- Haunted Canada.
I first found out about this series a few years ago. The author of Haunted Canada books 5-9, Joel A. Sutherland, was going to be visiting our local library, so my class took a trip to meet him. In preparation for the trip, my teacher read one of his books to us. I liked the stories because they weren’t *that* scary. A couple of years earlier, a teacher had read us a few chapters of “Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark”, and I found them to be quite creepy and disturbing. But with Haunted Canada, the stories are more tame. Each chapter tells a bit about the history of a location, and then gives reasons as to why that place might be haunted. For example, in one chapter, “Army of the Dead” in Haunted Canada 6, a few workers shared their “run-ins” with ghosts at the Fortress of Louisbourg. A tour guide seeing a dead man in the church, an encounter with a “soldier” in the barracks, and a friendly ghost saving a worker in one of the restored houses are all covered in this story. There’s also a bit of history of the Fortress and the Battle of Louisbourg included. While Haunted Canada can still give you the creeps, it hopefully shouldn’t keep you up at night.
If these stories are a bit much for you, Joel A. Sutherland also wrote a series of books called “Haunted”, which are stand-alone fiction books targeted for younger readers. They focus on just one story, instead of the roughly 25 in each Haunted Canada book, and are not as scary. One of my favourite books in this series was Kill Screen, about a girl who accidentaly releases a ghost from her video game.
But if you enjoyed these stories and want more, Joel wrote a book for older readers called Summer’s End, which is about a group of friends who camp out in an abandoned mansion in the Thousand Islands.This book is definitely more terrifying! The drama in the book is a lot more intense, too. You’ll never know what could happen next.
There are still other great Halloween books like the Goosebumps series and Coraline, and of course we can’t forget to include Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark! But whether or not you believe in ghosts, Haunted Canada provides a good read regardless.
When I was younger, one of my go-to Halloween costumes would always be Hermione Granger(from Harry Potter). I’d don my Gryffindor robes and toque, and head outside with my wand in hand. I chose to be Hermione at first because I was in love with the Harry Potter franchaise. Hermione was a very strong female character and she wasn’t afraid to show her smarts. I admired her for that, and she easily became my favourite character in the series. But as I got older, finding the perfect costume didn’t matter as much anymore. Since I already had a costume ready, for the last two years I was her more because it was convienient than anything else. That didn’t mean that I admired her any less, though. Now, she’s become my answering-the-door-and-handing-out-candy costume. Because, like her, we are both growing older.