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Halloween Resources for Fun and Research

To celebrate Halloween, NYU Libraries has assembled this guide to scary books, films and music for fun or serious study.

Spooky Treasure from NYU Special Collections

Just one of the many treasures you will find at NYU Special Collections.  Bram Stoker's Dracula was first published on May 16, 1897 - not Halloween, unfortunately - and has not been out of print since then. It has been adapted for movies, theatrical plays, musicals, graphic novels and video games and the central character - the Count himself - has become synonymous with the myth and legend of the vampire. Bound in yellow cloth with blood-red lettering on both the front and back covers, its color would have signified to contemporary readers that this was perhaps a somewhat 'transgressive' book - yellow was associated with the more disreputable publications of the fin de siecle. The novel is interesting not only for introducing to the world one of the most iconic - if undead - characters in literature, but also because of the way it contrasts the ancient and superstitious with modernity - the story itself is epistolary, told by various characters using a variety of different media to convey their narratives, including not just handwritten letters and journal entries, but also then-modern recording technologies like the typewriter, the phonograph, shorthand and telegrams. 

Yellow Dracula book spine with red lettering.Yellow Dracula book cover with red lettering on top of red slipcase.

Caption: Images of Dracula yellow book cover with red lettering.

Dracula on film

Subject Headings for Vampire Research

Subject headings...

...are words and phrases which constitute a "controlled vocabulary" to categorize books by subject field.  Subject headings often indicate the contents of books in terms that their titles do not use, which often may be very general. Subject headings in online databases are often referred to as descriptors, but they serve the same purpose in locating valuable resources. Using a "keyword" search will identify catalog entries that contain those specific terms which can add value to a search; however, the terms can be found anywhere - author, notes, publisher, etc. - therefore there is no indication of the value of the term(s) as content matter of the items in a results list.

Use general subject headings for searching a broad topic or more specific subject headings for a specific text, film, or play. You will find (more) headings specific to the subject category within the left-hand facets in our library catalog.  If you want to see the subject headings for a specific title in the library catalog, scroll down in the title record. 

Here are some subject headings you may want to try:

  • Vampires
  • Vampires in popular culture
  • Vampires - History
  • Vampire films - History and criticism
  • Vampires - Fiction
  • Vampire films
  • Vampires in literature

Sampling of books about Vampires