Lesley Bannatyne joins us today to discuss Halloween. We will get into the history of the day, American Halloween, its transformation, and much more.
Lesley Bannatyne is an American author who writes extensively on Halloween, especially its history, literature, and contemporary celebration. She also writes short stories, many of which are included in her debut collection Unaccustomed to Grace, coming out from Kallisto Gaia Press in March, 2022.
One of the country’s foremost authorities on Halloween, Bannatyne has shared her knowledge on television specials for the History Channel (“The Haunted History of Halloween,” “The Real Story of Halloween”), with Time Magazine, Slate, National Geographic, and contributed the Halloween article to World Book Encyclopedia. In 2007, she and several compatriots set the Guinness World Record for Largest Halloween Gathering, a title they held until 2009.
Lesley has written five books on Halloween, ranging from a children’s book, Witches Night Before Halloween, to Halloween Nation, which examines the holiday through the eyes of its celebrants. Nation was nominated for a 2011 Bram Stoker Award. Her other titles are A Halloween How-To. Costumes, Parties, Destinations, Decorations (2001); A Halloween Reader. Poems, Stories, and Plays from Halloweens Past (2004), and Halloween. An American Holiday, An American History, celebrated 30 years in print in 2020.