In honour of this Halloween season, the Secret Victorianist brings you five top tips for having a spooktacularly Victorian October 31st!
|Martita Hunt as Miss Havisham in the 1846 Great Expectations|
1. Read a Victorian ghost story
You might associate Victorian ghosts with Christmas and Charles Dickens’s ever popular A Christmas Carol (1842), but they are plenty more spine tingling reads to dip into before December. Check out some Sheridan Le Fanu (review here) or quake at Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Body Snatcher (1884).
2. Dive into a scary story with no ghosts at all
Some of the scariest nineteenth-century reads aren’t supernatural at all. I’d recommend Wilkie Collins’s A Terribly Strange Bed (1852), which I read for the first time recently. Unsavoury characters, an ingenious murder device and an intriguing frame narrative set this one apart.
3. Even better – read one of these stories aloud
Dim the lights, huddle round the campfire, and rekindle the Victorian tradition of reading aloud to family and friends. Bonus points for your best Tennyson-inspired voice!
4. Slip into a Victorian inspired costume
There are so many Halloween costume ideas out there for the budding Victorianist. Some of my favourites: find a tattered white dress and act the eternal bride Miss Havisham, grab a friend to go as Jekyll and Hyde, or perch a toy raven on your shoulder and you’re an instant Edgar Allen Poe.
5. Binge watch Steampunk’d
Don’t fancy painting the town red on a Monday night? Have a low key Halloween by binge watching the show that pitches makers of Victoriana against each other – Steampunk’d. I just discovered it on Netflix and am gutted GSN ruled out a second season.
|The judges on Steampunk'd|