Written by: Andrew Lundeen
Primary Source: The Special Collections Provenance Project at MSU, October 29, 2015
A nightmare before Christmas? Our copy of Elsie’s Hallowe’en Experience, an 1888 collection of children’s stories from author Mary Dow Brine, was apparently given as an Xmas gift in 1908.
It’s not as strange as it sounds—the work does contain a couple of Christmas stories in addition to the titular tale of a spooky Halloween sleepover. Still, with Halloween just around the corner, it seemed an appropriate time to share this curious little volume.
Note the archaic spelling of Hallowe’en in the book’s title, with the apostrophe betraying the origin of the word as a contraction of All Hallows’ Even[ing]. This spelling largely fell out of favor after the 19th century.