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October Reel to Read: Gothic Movies on Saturdays at Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd Street

The page meets the screen at REEL TO READ, a curated series of independent and classic cinema. These free screenings, hand-picked by local authors and film experts, include a Recommended Reads list based on the movie.

The Gothic
Curated By Joanna Ebenstein, Morbid Anatomy Museum

Joanna Ebenstein, Co-founder and Creative Director of The Morbid Anatomy Museum, selected the titles this month. Don’t miss the Author Talk on her new book Death: A Graveside Companion on Wednesday, November 1 at 6:30 PM.

Haxan Film PosterHaxan, or Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922)

Saturday, October 21, 2017, 2-4 PM. Doors open at 1:30 PM.
Also available to stream free with your library card at

Why she chose the film: "Haxan, or Witchcraft Through the Ages is one of our favorite all-time films. A silent 'documentary' about the history of witchcraft made in 1922, it is utterly spellbinding and often shocking, with gasp inducing scenes featuring black masses, grotesque demons, naked witches, torture, and possessed nuns. Because of its graphic content, it was banned in many countries, including the United States. It was also, when paired with the Victrola stylings of filmmaker Joel Schlemowitz, one of the most popular offerings at the now defunct Morbid Anatomy Museum." 

Black Sunday Film PosterBlack Sunday (1960)

Saturday, October 28, 2017, 2-4 PM. Doors open at 1:30 PM.
Also available to stream free with your library card at

Why she chose the film: "Some images can never be unseen; they linger in your mind forever. One of these is the piercing gaze of Barbara Steele in one of her earliest roles, the witch Asa Vajda who, persecuted and tortured, returns to wreak revenge on her oppressors. Of all the wonderful films of Mario Bava, this one is special: transgressive and absolutely frightening, it has the archaic beauty of early cinema, and invokes a primal terror that never really leaves you."

Recommended Reads

If you enjoy Gothic film, try one of these book pairings.

Castle of Otranto


Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House
Henry James, The Turn of the Screw
Joan Lindsay, Picnic at Hanging Rock
Arturo Prez-Reverte, The Club Dumas, or, The Shadow of Richelieu
Michael Romkey, American Gothic: A Vampire Story
David Searcy, Ordinary Horror
Peter Straub, The Ghost Story
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, In the Face of Death
Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto

 The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers


Grady Hendrix, Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction
Alex Mar, Witches of America
Mary Roach, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
David J. Skal, The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror
Bram Stoker and John Edgar Browning, The Forgotten Writings of Bram Stoker (Essays, poetry, fiction)


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Reel to Read

What a great post Lauren! Mid-Manhattan @42nd Street programming is all about lifelong learning. Can we add the link to the #Kanopy flyer to this post?

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