The Ghost Story
by Victor Bonsignore
Great Writers Media

"The hands on the clock move so slow
The stroke of midnight releases the soul."

The author's book tells two tales. The first focuses on Halloween and trick-or-treating. In a rhyming manner, the story explores evil faeries, dancing zombies, ghouls, and vampires in a haunted house where Dracula is the host. Owls, crows, cemeteries, and coffins also make their appearances. While this is happening, children go trick-or-treating in the countryside under a harvest moon, walking in the woods, and coming upon a cemetery. At home, they carve pumpkins and bob for apples while listening to scary stories. The book ends with a friendly notice from the American Dental Association regarding the need to brush one's teeth after eating Halloween treats.

The second story tells of Stingy Jack, his encounter with Satan, and his ability to trick the Devil and win battles against him. A hard drinker, he led a sinful life and eventually died from his drinking habit. He was banned from heaven, and Satan wouldn't let him into hell. Hence, Jack had to live between the two realms, a situation recounted in the common Irish myth of Jack O'Lantern.

Both stories are primarily for older children who can understand the messages the tales convey. The first one is especially well-written and has beautiful illustrations. The poetry of this story is nicely utilized, and while it is scary, it can evoke memories of childhood imaginings. The fun storyline and the pictures will also likely engage children. The second story is more didactic and may appeal to those who appreciate narratives featuring a clearly defined moral. It may also interest those who enjoy learning how cultural traditions, such as the modern jack-o'-lantern, may have come about.

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