Halloween is almost here, and along with it, comes spooky stories and tales of long-ago mysteries that are unexplainable. There are myriad legends that would send chills down the spine of even the bravest of souls. Maybe you have some in your family. The Midwest Genealogy Center has its share of resources that would strike the Halloween fancy of those hardy folk who are fascinated by reported eerie events of yore.
Cemetery and tombstone books are all over the place in this building. Just pick a county, search our online catalog by changing the “catalog” dropdown to “Genealogy,” add the county and state name with the word “cemetery” or “cemeteries,” and you will likely be happily surprised. In searching the books, you may even find an ancestor!
Probably the next most worthwhile Halloween subject to search in our catalog is “ghosts.” There are 453 genealogy hits: books, microform, and even streaming music—accessible with your MCPL Access Pass (Library card). Do you have any ghost stories in your family tree research?
If you want to know more about witches, including those from Salem, use the genealogy catalog search for “witches,” and when the results come up, click on the “books” limit in the left column; you will find 59 witch hits—maybe enough to keep you entertained until next Halloween! Of course, haunted houses are not to be overlooked, and family stories are sometimes passed down with such creepy sagas. Read up on some of these famous and not-so-famous houses that could be in your own neighborhood!
If you have little ones, now is the time to begin to keep a chronological list of their Halloween costumes—along with photos—to add to your family history stories. One of my neighbors kept a yearly count of how many trick-or-treaters visited her house, and if you are into keeping those kinds of statistics, you could also keep track of the variety of candy you give out as well as the weather each year to add to the costume records.
Do you have spooky family history stories or Halloween ideas to share? Leave them in the comments below!
Midwest Genealogy Center