It’s October, and that means it is time to enjoy some spine-chilling tales. To get in the spooky spirit, I have identified five books Marilyn Monroe owned that would be fun choices for the Halloween season. Have you read any of these?

  1. Mischief by Charlotte Armstrong

    This thriller, which was the basis for the Marilyn Monroe movie Don’t Bother to Knock, tells the story of a disturbed young woman named Nell who babysits a nine-year-old child, Bunny, for an evening. As long as Nell is alone with the child, Bunny remains in danger. This month the Pinup Book Club is also hosting a virtual watch party of Don’t Bother to Knock. Check this post for details.

2. Poe: Complete Poems by Richard Wilbur

Edgar Allen Poe, famed poet of well-known macabre and gruesome tales including the Raven, The Masque of the Red Death, and The Tell-Tale Heart is a Halloween staple. Marilyn Monroe’s personal copy (see left) was the small and portable Laurel Library paperback edition, edited by Richard Wilbur.

3. Bell, Book and Candle by John Van Druten

Marilyn Monroe owned a copy of this play, upon which the 1958 romantic comedy starring Kim Novak is based. The main character of the play is Gillian Holroyd, a witch who places a spell on a publisher.

4. The Medals & Other Stories by Luigi Pirandello

A collection of short stories by farcical dramatist Luigi Pirandello features a ghost story titled “The Haunted House.”

5. Fancies and Goodnights by John Collier

This collection of murder and supernatural fantasy stories won the Edgar award for “outstanding Contribution to Short Story, Mystery” in 1952. Short story titles include “The Possession of Angela Bradshaw,” “The Devil, George, and Rosie,” and “Highway to Hell.”


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