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Frontispiece illustrations by D.G. Rossetti for his sister Christina Rossetti's work Goblin Market and Other Poems. 1862

Eerie Selections from the Archives

Find a weird, eerie, or uncanny book in Archives and Special Collections

The end of October is here and we at Archives and Special Collections want to add to the Halloween spirit by featuring four eerie selections from our rare book collection.

Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1929)

Dr. Jekyll is a respected and reputable man. Mr. Hyde is a selfish and self-indulgent man. This riveting gothic novella by Robert Louis Stevenson reveals that both are the same man. 

This edition of the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is one of 1,200 copies made by the Pynson Printers of New York in 1929. Archives and Special Collections has copy Number 8 signed by W. A. Dwiggins, the illustrator. This copy also includes a facsimile of the author’s manuscript.

Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862)

Manuscript page of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson inserted in this edition.
Facsimile of a page of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde manuscript by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Two sisters, Laura and Lizzie, live near a stream where they can hear goblin merchants selling fruit every twilight. One day, one of the sisters decides to eat the fruit. What happens to the sisters?

Goblin Market by Christina Georgina Rossetti is the first of many poems found in this 1862 first edition of Goblin Market and Other Poems. The frontispiece, additional title page, and cover design are illustrated by her brother, Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Rossetti claimed her poems are “intended” for children, but readers of all ages can enjoy her poetry.

Shadow forms: a collection of occult stories (1925)

A collection of stories that feature weird and otherworldly tales. Some common topics of these tales include mystery, magic and sorcery. 

Illustration of a man holding a box created by Homer Conant for Shadow Forms
Frontispiece of Shadow Forms illustrated by Homer Conant, 1925

This book is a 1925 first-edition print by Henry P. Hall. It includes a colored frontispiece by Homer Conant. Hall claims the tales included in Shadow forms: a collection of occult stories are inspired by “Eastern folklore, legends or tales.”

The Haunted Looking Glass: Ghost Stories (1959)

Front cover for The Haunted Looking Glass, compiled and illustrated by Edward Gorey, 1959

Ghosts take the main stage in this collection of short stories compiled and illustrated by Edward Gorey. The Haunted Looking Glass includes ghost stories from various authors that may vary in their notability and “age,” including Robert Louis Stevenson (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), Bram Stoker (Dracula), and Charles Dickens. In total, there are 12 different ghost stories recommended by the author for children 11 and up.

All of these delightfully spooky books are available to view in Archives and Special Collections. We invite you to visit us in Shields Library, if you dare.


Archives and Special Collections


Halloween Rare Books Special Collections