Halloween is one of the most memorable days of the year... for any kid or adult. It’s a day characterized by tricks, treats, and scares. It's also the opportunity to get creative and become someone or something else; a day to fill up on candies and run amok as a ghoul, goblin or whatever else suits your fancy.
It can also be a time to learn something new, which is why we've compiled a cool video list of our favourite Halloween tales. Explore the creepy origins of Halloween, the sad tale of the Salem witch trials, or the radio drama that caused a mass panic (we promise it won’t cause a panic in your classroom!!)
The Real Story of Halloween
From Samhain, the Gaelic festival marking the end of harvest, to Halloween the movie, 'The Real Story of Halloween' from the History Channel takes you through the complete journey of Halloween throughout history. Sit back, relax and watch your students stew in fright while they learn about Lemuria, real life witches and how soul cakes evolved into trick-or-treating.
Animated Adaption of 'The Tell-Tale Heart'
"Harken, he had the eye of a vulture." Who doesn't remember being introduced to the insane and haunting story of a man gone mad in Edgar Allen Poe's classic story 'The Tell-Tale Heart'? This animated adaptation by Annette Jung breathes life into Poe's tale of death; taking his words from the page and giving them a visual twist that is guaranteed to keep your students attention, and is suitable for all ages.
Inside the Salem Witch Trials
Supernatural enemies, false confessions, and the Puritans were a recipe for disaster. Beginning in 1692, the Salem Witch Trials left an indelible mark on North American history. Using real dialogue from historic records, 'Inside the Salem Witch Trials' by the History Channel is full of haunting accounts of an incredibly harrowing time. From Tituba, Cotton Mathers, and the Putnam's, your students will watch with dismay and learn how the trials came to be, and how they thankfully came to an abrupt end.
The War of the Worlds - Original and Complete Broadcast
Orson Welles radio adaptation of H.G. Wells 'The War of the Worlds' created a mass panic during its first broadcast! Its news bulletin format caught radio listeners off guard – many of them thought that a Martian invasion was actually happening while they sat listening at home. Check out this radio show, and step back in time to 1938... and imagine what it would have been like to listen for yourself!
What are your favourite frightening Halloween stories to share in the classroom? Please share in the comments section below.