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It’s Halloween time! Need a gift idea? Here are some tales of horror centered around some historical and iconic figures.


Edgar Allan Poe, the Godfather of Horror

Edgar Allan Poe is often known for his spooky stories of man’s descent into darkness and death and for his popularization of the horror genre. But few know of his peacetime service in the U.S. Army, which deeply inspired a few of his works. 

Check out his collection of stories:

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Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds froze citizens with fear—or did it?

In 1938, Orson Welles’ infamous broadcast of “War of the Worlds”—a Halloween special revolving around a Martian takeover—reportedly caused widespread panic. But recent evidence shows it might not have. 

Check out Welles’ biography, words from the man himself: 







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The Spooky side of Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl’s is perhaps best known for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but he also served as an RAF pilot in WWII.

The author though known for his lighter children’s works, the author had his spooky side, writing about ghosts, gremlins and more.

Check out the Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories:

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The Donner Party?

The horror started early October in the 1840swhen a group of pioneers heading toward the West resorted to drastic measures for their survival in the wilderness, but the tragedy of the Donner Party – and tales of cannibalism – has spooked history readers ever since:  Check out our review of Michael Wallis’ The Best Land Under Heaven and an interview with the New York Times bestselling author.

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That Time Nazi Zombies Was Almost A Thing

Okay…maybe not. But while tales of Nazi zombies and evil scientists remain reserved for campy horror films, Hitler and his Nazi party did have an obsession with the dark arts. Eric Krulander’s latest Hitler’s Monsters, takes a dive into the Nazis’ devotion to “occult forces, mad scientists, fantastical weapons, a superhuman Nazi master race, a preoccupation with pagan religions, and magical relics supposed to grant the Nazis unlimited powers.” Maybe raising the undead might have not been too far down the list.

Check out our review by the National World War II Museum’s senior historian Robert M. Citino.

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The Bloody Baron of Mongolia

The last Khan of Mongolia was oddly not Mongolian but a Russian nobleman named Baron Roman Nickolai Maximilian von Ungern-Sternberg. Like Hitler, the baron was obsessed with occult mysticism. His dangerous reputation as a ruthless leader in the Russian army during World War I earned him a reputation as courageous but unstable. In 1919, he established a fiefdom in Mongolia, and had earned the respect of local religious leader Bogd Khan, who declared the baron the reincarnation of Genghis Khan himself. During his reign, Ungern-Sternberg relentlessly pursued Bolsheviks and murdered Chinese, Jews, refugees and even his own troops when he suspected them of disloyalty or breaches of discipline. His own men would eventually turn him over to the Soviets who would execute him, effectively ending the baron’s legacy of violence and madness. 

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