Special Collections student assistant, Mario Delgadillo, recently selected items for a small horror exhibit in the Louis A. Kenney Reading Room. This exhibit showcases the various types of horror-related materials held in Special Collections. Here is what Mario had to say about his selections:
Although there is no exact date for the birth of the horror genre, literary historians believe that it started as oral folklore with central themes of death, evil and demons.
Some of the greatest classics of this literary genre include Bram Stoker's Dracula, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the short stories of acclaimed authors Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft.
Bram Stoker's Dracula is one of horror's best-known works. Although it was not the first story with vampires for characters, it did popularize them and served as inspiration for many modern works. This novel has been categorized in many literary genres besides horror including vampire literature, the gothic novel and romance literature.
In contrast, Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson made a psychological disorder - Dissociative Identity Disorder - the topic of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Many say that he dreamt the story while he was sick and others say he wrote while under the effect of drugs. Either way, the result is a truly horrifying story.
Special Collections and University Archives holds numerous novels of this genre, from Gothic novels such as Vathek and The Mysteries of Udolpho, to more modern authors like Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and famed children's illustrator and author Edward Gorey.
Will you dare to submerge yourself in one of these horrifying stories?