Agnes Moorehead. Photo on cover of I Love the Illusion, by Charles Tranberg.
While researching materials for the Halloween display from the Mass Media and Culture collections, one name kept popping up: Agnes Moorehead (1900 – 1974). Her repertoire extends from the golden years of radio to popular television, from movies to the stage. She also had a special flair for horror, suspense, and the supernatural. Her work in radio drama included participation in Mercury Theater on the Air and a role as Margo Lane on The Shadow, co-starring with Orson Welles. In the CBS show Suspense, Moorehead’s greatest success was her incredible performance as Mrs. Stevenson in the quintessential horror, Lucille Fletcher’s “Sorry, Wrong Number.”
Spooky Special Collections Display, containing a feature of Agnes Moorehead’s work in the realm of suspense and supernatural.
Her role as Mrs. Stevenson later inspired director Douglas Heyes to cast Moorehead in an episode of The Twilight Zone, where she played an old woman attacked by miniature aliens. On stage, Moorehead played Donna Ana in Don Juan in Hell. Later, Moorehead was recruited to play Endora on the television comedy Bewitched. A versatile and respected actress, Moorehead succeeded across genres and performing-arts mediums, and especially made her mark on the world of the strange and supernatural.
Moorehead is just one of the many actresses and actors featured in the Mass Media and Culture collections. There are a lot of resources pertaining to spooky and otherworldly subjects; if you ever feel like researching terror in radio, television, or movies, or if you just want to revisit the history of your favorite shows, this is a great place to start!
What is your favorite horror or fantasy movie, radio program, or television show? Leave us a comment below!
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are a few photos of the rare books featured in our latest Spooky Special Collections display. Visit the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library to see these incredible works up close.
Miniature book: Kriminal-geschichten, a German translation of short stories by Edgar Allen Poe. How could something so tiny be so terrifying?!?
Praxis criminis persequendi, elegantibus aliquot figuris illustrata, by Jean Milles de Souvigny. So glad I’m not these guys.
The Vampyre, by John William Polidori. Before Team Edward and Team Jacob ever existed, this was “Twilight” in 1819.
Rare books displayed in the Maryland Room. Visit the Spooky Special Collections display through 11/2/12.
You can read some of our books online! Visit The Vampyre and Edgar Allen Poe’s The Bells in WorldCat UMD.
Also see our growing list of haunted reads throughout the centuries.
Buffy could show you a thing or two about primary source research.
Libraries are often the focal points for the spooky, mythical, and gruesome. Special Collections are no different, and we’re celebrating the spirit of Halloween in style!
University Archives Blog:
“Ghostly Encounters” will feature haunted places at the University of Maryland. Visit their site every Wednesday, and be prepared to think of your classroom in a new, terrifying, way.
Spooky Special Collections Display:
Girls’ Series Books from the Pagnani Collection
Celebrate Halloween with the Spooky Special Collections display in the Maryland Room of Hornbake Library! Our current display hosts girls’ series books. Each of these books (from the Rose and Joseph Pagnani Collection) features a heroine forced to use her skill and resourcefulness to face the mysterious criminal unknown. Especially enticing are the colorful, suspenseful covers.
Come back next week for rare books from our collection with a decidedly grisly twist. The display runs through November 2nd.
Visit the WorldCat UMD list of items featured in our Spooky Special Collections display, and a list for books about the state of Maryland’s haunted locations and local ghouls.