Lesley Bannatyne is an American author who writes extensively on Halloween, especially its history, literature, and contemporary celebration. Bannatyne is also a freelance journalist who’s covered stories ranging from druids in Somerville, Massachusetts to relief workers in Bolivia. One of the country’s foremost authorities on Halloween, Bannatyne has shared her knowledge on television specials for the History Channel (“The Haunted History of Halloween,” “The Real Story of Halloween”), with Time Magazine, Slate, National Geographic, and contributed the Halloween article to World Book Encyclopedia. In 2007, she and several compatriots set the Guinness World Record for Largest Halloween Gathering, a title they held until 2009.
Lesley has written five books on Halloween, ranging from a children’s book, Witches Night Before Halloween, to her latest book, Halloween Nation, which examines the holiday through the eyes of its celebrants. The book was nominated for a 2011 Bram Stoker Award. Her other titles are A Halloween How-To. Costumes, Parties, Destinations, Decorations (2001); A Halloween Reader. Poems, Stories, and Plays from Halloweens Past (2004), and Halloween. An American Holiday, An American History, celebrated 25 years in print in 2015.
Lesley lives and works in Somerville, Massachusetts.