It’s almost Halloween, and as such I think it’s really, really important that we ask ourselves the question that’s been on all our minds basically since we were born: what would Lydia Deetz read? Let me spell out for you how encoded Deetz/B.J(uice) love is in my DNA. One of my cousins had to have a parent/principal conference because she got caught with Lydia’s ridiculous suicide note, complete with scribbles, from this scene:
Another of my cousins got in trouble for drawing chalk doors on my grandma’s exposed brick walls in order to get to the underworld, so clearly we were all very influenced by Beetlejuice growing up, and also v. clearly weirdos. And, in case you’re wondering where I fit in all of this, here is a picture of me once upon a Halloween dream, and if you don’t know who I am then you just don’t know.
Lydia is the iconic goth girl ignored by the living for being “strange and unusual,” the girl whose “whole life is a dark room. One. Big. Dark. Room.” She is me. She is you. She is all of us. But, what would she read? This one is EASY, folks. You may notice that I’ve included a lot of fairly obvious classic Gothic and/or horror pieces. I think that Lydia would, predominantly, read books written by dead people, being the macabre little angel that she is. Don’t you?
Edgar Allan Poe, all of it: This is a cheap shot, I know, but I’d be remiss in not including the dark knight of gothdom.
H.P. Lovecraft, all of it: Cheap shot, part deux. Lydia would obviously love Lovecraft’s stories of horror and madness, but I also think that, if possible, Lovecraft should probably pop on over to the world of the living and have a little tête-à-tête with our girl Lydia. I think this is my favorite fan fiction idea to date. They would probably vibe pretty hard on their shared misanthropy, and then he’d gradually realize she was actually a human being in girl shape and shrink into a ghostly recoil.
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski: This is perhaps the most pretentious and yet, for me anyways, terrifying modern haunted house stories ever, and Lydia is both kind of pretentious and also spooky af, so this is kind of her book twin or something.
Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite: Poppy Z. Brite is some sort of modern literary goth doll baby, and this novel is absolutely deliciously terrible in its over-the-top camp. I read it in college and was really only able to enjoy it in a distanced, “oh shit this is so awful, but it hurts so good” way, but I still recommend it for Lydia.
Dracula by Bram Stoker: Cheap shot, the third. I don’t even need to explain why she would love Dracula, do I?
The Sandman by Neil Gaiman: It’s pretty obvious that Dream and Death, the brother/sister Endless duo of Neil Gaiman’s seminal graphic series, are Lydia’s fashion inspo.
That’s all, folks. I’ll leave you with Lydia’s possessed dance moves.