The Night Before Halloween (ISBN 0448419653) is a 1999 American children's picture book of thirty-two pages. It parodies the famous 19th century poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (also known as "The Night Before Christmas"). The verse story is by Natasha Wing. The illustrations are by Cynthia Fisher.
The book tells how some ghosts and monsters who share a house prepare for Halloween. It also describes how a group of children celebrate the holiday and the surprise that they get when they arrive at the supernatural creatures' house.
The story opens on the night before Halloween in a house inhabited by Count Dracula, the Bride of Frankenstein, mummies, ghouls, witches, goblins and spiders. Everyone in the house works hard until dawn to decorate it for the upcoming holiday. They all want their home to look attractive when trick-or-treaters arrive the following evening.
Meanwhile, in other houses nearby, children are sleeping and dreaming about candy corn.
In the morning, the children wake up to a busy day of Halloween activities. They bob for apples, go on hayrides, put on costumes, go to parties and take part in parades. They are allowed to go out trick-or-treating after dinner, once their parents have made some last minute adjustments to their costumes. Jack-o-lanterns on porches indicate which houses welcome trick-or-treaters.
Just when most of the children think that they have finished trick-or-treating, a girl in a princess costume points out that they have not yet been to the house on the top of the hill. The children do not know that the house is the home of the ghosts and monsters. The children feel slightly uneasy when they arrive at the house. The children have not even knocked at the door when they hear heavy footsteps approaching and the door being unlocked. A green-faced witch opens the door. The children realize that she is a real witch and not just a woman in a costume. They run away in fright.
The children running away upsets the little monsters who live in the house. They wanted to invite the children inside to play. The witch with the green face cheers up the little monsters by telling them that they can have their own Halloween party without the children. All of the creatures from the house go outside and dance in the moonlight.