If you’ve not read Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, do yourself a favor and read the novella sometime before Halloween. I could’ve chosen a number of different characters for this list: the possibly insane, possibly haunted Governess; the haunting specters(?) of Miss Jessel and Peter Quint; even the too-cute-too-be-real Flora.
But Miles, the 10-year-old recently expelled from boarding school for an unnamed, yet terrible, act, was chosen not only for the evil that may lurk within (and that I can’t help but feel lurks within all good little children), but also because he has served as the archetype for countless well-behaved yet possibly disturbed kids throughout film and literature: Children of the Corn, The Omen, The Good Son, The Shining, etc. The fact that he may possibly see the dead, or that he may possibly be fucking with The Governess, only adds to his creepiness, making the ending of Turn of the Screw either tragic or fitting, depending on your reading.
So be cautious as you open your door on Halloween to dole out candy to the neighborhood cuties. Behind that innocent smile may lurk something much, much darker.