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Halloween Haunts: Meet Joe Pipe by Pete Mesling

Halloween Haunts: Meet Joe Pipe by Pete Mesling

I grew up in a small town in North Dakota. I’d say the population was around 16,000 to 18,000 back then. In a town that size, there aren’t a lot of celebrities, but there are generally a handful of legends, or myths. Joe Pipe was one such legend among my circle of friends. Stories about his past varied some. He’d suffered a horrific injury when he got his leg caught in a power takeoff, according to some versions. Others had it that he’d left his mind in Vietnam and come back something of a husk. Me, I like to think …

Halloween Haunts: The Widow By Erik Hofstatter

Halloween Haunts: The Widow By Erik Hofstatter

 

A billow of fruity vapour swirled around me as I waited to begin my morning commute. It smelled like peaches and reminded me of a smokescreen employed by the military but fused with a potent, aromatic flavour. I cast a disapproving glance in the boy’s direction, watching smoke camouflage his acne as he puffed on his e-cigarette. He inhaled the poison with short, raspy breaths. A flock of gaunt faces engulfed me and I surveyed them with distaste. Vague melancholy leaked out of their fissured facades. Like them, I abandoned expectation long ago. Like them, I was trapped in …

Halloween Haunts: Cheapers Creepers by Sumiko Saulson

Halloween Haunts: Cheapers Creepers by Sumiko Saulson

hwa_sfWhen I get writer’s block, I turn to one of my other creative tools, such as painting or illustration. Back in the fall of 2012, when my father was in the last months of his life, I was too worried to write. I spent hours drawing instead. That’s how I ended up illustrating a couple of short stories. It’s why I am now presenting at comic book and zine centered events like SF Zine Fest, in addition to writing events like ConVolution and BayCon. Not coincidentally, one of my characters, Charlotte Metaxas from Happiness and Other Diseases, is a …

Halloween Haunts: Mr. Moose by Walter Jarvis

Halloween Haunts: Mr. Moose by Walter Jarvis

Mr. Moose haunted our house at Halloween during my high school years. My youngest brother, who was seven at the time named him, and the name stuck for his once-a-year roll out on Halloween eve.

He was a response in some ways to a notable falling off in the spirit of Halloween in our town. It had become an excuse to go out and round up as much candy in the shortest time possible. Many of the kids, particularly the older ones, didn’t even wear costumes.  Even if they did, there was very little creativity in them. A sheet with …

Halloween Haunts: Halloween, A Becoming by Lou Rera

Halloween Haunts: Halloween, A Becoming by Lou Rera

Halloween is a becoming. In the parlance of pop culture, it’s an outing. You can become a Halloween extrovert and strut it, or you can be discovered in the shadows of someone’s doorway. I’ve always gone for the idea that once a year, I can morph into something that obfuscates my appearance. I can skulk around anonymously. I can feign that I am viewing the world through the eyes of a psychopath or a disgruntled loner. But there’s an extra dollop of obsession with my take on becoming. Inclusive within those exterior changes, Halloween’s nerve roots burrow into my …

Halloween Haunts: The Killer Pumpkins by Naching T. Kassa.

Halloween Haunts: The Killer Pumpkins by Naching T. Kassa.

When I was a girl, I loved the “B” horror films of the 1950’s. My dad introduced them to me and I enjoyed the terrible acting, cheap sets, and silly gimmicks. Even today, the letter B raises images of Vincent Price, The House on Haunted Hill, William Castle, and a myriad of other screen goodies. We always watched them on Halloween and they never failed to amuse me.

Until I lived one.

Did dramatic, spooky music run through your mind? Did a chill run up your spine? It didn’t? Humph! You’ve been watching too many Blair Witch movies. Anyway, let’s …

Halloween Haunts: The Last Haunted House I Remember by Kristina Stancil

Halloween Haunts: The Last Haunted House I Remember by Kristina Stancil

Growing up in the Bible Belt I felt like an outcast.  I didn’t care about Miss Piggy and her jewels that she always raved about.  I was down with the Count.  I didn’t have the typical upbringing.  I was told Santa Claus didn’t exist at a young age but witches, ghosts, magic, etc. were spoken of as real.  There was nothing to be afraid of because a good ghost followed the family and kept us safe.

Whether it was the psychological makeup of my mom or the fact it was ingrained into me not to be outgoing but even though I adored …

Halloween Haunts: Hallowe’en in a Suburb and in a Library by Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr.

Halloween Haunts: Hallowe’en in a Suburb and in a Library by Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr.

 

I have spent much of my adult life chasing my drug of choice: the feeling of October in the New England of my childhood. The day gets darker earlier, the air becomes a little crisp like an apple, and, as Ray Bradbury put it, “everything is smoky smelling and the sky orange and ash gray at twilight.”  There is no feeling quite like it and it lasts for a whole month.  My little hometown of Cheshire, Connecticut (“The bedding plant capital of New England!” is its claim to fame) would become the setting of a Stephen King short story …

Halloween Haunts: Where Have All The Children Gone? by Kenneth W. Cain

Halloween Haunts: Where Have All The Children Gone? by Kenneth W. Cain

 

fresh_cut_tales_cover-digitalThis last Halloween was the first for my family in our new house. While my wife and I anxiously waited for children to show up at our door in search of treats, not a single one appeared. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, as we live atop a steep hill without any sidewalks. We’re also close to a community that provides far easier means of obtaining candy. As such, we aren’t expecting any kids this year, either. That’s a gloomy premonition, as we both find ourselves missing the costumed children, the excitement of the holiday, and the joy it …

Halloween Haunts: How to Plan a Hallowedding by Joanna Parypinski

Halloween Haunts: How to Plan a Hallowedding by Joanna Parypinski

I knew I’d made the right choice of mate when I suggested to my fiancée that we have a Halloween wedding, and he agreed.

While the internet is rife with ideas for Halloween weddings, it’s still considered a non-traditional theme. That’s perfect for me because I find many traditions revolting, particularly those with bigoted origins (like a father “giving away” his daughter because she is an object that must be passed from one man to another). But as soon as we decided on a Halloween wedding, there came the question: how does one actually pull this off? Traditional weddings come …

Halloween Haunts: The Power of a Mask  George Wilhite

Halloween Haunts: The Power of a Mask George Wilhite

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday, or at least a tie with Christmas. You can’t beat the latter for spending time with family and friends, the gift exchanges, the way it brings out cheer even in years of tragedy and pain. But, as I’m sure is true for many of my peers who have become horror writers, my personal affinity has leaned towards October 31.

My father and I spent many late nights watching Creature Features, a late Saturday night show in the California Bay Area. Bob Wilkins hosted two old movies, some classic, some cult or schlock, and …

Halloween Haunts: Your Story Idea is Stupid by David B. Riley

Halloween Haunts: Your Story Idea is Stupid by David B. Riley

“A mirror that drips blood? Really?”  That was the response an  editor of an anthology of horror stories gave me  after she read and rejected my submission.

Let’s go back a few years. I once worked at a haunted hotel.  The employees knew it was haunted.  Few of the guests did.  The company that owned the place didn’t seem to want any more publicity about it.  For that reason I will refrain from mentioning the property, save from the fact it is in Wyoming.

Back then I worked a lot of night shifts–We had a night porter, two security guards, …

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