Horror Writers Association Blog

Halloween [ 272 ]

“The Time Halloween Almost Didn’t Come” By Charie D. La Marr

As news of Hurricane Sandy grew in the days leading up to Halloween, 2012, those of us who love Halloween were torn. More and more, it seemed like New York was going to take a major hit. It couldn’t have been coming at a worse time of the month—it would be a full moon and major surges in the tides would only make things worse

As we began our preparations, down came the Halloween decorations. One by one, houses took down the tombstones on their lawns, the ghosts and witches flying in the trees and the bright orange and purple …

“Horror for Tweens” By Kristina Stancil

Traditional or normal are words that I would not use in descriptions of my family.  Examples of when we are not normal include a certain family member who will watch Christmas movies eleven months out of the year but refuses to watch between Thanksgiving and New Years and the fact that the only thing that was ever censored from my viewing growing up was sexually explicit content.  So yes, 90% of Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, and all of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Children of the Corn was all watched by little me before I was in second grade.…

“How to Make Witch Books” By Annie Neugebauer


Halloween is the best season for crafts! It’s also the best season for horror. AND the best season for books. So what better than making your own spooky book craft? I found the perfect combination in these DIY Halloween ‘witch books’! They can be as intricate or simple as you’d like them to be, really. I even ended up painting some page edges and drilling into some of my books. They don’t have to be witch-themed, either; that’s just what I was feeling this year. You could make them demon books, monster books, whatever strikes your fancy. I took …

“One Cool Way to Get Yourself Out There” By Tom Leveen

“The day Joe Pipkin was born all the Orange Crush and Nehi soda bottles in the world fizzed over…”~ Ray Bradbury, The Halloween Tree

This is one of those sentences I wish I’d written. It says it all, so effortlessly and completely. We know in an instant the kind of boy Bradbury is talking about. For as purple as Bradbury got once in awhile, his poetic take on language was not easily matched by any other author, then or now.

While Bradbury was known to the outside world principally as a science fiction writer—most folks probably know his name from …

“Kids Can be Monsters” By Dave Jeffery

Kids can be monsters. It’s an adage we hear all too often, the cry of desperate, sleep-deprived parents run ragged by their ‘little darlings’.  As observers, we tend to sit in two camps: those who have been there, nodding our heads, sympathising through a haze of figurative nostalgia, or those who wonder why the hell any self-respecting couple would put themselves through what appears to be some kind of perpetual state of sadomasochism.

Of course, all of this is relative, and the focus always softened by the unconditional love of a parent. On Halloween, however, I find this abstract …

“This Small Window of Acceptance” By Joseph VanBuren

The Halloween season is the time of the year when the rest of the world accepts us. I mean that in two different ways.

Growing up, my mom was not only a super hero single mother raising three boys, she was also Wiccan. My brothers and I were raised with the sense that Halloween was “our” New Year’s. Yes, we went trick-or-treating like all the normal kids, but we also celebrated the dead. I have fond memories of setting a place for the spirits at Samhain dinner. While my brothers and I were running around the house on a sugar …

“A Little Halloween Chat” By Lisa Morton and Ellen Datlow

HWA’s next anthology, the Halloween-themed Haunted Nights, debuts on October 3rd. Including sixteen brand new stories about every horror writer’s favorite holiday, the anthology – published by Anchor Books and Blumhouse Books – recently received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Below, editors Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton talk about their editing processes, the thrill of finding a great story, and how they’re celebrating Halloween this year.

Lisa: When I first approached you about co-editing a Halloween-themed anthology, did you ever think, “Wow, is there really anything left to say about that holiday?” Because I …

“The Hearse” By Robert Stava

Halloween, of course, evokes all sorts of childhood memories, including – in my case – my very first haunted house at the age of six, which was in an abandoned Victorian mansion in Rochester in the late 1960s. That one scared the living hell out of me, and invoked a lifelong passion for being spooked at haunted houses that wasn’t matched again until I was an adult and started attending “Horseman’s Hollow’ down the road here in Sleepy Hollow, New York.

But one of the most iconic events in my memories of October hails back to my junior HS year …

“Welcome to Halloween Haunts 2017” By Michele Brittany

The leaves are beginning to turn golden oranges, yellows, and reds, and there is a subtle change to cooler weather as I write, sitting here in Southern California. Appearing in my neighborhood and local stores are banners announcing the arrival of autumn and Halloween decorations. Soon bowls of sweets will sit near front doors and at the end of the month, little ghosts, goblins, superheroes, and such will appear on doorsteps singing out “Trick or Treat!” For aficionados of the horror genre, October is a fantastic month in which to catch broadcasts of classic and contemporary horror films, while for …

HWA’s HAUNTED NIGHTS released October 3rd!


Sixteen never-before-published chilling tales that explore every aspect of our darkest holiday, Halloween, co-edited by Ellen Datlow, one of the most successful and respected genre editors, and Lisa Morton, a leading authority on Halloween.

In addition to stories about scheming jack-o’-lanterns, vengeful ghosts, otherworldly changelings, disturbingly realistic haunted attractions, masks that cover terrifying faces, murderous urban legends, parties gone bad, cult Halloween movies, and trick or treating in the future, Haunted Nights also offers terrifying and mind-bending explorations of related holidays like All Souls’ Day, Dia de los Muertos, and Devil’s Night.

“With Graveyard Weeds and Wolfbane …

HWA Announces Contents of Its Next Anthology, HALLOWS’ EVE

HWA Announces Contents of Its Next Anthology, HALLOWS’ EVE

jol2013An exciting line-up of bestselling and critically-acclaimed authors will share the table of contents with some of the horror genre’s best new voices in the Horror Writers Association’s next anthology, Hallows’ Eve. Co-edited by Ellen Datlow, past winner of HWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and Lisa Morton, one of the world’s leading authorities on Halloween, Hallows’ Eve presents sixteen never-before-published tales that explore every aspect of the darkest holiday. In addition to stories about scheming jack-o’-lanterns, vengeful ghosts, otherworldly changelings, masks that cover terrifying faces, murderous urban legends, parties gone bad, cult Halloween movies, and even trick or treating in …

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