Horror Writers Association Blog

HWA's Haunted Nights

Our latest anthology is getting rave reviews! Features 16 brand new stories about Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, All Souls' Day, and other celebrations of the darkest season.

On Sale Everywhere!

The HWA announces the 2017 Bram Stoker Awards® Final Ballot nominees.

Ballots will be sent out to Active and Lifetime members on February 10th.


Tickets to 2018's biggest horror event are now available! Your ticket also gets you into the Final Frame Film Competition, the Ann Radcliffe Academic conference, and more.

Click here for tickets and info!

In Praise of Poetry and the HWA

In Praise of Poetry and the HWA

2017 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner – Linda Addison

2017 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner – Linda Addison

Scary Out There with Screamin Calhoun

Scary Out There with Screamin Calhoun


Recent Posts

“Friendly Neighborhood Spooky Cemetery” By Heddy Johannesen

Merry meet all,

I live near the Mount Olivet cemetery with its own claim to fame. It is where the Titanic victims were buried. I often visit there, and stroll near the graves down a path littered with tree roots, dead leaves and rotted apples. Apple trees grow on the other side of the stone wall. Though the trees appear to grow in and out of the cemetery.

A brook runs on the other side of the cemetery. The brook gurgles. I like to think of it as a vessel for spirits to travel to the Underworld.

Trees line the …

“Tis the Season for Chills and Thrills” By Lincoln Cole

Dictation Lesson:

This Halloween, I decided to try out something new that had always scared me: dictation! I’ve wanted to try writing my books by speaking the words aloud and see if that would speed up my process, but I was always worried at how bad it would come out. This time, though, I was determined to make it work.

So, I got my microphone, downloaded the dragon software, and set about making it work.

It was terrible.

Like, really bad. The sentences were almost nonsensical and occasionally it read more like I was just rambling out ideas than actually …

“Why Fear?” By Lisa Lane

I was only twelve at the time, but I remember thinking that haunted house in The Enchanted Forest, a theme park our family happened upon during a family vacation, was the most terrifying experience I could encounter. The walk-through building had actors popping out at every turn, haunting audio-visual effects, and a final room that required its visitors to find an escape door in pitch darkness. The level of fear had bled from fun to uncomfortable, leaving me feeling unsettled but safe. I never expected the real terror that lay just ahead.

A bridge overlooked a massive slide, and I …

“Horror and Academics Do Mix” By Nicholas Diak

It’s February 2009, and I’m sitting behind a table in a small conference room at the Albuquerque Hyatt.  I’m knee deep into the masters program at the University of Washington, and I am presenting at my first academic conference, the South West Popular/American Culture Association. In the room are roughly fifteen other scholars, students, teachers, independent scholars and my thesis advisor, anxious to hear my topic: an analysis of Antonio Margheriti’s James Bond/Raiders of the Lost Ark knock off, Sopravvissuti della città morta aka Ark of the Sun God. My PowerPoint beams with pictures of David Warbeck winking, …

An Interview with Juan Manuel Perez, the Texas Chupacabra Poet

Finding Your Inner Chupacabra

An Interview with Juan Manuel Perez, the Texas Chupacabra Poet


David E. Cowen. Author of The Madness of Empty Spaces (Weasel Press 2014) and The Seven Yards of Sorrow (Weasel Press September 2016); Editor HWA Horror Poetry Showcase Volumes III (2016) and IV (2017)


Juan Manuel Perez, a Mexican-American/Texas poet of indigenous descent (Purapecha/Otomi), is the author of Another Menudo Sunday (2007), O’ Dark Heaven: A Response To Suzette Haden Elgin’s Definition Of Horror (2009), WUI: Written Under The Influence Of Trinidad Sanchez, Jr. (2011), Live From La Pryor: The Poetry Of …

“No Place to Go for Halloween” By James Dorr

And what did you see at the movies on Halloween? For me, with a screen time beginning at 11:59 last night at the IU Cinema, the midnight showing for All Hallow’s Eve was a strange one, the 1977 Japanese film HAUSU. And yes, it means “house.” It’s an “evil house” movie, but with a big difference. This one combines the expected tropes with a weird undercurrent of surrealism, including cartoons, a demon cat, telegraphed punches — all clearly intentional — even slapstick humor in a tale of seven schoolgirls’ summer outing at the home of one of the girls’ maiden

“The Real Headless Horseman” By Roh Morgon


My earliest memories of our favorite holiday revolve around waiting impatiently in my homemade costume for the evening to get dark enough to go trick-or-treating. The frenzied rush from house to house with my friends, amassing our candy hoards in pillowcases, was fraught with laughter and squeals of childish terror during the spookiest night of the year.

When I was twelve, my family moved from our little Orange County suburb in California to a semi-remote canyon just thirty minutes away. We might as well have moved to the moon, as far as I was concerned. There were only two …

“When You See a Chance to Slay It…” By David Boop

Apologies to Mr. Steve Winwood, but while the arc of a diver might have been effortless, the arc of a story rarely is, especially when it’s your own.

In 2008, I began of my career as a novelist with the release of “She Murdered me with Science.” That year I also lost three people who mattered to me: a long time friend, a mentor, and a former boss. In 2009, I had started work on an outline and first draft of a second novel. That year, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and a daughter I barely knew was …

“Cheap Plastic Costumes and My Imagination” By Damian Serbu

As a professionally trained historian come horror writer, I recently reflected on my childhood and what created the writer inside of me. I concluded that some of the imagination that inspired that writer stemmed from my Halloween experiences as a child. So many horror fans loved Halloween growing up, and I was no exception. I thrilled at finding my costume, putting it on that night, and transforming myself into another being, thrusting myself into another reality, with the trick-or-treating as almost an afterthought.

Except, instead of having the time and means to create a fantastical costume and generate a look …

“The Late, Great Halloween Costume Massacre” By Maria Alexander

September 1976

Los Angeles, CA


“Sit down, girls. We’ve got something serious to talk about.”

My younger sister and I sit cross-legged on the scratchy brown carpet of our tiny apartment as Mom and Dad sit on the couch. Barely four years old, my sister Danielle yanks on the hair of her doll as she alternately slams it against the floor to what is surely the dismay of our new downstairs neighbors. I sit upright and listen. My mom’s normally moon-like face darkens as she speaks. My father slumps backward, reading his newspaper. I’m just grateful he isn’t screaming, …

“New Orleans Halloween Traditions” By Alexandrea Weis

The blending of cultures in New Orleans has left a myriad of different traditions ingrained in the eccentric psyche of the city. Perhaps the most profound occur around Halloween where the Catholic, Voodoo, Irish, and French influences converge. Celebrations for the dead begin days before the fall of Halloween. We have events such as the Day of the Dead Parade, numerous cemetery festivals, haunted houses, costume balls, and ghost tours to mark the creepiest day of the year. However, it’s the quieter and older traditions that are not as well known to outsiders.

The most sacred day in the city …

“The Spirit of Samhain” By David Sharp

Passing through the cemetery gates, I felt a strange calm juxtaposing to the hyperactivity of the city streets. The graveyard surpassed my expectations. It was huge — a vast expanse dating back hundreds of years. Autumn made itself known through a change in the air, a crispness, a different light from the overcast sky. This is the season of the witch, leading up to All Hallow’s Eve — once known as Samhain from the forgotten rites. All of my life I have been drawn to this time of year. The path underfoot was wide and lined with tombs. Leaves were …

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