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Tag archive: Halloween Haunts 2012 Archives - Horror Writers Association Blog [ 49 ]

Halloween Haunts: The House on Brookhaven Road by Hugh Sterbakov

The following is a true story… even the names haven’t been changed.

It was the last week of autumn in West Philadelphia, and the wet, warm smell of falling leaves had just given way to the numbing chill of winter. The year was 1990, and my friends and I had just begun our senior year at Robert E. Lamberton, the same school most of us had attended since Kindergarten. We’d grown up together, and this was our last hurrah. Next year we’d be at distant colleges, carving pumpkins with new families of friends.

My mother went away for Halloween weekend …

Halloween Haunts: Stonehenge–Up Close and Personal by Thomas Morrissey

My favorite Halloween (so far) was the one I spent in England.

I was researching a novel, and my research took me all over the United Kingdom, including to Northern Ireland.  My itinerary had me doing half car, half BritRail pass along this circuit, and once I’d crossed back over from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead in Wales, I was driving to get to Stonehenge for Halloween.

The maps weren’t always precise, and I quickly learned ‘A’ or ‘M’ plus one number was a major highway, ‘A’ with two numbers after it was a pretty good-sized street, ‘A’ with three number …

Halloween Haunts: My Troubled Halloween Adventures by Charles Day

As a child, I’ve always loved Halloween, including the night before. The cool crisp autumn winds howling outside. The brisk air through my open windows. The colors of the changing leaves, a golden brown or bright red and orange, these reminders always seem to get me in that halloweenish mood. But above all, it’s the costumes, the candy, and the scary movies played over and over on the TV right around Halloween. These are the kinds of things that send chills up my spine, goose bumps all over my flesh, and make me love this holiday every times it comes …

Halloween Haunts: The Joys of Halloween and Nightmares by Nancy O. Greene

Halloween, and cemeteries, and nightmares, and zombies! Oh, my!

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a fan of all of the above. Well, maybe not always the nightmares, though I can’t deny that they fascinate me and have often played a central role in my storytelling. Until I met others with the same leanings, I suspected (and was told) that my fondness for these things was odd, especially for an African-American girl. The strangeness was irrelevant, and while I’ve long since met multitudes of people from various cultures with the same fascinations, I’m happy to say that …

Halloween Haunts: Heroes and Monsters by Patrick Thomas

The monsters come out at Halloween. It was the time when they didn’t have to hide and the adults could see them and not realize what they were. Some kids could, while others didn’t until it was too late. They blended in, until they pounced with eggs, shaving cream and fists.

I hate bullies. As a kid as far I was concerned they were real monsters. Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster  were fun compared to dealing with the real thing. I’m not talking kids picking on kids. I’m talking full out brutality.

One chilly October in fourth grade while playing a …

Halloween Haunts: HWA & BookExpo America 2012 by Leland Pitts-Gonzalez

I arrived at the Javits Center in New York City for the BookExpo—an oversized, rolling suitcase in hand to tote back all of those advanced copies of my novel that I would surely fail to give away. Inside, the Javits Center was somewhat aesthetically pleasing in that express, faux-luxury-hotel kind of way. Yet, mainly it was a beehive of suited and badged industry folks, shuffling as quickly as possible through the aisles and offshoots lined with publishers and author’s associations—some of which by this time next year will have gone under.

But book-signings aren’t supposed to be a time for …

Halloween Haunts: Stoker Spotlight Interview with Joe McKinney

Joe McKinney is the recipient of the 2011 Bram Stoker Award® for Superior Achievement in a Novel for Flesh Eaters.

1. How would you describe Flesh Eaters?

Flesh Eaters is sort of difficult to characterize.  It’s a zombie novel, for example, but it’s also a classic disaster tale and a crime story.  I didn’t intend for it to merge so many different genres, but that’s how it came out.  On another level, Flesh Eaters is part of my Dead World series, which so far includes Dead City, Apocalypse of the Dead, Mutated, and a handful …

Halloween Haunts: Setting the Record Straight–The Horror Writer as Truth-Seeker by David Sakmyster

Sometimes horror writers have big egos. It goes with the territory: we are entrusted with the godlike power to instill fear, to make mere mortals quake with terror, or at the very least, be too afraid to sleep without the light on. It’s a noble profession stretching back to ancient days of bedtime tales by firelight while real terrors prowled around in the night. But sometimes, as a writer you find yourself faced with a greater calling. A chance to couple your talents with all those skills you’ve learned at conferences, classes and organizations like the HWA, to promote and …

Halloween Haunts: In a Gulf Coast Graveyard by James Kendley

I found something in a cemetery last Halloween season.

I want to tell you what it is. You know I want to, but we must stroll through this cemetery first.

Don’t worry. It will be nice. It’s a very pleasant spot, right around the corner from my childhood home. It’s quaint and understated, something less than an acre cradling the mortal remains of a few hundred souls.

The whole is bound on the south and west by an eight-foot brick wall and on the north and east by wrought iron fencing painted forest green. The whole is overarched by mature …

Halloween Haunts: The Age of Halloween By Helen Marshall

Halloween has always been one of my favourite holidays.

This is an oddity because, growing up, I was a particularly frightened child: the kind of kid who clings to cotton bedsheets at three in the morning as some kind of foolproof protection against the unknown, who would rather make a running leap onto the mattress than place a delicate foot within one meter of the dark space under the bed. The kind of kid who had learned the fine art of rationalizing away the inexplicable noises, the tricks of light and shadow. I couldn’t watch scary movies. Ghost stories left …

Halloween Haunts: The Unknown by Max Booth III

Quick, what is more scary: Freddy Krueger’s burnt, ugly face, or the sound of his knives scrapping against a boiler room wall? Why is it that we are still obsessed over Jack the Ripper, a century after the fact, when we hardly give the Unabomber any thought at all? How come children need to sleep with the light on, when a monster could just as easily eat them without the darkness?

It’s because the unknown will always be more scary than the known. With Freddy’s face, at least we can see him, at least we know what he looks like. …

Halloween Haunts: The Devil’s Path by Douglas Wynne

I grew up in a pretty typical suburban town on Long Island. We didn’t have any haunted houses or creepy graveyards in Smithtown—you had to drive all the way to Amityville for a look at the famous haunted house—so I’m afraid I can’t regale you with a non-fiction story of a spooky Halloween.  But I can tell you about the most enchanted Halloween I’ve witnessed, and that was in upstate New York, when I moved to Woodstock for a couple of years in the late nineties to work at a recording studio there.

Woodstock is well known for weirdness.  The …

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