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Tag archive: Halloween Haunts 2013 Archives - Horror Writers Association Blog [ 52 ]

Halloween Haunts 2013: My Personal Haunted House by John F.D. Taff

Halloween Haunts 2013: My Personal Haunted House by John F.D. Taff

To me, nothing says “Halloween” like a haunted house. And I grew up in one.

No, this isn’t a joke or some tongue-in-cheek, cutesy little Halloween story to make you titter nervously and wave off what I’m about to tell you. Simply put, I grew up in a haunted house.

Let me back up a little. I actually did most of my “growing up” in a different house, a nice little suburban tract home. But we moved out to the country when I was 15 years old. Our family had outgrown that house and needed something new. And my father, …

Hallowen Haunts 2013: The Land of the True Halloween by Greg Chapman

Hallowen Haunts 2013: The Land of the True Halloween by Greg Chapman

I’m an Aussie so what would I know about Halloween, right?

Right now in The Land Down Under it’s spring, going on summer. It’s hot, humid and the constant whir of the pedestal fan or air-conditioner is the only sound you want to hear. Doesn’t sound like Halloween, does it? In your neck of the woods, the true picture of Halloween is emerging. Winter is rising like Death himself from his earthen crypt, pointing his bony finger at the trees, curling the leaves a golden brown. They waltz to the ground below, carried by a chill wind that is steadily …

Halloween Haunts 2013: Haunted Halloween Party by Joe Augustyn

Halloween Haunts 2013: Haunted Halloween Party by Joe Augustyn

Like most of you, I have a lifetime of Halloween memories, starting in that magical bygone era when it was deemed safe for five-year-olds to wander the city streets without adult supervision, led perhaps by an “older and wiser” eight-year-old sibling. While the joy of dressing up and collecting a feast of candy was heaven enough for most of us, my brother Mike took it to the entrepreneurial max, maintaining a list of addresses of people who gave out coins instead of candy. He’d lead us out the door to please our parents, then send our slow-moving asses on our …

Halloween Haunts 2013: That Restless Halloween Feeling by John Mantooth

Halloween Haunts 2013: That Restless Halloween Feeling by John Mantooth

Halloween makes me restless.

It’s a subtle thing, a bout of nervousness that I can’t seem to quell, a nostalgic remembering, a yearning even. It’s a restlessness tied inexplicably to half-remembered details of a time when the night was different, when it was real. The images are brief, blinking, nearly faded: the wind lifting a bag and floating it across the street like a pale vapor, the shouts of the older kids as they charge through the darker parts of the neighborhood, their joy rushing out of their mouths and running ahead of them like breath-fog on a cold night, …

Halloween Haunts 2013: Stoker Spotlight Interview with Mort Castle

Halloween Haunts 2013: Stoker Spotlight Interview with Mort Castle

Castle_cover_NewMoonMort Castle is the recipient of the Bram Stoker Award® for Superior Achievement in an Anthology for Shadow Show (edited with Sam Weller) as well the recipient of the Bram Stoker Award® for Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection for New Moon on the Water.

1. How would you describe New Moon on the Water and Shadow Show?

I’d say they were both books. (Ain’t I a caution? Ain’t I a stitch?) Seriously, New Moon is the (not totally) dark side of the American dream,  a collection of the best of my short fiction ranging from the early …

Halloween Haunts 2013: The Ways We Bleed by Lori Michelle

Halloween Haunts 2013: The Ways We Bleed by Lori Michelle

January 3, 2011, at 5 PM I stood over the bed watching as his little body breathed, inhale and exhale, then inhale and shudder slightly as he exhaled. I was glad he had made it out of surgery alive and was just waiting for him to wake up so we could go home.

It had been a long day already. We had arrived at 7 that morning. They started an IV on his small arm. He cried. We sat for hours waiting for an available opportunity for the operating room to be free. It was hard for mom to not …

Halloween Haunts 2013: A Walk in the Mists by Keith Deininger

Halloween Haunts 2013: A Walk in the Mists by Keith Deininger

My sophomore year in college, I rented, along with a couple of friends, a house within walking distance of the University in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was a large house, at least for the price we were getting, a little rundown, but we didn’t care. And it had a basement. A strange basement, with an ancient cast-iron furnace with pipes that snaked up through the floor, and there were some weird things down there. “I shouldn’t tell you this,” the lady showing us the place told us, after I insisted we see the basement, “but the residents a couple of …

Halloween Haunts 2013: Autumn People by Loren Rhoads

Halloween Haunts 2013: Autumn People by Loren Rhoads

My October birthday is kind of a holy day for me. I try to take it off, spend it in a graveyard if at all possible. I’ve celebrated my birthday in Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris (http://cemeterytravel.com/2011/04/06/cemetery-of-the-week-10-la-cimetiere-du-pere-lachaise/), in the Bone Chapel of Kutna Hora in the Czech Republic (http://cemeterytravel.com/2011/10/26/cemetery-of-the-week-38-the-bone-chapel-of-kutna-hora/), and in Colma, California’s Cypress Lawn (http://cemeterytravel.com/2012/04/11/cemetery-of-the-week-55-cypress-lawn-memorial-park/). Like the poet said, “Any day above ground is a good one.” If there’s sunshine and green grass, birdsong and statuary, or trees and flowers and poetry involved, so much the better.

Rhoads_BradburyLast year, I spent the morning of my birthday poking around Westwood …

Halloween Haunts 2013: Halloween Stories by Steve Rasnic Tem

Halloween Haunts 2013: Halloween Stories by Steve Rasnic Tem

Tem_cover_CelestialInventoriesI wasn’t a social kid. I was bookish and shy and a daydreamer. We lived in a very small town and Dad was an alcoholic and everybody knew it. I imagined sometimes that we had kept it a secret and was always surprised that other people seemed to be aware of our circumstances. Other kids rarely visited our house. (It’s funny how I didn’t put those two things together until I was an adult.) To be honest, although the adult in me says that’s an unhealthy circumstance, I don’t remember feeling that I was suffering for it. I wasn’t developing …

Halloween Haunts 2013: Coming Home to Horror by Rena Mason

Halloween Haunts 2013: Coming Home to Horror by Rena Mason

Mason_cover_FearTheReaperI spent my childhood growing up in Sacramento, California. Halloween for my family meant my dad running out to buy last minute costumes. My youngest sister always got the princess costume and I got whatever they had left in my size—Spider Man, the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz, even G.I. Joe one year—and I don’t mean the fancy costumes. I mean the ones with the sharp mask edges, a rubber band stapled to the sides to keep it around your head. Where the seeing and breathing holes were cut wrong, and you spent half the night wiping breath sweat …

Halloween Haunts 2013: The Fox True Ghost Tales Project by T. Fox Dunham

Halloween Haunts 2013: The Fox True Ghost Tales Project by T. Fox Dunham

My dear fellow and lady horror authors of the HWA:

I have begrudgingly—kicking and howling all the way—let go of summer. I’ve hung up my sandals and shorts, exchanging them for my suit jacket and trousers. Still, in Philly, she teases us with 80 degree days, yet the mornings chill us; and we dig ourselves under our fox blankets—mine made for me by Tara Fox Hall.

Fox_bioI am comforted each year by the turning of the seasons. Now comes Samhain, the ancient celtic cycle of the years, when we approach symbolic death—transition. This world and the next aligns; a thin …

Halloween Haunts 2013: Halloween Should Be Banned by Mick Simms

Halloween Haunts 2013: Halloween Should Be Banned by Mick Simms

Halloween should be banned. Hold on that’s not my opinion. There’s a government agency in the UK called Department 18 and they want our fun curtailed, even stopped. We overheard this conversation—

“What’s this? The start of the apocalypse?”

Simon Crozier, Director-in-Chief of Department 18, looked up from the bundles of files on his desk as Harry Bailey entered his office. “Don’t joke,” he said. “Bloody Halloween. Every year’s the same.”

“I’m surprised you don’t try to get it banned,” Harry said cheerily as flopped down in the chair across the desk from his boss.

“I would if I could. …

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