Welcome to Halloween Haunts ‘Best Of’ Series!
Against the harvest moon plump ghoulishly carved pumpkin faces shine brightly in the night. Squat guardians of both urban and rural stoops; their appearance marks the return of horror aficionados’ favorite time of year. Monsters of all sizes, makes, and models, real and otherwise, take form, be it bloody scary on a late-night movie or bloody yummy from the candy aisles of the florescent-lit supermarkets. New stories and familiar classic tales entice, entertain, and leave a chill along the spine long after the silver screen dims and the last page is turned. The winds have swept in October and the turning leaves – yellow, orange, and red – set the mood for All Hallows’ Eve!
For me, the turn from the hot summer to the gradual cooler months and longer nights leads to a time of reflection as the year winds down and comes to a close. I often ask myself what I have accomplished on my to-do list (usually not enough) but more importantly, what and who am I thankful for (much!)? Focusing on the second question, as an academic member of HWA, I’m thankful for the opportunities and friendships that have arisen from co-chairing the Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference for a third year with my fellow HWA’er co-chair, Nicholas Diak. At Stokercon this year, I met many new scholastic-forward thinking individuals as well as reconnecting with many presenters that came back again for a second or third conference. Nicholas and I were honored to present the Bram Stoker Non-Fiction Award at Grand Rapids – boy were we nervous! Yet, it was a special moment to have one of my favorite contemporary horror writers, Jonathan Maberry, announce the upcoming release of the first HWA academic book, Horror Literature from Gothic to Post-Modern: Critical Essays (McFarland & Company, Inc.) co-edited by Nicholas and myself. I am looking forward to what next year brings!
This year’s Halloween Haunts will run a little differently. I’m running a “Best of” Halloween Haunts by picking out some of the many fine stories from previous years. There might even be a few new stories mixed in to chill the bones and quicken the reader’s heart. Please bookmark this page and make a daily visit through the rest of the month for a daily blast from the past.
If you’re a horror writer, horror studies academic or reader of horror who has not joined HWA, please consider doing so. HWA offers many benefits including mentoring, networking, market news, professional resources, and a yearly academic conference. HWA presents the annual Bram Stoker Awards®at the Bram Stoker Award Weekend (StokerCon). You can learn more about joining here: http://www.horror.org/joinhwa.htm. Or, send questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy October and Halloween, one and all!