Horror Writers Association Blog

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: membership@horror.org.  Happy October and Halloween, one and all!

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