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Halloween Haunts: Crawl Space by Juliette Kings

My daughter has a tote bag printed with the words, My Mom Blogs About Vampires.

When you are a parent who writes about the paranormal, horror, and urban fantasy, it is always Halloween, and of course you’re always the cool parent.

Back in 2012 I started a blog about parenting middle school and high school kids. Nobody read it, that is until I made it about parenting young vampires, who aren’t all that different from other kids. That said, it made a big difference. Adding horror to anything, including parenting, is not only fun but it brings in readers.

Now …

Halloween Haunts: I Dare You to Play (Paranormal Games for Halloween) by Brooke MacKenzie

Halloween is that time of year when the veil between our world and the next, the natural and the supernatural, becomes virtually non-existent.  What better way to celebrate, and gather real-life inspiration for some excellent horror writing, than by invoking the paranormal?

For centuries, the brave (or foolhardy) have been summoning the supernatural through various rituals, or “games.”  During the Edo period in Japan, samurais used to play a game called “Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai” as a test of courage.  During the game, the players would sit in a room together, and one person at a time would tell a frightening …

Halloween Haunts: Frights For a Good Cause by Robert P. Ottone

I got to write about my family’s connection to Halloween last year, which was very cathartic, and resulted in tears when I talked to my mom about it. This year, I thought I would talk about the importance of fundraising as it relates to engaging with haunted attractions. As I’ve gotten older, I do my very best to be political with how I spend my money. An extension of this relates to charitable organizations. Growing up, we often put on haunted houses on our front lawn, with multiple rooms, scares, designs, effects, all that good stuff. Typically, we would …

Halloween Haunts: Halloween: The Holiday That Made Me by Samantha Arthurs

Most every child loves Halloween, for the obvious reasons. Costumes, candy, classroom parties, and a little dash of mischief thrown in for some razzle dazzle. We’ve all been there, and I’m sure that we all had an undeniably great time, but for me Halloween always meant just a little bit more. I was born on November 2nd, and while I always bemoaned my arrival on All Souls Day instead of All Hallows Eve, my feelings on the matter were often soothed by Halloween themed birthday parties. Sometimes my guests and I wore costumes, and other times the coinciding of my …

Halloween Haunts: I’ll Carve A Smile Into You by C.C. Adams

This Halloween, I’m going to do something I never did before.

It starts with the biggest, sharpest knife I can find.

The darkness and quiet of night over the neighbourhood.

A single candle.

And a pumpkin.

 

Because, for the first time, I’m going to carve a jack o’lantern.

 

As someone born and raised in South West London, I’ve seen how the neighbourhood has evolved. Where I live in the city is mostly quiet; a residential area. I’ve seen it become more progressive. Back then, it was a newsagent or two, a fish and chip shop, a stationery shop …

Latinx Horror: Interview with Isabel Cañas

Isabel Cañas is a Mexican-American speculative fiction writer. After having lived in Mexico, Scotland, Egypt, and Turkey, among other places, she has settled (for now) in New York City, where she works on her PhD dissertation in medieval Islamic literature and writes fiction inspired by her research and her heritage. To find out more, visit www.isabelcanas.com.

What inspired you to start writing?

I remember that I started dictating stories to my older sister when I was about 4, before I could write. I really kicked off writing with Lord of the Rings fanfic when I was about 11 and started …

Halloween Haunts: Why Do We Like Being Scared? by Marlena Frank

When I was little, my father used to have a creepy rubber mask that he wore every Halloween. It wasn’t a monster mask or a werewolf mask or anything like that, it was just a creepy looking guy’s face. He wore it with a tan, nondescript jacket with a hood that he tightened around the mask to make it look real. When it got near Halloween, he would put it on and chase me and my sisters around the house, and we would all three squeal and run, having an absolute blast. Then when he got tired, he would take …

Halloween Haunts: Halloween Memories in the Basement by Cecilia Kennedy

In a stunning feat of magic, my father, who was rehearsing his role as a terrifying Merlin the Magician for the local YWCA Halloween party, burned a hole in my mother’s underpants. I remember his excitement when he called my mother and me to the rec room basement to announce his latest trick that he was perfecting: passing a lighted cigarette through a handkerchief, but he couldn’t find a handkerchief. Mom’s underpants were the next best thing. We held our breath when we saw the smoke, hoping the white cloth underneath would get by, unscathed. It didn’t. It was the …

Halloween Haunts: I Hear Dead People: Communicating with My Father (and Others) in Spirit by Valerie E. Weich

 

My father was a Halloween baby—born on All Hallow’s Eve 1934. So Halloween was extra special in our household—Dad’s birthday and Trick-or-treating. Talk about your sugar high! As a smartass teenager, I used to tell Pop he was a trick instead of a treat. He had no snappy comeback for that one. Our church’s All Hallow’s Eve celebrations for the kids doubled as my father’s annual birthday party. No doubt he would rather have been partying somewhere else.

But the party ended on July 2, 2016 when Stage four lung cancer claimed my father. It’s an ugly way to …

StokerCon Scholarship from Hell Open to Submissions

The Scholarship From Hell is the only scholarship offered by HWA that puts the recipient right into the intensive, hands-on workshop environment of Horror University. Horror University takes place during HWA’s annual StokerCon. The winner of the Scholarship From Hell will receive domestic coach airfare (contiguous 48 states) to and from the StokerCon venue, a 4-night stay at the convention, free registration to StokerCon, and as many workshops as you’d like to attend! Be sure to follow us on Facebook or Twitter so you don’t miss out!

Membership in HWA or StokerCon is not necessary in order to apply.

The …

Halloween Haunts: Writing the Female Horror Body by Holly Lyn Walrath

Throughout pop culture, horror, poetry, and literature, we’ve been taught to both hide the female body and see it is horrific. Every October I rewatch some of my favorite horror films, and this year my goal is to watch as many body horror films as I can. As we face a renaissance of feminist horror, I have wondered if the popularity of this genre is tied to empowerment.

By remaking the female body as horrific, women creators regain control over the narrative tied to the very skin and bones we inhabit on a daily basis. We creature the body, other …

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