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Halloween Haunts - Celebrating our favorite holiday.Horror Writers Association Blog
Horror Writers Association Blog

Halloween [ 384 ]

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 …

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 …

Halloween Haunts: The Pandemic Party by Naching T. Kassa

The chill of night filled the air. Shadows ruled the world and not even the plump autumn moon could keep them at bay. Halloween had come at last.

The children donned their costumes and sat down to wait in the living room of the 1969 trailer home. The oldest, dressed as Blade, tapped his blue flashlight on the arm of the rocking chair, while his sister, a Day of the Dead Cutie, sat nearby. Their baby brother, clad in a Superman costume glared at them both.

I, their guide, entered the room and announced the time had come. They all …

Halloween Haunts: Freakling Forever by T.J. Tranchell

We moved a lot when I was a kid—hell, I’ve kept moving even as an adult—so I’ve managed to lose touch with people quickly. Just before my fifth birthday (maybe just before my sixth?), I went back to one neighborhood to deliver a party invitation to my friend Scotty. His own mid-October birthday party was in full swing, and I was asked to stay. Cake and ice cream commenced followed by a trip to a haunted house.

I had never been to a haunted house, but I knew the place we were going. The dilapidated structure sat next to the …

Halloween Haunts: Wicca is Alive and Well in Cleveland by Katherine Kerestman

Park your broomsticks on Broadview Road in the artsy, ethnic, and eclectic Old Brooklyn neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio, and visit the Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick, where museum owner Steven Intermill will tell you about the cache of artefacts collected by the founder of American Wicca, Raymond Buckland. Born in England to a family of Romani heritage and occultist leanings, Raymond Buckland had studied Wicca there under Gerald Gardner (1884 – 1964), the father of modern Wicca. Buckland collected occult objects, which were first housed in a New York City museum in his own basement from 1966 – …

Halloween Haunts: The Season Begins by Michael J. Moore

It’s that stagnant, nocturnal air—nothing close to warm, but not so cold you need a jacket. Those thin clouds, strewn across a pitch-black sky. It’s the moon, hovering just out of reach, a sinister grin beaming down from its pockmarked face. Autumn leaves, rotting by the road. It’s that first step onto the dewy lawn, decorated with plastic tombstones and spiderweb-covered trees. Your bag bouncing at your side, nowhere near as full as it should be.

It’s different for us all, I’m sure. For this horror writer, however, Halloween has never had anything to do with ancient myths from far …

Halloween Haunts: Weird Women Take on Halloween: Five Early Halloween Works by Women by Lisa Morton

When we remember holiday ghost tales, we probably go to Charles Dickens and the most famous ghost story of them all, “A Christmas Carol”. Think about Halloween stories, and you might imagine that you’d have to wait until at least the mid-twentieth century, when Robert Bloch and Ray Bradbury rolled around.

But here’s one of those historical bits that even the most knowledgeable horror fan might have missed: many of the earliest stories about Halloween were by women. That’s right, not long after Dickens tormented Scrooge with Christmas ghosts, his feminine counterparts were setting their spirits loose on Halloween. After …

Special Ad Rate for the October Issue of the HWA Newsletter

Special Ad Rate for the October Issue of the HWA Newsletter

The HWA Newsletter is offering special rates on ads for the October Issue! The October issue is always jam-packed with lots of goodies (columns, special articles, puzzles, photos, artwork, poems), so you don’t want to miss out on advertising in it!

The ad deadline for the October issue is September 20.…

This October, Halloween Haunts rises again!

From October 1 through October 31, the Horror Writers Association will host an online event to celebrate the month of Halloween and help horror readers and horror writers connect at the eeriest time of the year.

All HWA members are invited to participate in this series of daily blog posts, book excerpts, and more. Halloween Haunts offers HWA members a place to share Halloween anecdotes and stories to connect with new readers, spread the word about members’ new works, and raise the profile of the horror genre and the HWA.

You can find past posts on our Halloween blog: https://horror.org/category/halloween/……

Horror University Online

HORROR UNIVERSITY is one of the most successful and popular aspects of StokerCon™. We are proud to now offer Horror University online for anyone who wishes to attend. Horror University furthers the Horror Writers Association’s focus on education with a curriculum run by some of the best and brightest in the horror field.

HORROR UNIVERSITY ONLINE offers a series of 90-minute to two-hour workshops. They are not your typical workshop experiences—they are hands-on, intensive classes that include interactive activities and exercises. Workshops will initially be live events, but many will be offered as recordings year-round for students who register after …

Halloween Haunts: When Captain Howdy Visits on Halloween: The History of the Ouija Board

By Lisa Morton

Whenever I tell people that I’ve written a book about séances, the subject of the Ouija board usually comes up very soon. Ouija boards have fascinated us for almost 130 years now; for the price of a board game, they offer us the promise of communicating with spirits in the comfort of our own living rooms. Unlike a more traditional séance, which must be guided by a medium with some experience or skill, anyone with fingers can use a Ouija board.

Ouija boards connect with Halloween in the idea of easing contact with ethereal spirits. Halloween is …

Halloween Haunts: From Birthdays to Doorbells to Arson: Mischief Night

By Kevin Wetmore

My mother’s birthday is October 30.  She told us that when she was growing up her parents would throw a Halloween-themed birthday party. My grandmother would call my mother’s friend Bunny’s father, who ran a bakery, to make a Jack-o-lantern cake decorated with plastic witches on broomsticks holding the candles and all sorts of Halloween themed plastic paraphernalia.  (To me that sounds like Heaven).  As a result, however, my mother does not much care for Halloween, as it required her to share her birthday with a national holiday aimed (at the time) at children and she felt …

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