Horror Writers Association


Halloween Beyond: Beyond Last Year’s Haunt by Kate Maruyama

Last year, I wrote a Halloween Haunts about my favorite Halloween traditions at my friend Miguel’s house, and how I missed it so much during the pandemic. Last winter, I wrote a novella set against that very Halloween, starring Beto, the King of Halloween, based on Miguel.

The novella: Halloween Beyond: A Gentleman’s Suit, is part of a triptych of novellas by myself, Lisa Morton and Lucy A. Snyder. Each novella is its own story but all pass through a Halloween Superstore called Halloween Beyond and all our protagonists encounter a tricksy clerk there, named Maeve.

A Gentleman’s Suit

Halloween Haunts: What if the Creepy Devil Mask at Your Halloween Party is not a Costume, but is Actually the Face of God? by Katherine Kerestman

An excerpt from Creepy Cat’s Macabre Travels: Prowling around Haunted Towers, Crumbling Castles, and Ghoulish Graveyards by Katherine Kerestman (WordCrafts Press, 2020), in which Creepy Cat visits the Yucatan:

The irresistible dark mystery of the pre-Columbian Yucatan peninsula was what beckoned me to Mexico. To this end I booked a hotel in Cancun, which was to be my jumping-off place for an exploration of the eerie secrets of the people who used to live there. The balcony of my Caribbean-facing room afforded a lovely view of melded blue sky and sea, white foaming waves rolling onto the sand. On the …

Halloween Haunts: Bane Herbs in Fiction by Heddy Johannesen

Do you want to write about bane herbs in your stories? Let me navigate that dangerous territory with you. I will discuss how you can write about bane herbs in your novellas and horror novels accurately. This post tells how to have your character using these herbs, if that character is a witch, warlock or one of the cunning folk, you can portray your character using these herbs the right way if you read this.

Bane herbs mean poisonous or toxic herbs. The most beautiful plants are often the deadliest. The plants listed below certainly fall in that category. …

Halloween Haunts: You Look Like Death by Kayla Woods

What is the most dangerous part of Halloween?

The lore of Halloween attempts to instill in us the fear of razor blades in apples and needles in chocolate bars. We have learned that most children do not have to worry about falling prey to these dangers. Realistically, parents should worry about their children crossing the street without looking while wearing a dark costume. Pet parents need to ensure that bowls of chocolate candies are not left unattended around opportunistic pups. Anyone wearing a costume around a lit Jack-O-lantern should take care to not catch fire.

When I Googled the phrase …

Halloween Haunts: The Spooky Place by Stephen Mark Rainey

From the mid-1970s through the 1980s, the local chapter of the Jaycees in my Virginia hometown put on an annual haunted castle event, set in a massive, abandoned warehouse in a nearby hamlet called Koehler (which could well have qualified as a real-life model for H.P. Lovecraft’s Dunwich). The old warehouse is a hulking stone monstrosity set in a forested area on the banks of the Smith River. No matter the season, the place looks like an honest-to-god haunted castle. For Halloween, one could hardly choose a more imposing and appropriate location to host a fearsome good time. From the …

Halloween Haunts: For the Love of a (Mostly) Black Cat by Sumiko Saulson

On October 31, 2009 something magical happened. That was the day that my then-fiance Gregory Hug and I adopted the approximately three-year-old predominantly black tuxedo cat we would come to know as Bootsy Catlins from Oakland Animal Services. We had been looking for a cat on Craiglist when we found a special Oakland Animal Services had on black and mostly black cats for Halloween. As a couple of goths, we were completely tickled by the idea of adopting a black cat, so we came in.

The kind woman working at Oakland Animal Services explained to us that thousands of years …

SALE! Special Ad Rate Extended for the HWA Newsletter

SALE! Special Ad Rate Extended for the HWA Newsletter

The HWA Newsletter is offering a special rate on full-page ads for the rest of 2021! All issues are 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!

Full Page Ad 650px wide by any height – only $25! The ad deadline for this sale is December 31, 2021.

Order yours today!

Halloween Haunts: Real Life Halloween Candymen by Sumiko Saulson

If you have read Clive Barker’s “Forbidden” or seen either of the Candyman movies, you know that one of gut-wrenching images in the story is that of razorblades buried in candy. Director Nia DaCosta uses that imagery to particularly disturbing effect in Candyman (2021), the body horror special effects masterpiece that earned her a place in history as the first Black woman director of a #1 Box Office smash.

The movie has impressive horror writing chops. DaCosta co-wrote it with Win Rosenfeld and two-time Bram Stoker Award winner Jordan Peele, who picked up the award for Best Screenplay …

Halloween Haunts: Full Circle Halloween by Yvonne Navarro

When I was a kid…

You know what the first thought that popped into my head was when I typed that?

“Get off my lawn!”

Which is not at all where I want this to go.

In Chicago, in the 1960s and 1970s—there, I’ve dated myself and so what—kids used to go trick-or-treating pretty much fearless. Late into the night, too—I remember knocking on doors at close to ten p.m. (and yeah, the adults who opened were pretty grumpy). The year to year weather was varied: if Halloween fell on a Saturday or Sunday, you could be laughing and running …

Halloween Haunts: The October Blues by Amaris J. Gagnon

October was here and Halloween was right around the corner. Fall time was my favorite season because I loved all things spooky and horror. I was fourteen and right at the edge of when kids stop going trick or treating. As an eighth-grader, I noticed my friends wanting to wear more revealing costumes. I guess it wasn’t cool to dress up as vampires or ghosts anymore. The more cleavage the better and the higher you could roll up your skirt the more Myspace comments you got.

Things were tough at home. My mother had lost her job and my father’s …

Halloween Haunts: Halloween Goal by Sèphera Girón

Halloween is always a fun time for horror lovers whether you’re a creator or a consumer or both.

This Halloween may be a bit different where you are because many parts of the world are still in a pandemic or lockdown or just coming out of one and so on. And of course, many parts of the world don’t celebrate Halloween.

This Halloween, try doing some self-care in-between all the festivities, if you are able to get to any.

Halloween night instead of being sad you still can’t go clubbing or dancing or attend a giant Halloween party or even …

Halloween Haunts: Beneath the Tortured Willow by Lee Murray, Geneve Flynn, Angela Yuriko Smith, and Christina Sng

On the edge of the village, beneath the gravid leaves of a tortured willow, I gather with my sisters, Geneve Flynn, Angela Yuriko Smith, and Christina Sng, on the eve of Halloween. When the village is quiet, its inhabitants slumbering in their beds, I stoke our campfire with a stick, stirring up sparks in the darkness.

“Shall we begin?” I whisper.

My sisters nod, shuffling closer to the fire.

“I have a ghost story to tell you,” Angela says. “I was about 12 years old, and my family was moving from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Bethesda, Maryland. As all this moving …

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