Horror Writers Association

Halloween Haunts: Licensing on Halloween by Rosemary Thorne


Halloween Haunts: Licensing on Halloween

by Rosemary Thorne


Children are not the only ones going door to door setting up dealings on Halloween. There are sorcerers too, knocking on the darkest gates of all realms to renew their practicing licenses. If you pay the right attention, you will see us running up and down not as cheerful as candy-holders: the endeavours we must carry out on that night are hideous, hair-raising, abominable. Those are the mandates of the Ones behind the veil in its thinnest.

I usually take my time to anticipate events and make calculations to have everything prepared, even to have spare parts just in case something goes “slightly” wrong, but not “too wrong.” When something goes “wrong” it means “fatally wrong,” it means I wished I had been a stillborn, as it is Erictho who is breathing down one’s neck. Overall measurements are complicated because you have to balance your soul’s shadow with that of the Pit of Hell, and even Satan is reluctant to do so.

The phase of the moon on Halloween is determinant. I’ve seen masterful brujos burnt in the job just because they ignored the warnings of the new moon commencing an eclipse season on the blackest eve of the year. A dark beyond dark is produced. If I had seen myself in that situation, I’d rather gash my abdomen and offer my quavering guts to ferocious lions. No mistakes should be done in regards to Hekate’s heavenly pearl on that damned night in which the toad governs, the bat infects the cattle and the spider conspires against your well being.

It’s also important to attend to the specifics of the token. It must be palpitating, or else. Many practitioners add it species, aromatic woods and adornments like hair, toe nails and ears. I like it plane, no side. It’s neither good nor bad: it depends on each one’s character. Experienced conjurers paid with the pain equivalent to the bite of the most vicious viper because they copied other peer’s recipes and followed steps that were not their own. It is even dependant on the place you live in: some ingredients must be forbidden, meaning that they must be forbidden or taboo in the land you are living in. Nowadays, there are scarce prohibitions that are global, you’d better review the laws in the spot you are on.

Of course, the last act is very special. You surely know what I am referring to. Doing that is exactly what aligns you with the cosmic deep and grants you the embrace of the forces of Hades. Keep it to yourself. Do not share it. That’s the secret of your dark star, your own passport to Carcosa’s sinister foundations. Once in tune, let yourself go fully intoxicated by Persephone’s chants & trust your fate. What ensues is the matter that feeds the most repulsive nightmares.

I usually wake up in the morning with the unmistakable taste of the doomed on my tongue. The rims of my mouth show suspicious scabs and my fangs are sore. Light traces of flames appear all over my skin as if I had bathed in a pool of fire. And that’s it: the rest of the year is just to keep the tarot parlor profitable enough to pay the rent and to give milk to the cat at dusk.

Break a leg.



Rosemary Thorne (she/her) is a bilingual Spanish writer, researcher, and translator living in Madrid, Spain. Born in 1968, she became an HWA member in 2019, choosing English as the most welcoming language for her horror fiction. Her first novel, El Pacto de las 12 uvas, was published in December 2021. In 2022, she received the HWA online Scholarship From Hell. She has also translated Edward Lee’s The Bighead into Spanish for Dimensiones Ocultas Press. As an HWA volunteer, she has been Chapter’s Program Co-Chair to liaise with HWA international chapters. Her goals for the years to come is to populate the English market with her dreadful monsters.


Find out more at: https://linktr.ee/Rosemary_thorne  and Twitter at https://twitter.com/rosemarythorne_


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