Horror Writers Association Blog

Haunted Library of Horror Classics

Haunted Library of Horror Classics

Darren Shan Interviewed by Dave Jeffery

Darren Shan Interviewed by Dave Jeffery

Scary Out There with Sarah Rees Brennan

Scary Out There with Sarah Rees Brennan


Recent Posts

Halloween Haunts: “You don’t have to be mad to work here, but it helps”

by Frazer Lee

In another life, and another time (1998 to be specific) I was hired to work crew for several weeks on a film shoot. The movie production in question was Siamese Cop, which had the awesome logline: ‘Two cops. One jacket’. A low-budget affair (no kidding) the bulk of the shoot was confined to one main location, which would also serve as the production base, equipment store, and – as it turned out – a place to haunt your every waking step.

Friern Barnet Mental Hospital, as it was then known, opened its doors as Colney Hatch …

Halloween Haunts: The Voice and Poe

by Naching T. Kassa


When I think of Halloween, sweet memories come to mind. The scent of caramel apples, the brisk chill of October’s dying breath, horror films flickering on a small screen, and the smooth taste of chocolate on my tongue. These memories are beautiful, but my most favorite is the sound of my dad’s voice reading Edgar Allan Poe.

My father loved Poe. Growing up, he’d read every story, from “The Masque of the Red Death” to “The Gold-Bug.” He also loved the movies, and my first introduction to Poe was through the Roger Corman films starring …

Halloween Haunts: Rising from the Dead

by Chris DiLeo

Every Halloween, my father rose from the dead.

He would wait until his victims were so close there was nowhere they could run, and as those quivering trick-or-treaters’ hands stretched across the open coffin reaching for the individually wrapped Twizzlers splayed across his chest, my father’s eyes would open and he would attack.

My father died when I was eleven. Happened right before my eyes. His hand reached out, fingers trembling, and a crackling moan rattled in his throat. His eyes were wide, frightened, and he stumbled and fell.

He never got up again.

At the funeral …

Halloween Haunts: Can Halloween Be Pandemic Proof?

By Pamela K. Kinney


I always loved Halloween. When people asked me as a child what my favorite holiday was, I knew they expected to hear it was Christmas. I mean, Christmas is Santa Claus, gifts, and other things that excite a kid on this holiday–right?

But no, I always answered, “Halloween.”

Their mouth would drop open, same as did some of my childhood friends. But there was something about Halloween growing up in the Sixties, when in October they brought out the wax Halloween harmonicas, wax vampire lips, and cardboard skeletons and cats to hand on your windows.…

Halloween Haunts: Dive Bombed in a Nightmare

by Damian Serbu

Halloween often brings to mind memories of past frights and haunts. As a horror writer, I find myself drawn to moments that scared the crap out of me, so I can relive the intense thrill and ponder anew its meaning. I am not talking about actual-horrific events that I experienced in life, but false alarms or watching a horror movie or going to a haunted house. Something frightening without a real threat of violence to myself.

This summer’s publication of The Bachmann Family Secret and the arrival of October has me thinking about one particular recurring nightmare …

Halloween Haunts: Thank You, Horror

by Tom Leveen


The thing is, the non-readers of horror don’t get it. They don’t get our attraction to the darkness, to the monstrous. They don’t get that we, more than they, are attuned to the human condition. To mortality and disease and the unfairness of monsters in our midst.

They don’t get that that’s why we write it, why we read it. It’s our inoculation. It’s our telescope and microscope, making the distant loom large and the subtle come to life so that we can study it and, perhaps, sublimate it.

We are healthier and stronger for it. …

Halloween Haunts: Everybody is a Book of Blood

By B.R. Yeager


Each October, we immersive ourselves in narrative. Yes, yes—those classic and cult films, those new and beloved books. I don’t need to tell you. Search “best Halloween movies” and Google spits out 186 listicles before asking you to be more specific. Search “best Halloween books” and you get roughly the same result. But an important aspect of this month gets neglected: narratives come unglued from consumerist machinery to spill out into the rest of life.

We tell each other stories.

One particular house in my neighborhood sticks out: it’s an average bungalow, apart from a large …

Halloween Haunts: Short Stories, Long Journeys – Halloween Lights

by Anna Taborska

Halloween has been lucky for me as a writer. The first story of mine ever published was a Halloween-themed story, and it came out in time for Halloween.

            When an author publishes a novel through a publisher, they usually sign away their rights for many years, sometimes indefinitely – if they’re not careful. This is generally not the case with short stories, where a publisher might ask for first rights to a book for a year after publication or perhaps even ask for non-exclusive rights to a story. Thus short stories (and the rights to them) …

Classical Frights — Halloween Poetry by the Great Ones

By David E. Cowen, Bram-Stoker Nominated Author of Bleeding Saffron

Every October social media sites become saturated with celebrations worthy of Samhain (pronounced “so-win” in Gaelic I am told). The HWA has a rich tradition of dark poets who all relish this season. Not a single member of the HWA I would wager would not include Edgar Allan Poe on a short list of dark poets, probably then jumping to Robert Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, George Sterling and H.P. Lovecraft. But would you jump to Samuel Taylor Coleridge with his The Rime of the Ancient Mariner? What about Robert

Halloween Haunts: Halloween Then and Now and in the New Now

by Kate Maruyama


We do enjoy Christmas, but the most wonderful time of the year for my family is the Halloween season. When we first moved to the neighborhood, my husband and I would rent a pile of scary movies, and hand out Halloween candy (as well as eat our share of it).

Then we had kids. Every season (they’d have to wait ‘til October 1st!) we’d decorate the house, make decorations, fabric ghosts one year, a haunted candy tree another. We’d start making treats, planning costumes (always homemade,) and we’d make a gingerbread Halloween house. This …

Halloween Haunts: On Treats and Tricks

by Christopher Hawkins

Trick or treat. We say the words, but we don’t often give a lot of thought to them. They’ve become generic holiday words, not much more than a tidy slogan written in orange on black napkins or spelled out on window clings amid bats and spiders. For the kids that come to the door, they’re the gateway to getting candy in their bags, like the password spoken at the door of a speakeasy. As adults, we say them with a self-aware little laugh, borrowing a bit of that youthful insistence and making it our own, if only …

Halloween Haunts: Haunted Houses

by David Sharp


One of my favorite Halloween traditions is going to haunted houses—not breaking and entering into an abandoned places where ghosts may dwell, but going to the commercial ones. Chasing the dragon of the adrenaline of fear is harder with age. In youth, I could find terror lurking in the shadows after watching a scary film or riding a roller coaster. Finding the frisson as an adult takes more effort. One of the best ways is to feed off the fear of a like-minded group—Imagination is the key. An ideal setting to psyche myself out into the …

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