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Tag archive: Halloween Archives - Horror Writers Association [ 122 ]

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 …

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: 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 …

A Portrait of the Halloween Expert as a Young Woman By Lisa Morton


Happy Halloween! Today’s Best Of Halloween Haunts was originally published last year…..

When my father passed away in 2015, I received an unexpected and lovely inheritance: thousands of color slides, many of which featured me as a baby, a toddler, and a child. One of the reasons this was remarkable was because I really thought there weren’t many photos around of me as a kid. My mom only had a handful, and for some reason – even though I remained close to my dad after my parents split up – I hadn’t realized he had so many photos.

I …

“Why Do We Love Halloween?” By JG Faherty


Welcome back to Halloween Haunt’s! Today’s Best Of was originally published in 2017….

As a horror writer, it’s kind of expected of me that I’ll be enamored of the Halloween season. And it’s no secret that I am! But I loved Halloween long before I became a writer. Even as a little kid I looked forward to Halloween as much as I did Christmas.

The question is, why?

For a child, the reasons are pretty easy to figure out. Lots of candy. Lots and lots of candy! The chance to dress up in a costume and run around the …

68 Years of Halloween by Steve Rasnic Tem


From last year’s Halloween Haunts, here is today’s Best Of….

I believe I was seven years old the first time I went trick-or-treating. Before that I wasn’t much aware of the holiday, and I certainly didn’t connect it with anything scary. I remember kids coming to the door in costume and getting candy—not too many because we lived in a very small Appalachian town. I was in my PJs, peeking out of the bedroom I shared with my two younger brothers. But that’s what I did when anyone came to the door—I was a painfully shy kid, and outside …

“How We Made a Monster (and scared the bejeebers out of an entire high school)!” By Lloyd F. Ritchey


Today’s Best Of Halloween Haunts was originally published in 2017….

We watched with glee as a man scooped up a little girl and bolted for the door. The kid was kicking and screaming with fright. “Ah,” I thought. “Another successful show!”

I was a high school junior, and my esteemed institution was holding a Halloween-themed open house. The classrooms were crammed with the usual flaccid haunted house stuff: “Come inside kiddies, feel the witch’s guts.” (Bowl of cold spaghetti). Her eyeballs—hard-boiled eggs. Yawn.

My friends, Warren and Pete, and I had presented the school fathers with a proposal: we …

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