Halloween has always been special to me.

A night of dreams and horror coming together in a twilight dance for both young and old alike. It’s a night where we honor our pagan traditions and celebrate how those have evolved with us. There is a beauty to parents joining their children out in the neighborhoods, among their neighbors, sharing words and candy, laughter and juvenile scares. We have many holidays throughout the calendar year but there is something about Halloween that it different, that it is about the young hearts that beat within us all and the young people of our communities. A time for kids to be kids, to spread their creative wings, and to take back the night from the terrors of adults.

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In Strolls The Boogeyman

I think that this is part of my yearly ritual on the lead up to Halloween. My yearly missive about haunts and haunted houses and the like. I suppose because it’s something I am passionate about and also something I feel knowledgeable enough to speak to.

Anyone that loves Halloween knows about haunted houses, even if you don’t like them, and a lot of folks don’t, people KNOW they exist. Haunts are part of a sort of subculture to Halloween, which is its own subculture of horror. Haunters are part carny, part vaudevillian, and part outpatient. You have to be a little off to put the time and energy into creating and working at something made just to scare the sense out of someone. Saying that though, there is an art to it. Like everything else, you can do it, or you can do it ‘right’. In this case you can either bring passion or you can mail it in.

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Give A Little Scare

As anyone who knows me will attest, I love Halloween.


For real.

So naturally I am very passionate about the season, as witnessed by my many, many stories I have written in honor of the day. I have written almost as much about my opinions on the holiday, often trudging familiar ground over and over so that the ruts make the going a bit rough. The thing is though, whenever I hit a great or horrible haunt it makes me want to write. Not to light the place up but to go back and stress how easy it can be to get it right.

Not perfect, but right.

The thing is that most places either overthink the haunt or they don’t think at all.

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THE BRIDES – Halloween story 2017

He punched before he even thought twice about it. It just happened. A reaction, something clicking in him and in an instant his fist shot out and returned a satisfying crunch and ‘Uh’ when it connected the idiot in the mask that had jumped out in front of him. The satisfaction was short lived though as he heard movement behind him and turned to see a short stocky guy in a mask quickly moving towards him. Tam smiled, shook his hand to get the sting out of it, and hurried out of the room. The room lead to a long hallway with flashing lights and two more idiots in ghost-sheets moving in at him. He pushed the first one into the wall and then the second he kicked in their junk before leaving the room and entering a makeshift basement. A family was huddled around a crib that had red light flashing within in.

The punchline.

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Game Face – Halloween story 2017


“Ah, AH! That…that…”

The words didn’t seem to form fast enough to stem the flow of blood. He felt it pooling under the mask and couldn’t stop what came out of his mouth if he wanted to.

“…motherfucker. That goddamn motherfucker broke…”

   “Shut up, son.” The man across from the kid told him as they stood in the dimly lit room. He was older, thirties maybe, short, hands painted with red. He was a lifer at the haunt and related to one of the women that owned it. The kid forgot the guy’s name but he was a pain in the ass by the book son of a bitch if there ever was one.

“…nose. Broke my fucking nose, man. Can you dig that? Can you? And you tell me to shut up? Fuck you man. Fuck you and don’t call me son.” The kid was losing it. Careening now, losing control and heading for a steep cliff. He stepped out of position, a dark alcove where all someone would be able to see was his head and pulled the Halloween mask he was wearing up and blood poured out of it and down his face and the front of the black robe he wore. His nose was bent to the left and the blood was still coming. The kid dropped the mask and pushed his hands against his nose, wiping first left with one hand then right with the other. All it did was smear the red further up his cheeks and send more pain through his head.

“Pick up that mask. Put it on. Get back into place. Now.”

The kid was looking down at his hands and the pool of blood he was suddenly standing in. The flow from his nose had slowed to a drip but it was still coming. He looked slowly up at the man across from him and cocked his head. Continue reading “Game Face – Halloween story 2017”

Sharing the Scares

Since I was a kid I have always loved Halloween and the scarier side of life. Not the kind of scares you get from the real world of every day but more the scares of the world behind our world, lurking in the shadows, just out of view. The draw towards the dark is within all of us but different for each of us. There is something primal and beautiful about it though and for me this season brings it out more than any other. And there is no finer way to step within the dark is with other people.

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Halloween Forever

Halloween, a holiday many of us love, is changing. It is changing as society is changing, and that is a good thing. In order for the holiday to survive and continue it needs to evolve as we do. Some holidays, like Christmas, are steeped in tradition and reverence but Halloween lives on shifting sand and needs to change as the culture changes or it will be lost.

In many ways the holiday is becoming more about parties and adults and we must fight that.

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