Updated: 7 days ago
Halloween is magick. The one day of the year it is socially acceptable to believe in witches crossing the face of the moon, to light Jack-o’-lanterns, to welcome the dead back to the table. Or call it All Hallows’ Eve. For witches, it is Samhain, the end of the old year and the start of the new, when the veil between us and the spirit realm is thin. If you put a glass of sherry out on the table for your dearly departed Great Aunt Gunnysacks, she might just join you. Not so terribly different from Dia de los Muertos, a few days later on November 2. Whether you are all-in for the candy corn, or polishing your pentacle for Samhain, or stringing marigolds and decorating sugar skulls, it is the time of the year for spirits to visit and spooky tales to be told.
I’m therefore especially pleased to present this collection of stories to you, some twisted and dark, others whimsical and wicked. Robin Winter gives us “A Blot in Cyrillic,” which answers the pesky question, What to do when the Spectre of Death moves into your house? And perhaps more pressingly, in “Overdue,” by Terry Sanville, a stern warning on the immortal consequences of not returning your library book on time. Christina Lay provides us with proper chills and all the haunted house vibes in “With Family.” You will want to sleep with the lights on after that one. And Ron Riekki gives us “Teeths,” which is a meditation on pushing the tooth fairy just a step too far. Nicholas Barner adds a story that is beyond description in “A Rite in Steeple Manor.” Danielle Davis contemplates the undying nature of love. Many other hauntings grace these pages, including “Mt. Auburn, Danse Macabre,” which is an homage to my favorite Halloween cartoon, the dancing skeletons that always proceeded a certain Halloween Special by that cartoon mouse we all know. An unusual cauldron haunts these pages, a witch battles immortal evil in the Big Apple, a Jack-o’-lantern goes terribly wrong, and even Ichabod Crane has a few corrections to make in “Sleepy Hollow Errata.”
Whatever time of year you may be reading this, I wish you a Happy Halloween, and I hope you enjoy these stories.