It’s that time of year again! Here in the US, the days are shorter, the nights are longer…and darker…perfect for us primarily nocturnal beings. I love all things autumn — carnivals, festivals, candied apples, cooler weather, but most of all, I love Halloween. It’s my favorite holiday and I look forward to it with all the excitement of a kid awaiting a visit from Santa Claus.
Why do I love Halloween so much? Well, for one, the television is running a nearly constant variety of “documentary” and “hidden history” shows on vampires, werewolves, witches, ghosts, and anything else they can think up. I love these types of shows. Blame my dad. Of course, his interests in show of this nature were geared more toward science, politics, and world history. Nevertheless, he influenced me and even though my interests are decidedly darker he did teach me to not stop with only information given through one source. But that really doesn’t explain why I love Halloween.
Again, we can blame my dad. My enthusiasm overshadows his but he still liked the holiday because it was one of the few days of the year when he sort of cut loose and let his hair down. Not that my dad had that much hair. He wasn’t a huge fan of the costumes and the trick or treating — although he did enjoy sharing “The Loot” my siblings and I brought home — but he did enjoy having a bit of storytelling fun.
The key to understanding my dad’s interest in Halloween is understanding that he was a master storyteller. No, he never wrote anything down, but he could captivate you with his tall tales to the point you would wonder if he was telling the truth. In fact, that’s what made him so great. He always slipped in kernels of the truth in every story, and one of his favorite genres was the ghost story.
I grew up listening to tales of phantom lights, ladies in white, spirit hounds, and shadows seen from the corners of your eyes. I loved them all. Mom hated them, but only because she knew the nightmares where coming and she’d be the one rushing to my side in the wee hours of the morning because some spectre was attacking me. (Turns out it was just the cat looking to snuggle but when it’s 2AM and your seven years old, the family pet is a ferocious devil-possessed panther coming to rip off your face. It was an honest case of mistaken identification anyone could make.)
Since it’s the nearly time for all the goblins, ghouls, and ghosts to run amok (Amok! Amok! Amok!) again, let’s have a little fun of our own with a contest. I think I shall dub this one the “Things That Go Bump in the Night” Contest. Keep reading for more information…
Things That Go Bump in the Night Contest
Prize: One (1) autographed copy of BLOOD LAW
To Enter: Post EITHER your favorite ghost story — whether it’s a real encounter or an urban legend — OR your favorite childhood memory of Halloween.
1. One (1) entry per person. This means you post once with either a ghost story or a Halloween memory. Multiple entries will be disqualified.
2. Contest is open to international participants.
3. One (1) entry will be selected at random and declared the winner.
4. Winner will be announced HERE on November 1, 2010.
5. Please DO NOT post your email address along with your entry.
6. Please keep entries to a PG-13 rating. Graphic entries will be deleted.