Halloween Tricks and Treats

dark hallowsDark Hallows: 10 Halloween Haunts
Mark Parker, ed.
Scarlet Galleon
paperback $14.99, 161 p.
ebook $6.99

This book came out last fall, but my copy didn’t arrive until after Halloween, so I waited until this year to read it.  There’s a second volume, but given that I’m writing this on the 27th, it will probably be a next-year-read as well.

Many of the names aren’t authors I’m familiar with.  Obviously I know who Richard Chizmar, Norman Partridge, and Brian James Freeman are, as well as Lisa Morton and Al Sarrantonio.   I’ve heard of a couple of the others, I think.

I’ve got the print version, and it’s a nice production.  The cover art is perfect.  Aaron Dries provided an original illustration for each story, which was a nice touch.

As with most anthologies, some stories were more to my taste than others.  Here are a few of my favorites:

“Mister Parker” by Richard Chizmar tells the tale of a middle school teacher who doesn’t care that much for Halloween and what befalls him.

A young boy and his mother come face to face with a real life monster in “Monster Night” by Brian James Freeman.

Norman Partridge provides a very dark tale of a crime that occurred on a long ago Halloween and what happens when the past comes calling in “Johnny Halloween”.

For “All Soul’s Day”, Al Sarrantonio takes us to the town of Orangefield, where Samhain is looking for sacrifices.

I think the story I liked the best was one by an author whose name was new to me.  In “There Are Corners in the World Where Lost Things Gather” Robert Morrish takes us back to the days when all the cool kids were dropping acid and a Halloween excursion into a supposed haunted house that is very much occupied by a hoarder who has something  in common with Norman Bates.   The question is how much of what the kids experienced was real and how much was due to the LSD?

Dark Hallows is a nice Halloween treat filled with delicious tricks.  Check it out.

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