Halloween- Magic, Mystery & the Macabre

Halloween: Magic, Mystery, and the Macabre (2013) by Paula Guran (Editor),

Halloween: Magic, Mystery & the Macabre (2013) — Anthology 

Genre and Sub-GenresEdit

Fantasy-Horror / dystopian (one story)

Theme Edit

Magic, mystery and the macabre — rather than “scary” ~ Goodreads


Halloween is a holiday-themed anthology of eighteen stories that are, as Paula Guran says in the introduction, all themed to the holiday in its various forms--from Halloween to All Souls Day to a fictional harvest holiday and from mundane holiday doings to magical happenings and mystical traditions. ~ Amara's Eden: Halloween: Magic, Mystery, and the Macabre

Editor and AuthorsEdit

Editor: Paula Guran (Fant, Hor)

Contributors: Maria V. Snyder (Fant, SciFi, YA, Rom), Carrie Vaughn (UF), John Shirley (Cyberpunk, Hor, Weird-Fict, SciFi, Fant, Sci-Fant,), Norman Partridge (Horror, Susp, Fant), Caitlín R. Kiernan (Horror, Fantasy), Laird Barron (Horror, Crime, Hist, Pulp, SciFi, Noir), Jonathan Maberry (Hor, Myst-Thrill, Comics), Lawrence C. Connolly (Fant, SciFi, Hor), A.C. Wise (Hor, Fant, Shorts), Jay Caselberg (Sci-Fant, Hor, shorts), Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (Hor, Vamp-Fict), Brian Hodge (Hor, Crime/Noir), Brenda Cooper (SciFi, Sci-Fant, Futurist, Shorts), Nancy Kilpatrick (Hor), Laura Bickle (UF), Barbara Roden (Hor), Stephen Graham Jones (Hor, Fict), Steve Rasnic Tem (Hor, SciFi-Fant, Crime), Melanie Tem (Hor, SciFi-Fant)

Supernatural ElementsEdit

Werewolves, witches, mummy, Halloween Men, masks, Nazis, Pumpkin Head, Mars sosciety, spirits, crows, Legends come to life, dark witch, earth witch,

List of Stories Edit

Story Title Author Supes Lead(s)
“Thirteen” Stephen Graham Jones Legends come to life
“The Mummy’s Heart” Norman Partridge mummy
“Unternehmen Werwolf” Carrie Vaughn Nazis use werewolves, witch Fritz
“Lesser Fires” Steve Rasnic Tem & Melanie Tem Halloween gathering Donny
“Long Way Home: A Pine Deep Story” Jonathan Maberry soldier Donny, Jim
“Black Dog” Laird Barron first date
“The Halloween Men” (Dystopian) Maria V. Snyder Halloween Men, masks Nella
“Pumpkin Head Escapes” Lawrence C. Connolly Pumpkin Head
“Whilst the Night Rejoices Profound and Still” Caitlín R. Kiernan Mars society
“For the Removal of Unwanted Guests” A. C. Wise witch Michael, unwanted guest, Spencer: witch’s cat
“Angelic” Jay Caselberg local ritual
“Quadruple Whammy” Chelsea Quinn Yarbro strange patient
“We, The Fortunate Bereaved” Brian Hodge ritual to reconnect with the dead Cody, Drew, Bailey; Angela, Melanie
“All Hallows in the High Hills” Brenda Cooper different world
“Trick or Treat” Nancy Kilpatrick earth witch; dark witch, Malina
“From Dust” Laura Bickle pact with the crows
“All Souls Day” Barbara Roden
“And When You Called Us We Came To You” John Shirley ancestor spirits

To expand the table, right-press on a row of the table or (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add row.

Synopsis by StoryEdit

Thirteen” by Stephen Graham Jones

Legends about the local movie theater come to life. ❖

The Mummy’s Heart” by Norman Partridge

This is the longest story. It follows the life of the protagonist as a young boy out on Halloween night when he, his brother, and a friend encounter what appears to be a mummy. In the aftermath that night, the past continues to haunt him as an adult. ❖

Unternehmen Werwolf” by Carrie Vaughn

During WWII, the Nazis are using werewolves against their enemies. A young werewolf boy is sent on Halloween night to assassinate a traitor, but he has a choice to make. It was a nice little story. ❖ A reluctant werewolf pressed into service for his fatherland. ❖

Lesser Fires” by Steve Rasnic Tem & Melanie Tem

On the way to a family Halloween gathering, a girl stumbles upon someone who seems familiar. ❖ A look at the folklore of a person dying after he or she sees his or her own ghost. ❖ Fritz is a young German werewolf, but he’s not wild and free: Nazi’s are using him to infiltrate camps of the enemies. He has to kill a woman, a witch, who is working with them. He doesn’t want to, but the Nazi’s think his inner wolf does. This story describes the struggles of boy and wolf, together in one body, and what the two have to go through. ❖

Long Way Home: A Pine Deep Story” by Jonathan Maberry — Pine Deep series ~ GR

This is related to a trilogy. When a soldier returns home, he finds everything has changed and so has the people he once knew. ❖ After serving a term in Afghanistan, and being heavily injured, Donny is returning home to the town of Pine Deep, which a few years ago was involved in a large paranormal disturbance. On his way back, near town, he meets Jim, who Donny thought had died. ❖

Black Dog” by Laird Barron

This tells the story of a first date on Halloween. ❖ A tale in which a young couple meet on a blind date in a restaurant. They embark on witty banter and attempt fact-finding missions about each other – the usual first-date kind of stuff. But here’s the thing: Is she, in actuality, dead? Is he? Both, or neither? Under the All Hallow’s sky, these two lost souls meet and remember what it is to yearn again. Though it’s told primarily from the man’s point of view, the woman provides us enough insight that it’s clear she’s just as troubled and lonely as he is. A meal at a restaurant to a night walk across a bridge to sitting together in the woods – it’s a first date many would be consider to be ideal—except for that ominous idling van, of course. ❖

The Halloween Men” by Maria V. Snyder (Dystopian)

In this world of masks and the Halloween Men that enforce the law, Halloween serves as the only day people can take off their masks. A unique take on Halloween and how the holiday was built into this world. ❖ A dystopian story set in a city reminiscent of medieval Venice. It's a creative twist on Halloween, which in this universe is the only day of the year during which the citizens are permitted to remove their masks; and it also carries an element of mystery, given how uncertain the characters are about the nature of the villains, the Halloween Men, who are postulated to be malicious demons, vengeful angels, or simply tyrannical men. ❖ Ever since the Halloween Men arrived, nobody is allowed to leave personal homes without wearing a mask, all except on one day a year, Halloween. Nella works in her father’s mask shop, and is experimenting with making her own designs, however, the Halloween Men do not approve of her designs, and so she has to make them in secret. ❖

Pumpkin Head Escapes” by Lawrence C. Connolly

At the Immersion Theater, a different kind of play is put on, and the protagonist becomes the character he portrays. ❖

Whilst the Night Rejoices Profound and Still” by Caitlín R. Kiernan

This is a strange telling of traditions in another society living on Mars. Each section follows different characters and you get a sense of this different culture. ❖ The story of a Mars colony that has been long cut-off from Earth civilization, if that even exists anymore. In the years since their essential abandonment, life has been hard for the colonists, and a religion that demonizes waste (and seems to worship the feminine) has come into existence. The story is mainly an exploration of this religion and its harvest festival. ❖

For the Removal of Unwanted Guests” by A. C. Wise

When a witch moves into a man’s home, he wonders if he wants her to leave. ❖

❖ Michael has just moved into his new house, when a witch arrives and invites herself to live in his loft, because apparently the house needs a witch in it. ❖

Angelic” by Jay Caselberg

When Estella returns home for a family tradition, a local ritual awaits. ❖

Quadruple Whammy” by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

During Halloween night at a hospital and a strange patient is admitted into the ER. ❖ story about a group of hospital doctors who discover that one of their patients on Halloween night isn't just a kid in a costume. ❖

We, The Fortunate Bereaved” by Brian Hodge

In a town, a local ritual to reconnect with the dead takes place on Halloween. ❖ Breathes life into the scarecrow legend of Halloween, which may or may not be rooted in historical lore. The scarecrow has been associated with Halloween for a long time, and Hodge’s story concocts a perfectly appropriate scenario as to why. Every year on Halloween night, in the town of Dunhaven, townspeople gather objects that symbolize the dearly departed in hopes that, if left as an offering, the spirit of their deceased loved one will fill the scarecrow and share a message with the bereaved. Many townspeople vie yearly for this chance, and among them for the first time are Bailey and her young son, Cody, who wishes to see the resurrected spirit of his father, Drew. Also hoping to see the return of a loved one is a young woman named Melanie, whose sister, Angela, went missing several years before and was never found, so was presumed dead. ❖ Once a year in the village of Dunhaven, on Halloween, one spirit is allowed back from the underworld, one spirit who has died in the last year since Halloween. Drew, Bailey’s late husband, and Cody’s father, died from a congenital heart condition 8 months ago, and Bailey is hoping, for Cody’s sake, that Drew is the one brought back this year. This short story examines the relationship which both adults and children have with death, and how both look at it. ❖

All Hallows in the High Hills” by Brenda Cooper

This one’s more fantasy where a man is shown a world different from his own, and he wonders if he should stay. ❖ about an elderly man who is reunited with an old friend in a fairyland of some sort. ❖

Trick or Treat” by Nancy Kilpatrick

A witch struggles to deal with her heritage and the kids who torment her on Halloween night. ❖ an unfairly maligned witch who enacts a crafty revenge on her tormentors. ❖ Malina was raised by her mother, a dark witch, and is trying to be an earth witch, and cast off the traditions and superstitions. However, on Mischief Night the town’s children smash her car windows, will she return to what she knows, or will she stay on the path of good? ❖

From Dust” by Laura Bickle

A mother and daughter prepare for a Halloween harvest in which they have a strange pact with the crows. This story reminds us not to take what we have for granted. ❖ a girl who unintentionally breaks her family's pact with the supernatural. ❖

All Souls Day” by Barbara Roden

Debra and her friend visit her grandparents’ house and the nearby cemetery. ❖

And When You Called Us We Came to You” by John Shirley

A Chinese factory worker who makes Halloween masks and merchandise calls upon her ancestors to help her. And this ends up involving a few teenagers’ Halloween in the US. ❖ the tale of a Chinese woman in a labor camp who manages to connect with the spirits of her ancestors to take revenge on the labor camp employees who are abusing her. ❖

~ Sources: 

Cover ArtistEdit

Artist: Sandra Cunningham — Source: Bibliography: Cover: Halloween: Magic, Mystery, and the Macabre

Publishing InformationEdit

  • Publisher: Prime Books
  • Book data: Paperback, 380 pages, Pub: September 11th 2013—ISBN: 1607014025

Cover Blurb Edit

The farther we've gotten from the magic and mystery of the past, the more we've come to love Halloween - the one time each year when the mundane is overturned in favor of the bizarre, the "other side" is closest, and everyone can become anyone (or anything) they wish... and sometimes what they don't. Introducing nineteen original stories from mistresses and masters of the dark celebrate the most fantastic, enchanting, spooky, and supernatural of holidays. ~ Halloween: Magic, Mystery, and the Macabre ~ Goodreads

Quotes Edit

“Life isn’t fair. Nobody gets to choose whether they have a normal happy one or not. If they did, do you think anyone would get sick, or have their hearts broken? Would anyone die? It doesn’t work that way.” ~ unwanted guest, “For the Removal of Unwanted Guests” by A.C. Wise. — (Source)

External Links Edit


Excerpts and Freebies:

TOC—Table of Contents: 

Author Pages for Book:

Series & Story Pages:

Author Websites:



Goodreads Author Pages:

See Also Edit

See Category links at bottom of page

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