I am always on the look out for good Halloween stories. Well, ok, I'm always on the look out for *anything* Halloween-related, period. But, sometimes when it's late at night-- especially if it's a cold, windy or rainy night--I love nothing more than curling up in my warm bed, with a dimly lit lamp next to my bedside, and reading a really spooky Halloween story. I'm always searching amazon for any new Halloween books that come out, or for any good ghost stories. I love 'em. Several years ago on amazon.com, I had the good luck to find what I consider to be the best book of Halloween stories I have come across thus far. I'm talking about 'October Dreams: A Celebration of Halloween'. This sucker is a thick 656 pages long, and is a series of creepy stories by some of the best authors in the horror genre. Many I hadn't ever heard of, but they didn't disappoint. One of my favorite stories is the first one, 'The Black Pumpkin,' by Dean Koontz. To read a sample of it on amazon, go here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0451458958/ref=sib_dp_pt#reader-link
I just really dig that story. I can just imagine what this creepy-as-hell pumpkin looks like, and the smell of it when the candle is burning inside it. (One of my favorite smells, btw!) But I think my favorite thing about this whole book are the parts that follow the stories called 'My Favorite Halloween Memory.' Here, the authors have shared the Halloweens that they consider their most faves, many of which are hard to believe are real! They are almost as spooky as the stories themselves. My favorite is by the guy who tells of growing up in Hawaii, and how, as a little toddler, he recalls going outside on a Halloween night, looking up at the sky, and swears that he saw a real witch flying across the moon. Your first thought is that he was young and had an active imagination, but the way he tells the story makes you seriously think that just maybe it's a possibility! To this day, as an adult, he swears he saw what he says he saw. Wow. I just love that. I love being made to stop for a minute, and actually believe, even for a moment, that flying witches could exist. But that's why Halloween is so magical to me. It brings back those feelings of excitement that I had as a kid, where the things we are told that aren't real, might actually be....even if it's only on this one special night of the year. This book gives me that feeling back again. I can read about the kids TOT'ing through their neighborhoods, and remember the blast I always had TOT'ing with my brother and our friends. God, what a thrill it was! I don't think I will ever stop missing it. I try and re-live those moments of excitement every Halloween no matter what I do, but I'm not sure it's quite the same as when I was a kid. Like the authors in this book, though, I will always cherish those memories, and be grateful to Halloween for giving them to me.