For most of us, Halloween represents kids in cute costumes and parents idling on the sidewalk while their little ones pirouette or rawr at a neighbor's door. We stuff candy into plastic pumpkins and pillowcases and marvel at babies with whiskers drawn on their faces and at six-footers in hockey gear.
Others, however, "see" ghosts and "hear" things that go bump in the night. Halloween raises the hair at the backs of their necks and turns their skin to gooseflesh. These people don't find this time of year precious or fun—and with good reason. They understand things about it that would make the rest of us lock our doors and cower under our beds.
I cede the floor to three writers who know what's afoot tonight: Catie Rhodes, Amanda Stevens, and Debra Kristi. In addition, K. B. Owen gives us an overview of how Halloween traditions arrived in the U.S. and were celebrated in the past.
Catie Rhodes writes about real people in scary situations, and many of her stories are set in her native Texas. She dubs every Friday "Freaky Friday" and recently told tales about a headless Texas horseman and horror in a Houston suburb.
Houston author Amanda Stevens (The Dollmaker, The Restorer) tells an appropriate-for-Halloween story featuring Houston's old Jefferson Davis Hospital at Dark Fairie Tales.
Debra Kristi gets creepy with the tale of a child's encounter with the supernatural .
According to K. B. Owens, we must thank (or curse) the Irish and Scots for the Samhain traditions we celebrate tonight.
I sincerely hope you survive this evening.