I like Halloween. I really, really like Halloween. I know, I know -- it may come as a terrible shock. I mean, it's not as though I've written multiple scary stories, noded about scary movies and comics and books and music, and hosted eight previous horrorquests. 

But yes, I love Halloween, and I have since I was a little kid. In fact, it's a bit of a mystery why I like Halloween and horror and monsters as much as I do. Neither of my parents ever cared for horror of any sort, and they're as mystified as I am about how I came to be such a horror-obsessive loon. We know it predated my first horror movie. We know it predated my ability to read. It's very possible that it might stem from watching Scooby-Doo cartoons. It's also very possible it might stem from seeing Halloween merchandise in the grocery store. And it's also possible that I was just a horror-loving mutant whose brain just naturally gravitated toward scary stuff.

Like anyone, I have quite a bit of nostalgia for the Halloweens of my youth -- but I also recognize that in some ways, Halloween is much better now than it was when I was a kid. Back then, adults only got to celebrate Halloween by taking their kids trick-or-treating. There weren't that many Halloween activities for grownups. There were some Halloween parties for adults, but they were not particularly common, because Halloween was considered a holiday entirely for kids. Nowadays, it's a holiday for everyone, and I see that as a definite improvement. 

But it wouldn't be nostalgia if I weren't also unfavorably comparing today to the glory days of my childhood, would it? Halloween today is more commercialized, and everyone seems to want to water it down, tame it, and make it less threatening. Almost no one goes trick-or-treating, unless they're going to one of those "Trunk or Treat" abominations. When I was a kid, you could go to a regular Halloween party at a church, complete with haunted houses, scary costumes, and decorations with vampires and witches all over the church basement. Nowadays, they've all decided that Halloween is Satanic, and the closest thing they'll have to a party is a "Harvest Festival," with boring costumes, fire-and-brimstone preaching, and the aforementioned Trunk or Treat abominations. 

But people older than I am would likely think my childhood Halloweens were bleached and dull, and someone younger than I am would likely think the same thing. Kids growing up today with Harvest Festivals and Trunk or Treats will likely someday think how great they were. We all build our own paradises. 

But we can all work together to make this Halloween as amazing and wondrous and scary as we can. Because it's that time of year again. Let's try to scare each other.

Write an original scary story. Write a horror-themed poem. Node a story that is in the public domain. Write a factual writeup that is about horror or scary stuff. Write a biography of a writer or actor closely associated with the horror genre. Create a review of a horror film or story. It can be any length and any topic -- as long as it's scary.

What's the runtime for the Quest? The entire month of October, plus November 1, server time. Halloween is too awesome to limit to just one day a year.

If you need inspiration, or if you just want to see some more of the scary stories that Everythingians have produced, check out our previous horror quests: I can make you howl. And vice versa. Let's get down to business., Everything Quests: Scary Stories, The Blood is the Life: A Frightful Halloween Quest, They Hunger For Nodes: An e2 Halloween Scary Story Quest (sadly, the nodequest entry has been deleted), I Will Show You Fear in a Handful of Text: The 2005 Halloween Horrorquest, It's the Season for Graves Cracking: The 2006 Quest for Fear (another deleted quest announcement, unfortunately), The Poet and the Worm, The Night's Plutonian Shore: The 2007 Halloween Horrorquest, Necronodecon: The 2008 Halloween Horrorquest, Pickman's Nodegel: The 2009 Halloween Horrorquest, Ten Years of Terror: The 2010 Halloween Horrorquest, The Nodegel from Yuggoth: The 2011 Halloween Horrorquest, and Children of the Night: The 2012 Halloween Horrorquest.

Again, the Quest will run for the entire month of October and November 1. If you post early or late -- too bad, so sad.

When you write a story for the Quest, just /msg me with the node title, then softlink your writeup to this node. I'll include a list of all the Quest participants below.

So start thinking horror, boils and ghouls. Halloween is coming. Let's scare each other.

Fiction:
A factory of sadness by borgo
In deep basements and dark halls, feigning sleep with one eye open, the Void waits by Zephronias
the minutes repeat each other by tentative
They devour the frayed edges of the world, and all we hear is chitinous clicking from the darkness by Zephronias
Fugitive within a prison of flesh and bone by The Custodian
I'm scared. I don't have a name. by VicimusGegan
Friend Requests by artman2003
In unlit streets, running wild in the dark, creatures of the Void are seeking what was lost by Zephronias
Some memories are buried deep and better left forgotten by Zephronias
Gorlath by Uberbanana
Munger Road by StuartO)))
Life Ends by Sazzz
Gevonden op de Ondermarkt by The Custodian
A Good Night by Rancid_Pickle
Member of the Herd by Rancid_Pickle
Artie Plugg by Glowing Fish
Where the Ghosts Go by Chord
Darkness creeps, scouring empty halls, seeking all it can devour by Zephronias
Slowly, the sewer grates of France creak open by mauler
Utah Symphony's Superhero Halloween by Uberbanana
The brief nightmare waits anxiously for dawn, tearing flesh and drinking spilled blood while it still can. by Zephronias
Monster Child by k9design

Poetry:
At the Window by BookReader
It Was an Ancient Place, and a Holy Place by Uberbanana
missing people by Longwalker
Thanks again for the UNICEF memories by moeyz

Fact:
the footsteps in the kitchen by corvus
Michigan Dogman by JD
Weeping Angels by Rancid_Pickle

Reviews:
Carmilla by Jet-Poop
The Fourth Kind by corvus
The Mummy
by corvus
True Blood by avalyn
One for the Angels by Glowing Fish
Horror Recognition Guide by Uberbanana
Knit Your Own Zombie by Segnbora-t
Mr. Denton on Doomsday by Glowing Fish
Afterlife with Archie by JD
Dead Clowns by JD
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Pandeism Fish
Well Witched by Tem42
Doc Vampire-Hunting Dog by Glowing Fish
The House With a Clock in Its Walls by Tem42
The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine by Glowing Fish
The Figure in the Shadows by Tem42
Nocturnals by Jet-Poop
The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring by Tem42
Walking Distance by Glowing Fish
Are You Afraid of the Dark? by JD
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Glowing Fish
The 13th Hour by Jet-Poop
Escape Clause by Glowing Fish

Essays:
Extortion: a Halloween tradition by zutalors
October 31, 2013 by Rancid_Pickle
October 30, 2013 by Rancid_Pickle

The Quest is now at an end! Many thanks to everyone who participated!

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