"My word, Davis, it's good to see you! We'd heard your entire expedition was lost in many-columned Silicon Valley!"

"A near thing, I'm afraid -- I alone escaped from those nightmarish cubicles. But it was all worth it, Sanders. Look!"

"Th-That symbol -- is that... the Necronodecon? How did you find a copy in those God-forsaken catacombs?"

"That's a story for another day, old friend. I need your transcription abilities here -- you're the university's foremost expert on ancient computer programming languages."

"Anything to help, Davis. Let's boot it up and see what we can learn..."


One of Everything2's longest running and most popular traditions is the annual scary story quest. We've had one every October since 2001 -- eight straight years!

How have we kept it going for all that time? Because we like to be scared, and there's no better time to get scared than on Halloween.

So let's have it. 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.

Your reward? wertperch is co-sponsoring this Quest, and he'll hand out treats of 25 XPs for every writeup you submit for the Quest, along with an additional 100 XPs for every ching. And at the end of the Quest, you'll receive two XPs for every point of positive Reputation your writeup has.

In addition, I'll be picking my personal favorite quest writeups in a variety of genres and styles -- including fiction, poetry, humor, factuals, reviews, and a few surprise categories -- for a bonus reward of 666 XPs.

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, 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, The Poet and the Worm, and The Night's Plutonian Shore: The 2007 Halloween Horrorquest.

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

So start thinking fear, kids. The stars have come right again, and there's something thumping around in the basement. Let's scare each other.


"I'm sorry, Davis, I'm not sure I can help you after all. Even with just a short glance at the pages, the language is unlike anything I've ever seen. There's no relation to Linux, CSS, HTML, even BASIC. I suppose it's possible it's written in something more obscure, like Netscape or Internet Explorer, but..."

"No reason to go further, Sanders. All I needed was for you to read a few pages. Enough to open your mind. Enough for a proper sacrifice..."

"I say, Davis, whatever are you talking about? Davis? That look in your eyes... No! Stay back, Davis! Stay back! Stay --"


Fiction:
Buenas noches by jessicaj
Andy in the dark by jessicaj
The Man Who Sold A Ghost by e2reneta
Thank god it's winter, or it would stink, too. by prole
the power failure is a sudden sea. the wail of the tornado siren thrashes in the slack of the sail. by The Custodian
static. by XWiz
Taken to heart by kanoodle
Horror in Harlem by shaogo
Bag of Crushed Child by jessicaj
That one makes me scream, she said by Dimview
Fresh ice by jessicaj
The haunted trunk by jessicaj
Dead Men Don't Need Coffee Breaks by Lucy-S
Freakshow Circusbeast by katamoorditj
Walking in the dark, you see such strange sights by Dimview
Zombie Insourcing Offers Life After Death by Lucy-S
Five Visions of the Ascetic by dichotomyboi
Forever yours by Dimview
Corporate Vampires Sink Teeth Into Business World by Lucy-S
Harry Sells His Soul by shaogo
Waiting for the Sun to rise by liveforever
This isn't funny at all by artman2003
Cliff Lampe by alex
The Monster Mash by Pavlovna
Neumann's Journey Part VII by henry flower
Tell me a story about brains by Jet-Poop
tell me a story about really being undead by Glowing Fish
The new shipping manager by jessicaj
Le Chef Terrible, Part I by Sutibu

Poetry:
Suburban Blight by Jet-Poop

Fact:
Secret Message by raincomplex
Resurrection Mary by aneurin
The Chinese Restaurant Ghost by shaogo
Microwaved baby by aneurin
Black Dog of Bungay by aneurin
El Cadejo by Sho
The Hand of Gevurah Comes to the Streets of Surrey by Glowing Fish
Anthony Morley by aneurin
Dean Corll - The Houston Serial Killer by shaogo
November 1, 2008 by originalzin

Reviews:
Beetlejuice by Jet-Poop
Clan Novel: Ravnos by Glowing Fish
The Old Dark House by Timeshredder
Scaredy Cat by Timeshredder
Claws for Alarm by Timeshredder
Beetlejuice by shaogo
Jumpin' Jupiter by Timeshredder
Session 9 by Jet-Poop
Vittorio the Vampire by Glowing Fish
Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of the War of the Worlds by XWiz
Quarantine by visudo
The Tall Man by XWiz

The Quest is completed for another year! Thanks to everyone who participated!

And now for the hardest part of the quest: picking my personal favorites and tallying up XP rewards. If I could, I'd give everyone the prizes, just to assuage the horrible guilt I feel at not giving everyone a blue ribbon. Nevertheless, I hope everyone will understand that, though I loved all of these, I just couldn't select everyone for a prize.

Here are my favorites:

Plus a few special categories:

Thanks to everyone who participated this year, and I'll see you all again next Halloween!

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