Ladies and gentlemen, boils and ghouls, welcome to Autumn 2015.

Turn on the news. Watch it every day. Watch the near-daily mass shootings. Watch the police murders. Watch the massacres in elementary schools and old AME churches. Watch a bunch of manchildren scream in rage that women and gays and non-whites get to do much of anything in previously manchild-only spaces. Watch the Klan hold rallies while the media shrugs it all off. Watch open-carry advocates carry assault rifles outside schools and coffeeshops while the police focus their efforts on 12-year-old kids with water guns. Childhood diseases long thought eradicated are slowly coming back because some parents have decided that life-saving vaccines are actually filled with poison. Watch our weather get worse and more unpredictable while our industry-funded legislators giggle and our scientists fret that it may already be too late. Watch the views of David Duke, Tim McVeigh, and Fred Phelps get embraced wholeheartedly by the mainstream. 

The candidates for president include at least two Christian Dominionists, a dead-eyed homunculus who wants to build walls on our Southern and Northern borders, a former exorcist, a wannabe mafioso, a moralist who keeps hanging out with pedophiles, and a host of other dimwits, grifters, and lunatics.

And they're all getting their butts kicked by Donald Fucking Trump.

Vampires and werewolves just aren't as scary as the real world, are they?

Funnily enough, that's part of the reason why we need horror. The world is a messed-up place, and it's getting more messed-up all the time. Violence, disease, racism, environmental catastrophe, hatred, even delusional politicians who want to seize power so they can force their lunacies on the rest of us -- those have serious, life-and-death ramifications, and they're all worthy of your fear. They're all more likely to damage your life, family, friends, and well-being than fictional ghosts, demons, psycho killers, and zombies.

But real-world fears can be bad for you -- and not just because some of them could straight-up kill you. While psychologists feel that fear is an important emotion because it can clue you in on legitimate dangers, they also know that too much of it can be bad for your mental and even physical health. 

But horror fiction, horror films, horror games -- those are stress relievers. They produce fear -- but it's fear you get to control. You decide to watch the movie, you decide to finish the book, you decide which actions to take in the game. Horror scares you -- but it also empowers you. It may not feel that way when it's 2 a.m. and you can't stop thinking about the faceless spirits rattling against the windows. But deep down, you know the faceless spirits aren't really going to kill you. 

And even if they do -- even if the faceless spirits get in the house, even if the monster gets out of the basement, even if the zombies break down the barricades, even if ghostly fingers close around your throat... it's still better than what President Trump is gonna do to you...

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, Children of the Night: The 2012 Halloween Horrorquest, 13 O'Clock: The 2013 Halloween Horrorquest, and No More Room in Hell: The 2014 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.

The horror, the horror by civilwaractionfigure
The Russian's Club Med by drownzsurf
12 steps by lizardinlaw
Arty scores some ludes by lizardinlaw
The Bleak Cabaret by Jet-Poop
Still Things and Moving Things by Orangeduck
Antumbra by Lucy-S
Magdala Amygdala by Lucy-S
Not very sterile, but better than dead by lizardinlaw
Makeup for the Evil Overlords by lizardinlaw
Well, that escalated quickly by artman2003

tickle me, dear by lizardinlaw
trypophobia by Girldoll
Mute Birth by Lucy-S
Home for the Holidays by Lucy-S
Babel's Children by Lucy-S
Infinite Loop: Girl with Black Eye by Lucy-S

Teal Pumpkin Project by Tem42
Green Boots by The Custodian
Skeleton War by Glowing Fish
Dead But Dreaming by Lucy-S
Vampire by Jet-Poop
Tennessee Valley Cemetery Relocation by fool4luv

What We Do in the Shadows by Jet-Poop
It Follows by JD
Herbert West: Reanimator by chickwiththeface
The Pink Institution by Lucy-S
Zombie by Lucy-S
The Thief of Always by Lucy-S
The Awesome by Jet-Poop
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night by Jet-Poop
The Babadook by JD
Cropsey by JD

The Minister's Black Veil by Lucy-S
The Turn of the Screw by Lucy-S
The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Lucy-S
The Masque of the Red Death by Lucy-S
The Secret Sharer by Lucy-S
The Shadow over Innsmouth by Lucy-S
The Shadow Out of Time by Lucy-S
The Intersection of Science Fiction and Horror by Lucy-S
weird fiction by Lucy-S
The Yellow Wallpaper by Lucy-S
Rappaccini's Daughter by Lucy-S
An Overview of Classic Horror Novels Written by Women by Lucy-S
Psycho-Biddy by JD
October 30, 2015 by iceowl
Hellraiser by TheAnglican
Halloween stands alone by Chord
On Being Nineteen by Lucy-S
The Gunslinger by Lucy-S
The Divine Comedy Summary for the Literary Novice: Inferno Cantos VII, VIII, IX by chickwiththeface

The Horrorquest is ended for another year! Thank you all for your enthusiastic participation!

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