My children, every year around this time, I show up here to extoll the virtues and glories of horror. I tell you that being scared -- and scaring others -- can feel great. I tell you that horror fiction is a great way to relieve stress and help control your own real-world fears. I tell you that Halloween's culture of subversion, disguise, and terror helps society blow off steam during stressful times. 

What we often forget is that Halloween and horror can also be fun -- and funny. I really hate Halloween cards and decorations that bleed the holiday down to adorable black kittens and jolly jack-o-lanterns, but some of my favorite Halloween entertainment and imagery are not really very scary. For example -- "The Nightmare Before Christmas," "Hocus Pocus," the "Addams Family" films, and the "Munsters" TV show aren't terrifying, even though they feature monsters and other characters that are traditionally scary.

You can get the same thing from other kinds of entertainment -- there's a nice Flash-based game I like called "Haunt the House: Terrortown," with a cute ghost scaring people away from his house by possessing objects, plus an impossible-to-find pen-and-paper roleplaying game called "Pumpkin Town" that's essentially the Nightmare Before Christmas RPG. And there's the jaunty, rollicking, xylophone-powered "Spooky Scary Skeletons" by Andrew Gold, the unofficial anthem of spoopiness. 

And there's not a single thing wrong with this kind of humor and whimsy. It helps make Halloween fun for kids, and it often triggers the nostalgic feelings adults have for the holiday. And again, Halloween isn't supposed to be only scary. If it weren't fun, if it didn't give us laughs along with the screams, it wouldn't be nearly as wonderful as it is. 

But nevertheless, there's more to Halloween than just fun and humor, isn't there? You've got to bring the fright, too. 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, Children of the Night: The 2012 Halloween Horrorquest, 13 O'Clock: The 2013 Halloween Horrorquest, No More Room in Hell: The 2014 Halloween Horrorquest, In the Nodes of Madness: The 2015 Halloween Horrorquest, Grisly Ghouls from Every Tomb: The 2016 Halloween Horrorquest, and We All Float Down Here: The 2017 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:

Poetry:

Fact:

Reviews:

Essays: