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3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  249 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Shivers and spirits... the mystical and macabre... our darkest fears and sweetest fantasies... the fun and frivolity of tricks, treats, festivities, and masquerades. Halloween is a holiday filled with both delight and dread, beloved by youngsters and adults alike. Celebrate the most magical season of the year with this sensational treasury of seasonal tales - spooky, suspe ...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by Prime Books
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Oct 23, 2014 Alejandro rated it it was ok
The anthology wasn't what I expected


It must likely that Paula Guran, the editor, just wanted to reunite a collection of short stories and novellas, all about the celebration of Halloween, not matter if they were scary or not.

However, in my case, I was expecting an anthology full of scary short stories of horror, all related to the celebration of Halloween.

Due that, I couldn't enjoy as much as expected this particular anthology. It's nobody's fault, but I won't rate high a book
Sep 05, 2016 Carol rated it liked it
3.5 Stars overall. Some really great HALLOWEEN short stories in this collection that I thought outweighed the disappointments......with lots of Michael's, lots of Jack's and lots of Meyer's to fill the cracks!

CONVERSATIONS IN A DEAD LANGUAGE (Thomas Ligotti) - 3 Stars - An evil human monster from hell!

MONSTERS (Stewart O'Nan) - 2 Stars - A scary lesson, but disappointing Halloween read.

THE HALLOWEEN MAN (William F. Nolan) - 3 Stars - Delightful and scary little story for the kiddies.


Dec 31, 2015 Em rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, 2012, on-my-kindle, 2014
Nice collection of seasonal stories in a variety of genres and senses of creepiness. Note that the e-book edition does not contain Ray Bradbury's "October Game", which is unfortunate, since it is among the best Halloween stories ever, but I have it in a hardback collection and have it practically memorized, so it wasn't a big deal for me. It is a must read to even begin to appreciate the "companion" story in this colleciton, though.
Nov 11, 2012 Susan added it
While there were some very good stories in this collection, such as the ones written by Ray Bradbury, Charles deLint, and Peter Straub, the book itself was a nightmare to read. It is so riddled with typos, misspelled words, crappy typesetting, misused apostrophes and missing letters that I have to wonder if anyone even bothered to glance at it before it was published. I will never purchase anything with this editor's name on it again.
Rebecca McNutt
With Halloween coming up in the next few weeks, I've bought up a ton of these short horror story anthologies. So far this one is my favorite one, with all kinds of stories, some funny and some eerie, some for older readers and some for younger readers. It's a great collection.
Oct 29, 2016 Justin rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories, horror
Guran’s first Halloween anthology gives an updated introduction of a short history of Halloween previously appearing in October Dreams along with 33 short stories spanning a variety of horror writers.

“Conversations in a Dead Language” by Thomas Ligotti
A mailman who lives alone sees the same kids each Halloween. I read this one in October Dreams and liked the atmosphere and chilling ending. 4/5

“Monsters” by Stewart O’Nan
Around Halloween, two boys prepare to be monsters for the church fundraising
Jul 10, 2012 Sudi rated it liked it
First, let me say that this was an good compilation of stories. I enjoyed most of them and the caliber of contributors met my expectations. Not all were spectacular, but overall, there were some good moments.

However, this was the most poorly edited book I have ever read. There is a typing/proofreading error in every story--sometimes more. I found it distracting to read through missing words, misspelled words, and other proofreading errors. I tend to forgive one or two in a book, but not in every
Nov 11, 2014 Derrick rated it really liked it
Overall I really enjoyed this collection. Sure, there were a few stories that were not good, but overall they were really quite enjoyable. I especially enjoyed the last story, Braunbeck's "Tessellations". Definitely worth a read for some silly, spooky fun.
Johanna Haas
Nov 20, 2016 Johanna Haas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Excellent anthology with few weak stories. All of these stories are about Halloween or set on Halloween. Some are scary stories. Others are quieter. Some of the quietest are the scariest. I found myself caught up in almost every story in the book - which is rare for an anthology. Note: I read the ebook, which lacks the Bradbury story that the print edition has.
Kyle Hayes
Oct 04, 2016 Kyle Hayes rated it really liked it
Some really fantastic stories. The only really poor story was sugar skulls. The final story, "Tessellations" was incredible. My main gripe is the terrible job of editing. Every single story had 2-3 typos. I'm not really sure what Guran contributed to this book. The stories collected were good enough to make up for the poor editing.
MB Taylor
Jan 27, 2012 MB Taylor rated it liked it
I finished reading Halloween last night just before heading to bed. Halloween is a collection of 33 previously stories all having something to do with Halloween. Three of the stories are from the 1800s, but most (19) are from 2000 or later.

Although the collection wasn’t exactly what I expected, it wasn’t bad. I was expecting more creepy horror stories and, although the later stories met my expectations, the collection starts out pretty slow.

The first two stories didn’t do much for me, but the
Julie Davis
Nov 01, 2011 Julie Davis rated it liked it
This is one that I actually spent my own money on ... a sort of madness took over. I'm blaming it on the headiness of October and moving on.

I'll be reading these short stories throughout the month. The introduction is an excellent overview of Halloween which incorporates new discoveries about olden time celebrations. Thus far I am not too far along but have just begun Hat by Peter Straub. I don't think I've ever read anything by him but early in it is a fabulous look at jazz, a musician's life,
Nov 16, 2011 Jeff rated it it was amazing
Another short story book edited by Paula Guran, Halloween is an excellent selection of stories, dating as far back as the early 1800s (a poem by Sir Walter Scott, called "The Young Tamlane"). There are over 30 stories in this collection, and it is, indeed, delightful. I was pleasantly surprised to find a story in the book by Stewart O'Nan, Stephen King's collaborator in Faithful, their chronicle of the historical 2004 season of the Boston Red Sox. There is a poem by H.P. Lovecraft, called "Hallo ...more
Oct 27, 2011 Alicia rated it really liked it
The collection of stories for this book introduced me to some new writers, which is one of the reasons I love picking up anthologies like this. Some of the stories (like Tessellations) scared the ever-living Hell out me... a job well done for a short story. Although I'm a big poetry fan, I wish that the poems had not been included. I guess it's just a pet peeve of mine; when I sit down to read a collection of Halloween short stories, that's all I want to read. The poems broke the rhythm.

The main
Aaron Spink
Oct 29, 2013 Aaron Spink rated it really liked it
This is a great anthology of stories. Such stories as Straub's "Pork Pie Hat" and Braunbeck's "Tessellations" left me with a sense of inspiration and fulfilment while Sarrantonio's "Hornets" and Shirley's "Mask Game" truly captured the horror and essence of the mood that Halloween can bring.
The only reason I didn't give this book a 5 star rating is solely for the amount of grammatical and punctuational errors in this edition which cries out for a very necessary re-edit in the next edition, if th
Oct 25, 2012 Maggie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
A good collection of Halloween stories, a few of my favorites:
- The Sticks by Charlee Jacob
- Halloween Street by Steve Rasnic Tem
- Memories by Peter Crowther

A couple that were a little gruesome:
- The October Game by Ray Bradbury, this was a great story (because Bradbury is awesome) but really creepy/gruesome. The November Game, a follow up story to the October Game, by F. Paul Wilson was also a little disturbing. But both were worth the read.
- Tessellations by Gary Braunbeck (a little out there
Jan 15, 2013 Ron rated it liked it
A great mix of stories to set the mood for Halloween (or anytime, since I didn't finish the book until January). The stories give equal coverage to all of the seasonal themes--pumkins, ghosts, witches, and even El Dia De Los Muertos. The stories range from humorous ("Auntie Elspeth's Halloween Story"), endearing ("One Thin Dime"), to expectedly spooky ("Man-Size in Marble", "The Great Pumpkin Arrives at Last",and "The October Game"). Those looking for just horror stories may be disapointed, but ...more
Oct 25, 2014 Martha rated it it was ok
I wanted to love it, but the editing was just horrendous, and the many errors too distracting for me. Some stories good but too many were just so-so, and the really good ones, such as Bradbury's The October Game, can be found in other collections that I already own. Disappointed. If you're curious about this collection, try October Dreams instead. (Many of the same stories are in there, including Guran's history of Halloween.)
Oct 12, 2014 John marked it as partially-read-horror-anthologies
Conversations in a Dead Language 9.5/10
Monsters 9/10
The Halloween Man 9/10
Three Doors 7.5/10
Auntie Elspeth's Halloween Story 8.5/10
Struwwelpeter 8.5/10
On the Reef 7/10
Memories of El Dia De Los Muertos 7/10
The Sticks 6/10
Memories 8/10
Mask Game 7/10
By the Book 4.5/10
Pranks 8/10
Hornets 8/10
One Thin Dime 5/10
The Great Pumpkin Arrives at Last 7.5/10
Night Out 6/10
The October Game 9/10
The November Game 8/10
Greg Kerestan
Jan 26, 2016 Greg Kerestan rated it really liked it
Although Guran's anthology isn't as all-encompassing as Chizmar's "October Dreams" series, there is very little overlap between the two, making her anthology probably second best in the terms of Halloween fiction collections. Stories such as "Man-Size in Marble" and "Mask Game" stand out, while a few others, such as the ubiquitous novella "Pork Pie Hat" are slightly over-anthologized.
Lisa Martin
Aug 17, 2015 Lisa Martin rated it it was amazing
This is a hugely fun anthology. It has actually become one of my Halloween decorations, sitting out on the end table every October. Aunty Elspeth's Halloween Story by Esther M. Friesner alone is worth the price of the book.
Sep 05, 2012 Tinea rated it liked it
I really liked this book. Full of short stories, albeit some were not short at all, that had a central spooky, odd, queer theme...halloween. :) Honestly, some were so frightful, I could only finish them in the daytime hours.
Oct 19, 2015 Candace rated it liked it
All over the board, as far as I'm concerned. The Peter Straub story, Pork Pie Hat, gets 5 stars, but most of the others were kind of Meh. Oh, well.
Melissa ownsbey
Apr 24, 2012 Melissa ownsbey rated it it was amazing
it was an alsome alsome book man was it good
ihave only good things to say aboiut it
i also did not win this from good reads
Nov 04, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing
This is a great book for anyone who loves halloween. It imparts some history of modern halloween rituals and offers a variety of short stories for adults. It's a super fun read.
Robin Edman
Oct 02, 2012 Robin Edman rated it it was ok
These stories were probably great in their day, but that day is in the past. However, the collection is worth looking at for those rare gems that pop up here and there.
Jan 06, 2012 Joe rated it really liked it
Difficult to assign a single rating to a group of so many varied stories. Some deserve five stars, some not so much. Overall a great collection of Halloween related tales.
Nicole rated it really liked it
Oct 31, 2013
Vmaganti rated it liked it
Jan 09, 2016
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Sep 18, 2012
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Paula Guran is senior editor for Prime Books. She edited the Juno fantasy imprint from its small press inception through its incarnation as an imprint of Pocket Books. She is also senior editor of Prime's soon-to-launch digital imprint Masque Books. Guran edits the annual Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror series as well as a growing number of other anthologies. In an earlier life she produced we ...more
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“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. —Oscar Wilde (1891)” 4 likes
“The farther we’ve gotten from the magic and mystery of our past, the more we’ve come to need Halloween. It’s a festival of fantasy, a celebration of otherness, the one time each year when the mundane is overturned in favor of the bizarre, and everyone can become anyone or anything they wish. At its core, Halloween is a chance to confront our most primal fear—death—and attempt to control it or, at the very least, mock it.” 1 likes
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