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Halloween

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3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  218 Ratings  ·  34 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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Dracula by Bram StokerThe Complete Stories and Poems by Edgar Allan PoeSomething Wicked This Way Comes by Ray BradburyThe Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan DoyleThe Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
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79th out of 151 books — 125 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 783)
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Alejandro
The anthology wasn't what I expected


OVERALL REVIEW

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
...more
Em
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.
Susan
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.
Sudi
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
...more
Derrick
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.
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
...more
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,
...more
Jeff
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
Martha
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.)
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.
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
...more
Alicia
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
...more
Candace
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.
Ron
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
Sarah Eisele
Dec 26, 2014 Sarah Eisele rated it liked it
A decent mix of good and okay and not-great.
Maggie
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
...more
John
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
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.
Tinea
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.
Laura
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.
Joe
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.
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.
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
Kelly
Aug 06, 2013 Kelly rated it really liked it
This was a great compilation. The stories were more diverse than i thought they would be.
Holly Iossa
Apr 29, 2013 Holly Iossa rated it did not like it
The stories in the book were good but the amount of typos ruined the reading experience for me.
David
Nov 12, 2011 David rated it it was ok
I read about half of these stories in the run-up to Halloween, and they're definitely hit-or-miss.
Jenny
May 30, 2013 Jenny rated it it was ok
Most of the stories were mediocre at best, though there were a few gems.
Ali
Oct 24, 2012 Ali rated it really liked it
A great collection of stories - but the editing was pretty bad.
Amanda
Oct 30, 2011 Amanda rated it really liked it
Stories are great. But the editor actually needs to edit the book.
Rose
Mar 01, 2014 Rose rated it really liked it
Original stories, all are pretty good, some very creepy.
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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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