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October Dreams: A Celebration of Halloween
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October Dreams: A Celebration of Halloween

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  1,316 ratings  ·  77 reviews
Classic novellas, never-before-published stories, essays on the history, literature, and films of Halloween, and real-life memories of October 31st-from today's best practitioners of fear:Dean Koontz * Peter Straub * Poppy Z. Brite * Rick Hautala * Steve Rasnic Tem * Elizabeth Engstrom * Thomas Ligotti * Gary A. Braunbeck * Jack Ketchum * Thomas F. Monteleone * Hugh B. Cav ...more
Paperback, 656 pages
Published September 3rd 2002 by Roc (first published September 3rd 2000)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  1,316 ratings  ·  77 reviews

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Jakob J.
In some manner my literary, musical, and aesthetic sensibilities transmogrify with the season. Once the autumnal gods blow forth the cool air, carrying with it their fragrances of dry leaves, patchouli, apple spice, and the harvest, and pumpkins begin to grace doorsteps, the numinous in me is sustained by clichéd images of chilling awe; graveyards (with or without decayed hands rising there from), howling wolves silhouetted by full moons, implied malevolent cackling of jack-O’-lanterns, as well ...more
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This is a huge anthology celebrating the spookiest night of the year....Halloween! I really wanted to love this collection more, but a lot of the stories just aren't that memorable. Still, it's worth the effort to pick and choose.
Dec 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dark-fantasy, horror
A Celebration of Halloween edited by Richard Chizmar & Robert Morrish is a collection of new and previously published short stories, novellas and true-life memories taking place on Halloween. Included is a brief (and interesting) history of Halloween and guides to Halloween film and fiction all written by some of my favorite horror and dark fantasy writers.

I’ve been working at this one for over a month and not due to disinterest either. This sucker is HUGE and its anthology format makes it the p
UPDATE: (Stefan, SNL) If you're looking for some Halloweenie fun, this one has EVERYTHING>>>
I don't celebrate this "holiday" but was most curious to read the stories entitled "My Favorite Halloween Memory" in which a number of authors share memories from childhood, and tell us how that impacted, in some cases, their careers as writers. (As an aspiring screenwriter-along with millions of others I think-discussions of this sort are fascinating to me.) But also here one can read a history
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: halloween
This would've been a solid 3-star book: some good stories, some so-so stories, and it even includes the phenomenal Pork Pie Hat by Peter Straub. But a lot of the "favorite Halloween memory" chapters feel like filler, as do the movie reviews and overview of other stories that aren't in the collection. I'm also taking one star off for the transparent and unsubtle anti-abortion propaganda that is F. Paul Wilson's shitty story.
Oct 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: halloween, horror
So-so collection of mostly forgettable horror tales. The best stories - Dean Koontz's "The Black Pumpkin", "Masks" by Douglas E. Winter - I had already read in other anthologies. Sprinkled throughout the book are favorite Halloween memories by various authors. Meh!
Rebecca McNutt
October Dreams is very creative and exciting, a book full of the strange and the supernatural, with stories from all kinds of different authors.
Romney Wordsworth
Oct 14, 2016 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the favorite Halloween memories better than most of the shorts.. a great book to read this time of year
Rereading snippets of this book for the season reminded me how solid and informative an anthology collection can be. The jewels in this book are various authors' recollections of their personal Halloween stories, in addition to many great horror tales. Highly recommended, whether this edition or the later reprint editions not put out by Cemetery Dance.
Lisa of LaCreeperie
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
One of the absolute best Halloween anthologies out there! Volume II is very good as well, if you can find it. It's horrifically rare and expensive. 🎃
Jul 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
"Ahhh, Halloween...The air is crisp, the leaves are turning, the bonfires are lit and everyone anticipates the one day where they can be whatever they want and go begging for treats, and more importantly, and if you're lucky, be on the receiving end of a really good scare! To start your season off right, pick-up a copy of this fantastic book, brimming with stories that will have you up late into the night turning the pages of one of the best Horror Anthologies to date. There is something for eve ...more
Feb 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A must-read for fans of horror or Halloween! A thrilling collection of short fiction and Halloween memories from top writers in the field! LOVE!!!
Brian Sammons
May 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love Halloween. I love short stories. And yes, I love this book.
Jeff Jellets
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it

“I never forget Halloween,” Hat said. “If I can, I stay home on Halloween. Don’t want to be out on the street that night.” “You’d feel in danger?” I asked. “No,” he finally said. “Not exactly. But I wouldn’t feel safe either.”

October Dreams is a well-above average anthology of Halloween-themed horror stories that like a bag of the holiday candy is full of savory treats, with nary a stinker to be found. In addition to some really great short stories (and one poem!), the book includes the ‘Favorit
Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is a lovely holiday companion piece.

I am a seasonal reader. When the days become noticeably shorter, usually August here in my hometown, I start reading material of a supernatural, horrific type. This goes on until after Halloween, through the dark days of the winter solstice. After the solstice my head turns towards all those lovely floor plans, both the Victorian kind published by Downing, Sloan and Bicknell as well as all the more recent floor plans available online.

This is an essen
Oct 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: hiatus
Only managed to make it through 185 pages before the book was due back at the library, and being that Halloween will soon be here and gone, I decided it wasn't worth renewing. Next year I may pick up where I left off, though.

On the whole, the stories weren't all that great. I was looking for something that would make me get nostalgic about childhood Halloweens (in the tradition of Ray Bradbury's The Halloween Tree ), but didn't find much that could fulfill that request--not even in the non-fi
Holly (The Grimdragon)
I think of Halloween as a season which begins as soon as fall is in the air and ends when the leaves are gone from the trees, or after October 31st.

What a deliciously nostalgic, fun Halloween anthology! I enjoyed the memories, history, literature & film essays interspersed with the short stories. It was a nice touch! There were some surprisingly somber moments within (Ed Gorman's "October!" immediately comes to mind), as well as your typical, enjoyable scary story (Lewis Shiner's "The Circle").
Oct 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm completely obsessed with this book and I think everyone who has the slightest interest in Halloween should read it, though I may be a bit partial because this magical holiday happens to be my birthday. This anthology is brimming with personality and American tradition, not to mention legitimate creepiness. Most of the stories/anecdotes made me want to call up the author and rave about their work and pick their brain about their conception of Halloween. I raced through the 650 pages in less t ...more
May 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Now this book was an excellent homage of Halloween. Full of terrific tales of all time favorite classic horror stories, monsters & awesome nightmare fictions. It was truly entertaining, spooky and so thrilling. All the stories, short tales & essays were done by top horror authors from Ray Bradbury, Dean Koontz, Peter Straub and many more.

October Dreams is definitely worth the read and I would recommend it to anyone. Especially if your favorite holiday is Halloween(like it is for me). The book is
Mary Havens
Oct 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Just about every story in this book is a good one, including the Halloween memories (although, if I had a drink every time they said "burnt cork", "hobo", or reminisced about perfect childhood Halloweens before disturbed individuals put razor blades in apples, I would be in an alcoholic coma). There were just a few times that I felt like skimming the stories, mostly the origin of Halloween or the Halloween reading list (the list contained mostly mediocre works). A few times the authors came off ...more
This is a nicely atmospheric, if uneven, collection of Halloween-themed stories. There are some classics here, like "Heavy Set" by Ray Bradbury, and a lot of stories I hadn't read before. I think one of the reasons I ended up not being particularly thrilled with the collection is that it's HUGE and after a while the themes start to get really repetitive. I also was not a big fan of the "My Favorite Halloween Memory" sections, which were short essays from horror writers about Halloween. Some of t ...more
Liz Cooper
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a great anthology of short scary stories ~ Perfect for the Halloween season. I highly recommend this book. Well written stories by some of horror's greatest writers. Some really interesting tales I would highly recommend for anyone looking for some scary short stories of things that go bump in the night.
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
There are some great stories here but also some awful crap. A pro-life horror = a big no from me thank you. A rubbish chapter on movies for Halloween and what I can only describe as complete pretentious crap from Kim Newman.
Pork Pie Hat was a brilliant story though and the last 'memory' was Halloween perfection.
Sep 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
The story selection is outstanding. There isn't a stinker in here. The Halloween reminiscences are pretty uneven. Some authors obviously put some heart and effort into it and others seemed to treat it as an uninspiring chore.
Sep 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Okay so it took me all month to get thru 660 pages but it is the best collection of Halloween fiction I have ever read!
Mar 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
love this, we get it out again every fall:)
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE this book, I pull it out every October and read at least a few of the stories. Perfect for getting into the Halloween mood!
Kevin Lucia
Sep 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Pretty decent. The repeated "favorite" Halloween memories did get a little old, after awhile.
Sep 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
My new tradition will be to read this every October to get me in the Halloween spirit. So many stories I think everyone will enjoy.
Nov 30, 2016 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this books story. A nice read for a hollowed book to pass the time.some good stories for camp fire times.
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