Dead Leaves Fall
Nine Tales of Halloween Horror
For children¸ Halloween brings to mind candy and costumes¸ wearing a mask and saying the magic words “trick or treat. For some adults Halloween is a time of physical and spiritual transition. The earth is shedding its skin like dead leaves falling¸ and men reflect in fear on the past gone by. It is a time when the connection between our meaningless existence and the damned is at its closest.
Here are nine Halloween adventures.FEAR IN A BOTTLE
BY JOHN A. ALMACK. Wherein the investigators follow the trail of a dead thief¸find clues about an ancient evil and learn what they have to fear in a bottle.THE LOCK-IN
BY JON HOOK. Some of the fat kids at Arkham High are missing¸ but no one seems to care. On two previous occasions earlier this year¸ heavy-set high-school students went missing. The police investigated the disappearances¸ but found no evidence of foul play. So each case was ruled as a runaway. Now a third kid has gone missing¸THE ILSLEY VARIANT
BY RICK HUDSON. The artist Miles Gedney has always been sensitive to strange influences¸ and after one particularly vivid dream he painted The King on the Throne. In many ways this painting¸ despite its quality¸ is unremarkable; it depicts a sombre ancient king sat upon a stone throne and there are no overtly supernatural or unrealistic elements depicted in it. However¸ the painting portrays an inscription above the throne in an unknown language.THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTINE¸ CHAPTER CCLXVIII
BY TIM HUTCHINGS. Your band of Investigators have led long¸ hard lives doing the world one good turn after another. You’ve fought eldritch evil¸ Nazis¸ dark things from beyond -- alien threats are commonplace to you. Through it all you’ve kept a tenuous grasp on your sanity and your ethics. You are good people who have done great things¸ and now is your time to rest. You’ve earned it¸ but there’s one last thing you need to do¸ one last project is soon coming to its culmination. Now lets all listen to the radio and wait for morning…THE GREAT OLD ONES ON THE GREAT WHITE WAY
BY JOSEPH M. ISENBERG. The 1920’s saw the perfection of American musical theater¸ perhaps one of the few innovative contributions of the United States to world culture. Composers such as Irving Berlin¸ Cole Porter¸ Jerome Kern¸ Richard Rogers and George Gershwin¸ among others¸ invented what subsequently became the quintessential American musical form. The coincident flourishing of musical theater and horror writing seems to call for a response. Thus¸ we see in the year 2011 the premiere of “Herbert West¸ Re-Animator¸ the Musical¸” at the Steve Allen Theater in Los Angeles.THE COSTUME PARTY
BY TIM MORIARTY. One of the players in the group receiving an invitation from the eccentric millionaire Andrew Cromley to a costume party on Halloween in the mansion on Crossroads Island found several miles off the coast of Maine. Crossroads Island is famous for ancient rituals that were performed by Native Americans on the site for centuries. Early in the 19th century¸ a large mansion had been built on the tiny island by a secretive religious order. There were rumors of different rituals being performed by this group for a number of years before they mysteriously all disappeared and were never heard from again. The mansion had remained abandoned for several decades before it was purchased and restored by Cromley. You are free to bring as many friends as you wish.LEMURALIA
BY OSCAR RIOS. The Roman calendar has many holidays¸ festivals and holy days. The time is approaching for the feast of Lemuralia¸ three sacred days (May 9th¸ 11th and 13th) when all good Romans perform rites to exorcize the unwholesome spirits of the dead from their homes. This was accomplished by making offerings of beans and mola salsa¸ special salted flower cakes made by the Vestigial Virgins from the first ears of wheat of a harvesting season. Such gifts usually were enough to satisfy the restless dead for another year¸ but every once in an unfortunate while the dead aren’t so easily appeased.13 BLACK CANDLES
BY JEFF WOODALL. Squire Tom Roberts is giving his annual All Hallows Evening party in the town of Aylesbury¸ Connecticut. He has given this party every year since the end of the American Revolution. It is a huge event in which people from the town of Aylesbury are invited as well as his family and friends from elsewhere. The investigators have been invited to attend.DEAD LEAVES FALL
BY SIMON YEE. Halloween brings to mind candy and spooky costumes¸ where wearing a mask and saying the magic words¸ “trick or treat¸” rewards those naïve hunters in costume a bounty of future tooth decay. But for some adults it is a time of transition both physically and spiritually. The earth is shedding its skin like dead leaves falling and men reflect in fear on the past gone by. A time when the connection between our meaningless existence and the divine (or damned¸ as it may be) is at its closest.