Halloween Memories Back to Blog

It’s pretty much a given that the seeds of Halloween originated with the Celts and their celebration of Samhain. The Celts believed that the veil between this world and the next was thinnest at this time of year. They believed that friends and relatives who had died would often return, with their souls inhabiting an animal – often a black cat. Black cats have remained a symbol of Halloween all the way until now.

Once of the Celtic customs involved going door to door asking for food to be donated to their deities. And young Celts would ask for wood to be burned on a hill top to celebrate Samhain and further honor their gods. These are two of the possible origins of Halloween’s Trick or Treating.

When I was a kid, I wanted to dress up as something different every Halloween. One year a black cat, the next a hula girl, one time a princess — I suppose I was like the children now who want to dress up as whatever movie or tv icon catches their imagination. My brother and I would race from door to door yelling Trick or Treat with our long-suffering mother trailing behind but keeping a careful eye on her own little gremlins. At the end of our neighborhood canvassing, we’d return home, examine our loot and proceed to stuff ourselves until Mom put a stop to it.

All too soon, I considered myself too old to run door to door begging for candy and dressed as something I most definitely was not. When my daughter was born, I considered dressing up while I escorted her but none of the other mothers in the ‘hood did and my sense of conformity kept me from doing it.

What a shame.

Halloween is one of the last childhood institutions that actively encourages imagination. And what better way to do it than running through crisp Fall leaves on a cool night yelling at neighbors to give those sweet candy bribes or risk getting windows soaped or trees decorated with TP?

That is…unless you’re a writer. Or someone who likes strange, possibly frightening tales.

HEARTSTONE EXCERPT

The ringing phone jarred Keriam out of a sound sleep.

She bolted upright, heart pounding and groped for the handset.

“Hello?”

No one answered.

Her heart continued to pound.

“Hello?” she repeated. For a second, she thought she heard

breathing and an uneasy tendril snaked down her spine. She’d had

a number of these no-answer calls in the last few days. Normally,

they didn’t bother her.

This one did. She hung up.

Too awake to fall back asleep, Keriam swung her legs out of the

bed, feet hitting the cold floor. She’d been locking the doors lately,

though she didn’t remember doing it. Probably another facet of her

episodes, another sign she was losing her mind. Still it wouldn’t hurt

to check them just to make sure.

And she could check on Wolfgang. Having a huge dog gave her

a sense of safety. Not that she expected to keep him, but she might

think about getting a dog of her own. She stared at the telephone

for a moment, then stood.

She rubbed her eyes, then, without turning on the lights, went

into the hallway. The quiet house had an empty feeling, as if she was

totally alone. That couldn’t be. Not with Wolfgang in the kitchen.

Still, she advanced slowly, using all her senses to detect anything

out of the ordinary. Moonlight shone through the living room

window and she paused, looking out into the front yard. Nothing

there. Turning, she tiptoed into the kitchen, the same eerie feeling of

emptiness hitting her again. This time, she flipped on the overhead

light. The dog wasn’t there. “Wolfgang?”

Quickly, she checked the living room although she already knew

it was empty. A growing urgency had her race through the rest of

the house checking under tables, behind furniture. She didn’t find

him. She ended on the back porch, shivering in the cool night air

and looking out over the fallow field between her house and her

neighbor’s. “Wolfgang!”

She couldn’t see much past the glow from her doorway and

stepped farther into the shadows to let her eyes adjust to the dark. Her

toes brushed against a leathery object and she picked up his collar.

Somehow, Wolfgang had gotten out. Or been let out.

She whirled, looking back into her kitchen.

No, Wolfgang would have barked if there’d been an intruder.

She was sure of that. And she would have seen anyone who’d come

inside. She pressed her teeth onto her bottom lip, confused. Worried.

The door had been closed. Locked.

How had he gotten out?

It didn’t matter. She had to find him. He was her responsibility.

She raced inside to get dressed.

Within minutes, she thundered down the stairs and headed to

the kitchen door. Wolfgang had probably gone into the woods out

back. A big dog like him, he’d enjoy chasing the small herd of deer

or the raccoons or possums. She hoped he didn’t find the skunks

though. She didn’t have enough tomato juice for that.

A sudden banging on her front door had her nearly leap out of

her skin. Then she realized it had to be Mr. Mountley. The old man

knocked like he was driving nails with his fist. He’d probably caught

Wolfgang nosing around the emu pens. She hoped Wolfgang hadn’t

gotten injured by the big, mean-tempered birds. She whipped the

door open preparing to thank Mr. Mountley and scold the big dog.

“Marc?” Surprise made her step back.

Marc jerked, sweat sheening his face. His hair curled in damp

tendrils on his forehead and his eyes looked fever bright. He made

a moaning sort of noise and leaned unsteadily on the doorframe.

“Are you all right?” Keriam pushed the screen door open

without thinking. Then took another look at him. Something in his

expression sent an uneasy shiver up her spine. Something’s wrong

here, she thought. Something’s off. She hesitated, then years of

country-manners kicked in. “Come in, Marc. It’s freezing outside.

Is something wrong? Is that why you came by?”

He moved like a marionette, stiff and loose at the same time. As

he walked past her, the rank odor from his body was overpowering.

She drew back, startled. Marc had always been fastidious.

He was obviously ill. Maybe drunk. But she didn’t smell alcohol.

Marc’s gaze whipped around the living room but he didn’t move. He

simply stood there as if trying to figure out what to do next. She felt

heat pouring off his body. Not drunk, sick. The thought didn’t ease

her slowly tightening nerves.

Marc took a ragged step forward, followed by another. He approached

the family portraits hanging above the stone hearth. Keriam

watched, puzzled, as he stared at Meredith’s picture. Her mother’s

red-gold hair gleamed in the autumn sunshine. Keriam moved behind

him. “What is it, Marc?”

He stilled at the sound of her voice. His hand trembled as he

rested it on the mantle just below Meredith’s photograph.

“Meredith I’sadhe.”

A chill traced over her skin at the quiet menace in his voice.

Ezahdhee? What does that mean?”

Marc turned, ignoring her question. The ravening hunger in

his eyes seared her. She backed away as he grinned, a feral baring of

teeth. Ruthlessly, she shoved her uneasiness aside—this was Marc,

her ex-fiancé—and crossed her arms over her chest. But still… “Marc,

I think you should go.”

He took a step toward her. She retreated again.

“You’re not well, are you?” Her voice quavered and she hated it.

He took another halting step closer, closer.

http://www.mundania.com/book.php?title=Heartstone

Trade Paperback
240 pages
$13.95
978-1-60659-233-5

eBook
$4.99
978-1-60659-232-8

Eric d’Ebrur is out of time. He must find the legendary Heartstone and
fulfill the ancient Gar’Ja bond he shares with the Stonebearer. But
when he finds her, he discovers that love can be more dangerous than
the Gawan threat. Eric can defeat the mind-controlling Gawan but will
it cost him the woman he loves?

After terrifying episodes of hypersensitivity, Keriam Norton thinks
she’s losing her mind. When handsome shapeshifter Eric d’Ebrur saves
her from the monstrous Gawan, she’s sure of it. But insane or not,
she’ll find the Heartstone and, if she’s lucky, a love to last a
lifetime.

Heartstone is also available on Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/Heartstone-Lynda-K-Scott/dp/1606592335/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1281979082&sr=1-1

GIVEAWAY: If you join or are a member of my newsletter group, send me an email with Don’t Open The Door in the subject line, and your snail mail address in the body, I’ll enter you in a drawing for a ‘Heartstone’ necklace of your very own.

Email me at Lynda@LyndaKScott.com

Deadline: Friday, Oct 29

My alien kitten, Wookie, will assist me in picking a winner (she likes bribes but I insist the drawing must stay honest, so no bribes please, lol). I’ll announce the winner on my newsletter group.

I love contact with my readers and there’s lots of ways to stay in touch with me. The best way is to join my newsletter, a non-chat yahoo group, with a low volume. Hope to see you there!
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25 responses to “Halloween Memories”

  1. Lynda Scott says:

    Good morning everyone! Thanks to Cynthia for inviting me to join her Halloween celebration! I hope everyone has a fabulous day and if you have time, leave a comment :-)

  2. Valerie says:

    Hi Lynda,

    Loved the excerpt!!! Sorry, just popping in, then out again. Off to work!!!

    Valerie
    in Germany

  3. Lynn Rush says:

    Great post. Halloween is a fun time to sit back and remember the early days when we got to dress up and go door to door. Sure was fun. Carefree. . .

    Thanks for the post. Have a great day!

    • Hi Lynn,

      It certainly was…and I loved walking the neighborhood with my daughter when she was little too. There’s something about strolling through crunchy leaves while the cool air bites your nose…:-)

  4. Linda A says:

    Halloween is my favorite time of year too and I’ve always insisted my kids Trick-or-Treat until they’re 16. And they do! Even my oldest two who are still adults dress up and visit their friends houses.

    Wow! What a scary excerpt!

  5. Hi Linda!

    What a great mother you were! I bet your kids have lots of great memories of Halloween!

  6. Cynthia Eden says:

    Thanks for coming by, Lynda! Love the excerpt! I wish you lived in my neighborhood–we could dress up together. :-) I throw a big party for my son each year, and I always wear a costume. It’s Halloween fun!

  7. Jillian says:

    Sounds like a great read for this time of year!

  8. Cynthia, I would so be there, lol. I adore passing out candy to the little ghouls and gremlins who come by and promptly forget what they’re supposed to say. It’s almost as much fun as dressing up for a party :-)

  9. Hi Jillian,

    There are some spooky parts in Heartstone but it’s mostly a action-adventure romance. The snippet is just prior to Keriam’s life changing…for the better though she doesn’t think so at first :-) Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Viki says:

    Hi Lynda –

    Thanks for the excerpt. It grabs you. I love the cover too.
    I remember when I was a pre-teen my friends and I dressed up like KISS and EVERY house we went to made us do a trick to get our candy. They had to have regretted it because we couldn’t sing to save our lives, but it was fun.

  11. Linda Wisdom says:

    Great post, Lynda!

    I still remember the year my aunt made me a gorgeous colonial style gown for my costume or the year I dressed up as Sylvester the cat.

    • Linda, isn’t it great when someone can make fabulous costumes like that? I made a few of my daughter’s costumes, most notably her first Halloween (10 months old) where she was a teddy bear, then I made her a princess gown complete with the tall hat with the veil hanging from the tip when she was six.

      Man, Halloween has almost as many memories as Christmas! LOL

  12. Fabulous excerpt, Lynda. It gave me the creeps, which is exactly what you intended.

    And I love halloween. I didn’t dress up once I was a teenager, but I started doing it again when I loved in a neighborhood that saw lots of trick-or-treaters. One year I dressed up as a vampire. When the third kid burst into tears, I knew I’d done too good of a job.

    • LOL, Keena, yes, I’d say you have a very deft hand with the vampire make up :-) We actually had to tone down some of our outside decorations because the little ones were afraid. I ended up giving them extra candy to make up for it, lol

  13. hotcha1 says:

    OHHHHHHHHHHHHHH IF I ONLY HAD A JOB I COULD BUY THESE AWESOME BOOKS! OH WELL MAYBE I’LL WIN SOME BOOKS IN THE HUNT!

  14. hotcha1 says:

    AND YA DON’T WANNA KNOW THE NIGHTMARES OF MY TRICK OR TREATING! LOL

    • Hi hotcha,

      Now that you’ve mentioned your trick or treating… :-)

      The last time I wore a costume, my Brownie troop was having an old fashioned Halloween party. Being the leader meant I had to tote everything in…through what seemed like a hurricane, lol. By the time I got the last of it in, I was soaked. I’d dressed as a witch, my make up had melted, my pointy hat wasn’t pointy, my witchy robe was plastered to my also wet clothes, lol, but thank goodness I had clothes under that robe or my Brownies (and their parents) would have been scandalized. It was a memorable Halloween party.

  15. cories5 says:

    Too bad my memories of Halloween are from my teen years, trying to avoid teen boys who were armed with shaving cream and eggs.

    Great excerpt! A bit creep, perfect for Halloween.

  16. SiNn says:

    I remember going form hous eto house and was always cold no matter where we were halloween night was always chilly when iw a sa kid tho my dad used to work on an orchard and i loveeeddd it teh colors and every year theyd id a halloween deal where us kids have fun and ive passed on part of thatw ith my neices and nephews we ived in a safer time sadly years ago

    I lovewhen you post excerpts great post

    • Hi SiNn!

      Same here. I can only remember one year where it was nice and warm, otherwise it always seemed on the verge of putting the frost on the pumpkin :-)

      It is sad that we live in different times, that it isn’t as safe as earlier years. It’s up to us to make it as fun as possible and still keep the little ones safe.

  17. sue brandes says:

    Love your book cover. That was a great excerpt.
    katsrus(at)gmail(dot)com