Halloween Special Edition!

I’ve got a bunch of seasonally appropriate things to share with you today, including ghost stories I edited, and my new podcast!

a spooky jack-o-lantern
Photo by Taylor Foss / Unsplash

I’ve got a bunch of seasonally appropriate things to share with you today!

October is Ghost Month!

First, although I officially left Fireside Magazine in April, I did edit all of the 2019 content before I went, and I had a lot of fun with the October stories, all of which have to do with ghosts or hauntings in some way. I’ve always loved ghost stories, and I was delighted to be able to assemble a bunch of different kinds for this themed story month.

Here is a quick guide to all of them with links so you can read them (or listen to the audio versions) if you like!

“Lost Girl” by Catherine Lundoff: This story leads us off with a traditional gothic house and a ghost who may not really remember who she is, but knows what it is that ghosts do.

“The Haunting of 13 Olúwo Street” by Suyi Davies Okungbowa: This story is from the point of view of the haunted house, which witnessed a violent crime, and loves and respects the victim. It’s set in Lagos, Nigeria, and I love the way the setting influences the personality of the house.

“On the Other Side of the Line” by A. T. Greenblatt: Having seen some of the more traditional forms of hauntings, now we diverge into some different territory. This story isn’t exactly about ghosts or haunted houses as such, but it is about loss, and the feeling of having loved ones stuck beyond the veil. I read this one and it kept coming back to me: the confusion, the frustration, the sadness. And that ending! So bittersweet!

“Radio Static” by Carolin Jansen: Carolin Jansen works in a hospital, so of course this hospital set ghost story feels very true to … not life exactly, I suppose. This one also looks at all the same themes in the Greenblatt story, but from a completely different perspective. I love the way these two stories are in dialogue with each other.

And finally:

“What Cannot Follow” by Eugenia Triantafyllou: We end the month’s story haul with another haunted house that has a new family moving in. This story is short, but it packs a lot into its small wordcount, and it goes places I didn’t expect when I started reading it.

New Podcast!

The other really exciting thing that I’ve been working on for quite a while (and has finally launched!) is a new podcast that I host with my friend Geoffrey Pelton. Geoffrey is a Boston area comedian who’s been my friend for over a decade. One night after some of our mutual friends had gone to see one of his shows we got into a discussion about the weeeeeeeeeird movies we’d seen as children. You know the kind I mean? The ones you maybe only half remember, and then when you try to tell someone about them they seem completely implausible?

Like:

“I think a kid puts peanut butter on his head and then his hair won’t stop growing so he gets kidnapped by someone???”

Or:

“Raggedy Ann and Andy go on some weird quest into a cave and ride a weird horse or camel or something???”

As you dig deeper into these memories you might start to wonder why people thought these things would make good children’s entertainment. And you might also think, “Well, this explains a lot about how I got to be the way I am…”

Geoffrey and I have just the podcast for you!

Logo for This Is Why We're Like This featuring golden text over a black background with a winding strip of film.

This Is Why We’re Like This is a podcast where we (and our guests) discuss the movies and TV shows that helped make us who we are today, for better… or for worse.

Here’s a guide to the episodes we’ve already released:

Listen to "Our First Episode: Shadowman" on Spreaker.

Shadowman: A segment of the 1980’s Twilight Zone reboot. This one was directed by Joe Dante (director of The Howling), and it terrified me as a kid.

Listen to "Raggedy Ann and Andy: A Musical Adventure with Christa Carmen" on Spreaker.

Raggedy Ann and Andy: A Musical Adventure with Christa Carmen: Christa Carmen is a horror author, but I was unprepared for the amount of terror I would experience while watching her beloved childhood classic!

Listen to "After These Messages: Teddy Ruxpin and Puppy Surprise with Christa Carmen" on Spreaker.

After These Messages: Teddy Ruxpin and Puppy Surprise with Christa Carmen: In our After These Messages shows, we watch some commercials that are somehow related to either a movie we’ve just watched or a guest we’ve had on. In this case, Christa chose a couple of toys she remembered playing with as a kid.

Listen to "Poltergeist II: The Other Side with Diana Lu" on Spreaker.

Poltergeist II: The Other Side with Diana Lu: Just in time for Halloween, comedian Diana Lu suggested a scary movie! It turned out I had also been scarred by at least seeing part of this one when I was young, too!

Listen to "After These Messages: Halloween Candy with Diana Lu" on Spreaker.

After These Messages: Halloween Candy with Diana Lu: This one just came out today! Obviously we had to watch candy commercials and talk about our favorite things to get in a trick-or-treat haul!