Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween-A Free Scary Tale For You!



Pamela K. Kinney

Enjoy this new story by me. It is copyrighted to me, so please do not copy it and put it wherever you post or in a pdf file to give away free, as I own all rights to it. Just let your friends know the link so they too, can read it.

Janie and Bobby dressed in costumes, trudged up the sidewalk as they passed other similarly dressed children. It was Halloween, their favorite time of the year. Where all children could go door to door, knock, and candy were poured into their waiting bags after yelling, ‘trick or treat.’ If the adult refused, the kids could play tricks on them and get away with it.

Janie and Bobby loved the treats, but they loved doing the tricks even more. They loved doing nasty, terrible tricks.

“It’s tradition,” Mama told them. If the adults gave them candy, then fine and dandy, don’t do anything. But for that one who said, “No treats here, now go away!” they could go ahead and do what their family had been doing since the early 1900s.

Janie and Bobby couldn’t wait. The past couple of years they hadn’t been able to play any of their tricks, as every door they had knocked at the owners handed over candy, fruit, popcorn balls, and money. But when they woke up this morning, they sensed that this night would be different.

Nothing happened so far. Both of their bags laden heavy with the fruits of their labor, they stopped before the white picket fence that surrounded the yard of a pretty white Cape Cod home. It looked so normal and so . . . suburbia.

This was it. They felt it. They would finally get what was owed them.

Janie and Bobby looked at each other, shark grins flashing on their sweet, chubby faces. Then they pushed the gate open and wandered up the leaf strewn path to the front door. No Halloween decorations shown anywhere and no lit Jack-O-Lantern greeted them, just the closed door, painted a cheery blue.

They knocked and waited.

The door opened with nary a creak, and a little old lady stood on the other side. Her white hair was swept up in a bun and she wore a cheerful flowered print top and white pants. She peered at them, her eyes blinking behind glasses.

“Sorry,” she said, “but I forgot to buy candy to give out tonight.”

Bobby grinned. “That’s okay. We rather not have any treats. Tricks are oh so much cooler.” He threw aside his bag and sweets scattered across the front stoop.

He lifted his real axe. He had dressed as serial killer on purpose this morning. His sister was garbed as Lizzie Borden, her own axe gripped in her fist. She dropped her own bag and raised it high above her head.

The old lady stepped closer and smiled. “I know. I’ve been waiting for you, my dears. Human killers are not very smart. Not when inhuman ones have perfected their own bag of tricks for eons. My kind has been hunting their prey the hard way for centuries. Many still do. Not me, I found a much easier way. Usually I decorate my place to attract regular human children on this night, but when I moved here and heard of the murders that been going on in this town for a long time, I devised a different tactic.” She giggled. “It’s only justice for the humans in this town after all and delivery food for me.”

Her face cracked and it split, falling to the floor. The rest of the body followed. A giant shaggy wolf-like creature stood on clawed hind feet and with its upper paws, snatched both children to its breast. Bobby and Janie screamed, but were cut off when the door slammed shut.


Friday, October 29, 2010


Halloween is almost here. Four Questions Friday asks about what are your plans for it.

1. What are you doing on Halloween?

2. Do you plan to wear a costume?

3. Do you have children, and will you take them trick-or-treating, or an alternative?

4. Do you have plans to go on a ghost tour, do a scary haunted house, hayride or something likie that, or something else?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Book Signing Tonight in Richmond, Book Talk/Signing in Virginia Beach Saturday, Oct. 30th

Tonight, I will be signing copies of Haunted Richmond, Virginia and Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Barnes and Noble @ Chesterfield Towne Center 11500 Midlothian Turnpike Richmond. For directions orn if can't make it but want a signed copy to be held for you, call the book store: 804-794-6640.

Saturday, October 30th 1:00 to 2:30PM I will be doing a book talk about the hauntings of Virginia at the Virginia Beach Central Library 4100 Virginia Beach Blvd. Virginia Beach. Afterwards be selling and signing copies of Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales and my fiction book, Spectre Nightmares and Visitations. Since it will be me selling them, I accept checks and cash only, no credit. Sorry.
You will need to register by phone for this free event:757-385-0105.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Weird and Scary Wednesday

It's the last Weird and Scary Wednesday as Halloween is in four days. Isn't this car bizarre, scary and of course, just plain weird?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Jack-O-Lantern-Truth and Folklore

We carve jack-o-lanterns from pumpkins around Halloween. People carve monstrous faces to hopefully scare kids approaching doors during trick-or-treat. Sometimes, they are friendly faces, or famous characters from movies, TV and books--like the stormtrooper one my husband carved in one craft pumpkin we have. And yes, you don't have to use the gourds you find at the supermarket or grown at pumpkin farms, you can use craft pumpkins found at craft stores, too. You can also paint pumpkins even. This is safer for children to do, rather than using casrving implements. They can use their own paints to paint cool faces or by using stencils, faces or scenes on the flesh of the pumpkin.

This tradition stated back in Ireland. A turnip was used then. The Irish carved these vegetables and left them on doorsteps to ward off evil spirits. But it did not become part of Halloween until 1866. That was in America and not in Ireland or Britain. There is no documented proof to substatiate that the jack-o-lanterns were ever part of Halloween before this date.

There is folklore behind the jack-o-lantern.In one version of the story, Stingy Jack was a miserly old man who runs into the Devil. He asks if the Devil would turn into a coin he could use to pay some Christian villagers he owed to. These Christians would fight over this coin, which in actually is the Devil. The Devil agreed, thinking how fine a joke this would be.

But Jack pockets him and there's a cross in the pocket, too. The Devil is stuck, unless he promises he will not take Jack's soul when he dies. The Devil agrees to the deal and is set free.

Jack finally dies. He goes up to Heaven, but the gates are closed to him. He has too great a stain on his soul for Heaven to allow him inside. And thanks to his agreement with the Devil, he is barred from Hell, too. The Devil tosses him a turnip and an ember made from Hellfire, and he tells Jack to carve the turnip and put the ember inside. With this lantern his only way to light his way, Jack wanders the earth searching for a resting place. Jack became known as Jack-o'-Lantern.

There are other versions of this Irish tale, even an African-American one. There's even one with the Grim Reaper in place of the Devil, who takes Jack's head to Hell with him. Jack uses a pumpkin to replace his head. No doubt, this is mixed up with the Headless Horseman story.

When you carve that pumpkin and place a lighted candle or bsttery-run one inside it, then stand on your porch and watch the costumed children wandering the street, helped by lit flashlight, think of one man doomed to roam the earth forever.

Will you take pity on him if he comes to your door?

Top sites to find jack-o-lantern carving stencils:

Friday, October 22, 2010


It's getting closer to Halloween. Frost may be on the pumpkin tomorrow in Virginia, or so they are threatening. Places are decorated with scary things and ghost tours are being taken a lot. I'm doing many lectures of hauntings and book signings. Four Questions Fridays asks about ghosts and more.

1. Do you believe in ghosts?

2. Have you ever been on a ghost tour in your city or elsewhere?

3. Do you watch any of the paranormal reality show on TV?

4. Tell us a ghostly tale or legend in your area that you like.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Appearances, Book Talks and Signings Through November 6, 2010

Zombie Walk/Funeral at Regal Cinemas New Town 4911 Courthouse Street Williamsburg, Virginia--I'll be at Regal Cinemas with a table, with promo about my books and where I will be signing through 2011. I can't sell any of my books there, but if you have a copy of any of my works, do bring it by and I will sign it for you. For information on the walk, the movie, Zombieland as midnight showing at Regal and more:

Book signing at Twice Told Tales Bookstore Saturday, October 23rd, 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM, 6658 Main Street Gloucester, Virginia 23061 804-693-9209. Books to be signed: Haunted Richmond, Virginia, Haunted Viginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales, and my fiction book, Spectre Nightmares and Visitations.

Talk about paranormal Virginia, plus book signing afterwards at Books Alive Tuesday, October 26th, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM, Heathville Library 7204 Northumberland Highway Heathsville, Virginia 22473 You may need to register, so call the library at 804-580-5051. Books I am selling: the two ghost books and some copies of Spectre Nightmares and Visitations--only cash and checks, please.

Book signing at Barnes and Noble at Chesterfield Towne Center Thursday, October 28th, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. 11500 Midlothian Turnpike Richmond, Virginia. If can't make it but want a personally signed book, call the bookstore at 804-580-5051. Will be Haunted Richmond, Virginia and Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales only.

Book Talk plus book signing afterwards at Virginia Beach Central Library Saturday, October 30th, 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. 4100 Virginia Beach Blvd. Virginia Beach, Virginia. The event is free, but you may need to register, call the library at 757-385-0150. I will be selling my two ghosts books plus few copies of Spectre Nightmares and Visitations, so only cash and checks, please.

Chesterfield Writers Workshop--Saturday, November 6th 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Held at Meadowdale Library 4301 Meadowdale Blvd. Richmond, Virginia. Library's phone number: 804-318-8778. I'll be on a panel or two, plus selling and signing my books at a table otherwise. If you want to learn about writing, this all-day workshop is $10.00. You may have to sign up for Chesterfield Writers nto be able to register or find out, the link is

Friday, October 15, 2010


Four Questions Fridays asks about fear.

1. What scares you?

2. When you became afraid, what happens to you?

3. What is the scariest thing that ever happened to you?

4. Do you think being frightened is good for you?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Reading Is Such Scary Fun

Here we are in the middel of October, with Halloween only two weeks away and we are thinking of checking out a scary read at our local library or buy one at the bookstore, or from any of the online retailers.

What is it about this time of the year that we must read something to scare us silly; to give us nightmares at night? After all, horror, dark fantasy and urban fantasy can be read at any time of the year--right?

Is it because of the coolness of the breeze? The leaves changing color? Or the pumpkins for sale at the supermarket or at your local farm? Maybe it's because people are decorating their homes and yards in creepy decor.
Any excuse to be scared to death.

Fear is an emotional response to a preceived threat. It's a basic reaction to a stimulus, such as pain or dangerous threat. Fear is spearate from anxiety, which occurs without external threat. It means to terrify, or to frighten.

Physical reactions from fear are:
Rapid heart rate

Increased blood pressure

Tightening of muscles

Sharpened or redirected senses

Dilation of the pupils

Increased sweating

So why would a person get a scary book when these symptons of fear take over them? For the imagination is the greatest bringer of fear--you read a few pages and suddenly, you thought you saw a shadow in the corner move or heard a sound.

But being frightened is good for you. Just as laughter is. Fear is that rush that brings out the prey in all of us, from our caveman days.

So go ahead. Pick up that book and buy it, or check it out. Read it. You know that shadow didn't more and the sound was the house settling. Nothing more.

Or is it?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


This kitty is not a black cat, but he looks scary, or at least, is trying to be. All it did was make me laugh.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Book Talks and Signing October 15th and 16th

I'll be doing two talks and book signings this upcoming weekend. First one will be Friday, October 15th, in Virginia Beach at the Princess Anne Library 1444 Nimmo Parkway. You would need to call them and reserve your spot-757-385-2610--it is free. The event is 6:00 PM to 7:30PM and after the hour talk, I will be selling and signing both ghost books plus some copies of Spectre Nightmares and Visitations.

On Saturday, October 16th, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, I will be giving a possible book talk then signing copies of Haunted Richmond, Virginia, Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales and ficiton anthology, Northern Haunts: 100 Terrifying New England Tales (I have a story included in it) at Barnes and Noble 4600 Commonwealth Centre parkway Midlothian, VA.

Friday, October 08, 2010


Today's Four Questions Friday asks about pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns.

1. Do you like to eat pumpkin in anything besides pie?

2. What kind of face do you plan to carve in your jack-o-lantern for this Halloween?

3. Do you use real pumpkin or the ones you can buy in craft stores to carve?

4. Real candle or fake one to light up your jack-o-lantern?

Thursday, October 07, 2010


It's October, and Halloween is at the end of the month. But I love celebrating it all month long. Don't you?

What is it about? How did it get started? There has to be much more about it then just a reason for candy, scary movies and scary books. After all, my ghost books and horror fiction sell all year long.

It all started with a Celtic festival called Samhain ( pronounced sow in or sow an), and even a Christian one called All Soul's Day (November 1st). Though some folklorists claim that it goes farther back to a Roman feast of Pomona, goddess of seeds and fruits, or even to a festival of the dead, Parentalia. The Celts on Samhain built bonfires on All Hallow's Eve, where they burned animals and crops as sacrifices to Celtic dieties.

The Celts believed that the veil between the mortal world and the spirit world was thinnest on this one day of the year. That spirits, demons, monsters, and other frightful beings, could enter more easily. Harmless ghosts of ancestors were made welcome by family, while those who meant harm to mortals were warded off.

No doubt this was how the wearing of masks and costumes came about. Someone wanted to get home, or go to a friend's or relative's. They would wear a costume and mask looking like a dark spirit, so that they would be left alone. Over time this changed to people wearing costumes going from door to door in medieval times, this called souling. And centuries later, it became children going from door-to-door, trick-or-treating for candy.

Trick-Or-Treat did not come about officially until possibly the late 20s through 40s. Before that there was vandalism done by kids. Adults wanted a way to stop this, so they thought up an idea of children being allowed to trick or treat, earning candy for their bags at each home. To the joy of retailers who sell candy, this has become a tradition since the 50s. Americans spend 6.9 million on candy each Halloween, making it the second largest commercial holiday.

Today, it is more than just a kids' day of fun, even adults have joined in. Why not?

Just beware of when you go out that night. After all, the worlds of the living and the dead are blurred this very day. And that partner you're dancing with just might not be human....or alive!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Sunday, October 03, 2010

I'm Giving Introductoy Comments for The Haunting (1963) at VMFA Friday October 8th

I will be introducing The Haunting (1963) film at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Friday Films, October 8, 2010 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Tickets $7 (VMFA members $5) The Haunting


Friday Films: Scary, Funny, or Just Weird? In tribute to the occasion of All Hallows Eve on the last day of this month, perhaps the most cinematic of all holidays, we showcase movies that may give you the creeps or maybe just tickle the funny bones. The Haunting--Turner/MGM, 1963 (not rated, 112 minutes). Starring Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson. Directed by Robert Wise. A team of parapsychologists attempts to unlock the secret of a haunted house. It soon becomes apparent that the house has targeted one member of the group (Julie Harris) who has a childhood history of supernatural experiences. A barrage of strange and terrifying occurrences ensues.

Special guest Virginia haunted house expert and author Pamela K. Kinney will introduce the film and speak afterwards.

Shown in Reynolds Lecture Hall

Friday, October 01, 2010


It's Four Questions Friday and the first day of October, month of Halloween! The questions asks about your reading and viewing taste in scary things.

1. What is the one book that scared you so bad you had nightmares forn months?

2. What scary movie is still hard for you to watch even today?

3. What is the one book you plan to read for Halloween this month?

4. What five scary movies will you be seeing this month (movie theater or DVDs)?