"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Kiki’s October Haunted Places Contest

Burying Point - Salem, MA 

It is funny, but even with Halloween being one of my favorite holidays and the fact that I write paranormal stories year round, those created Haunted Houses set up all over the place this time of year are just not my thing at all!  However, real haunted houses or places, I am not so sure about.  I recently went on a two and a half hour Haunted Footprints tour of Salem, MA one night this summer.  While I didn't encounter any ghosts, my camera says other wise as you can see above.  And, when I was young, there was this abandoned house in the woods behind my own home that I often explored during the day.  By the looks of the place, it could have easily been haunted.  I have often wondered if the house is still standing.  It would be cool to go back there now, and at night.  So, of course it is no surprise that I used it as a setting in one of my stories.

Excerpt from “The Stone Hex” in the Mystic Stones Anthology:

“Having come to the end of the trail she followed, Rachael paused where
the full green of the tree line gave way to an open expanse of land. The remains of a field, long unattended, rolled out before her until the sun-drenched colors of the landscape took on the blackness of shadow. From where she stood it seemed as if the long-abandoned house had burned the earth with its mere presence. The symmetry of the two-story square made it appear intimidating, despite it’s aged wood and cracking paint, as if the house was smirking at her in a domineering stance. Furthermore, the large fallen tree whose weight the house now sustained seemed an elaboration of contorted fingers grappling for possession of the sky itself. Dead twigs of brown held onto its foundation as if paying homage to their master.

Once she left the protection of the trees, the house, black with the soot of
neglect, chilled her even as the sun burned upon her shoulders. Nevertheless,
this was how the house had greeted her for years. As a few clouds rolled in
muting the sun, the light-play of shadows gave the illusion of specters in the

Alone with this house, Rachael always realized how far she had come
from civilization; nonetheless, she still reveled in her solitude. She had left far
behind the small fall of water in the woods just beyond her backyard that always enticed her to sit and the upward curve of the stream that always lured her up the hill. Pulling up onto the creaking porch from the bare ground where steps must have once been, she stepped gingerly.

She squeezed her body into the house beside the ancient heavy door with
rusted hinges and walked into the living room as if she owned the place. The
sun filtering through the filthy windows furthered the anomaly of the eerie feel of an aged room. It never ceased to amaze her how time took its toll. She started up the stairs walking with her hand on the wall never quite trusting the wobbly banister or the middle of the warped stairs. Her hand grazed over an upturned seam of the yellowing wallpaper right where an old red flower bled across it.”

So, in the spirit of Halloween and Haunted Places everywhere, I wanted to hold a contest during the month of Halloween.  All you have to do is send an email to howell [dot] kiki [at] gmail [dot] com with the subject line “Haunted House Contest Entry” before midnight on Oct. 30th, 2010  In the body of the email  you can either (a) share a brief account of a time you visited a real haunted place (regardless of whether you encountered any paranormal activity or not), or (b) tell me whether you like those created haunted houses or not sharing where the scariest one is.  Easy!  If you are reading this on a blog, then share the same information in the comments section for an additional entry – just please include your email address so I can contact you if you win.

Then, Sunday Oct. 31, I will pick the winners.  One winner will be picked randomly just for emailing or commenting on a blog, One winner will be picked out of those who were brave enough to enter those created haunted houses this time of year, and one winner will be chosen for sharing a real haunted place story with me.  I am reserving the right to choose extra winners as well based upon my reactions to the emails and comments. I mean it is Halloween, one just never knows what will happen *laughs evilly*

Winners will be contacted by email and announced on various blogs, etc.

Winners will be able to chose one ebook in PDF format from my available stories.  Eligible book titles are listed below. For book blurbs, reviews, lists of paranormal creatures and erotic content warnings for each please visit my website, www.kikihowell.com

Mystic Stones Anthology
The Witches Beast Novella
The Healing Spell and Other Stories Anthology
Rituals Novella
A Modern Day Witch Hunt Short Novel
A Questionable Hero Novella
The Sorcerer’s Songs Novella

Check out Just Another ParaNormal Halloween Anthology, available now through http://www.mojocastle.com/ It includes my story, "Samhain's Visitor"


  1. I once went to Disneyland in Paris with a few friends and we went into the haunted house ride... but the narration was in French so we did not understand a thing! All we did was laugh everytime we hear "woo hoo hoo" thing. We understand that, that was suppose to be scary, but it just wasn't to us in French :)

    Cherry Mischievous
    cherrymischif-warrior [at] yahoo [dot] com

  2. Re-posted your contest at: http://contests-freebies.blogspot.com/2010/10/win-halloween-prizes-at-authors-by.html

    Twitted: http://twitter.com/#!/cherrymischivus/status/26189270266

    Cherry Mischievous
    cherrymischif-warrior [at] yahoo [dot] com

  3. LOL, Cherry, probably would be the same to watch a horror flick in a language you don't know - although there would still be that music :)

    I thank you both for reposting/retweeting this contest for me.

  4. I have been on the Twilight Zone ride in Disneyland Fl. but it was called The Tower of Terror- which was more of a thriller then scary!

    I do believe that I had once lived at a house in Oklahoma that had more paranormal activity in it then another other house I lived in. Very strange things would occur down there that could not be explained (e.i.- a backhoe popping two tires at the same time along with blowing a hydralic line while trying to clear the land; which later to find out was owned by Native Americans whom must have believed in leaving the house and property as it stood. Also I had seen a glowing figure behind me as I looked through a dark glass window making up a bottle for my son but when I turned around no one was there or even awake at the same time I was! Plus my son would have some awful night terrors while sleeping and all he would do is scream- never happened before we moved to OK, and didn't happen after we moved back to Michigan!) I still believe in things that I can see or happen to me but these items made me definately take another look at the paranormal!

  5. Hi Kiki!
    Never been to an actual haunted house (although I'm still not sure if I would visit even if I knew), but every year for as long as I can remember one of the teachers from our town's elementary school puts together a haunted house and haunted hayride at her farm. What's cool about is that they go through all the trouble of really making it as scary as possible. You start out in this room where everyone takes a seat for a little skit they put together and then 2 people at a time enter this cylinder shaped thing that they spin you in so you don't know which way you'll be coming out of and of course on the other side it's all dark. Then you go through all of these themed rooms that are really scary and people chase you and grab you throughout the maze of this place until finally you come out the other side. Once there though you're not finished until you cross this little bridge and go past a cornfield where the Chainsaw Massacre man can chase you with what sounds and looks like a real chainsaw. Just standing outside listening to everyone scream on the inside was enough one time for me not to want to do it, but in the end I caved (due to peer pressure) and the big plus side to all this is that they accept donations that go to the Make A Wish foundation, so it really gives incentive for people to participate. By the time your done you can either go on the haunted hayride through a cornfield where who knows what is out there or you go to the bonfire they have set up for cocoa and other treats.


  6. Congrats to all my Haunted Place winners!

    D L Jackson for sharing her haunted mine story; Joy for loving the created haunted houses (she shared a true paranormal story as well); Laura Kipp for sharing duel stories both of created houses and paranormal activity in a house she lived in; and Yadira A. is my random winner although she shared a cool created place story that raised money for a worthy cause. All winners have been contacted by email.


In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.