While Johnny Halloween: Takes of the Dark Season may not be the best Halloween anthology out there, if you’re looking for a short collection of not too many stories that are gripping and will get you in the mood for Halloween, then look no further than Johnny Halloween. Norman Partridge is best known for his Bram Stoker Award Winning book Dark Harvest.
Johnny Halloween features seven stories on the subject of Halloween: some stories are ordinary ones of fun and trickery, others are dark and twisted, and others make you stop and think about not just the meaning behind Halloween, but why we do the things we do on October 31st. “Three Doors” is a play on the idea of a djinn giving you three wishes, or the better known horror story “The Monkey’s Paw.” In it a man discovers he has a special power: he is somehow granted three knocks on three doors, and whoever opens the door will be under his power, to do his bidding. And now he has a plan to get the woman of his dreams back. The most poignant and moving tale of the collection has little to do with Halloween at all. “The Man Who Killed Halloween” is the infamous story of the Zodiac Killer, during the fall of 1969, who took lives mercilessly and with no clear intention. The reason for his killings remains a mystery to this day.
Originally written on November 16, 2010 ©Alex C. Telander.