Gallows Humour

by Joel R. Hunt


Gonzo the Clown trembled on the gallows. The rope rubbed his throat raw, tighter with every nervous gulp.

“You know the law,” declared Judge Jolly, “If you make me laugh, you go free.”

“Right…” Gonzo squeaked, “Erm… what do you call-”


“What do you call a mime in a blender?”

“I don’t know,” said Jolly, “What do you call a mime in a blender?”

Gonzo opened his mouth as the trapdoor fell away beneath him. He rasped and spat, but no words escaped.

Jolly stroked his chin.

“Not a bad set-up,” he said, “but the punchline was left hanging…”


Joel R. Hunt

Joel R Hunt is a writer from the UK who dabbles in the darker aspects of life, particularly through horror, science fiction and the supernatural.
He has been published in a number of short story anthologies and hopes to have released his own anthology later this year.



by Shawn M. Klimek


“It’s a parasitic twin,” Patty said. “It’s ugly, I know. Are you disgusted?”


“You hate it, don’t you!” she bawled.

“No, I’m just surprised.”

“I just wanted there to be no secrets before our wedding,” she said, wiping a tear. “Do you still love me?”

I smiled and squeezed her hand. “What do you think, Nevermore.

“Oh, John.” She kissed me passionately, then suddenly pulled away to study my face.

“Wait. Do you mean you’ve never loved me more? Or that you will love me nevermore?”

“Oh, neither,” I said, lifting my shirt and pointing, “I was asking Nevermore.”


Shawn M. Klimek

Shawn M. Klimek is the middle child of seven creative siblings, a globetrotting, U.S. military spouse, award-winning author and poet, and butler to a Maltese.  More than one hundred of his works have been published since 2018, including stories in BHP anthologies, Deep Space, Eerie Christmas, and a full five stories in each of the first six books in the internationally best-selling, Dark Drabbles series.

Find his books on Amazon: Shawn Klimek; a complete index of his publications (plus bonus reads) at A Jot In The Dark; and follow his ongoing writing adventures at


Dinner Plans

by Raven Corinn Carluk


“What should we eat?”

“Dunno. What ain’t we ‘ad lately?”


“Jus’ be ‘ungry in an ‘our.”


“Too spicy. ‘ad a bubble in me guts fer a week after last one.”

“New gyro shop opened around the corner.”

“Ya know, I don’ even wanna go out.”

“‘I don’ wanna go out. I don’ wanna hunt fer food.'”

“Oy. Don’t be sucha bitch.”

“Well it’s not like they have Uber Eats for vampires, do they?”

“…huh. They don’.”

“You have your thinking look on again.”

“Why don’ we just eat a delivery driver?”

“Oh, I do love a surprise meal.”


Raven Corinn Carluk

Raven Corinn Carluk writes dark fantasy, paranormal romance, and anything else that catches her interest. She’s authored five novels, and has appeared in various short story and microfiction anthologies. Keep up-to-date with her and enjoy many free reads on RavenCorinnCarluk.Blogspot.Com


The Hunger

by Stephanie Scissom


Elspbeth peered through her keyhole. Four masked faces peered back.


“C’mon, old lady,” one said. “Give us some apples.”

Elspbeth loved Halloween, had gifted her candy apples to the neighborhood for fifty years now. She unlocked the door.

They pushed past her, entering her home.

“Check this out!” one of them said, grabbing an expensive figurine from its display.

Elspbeth merely smiled. Times and technology changed, but kids didn’t. These were much like Hansel and Gretel. Once you figured out what they were hungry for, it was easy.

Elspbeth was hungry, too. She’d waited on this night all year.


Stephanie Scissom

Stephanie Scissom hails from Tennessee, where she works nights in a tire factory and plots murder by day.  She’s published in romantic suspense and horror, loves Halloween, and attends a ridiculous number of concerts. She’s currently working on an apocalyptic trilogy, when she’s not cheating on it with flash fiction.


Spell for the Dead

by Belinda Brady


“The Spell for the Dead only works on Halloween, when spirits are earthbound.” My friend Judith states sitting beside me, clutching a photo of her deceased dog, Bronx.  This spell supposedly raised the dead and Judith insisted I help cast it.

“We’ll soon know,” I reply as we hold hands and chant the incantation.

A growl interrupts us as a disheveled Bronx enters the room.

“Bro—” I stammer as the dog lunges at my throat, all teeth and claws, knocking me over in a pool of blood.

Judith leans over me, a smirk on her face. “Looks like it works.”


Belinda Brady

Belinda is passionate about stories and after years of procrastinating, has finally turned her hand to writing them, with a preference for supernatural and thriller themes; her love of both often competing for her attention. She has had several stories published in a variety of publications, both online and in anthologies. Belinda lives in Australia with her family and has been known to enjoy the company of cats over people.


Mrs Jack’s Hallowe’en Surprise!

by Donna Cuttress


The knife pierced the toughened skin with a pop!  Beneath, the flesh sweats and oozes. It sticks to my fingers which I wipe on my apron. I desperately try to be neat, but everything is slimy. My hands shake as I hack, slice and scoop.

The sloppy innards get dropped into the bin and I say goodbye. I proudly place it on the doorstep and light the candle within it. The eye-holes illuminate. His grin beams, light bleeds onto the ground. I’m satisfied with my work and vow, next year…I’ll use a pumpkin instead of Mr Jack’s head.


Donna Cuttress

Donna Cuttress is from Liverpool, U.K. and has had work published by ‘Crooked Cat’,’FoF Publishing’ ‘Firbolg Publishing’, and ‘Flame Tree Publishing’. Her work for ‘The Patchwork Raven’s’ ‘Twelve Days’ is available as an artbook. She has been included in Latchkey Tales and previous ezines by Sirens Call. @Hederah


Kindness Altered

by C.L. Steele


“Not a flat!”

Molly worried about getting home, getting the kids in their costumes. Freezing rain pelted as she flagged a trucker.

“Thanks for stopping. Nice werewolf costume.”

He smirked. Eyes flashed. Screams howled.

Later, his semi exited the road’s shoulder. An SUV stopped, letting the truck in. Dad turned, dialling his wife to say they’d be late, as the backseat of kids screamed and pointed at a woman draped across the bonnet of a car. Her flesh-torn face dangled above a flat tire.

“Settle. It’s a Halloween stunt,” Dad cried. Then, he heard his wife’s wedding song ring-tone—outside.


C.L. Steele

C.L. Steele creates new worlds and mystical places filled with complex characters on exciting journeys. Her typical genre is Sci-Fi/Fantasy, where she concentrates on writing in the sub-genres of Magical Realism, Near Future, and Futuristic worlds. Published in numerous anthologies, she looks forward to the release of her debut novel. In the interim, she works on other novels and continues to write short stories, novellas, and poetry. Voted one of five winning international authors in ICWG Magazine Contest through Clarendon Publishing House, Steele is also a featured author in Genre: Urban Arts Literary Journal. Follow her growing career at


The Root of All Evil

by Andrew Anderson


All the village kids knew which houses were safe to approach.

Except for Cody—new to the area, he had not made friends yet, so did not know that there were some differences between his American and the village’s traditions on Hallowe’en.

They would have told him never to trick-or-treat the house with the turnip—instead of a pumpkin—on the doorstep; to beware of anyone with wrists strong enough and a knife sharp enough to carve a face into one.

And to accept the soul-cake in lieu of candy, instead of throwing it away.

Cody was never seen again.


Andrew Anderson

Andrew Anderson is a full-time civil servant from Bathgate, Scotland, writing fiction in his limited spare time. His work can be found on FlashFlood and Re:Written, and published in six Black Hare Press anthologies.

Twitter: @soorploom



by Jasmine Arch


The pumpkin’s toothy grin had grown a bit ragged. Anna lifted his lid and replaced the burnt-out candle with a new one.

“Let’s get you a facelift, buddy.” Chuckling at her own joke, she patted the Jack-o-lantern’s lid.

“Your turn next.” The hollow, reedy voice came from the pumpkin. The carved mouth moved, carefully forming each word. “It won’t hurt. Much.”

Anna yelped and stormed inside. Pulse pounding, she slammed the door.

“Damnit, Dave! When I said ‘Bring it to life,’ I meant using your carving skills, not a damn spell.”

She needed a new roommate.  No sorcerers this time.


Jasmine Arch

Jasmine Arch lives in a rural corner of Belgium with two horses, four dogs, and a husband who knows better than to distract her when she’s writing. Her love of the written word in all its forms and incarnations is only superceded by her deep abiding passion for caffein.

Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Apocalypse, Illumen Magazine, ParABnnormal Magazine, and Scifaikuest. Connect with her at or via Twitter @jaye_arch.



by G. Allen Wilbanks


Morty loved decorating for Halloween. He was especially proud of the graveyard display he erected on his front lawn every year.

Marble headstones, skeletons, body parts and decomposing corpses covered his yard every October 31st. Kids and adults came from miles around to admire his handywork and ask him how he made his props appear so realistic. Morty would smile and accept the praise, but he never answered their questions. It was best to keep them guessing.

He didn’t want anyone else to make a display that might rival his own.

He also did not want to go to prison.


G. Allen Wilbanks

G. Allen Wilbanks is a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and has published over 80 short stories in various magazines and anthologies, including publications with Black Hare Press. He is the author of two, story collections, and the novel, When Darkness Comes. For more information, please visit