Halloween is a State of Mind by Lisa von Biela (GUEST POST)

Welcome to the first guest post of this year's Halloweird Creepfest, featuring Dark Fuse author Lisa von Biela!

Halloween is a State of Mind
Lisa von Biela

I love this time of year, and if you’re reading this post, I imagine you do, too. It’s that Bradbury time of year, all magic and fallen leaves. It’s that time when everything is mysterious, everything is possible. No wonder so many great horror novels are set in the fall (or mention the fall—Bradbury could never resist getting a fallen leaves reference in, even in a novel set in the summer!). It’s a state of mind to take with you and enjoy throughout the year.

It’s the state of mind that lets you imagine the smell of burning leaves. Breathe it in, that wonderful sharp-sweet smell drifting from somewhere off in the distance. You can just see the leaves swirling in the twilight, alight with hungry flames. They’re riding the heat currents among pinpoint orange embers. Watch the embers wink out, each in turn. You can see that, can’t you?

It’s the state of mind that lets your imagination carry you away. Did you just hear a rustling in the dark over there? Is it leaves? Is it a rat—or something else? It’s coming closer, isn’t it? Quick! Glance toward it if you dare. Did you see something lurking just at the edge of your vision? Did something move in the shadow there? What do you think it was—something innocent, harmless?

Or maybe something dangerous, something demonic?

What scares you? Ghosts, gliding beside you on a trail of ether? Skeletons, bones clicking as they follow behind, holding you in the focus of their dark, empty eye sockets? Or something more predatory, something built from fears uniquely yours?

Did something just touch the back of your neck? Was it cold, clammy? Did it singe like fire? Was it sharp or was it soft? Will you spin around to face it—or run like hell, never looking back? (Personally, I’d run like hell.)

That chill in the air, that chill in your spine. That’s what makes this time of year so special—conjure it up whenever you want to, when you need a Halloween fix. Enjoy the season!


Lisa von Biela worked in Information Technology for 25 years, and still claims there is no application she cannot break in testing. She left the field to attend the University of Minnesota Law School, graduating magna cum laude in 2009. She now practices law in Seattle, Washington. One of her legal articles, a research piece published in the Food and Drug Law Journal, was cited in an amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Just after the turn of the century, Lisa began to write short, dark fiction. Her first publication was in The Edge in 2002. She went on to publish a number of short works in various small press venues, including Gothic.net, Twilight Times, Dark Animus, AfterburnSF, and more.

She is the author of THE GENESIS CODE, THE JANUS LEGACY, ASH AND BONE, BLOCKBUSTER (coming January 2015), and SKINSHIFT (coming June 2015).


  1. She's good. That short bit made me want to look around my mostly empty office and wonder.


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