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Top Five Halloween Reads with which to Fend off Clown Attacks

Written by Anthony J. Rapino

Clowns. They're everywhere, and they're eating all of your Halloween candy. A recent poll conducted by the Institute for Circus and Klown-related Events (I.C.K.E.) has found that 83% of United States citizens between the ages of 15 and 65 believe that they will be attacked by a clown this Halloween season.That number is up from a mere 33% last year. Raising even more concerns, the consensus among many high-ranking government officials is that the recent clown sightings will culminate this Halloween night in a mass-orgy of candy theft, silly string detonations, and pie attacks.

In this new and uncertain world of face-painting and rubber noses, we horror-loving readers of the world have at least one weapon in our arsenal that's readily available at a moment's notice. Of course, I speak of books.What follows is a list of my Halloween favorites that are both page-turners and neck-breakers.


The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

This short novel is a perennial favorite. Bradbury's stories simply bleed Halloween. The Halloween Tree is no different.

The characters' adventure is a trippy and surreal exploration of the history of Halloween. Even as the reader comes to terms with each new destination and the underlying thematic meaning, we are quickly transported—via autumn leaves, kites, and brisk winds—to our next stop, each leading us deeper into the historical context.

This short novel is also perfectly designed for clown defense, as the spine is thin yet hefty enough to provide sturdy impact with a clown's throat. A sure show-stopper.


Night in the Lonesome October by Richard Laymon

Although this is not strictly a Halloween novel, there is an undeniably autumnal atmosphere that pervades every page.

After his girlfriend dumps him, Ed takes to "night roaming" along the streets of his college town. It turns out this place has a fair-share of weirdos that lurk around the darkened corridors of alleyways and porches.

It's too bad Ed didn't have a copy of his own Halloween favorite with which to defend himself. Luckily, you will. The paperback copy of Night in the Lonesome October works best as a distraction technique against your red-nosed attacker. It's a well-known fact that clowns are suckers for magic tricks. Show him there's nothing up your sleeves and then pelt the buffoon in the face with the book. Follow up with a swift kick to the nuts, grab your paperback, and head for the nearest safe haven.


Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

We are indeed back to our good friend Ray Bradbury. In my estimation, Something Wicked This Way Comes is an essential read for October. From the title to the last line, autumn and Halloween are proudly represented. In many ways, Bradbury's Green Town inspired my own small town of Moon Hill. As Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show arrives in Green Town, an elusive dark magic comes with it. This magic, the type of young children showcased, October, and Halloween, combine to make the same magic I conjured for Greetings from Moon Hill, my new collection of horror stories.

Just as the autumnal-based characters in this novel face dark foes, and the creatures of my own stories wreak havoc, we have clowns to contend with in the real world. Of course, there's nothing to worry about, because deep in your trick-or-treat bag this Halloween, you'll no doubt have a copy of Something Wicked This Way Comes. As you see polka dots and bright red hair approach, fish the novel out from your bag. As oversized shoes scrape pavement, fling the novel at their feet. Those enormous clown shoes will no doubt catch on the book and cause the clown to somersault head over heels. When you're done laughing, be sure to find shelter.


Trick 'r Treat: Days of the Dead by Michael Dougherty

One of my favorite Halloween movies, and one I watch every year without fail, is Trick 'r Treat. It comes as no surprise then that one of my favorite things to read this time of year is Michael Dougherty's graphic novel, a collection of four separate stories tied together by Halloween and little Sam (the manifestation of Samhain).

Given the relative thinness of this graphic novel, when the blue-haired demon clown attacks you, your best defense will be numerous and unrelenting paper cuts. Slash and slice at his face until it turns from white to red. Go for the eyes if you have the guts. Then, for good measure, throw the saltiest treat you have from your treat bag. A dirty trick for sure, but one has no sympathy for killer clowns.



Any Stories by Edgar Allan Poe

Truth be told, I read Poe all year long. I love his work, and in more than one way his gothic sensibilities have affected my own writing. More so than any other time of year, October simply screams for a few Poe tales."The Cask of Amontillado," "The Tell-Tale Heart," and yes, even his immortal poem "The Raven." Choose a few of your favorites and have at it.

And of course I can't ignore the eBook readers when we discuss clown defense. Perhaps you have the collected works of Poe on your Kindle or iPad. These molded rectangles of plastic are perfect for a few whacks across the face and one last wallop over the head.When you see whipped cream squirt from their ears, you know you have triumphed.

If you follow this list of essential Halloween reads, you can be sure that you'll have a wonderfully creepy Halloween while simultaneously protecting yourself against the red-nosed wanderers. Those silly clowns won't know what hit them.

HorrorTalk would like to thank Anthony for giving us the tools and courage to face these murderous clowns! His latest novel, Greetings from Moon Hill, is out soon, and you can order your own copy by clicking one fo the links below!

Buy From Amazon UK

Anthony J. Rapino is a horror writer and sculptor. He's also a teacher, and somehow that makes more sense than it should. He spends his days among people and things that demand shaping: Words, clay, or minds, it amounts to the same job. Though the minds are a hard sell, you can find his fiction and sculptures online. Discover more at or his Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.


Greetings from Mood Hill, Synopsis:




Greetings from Moon Hill is a collection of darkly bizarre horror stories culled from the deranged mind of Anthony J. Rapino, author of Soundtrack to the End of the World.


Somewhere in Northeastern Pennsylvania, nestled between the forests and foothills of the Poconos, you'll find the forgotten town of Moon Hill. It's a surreal place of arcane magic and natural wonder, where a hint of autumn lingers in the air, the leaves are always turning, and the shadows grow long no matter the time of day.


You might say Moon Hill is special, an eerie pocket of Americana frozen in time, filled with eccentric characters and deathly secrets that transcend reality. And like most small towns, it also has a dark side.


This book is a roadmap to the lost town's terrifying mysteries. Wander through the brush of Moon Hill State Forest and explore its otherworldly flora in "From Your Body They Rise." Bear witness to the interdimensional war raging above Old Road in the novella, "Reality Engineers." Conjure autumnal spirits with Handy Weber in "Halloween on the Hill," sample the peculiar glowing ale brewed by Slow Ewan in "Struck by Golden Lightning," and pay your respects with blood at the old Whistler place in "Just Once More, Little Sister."


As you explore Moon Hill's darkened corners, you will discover a town built upon a foundation of nightmares, proving once again that Anthony J. Rapino is not only a master storyteller, but also a dark architect of the imagination.


Welcome to Moon Hill. Your definition of weird is about to change.



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