For a magazine dedicated to stories about social justice, we’ve published quite a few yarns about a day that’s become synonymous with free candy. And yet, our Halloween offerings don’t include just the obvious stuff like stories about exorcists, clairvoyants, and cults: We’ve also published deep dives into the torture porn genre, a look at how a trusty dog can help ease a writer’s crippling, anxiety-induced paranoia, and a father’s reflections on trick-or-treating with his special-needs son.
Which gets to the deeper nature of our magazine’s thing for Halloween: Underneath all the scares, the day marks a fitting occasion to tell stories about human beings learning to deal with the difficulties life throws their way—a narrative that falls squarely in our wheelhouse.
So: Take a break from the Friday the 13th marathons and try these stories. I promise they’ll leave you in a state of deeper reflection—and, in some cases, yes, fear—than even the deftest movie about a machete-wielding man-creature might.
- “Conviction of Things Not Seen: The Uniquely American Myth of Satanic Cults,” by Dan Shewan
- “My Demons and My Dog and This Anxiety and That Noise,” by Hanif Abdurraqib
- “The Meaning of ‘Boo’,” by Tom Jacobs
- “Digital Darkness: When We Can’t Turn Away From Death Online,” by Alana Massey
- “My Special-Needs Son Hates Halloween,” by David M. Perry
- “Torture Porn, or Feminist Critique?” by Katie Kilkenny
- “The Halloween Industrial Complex,” by Kyle Chayka
- “The Psychology of a Horror Movie Fan,” by Katie Heaney
Happy Halloween, everyone.