Issue 58 – Samhain Scares

radiant Fair Folk
ride forth from gates in hillside
buried with the dead
yesterday’s forgotten gods
returning for just one night

By Aeronwy Dafies


The Leprechaun
By Mark Hudson

Deep in the heart of Dublin,
is some news that is troubling.
Every year at all hallows eve,
a leprechaun comes to deceive.

As kids go out to collect candy,
the leprechaun drinks his brandy.
He loves to create a little scaring,
his masquerade is overbearing.

A short little creepy freak,
green as the rivers that leak.
St. Patrick might’ve driven out the snakes,
but the leprechaun is there for souls to take.

He waits by the graveyard, singing a tune,
haunting like Celts, and ancient ruins.
As the kids walk by, on a dare,
the leprechaun is there to scare.

The kids have heard the legend before,
but they dismiss it as folklore.
But there is the leprechaun, bags of gold,
promising the kids they’ll never grow old.

He looks at them with his green eyes,
he almost seems to hypnotize.
But the kids make a great getaway,
and the leprechaun begins to fade away.

He’ll be haunting the graveyard next year,
this leprechaun damned to drink beer!

By DS Davidson

Celtic New Year
Echoed in modern lore
Night of the living and the dead
Spirits from days of yore
Slip through from the other-side
Through half-open spirit door


By Cardinal Cox

Just one ripened apple less in the tub
Than there are blindfolded competitors
And in some of the fruit burrow a grub
Tonight’s the night the sidhe open their doors

There is one whose face is in the water
Who will never grab a prize with their mouth
Now no longer someone’s son or daughter
A dread barge waits on waves to take them south

They failed the contest of the Samhain bob
So now they go to the dark harvest isle
In the punt’s one with a terrible job
Out amongst the fen by many a mile

Autumn is going – winter is ahead
One less mouth that will never now be fed

An Old-Fashioned Hallowe’en
By DJ Tyrer

Days of apple-bobbing
Spouse-revealing rituals
And, believing Jack-o’-lanterns
Were for more than cheap decoration.
Simple sheet ghosts
Papier-mâché masks:
No plastic or other tat;
Possibility that the dead
Were somewhere close by.
An old fashioned Hallowe’en…

Originally published in Siren’s Call


Issue 50 – Ghosts in Space

ghosts of dead stars shine
illuminating way home
planet long since dead

By DJ Tyrer

Coming Through on Channel Two
By Cardinal Cox

Voskhod Three – monitored at Kettering
Grammar School – heating failed
cosmonaut froze – N1 rocket
that should have taken
it round the Moon instead
dropped the capsule into
L4 orbit – where energetic
particles in the gravity well
flood the spacesuit – find
fresh home in deceased’s
nervous system – becomes
a super conductor – re–awakening
some spectral functions
broadcasting numbers – coming
through on channel two


Cal Rogers and the ghost plane in space
By Mark Hudson

Cal Rogers was one of the first American pilots,
after the Wright Brothers created flying.
Flying from New York over California islets,
in the process of flying he began dying.

On his first flight, a race for a money prize,
he crashed into a chicken, coop, busted his skull.
The following day crows attacked him in the skies,
the next day lightning downed him with gravity pull.

In Arizona, Rodgers crashed and broke a leg.
He flew, an exploded cylinder put shrapnel in his face.
Never to give up, his fans would always brag,
but his final destination would be space.

He was flying to the Pacific Shore,
he chased seagulls when one got stuck in the rudder.
With a neck broken, he was no more,
there were no final words to mutter.

But now his ghost plane rides through space,
Captain Cal Buck Rogers is his nickname.
He fights Martian ships like an ace,
sending the Martian shapes down in flames.

American hero, resurrected from the dead,
his ghost plane flies through the universe.
Outer space is his final homestead,
sending the Martians home in a hearse.

Forever he is a planet protector,
with particles of atomic dust destroying foes.
He haunts space as a permanent spectre,
a ghost plane wandering in space to and fro.


Distress Call
By K. A. Williams

“Captain,” said Aldis. “There’s something out here besides us.”

“Can you be more specific?”

“Negative. It’s up ahead and broadcasting a distress call.”

“Play me the message.”

“We’re only getting audio. It’s alien, and the computer is translating it. Okay, it’s ready now, I’ll play it.”

“Please help us. Radiation leak. Can’t fix. Need to leave ship, but only shuttle damaged. Please help…”

“Message keeps repeating,” Aldis said.

“Okay, let’s help, we’ve got plenty of room on this freighter for passengers. Let’s gear up in radiation suits and–”

“Captain, I’ve analyzed the message further. It’s over two hundred years old.”


Starship Spectre
By Harris Coverley

ghost in the machine —
pity it’s navigation
stuck between the stars
going where the ghost wants to —
a dead star – captain’s vengeance

Light Years Ago
By David Edwards

Are not
the stars we see
really nothing but ghosts?
A visible remnant of what used
to be?

Issue 32 – Spectral


They appear to the living
Unfinished business

By K. A. Williams

The wind, empty buildings, and
the only ghosts in ghost towns.

By David Edwards


Vague Apparition
By Harris Coverley

I glimpsed at the clock on the mantelpiece
And saw a human face within it

Not in the clock’s analogue circle itself
But reflected in its glass cover

It was the face of an old man —
Haggard, ashen, drowning, sad

I turned to the window behind me
In an attempt to see its rightful owner

There was nobody there
Just my own reflection


Afraid of the Dark
By DJ Tyrer

Shadows slowly creeping
Up the stair, along the hall
Whilst you are sleeping
Shadows creep up the wall
Fitfully your eyes open wide
Something disturbed your sleep
From the dark nowhere to hide
Pray God your soul to keep
Admit the truth, if you will:
Do you fear the darkling night
When the very air is still
And there is no comforting light?
If you are afraid of the dark, my son
Then quake, for the night has just begun

Originally published in The Horror Zine.


Goodbye Ghosts
By K. A. Williams

My least favourite commercial came on TV during one of my favourite shows.

The man on the screen said, “Are pesky ghosts bothering the mice, squirrels, and bats in your attic? Then call our exterminators – ‘Goodbye Ghosts’. We’ll bring out our electromagnetic cage and get rid of them for you. The ghosts, that is. You’ll have to call different exterminators to get rid of any other pests you might have in your attic.”

Dan turned to his wife, Laura, and said, “We should call.”

“Do you really think so?”

“We’ve already tried our Ouija board and a seance to see what the ghost wanted and that didn’t work.”

I had managed to appear just once. The only times I howled were when they changed channels during a show I wanted to watch. I kept trying to operate the remote myself but my invisible fingers just passed through the buttons.

When they got out their Ouija board, I’d been unable to move the planchette at all.

The medium they hired didn’t even try to contact me. All she did was roll her eyes and pretend to go into a trance. What a phoney. She just wanted the money.


The ‘Goodbye Ghosts’ exterminator came, set a cage down in the attic, and plugged its cord into an electrical outlet. The wires that were wrapped around it sparked, and I hoped the cage didn’t catch the attic on fire. Then we’d all be homeless.


A week later, Dan called ‘Goodbye Ghosts’ and got a disconnected number.

After that, he unplugged the cage and threw it into the trash. Everything in the attic was grateful.


Dan and Laura were now watching the reality show ‘Swimming With Squids’, after channel surfing. They had gone right past the TV show I wanted to watch, ‘Chet Morris, Private Eye’.

This time I tried to switch channels with my mind instead of my invisible fingers. It worked!

“Why did you change the channel?” Dan asked. “They were introducing the squids.”

“I didn’t change it. I thought you did.”

They both looked at the remote that sat between them on the sofa.

“Maybe the ghost prefers this show,” Dan said.

Laura picked up the remote. “Or this is defective.”

Dan rummaged through a drawer in the table that sat next to the sofa, and pulled out a universal remote. “Let’s try this one.”

He set the channel to the squids and I changed it again.

“I told you,” Dan said. “Think about it. The only time the ghost howls is while we’re watching TV.”

“Right, just after we’ve changed channels from a cop program to a reality show.”

“I wish we’d known before we spent all that money on a seance, and the electromagnetic cage.”

“Then there’s no need to try and get rid of our ghost anymore?” asked Laura.

“Not if you don’t mind letting our ghost pick the TV shows.”

“Maybe we can compromise.”

I could do that. After all, it was their house now.

The End


The Breton Boat
By Aeronwy Dafies

I was strolling on the beach after a light dinner at the guesthouse where I was staying. The Breton coast is beautiful, especially when bathed in moonlight.

Suddenly, a mist began to rapidly roll in from the sea. I felt a shiver run through me, fearful that, not knowing the locale well, I should become lost.

I began slowly to retrace my steps.

Ahead of me, I could hear the sound of oars in the sea, a slow rhythmic splashing.

Ho!” I called, shouting in French, not knowing Breton. “I’m lost. Can you help me?”

You are indeed,” came back a heavy, cold voice out of the mist, in English, to my surprise.

Ah, you speak English.”

I speak all tongues,” came the reply. I let it pass.

I could, now, hear the sound of other people moving about on the beach not far from me and, yet, I could see no-one for the mist.

I’m lost,” I repeated. “Could you help me return to Ste Marc’h?”

No,” came the reply. “I have a job to do.”

I could hear the people boarding the boat. For no apparent reason, unless it were the chill air, I shivered again.

What is your job? Ferryman? But, where can you be taking these people with just oars?”

I am the Ferryman of the Dead. I carry the souls of the departed away, in this, my boat. Some call me Death, others Charon. Whatever my name, I come for everyone in the end.”

Then, the oars began to splash again, slowly receding into the mist as I stood there, shivering upon the shore. As quickly as it had come, the mist departed and, by the light of the moon, I could see that I wasn’t more than a hundred yards from where I was staying. Had I dreamt I’d met Death? Had I really encountered the departure of the deceased? I didn’t know.

With another shiver, I quickly made my way back to the guesthouse and a stiff drink!


Originally published in Awen and available in her booklet of spooky tales, The Haunted Tree.


Haunting high meadows
the ghosts of caterpillars
silent in their fright

By David Edwards

Twittering Spirits
By Cardinal Cox

Bots on social media digest posts
Checking what you liked all those years alive
Bequeathing noisy electronic ghosts
So to seem some small part of you survives

Sell them to you while you are still breathing
To echo you in the ever after
Supposed to comfort those who are grieving
But you will never hear their weak laughter

As it repeats old jokes – terrible puns
Comments on post-mortal posts of others
Signs petitions for restrictions on guns
Blows cold kisses to all those dead lovers

Come – as Odysseus – pour libations
Consult the algorithm creations

By Harris Coverley

across the graveyard
the ring of a coffin bell
it will wake the dead