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An October State of Mind

Updated: Dec 6, 2023

October brings to mind thoughts of All Hallows' Eve...

Joie Lesin, author of speculative fiction, "An October State of Mind"

Of leaves changing from green to burnt ocher and flame red, of carving pumpkins, caramel apples and trick or treating from door to door. For me especially, I automatically think of the song Bela Lugosi's Dead by the post-punk band Bauhaus, of cream cheese frosted pumpkin spice bars and The Halloween Tree* —an animated film I used to watch with my now young adult offspring when they were but wee children.

Halloween also conjures up the haunting images of apparitions and the spine-tingling whispers of the unseen.

It is said that on this night the boundary between this and the spirit world is at its thinnest—enabling the spirits of the dead to walk the earth.

For characters like Elizabeth from The Passenger, the thought of seeing ghosts is a constant thing. The threat of a visit from a disquieted spirit frightens her. The gift—or curse—of being able to see and communicate with them as if lifelike before her was something she fought hard to shut out as a child...

To commemorate this time of year, here's a gift. Or is it a treat? At any rate, here's a spirit-filled excerpt below.


Visits in the Night

Elizabeth sat bolt upright in bed. She pulled the knitted blanket up around her shoulders to fend off the cold hovering around her. "Is someone there?" she whispered. The hairs on her arm stood on end. "I—I know there is—but I can't help you."

She glanced around the room, letting her eyes adjust to the darkness. Nothing appeared.

Throwing back the covers, she swung her feet to the floor. Shivers climbed her spine as the softest touch brushed across her shoulder. She stood up and fumbled at the foot of the bed. Her fingers found the warm flannel fabric of her robe. She snatched it up and threw it over her shoulders.

"Paolo, if that's you, it's time we talked." She felt a tremor in her voice. Paolo hadn't scared her, not since the first night she found him sitting on her bed at home. She'd known from the start he would not bring her harm—that he was her friend. This, whatever it was, scared her down to her core.

"Paolo?" She edged toward the door. "I don't like not seeing you." The air grew arid, and electricity sizzled through her. Visits like these terrified her as a child. Why couldn't they all be like Paolo?

"Rrrruuu." The unearthly sound echoed around her.

"Oh, God," she moaned with a threaded voice. "Leave me alone."


What's Coming Next?

Watch for another ghostly excerpt from The Passenger later this month!

I also plan to talk more about the origins of Halloween and The Halloween Tree* in which a group of friends travel through space and time to learn the origins of Halloween and save their friend.

*Ray Bradbury wrote both the book and animated film.

Corgis and Pumpkins

Until next time... what does October bring to mind for you?

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About the Author

Joie Lesin, Author of Speculative Fiction

Minnesota-based author, Joie Lesin is a life-long fiction writer and the author of The Passenger. She has long been fascinated by anything otherworldly including ghosts. She loves to write a good ghost story—especially when it includes a touch of romance.

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