A Halloween Plea from the Undead

Jeremiah Goulka

It’s hard being Undead.

For generations past, our unlifestyle was pleasant and unknown. It was lonesome, true. But we found each other, and we forged communities based upon darkness and a mutual agreement to refrain from eating each other. Even after the infernal electric light bulb polluted the dark, we were able to continue our nocturnal proclivities unmolested. We transformed at will into bats or wolves or we rose from cemeteries, and we thrived during our nights of hunting and gathering and playing bridge.

But now … now … never in all my years upon this Earth have the Undead known such woe. Nay, not even in the years of torches and pitchforks.

How nostalgic we have grown for the good old nights! Oh, how we took them for granted, all those fine evenings when we used to set out for a night’s hunting, never once having to worry about being thronged by teenage girls begging you to bite them.

I fear that I am to blame. It was so foolish of me to hand the letters over to Mr. Stoker. He promised—he swore an oath!—that when he edited them and published a volume in both of our names, it would be a cautionary tale. We Undead had become greedy, terribly greedy, and our numbers were swelling dangerously. Having a conscience, as some of us do, I believed that if more of our prey were made aware of the threat we posed, they would take precautions…

Damn! Damn! How I wish I could reverse time! Should I have foreseen that old Stoker would instead turn the little book into a rape fantasy or, worse, that young girls would actually find such a thing appealing? I had been Undead too long to remember how Sunlighter insanity works. (That is one thing I do not miss.)

Girls, I regret to inform you that we do not wish to marry you.

And now in this age of “Media” and “Technology,” with films and television and the “World Wide Web,” it no longer appears that the mere sight of the Undead can be enough to puncture the living heart with fear unto death. Nay, a number of Sunlighters now come prepared with stakes, crosses, or silver bullets—damn those irritating handbooks!—and the rest simply point their telephones at us.

No, we cannot get you into a movie.

Miserable as it is to endure all this pain, there comes a night every single year when it multiplies into paroxysms of horror. Halloween, how we despise you!

First, the lack of respect is utterly shocking. So many Sunlighters profess to adore us, yet look at your costumes. I ask whether a single one of you who enjoys “dressing up” as a vampire, werewolf, or zombie has ever expended a single second of your short lives attempting to make our acquaintance? Have you ever taken tea with us, or inquired about our unlives, our cultural customs and traditional dress, or the bodily and emotional toll of nightly transformations into bats or wolves? And then you have the cheek to question our “costumes”?

Second, while some might argue that we should not complain about a night of incredibly easy hunting, it is an ease that leaves us feeling hollow inside. And also ill.

All those millions of sugary “bite-sized treats” you gorge? They wreak havoc on our blood sugar levels. Yes, thanks to your diet, we the Undead are now facing an epidemic of diabetes and obesity. You are what you eat—and so are we.

The time has come for you to learn that we the Undead now face a crisis, and it is a crisis you the Living share with us. To receive the nutrition we ingested from hunting just one Sunlighter a mere generation ago, we must now hunt three. Would it really kill you to eat something organic or local once in a while? Or to cut back on the red meat and French fries? No—but we might if you don’t.

Accordingly, for our protection as well as yours, the Coalition of Concerned Undead has issued the following statement to the media:

“Halloween is a matter of life and unlife. Please stay home.”


Jeremiah Goulka is a writer based in Washington, DC.  Before he couldn’t stand it any longer, he worked at two federal agencies and a prominent think-tank.  You can follow him on Twitter @jeremiahgoulka or contact him through his website www.jeremiahgoulka.com.

HALLOWEEN | Sexy Writer

hippieI have stopped dressing up for Halloween. Maybe this is because I have dreadlocks now, and so I feel like I have to dress as a hippie. And that’s just boring. (Although I dressed as a hippie for Halloween when I was in seventh grade). I refuse to dress as a hippie now, even though I have the dreadlocks for the costume, because if I were to go shopping for a hippie Halloween costume, this is what I wound find:

sexy hippie

That’s right. A sexy hippie. Maybe this isn’t surprising. Maybe this is why I don’t want to dress up for Halloween. Because dumb society says if I don’t combine the word sexy with whatever noun I want to dress up as, then I would be pissing on the holiday spirit.



When did this happen? When did our culture decide that Halloween was just a reason to dress up as a representation of something in as little clothing as possible?



When I was a kid, my mother came up with some killer costumes. Mime, Tooth Fairy, Pinnochio, Ghostbusters.

mimes tooth fairy pinoch ghostbusters


But wait. If I were to dress as any of these nouns now, I would be expected to look like this:


sexy mime sexy tooth fairysexy pinnochiosexy ghostbusters


Thank you, no.

And what if I decided to be a dead basketball player again? I mean, really, which do you think looks better: 

dead basketball player                 OR           sexy baskeball player


(Maybe I don’t want you to answer that).

And I think back to when I was a kid. To when it was so fun that one Halloween when I was with my neighborhood buddies—none of whose names I can remember now—and we dressed as Snow White (okay, that’s my sister, I remember her), I was Dumbo, some little dude or perhaps chick was a pumpkin, and some scary looking chick who I think lived next door to me and who I punched one day when she made me trip on my roller skates was dressed as a witch.

all of us


If we were to dress as these things now, our cute little group picture would look like this: 

sexy all of us

Thank you, no.

Also, I’m a nerd.

The only thing I want to dress up as is a writer.


Seriously, Google search “sexy writer costume.” Nothing.

And then I think about it. What, exactly, would a sexy writer costume be?

A sexy Emily Dickinson?


emily dickinson costume


Or maybe I could be like that dude on reddit who dressed as Edgar Allan Ho. 

edgar allan ho


Thinking about being a sexy writer is perhaps falling into a line of thinking saved for the mentally insane. And I’ve done that before. Not as a Halloween costume, but as an actual mental patient. 

mental patient

I mean really, how could you dress up like a sexy mental patient for Halloween?




Why the hell does society want to sexy-fy being a mental patient? Is that really necessary? It’d be like trying to be a sexy inmate.

That’s just tacky. 

sexy inmate


At least we aren’t sexy-fying everything. I mean, it’s not like I could dress up like my eating disorder

sexy anorexia


Fine. I’m not going to dress up like any noun this year. I’m just going to be my sexy, writer self. 

sexy writer office



Chelsey Clammer is a writer who writes.



The Omen by Richard Donner (1976)

About The Omen

In Richard Donner’s The Omen, mysterious deaths surround an American ambassador. Could the child that he is raising actually be the Antichrist? The Devil’s own son? 

Robert and Katherine Thorn seem to have it all. They are happily married and he is the US Ambassador to Great Britain, but they want nothing more than to have children. When Katharine has a stillborn child, Robert is approached by a priest at the hospital who suggests that they take a healthy newborn whose mother has just died in childbirth. Without telling his wife he agrees. After relocating to London, strange events — and the ominous warnings of a priest — lead him to believe that the child he took from that Italian hospital is evil incarnate. (IMDb)

About Richard Donner

Richard Donner (born Richard Donald Schwartzberg; April 24, 1930) is an American film director and producer. After directing the horror film The Omen (1976), Donner became famous for directing the first modern superhero film, Superman (1978), starring Christopher Reeve.

Donner later went on to direct such films such as The Goonies (1985) and Scrooged (1988), while reinvigorating the buddy film genre with Lethal Weapon (1987) and its sequels. He and his wife, producer Lauren Shuler Donner, own the production company The Donner’s Company, which is most well known for producing the X-Men film series. In 2000, he received the President’s Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. Film historian Michael Barson writes that Donner is “one of Hollywood’s most reliable makers of action blockbusters”. (Wiki)