Jeff Belanger, author, researcher, TV host and paranormal expert, returns to the library! He will take the audience on a world- and local-tour of the haunts, evidence, and legends that have help shape who we are. He’ll show audio and video evidence, and give the history and haunts of some active locations.
Jeff's annual Halloween-season program changes every year. For over 15 years Jeff Belanger has been exploring the unexplained. He seeks out ghosts, monsters, and legends all over the world and in your backyard. His talk presents highlights from his own adventures, a look at the investigation process, and compelling audio and visual paranormal evidence. Not just ghost stories, Belanger will delve into the reasons behind the phenomena.
Jeff Belanger's Website!
Presented by River City Writers.
Join us as we celebrate books this Halloween season! 33 Authors and Artists gather to present panel discussions on New England horror traditions, ghost stories, why scary stories are good for kids, and much more! Authors will be selling and autographing their books. This event is sponsored by River City Writers and Jabberwocky Bookshop!
This event is FREE and open to the public!!!
Our lineup of participating authors, artists, and filmmakers includes:
James A. Moore
Thomas E. Sniegoski
Craig Shaw Gardner
Toni LP Kelner
John M. McIlveen
Please note that most of our authors are planning to be set up for the entire event. The following authors will be signing for a limited time, as noted below:
Christopher Irvin (12-1)
Douglas Wynne (10-1)
Errick Nunnally (1-3)
John Langan (12-1)
Josh Malerman (1-3)
Kat Howard (1- 3)
Nicholas Kaufmann (10-12)
Paul Tremblay (1-3)
Rio Youers (1-3)
Also, please note that (obviously) authors signing all day will be absent from their tables during their scheduled panels.
The preliminary schedule of panels at this year's Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival is right here! Don't miss a moment!
10 – 11 a.m.
A Haunted Legacy: 100 Years of Shirley Jackson
Paul Tremblay, John Langan (M), Toni L.P. Kelner, Leigh Perry, Jack Haringa
In her brief life, Shirley Jackson (1916-1965) produced some of the most enduring horror novels and short stories of the 20th century, including “The Lottery,” “The Summer People,” We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and The Haunting of Hill House. Her work has recently been reissued and re-examined, there is a literary award named for her, and writers from Joyce Carol Oates to Stephen King have spoken of her influence. What makes her work so enduring and so powerful? How does she still influence the writers of today?
11 – 12 a.m.
Fear in Four Colors: Horror Comics from Past to Present
Jason Ciaramella, Christopher Irvin (M), Brian Keene, Amber Fallon, Glenn Chadbourne
Since comic books first hit the stands in the 1930s, horror tropes have been an essential part of the art form, providing villains and settings for the stories that filled those pulp pages. In the 1950s, the success of horror comics nearly brought the industry down, but the creepy, eerie, and monstrous made a return just a decade or so later and its been around ever since. How does the medium lend itself to the horror genre? What are the essential horror comics to read, from both the past and today? Readers and creators discuss how the oldest type of story fits with the original American art form.
12 – 1 p.m.
21st Century Frights: New Millennium Monsters in Fiction and Film
Daniel Braum, Izzy Lee, Josh Malerman, Rio Youers, Bracken MacLeod (M)
Each century brings us its new monsters and frights, either inventing them from whole cloth or refining folklore into literary and cinematic forms. What new creatures stalk the horror landscape in these media, and what might they say about our world and ourselves? Panelists will discuss both their own work and that of their contemporaries.
1 – 2 p.m.
How to Slay a Demon: Lessons from Growing Up with Horror
Thomas E. Sniegoski, Gardner Goldsmith, Christopher Golden, Hillary Monahan, Craig Shaw Gardner (M)
Neil Gaiman famously wrote, “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” Horror novels and films hold lessons for children, too, both inspirational and cautionary. Panelists will discuss their childhood experiences with horror stories and suggest works for a variety of ages.
2 – 3 p.m.
Quaint Little Terrors: Small-Town New England and the Horror Tradition
Scott Goudsward, Kristin Dearborn, Gregory Bastianelli, John M. McIlveen, Tony Tremblay (M)
From H.P. Lovecraft’s Dunwich, Massachusetts, to Stephen King’s Derry, Maine, to John Carpenter’s Hobb’s End, New Hampshire, the small town in New England has been portrayed as a repository, generator, or magnet for the sinister and horrific. Native New Englanders and horror writers all, the panelists will discuss just why those little towns are such perfect settings for horror stories large and small.
3 – 4 p.m.
Some of my Best Friends Are Vampires: Diversity in Urban Fantasy
Kat Howard, Errick Nunnally, Nicholas Kaufmann (M), Douglas Wynne, E.J. Stevens
Much of the first wave of urban fantasy and paranormal mysteries didn’t contain many characters that reflected the diverse nature of the real world. They tended to be white, middle class, and North American in both setting and population. A new wave of writers in these subgenres are exploring cities and characters that are more inclusive. Panelists will discuss approaches to broader perspectives, challenges they face, and the best works of urban fantasy that embrace the multicultural nature of our world.
All questions should be directed towards the facebook event: