Today for XOXO After Dark’s Halloween week, we welcome author and screenwriter Matthew Quinn Martin, whose horror novel NIGHTLIFE is now available from Pocket Star (and currently on sale for a mere $1.99!).

We asked Matthew for a guest post on what Halloween means to him, and what we got surprised us. Be sure to answer the question at the bottom of today’s post for a chance to win a Halloween Treat package of some of our favorite books (and something sweet to go along with them)! Read on…IF YOU DARE (bwahahahaha!). 


Halloween can sure be a spooky time. The days are getting shorter; the nights (and the shadows) are getting longer. Basic cables stations are running horror movie marathons, and little kids are showing up on your doorstep extorting candy with veiled threats of toilet-papering your house.

And while October 31st might be the creepiest of days, not everything that’s happened on that date was pre-destined to be hair-raising, right? Here’s a look at a few of the least scary things to come out of Halloween:


3. Girl Scouts


While the Girl Scouts of America was officially founded on March 12 of 1912, they wouldn’t exist without founder Juliet Gordon Low, who was born on––you guessed it––Halloween, 1860.


Almost seventy percent of the proceeds of each box of Girl Scout cookies sold stays within the local community, helping girls from all walks of life. Consider stocking up for you Halloween treats this year and maybe some trick-or-treater dressed as Wednesday Addams can ask you this…




2. Pneumatic Tires

It’s hard to think of something less frightening than the humble tire. In fact most people would agree that a good set of all-weather, steel-belted radials are as important as seatbelts and airbags when it comes to staying safe on the highway.

And we wouldn’t have them without Scottish inventor John Boyd Dunlop who patented the first inflatable tire on Halloween, 1888. Dunlop’s tires were intended for bicycles, however. It would be two more decades before the world saw successful pneumatic tires for automobiles. And it would be well over a century before French writer/director (and friend of Flat Eric) Quentin Dupieux saw the potential for horror there and exploited it in his sentient serial-killing tire movie Rubber.



1. Vanilla Ice

Vanilla Ice







Ice can certainly be scary. Ask any mountaineer who’s seen an avalanche up close if you don’t believe me. But you’d be hard-pressed to find a word in the English language less likely to give one the willies than “vanilla.” And on Halloween, 1967, Robert Matthew Van Winkle (better known to the world as Vanilla Ice) was born in south Dallas. While Van Winkle is reported to occasionally have a volatile temperament…

…it’s almost impossible to be scared of a guy in MC Hammer Pants.

It is worth noting, however, that while Van Winkle’s Vanilla Ice persona is often little more than a punch line, the man himself has managed to stay in the public eye for almost a quarter century, and reportedly has made millions of dollars renovating houses in his spare time. So while Vanilla Ice might not be all that scary…I’m pretty sure he is an evil genius.


So, ladies and gentlemen, banshees and ghouls–what’s the scariest (or the least scary) Halloween costume you’ve ever worn? Tell us in the comments by 9 a.m. October 31st and enter for your chance to win all the great books below–including a free download of Matthew Quinn Martin’s NIGHTLIFE!

Halloween giveaway


For complete contest rules, click here.