Dear Reader:

Another October has rolled around and once again the weather in the northern hemisphere is taking a turn for the chilly. Wild winds whip through wet branches, slapping time to the skeletal clacking of blackened limbs with the last lilt of sagging, wilting leaves. Evenings come sooner and nights last longer this time of year, as we watch the vibrant greens of summer flare into deep, screaming, primary colors in a hopeless attempt by dying trees to draw life's flickering attention for a moment longer, a little more warmth before winter's razor bite.

The city streets will soon be teeming with all manner of strange creatures seeking ransom for good behavior, goodies to forefend fiendish pranks. Candy, or the goblins will soap your windows and egg your doors. Diminutive, costumed crooks practicing parentally condoned extortion in the name of Pictish legend, Druid lore and Elfin fun. Yes, Hallowe'en is here again and it's time for Trick or Treat.

But it's no trick that Writer's Cramp has compiled another delightful treat for you this year. It's a pleasure.

We introduce two new writers to our compliment of dazzling talent, Sharon K. Gilbert and Charles Ivie, who grace our pages with stories equal to any we've ever had the good fortune to publish - and they have promised more. Frank Thayer has returned with a brand new article drawn from his years of scholarly research of arcane subjects, Tim Lejeune has introduced us to a sanguine stranger sure to leave an impression and Robert Liberty takes us on a brief journey into his little corner of the hidden universe.

Come and meet a talking cat who runs interference for the local witch, sit and talk to a little girl with a very special knack for making friends at funerals, look into the dank soul of a beautiful woman who wanders cemeteries in search of a special memory and listen to the poetic lament of a Gothic vampire as he rails against the world of the living.

These treasures and two nonfiction articles dealing with seasonal offerings, "Astrology," and "The Occult," are your Treats this Hallowe'en. And there's one more, if you're clever enough to find it.

. . . 'Tis Hallowe'en, the Eve of Ghosts . . .

. . . Enjoy.