Mr. Moundshroud and A Thousand Pumpkins

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury  (1967)

Tuesday’s Tale for Halloween    September 29, 2020

Halloween is one month away. If you’ve not read Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree, it’s a MUST READ for Halloween fans. This is an adventure story about a group of boys on Halloween night. Tom and his mates must search the Halloween world to find their missing friend Pip, who has been abducted into the Land of the Dead.

 

At some 160 pages, longer than a typical short story but not quite a novella, you can settle in for a spooky and nostalgic ride. What is so wonderful about this story, aside from all the little horrors along the way, is that we discover some of the oldest Halloween traditions from Egypt, Greece, Rome, Mexico, Irish Druids, and much more about the Land of the Dead. Here’s a peek as the boys come upon a haunted house.

“Then the darkness within the house inhaled. A wind sucked through the gaping door. It pulled at the boys, dragging them across the porch. They had to lean back so as not to be snatched into the deep dark hall. They struggled, shouted, clutched the porch rails. But then the wind ceased. Darkness moved within darkness. Inside the house, a long way off, someone was walking toward the door. Whoever it was must have been dressed all in black for they could see nothing but a pale white face drifting on the air.”

 

At this house they come upon the Halloween Tree …

The pumpkins on the Tree were not mere pumpkins. Each had a face sliced in it. Each face was different. Every eye was a stranger eye. Every nose was a weirder nose. Every mouth smiled hideously in some new way. There must have been a thousand pumpkins on this tree, hung high and on every branch. A thousand smiles. A thousand grimaces. And twice-times-a thousand glares and winks and blinks and leerings of fresh-cut eyes. And as the boys watched, a new thing happened. The pumpkins began to come alive.

 

Ray Bradbury at his best! Rich language, vivid imagery, and so eerie on our most famous dark autumn night of the year. I loved the mysterious Mr. Moundshroud.

Read the story free at the EnglishOnlineClub.com (Illustrated by Joseph Mugnaini):

http://englishonlineclub.com/pdf/Ray%20Bradbury%20-%20The%20Halloween%20Tree%20%5BEnglishOnlineClub.com%5D.pdf

 

Listen to the audio by Ray Bradbury on YouTube.com

 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 200 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, ‘quiet horror,’ crime, sci-fi, romance, and mainstream fiction.

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Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

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 Lovecraft Ezine    HorrorNews.net   Fangoria.com   

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine   Chuck Windig’s Terrible Minds

   Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com     

Monster Librarian       The Story Reading Ape Blog

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5 Comments

Filed under classic horror stories, dark fantasy, dark literature, fiction, fiction bloggers, free horror short stories online, free short stories, free short stories online, ghost stories, ghost story blogs, Halloween, Halloween stories, historical ghost stories, horror, horror blogs, literary horror

5 responses to “Mr. Moundshroud and A Thousand Pumpkins

  1. Naima

    Oh I love this one, Paula! Halloween Tree is so beautifully written and seasonal.

    Like

  2. Years since I read Ray Bradbury, but have just dug out ‘Something Wicked…” and “Dandelion Wine”. There is no one who writes quite like him, although I see similarities with Philip Dick. Thanks for reminding me, Paula 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bradbury is one of my favorites. I haven’t read this one, but everything I’ve read by him (so far) I’ve loved. His prose is vivid and a pleasure to read. Sounds like The Halloween Tree is no different.:-)

    Liked by 1 person

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