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Posted by on Oct 26, 2015 in Events | 44 comments

Halloween Haunted Houses: A Love/Hate Relationship

Snarkology Halloween Blog Hop 2015

Welcome to the sarcastic sexy suspense stop on the 2015 Snarkology Halloween Hop!

Be sure to stick around until the end of the post for information on a freebie book, a few book giveaways and the massive hop-wide giveaway going on this week.

You know, I’ve never quite understood the allure of the haunted houses that pop up all over the place once October rolls around and pumpkin spice everything is in full swing. I’ve tried multiple times to enjoy them, but…I guess when you’ve lived in an actual haunted house, smoke in mirrors loses much of its appeal.

But the tale of what it was like to live in a 100-year-old Victorian home being restored as a child–and the ghostly encounters that came with it–is really a tale for another day. I mean, the traditional Halloween haunted house really doesn’t have much in common with houses that are truly haunted. Besides, I’ve got a funny haunted house story I’d rather share anyway.

Picture It. Halloween. Freshman Year

When I was in high school, our honors theater department had the opportunity to take part in Fright Fest, the annual haunted houses that Six Flags Over Texas puts on to add a little variety to rollercoasters and overpriced funnel cakes. Since the State Fair always comes to the metroplex at about the same time, and the local school districts always gave us a day off for it, those of us who lived closer to Six Flags than the fairgrounds used to head to the amusement park instead. I agreed to go with a guy who would end up as my boyfriend by the end of the day…although…looking back at how this story plays out, it’s pretty obvious why this one didn’t last long.


We did a few rides and then headed into one of the haunted houses. And I use that term loosely. It was more like a poorly constructed maze draped with enough black cloth and filled with the right amount of fog to make it semi-interesting. Reality check time: I was there in the middle of the day. In the absence of actual ethereal beings, any haunted house will seem cheesy as pizza in broad daylight.

So, we’re walking through the dark, foggy maze with the occasional blast of creepy music and flash of a black light to tempt us into forgetting that it’s still 9,000 degrees outside because we live in Texas. I kid you not, Boyfriend had just made a little quip about how he’d protect me when a shadow jumped out of the dark corner and grabbed his shoulder.

Boyfriend (whose name is clearly changed for his protection) shrieked like a very tiny, very scared 5-year-old girl. And jumped away from me, leaving a clear path for the psycho killer to get to me. You know, to protect me, right?

After the shriek of terror, things got eerily quiet and still for about 10 seconds before we heard, “Boyfriend? Is that Sydney with you? I didn’t know you two were a thing.”

Yeah. We knew the guy. Mutual friend. Totally blew whatever little suspension of disbelief we had going at that point.

As you can imagine, we got out of there in record time after that. Well, he did. I had a little trouble keeping up. ;)

No More Haunted Houses for Me?

That was pretty much the last time I went to a Halloween haunted house…actual haunted houses, of course, are a different story. Even though every Halloween haunted house I’ve been to has been a disaster, I still love writing about them. Since Texas is one of those states where we can’t decide whether we love Halloween or think it’s a demonic celebration, it’s a toss-up whether you’ll get an actual haunted house or a fall festival that magically coincides with Halloween. Either way, the haunted house/fall festival fundraiser is a big deal for a lot of local schools–especially in the smaller, rural areas.

So, of course you know that’s going to seep into my writing. In fact, the Sherlock Shakespeare Mystery I’m working on right now features a Halloween haunted house fundraiser that just so happens to be legit haunted. Good thing teen sleuth Sherlock Shakespeare has the ability to communicate with ghosts, even if she’s currently doing her damnedest to pretend ghosts aren’t real.

Free Book Time, Yo!

Okay, so I was hoping to have THE CASE OF THE HAUNTED HAUNTED HOUSE ready to giveaway in time for Halloween, but life decided that plans were boring, so…

Please enjoy a copy of the sarcastic sexy suspense novel THE SHATTERED ALLIANCE available for free through all Amazon country sites October 26-October 30. Be sure to check the price before you download, you know, just in case Amazon gets glitchy on me.

We Need More Free Stuff, Right?

Okay, so THE CASE OF THE HAUNTED HAUNTED HOUSE isn’t ready yet, but the first Sherlock Shakespeare YA Paranormal Mystery, THE CASE OF THE MISSING MASCOT, is totally ready to go. If you’d like a chance to win the first book in the series right now and get a copy of the next installment sent to you the moment it’s ready to go, be sure to leave a comment to enter. Just remember to provide a valid email address so that I’ll know how to contact the winner. As usual, my cat will pick the winner(s) on video on November 1.

Note: I won’t use your email address to spam you, but you will be added to the newsletter rolling out in January unless you specifically add “OPT OUT” at the end of your comment. (I’ve got fun stuff planned though, so you might want to stick around if you’d like to know how a hero cat with catnip addiction, a possessed plate and an idiot savant kitten team up to save the world, like, a lot.)

Recap before I give you the info on the hop-wide giveaway and send you off to trick-or-treat at another stop:

Get me free 10/26/15-10/30/15

Get me free 10/26/15-10/30/15

Enter to win me now!

Enter to win me now!

Enter to win me hot off the presses!

Enter to win me hot off the presses!











Trick-Or-Treat For More Great Prizes

Enter for a chance to win:
(1) $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

Hop-Wide Entry Form

Now, leave your comment to enter the drawing for some free ebooks and head off to check out these awesome peeps:


The winners of The Case of the Missing Mascot (right now) and The Case of the Haunted Haunted House (when it’s released are:

  • Renee G.
  • Frances Eborn
  • Karen Brozina
  • Katherine Riley

I was only going to do three sets, but two names stuck together when I drew the third one, so let’s call that a sign.

© 2015, Sydney Katt. All rights reserved.

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  1. I am really interested in a chance to win a copy of The Case of the Haunted Haunted House. If it’s available in e-book format that’s even better.

    • You’re entered. :) This series is only available in ebook format right now, so you’re definitely in luck.

  2. Hi, love the cover on your books. They look great, can’t wait to read them. Thanks for the chance.

    • I’m a big fan of those covers too. Actually, I think the Christmas cover (that I haven’t unveiled yet) might be my fave of the series so far. I think they match the tone and personalities of the characters and stories well.

      You’re entered. :)

  3. Well, if a guy can’t scream like a little girl at Halloween, when can he? (Answer: Not in front of his girlfriend.)

    • The scream itself wasn’t as bad as the timing. “I’ll protect you,” he says seconds before he screams and jumps away, leaving me open to a shadow attack.

      But he was only 15 so I’ll cut the poor guy some slack. I’d imagine he does a better job of protecting his wife in “dangerous” situations. ;)

  4. I’m not big on haunted houses – I’m not a fan of the dark to begin with, and then add a bunch of idiot people acting foolish in the dark…no, thank you.

    My email is michelle_willms at yahoo dot com

    • I’m with you on that. Every year, Captain Awesome asks me if I want to drive hours outside of the metroplex to go to the major haunted house around here. I always look at him like he’s crazy and then say no. I already have a rapid heart rate. I’m not sure why he thinks it’s a good idea to take me somewhere designed to startle people into accelerating their heart rates.

  5. Happy Halloween and thanks for the fun!

  6. Funny story, high school boyfriends are at least good for a laugh! Thanks for the chance! Happy Halloween! :)

    • Well, they had to be good for something, right? I mean, it’s not like they were good for helping us pay attention in class and getting all our homework done. ;)

  7. That was a really great funny Halloween house story and I would love to have a chance to win Ur other books thanks so much for a chance

    • If you’ve got a funny story, you gotta share it, right?

  8. I love haunted houses, took my nephew to a family night at one last night and he loved it, he did better than some adults, lol.


    • And that’s the reason I don’t go…little kids would put me to shame. Did you ever see the episode of Supernatural where Dean was scared of everything? A cat jumped out of a locker and he shrieked and said, “That was really scary.” Yeah. That would probably be me.

    • Thank you. I have fun coming up with the titles. Sometimes I even get Captain Awesome involved since he’s good with slap-happy silliness. I can’t reveal all the titles, but there may be a Case of the Stalked Stoner somewhere in the mix.

      Be sure to check my Facebook page on Sunday for the video of Sydney Cat picking the winners. She’s usually fun in the videos…unless she’s, you know, being a stubborn cat.

  9. sounds interesting
    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  10. I have not had a chance to read any of your books so it would be a great start if I was to win this book

    • Good timing to stop by the blog then. :)

      You’re entered to win the first two in the series.

  11. I never have liked haunted houses. They never seem scary cause you know they are real people with rules not to hurt anyone. Some are really cheesey with the chainsaws and other silly props.
    I woukd rather break out the ouija board and try to contact real spirits.
    Happy halloween!

    • Hmm…I had a bad experience with a spirit board when I was younger. Thanks for reminding me. It’ll make for a good blog post next month.

      But I hear you about preferring actual spirits to fake haunted houses.

  12. Funny story, thanks for sharing. It reminds me of the year I worked at a haunted house as the ticket taking, disclaimer giving door gal. When it was time for my break I had to walk through the haunted house so, logically, I put a mask on so my co-workers wouldn’t scare me. Yep, I’m a sissy. I can’t wait for your next book to come out!

    • Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to make people leave you alone.

      Once I’ve got it together, you’re on my list of people to beg to do a quick beta read. ;)

  13. Happy Halloween and remember to tell your cat that I am a cat lover!!! justwin4once at gmail dot com

    • I’ll let her know, but everyone’s entry slips spend the same amount of time in the catnip container to keep it fair.

  14. Cute story! I love walking through Haunted Houses with my niece’s and nephew’s. Only because I love seeing their faces during the walkthrough.

    • I’ll have my first niece by this time next year. Maybe in a few years I’ll get past my haunted house aversion so I can go with her.

  15. Thanks for the chance!


  16. These both sound great. Would love to read them.

    rsgrandinetti (at) yahoo (dot) com

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