How I Spend My Halloween: V. Castro

banner reading How I Spend My Halloween

If you know anything about Cemetery Dance, you know that the arrival of October…The Spooky Season…is a very special time of year for us. To celebrate, we’ve invited some of our favorite spinners of spooky tales to share their favorite Halloween traditions and memories with us.

Today we’re joined by V. Castro, Mexican American author, full-time mother, Latinx literary advocate, and co-founder of Fright Girl Summer, a platform to amplify marginalized voices.

(Interview conducted by Blu Gilliand)

photo of author V. Castro
V. Castro
(Photo courtesy of V. Castro)

CEMETERY DANCE: When does the Halloween season begin for you?

V. CASTRO: All day every day. I write horror!

I typically get excited mid-September when shops begin to carry Halloween candy and decorations.

What are some Halloween traditions you observe each year?

I like to keep an altar, so this is made a little bigger until after Dia de Los Muertos. 

My home is Halloween all year round! I have an altar on my workspace, skulls, Mexican art, and art I pick up at Cons. For my children it’s cute stuff they choose like window stickers and spider webs. It’s always Halloween here!

Do you dress up each year? If so, what’s your favorite costume you’ve worn? 

I absolutely always dress up and buy my children Halloween pyjamas. My favorite is dressing up like La Catrina. When my children were younger it was a unicorn onsie to not scare them!

Are there any local (or national) haunts/tours/haunted houses you attend or would like to attend during the Halloween season?

One day I have to go to Salem and Romania. I also want to be in Mexico for Dia de Los Muertos.

What stories, books, and movies best encapsulate Halloween for you?

Halloween of course, but I’m a huge fan of Demons. When I hear “Thriller” on the radio then I know it’s time. I guess because I live in that head space of spooky shit all the time, it feels like Halloween is never to far from me. Going to Cons for my writing also keeps me in the Halloween spirit.

Do you have stories, books or movies that you watch every year? 

I will typically go for any new releases that are up specifically released for Halloween. Other than that, I love The Lost Boys, The Exorcist, Hellraiser.

Since we’re talking about Halloween: what’s your favorite movie in the Halloween franchise? 

The original one. That is always the way forward for me. I love the old stuff that isn’t too slick with the CGI.

Have you written any fiction or nonfiction involving Halloween?

I have more pieces involving Dia de Los Muertos which is right after Halloween. You will see this in Aliens: Vasquez and plenty of short stories.

What projects are you working on currently, and what are some recent releases of yours you’d like to tell people about?

So many! Aliens: Vasquez from Titan books comes out November 1stOut of Aztlan (short collection) from Creature Publishing is out in December. The Haunting of Alejandra from Del Rey comes out April 18, 2023 (preorder available now).

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