In addition to being a world-class Halloween expert, Lisa Morton has also been a screenwriter, an author of cinema biographies, a novelist, and the writer of more than one hundred short stories and novellas.
A lifelong resident of California, Lisa was lucky enough to grow up in a suburb during the golden age of trick or treat, and as a child she enjoyed making her own Halloween costumes (a particular favorite was a cavewoman's pelt made entirely from actual deer hide, contributed by her hunting-mad father). While still in her teens, Lisa started working in the film industry, first as a modelmaker and special make-up effects sculptor, later as the screenwriter behind the cult favorite Meet the Hollowheads and the vampire thriller Blood Angels.
After penning horror fiction that appeared in dozens of award-winning books and magazines, including The Mammoth Book of Frankenstein, Dark Delicacies, and Cemetery Dance, Lisa finally dove headfirst into her Halloween interest by writing The Halloween Encyclopedia - the first encyclopedic reference on the holiday - in 2003. In 2008, she received both the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Non-fiction and a Black Quill Award nomination for A Hallowe'en Anthology: Literary and Historical Writings Over the Centuries, and in 2011 she penned a 2nd edition of The Halloween Encyclopedia. Her 2012 book Trick or Treat?: A History of Halloween was awarded both the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Non-fiction and the Halloween Book Festival's Grand Prize. She has been interviewed about Halloween on The History Channel's The Real Story of Halloween, by Kat Orman for BBC, on The Military Channel's America: Facts Vs. Fiction, and in the supplements for the Blu-ray edition of Trick 'r Treat, she's been a guest speaker at the Utah Humanities Book Festival, and she's been quoted in The Wall Street Journal. She also served as the official consultant for the first United States Postal Halloween stamps (released in 2016).
Lisa has also written acclaimed Halloween fiction, including the 2013 novella Summer's End, the 2010 novella The Samhanach (nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for Long Fiction) and the 2012 novella Hell Manor. She also edited the 2011 e-book Halloween Spirits, available on Amazon.
Lisa lives in North Hills, California, where she loves spending every Halloween visiting spectacular yard haunts and the various Dia de los Muertos celebrations. You can read her Halloween blog here, or find out more about her at lisamorton.com.
Lisa loves to talk about Halloween, and is available for interviews, panel discussions, libraries, schools, a PowerPoint presentation, or questions about the holiday - drop her a line if you'd like to set something up or just chat!
Here are some links to places where you can find Lisa talking about her favorite holiday:
- Gweek Podcast 72 at Boing Boing is an interview with me all about Halloween
- "Why I Keep Writing Books About Halloween" at Becky Spratford's RA for All: Horror blog
- "All About Eves: Why do we celebrate Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve but not other holidays’ eves?" at Slate.com
- "Ten Classics of Halloween Fiction" at Musings of the Monster Librarian
- "Böö! Halloween’s quest for world domination", interview with Eugenia Williamson for The Boston Globe
- "How I Surprised Myself and Became a Halloween Expert", guest blog for Benjamin Kane Ethridge
- "Halloween Misconceptions", at Kealan Patrick Burke's blog
- Halloween Interview at Zombo's Closet of Horror
- The History Channel's 2010 special "The Real History of Halloween"
- Wall Street Journal article on Halloween with quotes from me
- Lisa's list on "Five Scary Traditional Halloween Stories" appears in BOOK OF LISTS: HORROR, edited by Scott Bradley, Del Howison and Amy Wallace. You can read an expanded version of the "Halloween Stories" list at scribd.com