Nearly-sixteen-year-old Annalise Grisholme dies in a mysterious fire saving her younger siblings. Purgatory awaits her, to her shock, but not like any afterlife she expected. The Hallow is a vast hinterland that offers a home to legends and dark fairytales that used to be only real in nightmares. The Creature owns a bookshop and usually pretends not to hear when someone unwisely utters the name “Frankenstein.” Nevermore makes puns about his writer, Edgar “A. Poe-et” and has a penchant for whiskey. Arachne spins the fabrics for their odd little “town” and complains about the quality of modern-day textiles. As an actual human soul, Anna’s an oddity and they make sure she knows this. All the while, a blithe trickster of ages past makes the trip between the land of the dead and the living constantly, ferrying lost souls as the only monster able to do so when it isn't Hallow's Eve. Jack o'Lantern has lasted centuries, running from the past mistakes of his previous life. Days of childcare are long gone, but a precocious teenager who refuses the Hallow as her ultimate resting place throws his eternity of penance into turmoil with her insistence he returns her to her family home.

Annalise/O’Lantern is an ongoing project and living document. Even if I started the story in 2015, there’s still a lot of writing and planning to do so it is very likely that I will go back to the previously published chapters to correct plot holes and other revisions or edits. Anything past, small spelling and grammar edits, I will record in the Changelog.

Publishing O’Lantern as a serial offers me the opportunity for feedback throughout this story, thus I truly value reviews and critiques.

  1. Chapter 1 | Newcomer | 18 May 2021
  2. Chapter 2 | Soot | 30 May 2021

The Fanfiction that technically would count as a first draft

Skeleton Anne by Corona* Pax

If you like this story and the Nightmare Before Christmas, you might like Skeleton Anne.

*I chose the username when I was 12 way back in 2011, long before the pandemic happened. Long before I even knew what Corona brand beer was. I didn’t change it because I didn’t want to confuse any of my long-time readers on


18 May 2021 - Chapter 1 Version 1. No change
29 May 2021 - Chapter 2 Revised. Original version can be found on Critique Circle here.