A ‘Haunt’-ing Interpretation

By Cecilia Gray

Fall is upon us, and the newest digital issue of Windmill is open for submissions.

This year, the team is seeking submissions responding to the prompt “haunt.” Whether it be a haunting past, a haunted house, or even Kings Dominion’s Halloween spectacular, The Haunt, we asked for the interpretations of emerging and established writers to share with us fiction and nonfiction aligning with the theme “haunt.”  

In consideration of our spooky theme, Windmill staff has taken to the “streets” of Hofstra University to interview undergraduates about their personal interpretations of our theme.

Olivia Wisse (‘22) imagines haunt as “a time of spooks, ghosts, ancient houses, and you can’t forget trees that look like skeletons.” She says that haunt means to her a time to be scared and a time to be scary. Although she is not submitting to Windmill, she has shared with us a flash short story of her vision of “haunt” as more than just a word: With tendrils of sweat painting his neck, he knew. Someone was behind him.

Another student, Sabina Josephson (‘22) says that her first thought upon hearing the word “haunt” is “a time when there is a void of comfort in your life and all seems to be lost.” In two short sentences, Sabrina summarizes her interpretation by writing, “Empty the house. Carve out my soul.” Though, I wonder if she would then become a haunting soul.

I personally define haunt as something you cannot escape, which for me, at the moment, tends to be deadlines. As the three of us undergrads have described, we see haunt as something to fear, something that pains us, and something that, for lack of a better word, haunts. We all have our own ways of applying the same theme to our different outlooks, as I am sure all of Windmill’s Fall 2019 contributors will. As open submissions come to a close, the Windmill staff is extremely excited to see the many interpretations that we receive from around the globe. Here’s a final one from novelist Mitch Albom: Nothing haunts us like the things we do not say.

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