1. A park with a creek, a gloomy old weeping willow, a pavilion lit with an eerie pink light, burning torches all around, bundled up bodies lying in heaps all around. Location, location, Jonesborough.
2. Kim Weitkamp. As a host, you evil minded people, not as an ingredient. We have always known Kim has a thing for the dark side, and on top of that, she is also a wonderful emcee who carries the storytellers on her palm as if they were incredibly rare, delicate treasures... that she likes to juggle.
3. Lyn Ford. Her girlish smile and sweet voice make any ghost story eerie by default. That she also weaves a masterful mystery is, naturally, a plus.
4. Beth Horner. She is as enthusiastic about the scary as she is about the funny. She takes both of them very seriously, and gets completely absorbed in them like a child playing with her favorite toy (notice the underage theme here? Can't help it, storytellers are young forever). She told the Austrian tale of the girl and the skull, which was also a bonus flavor for me, since I use that story to teach kids about bone structure. Gotta love putting the science in fiction.
5. Alton Chung. Nobody beats the Japanese in horror. Nobody. Alton froze the living daylights into everyone. I saw groups of five attempting to go to the porta potties together. I don't know if they ever made it.
6. Hannah Harvey. She is graceful, delicate, bubbly, and, as Kim put it, "one sick puppy". Both her Scottish ghost legend and her traditional Little Red version were as creepy as it gets - take the former with murder and a smiling ghost chanting a cheerful curse, and latter with slightly sexual werewolves, grandma's intestines hung around the room, and Red drinking some blood. Nuff said.
7. Syd Lieberman. He is an experienced player in the field of horror, even though he reminds me of a Papa Smurf that you just want to hug forever. He told Beowulf today, a fitting ending for an awesome concert, and we got to see Papa Smurf in the torchlight roaring at the night sky, wrenching Grendel's arm from its socket with his bare hands. It was slightly disturbing, and thoroughly awesome.
I (together with about a thousand other people) am sleeping with the lights on tonight.