Monday, October 30, 2023

Spend a night in the land of the dead with DEAD ‘TIL DAWN…by Kelli A. Wilkins ~ #Halloween ~ Civil War Horror Novella @KWilkinsauthor

Spend a night in the land of the dead with DEAD ‘TIL DAWN

By Kelli A. Wilkins


Happy Almost Halloween Everyone,

I hope you’re ready for the scariest night of the year! To get you prepped for the holiday, I’m sharing something spooky — a look at my Civil War horror novella…


Disturbing the dead doesn’t prove you’re brave – it proves you’re stupid.

After touring Gettysburg battlefield, Jessica, Tim, and Steve decide to sneak out to the Devil’s Den for some late-night fun. Jessica’s friend Kathy objects, and warns them about trespassing where they’re not wanted.

Undaunted by ghost stories and fueled by his own arrogance, Tim races toward the Devil’s Den. When the group drives through mysterious battlefield fog, they find themselves surrounded by Civil War soldiers looking for a little fun of their own.

Kathy leaves the others to fend for themselves and flees to Little Round Top. Although she’s rescued by a kindhearted Union solider named Charlie, she refuses to believe that what she’s experiencing is real. As the nighttime battle rages on, Charlie introduces Kathy to other weary soldiers, and she quickly realizes she’s trapped in the land of the dead until dawn.


So how did this story come about? Well, if you know me, you know I love writing psychological/creepy/spooky horror stories. And I also love traveling to historic places—especially if they’re haunted.

This novella was inspired by actual events that happened to me in Gettysburg, PA. My husband and I had a very unusual experience with battlefield fog and I wanted to use it in a story. Here’s the short version:

It was around 11:30 pm and we wanted to explore. Since you can’t go onto the battlefield at night, we decided to drive around it. As soon as we got outside of town we came upon a wall of fog. You could literally see the line where it started. (I incorporated this into the story.)

I thought that was strange–but what the heck–we’d drive through it and come out the other side. Wrong. The thick, swirling fog completely engulfed the car. We couldn’t see more than two feet in front of us, and saw nothing but fog on all sides.

We figured the fog would dissipate or…something. Nope. The further we drove, the thicker it got. From time to time I swore I saw shadows in the fog, but I figured it was my imagination.

Robert was getting a little nervous because it was pretty obvious this wasn’t normal. He was worried about another car coming down the street (there weren’t any, who else would drive around in creepy fog?) and hitting us. I told him I was more worried about what we’d do if a Civil War soldier on a horse ran in front of us.

Although I don’t consider myself a “paranormal investigator” I love exploring haunted places and taking ghost tours. Historic houses and basically “anything old and creepy” appeal to my imagination. Is it any surprise that I love Halloween?

Here’s an excerpt from Dead’ Til Dawn, featuring the infamous battlefield fog. I’m happy to say that the book got several great reviews on Amazon!


Steve leaned forward in the back seat and tapped Tim on the shoulder. “You think we can get to the Devil’s Den now? Won’t they have security guards?”

“Who’d guard a battlefield at night? Ghosts?” Tim chuckled.

“The ghost stories we heard today were cool,” Steve replied. “I wanted to take that ghost tour at the orphanage. They let you investigate and try to contact dead soldiers. Maybe tomorrow–”

“I told you, that was a rip off,” Tim interrupted. “Who cares who died out here, anyway? It was over a hundred and fifty years ago. I don’t know why you keep wasting your time and money on that paranormal crap. There’s no such thing as ghosts. People in town made up those stories to rake in tourist money and sell costumes to idiot reenactors. If playing dress-up… Whoa!”

Tim stopped the car. A wall of white mist covered the road ten feet ahead of them.

“Is that fog?” Jessica asked, brushing her long red hair over her shoulder.

“Yeah,” Steve answered. “But why is it there and not anywhere else?”

Kathy peered out the side window. The two-lane road was crystal clear on both sides of the car, but the line of fog blocked their path. It’s waiting for us to advance. “I’ve got a bad feeling about this. Let’s go back.”

Tim stomped on the gas and plowed into the fog.

“Check it out. We’re surrounded,” Steve exclaimed.

Fog engulfed the car, blocking out the fields, trees, and fences along the road. Every so often Kathy thought she saw a glimpse of movement in the misty darkness, but it was hard to tell with Tim speeding like a maniac.

Steve pointed behind them. “Look back there. The town’s gone, swallowed up,” he said.

Kathy gazed out the rear window. Steve was right. Behind them, Gettysburg lay sleeping, wrapped in a blanket of milky whiteness.


Wanna find out what happens when they get out of the car? Order your copy of Dead ‘Til Dawn here:


All other platforms:

Want more horror stories for Halloween? Like mysteries? Visit the Horror, Mysteries & More section of my site:

Have a creepy Halloween!

Happy Haunting,

Kelli A. Wilkins

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