Heather Miller is a writer of old-fashioned horror. She dreams of long candlelit passages and things that go bump in the night. Her writing is influenced by the old Gothics that she grew up reading, and the terrifying tales she heard at her grandmother’s knee.

She released her first novella, Knock Knock, in 2021, and a short story collection titled Tales My Grandmother Told Me in 2022.Her short stories have been featured in various magazines and anthologies.

Heather lives with her husband, five kids, and a small menagerie of animals in a century-old house (likely haunted) in a tiny town in Oklahoma.



The sun sets, flaming crimson
Against a copper sky;
Twilight stalks the dusty road
As the glow fades from on high,
And the dark creeps in.
Across the fields and forests
Stretch shadows dark and long,
Snaking through the grasses
Like shapes of things to come,
And the dark creeps in.
The moon rests in its cloud-bed;
The wind blows dank and sweet;
Leaves loosed from their moorings
Scuttle down the street,
And the dark creeps in.
Inside each home a candle
Casts a dim and flickering light;
The doors are bolted tightly
Against encroaching night,
And the dark creeps in.
Candles sink to nothing:
A faded, amber glow
Is all that stands as sentry
Against fear’s tightening hold,
And the dark creeps in.
The night is growing long now;
Grim thoughts grip troubled minds;
Shifting eyes glance all askance,
The firelight spellbinds,
And the dark creeps in.
A shape moves through the shadows;
A fell voice on the air;
A rush of wind and wingbeats,
Blood upon the stair,
And the dark creeps in.
No doors or locks can hold it,
No prayers delay its power;
Through cracks and chinks it slither-slinks,
In midnight’s sacred hour,
And the dark creeps in.
From house to house it sweeps now,
A vague, amorphous thing;
A specter birthed from horror,
By dread’s power given wing,
And the dark creeps in.
The houses now stand empty
Save for dust and leaves and bones;
The nighttime wind makes music
With faint and tortured moans,
And the dark creeps in.


Bradbury warned us of
the Autumn People,
Who come from dust and frenzy forth,
Whose veins stir with the night wind and who
live in a perpetual state of autumnal suspense.
And “they”—that elusive group, faceless and featureless
but always assumed right—
“They” tell us that life shifts from season to season;
That the springtime of childhood turns to the
summer of our early adulthood,
That sometime around the age of forty our high summer begins to fade
into the autumn of middle age,
And then—
then one day, they say (pfft—“they”)
that we decline into a cold and dark winter
where we dwell shivering and miserable until we die.
But Bradbury said—and I’d rather respect his opinion than
Bradbury said of the wonderful, mythical people
—the Autumn People,
He said for them November is ever followed by
another September in an eternal autumn.
What a thrilling thought.
I’m sliding joyous into the autumn of my life,
and I intend to be an Autumn Person,
ever reveling in that most beautiful season.
I intend to chase successive autumns until
I breathe my last, dying peaceful in a drift
of fallen leaves.
Let my life not devolve into cold and bitterness
and Old Age.
Let me grow strong bones and a quick mind,
a thick skin and a soft heart.
Let every day bring fresh joy and work and purpose,
laughter and song and magic.
When I die let my children
—grandchildren, great-grandchildren—
Speak of me with a mischievous twinkle in their eyes.
Let them proclaim in loud voices:
How delicious my cakes were,
How warm the quilts I made,
How tall the flowers in my garden.
Let them sing to the skies of
How I gazed long at moonlight,
Danced in the downpours,
Read thousands of books and told the best stories.
Let me dwell yet in autumn—
Let me suck in great lungfuls of brisk autumn air
and squeeze every last drop of life and love and
joy and pain and triumph from the world around me
Before I go.
Let me not go quiet into that good winter.
Let me dig in my heels and dress like a witch
and rain down candy and compliments and creativity from my
pumpkin-bowl of goodies.
Let me howl at the moon with the glory of a life lived to its best and fullest,
lived while embracing the happily riotous ruin of this decadent decay.
I will hold fast to autumn right to the end.
Thus live the Autumn People.


Oh house of haunts, oh house of spirits,
Domicile of pale untethered ghosts:
Heavy veil of velvet darkness
Cocooning silence,
Heavy weight of years,
Grief uttermost.
Oh house of haunts, oh house of spirits,
Darkened halls and treacherous floors beneath;
Upon your walls, laced webs
Hang without motion,
Into your rooms
No trace of light does reach.
Oh house of haunts, oh house of spirits,
Your dust lies quiet, undisturbed and deep;
Those who walk your corridors
Leave no footprints,
Those who dwell within
Need never sleep.
Oh house of haunts, oh house of spirits,
Your empty rooms swell with departed souls.
Shining boy, gray lady,
Darkened specter:
Within your confines,
You their sorrow hold.
Oh house of haunts, oh house of spirits,
Quiet does your beauty waste away;
Damp and rot
Like flowers bloom inside you;
Decadent and graceful
Your decay.
Oh house of haunts, oh house of spirits,
Your twilight world seems not to me so grim;
Your quietude a balm
Rather than bane to me,
Your flickering ghosts no terror,
Only kin.
Oh house of haunts, oh house of spirits,
Through many years of life I still must roam;
But always in my dreams
Seek out your stillness,
One day to know
Your hallowed halls as home.