First stop: GARLIC SHOOTERS. What’s a garlic shooter, you ask? Well, it’s ice water, fresh chopped garlic, and fresh-squeezed lemon juice in a shot glass. Best thing for you. And if you want to tank it up for a party…vodka instead of water. Kick. Ass.

I know. It seems that I have vanished these past three weeks—I haven’t been doing much in the way of blogging, the Goodbye Project has stopped just short of Episode 25, and in general, I’ve been kinda quiet on Facebook. What’s going on?

Lots of things, and all good: the second round of edits to my novel Bad Apple, due out this November; preparing for upcoming Halloween events, such as Rock ‘n’ Shock, the Middletown Open Air Festival, and AnthoCon; and writing three brand new ghost stories. It probably didn’t help that I had a piece of wood go through my foot that left me in not such great shape during this time, but it was a chance to get caught up on some reading.

So last Saturday I finally got ready to play catch-up: photos from the Hebron Harvest Fair, announcements of upcoming events and publications, and some fun stuff—like my first-ever series of posts on the classic ghost stories which inspired Disney World’s Haunted Mansion and some news about other writers’ books and publications. I badly needed the day to work.

But last Saturday was also the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival in Saugerties, NY, an event never missed to the point where it’s considered a sacred annual pilgrimage. We purchase our garlic for the year, jam to zydeco by Captain Squeeze & the Zydeco Moshers, do garlic shooters and eat garlic knots and ice cream, buy a new piece of spooky art for my collection from My Eclectic Mind’s Heather Gleason ( and generally come home stinking. Despite all I had to do, I didn’t want to miss it.

And in the end, I was glad I went. My point? Don’t always let your work keep you from the things you enjoy. You might just find that you return to your desk totally re-charged and with more determination, energy and drive than you would if you’d missed out.

Below, pics and vids of this year’s Hudson Valley Garlic Festival.


Charles and I down our first shooter of the day. It’s an annual tradition; the first thing we do when we get on the grounds is make a beeline for the shooters booth!

You’d be surprised at how delicious and refreshing garlic ice cream is. It’s usually vanilla ice cream, and the garlic lends it a smoky flavor. Great stuff.

I’m not a big fan of garlic fudge, but Charles is.

Every year, there’s a roast pig. Here’s this year’s victim.

The smell alone would drive you mad! It smells awesome!

Another annual tradition: GARLIC KNOTS. These are the best garlic knots in the universe. I simply don’t know how to describe them, other than that they make them and let them soak in butter, oil, and, of course…fresh chopped garlic. None of that jar stuff for these folks!

There’s no lack of gusto at the Garlic Fest. These guys from Mirabella’s—just your little friendly neighborhood Italian joint in Saugerties, NY—kept the crowd entertained with their barkering for the afternoon. Check it out in the video below!

Don’t miss Mirabella! Check ’em out on MetroMix:

Throngs shop for garlic at the many, many booths.

It’s Captain Squeeze & the Zydeco Moshers! They always get the crowd moving.

These guys were the first people to pose with my book Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole: Tales from Haunted Disney World in 2010! Check out the photo here: Check out Captain Squeeze’s website: and hang out with them on Facebook!

Glued to Captain Squeeze and filming. Yes, that’s a bunch of garlic in my bag…I bought a nice grouping of Bogatyr for my Auntie Del as a gift.

Captain Squeeze & the Zydeco Moshers perform me and my late friend Cyn’s favorite: TREME! The video’s a little jittery until 25 seconds in, then it goes still so you can enjoy it. That’s probably because I was so excited they were playing that song I was jumping around. In case anyone’s wondering? Captain Squeeze is an English Lit teacher in NOLA. And hey….gotta love a sweaty drummer wiping off his face in rhythm to the music. Now THAT’s passion! 

Me, at My Eclectic Mind’s booth. Artist Heather Gleason is seated. The next few photos feature her artwork.

At center—the anxious girl devil, I’d like to call her—is the new piece I bought this year. Last year, I purchased a three-dimensional butterfly. Heather, I’m sure you have titles for these, so if you’re out there, feel free to comment!

Heather posed with Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole—Tales from Haunted Disney World at last year’s Garlic Festival. To see that photo, visit here:

Me with the new piece.

A close-up. I don’t own much in the way of art, but the pieces I do own always smack me in the face, as though they were painted just for me. Here, there is a girl too tortured by a demon in her past to face what’s right in front of her. In light of what I’ve been writing this year, it really, really said: YOU MUST OWN ME!

A close-up of the detail in the center of the work.

One of the true treats of the Garlic Festival is getting to drive through Saugerties, which is the perfect setting for a ghost story. What always amazes me about small towns in upstate New York is that they are distinctly different in look and feel from small towns in Vermont from small towns in New Hampshire from small towns in Maine. It’s interesting. I also love Saugerties because it reminds me of the setting of one of my favorite ghost stories, Age of Consent by Howard Mittelmark:

About kristipetersenschoonover

A ghost story writer who still sleeps with the lights on, Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies; her traditionally published books include a short story collection, THE SHADOWS BEHIND. She was the recipient of three Norman Mailer Writers Colony Residencies and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She serves as co-host of the DARK DISCUSSIONS podcast, as founding editor of the dark literary journal 34 ORCHARD, and is a member of the New England Horror Writers. Follow her adventures at

Posted on October 1, 2011, in Deep Thoughts & Fun Stuff and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. It was wonderful seeing you again. I hope you had a wonderful time. Sucks you are moving so far away!! Keep in touch!! 😀 I hope you are enjoying your art pieces!!

    • Hi, Heather! It was AWESOME seeing you again, too! I love my piece. Love it, love it, love it. Actually, the piece I just bought–AND the butterfly–both make an “appearance” (so to speak) in my newest short story, “This Poisoned Ground.” I’m going to send it to you now, and I’m putting out the word about you in my newsletter. Your work is awesome. And I’m sad to be moving so far away…but this isn’t over yet! I’m sure you ship!!! Love ya!

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