Dear Students, Staff, and Faculty,

Welcome to our first autumn at Shadowhunter Academy-In-Exile! It is a beautiful time of year here, a cavalcade of constantly shifting colors, of warm days and cooling nights…and also the time of year when mundanes most engage in strange, magic-related behavior.

Under normal circumstances, of course, the Academy would be operating on its usual grounds in Idris, where mundane customs are nowhere to be found. But here we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of the mundane world, and if you are not used to spending time so close to mundanes, here I’d like to offer some guidance for having the best possible October.

This is the time of year when mundanes around the globe perform rituals and hold festivals dedicated to the powerful non-mundane entities of the world. They do so now because, traditionally, they are offering gratitude to these spirits for the food they’ve successfully grown over the year, and asking support for increased success in growing more in the future. It’s believed that these rituals go back to the earliest days of humanity, when we first began to engage in farming at all, and had to work out agreements and treaties with the Fair Folk around our shared use of the land. (That’s why such rituals are found almost universally around the world.)

As a result, while some of the festivals and customs you’ll see are performed as only frivolous fun, others are taken quite seriously. In addition, because of all this ritual, the veils between worlds really are at their thinnest now. 


Many of you know this already, but the farm is extremely haunted, and everybody is going to be out and about a lot this month. Most of you who can see ghosts will already be familiar with Ol’ Hedriksen, who normally can be found sitting atop the abandoned grain silo hurling insults. In the month of October he may be found also hurling rotten fruit, so I suggest keeping well clear of the grain silo until we are well into Allhallowtide.

The headless horseman might be around. For those of you into mundane literature, yes, this is “the” headless horseman, or at least he claims to be. The best way to handle him is to not act shocked and horrified by his headlessness. That’s just what he’s hoping for. If you remain casual and refuse to respond to his hopeful cackling and gesturing meaningfully at the head under his arm, he will quickly realize he is old news and go try someone else.

There’s a scarecrow out in the wheat field who you might see getting suddenly closer and further away when you blink. That’s Steve, he’s just like that.


There are always a LOT more faeries around in mundane lands in October. Some are here because the veils are thin etc etc but others just like pumpkins and cider. To which I say: who doesn’t? The point is that by tradition, this is a time of year where faeries and mundanes may encounter one another more commonly, and that this is normal for mundanes and doesn’t require interference by us in most cases. The faeries have been doing this harvest-season revelry a long time and they are good at picking their moments. Obviously use your judgment, e.g., cait-shith eerily watching a mundane family from the roofline of a barn, fine; goblins invading a shopping mall food court, we should step in.

  • I do not need to reiterate that even light necromancy is still necromancy and forbidden by not only the Academy but the actual Law. There are no exceptions to this rule. Any necromancy is too much necromancy.
  • Mundanes will be putting weird effigies up around their homes. Please check anything BEFORE reporting. To reiterate, please DO NOT report a twelve-foot skeleton demon attacking a mundane house only for the teachers to find it was purchased by mundanes at a local superstore. 
  • Don’t assume everything is NOT real, either, as it would in fact be very clever of an actual twelve-foot skeleton demon to choose this time of year to attack a mundane house. It’s never happened that I know of, but the point is, check before you act.
  • If you see a procession of reapers around a cart laden with corn, and they invite you to “join them in their dance to the corn mother,” please report them to the main office. We have talked to them about this extensively and they know full well they’re not supposed to bother Shadowhunters. (Mundanes should also be discouraged from participating if they are around, but the Accords contain some weird provisions about corn cults.)
  • Corn mazes are also best to avoid, since in my experience they tend to lead to the offer of a dance to the corn mother sooner or later; see above.
  • Another mundane tradition this time of year is to go out into the middle of the woods, somewhere far away from others, and tell stories to one another about ghosts, spirits, demons, and other supernatural evils, for the purpose of scaring one another. In my experience, this may be fine for mundanes but can be stressful for Shadowhunters, who have to face these entities in combat and do not need to use their creative powers to make one another more frightened of doing so. (Drusilla Blackthorn, THIS MEANS YOU.)
  • Do not get onto any hayrides. Whether mundane or wild fey, these will not be a good time.
  • If anyone comes to the front door, THEY MIGHT WELL BE A MUNDANE IN A COSTUME. Please make sure you have clarified this BEFORE you start talking about Downworld business, or attacking them as a demon. Once you have confirmed they are a mundane child, you may give them a piece of candy from the bucket next to the door. Do not yourself eat the candy from the bucket. Not because it’s enchanted, but because I don’t want to have to make a return trip to Price Chopper for mini chocolate bars.

Happy Halloween, as the mundanes say —

— Your headmaster, Luke Garroway


Secrets of Blackthorn Hall: The Adventure Continues!

Secrets of Blackthorn hall continues to be updated every Monday with new content. Catch up on Tumblr!

Here's a snippet from a letter from Emma in an upcoming entry:

Dear Jem,

I hope you don’t mind, but you had said it was okay to get in touch with you anytime for advice, and I suspect that even beyond your usual good advice, you might have some familiarity here that would be helpful.

As you know, Julian and I have taken on the gigantic task of renovating Blackthorn Hall, or at least arranging for its renovation. So, you probably are totally unsurprised to hear, we found a ghost. (I say this because everyone else who was around back when this house was being taken care of, are also not surprised there’s a ghost.)

Good news: ghost is not unfriendly (or at least not violent). Bad news . . .


For Halloween, we have a flash-forward to Dru and Ash in Faerie, in a scene from the Wicked Powers drawn by EK Belcher. Dru looks awfully pleased with herself, and how wicked are those faerie woods?

Reginald Update

Reginald and Rosie stand ever-vigilant against the forces of darkness.
Happy Reading!


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