Oct 18 2017

My Mandatory Halloween Music

Be it rocking the best Halloween party this side of the murky swamp in which I reside, or sitting alone in a room with only the soft glow of my stereo to comfort me, these are some top jams that really put me in the Halloween mood.
First, I’ll start off with giving you a couple of tracks that just screams “tis the season to be spooky”.

1. The Misfits- Halloween
Couldn’t be more obvious of a song to put on this list. As Glenn and the boys recant tales of Halloween memories with “little dead out in droves” and “pumpkin faces in the night”, there is surely no more of a fitting song to commemorate what is clearly their, as well as our, favorite day of the year. After all, this day…. anything goes.

2. Mad Sin- No More Trick or Treat
This was my selection for this months Killer Kuts segment on the 6ft Plus Podcast (The Podcast of music and more for those who like it spooky. Click the link to your left) for a reason. This toe tapping psychobilly joint is an earworm that you won’t wanna dig out of your head. Upbeat and catchy, this howler is sure to set your night on fire.

3. The Meteors- My Daddy is a Vampire
A slow brooding song that discusses the ups and downs of having monsters for family members. A zombie brother, a mummy for a mommy and the titular, Vampire for a daddy.

4. The Cramps-Zombie Dance
A tale as old as time. A dance party at a zombie school as told from the originators of ghoulish psycho rock, The Cramps!

5.Blitzkid- Nosferatu
An ode to the original silent film creature of the night, this blinding speed rocker will have you bouncing off the padded walls of your loony bin cell all night long.

Now, I want to discuss 2 albums that are the most Halloween to me.

The first one is a fairly new album.
The Wolfmen of Mars- Warped Suburbium
In September of 2016, Wolfmen of Mars released the warped Suburbium EP digitally through their bandcamp page.
Wolfmen of Mars are an instrumental band with heavy grooves and dark electronic sounds. Think John Carpenter soundtracks mixed with brooding ambiance and you’re kind of on the right track.
Everything about Warped Suburbium says Halloween to me. From the artwork, witch (<— See what I did there?) you can purchase 12×12 prints of directly from the artist (got one framed in my living room as we speak, or write anyways) to the music. This 13 plus minutes EP SOUNDS like Halloween to me. The mood and the spirit of that sacred night are in this music.

The second album is a compilation.
Halloween Hootenanny
In the late 90’s Geffen Records decided to give Rob Zombie a vanity label in which he named Zombie A Go-Go Records. And although very short lived, he DID release a few things. Most, if not all of which were issued on vinyl by Telstar Records. This comp is one of them.
A Halloween themed compilation featuring garage rock and surf bands. Some know for their spooky leanings and others not so much. The album starts with a limerick from the Cool Ghoul tv horror host Zacherle. The album contains more notable bands such as Rocket From the Crypt, Southern Culture on the Skids, Reverend Horton Heat and even Rob Zombie doing a callabo with The Ghastly Ones. But some of the most standout songs to me come from the lesser known groups.
The Swinging Neckbreakers “No Costume,No Candy” (also featured in the Night of the Demons remake a couple years back) is the ultimate warning against going trick or treating ill prepared.
Los Starightjackets’ cover of The Munsters Theme is classic among surf music aficionados. aside from their track “Werewolf”, Southern Culture on the Skids also cover CCR’s Sinister Purpose with Zacherle on vocals. Dead Elvi-Creature Stole My Surfboard and Deadbolt’s-Psychic Voodoo Doll put this over the top for my mandatory Halloween listening and I play the whole album straight through every Halloween. And also various other times throughout the year when I am wistful of October 31st.

Oct 18 2017

The Apprehension Engine

Composer Mark Korven was sick of being limited to the same old sounds when he wanted to do something new and fresh with his horror scores. So he got in touch with Tony Duggan-Smith to create a new kind of musical instrument. This instrument would be used to create just the sort of jarring and unnerving effects needed to keep audiences on their toes. It is known only as the Apprehension Engine.

You can hear it in action thanks to the following video from INDIE FILM MAKER:

According to the comments section of the video, the original name for the Apprehension Engine was going to be “The Insanerator!” There’s plenty of details about its construction to be found there as well.

I’m also fond of the following video on the subject from Great Big Story:

It’s popularity has resulted in plans to build more, a live performance and even Apprehension Engine workshops! But even those who aren’t able to build their own can still use what they’ve learned in the videos to create their own sound effects or horror scores. I’m sure you can think of other ideas for similar effects using materials you have easy access to. Striking metal rulers is very easy and those with the proper guitars can use reverb to create scary sounds. The sky’s the limit!

Oct 17 2017

It Came From Wikipedia X

The Menendez Brothers are the reason there wasn’t a third installment in the original Fright Night series. Seriously.

The painting “The Hands Resist Him” was very famous back in the late 90’s for its allegations of being haunted. But did you know there’s another painting out there with a similar reputation? It’s called “The Crying Boy” and, like “The Hands Resist Him”, there’s a rational explanation behind its reputation.

I just learned about the existence of Nightmare Classics and I’m already furious it had such a short run. It would have been wonderful if the adaptations of classic horror stories had lured in enough people to stick around for the episodes based on more obscure tales.

Harold P. Warren once considered making a novelization of Manos: The Hands of Fate. One gets the feeling that if this project ever came to fruition, it would have wound up at a publisher who would have forced Warren to add in some sex scenes.

Did you ever come back from trick or treating and discovered chocolate candies with weird white stuff on them? If so, it wasn’t due to anyone trying to poison you. It’s called “chocolate bloom” and all it means is that someone tried to recycle old candy.

Hammer’s The Phantom of the Opera, The Kiss of the Vampire and The Evil of Frankenstein, all had new footage created for their American television showings. Similarly, the American theatrical release of Dracula A.D. 1972 had an exclusive “HorroRitual” segment which played prior to the start of the film.

Many of you out there have undoubtedly heard the term “ghost light,” but do you know what it means? It’s an old theatrical term and it really does have a connection to the supernatural.

Let’s read up on the legendary hellish island “Satanazes” and Clive Barker’s The Scarlet Gospels. Despite Barker including Pinhead as a character, his history and the depiction of Hell in the novel are different from what we see in the various Hellraiser films.

Did you know there’s a haunted attraction tradition called a “Danger Run” involving cryptic clues and driving? You do now!

A comment by Steven Spielberg in regard to the origins of the aliens from his version of The War of the Worlds has led some to claim the film takes place in the same universe as Star Wars due to the presence of E.T.’s species in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. However, this fails to explain why the Star Wars franchise is referenced as being fictional in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

Let’s close things out with the now traditional list links. There’s a fine list of killer toys in fiction, all the “Universal Monsters” films, the geography of Halloween and the bibliography of Halloween to keep you entertained this evening.

Oct 16 2017

Inexpensive Theremin Substitutes

Ah, the theremin. Its otherworldly electric noises have made their way onto the soundtracks for countless horror and science fiction movies. It even turns its use for anything related to outer space is scientifically accurate! It’s a shame they can be so pricey. Building your own can lessen the expense, but it’s an intimidating task for those who know next to nothing about soldering. Thankfully there are easier and less expensive ways to create your own theremin effects!

You can easily create a theremin of sorts using three AM radios, as demonstrated by Chava Tarin:

You can find more tips on tuning your homemade “theremin” and learn more about the antennae adjustments you have to make in the comments section. Those who wish to avoid that sort of thing can try creating theremin sounds using walkie-talkie feedback using the following video from Gordon Charlton:

So whether you have plans for a custom audio track or just wanted to play around with one, now you have no excuse for not creating theremin music!

Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for the content on or anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of visiting any links on those sites (or constructing a project that’s detailed in a video). Attempt at your own discretion. Nobody here is a lawyer and all legal matters discussed above are done so in the simplest, bare bones way. Consult a lawyer whenever possible.

Oct 15 2017

Haunted Attraction Review Websites V

Exactly two years ago today, I thought I had managed to round up links to all online sources of haunted attraction reviews. I was wrong. Although I was right about getting to take a vacation from this article series for a few years, so I guess it all balances out. Here’s the current crop of review websites:

Zioptis Foundation
Haunted Attractions | The Queen of Scream
HorrorBuzz
Haunted Attractions and Experiences | Midsummer Scream
HauntedUpstate.com
Halloween Haunts 365
Hauntoverse
the Haunt Squad
Screamscape
Spirit Light Productions
Minnesota Monster Review
Haunts.com
haunted attraction Archives – Zombies in My Blog
Westcoaster.net
Attraction Chasers
Hauntopsy Reviews & Consulting
All Things Haunted
HauntSearch Magazine
Florida Fright Reviews
Next Up Haunted Adventures
Fright Tour
Haunt News Network
ScareTOUR
Behind the Thrills ‏
Haunt Finder General
The Frequent Fear Podcast
York Fright Review Squad
Terror-Forming Nottingham
The Gore Guide
Theme Park Review
My Haunt Life
haunted houses – AXS
Jill Kill
The Haunted Enthusiasts
Haunt House Reviews – FrightFind
Haunt Nation Magazine
FindHaunts.com
The Haunted Review
ScareTRACK
All Hallows Haunts | For The Love Of Horror, Halloween & Haunts!
The Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights – NEOZAZ
Buffalo Haunted Houses
garbagehorror
Halloween Directory
The Halloween Project
Lowell Haunted Houses – Your Guide to Halloween in Lowell

Those last two are interesting cases. According to the main screen of the Halloween Project, the reviews are currently down and it redirects visitors to the creator’s new website The October Geek. However, one can use the Internet Archive to look at the old reviews if so desired. Lowell Haunted Houses does have a reviews section, but there are no reviews posted as of this writing!

Here are some alternate URLs for some of the sites I’ve noted before:

horrorlust
Haunt Rater
NCHaunts FrightSeekers
Spooky Review/Haunted Illinois
HauntSearch Magazine
Motor City Horror Club
Haunted Attraction Review
Haunted USA Tour

And as a special bonus, here are the previous installments in this series:

Haunted Attraction Review Websites
Haunted Attraction Review Websites II
Haunted Attraction Review Websites III
Haunted Attraction Review Websites IV

Oct 14 2017

Royalty Free Music For Haunted Attractions III

To further rehash what I said the last time I covered this topic, royalty free music is music which can be used in a haunted attraction without requiring you to pay every time it gets used. In ALL of the following cases, a haunt owner only has to pay for the initial purchase of the music and its royalty free nature does NOT apply to use on in radio broadcasts, films, YouTube videos and the like (unless noted otherwise). But even if they allow use of their work on YouTube, doing so could still result in copyright bots getting your account’s monetization getting turned off. Also, be sure to ask before modifying the audio. Many of the artists I’ve spoken with asked me note how people shouldn’t sell, distribute, etc. any tracks. I have divided the artists into three categories based on their policies for royalty free use. The order of my listing them is based solely on the order I learned about their policies for each category. To paraphrase Audio Zombie Sound, it’s always a good idea to get permission in writing from the artist! That’s advice so good I’m going to edit it into the previous installments! Please do not hesitate to contact the artist if you have any other questions about using their work:

Registration and Public (and Web) Display Required:

Alec Sullivan’s “Night of Spooks” – All tracks from his Night of Spooks albums (and only those albums) can be played in your haunted attraction without having to pay royalties. But you must give public credit at your attraction, credit him (and link to the Night of Spooks Bandcamp page) on your haunt’s website and contact him with details on how you’ll be using the music.

Registration Required:

Icky Ichabod – You must contact Icky Ichabod to get a release from PRO collection. Providing credit is required if you use his music on your attraction’s website, but is optional if you only use it at the attraction. These terms apply to all Icky Ichabod albums.

Other:

Pepperhead Studios – Currently offers a 91 minute collection of sounds performed in an actual church featuring the mangled moaning/screaming voices of Americana duo Fricknadorable. Home/family haunts may purchase the tracks online via Bandcamp and use royalty free. All other businesses should contact Pepperhead Studios to discuss reasonable licensing rates. Crediting them is optional.

Michael Oster – Noncommercial home haunts can play Zombies in the Basement! and any of his thunder albums on a royalty free basis upon purchase. Those seeking use in commercial haunted attractions (and any broadcast or YouTube-related use) should contact him to discuss his reasonable licensing rates. Providing credit is not required, but is always appreciated.

Sinful Audio – Providing credit is optional, but please don’t take credit for creating it. Also, all speakers and amps sold by Sinful Audio come with a royalty free sound library of the buyer’s choice at no extra cost.

Audio Zombie Sound – Purchasing album(s) or track(s) is all you need to do to get royalty free use for your haunt, as providing credit is optional. However, you would own all the rights if you commission a custom track. They are willing to promote your haunted attraction on social media if you ask.

Mark Harvey – Using his work in your haunt on a royalty free basis is as easy as purchasing album(s) or track(s). Although providing credit is optional, it is also greatly appreciated.

Matt Dibrindisi – The soundscapes from Scarescapes (and only that album) can used royalty free in your haunt upon purchase. Public credit is optional.

In A World Music/Goes To Eleven Media – All of their haunted albums (or individual tracks from said albums) can be used royalty free if purchased. These albums currently include: Hallows’ Eve, Hallow’s Eve Vol 2: The Horror, Hallow’s Eve Vol 3: Dead of Night, Worldwide Horror, Halloween Horror: Exhumed, Haunted Nursery Rhymes and Halloween and Horror Sound Effects: Creatures. Giving credit is optional, but welcome.

Even if the artist whose work you are using does not require you to provide any credit, I suggest you do so anyway. A seated dummy holding a sign or a specially carved Jack O’Lantern are two visually appealing ways to promote your use of their work. Some haunted attractions avoid situations where they would have to provide credit because they feel it would take patrons out of the experience. But you can actually use that to your advantage to scare people. Set it up so that when people enter your haunt, they have to go through a dimly lit hallway with a small spotlight shining on the corner wall where another hallway begins. They will be drawn to the spotlight and see a sign crediting your source of music. This will make them let their guards down and get scared when the sign turns out to be a disguised drop panel! On top of that, they’ll flee directly into the hallway leading further into your haunt and create enough screams to build anticipation among the people waiting outside! The Monster Page of Halloween Project Links has numerous tutorials on making drop panels (and other useful props).

Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for the content on or anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of visiting any links on the above sites (or constructing a project that’s detailed on them). This also applies to the suggestions made here. Attempt at your own discretion. Nobody here is a lawyer and all legal matters discussed above are done so in the simplest, bare bones way. Consult a lawyer whenever possible. This is merely a collection of policy details from artists and not an endorsement.

Oct 13 2017

TGIF13: 6’+ Episode 211 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“Happy Halloween! Happy Friday The 13th! Don’t forget your mask. We celebrate all thing Jason Voorhees with THE JASONS, THE MOANS, TONGUE, THE MEPHISTOS, GENKI GENKI PANIC and more. Monstermatt Patterson heads to Manhattan but ends up in Hell in another MONSTERMATT MINUTE.”

Remember to email 6′+ (contact at 6ftplus.com) or leave a comment below about the show, whether you liked it or not. Tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, but above all – enjoy.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Oct 13 2017

TGIF13: Jason’s Unofficial Theme

Everyone knows the “ki ki ki, ma ma ma” theme means Jason Voorhees is up to no good. But what you might not realize is how there’s another musical composition associated with Mr. Voorhees called “Evening of Chaos.” There is no evidence to suggest Kevin MacLeod had the Friday the 13th franchise in mind when he composed the track in 2013. Its download page makes no mention of Jason or anything else related with the series. But given how it is a horror composition available for use under a Creative Commons license, it quickly spread across the internet. The earliest association with a certain hockey mask wearing slasher I could find is a 2014 makeup tutorial by Sarah Logan Kim:

In 2015, the track was used on the Return to Camp Blood fan podcast. In what’s either a coincidence or a direct reference to the use of the track on that podcast, Dread Central used “Evening of Chaos” in two 2016 videos about the Friday the 13th series:

Later that year, the track was used in a machinima fan film by James Hinchliffe:

A quick search will reveal other examples “Evening of Chaos” being used in videos involving Jason. I don’t know if it’s all a big coincidence or if the more recent uses were inspired by Dread Central and Return to Camp Blood, but it looks like the internet has decided on this as an alternate theme for Crystal Lake’s most famous resident. Will it eventually turn up in an official Friday the 13th movie? Will haunters use it for scenes involving Jason? Only time will tell…

Oct 12 2017

Mandatory Halloween Watch

Well,Boils and Ghouls, it’s that time of the year. October. Time to get geared up for spooks and candy and all things horrific and gruesome. Who am I kidding? Here at Gravediggers Local 16, it’s that time of the year all year around. But October holds a special place in our cold blackened hearts as how it is synonymous with our favorite holiday. Halloween!
I have decided to share with you a list, in no particular order, of my mandatory watches for October. These are what get me in the Halloween mood as I watch them throughout the month, getting geared up for the 31st. I highly recommend all of these to the Nth Degree. Hopefully, you’ll agree.

(WARNING: Before you bombard me with hate emails,nasty comments or spring-loaded axes sent via UPS to my humble shack here in the swamplands for not including your favorite films or whatnot, please understand that this is MY personal viewing list. Also, John Carpenter’s Halloween films are a given, So they are not on this list.)

Night of the Demons

This 1988 horror classic is unique in it’s plot and takes place on Halloween. Extremely quotable and memorable for seens such as the infamous “lipstick” scene, this film stars Legendary Scream Queen Linnea Quigley in her prime and a host of other familiar faces. This cult classic is a can’t miss. And while it spawned a few sequels and a remake a few years back, you can stick with this and oh so satisfied.

Trick or Treat

Another unique 1980’s horror classic. A heavy metal icon returns from the dead through a possessed record to help a hapless outcast get revenge on his bullies. But when things go too far, can Eddie stop the murderous spirit of rock? With a killer (pun intended) soundtrack by Fastway and cameos by Ozzy Osbourne and Gene “Hey Look At Me” Simmons, this film rips.

Trick R Treat

Anyone who has seen this anthology film can agree that this film kind of embodies everything most people love about Halloween. From frights and gore to a couple of laughs, this film has risen in it’s short existence (2007) to be claimed by many as the ultimate Halloween film.

The Halloween Tree

This 1993 adaptation of the 1972 Ray Bradbury book takes you through the history of Halloween through the eyes of 4 kids trying to save the soul of their sick friend. This film is so well done and I can’t think of any film, the ones mentioned above included, that could be more appropriate to sit,relax and watch on Halloween evening just before drifting off to sleep on the most magical night of the year.

Oct 12 2017

Quick Makeup Tips and Costume Ideas III

I found this image of a costumed woman while looking through Amazon’s preview images for the 1922 edition of Dennison’s Bogie Book. Crêpe paper costumes like this were popular in those days. Although saying the costume is “crêpe paper” is somewhat misleading, as the image clearly shows a woman wearing the paper portion over regular clothing. I couldn’t find this particular book online, but Dennison’s Christmas Book has directions on making a somewhat similar costume and advice on working with crêpe paper. I also found a list of what all the codes given in the instructions mean, complete with a color coding guide! The October 1922 issue of Everygirl’s Magazine also has tips on making such costumes like these. Given all the hanging parts, it might be better to take the time to adapt this into a cloth costume. Not only will this help prevent tearing and costume damage, but it’s also less of a potential fire hazard this way. When you factor in what a spilled drink can do to a paper costume, it suddenly becomes clear why this style fell out of fashion.

RavensBlight has printable masquerade gear in addition to papercraft monster masks and various costume accessories. Don’t let the name fool you, Shelby’s recipe box offers up plenty of costume and makeup ideas in addition to recipes. I found the post discussing how to make a simple dress out of an old pillow case to be particularly creative.

Like its name says, Coolest 1000+ Homemade Costumes You Can Make! has a ton of costume ideas. Mom vs the Boys shows how to make a shirt into a ninja mask, while Celebrating Halloween has ideas for both Halloween costumes and makeup.

I Love Halloween has some skull and skeleton-themed nail art and LittleThings has festive ways to accent your eyes (along with countless other Halloween makeup tips). Martha Stewart has tutorials on “Mummy,” “Black Widow” and “Motha” makeup. But don’t think for a second that those are the only things she has available!

Clown makeup is surprisingly complicated. Bruce Fife’s The Birthday Party Business goes through all the steps of designing and applying face makeup for clowns. Thankfully making your own is much easier. Creative Resources for the Early Childhood Classroom by Judy Herr favors using colored cold cream while Randy Horn’s You Gotta Be Kidding and Cindy Fuller’s Haunt Your House for Halloween: Decorating Tricks & Party Treats favor using ingredients found in most kitchens. It can also be used to create makeup for other Halloween characters! Come to think of it, Brian Wolfe’s Extreme Face Painting has some notes about face painting with sponges that might come in handy. Just be sure to test a small amount of any makeup you plan on using on your arm the day before you do the full application in order to test for allergic reactions. It’s better to have a little rash on your arm rather than a huge one which covers your face.

There’s plenty of recipes for fake blood out there, but why not try the special method used by Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi? Popular Mechanics has plenty of makeup tips for you to peruse including…making a fake nose out of Silly Putty? A little investigation shows this idea is more widespread than one might think.

Al J. Vermette’s Boo Biz: Guide To Home Haunting recalls the time he used Silly Putty to create a crude mask and the March 1970 issue of Boys’ Life suggests using it in a guide on monster (and clown) makeup. Personally, I prefer the monster costume and makeup guide from their October 1966 issue (even though it lacks Silly Putty). Speaking of scouts, the October 1990 issue of Scouting has instructions on making various costumes and masks. My personal favorites are the “Space Robot” and “The Thing from Outer Space” costumes. It’s a shame they don’t tell how you’re supposed to see out of them without making blatant eye holes, though.

Simple Pleasures for the Holidays by Susannah Seton has ideas for costumes like “Bumble Bee,” “Vampire Victim,” “El Niño” and the classic “Mummy.” Those who enjoyed the cute costumes from that selection might appreciate the inexpensive elephant mask from the October 2003 issue of Working Mother or the candy costume from Beth L. Blair’s and Jennifer A. Ericsson’s Everything Kids’ Halloween Puzzle And Activity Book.

If you already have a costume idea but aren’t sure how to actually make basic costume components, Nifty, Thrifty, No-Sew Costumes and Props by Carol Ann Bloom has the patterns you need for making tunics, collars and more! Creating Halloween Crafts by Dana Meachen Rau shows how to make easy costumes from sweat clothes, along with some headband ideas and makeup advice.

Not only does Joey Green’s Clean It! Fix It! Eat It! show how to make easy fake burn makeup, but it also discusses using Miracle Whip to remove makeup! Terry Rowan’s Halloween: A Scary Film Guide also combines makeup application and removal tips and Linda Cobb’s The Queen of Clean’s Complete Cleaning Guide focuses on removing makeup and cleaning costumes.

Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for the content on or anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of visiting any links on those sites (or constructing a project that’s detailed on them). Attempt at your own discretion.

Oct 11 2017

How To Make Fake Crows

I first learned about crow hunting while looking up information about creating crow caws for an upcoming article about making spooky sound effects. More specifically, I learned about it from the suggested videos in the sidebar. Any surprise one may have about people hunting crows for food vanishes upon learning the phrase “eating crow” has nothing to do with how crow meat tastes. But that’s not what’s important here. My discovery of homemade crow decoys is what’s important.

Here’s the easiest and least expensive method, as shared by Joshua Cottam:

It’s worth noting how Jason Wright is presenting the demonstration while Mr. Cottam is holding the camera (and randomly making crow sounds). Although these fake crows might not look like much up close, they do look much better from a distance. This is especially true when you see them at night in dim lighting. This makes them perfect for outdoor displays and haunted attractions. You want to be able to control the situation where visitors can’t get close to the decoys and most indoor setups won’t allow the distance you need.

Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for the content on or anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of visiting any links on those sites (or constructing a project that’s detailed in a video). Attempt at your own discretion.

Oct 11 2017

Video Store Day Is Coming!

The seventh annual International Independent Video Store Day is a mere 10 days away! So mark your calendars, clear your schedules and spread the word! You can learn more about the event (and see if any stores in your area are participating) at the official Video Store Day website.

Oct 10 2017

Vile Verses VI

“The Procession” by Harriet Prescott Spofford is not only a poem about a Halloween parade, but it also shows there was a time when trick or treating was not always guaranteed for youngsters on Halloween. Google Books has plenty of other vintage poems as well. Pauline More Wetzel penned “October,” “The Yellow Leaves” and “Their Surprise” while Clara Kendrick Blaisdell wrote her own “October” and Hilda Rose Stice wrote “My Jack-o’-Lantern.” That’s all contained in the same link, by the way. Carrie Stern’s “Hallowe’en” is an interesting read, as are the birth stone poems by an unknown author. The ones for March and October certainly got my attention. Alvin Lincoln Snow’s “The Haunted Mansion” and Joel Benton’s “Halloween” are the last of the vintage material as we move on to modern works like William Michael Mott’s “The Awakening of a Zombie,” Carole Marsh’s “A Marrow Escape,” Ann K. Schwader’s “Jaded” and F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre’s “Improbable Bestiary: The Ghoul.” The rare 80’s wrestling horror comedy Blood Circus had special “Scream Bags” issued to everyone who attended its only showing. Said bags had a poem printed on them, presumably written by the director Santo Gold.

The first installment of “Vile Verses” included some Cthulhu senryu and now it’s time for some Cthulhu limericks by Jeff Bagato and Darell Schweitzer. And what collection of Lovecraftian poetry would be complete without some selections from Lin Carter’s “Dreams from R’yleh”: “Arkham,” “The Old Wood,” “Tsathoggua,” “The Return,” “The Dream-Daemon,” “The Silver Key,” “The Accursed” and “The Million Favored Ones” are only some of the poems contained within those links.

Halloween Machine magazine has plenty of great poems. Lucifer Fulci’s “Season Of The Witch” is what first got my attention, but what really drew me in was the work of the magazine’s undisputed poetry king: Kurtis Primm. Primm is responsible for “Halloween Machine,” “Believe,” “Let Them Come,” “A Bunch of Hocus Pocus,” “Halloween Is Near,” “In The Pumpkins Glow” and “On Every Porch, A Pumpkin” (to only name a portion of his contributions). Want to know something really scary? He has even more poems available in the Amazon previews for his books Primmsylvania Prose and Primmsylvania Prose 2

Amazon also brings us Anders Runestad’s untitled sonnet inspired by Robot Monster (located on page 459) and numerous vampire poems from Ally Thomas.

Although Benjamin A. Fouché is best known around here for his horror stories, he’s also crafted “Secrets of Silence” and other dark poems. Michael Benedikt has a collection of poetry called “Spooky Poems for Halloween (& All Year Round)” and Icky Ichabod celebrates the joys of “Halloween Day.” The Saturday Evening Post brings us a “Warning on Halloween” by Gladys McKee and a “Halloween Visitor” by Betty Jane Baich while Stephen Dobyns’ “Pursuit” is downright chilling. His other works seem to indicate the poem is about time rather than a monster, but existential horror is still horror in my book!

Finally, Wikipedia brings us two poems about death. The first is Henri Cazalis’ “Danse Macabre” (which shares a connection with the famous musical composition by Camille Saint-Saens) and the other is inspired by the alleged ancient Japanese custom known as “Ubasute.”

Oct 09 2017

It Came from Amazon IX

Why is a Lego Minifigure version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde called “Mr. Good and Evil?” Were they afraid people would get confused and expect two separate figures? Speaking of questions about Lego Minifigures, is “Horror Rocker” an excuse to depict the coolness of Frankenstein’s monster playing the guitar or is it a secret reference to Rock and Roll Frankenstein by one of the designers?

The Imaginext line of kids’ toys also caught my attention, and not just because it includes a “Headless Horseman” toy who clearly has a head underneath the pumpkin. Let’s look at the “Halloween” pack of monsters. The decision to give a zombie a weed whacker and mask accessories seems bewildering at first. Then you notice how it’s a burlap sack mask and some of the damage to the zombie’s body seems to indicate this is a Jason Voorhees homage! The decision to reuse the bat from Hordak’s staff as an accessory for Dracula appears be a combination of a cost-cutting decision and inside joke. Another He-Man and the Masters of the Universe connection is how a reworked version of King Hiss is included as part of the “Mummy Guards” collection.

Speaking of mummies, I wish mummy excavation kits had existed when I was a child. Unearthing mummies and dead pirates is so much cooler than the dinosaur skeletons kits which clogged the shelves back then.

Which is toy is cooler, “Phantom of the Opera” version of Eddie the Head or the Somewhere in Time version? I can’t decide. Other cool items which caught my eye are the Nosferatu marionette, the plate cover which lets you turn a light switch into a working throw switch from a mad scientist’s laboratory and Psycho Swami’s “Dr. Brainbender and the Killbots” poster.

How the hell did I not hear about the official DVD release of Dark Intruder sooner? An old Lovecraftian movie is great, but one with a dead serious performance by Leslie Nielsen is even better!

McFarlane Toys making Five Nights at Freddy’s toys doesn’t surprise me. What does surprise me, however, is the sheer number of Five Nights at Freddy’s books for sale! Especially the fan fiction ones marked “unofficial.”

The decision to make the cover art for My Best Friend’s Exorcism look like box art from an old VHS might seem like an attempt to cash in on 80’s nostalgia to some, but I think it makes perfect sense given the artwork used for book covers of the time. I’m not just saying that since the author also wrote Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of ’70s and ’80s Horror Fiction, either. Covers to horror paperbacks used to be painted and sometimes featured gimmicks like holograms and foil embossed text to help them stand out from the others, just like many VHS releases. Although horror paperbacks did have their own unique gimmick: Die-cut covers!

Speaking of old horror paperbacks, I found some leads on books with especially interesting covers thanks to a trip to Too Much Horror Fiction (who aided in the creation of Paperbacks from Hell). Vampire Junction and Vanitas: Escape from Vampire Junction depict the awesome sight of an old school vampire rocking out. Sadly the third installment of the trilogy, Valentine, breaks the pattern and has a rather bland cover. The photo cover for Baxter is less “sociopathic dog” and more “Spuds MacKenzie with heat vision” and merely words cannot describe the hilariousness of Crabs: The Human Sacrifice.

Holy crap, Zazz Blammymatazz is real! I wonder if last year’s creepy clown sightings were due to this band’s former roadies?

Oct 08 2017

Creepy Cocktails and Devious Drinks V

Now that we’re well into the season of pumpkin spice, let’s cook up some of My Ghoul Friday’s “Pumpkin Spice Latte.”

Girl Loves Glam found a way to make lemonade glow under a blacklight!

I had to take a trip in the Wayback Machine to get the recipe for Chef Ron Lock’s “Pumpkin Rot” cocktail, but the trip was well worth it! It’s sometimes referred to as a “Rotten Pumpkin,” but please don’t confuse it with Sasaki Time’s “Rotting Pumpkin Martini.”

But that isn’t the only martini recipe I have for you! There’s also Haunted Bay’s selection of recipes for various pumpkin martinis. They also have recipes for drinks like “Creepy Crawler Punch,” “Pina Ghouladas” and more! The “Pina Ghouladas” make me think of summer and that in turn makes me think of Mr. and Mrs. Halloween’s “Jack-O’-Melon Cocktails.” You’ll understand once you read the recipe.

Kathy Kalmar submitted her frosty “Witch’s Smoothie” recipe to The Giant Encyclopedia of Monthly Activities for Children 3 to 6 and I can think of no better companions than a small life’s “Slimer Smoothie,” Allrecipes.com’s “Green Slime Smoothie” variation and Food Network’s spinach-free “Slime Smoothie.” Yesterday’s collection of Ghostbusters recipes also inspired me to seek out recipes for Food.com’s “Slime Shake” and onthebar’s “Slimer” cocktail.

Jane Rocca’s “Venus Fly Trap” is an interesting concoction, as is DrinksMixer’s “Green Lizard.” Some of you might remember how I discovered this particular cocktail was used as the base for the “Godzilla” cocktail which was supposedly made as a promotional tie-in for Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster. That information being on Yahoo Answers initially made me unsure of its accuracy. But considering what 1001 Cocktails has to say about the effects of the “Green Lizard” and how it compares with description of how the “Godzilla” cocktail “clears that five o’clock smog from your brain” from the American pressbook for Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster, I’m now completely convinced that bit of trivia is correct.

But that isn’t the only cocktail promoting a movie I have for you! MacGuffins Bar and Lounge at AMC Theatres is offering a drink called “The Pennywise” to promote the new It adaptation. I have yet to find an actual recipe, but do know its a combination of pureed strawberries, club soda, Finest Call lime sour and Ciroc Red Berry. It also turns out another chain has created their own cocktail called “Carnival Chaos.” You won’t find a recipe at the link, but you can find a list of ingredients. Until either recipe shows up online, you can make due with the Bangor Daily News‘s collection of cocktails inspired by the works of Stephen King. If you make the the “Pennywise” cocktail, you can also use DrinkWire’s “Clown Mouth Garnish” to make it extra creepy. Horror Freak News has some cocktails inspired by American Horror Story and Spirit Cocktails’ “Indominus Rex” is inspired by Jurassic World.

To make up for the missing recipes for the It-inspired cocktails I noted earlier, I want to share some special bonuses with you! Pillsbury Halloween Fun has some tips on setting up a “Boo Bar” for your Halloween party and The Alcohol Professor’s “Night of the Booooozy Tales” has the man behind Teleport City pairing certain cocktails with famous scary stories. Teleport City was a major influence of mine and I hope you’ll all enjoy his article (and the Teleport City spin-off MEZZANOTTE) as much as I did.

Special thanks to My Ghoul Friday for use of the image!

Please drink responsibly!

Oct 07 2017

Freaky Food IV

That witch looks good enough to eat. And with good reason, as it’s a “Witch Lollipop Doll” from Children’s Occupations by Mrs. Maude Cushing Nash. But it’s not just a lollipop dressed up to look like a witch. It’s actually a edible marshmallow head stuck on the opposite end of a lollipop which has been decorated to look like a witch! But if that doesn’t seem like enough of a recipe for you, then try combining it with one of the following recipes: Taste of Home’s “Old-Fashioned Lollipops,” Snappy Living’s “Homemade Lollipops” (made without corn syrup) or Hoosier Homemade’s “Homemade Jolly Rancher Lollipops.”

Halloween Museum Wordcraft.net’s Halloween Museum includes a tempting recipe for orange and black gelatin sculptures which look like vintage Halloween decorations. Other sweet treats include The Novice Chef’s “Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins,” Delish.com’s “Cereal Killer Bars” and Staying Close to Home’s “Chocolate Covered Pretzel Monsters.”

Better Homes and Gardens’ Halloween Tricks & Treats has recipes for goodies like “Eyeball Pie” and “Tombstone Brownies” (among several others). One of these other recipes which impressed me the most was the “Kooky Cauldron Sundae,” which only narrowly beat out “Scary Cerebrum.”

Speaking of ice cream, the October 1915 issue of Candy and Ice Cream has lots of Halloween ideas, including (but not limited to) the “Black Cat Sundae” and “Witches’ Dream.” The December 1919 issue of Pacific Pharmacist has recipes for a “Hallowe’en Sundae” and “Hallowe’en Sauce!”

Seeing as how Campfire Marshmallows’ Ghostbusters marshmallows are back in stores, let’s celebrate with their recipes for “Slimer S’mores Sundaes” and “Slimer Marshmallow Fondue.” If these marshmallows aren’t available in your area, you can try using Nerdy Mamma’s “Dyed Marshmallows” as a substitute. Speaking of slime, check out these recipes for Babble’s “Ghostbusters Green Slimed Popcorn” and Here Comes The Sun’s “Green Slime Popcorn Balls.”

Writing all those sugary recipes is starting to make my teeth hurt. Let’s move on to some savory items instead. Oh My Veggies’ “Pumpkin Cheddar Stuffing” sounds delicious, as does SheKnows’ “Spooky Ghost Pizza.” Woman’s Day has a recipe for “Dead Man’s Dip” and Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons’ Halloween archives are filled with recipes for “Feet Loaf” and other monstrous meals. Halloween is Here also has quite a selection of spooky snacks you should definitely check out!

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