Oct 19, 2017

Halloween Web - Life After Midnight

I am thrilled to bring you a Halloween interview another special Salem guest!
Her name is Kristin and she does a fantastic podcast about Salem.


Thanks for joining us. Please tell us about yourself.

My name is Kristin Harris, and I am a resident of Salem, Massachusetts, the Halloween capitol of the world (I know there is another town who claims this, but I think we certainly have an edge).  I moved to Salem in 2013 to pursue my M.A. in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts Boston and graduated in 2015.  I am also a tour guide here in Salem for Black Cat Tours, and a Paranormal Investigator with Mass Ghost Hunters Paranormal Society.

I am very proud to be hosting two nights of fact and fiction, as I like to call it, with FunDead Publications, called Visions in the Dark: Salem and the Supernatural at the Witch House in Salem as a part of Haunted Happenings 2017. To tell you a bit about the Witch House, it is the former home of Jonathan Corwin, who was a magistrate during the Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692, and it is the only structure still standing in Salem Proper with direct ties to the trials.  For the event, we wanted to hold it somewhere that has a deep connection to Salem, like the Witch House, and we will be exploring the history of the supernatural and its influence on Salem society from the 17th century to the present. That event is on Tuesday, October 24th.


What was Halloween like for you growing up?

I most remember my parents being SUPER enthusiastic about Halloween, and my Gram. My Gram and Pop used to go all out, they had a whole haunted garage they would decorate and scare the neighborhood kids.  I grew up in the suburbs in Pennsylvania, Bucks County, so when I was younger, Halloween was an EVENT. I mean, my parents would plan things all month, we had the tradition of going to the Sleepy Hollow Hayride at Active Acres in Newtown, of course we would carve pumpkins in the garage.  Usually this would involve my Dad trying to outdo everyone, and some Ozzy or Motley Crue in the background. You know, kid stuff. But it had an impact on me, and I was a Halloween nut pretty much for as long as I can remember. I always remembered the best houses who gave out the full sized candy bars, I mean well into my teens, until it became weird to trick-or-treat it was like a strategic run through the neighborhood.

In later years, when I met my husband and we discovered a mutual love for Halloween, it was trying to see how many things we could fit into the month, we even tried to do a haunted porch at his parents house (they had a huge porch) and it was a big hit.  But, Halloween had slowly started to be less and less kids every year and that was kind of sad.  But then as adults when we moved to Salem (I had gotten a job at the Witch House and we both worked there for 3 years) and we discovered HOW intense Halloween and Haunted Happenings was here, it was almost like we found our town, like this was where we were meant to be. So what better place to talk about strange history and the macabre!

Do you have any stand out Halloween memories?

Actually yes, so Scott (my husband) and I have always been total Halloween nuts, but Scott was having a particularly bad year dealing with his anxiety one year.  And of course, that's nothing to joke about, but when we look back on this particular incident we now laugh. We decided to go to HAUNT at Dorney Park in Allentown, PA (highly recommend by the way, it blows Fright Fest at Six Flags away) and we had gone through Haunted House after Haunted House, and they had I think 13 different haunts it was CRAZY. But we finally come to this fun house themed one that we had brushed aside to go to the more scary looking elaborate ones, and we round a corner, and this dude in literally the most corny, un-scary alien mask you could imagine comes at us with this totally half-hearted AAAAH!! I'm sitting here laughing as I type this because it was really bad, but for some reason this set Scott into a full-on panic attack and we had to stop the show so he could get out.  Again, at the immediate time it wasn't funny, but as soon as Scott calmed down we both were hysterically laughing at the fact that all it took was some half-hearted weird alien mask to trigger anxiety, but that's anxiety for you!  We laugh about it now.

What abut a favorite costume?

I have to say one of my favorites was a Poison Ivy costume that I made myself. I bought a stock metallic green Halloween dress and fabric glued all the ivy on myself, I even made the eye pieces and the shoes, literally spray painted them myself. I was pretty proud of that one just because I made it myself. This photo is a little blurry but it was a Batman themed Halloween party so it was pretty awesome.


How do you celebrate Halloween today?

Well, Scott and I got married ON Halloween in 2013, so it's our wedding anniversary.  But we are both very lucky to be tour guides here in Salem, and we both usually give a tour during the day, mine is a ghost tour, taking people around to all the haunted locations in Salem, and his is for Bewitched After Dark, and deals with the Salem Witch Trials history specifically. But I am always thrilled to have the privilege of being a tour guide in Salem, arguably the best Halloween town in the U.S. on Halloween.  It's something that is particularly special to me, and will always be close to my heart.

Do you have any yearly rituals or things to get in the seasonal spirit?

Actually our only ritual is what I nickname "the deciding" when we both just decide when the Halloween season has arrived for us, and we deck out the whole house in Halloween and blast our Spooky Playlist on Spotify.  Usually this is followed with pumpkin beers and/or cider and horror movies.  Also, I march in the Haunted Happenings Grand Parade every year with Black Cat Tours and that's always something I really look forward to. It's sort of the official kickoff to Haunted Happenings in Salem.

What about music, movies, or places to go?

Oh, yes, definitely. My ultimate Halloween song is All Hallows Eve by Type O Negative.  Also all the classics, Witchy Woman, Spooky by Classics IV and Season of the Witch by Donovan.  I try to watch all of the Universal Monster movies I can, The Shining, IT, Stephen King anything, Practical Magic, Sleepy Hollow, the list goes on but those are some of my favorites. OH! and the 1990s Dracula movie, the Lucy white vampire costume is one I have been wanting to do for a LONG time, but I keep pushing it back. As far as places to visit, we have tons of farms in New England, so definitely Russell Orchards for apple cider donuts.


Why do you think we keep Halloween with us as we get older?

I talk about this a bit on the podcast, but I think it's the eternal question of death.  Halloween is supposed to be this time of the year when the veil between the world of the living and the dead is the thinnest, when you can see the dead and be able to communicate. So to me it's this idea that for this one night, everyone is on the same page about sort of walking in two worlds. You don a costume and maybe it's this identity or character you always secretly felt was a strong connection to you as a person, or maybe it's just something you thought was traditional, but either of those things shows a deep connection to this time of year. And I personally think, especially with Salem, that it's one that has always been there, this fascination with this other world, sometimes even obsession, that led to tragedy (in 1692). But people have always had this draw to those questions, and especially in Salem this has put conversations about the supernatural at the forefront of social thought in almost every century, just in different ways.

So I think it's the ever-evolving thought process and curiosity that will continue to culminate around this particular time of year. I also think this is why these sorts of celebrations are ridiculously appropriate for Salem, but if you want to learn more about that, come see me at the Witch House on October 22 or listen in for the live podcast because I'll definitely be talking more about that.

Inside the Spooksters' Studio

The worst thing to get while trick or treating was potato chips, seriously though, why potato chips?
My favorite thing to get was those caramel-apple lollipops, those are the BOMB
My favorite monster cereal is Count Chocula!!

Where can folks find you online?

Life After Midnight: Strange History, Salem Style is on Facebook and Instagram.
People can listen to all the episodes on SoundCloud and the Podcast app on iTunes.

Thanks for getting tangled in the Halloween Web. I hope it was fun for you!

It was, thanks for having me!

A huge thank you to Kristin for joining us today. I highly recommend her podcast if you want to learn more about the strange history of Salem, supernatural or otherwise.

Be sure to visit all the Halloween houses by clicking the link below!

Oct 18, 2017

2017 Halloween Hot Wheels - Scorcher & Great Gatspeed

Welcome back to Hot Wheels Wednesday!
Today we're spotlighting the 5th and 6th cars of the 2017 Halloween series.

First up is Scorcher.


This one is pretty solid. It doesn't have any crazy monster theming but makes due with the traditional orange and black. It's hard to see in the photos but the windows are tinted purple too. Scorcher debuted in 2010 and has been used in the Civil War and Star Wars lines.


The hood almost has a Jack-o'-Lantern smile going on. I could definitely see this ride in a Fast and Furious movie. Anyone up for a horror themed franchise spin-off?

This Great Gatspeed would be racing right along side the Scorcher.


It doesn't scream Halloween like the Ford F1 but it's probably my favorite in the 2017 Halloween series. There's just something about it that looks downright sinister. I'd like to see a version that has the convertible roof closed. I don't know why the name is inspired by The Great Gatsby other than the book was published in 1925 and that the design is based on luxury cars from the 20s/30s.


The really outstanding feature is that the exhaust pipes are only on the left side. The chrome looks awesome but in my mind I'm picturing clear pipes with electric blue hellfire coursing through them. What can I say? It's October and I'm in a horror mood.

Be sure to visit all the participating bloggers by clicking the link below!

Oct 17, 2017

Halloween Web - Alexis Treasures

Today we're talking to Countdown blogger Alexis, who runs Alexis' Treasures.


Please introduce yourself to our readers.

I am Alexis and collect toys. I was born in Virginia and raised there, South Carolina, and Georgia. I was adopted at a very young age and my adopted father was in the military. I graduated High School in 1997 and moved to San Francisco in November of 2001. I am currently living in Muncie, Indiana (ever since summer of 2013). I am a 39 year old transgender, have a cat called Kara, and have my own toy blog at Alexis' Treasures where I'm currently celebrating "31 Days of Halloween" which features toy articles, movie reviews, etc.

What was Halloween like as a kid for you?

I have a bad memory so I don't remember specifics but I do remember how much joy it brought me. One Halloween I do remember is when I went to Jacksonville Florida to spend it with my sister,
her husband, and their 2 sons. I enjoyed it greatly especially since it was the first time I was on a plane and not with my parents as I was still in High school at the time. 

A sadder memory was the year my mom died (1995). I found out a good friend of mine was having his birthday party and did not invite me because others said they would not go if I did. I was upset and my world crashed even more than it already had (mom died just a few months before). My dad allowed me to go trick or treating as a result even though he felt I was to old. That was the last year I did. 


Do you have any special Halloween memories?

Not really. What I remember is how I used to help my mom and dad decorate for the holidays (Halloween included), she loved holidays so much, might be why I do to. I do, however, remember a scary non Halloween moment. I was living in Georgia in a trailer and I had a cat named Mew. Mew ran out of the room scared and so I went to the bedroom to see why and the fan was going. Suddenly through it in a deep scary male voice I could hear "Get Ouut!" (I purposely misspelled out as he said it that way. To this day I don't know if it was my mental health or real!

What about favorite costumes?

For reasons I already mentioned, I was never able to be truly what I wanted to be for Halloween. My favorite costume that I did wear though has to be the vampire. 

What do you do to celebrate Halloween now?

Nothing currently, however in San Francisco I used to go to Halloween in the Castro until it was ceased due to people coming to the Castro just to stab or shoot people. For the record, it was a huge party that took over many blocks of the Casro district. So much fun then.

Do you do anything special to get into the Halloween spirit?

Nothing specific but I do have stuff I do. I try to watch Halloween themed TV shows or movies and listen to Halloween themed music every Halloween! I mostly just stay in and this is for my safety.
Halloween of 2015 I sprained my knee, in 2016 I almost got hurt again. This year I wanna stay in lol.


Inside the Spooksters' Studio
 
The worst thing to get while trick or treating was "Gum (I don't like gum)"
My favorite thing to get was "Peanut M & M's"
My favorite monster cereal is "Boo Berry"

Where can people find you online?

I can be found on Twitter and other social platforms but only Instagram has content that my blog doesn't (though I do retweet other news from toy twitter accounts).

Thanks for stopping by, Alexis!

See all the Halloween goodness by clicking the link below!

Oct 16, 2017

Now Hear This - Halloween 2017

So the month's about half over. You've probably listened to your favorite Halloween albums a couple times over and have your seasonal playlist going non-stop. If you're looking for something new to add to the mix, you've come to the right post!


First is Halloween Haunts: Revisited (Amazon, iTunes). I don't remember how I found out about this album but after listening to the samples, I snatched it up. Most of the 10 tracks have a completely different style from each other and they all have vocals. 

The styles range from jazzy to hard rock to hip-hop and there's even a couple songs that I swear are missing tracks from the Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack. These are suitable for all ages but aren't down on the kid level so much that adults won't enjoy them. Not only do I think you'll find at least a couple tracks you'll enjoy but I bet at least one will stuck in your head.

I've been on a bit of a Bandcamp kick lately. I've discovered so many great horror punk/rock bands that I never would have otherwise heard.



I found The Anti-Bodies one day while randomly browsing bands. The first track on the album is titled "10/31" so I couldn't not listen to it, right? I let the album play after the first song and instantly fell in love with them. There is just something about this band that checks all the boxes for me. Songs include "Camp Blood" (Friday the 13th), "Elm St.," "Zombie Invasion," and "Earth vs. Mars."



Governor Grimm is more towards the rockabilly side of the music spectrum. Their tunes will definitely get your toes tapping!


And if you need some groovy electric instrumental sounds, you can't go wrong with Wolfmen of Mars catalog. Their music is pretty much the soundtrack for a 70s/80s outer space horror movie!

Finally, it wouldn't be Halloween without the next two releases.


Creep over to the Monster Mashup Facebook page where you can download their 13th Halloween compilation. Three CDs worth of music for the low price of free! Most of the mashups are solid but a lot of them won't migrate to my playlist. But I can be very picky about my Halloween songs.


Figure returns with Monsters Vol. 8 (Amazon, iTunes) with tracks inspired by The Fog, The Ring, Phantasm, The Twilight Zone, and more. I will be the first person to tell you I would likely never listen to EDM/Dubstep but I really dig Figure's stuff with the way he drops in horror dialog.

Have you added anything fun to your Halloween playlist?
Let me know in the comments!


Be sure to visit all the Halloween houses by clicking the link below!

Oct 15, 2017

Halloween Web - Vraie Fiction

Another Countdown blogger takes the hot seat today. His name is Guillaume. He's the keeper of Vraie Fiction and he's from the far off land of Canada.


Welcome, Guillaume. Tell us a little about you.

My name is Guillaume (duh!) I am a Quebecker from the Saguenay region living in the UK because I married an Englishwoman. I have a PhD in literature but I do not work in academia anymore.

What was Halloween like as a kid?

This is a big question, as I remember a lot from it, yet it is all blurred. I remember that we started preparing ourselves mentally to Halloween, my brothers and I, since at least the beginning of school. We had a "Halloween game" which was a make belief game where I played the good guy, a sort of Zorro/vigilante specialized in fighting monsters, witches and demons and the big battle was always on Halloween night. I also remember wearing a domino mask for most of the time going trick or treating. We grew up in the city of Chicoutimi, in one of the Northern parts of Quebec (two hours and a half from Quebec City by car), so I remember Halloween nights were generally quite cold and dark.

Do you have any special Halloween night memories?

Again, I have so many of them, but in the end they are quite blurry. I remember the very first time (I think) when I went trick or treating and I was disguised as the Big Bad Wolf. I remember one Halloween night when it was snowing, which I thought felt quite weird. I also remember dreaming about the night, when I was being chased by a mob of monsters and demons, that was scary but actually fun at the same time.

What about favorite costumes?

Well, there's that Big Bad Wolf one because it was my first. It was not a very good one: a witch's cloak my parents bought (but it was real fabric, not plastic, and there was a pretty nice sinister drawing of a witch brewing something in her cauldron on it), a make up of fangs and blood, I looked more like a vampire or a sort of werewolf. or a werewolf-vampire thing. But it was really gory for the time, albeit accidentally so. I must have been four, top. At 18 I also wore a costume of Alex from A Clockwork Orange which I was quite proud of. Will try to find a photo of the Big Bad Wolf one, I think I have it somewhere.


Is there anything special you do to get in the mindset of the season these days?

Plenty. Now that I am an adult, I start preparing myself mentally to the season from August onward (sometimes even late July). I start looking for a change in the air and the trees to see signs of autumn, I start reading horror stories (I made myself a pretty solid collection), then in the following weeks I add layers and layers of seasonal rites in my life: I decorate in October, watch horror movies from September onward almost exclusively, etc. There is plenty of music I listen to that I associate with Halloween, especially Mozart's Requiem, Don Giovanni, then Gounod's Faust, and of course all the theme music and scores from classic horror movies. And well, there are the movies one HAS to watch: Halloween, Trick R' Treat, and I always try to watch at least one Hammer and one very old one in black and white and silent. Oh and I drink Hobgoblin beer and other horror themed beers.

Why do you think we still enjoy Halloween as adults?

Fear is a primal thing that does not disappear when you get older and Halloween is all about playing with our fears and taming them. It is a cathartic holiday that allows us to understand and accept the darker side of human nature, but also rationalize it. And there is the trick or treat, the whole sharing aspect. It is a holiday that truly shows us to love thy neighbours, teaches us to trust them, earn their trust and well, eat, drink and be merry.


Inside the Spookster's Studio

The worst thing to get while trick or treating was Those darn lollipops! And every hard candies in fact. Everything that was slow to eat and hard and often tasted of cough syrup!
My favorite thing to get was Marshmallow coated in chocolate and in the shape of a jack-o-lantern. So perfectly Halloweeny and well, perfect.

Where can people find you online?

I have a Twitter account which I don't use very often, in the virtual world I hang out on my blog Vraie Fiction, which I try to feed daily.

Be sure to visit all the participating bloggers by clicking the link below!

Oct 14, 2017

Halloween Web - FunDead's Erin

Wrapping up FunDead week is Assistant Editor Erin.


Thanks for stopping by! Please introduce yourself.

Greetings. I’m Erin Crocker, award-winning author of “Synchronicity” and its sequel “Menoetius”, an avid doughnut enthusiast, and an assistant editor for FunDead Publications. I have been published in “Night in New Orleans”, “Entombed in Verse”, and “One Night in Salem”.  I hold a Certificate of Education and an Associate’s of Arts and Sciences with an emphasis in Police Science from Germanna Community College and a Bachelor’s of English, Linguistics, and Communications from the University of Mary Washington.

My focus lately has been on the domestic violence advocacy program I started in 2015 called When She Walked Away that promotes healing through artistic expression with direct emphasis on creative writing. I would elaborate on my free time if I had any.

What was Halloween like for you as a kid?

What do I remember about Halloween when I was a kid…hmm—they didn’t have Halloween back in my day. Just kidding. I grew up in Southwest Missouri. The town only had two stoplights, so I walked up and down the sidewalks Trick-or-Treating. Some lady in a brightly colored corner house would pass out cans of soda. That was cool.

Do you have any funny stories from past Halloweens?

I remember being dressed as a cow one year. When I was in preschool, a lot of girls would be princesses, and I was always Spider-man or I would dress as the Ninja Turtles. Is that funny? I’m trying to be funny.  In sixth or seventh grade, my costume was left up to me. I grabbed this oversized refrigerator box, spray painted it, cut a square out at the top—I was a port-o-potty…

Any particularly favorite costumes?

Back to the port-o-potty costume…well, at least I thought it was funny…

How do you celebrate the season now?

Nowadays, I kick back and watch as many horror films as possible. Usually, it’s the “Nightmare on Elm Street” series, I don’t think it ever gets old.

Do you have any yearly rituals or things to put you in the spirit?

I wouldn’t say ‘rituals’, but rumor has it I enjoy some seasonal Halloween tunes from time to time.

Why do you think Halloween stays with us as we get older?

The candy—no, to me, it’s the innocence of being little and dressing up as my hero…or a port-o-potty…and running around gathering candy. Nobody worried too much about the candy being unsafe. As an adult, we tend to face more real-life ghosts; in that respect, it’s important to cling to a bit of childhood innocence.

Inside the Spookster's Studio

The worst thing to get while trick or treating was Bible Tracts
My favorite thing to get was entire cans of soda (ed: that's a first!)

Where can people find you online?

My official site is AuthorErinCrocker.com and I'm on Facebook.
You can also visit When She Walked Away.

A huge thanks to Erin and all the FunDead staff for joining me this Halloween season!


Be sure to visit all the Halloween houses by clicking the link below!


Oct 13, 2017

October Awfulness - WTFour


Wrapping up Round Two, these Fearsome Four are moving on!

Religious Pamphlets
Veggies/Fruit
Orange/Black Wrapped Ickiness (Kisses)
Circus Peanuts

This round's matches weren't nearly as close as last week. Although Veggies/Fruit completely shut out Pretzels I think we know they're no match for Religious Pamphlets. Or are they? Your votes will decide!

Here are your October Awfulness Round Three Matchups


As I was compiling the leader board for Round Two, I noticed there were some bracket submissions that came in after I had started last week's tallies. They have been added below with their scores for both rounds.

Round Two Leaderboard

16 points (perfect!)
Beverly

15 points
Vanessa

14 points
Mike, Richard

12 points
John

11 points
Chelsea

10 points
Jolene, Shad

9 points
Sam, Scott

8 points
Chris, George

6 points
Hellen

3 points
Mason

Be sure to visit all the Halloween houses by clicking the link below!

Oct 12, 2017

Halloween Web - FunDead's Laurie

Let's give a warm welcome to FunDead's Laurie!
In addition to being an editor, she makes some really amazing, tiny gravestone art.


Hi Laurie, tell us a bit about you.

I’m Laurie Moran, and I’m an editor at FunDead Publications, an indie publisher of dark, gothic, and horror fiction and poetry, based out of Salem, Massachusetts. Our newest book, "One Night in Salem," released on September 30th. I also like to make tiny gravestones inspired by historic cemeteries in New England, and I fashion them into jewelry and cemeterrariums—fairy gardens for the deceased.

 

What was your Halloween like as a kid?

I grew up in Western Massachusetts, in a middle-class neighborhood that was built after WWII, and every house on the street was the same L-shaped ranch. There were lots of kids in the neighborhood, and most of the houses would give out candy, so our jack-o-lantern buckets would be full after only going down the block. We would also sometimes visit my Grandmother’s house for “Devil’s Night”: her neighborhood traditionally did trick-or-treating on the night before Halloween.

Do you have any outstanding Halloween memories?

There was one house in my neighborhood that had a graveyard display on their front lawn in October, and mannequin in a chair as part of it. On Halloween, someone that lived in that house would sit in the chair, dressed as the mannequin, and jump up to startle trick-or-treaters. I remember one year my mom tried to convince me to go to the door, but I was worried that they would try to scare me, and I made her go up before me and ask the mannequin/neighbor to stay put in his chair before I would approach to ring their doorbell.

Any favorite costumes from childhood?

My mother always made our costumes, so I made it through Halloween in the eighties without ever wearing one of those ubiquitous store-bought plastic character mask and bib get-ups. (Ed.: Wow!) One of the standouts was a Rainbow Brite costume, complete with a handmade wig of yellow yarn that was so horribly itchy that I wouldn’t wear it.


What do you do to celebrate the season?

I’ve lived in the Salem area for 19 years, and Halloween in Salem is a solid month of events. I usually attend one or two friends’ house parties, and these are hardcore Halloween fans, so the parties have over the top decorations (like a funeral parlor room with a casket, or a bloody murder scene in the bathroom), special attractions (like a backyard horror movie marathon projected on the side of the house), themed food, and everyone in costume. I always go to the Haunted Happenings kick-off nighttime parade at the beginning of October, and I usually attend a few other events in Salem throughout the month, like Zombie Prom, or the pet costume parade. On Halloween, we always walk around in costume and enjoy the crowds in downtown Salem, people watching and admiring others’ creative attire.  This year, as part of FunDead Publications, I’ll also be involved in planning and producing several Halloween themed events in Salem, including a time-travel themed book launch party, a candlelit tea party, and a lecture on Salem and the supernatural.

Any other special things you do for the season?

I love fall food, so consumption of many pumpkin, apple, and spiced goodies is necessary. I also have to carve a pumpkin every year.

What makes Halloween special for you?

Personally, dressing up in costume has always been my favorite part of Halloween. I enjoy sewing, and sometimes make my costumes from scratch, but when I’m too busy to sew, it’s also fun to pull a costume together with things from my wardrobe and the thrift store, and pair it up with over-the-top makeup.

Inside the Spookster's Studio

The worst thing to get while trick or treating was the porch light turned off as you approached a house.
My favorite thing to get was anything chocolate, especially York Peppermint Patties.

Where can people find you online?

In addition to FunDead Publictions, you can find me on Instagram as thecemeterrarium.

Thanks to Laurie for participating in the Halloween Web!

Be sure to visit all the participating bloggers by clicking the link below!

Oct 11, 2017

2017 Halloween Hot Wheels - '71 Plymouth Satellite & '41 Ford F1

Week 2 of Halloween Hot Wheels starts to get into gear and a bit more Halloween-y!


Now that's better! Red tinted windows and some Mummy graphics. Although the eyes in the Mummy Motors logo give it a more kooky than spooky look. It does have the skull wheels, but they're hard to see being black on black.


This car model was first made in 2013 for the Entertainment (TV/movie) line. Do you recognize what pop culture car this is? It's the Brady's station wagon! More specifically, it's based on the one used when they went to the Grand Canyon.

For whatever reason, this next one was the most difficult to track down. Maybe it was short packed in cases, maybe it's because people scooped it up because it's just so Halloween. After many trips to various Walgreens, I finally went to eBay to make sure I got one.


This '41 Ford F1doesn't have any crazy graphics (other than the HW logo) but it does the colors so right I don't think it needs anything else. I mean, if this doesn't scream Halloween, I don't know what would! Even if it didn't have the big Halloween logo on the side.


Like the Satellite, this model debuted in 2013 but in a Hanna-Barbera line with Yogi Bear's face on the side. As you can see, the bed has got plenty of room for gravedigging equipment...or bodies!

See all the Halloween goodness by clicking the link below!

Oct 10, 2017

Halloween Web - FunDead's Bret

Continuing FunDead Week, today we have one of the assistant editors, Bret Valdez.


Welcome aboard! Tell the folks a bit about yourself.

I’m world-renowned published author Bret Valdez from Florida. I am an assistant editor for FunDead Publications, and received my first publishing credit with the company’s third anthology, Night in New Orleans. I am also a decorated poet, with two poems published in FunDead’s Entombed in Verse: An Epitaph for Salem, and my second full-length short story is featured in the upcoming One Night in Salem, available September 30th from FunDeadShop.com and Amazon.com as a Kindle eBook. I’m a pretty big deal.

What was Halloween like for you as a kid?

I grew up poor, so I’d always go to “rich” neighborhoods here in Palm Bay, Florida to do some trick-or-treating; but more importantly, enjoy the elaborate decorations and scares these neighborhoods would display! There were as many decorated houses with twinkling lights as Christmas, and cobwebbed door frames, fake blood soaked walkways, homemade headstone graveyards, and dazzling displays of strobe lights and haunting silhouettes in upper story windows. Before I would come to love Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios, this was the next best thing! They always went all out!

Any fun Halloween memories that stand out?

One time, around Halloween, I fell asleep with my comforter still in the wash, so I pulled something loose over me before I dozed off. When I woke up the next morning, my mother was in hysterics because she thought I was sleeping in my Scream costume. She thought I’d maybe taken my obsession for my favorite movie a little too far. All I was trying to do was keep warm!


I think you just answered my next question about a favorite costume!

I was obsessed with Scream when I first saw it in December 1996, and it’s been my favorite film ever since. So, I’d have to say my favorite costume was definitely my first time going as Ghostface the following year, when it was the “hot” costume and everyone else was wearing it, too.

What do you do today to celebrate the season?

If I do any kind of celebrating, I really love to go to Halloween Horror Nights. They do such a fantastic job, and they usually have a good selection of fright to get myself into. I’ve always wanted to be a Scare Actor, so I think that would be fun to do someday.

Do you have any specific activities you enjoy every year?

Starting in 2003 with the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I started seeing a horror film in theaters on Halloween night: the latest showing, so when you get out of the theater it’s creepy and foggy and deserted and the possibility of being murdered seems most probable. Hocus Pocus is a no-brainer, as a child of the 90s c/o 1985. And I have a “zombie movie marathon” every year, because zombies are my favorite.


Inside the Spookster's Studio

The worst thing to get while trick or treating was Tootsie Pops.
My favorite thing to get was those vanilla and fruit flavored Tootsie Rolls that you could only get around Halloween.

Where can people follow you? Online, of course...

Hey, invested reader: come stake me out on social media! Follow me on Facebook and Twitter, and check out FunDeadPublications.com.

Thanks to Bret for sitting in the comfy chair for this interview.

See all the Halloween goodness by clicking the link below!

Oct 9, 2017

Salem Haunted Happenings Parade 2017


In Salem, the Halloween season starts up in September but the first Thursday in October is the official kickoff when the annual Haunted Happenings Parade takes place.

This year's theme was movie monsters and I have to say this was probably the best Halloween parade they've done. It's probably in part due to the theme being something I'm very much into but there were also lots of great costumes and floats/vehicles too.

I make it part of my seasonal celebration when I'm able to go. Every year I take photos because I want to share it with people who aren't there. And every year, the photos come out terrible. This is what happens when you try to take pictures at night of moving objects and don't have a pro-level camera (or skill to know how to use one).

But, lucky for you, Creative Salem has both those things! They've got close to 200 photos of the parade setup, progression, and people that attended. You can check those out here.

And if you have about an hour to kill, you can watch the entire parade as broadcast by Salem Access TV. Sadly, the sound is a gamble but you can throw on your favorite Halloween record. The parade starts around the 2:33:00 mark...or you can just watch downtown Salem for a couple hours until it starts. It'll be just like you got there early to get a good seat!


Be sure to visit all the Halloween houses by clicking the link below!

Oct 8, 2017

Halloween Web - FunDead's Amber

It's unofficially FunDead week here at AEIOU and Sometimes Why. All week long, the Halloween Web series will feature the people behind the screams at FunDead Publications.


Welcome...well, come in, Amber and introduce yourself.

Hello to all of you out there in interweb land! I’m Amber Newberry, Editor-in-Chief and Founder of a small Gothic and horror press out of Salem, MA called FunDead Publications. I write things, I edit things. You might have seen a couple of my Halloween pop culture articles on Bloody Disgusting, or maybe you follow FunDead on Instagram or Facebook! If you’re very obscure, and a true Halloween nut, you also might know of my Halloween TV Episode Facebook page, Halloween in TV Land!

What was your childhood Halloween like?

When I was a young kid, I lived in a small neighborhood in a little town called Acworth, GA. I frequently stayed at my grandparents house, and had lots of schoolyard chums living in that neighborhood (some I’m still Facebook pals with today!). It wasn’t the most swanky little street, but everyone knew one another, all the kids would run around and ride bikes together, and we often trick-or-treated as a group. Oh… and an important tidbit… there was a HUGE old cemetery behind my grandparents house/farm. It may not seem like an important piece of information, but I feel very strongly about how that cemetery affected my life-long love for the macabre.


Do you have any especially fond Halloween memories to share?

Fond memories? There are so many of them. I even had my first kiss on Halloween night (but that was later, after I moved to Florida). One of the major standouts was when I got to do my first grotesque costume, around the age of 9. We had a friend who did great special effects makeup and I wore an 80’s prom dress and he made my face look like I’d been run over by a truck and then lit on fire. That year, the reactions when people opened the door to me trick or treating was much different. I loved that.

As for scary memories, there’s one in particular. Remember that old cemetery I mentioned before? Well, when I was about 7 years old, and trick or treating with my best friend and some other neighborhood kids, we were walking by the cemetery with our pillow cases and someone lit one of the graves on fire. As the blaze went up, we heard someone scream and then everyone took off running. I was too little to realize it was just a bunch of hoodlums being rotten and destructive, but I do remember it as the scariest Halloween of my youth.

Do you have any favorite costumes from past Halloweens?

I wish I had pictures of the dead prom date costume. Sadly, I don’t, but I do have a couple of great ones featuring some fabulous costumes. These would be around 1990-1992. While I love my black cat costume (above), I have to say that my brother’s California Raisin costume takes the cake from these old pics!


How do you celebrate Halloween these days?

Well, I live in Salem, so the celebration runs deep, like some spiritual thing that I know I’ll never let go of. Halloween starts in September for Salem, and running a small business that revolves around Gothic and horror themes means October is hugely important for us. I always host an enormous Halloween gathering. Last year we made my house look like it was abandoned by covering all of the furniture with white fabric. Then I made the parlor look like a room set up for a funeral… I even fashioned a casket out of my living room ottoman. Sadly, we’ll be too busy to throw our home party this year, but we’re hosting tons of Halloween events in Salem this year, including a Nocturnal Tea Party, and a decade hopping book release party at Notch Brewing. That event is to launch our upcoming Halloween anthology, ‘One Night in Salem’, which features 23 stories set on different Halloween nights throughout history in Salem!


Do you have any yearly rituals to get into the seasonal spirit?

Too many to name, but I’d say the one I’m most known for is that I watch Halloween TV episodes annually. Everything from Roseanne and Home Improvement to Happy Days, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, and The Donna Reed Show. Of course, I also watch all the old classic made-for-TV Halloween specials, as well. I joke that I’m an expert on Halloween TV Specials. If you remember a Halloween episode of something, chances are I’ve seen it and probably have many times over. I’m a good team mate for Halloween pop culture trivia. I’m pretty basic when it comes to the movies I watch at Halloween. It’s become a tradition for us to wander downtown Salem in costume during the day on October 31st, but when it starts getting cold, we got back to my place and warm up over drinks and watch Hocus Pocus.

And what about spooky tunes?

I build a new Halloween playlist every year, and it always has plenty of repeat music. I love classic Halloween tunes because they have such a creepy feel to them with the crackling record sound. I’m a big fan of horror movie soundtracks, so plenty of Goblin and John Carpenter, of course.

Why do you think we, as "adults", still love Halloween?

I believe that my generation in particular is very nostalgic. I also believe that my generation is the last to experience trick or treating in the ’old-fashioned’ way, before it got too ‘dangerous’ and before trunk-or-treats and lock-in parties. I’m lucky if I get two trick-or-treaters at my house! But I digress, I think it’s the fact that it has changed so much over the years that makes us nostalgic for the way Halloween was when we were kids. That, and I believe we all crave something a little dark, and Halloween gives us that opportunity to have fun with it in the mainstream, when everyone, even the people who don’t leave their decorations out all year, are excited about pumpkins, fake blood, and skeletons. (I’m the one that leaves the d├ęcor out all year…)

Inside the Spookster's Studio

The worst thing to get while trick or treating was a toothbrush!
My favorite thing to get was Green Apple flavored anything, especially Blow Pops!

Where can folks find you online?
Our main site is FunDeadPublications.com and people can find our books, shirts, and cemetery jewellery at FunDeadShop.com.

Amber, thanks so much for stopping by and readers, stay tuned all week for more interviews with the staff of FunDead Publishing!
 
Be sure to visit all the participating bloggers by clicking the link below!

Oct 7, 2017

Halloween 2017 MA Lottery Ticket

2015 brought us Monster Cash.
2016 was Spooky Cash.
2017 is Creepy Cash. I'm sensing a theme here.


They did a great job with the graphics. They really pop! That back one looks a little like Jack Skellington. I have to wonder if it was intentional.

Sadly, my trip through the pumpkin patch did not yield any ghosts, spiders, or cash.

Do you have any fun lottery tickets in your state? I started an open Flickr album for people to post their state lottery tickets. If you have any, please feel free to add them to the album. Or if you could send me pictures/scans I'd be happy to post them.

Be sure to visit all the participating bloggers by clicking the link below!
And don't forget to vote for this week's October Awfulness on the right.

Oct 6, 2017

October Awfulness - Unwanted Eight


Alright, Trick or Treaters, we've got the results of the first October Awfulness round.

Advancing to round two are:
Toothbrushes
Religious Pamplets
Veggies/Fruits
Pretzels
Those Orange and Black Abominations
Bubblegum
Circus Peanuts
Mint Candies

Most of the face-offs were won in a landslide. 
The closest race was bubblegum and lollipops at 58% to 42%.
Here's the updated bracket going into round two.

What will come out on "top"?
You decide!


Round One Leaderboard

8 Points
Beverly

7 Points
Vanessa

6 Points
Amber, Jolene, Mike, Richard, Shad

5 Points
Sam, Scott

4 Points
Chris, George

3 Points
Mason

2 Points
Hellen

Round Two competitors are posted on the right sidebar so cast your votes, tell your friends, tell your enemies, tell the voices in your head!

We'll see you next Friday for Round Three!

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