Oct 31, 2023

Monthly Media Recap - October 2023

As is tradition, the Monthly Media Recap is live earlier than normal in case you're looking for something to watch after the little ghouls are in their graves. All links below are Amazon affiliated for which I may earn for qualifying purchases.


Ahsoka (2023, Disney+)
As much as I enjoyed this, this is where they start alienating the casual fans that haven't watched season upon season of an animated series. It's still watchable without that knowledge but it's not going to mean a whole lot to you if you don't know who the main characters were before this.

Creepshow (S4, Shudder)
A lot of these have a Tales from the Crypt vibe and that's fine with me! It seemed like a lot of them were "despicable person does bad thing and gets what they deserve." Still plenty of gory, ghoulish fun!

Mickey & Friends Trick or Treats (2023, Disney+)
This was a lot better than I was expecting. Maybe it's the stop motion animation but this was like curling up in a warm blanket of Halloween nostalgia feels.

Oct 30, 2023

No Real Post Today

This post is to say that I don't have a real post today!
What I will do is direct you over to the Secret Fun Blog for a great Halloween adventure.

And also, check out Beetlemuse on YouTube for hours upon hours of Halloween audio like this.

Be sure to check out the complete list of Countdown bloggers by clicking below.

Oct 29, 2023

Halloween 2023 Reading List

 In the vein of my Monthly Media Recap, here are the books I consumed this spooky season. Many of them are quick reads if you're looking to cram in a last minute story or two. I was pretty happy with what I knocked out this year. I started in September to give myself some extra time.

Click on the covers for an Amazon affiliate link where I may earn from qualifying purchases.

The only non-horror story I read. Set in 1994, this is about a group of young teens that put together a horror haunt to save their local indie video rental store run by former 80s horror host Cassondra Dagger. If you're a fan of 80s kid adventure movies and horror, I give this a strong recommend.

Oct 28, 2023

Haunted Library - Dr. Shocker's Auction of Horror (2013)

Ten years and two days ago, Dr. Shocker's Auction of Horror was held. Dr. Shocker is the horror host alter ego of Daniel Roebuck, a collection of all sorts of vintage and rare goodies. All the items in this sale are from his personal monster collection!
Blacksparrow Auctions is pleased to present Dr. Shocker’s Auction of Horror, a collection that features original, rare and vintage horror, Sci-Fi and fantasy memorabilia belonging to actor Daniel Roebuck. The live auction will take place at the world famous Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood, CA on October 26, 2013. This unique collection features original life masks of Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, Lon Chaney, Jr., Alfred Hitchcock and more. It also includes autographs, posters, original artwork, vintage dolls, wax figures, facial appliances, props and other pop culture collectibles.

 If you are a monster memorabilia maven, you're going to want to check this out of the Library! There is some unbelievably cool stuff that went up for auction. Of course, since it's already happened, you'll have to be content with looking at the auction catalog like a kid with a Sears Wishbook. Honestly, most of this stuff probably went for way more than I could pay for it anyway.

Click your Library Card to get a copy of the catalog.

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Oct 27, 2023

Freddy Friday - Glove Love

 Back in the 90s, I was helping out at a local haunted house with a couple friends. It was as small, local thing and most of the 'actors' were teens. I wasn't getting paid but, seriously, dressing up and scaring people is something I will do for free any day of the week! This was during my big Freddy phase so that's who I dressed up as. 

The haunt was in a huge, mostly empty, three story house. The third floor was used for dressing rooms. A guide would take each group through the house starting on the second floor. This floor was mostly large bedrooms, each of which had its own scene with a jump scare of some kind. A large section of the first floor was a dark maze. The guide, knowing the maze, would rush through leaving the group to stumble their way through it. There were spots where actors would sometimes lurk too. Being the 90s, it was pre-cell phone so no one had a flashlight and occasionally the guide, or a stranger in the dark, would need to help them along. 

Oct 26, 2023

A Quartet of Vincent Price

In the early 70s, Vincent Price recorded four spoken word albums for Caedmon Records.

Thanks to the Official Vincent Price Youtube Channel, you can enjoy the dulcet tones of Mr. Vincent Price reading a variety of tales, recipes, and rituals. Not only is the content a perfect Halloween evening accompaniment, but you just can't beat Vincent Price.

 Tales of Witches, Ghosts, and Goblins
 A Coven of Witches Tales

A Hornbook for Witches

A Graveyard of Ghost Tales

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Oct 25, 2023

Classic Creepy Comics - The Beyond

Welcome to the last Classic Creepy Comics for 2023! Can you believe it's the Wednesday before Halloween already? This week's feature is The Beyond from Ace Magazines which ran for 30 issues from November 1950 to January 1955.

In yet another case of a comic company changing a title name, what was to be Challengers of the Unknown issue #7 became The Beyond issue #1 so technically, Challengers #6 is The Beyond #0. Because that makes sense.

I just picked this one because it was seasonally appropriate.

The most notable thing I found about this series is that issue #27 was sited in Dr. Frederic Wertham's book "Seduction of the Innocent" which warned against the dangers of comic books. In particular, the story "Strange Potion of Dr Lorch." 

You can read the full run of The Beyond online for free at Comic Book+, including the notorious issue 27 which also has a great story about a dentist that turns a patient into a werewolf by transplanting all their teeth with dog teeth. Good stuff!

Be sure to check out the complete list of Countdown bloggers by clicking below.

Oct 24, 2023

Now Hear This - Halloween 2023 The Revenge

How about a few more tunes to get you in the holiday spirit while you carve up a pumpkin (or something else)? They're not all brand new releases but hopefully they'll be new to you. Clicking on the album cover will take you to Bandcamp where you can buy the music.

DJ Pumpkin, let's twist this!

What better way to kick it off than with some hard rockin, coffin knockin horrorpunk? With 50 tracks, there's sure to be something that will get the dead on their feet.

Oct 23, 2023

Monster Mayhem Creepster Island Playset

I picked up this Mighty Max-style playset a few years ago from Oriental Trading Company. I usually order some treat bag fillers from them every year and this was on clearance for a couple bucks. I happened on it this year while digging out other Halloween stuff.

A transforming playset and mini-monster figures? Sold! I was in my early 20s when Mighty Max came out so I haven't had much exposure to it. Not that I was "too old" for toys then (or now) but it just didn't hit my radar at the time.

Apparently there were three sets but OTC only had this one, which is probably why it was on clearance. If I had my choice of them, I would have gone with the Mummy Mystery for the Egyptian theme. The top corner mentions a companion app but that seems to be long gone also. You can check out this in depth review for more details.

Oct 22, 2023

October Magic and the Punkin Pixie

 Thanks to Countdowner (what? it's a word) CheersWithChelsea on Instagram for introducing me to the Punkin Pixie! The Punkin Pixie is sort of like that other seasonal pointy-eared imp that gained notoriety for just sitting around, but for Halloween!

A couple weeks ago I was checking out Halloween Instagram posts, as you do, when I found the most adorable pumpkin person. I immediately clicked on over to The Punkin Shop to get one for myself. I didn't know there was also a book when I headed over there but once I saw it, it was pretty much required to get that also.

 My Pixie arrived in a Punkin Shop branded cardboard box and it was actually fun to open! The contents were wrapped in orange tissue paper and there was jack o'lantern shaped confetti sprinkled inside. The Pixie was already doing its thing.

For some reason, I was just expecting the Pixie to be loose and not be in a cool box of its own. There was something about seeing the box that went right to the kid in me and made me even more excited to break it free. 
By the way, I'm a total sucker for pumpkin-headed people.

The book is very cute and tells the story of how Harvest Moon cast a spell to create the Punkin Pixies to help kids celebrate Halloween all season long. Like that other squatting critter, they are only active at night, and might move around on their own while getting up to mischief.

I think he's going to be very happy in his new home. I can't wait for him to hang out with Krampus in the Corner in a couple months.

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Oct 21, 2023

Freddy Krueger's Tales of Terror

Let's keep the Freddy energy rolling into the weekend!
From 1994-95, a series of six YA novels were published under the name Freddy Krueger's Tales of Terror. While they sported Freddy prominently on their covers, he only briefly appears in the stories, usually relegated to hosting duties much like on Freddy's Nightmares where he introduces and wraps up the story.

These books fit in among teen horror at the time like Fear Street or the works of Christopher Pike. They even had die-cut covers that gave a peek at an image on the first page. On a side note, both Friday the 13th and Halloween Also had YA series around the same time but the killers were actually in them. 

I remember reading these when they came out because I could not get enough Freddy at that time...no matter how tangentially related to the source material it may have been. They're okay if you want that 90s teen horror nostalgia fix, not so good if you're looking for a proper Nightmare story. 
The books have long been out of print and used copied go for crazy money. But now you can experience these tales thanks to the Haunted Library! Just click your card to check them all out.
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Oct 20, 2023

Freddy Friday - Enter the Slasherverse

You may have traveled the Spider-verse but are you ready for the Slasher-verse?

I accidentally stumbled into this while looking at Freddy fan films. I don't know why fan films are a particular rabbit hole I never jumped into before but there's a lot out there! Slasherverse is an ambitious project by Conrad Studios that tries to weave a tale the crosses over into some of the most popular horror franchises.

Above is a playlist that will take you across the five short films.

It started out pretty good with Elm Street and then went on to Halloween. The Friday the 13th and Scream entries were the low point for me. Both feature voice over dialog which doesn't fit the vibe for either franchise. I'm not a huge F13th fan but Jason just didn't feel right. The series bounces back with the Texas Chainsaw finale.

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Oct 19, 2023

The KidsTime Zone Halloween Special (WTXX, 1986)

 A huge thanks to The Haunted Drive-In on YouTube for posting this gem.

WTXX was local station 20 in Waterbury, Connecticut from 1982 to 2010. KidsTime with T.X. Critter was your typical Sunday morning kids show featuring a live host and puppets. Puppet co-host T.X Critter was created by Paul Fusco who would go on to create ALF a few years later!

This special hits that magical Halloween childhood sweet spot. It gives me nostalgia feels even though I'd never seen it. There's just something about it being a product of the 80s and the charm that only comes from a locally produced show. 
The school kids are just *chef's kiss* 
Did I mention it also has the original commercials?
 Click below to see the list of participating Countdown blogs!

Oct 18, 2023

Classic Creepy Comics - Horrific & Weird Terror

Horrific and Weird Terror were bi-monthly series published by Comics Media from September 1952 to September 1954. 

I couldn't dig up much info on either series but there's no denying the covers are enough to catch your eye and pop it out of the socket!

Most of the covers for both series were done by Don Heck who was the main artist across many of Comics Media's titles at the time. Heck would be recruited by Stan Lee in 1955 to join Atlas Comics.

Oct 17, 2023

Now Hear This - Halloween 2023 The Sequel

 The reason I end up doing a couple of these posts every year is because a lot of artists release during October and I want to make sure they get some recognition! As with other posts, click the album cover to go to Bandcamp where you can preview, and buy, the music. These are NOT affiliate links but artists deserving your ear.

Count Spookula, who just released Monster a Go-Go in May, is back for some rockin' tricks and treats.

The legendary Slasher Dave is lets loose with 18 tracks that are the love child of a horror movie score and one of those Halloween cassettes that randomly turns about to be the best thing ever.

Creature Feature dropped a new single for the season called Every Day is Halloween.You should also check out their back catalog. Great stuff!

Halloween at High Noon rises from the grave with another killer compilation of 22 tracks from various electronic artists.

On 10/27, The Marshmallow Ghosts are unleashing a 3 album reissue/remaster of their past 15 years of Hallow-goodness. You can pre-order the album now and get all 31 tracks when it's released.

Click the image to see the full list of Countdown to Halloween blogs! 

Oct 16, 2023

Halloween House Building Block Set

 This is the other generic building block Halloween set I got from Temu. The set was only $1.38 but what I saved in money, I paid for...with my soul! This entire build took somewhere around 6-7 hours. At least 60% of that time was sorting or looking for the piece I needed.

I would bet if this was an official LEGO set, the time would have easily been cut in half. In anything other than the smaller builds, their parts will come in numbered bags and you only need to open one bag at a time because all the bits for each section of the build are in a single bag. This set? Seven bags of parts, all numbered but with no bearing on the order you put it together. Take a moment to let that soak into your brain. 
Seven. Bags. Of. Small. Parts.

To make things a little more fun, this would be classified as a mini-build meaning it's not "actual size" in scale with the minifigs. What does that mean? Lots and lots of small pieces. I cannot even begin to guess at how many 1x1 or 1x2 pieces were in this set. Here's a small sample.

Carry on after the break...if you dare!

Oct 15, 2023

26th Annual Salem Haunted Happenings Parade

Nothing helps get you in the Halloween mood like the Salem Haunted Happenings Parade. There's just something about seeing so many people come together to celebrate.

The theme this year is Myths and Legends. 2023 is the largest parade to date!

You can watch the entire parade courtesy of Salem Local Access.The actual parade doesn't start until the point the video will play so don't think you missed much.

Here's a few highlights
31:43 - Blackcraft Haunted Attraction
36:43 - Dancing Evil Mickey
42:24 - National Park Service
1:00:20 - All the Ghostbusters
1:05:30 - Wicked Jeeps
1:09:30 - Freddy in Santa's sleigh?!
1:15:30 - Black Veil (costume goals!)
As much fun as the parade is, my favorite part is going "backstage" to the ready area and seeing everyone get their costumes and vehicles ready.

2023.10.05 - Salem Haunted Happenings Parade

You can also browse the pics on Flickr for a better look.

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Oct 14, 2023

Haunted Library - Halloween Horror

Welcome back to the Haunted Library!

I've got a bit of an oddity today, Halloween Horror by Gina Clemen. It seems to be written to aid those learning English. 

The story follows teenagers in Salem that have a Halloween party in an old, abandoned house and have a run in with the ghost of a Salem witch. After each chapter, there are some reading comprehension exercises.

As an introductory reading book, I suppose it's a decent spooky Halloween story. It does have a couple parts that might be a little intense for kids. I do have questions for the parents that let their young teens have a Halloween party in an abandoned house until midnight.The kids aren't even sneaking out to do it!

As someone that's close to Salem and knows a little about the witch hysteria, the book is not historically accurate. Which, okay, it's fiction but it portrays the victims as evil witches. There are descendants of the victims living in and around Salem to this day. They would most likely not be happy with this book. Granted none of the names in the book are the names of the actual victims so I have to give credit for that. It also mentions there were 20 hangings. In reality, there were 19 hangings and one person was pressed to death. But again, it's fiction.

You can view/download a copy of the book by clicking the library card. The original copy I found online did not have the Japanese (?) text so the book seemed more like it was aimed at young children.

I'm presuming this is the audio CD that came with the book, minus the educational bits. It's a full cast audio type of thing with sound effects and music. For some reason, the last chapter is a completely different narrator and there are no additional voices, music or sound effects.


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Oct 13, 2023

Freddy Friday - Tales from Elm Street Series

It might be Friday the 13th, but there's no Jason on Freddy Friday!
This week is not just one, but a series of six short fan films under the title Krueger: Tales from Elm Street. Most of them are prequels to the events in the movies but the last one gives us the dream Freddy we all know and love.

The creator Chris R. Notarile (aka Blinky500) has done an amazing number of fan films not just for horror properties but also comics. Definitely check out his video page.

This is a 40 minute supercut of all six episodes.
Grab some snacks and enjoy!

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Oct 12, 2023

Haunted House by Atari

 To celebrate Atari releasing its fifth incarnation of Haunted House today on Steam (and pretty much every other platform under the sun), I thought I'd take it back to the original 1982 version I played on the Atari 2600.

You can't talk about Haunted House without talking about the box art. How great is this? Back in the day, this is what sold you on the game inside. The box art went a long way helping your imagination connect with what you actually saw on screen.

Here's a clip from the back of the box with a screenshot. If you're not someone that grew up with Atari, you can see what I mean about the box art selling the actual game.