Ghosts and Goblins! A Halloween Story

I believe Halloween freaks like myself have that one event, memory or place which is the responsible for our undying love of the season, even into middle-age. For me, it was a book. As far back as I can remember, I loved this book and would take it almost anywhere. In fact, I can recall my parents concern I was become a little obsessed with it and offered almost anything to replace it or at least broaden my horizons. I heard none of it. This book took me to a weird, spooky place and even today, that is where I want to be. This book is Ghosts and Goblins.

il_300x300.1452291552_owga

For almost thirty years I thought I had lost this book and it slowly drifted from memory until a fateful day when I was exploring my parent’s basement I was reunited with my beloved book. A little used and the cover is missing but still readable. It’s what is on the inside of the book that matters, no?

IMG_6629

Ghost and Goblins is a collection of old stories, poems and limericks from various sources but the real magic is the illustrations by Tim Kirk. They were so mesmerizing I don’t even recall reading much of the stories. Except for one. THE one. The story and illustration which terrorized an only child and would pop into mind late at night believing there were ghosts right outside the door. That story was “A Halloween Story” by Margaret Widderman and it solidified my love of October forever.

img_6631.jpeg

My good Lord, look at what is happening in this room! These kids have no idea there are demons floating all around them but do seem generally taken with the story. There are jack-o-lanterns lit in the windows and hot chocolate with doughnuts on a plate making an absolutely rad-ass evening of fright. It reminds me of being a kid watching The Exorcist on TV knowing full well that in an hour I would sent to bed scared out of my wits. I don’t know why we do the things we do but that is what makes us the Halloween freaks we are.

“There was Something that howled around the chimney, And Something that rattled on the wall- And it wasn’t wind, the Thing, nor a tick-tock on a string, Nor anything they said it was at all:”.

IMG_6633

That stanza of the poem/story used to creep me out. It was like the part in a ghost movie when logic and reason starts departing as the characters begin to accept paranormal activity is afoot. I remember reading this under a blanket with Cheez-it dusted fingers listening closely as the house settled. Was that a ventilation duct expanding or was it Captain Howdy scratching outside the door? At that time, the latter seemed more plausible.

For better or worse, this book shaped my love for Halloween and all things creepy. Still to this day, I love thumbing through these pages getting the same delight I had at age seven. Tim Kirk’s imagination and illustrations make this book such a treasure and I am so grateful to have found it after all these years. I can’t tell you how hard it is to describe a childhood book in your late thirties. “It’s a book with demon ghosts sneaking up on kids eating doughnuts…has a rotting corpse in a tux reading a magazine on the inside cover…”.

image_67203585

The Hell Show continues! Thanks for reading my story about reading. This is typically my favorite week of the season because finally no one gives me the side-eye when I dress in all black and orange. It’s a lonely summer.

Big Lots Were Wolf Rug!!!

Screen Shot 2018-09-17 at 8.16.57 PM

I don’t know how they do it but every year Big Lots strikes first and strikes hard with new animatronic Halloween decorations and this season is no exception. I have reviewed new items in the past from Big Lots and it always seems to be a little KB Toys to the Toys R Us, if you catch my drift. Very much a discount store with many of it’s items hovering close to their expiration date or selling cookware from celebrity chefs who fell from grace receiving facial wounds from a prostitute. (that’s a real thing)

I think where I am going with this is Big Lots isn’t known for high-end products. But that is when Halloween hits and holy cats, I dare you to find better for the cost. The aisles of Arizona teas from 1999 seem to drift away when the Halloween season comes around. And let’s just talk about the Halloween season at Big Lots! It starts in July!

Well, I can go on and on waxing love for this retail chain but tonight it is all about the queen of the dance; the Werewolf Rug. This beast comes in around $70 when I purchased it but looking now, they discounted the item down to $50 and for most households, this is still not even the Halloween season yet. Oh well, I still love this and buyer’s remorse won’t hit until December 23rd.

The notable cool features are the eyes which light up blue or red and has the iconic wolf howl. This can be activated through touch or even motion so you can also test out the new defibrillator on grandma when she visits.

All in all, it’s a cool product to start the season off with and I am going to try really hard not to do a posthumous Burt Reynold’s impression, if you know where I am going.

Watch my review and in the comments tell me your favorite werewolf movie. It’s a tough one for me but The Howling still gets me today. How about you, Bright Boy?

Glowing Halloween Candy…Maybe?

Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 7.37.23 PM

And we’re off! Tonight we dish on new Halloween treats you need to try for yourself because if you are judging from my suggestion, you need to keep in mind I have broken my nose twice and am addicted to extremely spicy food. Not exactly a palate of precision. But then again we are talking about sour-laced candy corn so let’s keep it all in perspective.

Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 7.36.50 PM.png

This year hasn’t exactly shocked the world of Halloween bloggers but there are some highlights so far. It seems every year we look for that “Holy Grail” like 2013 when everything aligned so perfect we are still in shock. It’s really unfair to compare every year after to that season but damnit if we should not. Some companies have tried while others have fallen to the wayside. (Looking at you, Jones Soda Co. and General Mills)

Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 7.36.37 PM

In this new video you’ll see a few new players and for that we applaud and praise them, even if the end result is not all fireworks and wolf howls. They had the intent, and there is no shame in that game.

Keep up to date on the latest posts and the new schedule for the Halloween Hell Show. Lots of videos and live streams in your future!

Halloween Mixed Tape (er, CD)!!!

Screen Shot 2018-09-10 at 7.49.42 PM

My amazing friend Patrick (maxreborules)  teamed up with me to bring something amazing!!! Maybe you’re old enough to remember what it was like getting a mixed tape or CD from a friend. It took effort and the act of playing it was almost like a small tribute to the person who gave you that mix. It meant a lot more and you would gladly depart with an original “And Justice For All” CD from Elektra Records than your pal, Stevie’s personal mix.

These two are bringing you a personalized mix for this Halloween and I am honored to be apart of it, here at the Halloween Hell Show. Couldn’t be more stoked to be rubbing elbows with these two Halloween geniuses.

Read below for details from Patrick and hold on to your butts!

From Patrick:

 

Remember when we used to make mixtapes?

Popping that blank cassette tape into your boombox and listening to the radio while waiting for your favorite song to play just so you could record it? Or recording songs from your own collection for a potential romantic interest, (we all did a romantic mixtape…right?) Or even just mixtapes for yourself reflecting a certain mood. To me, those were the best kinds of mixtapes–the ones that were not just a random selection of songs, but the kind that reflected your mood or some sort of a theme. Gifting them to someone special with the exciting prospect of them getting lost in the songs you have carefully created. Your own little concept album.

Well, there are not really mixtapes anymore (except for you lucky folks who still have tape decks and still manage to find blank tapes) but somehow, in this day and age, the blank CD has STILL managed to survive, and it’s a notion I am taking advantage of. Nevertheless, let’s still call it a mixtape for nostalgia’s sake.

Halloween is my favorite holiday. For most of our adult lives, my older sister has held an annual Halloween party. In 2013, in preparation for her second Halloween party, I wanted to do something special. I began working on a Halloween “mixtape” with a selection of your usual go-to Halloween songs that are regularly played; Think Thriller, Monster Mash, etc. From then on, it’s become a staple of our Halloween tradition. 

Every year, we begin our Halloween festivities by meeting up for a full day in September, which I debut the mix in the car, visit a local haunted restaurant/brewery (No seriously, it’s haunted. You should hear the stories!), pick up a pumpkin coffee in a drive-through, begin our Halloween shopping at various thrift shops and Halloween stores, then visit the local cemetery where various St. Louis notable figures are buried (a tradition that will continue this week as I write!). 

Each year has been a blast, and the most notable thing about the mixtape is the exciting opportunity to change it up every year. The first year was the obvious classics, but the second year was the move into more obscure territory. Each mixtape would contain about 25-30 tracks with a unique spin on each mix – as I mentioned earlier when I said I like my mixes reflecting mood, I try to put various sound clips in the mix, as well as quotes from horror movies and Halloween commercials from our childhood. After the first couple of years I began to think about just how limited the quantity of Halloween songs are that are out there – definitely not as many as there are Christmas songs. I began to worry that soon I’d have to resort to scraping the bottom of the barrel in my attempt to make subsequent years’ mixes different. Thankfully, that has never really happened (well I don’t know, you be the judge) and it’s been an incredibly fun challenge that I work on early in the year to be properly prepared. And I can honestly say that now I get to the point where I don’t have enough room on one CD for all of the songs! 

This year my annual mix is two CD’s. This tradition has been such a wonderful staple of our Halloween tradition, that it’s now shared with her boyfriend and many of our friends. This past Halloween her boyfriend asked me “Why don’t you share this with some of the people on Twitter? They’d love it!”

Now I’d like to share it with you. What I am sharing is somewhat of a compilation of my previous year’s mixes and this year is, excluding many of the more obvious choices. More specifically, this mix also contains many songs that have a special relation to #CoDamn movie events that have been held on Twitter as well. 

I’d like to thank Casserole-o-Disaster (@Veggiemacabre) for giving me the opportunity to share this with all of you. I hope you have as much fun listening to this as I did making it.

Happy Halloween!

Patrick aka Pattakin Skywalker (@maxreborules)

MONSTER BASH 2018

Spooky Soundclip

Party Time; 45 Grave

Spooky Soundclip

He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask); Alice Cooper

Joe Bob Briggs MonsterVision Song

Anything Can Happen on Halloween; Tim Curry

Zombies Ate My Neighbors

Suspira

Spooky Soundclip

Goosebumps

Laurie’s Theme

Fright Night

Gremlin’s 2: The New Batch

The Crypt Jam

Spooky Soundclip

Run Nancy

Trick of Treat

Spooky Soundclip

Do the Freddy

Dawn of the Dead; Goblin

Spooky Soundclip

Chariot of Pumpkins; John Carpenter

Spooky Soundclip

Friday the 13th Pt. 3

Leatherface; Laaz Rockit

Somebody’s Watching Me; Rockwell

Ernest Scared Stupid

Troll 2

Spooky Soundclip

The Blob

Halloween; Kind Diamond

Killer Klowns from Outer Space

 

Halloween Hell Show Starts..

cropped-screen-shot-2017-08-30-at-7-29-31-pm4.png

NOW! Howdy folks and welcome to the annual Halloween Hell Show here at the Casserole of Disaster! This year will be filled with almost two solid months of thrills and chills so I hope you’re in the mood for it. I have places to take you and products to yap about so open the bag of candy corn and enjoy because we only tolerate that stuff until October 31st.

Tomorrow will begin the first review and a whole calendar of events that will layout the show. Kind of like a TV Guide, if you will. Each day will have a theme like “Monster Movie Monday” or “Live From the Studio Saturday” (these aren’t the actual names but you get it). This way you can join in the fun and help add to the festivities!

Keep an eye out on the main page of the Halloween Hell Show for new posts which will redirect you here. The intro video will be hitting tonight when Final Cut decides it wants to render one TINY color correction I made four hours ago. But that’s life in show business, ya know?

So enjoy the show and come have fun with us! Stay glued to here because the video is the real kickoff. I’m a dope.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: