Sunday, January 28, 2007

Cartoon character skeletons

Here is an interesting site. This artist renders the skeletal systems of iconic cartoon characters to see what they might resemble
"if one truly had eye sockets half the size of its head, or fingerless-hands, or feet comprising 60% of its body mass."

A comic strip for Halloween enthusiasts

I think just about every Halloween enthusiast can identify with the comic strip shown here. "Lio is about a little boy with a deceptively sweet exterior and the dark, surreal world that that he nonchalantly inhabits." He's "a curious young boy with an imagination that's unleashed by bumps in the night and things hiding under the bed."

Click here for more fun with Lio.

Cool Retro Costumes

Here is a great gallery of vintage Halloween costumes. The collection is guaranteed to include characters from shows that haven't crossed you mind in 20 years.

Lancelot Link, Circus Boy, Bigfoot (from "Bigfoot & Wildboy"), Easy Reader (from "The Electric Company"), Nitro (from "American Gladiators").When's the last time you thought about them?

My favorite thing about many of these vintage costumes is this...
For every "Indiana Jones" costume where the shirt is designed to look like Indy's clothing, there are half a dozen "Joanie Loves Chachi" types, where the costume consists of a graphic identifying the program or person. (Like anyone could look at that mask and not think of Scott Baio.)

Here is a link to some of the worst retro Halloween costumes the aforementioned gallery has to offer.

Vintage Halloween graphics

Technological advances have allowed us to cheaply manufacture many impressive Halloween items. Unfortunately, the graphic quality of these store-bought items has diminished over time. Click here for a great article about those amazing Halloween graphics of yesteryear.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


As further proof that there are no more original ideas, allow me to present
#1 and "Whack-a-ghoul" #2.

(Under normal cicumstances, I might feel that reviewing "ghoul whacking games" is beneath me. Tonight though, you are in luck. Here's my 23 word review --> "Though #2 has superior graphics, I prefer #1 because it allows you to swing a shovel at their ghoulish little heads.")

Sinister Scents

Trick-or-treaters often encounter scary sights and scary sounds, but scary smells?

Sinister Scents produces a wide variety of spooky scents (and the special devices that spread the smells) that will frighten your TOTs on a whole new sensory level.

After perusing their list, I find that "Burnt flesh" and "Decay" do sound enticing, but I'm really eager to check out "Haunted House".

Thursday, January 25, 2007

You smell like a funeral home...

For those of you who would like to surround yourself with macabre smells all year long, give Dementer Fragrance a try. Their line of unusually scented lotions, colognes, room sprays, and soaps come in "Bonfire", "Dirt", "Earthworm", "Funeral Home", and "Poison Ivy" (just to name a few.)

A photo of me!

In case any of you were wondering what I look like, here's a picture of me working on the computer.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Casket Furniture

If you've ever wanted a house full of casket-shaped furniture, I have just the place for you. This company produces casket-shaped beds, couches, bookcases, coffee tables, phonebooths, entertainment centers, motorcycle trailers, and much much more. And the best part? When death comes knocking at your door, each and every one of these items can be converted into a useable casket. (And really, who doesn't dream of someday being buried in their coffee table?)

Also be sure to check out their line of casket-shaped pool tables, cigar boxes and wine holders.

Ghost mouse

For everyone out there who spends large chunks of time searching the internet for Halloween-themed items, this mouse is for you.

Click here to purchase this spooky accessory.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Do-It-Yourself Coffins

Here's a perfect book to leave out on your coffee-table during the Halloween season. Also be sure to check out "Fancy Coffins" by the same author.

These books have received horrible reviews. Purchase them for their kitsch value, not for learning how to build coffins.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The world's largest skeleton??

Ok. That might be a slight exaggeration. I'm sure there are some dinosaur skeletons that are larger. But you have to admit... this is pretty darn big.

Measuring over 55 feet long, this skeleton (made out of polystyrene and resin) was created by Algerian-born French artist Adel Abdessemed. It was last displayed at the St. Johannes Evangelist church in Berlin, Germany. Who knows where it will end up next?

For all you lovers of giant skeletons, be sure to check out the Anatomical Chart Company's "Franken-Bucky". It's not nearly as big as the 55 foot monster shown above, but at over 8 feet tall it's certainly the largest skeleton you'll ever fit into your house.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Skeleton feet

Here's an unusual way to pass the time... When this art student gets bored in class, she draws the bones of her left hand onto her own skin. For a photography project, she decorated her other hand and both feet as well. It took her nearly three and a half hours, but I think you'll agree that it was time well spent.

Click here to see more shots from this project.

Animated coffin model

Everyone's favorite papercraft guru has done it again. Ray Keim, at Haunted Dimensions, has created a 3D tribute to the famous "Conservatory Coffin" scene from the Haunted Mansion. And the best part is that this model will actually animate! "A simple lever allows you to simulate the desperate attempts of the confined ghost to lift the lid."

Click here to download your Conservatory Coffin model kit.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Look familiar?

Artist Dennis Larkins is obviously a fan of the "Bucky Spider". He features not one but two of the skeletal arachnids in his painting
"Let The Crumbs Fall Where They May".

To see more of his skeleton, monster and alien-filled paintings, click here.

A coffin-themed kitchen?

This Las Vegas homeowner must really love coffins. She hired Bryan from "Coffin It Up" to design and build the world's most coffin-covered kitchen. There's a coffin-shaped breakfast bar, coffin-shaped cabinets, even authentic coffin hardware on the drawers. (Kind of makes you wonder what the rest of the house looks like, doesn't it?)

Click here to see more photos of this crypt-lover's cookery.

Trompe-l'oeil elevator shaft

Here's another method you can use for creating a bottomless pit in your Halloween display. Rather than relying on 2-way mirrors, this effect is achieved with a very clever (and very large) photograph that gives the appearance of depth.

Click here to see more shots of this trompe-l'oeil elevator shaft.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Prop of the day

This amazing spider prop was built by Tracy Murphy of "Village Haunt". Using windshield wiper motors as well as pneumatics, it has the ability to chase after trick-or-treaters and spit "venom" at them. Click here for a terrific video detailing the spider's creation. (My favorite part was learning that the spider's legs were covered in eight fuzzy scarves that Tracy's wife knitted.)

More detailed instructions on building this prop can be found here.

Haunted Mansion fanatic

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about this Haunted Mansion fanatic. Now another has been brought to my attention. Richard Brigante runs "Inside The Magic", the internet's first Orlando-based Disney podcast. He is also the proud owner of nearly every Haunted Mansion collectible ever released! An entire room of his house has been filled with everything from stretching portraits to Hatbox Ghost statues.

Check out some more images from his massive collection here.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Skeleton chairs

How would you like to have a set of these around your dining room table? Time Out magazine recently featured these in their regular "Tossed and Found" column. (They find an item on the street that's being discarded and show how you can fix it up without spending a lot.) It only cost $48 to resurrect this pair of chairs.

Skeleton Sculptures

Of all the sculptures I've ever seen, the works of Jessica Joslin are by far my favorites. Mixing bones with "obsolete bits of antique mechanical mechanisms, hardware and other oddball artifacts" she creates beautifully detailed creatures for her ever expanding menagerie.

The sculpture shown here was made of "antique hardware and findings, bone, beads, fur, painted wood, satin and velvet collar, glove leather, and glass eyes." Gorgeous!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Torture devices

Sometimes, there seems to be a serious lack of originality in yard haunts. So before you become the umpteenth person to build an electric chair or hanging cage for your Halloween display, check out this gallery of torture and execution machinery. They showcase many unusual devices that you've probably never seen before. My personal favorites are the Drunkard's Cloak and the Spanish Chair.

Animated prop of the day

For all of you Coulrophobes out there, allow me to introduce Mr. Softy. He stands there, 6'6" tall, slowly turning the handle on his jack-in-the-box, waiting until someone approaches. Once they do, a screaming skull flies out of the box at them.

You can find Mr. Softy and other terrific creatures at The Scarefactory. Their stuff isn't cheap (Mr. Softy costs $2000!) but the site is a great place to check out when you're looking for inspiration.

Poodle disguise for Dobermans

Is your dog unfairly judged simply because of his breed? Do adults pull their children away from your gentle pooch because he looks like a killer? If so, this disguise kit is for you. Included you will find all the necessary materials for turning your Doberman into a Poodle. Coming soon, the company will also be selling kits that turn German Shepherds into a Golden Retrievers, and Bull Mastiffs into Old English Sheepdogs.

It looks like the company is not currently producing this product. However, if you contact them, you may be able to get on their waiting list.

Monster Valentines

For all you lovers of Wacky Packs out there, check out these original paintings. They were created by Norm
Saunders, the main artist for Wackys Packs from 1967-1976. This particular horror/Valentine's Day artwork was used for a set called "Frankenstein Stickers".

Click here to see the finished artwork and packaging for this spooky sticker set.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Spooky's Scarecrow

Spooky Blue built this gorgeous scarecrow out of a paper-mache pumpkin and grape vines. Click here for detailed instructions on how to build a similarly menacing monster for your own yard haunt.

Halloween recipes

So many people have e-mailed me about that bleeding heart dessert that I thought you might enjoy some more recipes for Halloween-worthy foods. Here is a link to an entire cannibal-themed meal. The menu includes: Icy Hands Punch, Chilled Brain Spread, Alien Autopsy Shooters and a Bloody Heart dessert. Bon appetit!

Extreme Pumpkin

"Extreme Pumpkins" is one of my favorite pumpkin carving sites. You wont find shots of the typical
"scary face" pumpkin here. Their designs are far more unusual, like the "drowning pumpkin", "conjoined twins pumpkin" and "fire-breathing pumpkin". Plus, they offer a huge gallery of pumpkin images, advice on pumpkin carving, and tips on keeping your pumpkin from rotting.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Head in a jar prop

Here's an eye-catching prop that you can build in less than thirty minutes. Click here for full instructions.

"American Idol" judges costume

Here is one of my favorite costumes from Halloween 2006. This guy went as all three American Idol judges. (Well, technically, he went as Paula, but he built the other two guys out of foam and carried them around all night. He even had them rigged so they could give passersby a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down".)

This isn't the first time he has gone overboard designing Halloween garb. In 2004, he built an elaborate Dr. Octopus costume. Then, in 2005 he went as one of the puppets from those Fandango commercials.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Monster Face toy

I wish I had one of these when I was a kid. Produced by Hasbro in the early 90s,
"Monster Face" was a sort of horror-themed variation on Mr. Potato Head. With a wide assortment of disgusting parts to attach, it was just the kind of gross-out fun that children love.

In 1996, Hasbro teamed up with the makers of the "Goosebumps" book series and re-released this toy as "Monster Headmaker". (They even included instructions on how to create four of the most popular Goosebumps creatures using the set.)

I was able to track down PDFs of the original instruction manuals for each of these toys. Click here for "Monster Face" and here for "Monster HeadMaker".

Bleeding heart dessert

I just made this dessert the other night. Not only was it delicious, but it got a great reaction from all of our guests! (I recommend using an anatomical heart mold rather than the type shown here though.)

The recipe can be found here. (It originally appeared in Penn & Teller's 1992 book "How To Play With Your Food".)

Thunder and lightning machine comparison

For anyone who is thinking of buying a thunder and lightning simulator this website will be an invaluable resource. Their comparisons and reviews of machines by more than a dozen companies will help you choose the right one.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Monster Alphabet

After I posted a link to some Halloween fonts on Friday, one of my readers brought The Alphabet Of Monsters to my attention. Don't bother teaching your kids that "A is for Apple" and "B is for Ball". Print out these graphics and teach them that "A is for Alien," "B is for Blob," "C is for Chupacabra," "D is for...", well, you get the idea.

It seems as though this alphabet is also available on t-shirts and in a book.

Haunted Pop-Up

From the mind of Maurice Sendak, the man who created
"Where The Wild Things Are", comes an amazing pop-up book entitled
. The story follows a baby, who is lost in a mad scientists lab, as it searches for its mommy.

I had an opportunity to flip through this at the bookstore today, and the quality is amazing. It's definitely one of the best pop-up books I've ever seen.

Click here for a behind the scenes look at the making of this book.

Crystal Lake Memories

Jason Voorhees fans can rejoice. Your favorite machete wielding killer is now the subject of his own coffee table book. "Crystal Lake Memories"is the definitive history of the Friday the 13th franchise. 320 pages, over 600 photos and 200 interviews with cast and crew from all eleven films.

Bleeding tombstone

What a great idea! I've never seen a bleeding tombstone before. The folks at Mourning Cemetery did a wonderful job building this.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Halloween fonts

Click here for a wide variety of Halloween fonts.

FCG gallery

I've never seen such a wide variety of flying crank ghosts. This gallery shows examples of flying crank ghosts, spiders, grim reapers, skeletons, and even Mickey Mouses.

Cheap coffin plans

Here are plans for building a super inexpensive coffin using just one sheet of plywood. It's guaranteed to look better, last longer, and cost less than half as much as many commercially available coffins.

Scary Clowns

I was already familiar with Krypt Kiddies - a line of collectible horror baby dolls. Now I find out that this same company produces a line of Krypt Kiddies clowns. (Or maybe it's "klowns"?) Now I'm not usually afraid of clowns, but these things give me the willies. If I woke up in the middle of the night and saw this demonic fella staring at me, I'd have a heartattack.

Photoshop a haunted house

Here is a wonderful tutorial that give you step-by-step instructions on how to create a haunted house using Photoshop.

Halloween items from the 70s

Check out this great gallery of Halloween make-up and accessories from the 70s.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Costume idea

I love this style of costume! Creating the illusion of being carried around by a monster or giant animal is always very strong. Almost every year, without fail, one of the winners of our local Halloween costume contest is wearing this type of getup.

When you check out the "Trading Places" site, be sure to click on the movies of these costumes in action. Hilarious!

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