...shock ya 'til the sparks fly...

A Song in the Key of Death!

As Halloween is rapidly approaching on flaming hooves of demonic delight, my mind starts workin’ overtime to create the perfect soundtrack to the holiday (o.k., you caught me, this is the kind of crap the ol’ Ouija Board Kid thinks about year ‘round).

...shock ya 'til the sparks fly...

…shock ya ’til the sparks fly…

So, naturally I can’t help but look back upon all of those classic rock n’ roll influenced horror films of years past as a source of inspiration, and what better representation of that genre than 1986’s Trick or Treat? Nothing screams Halloween more than an undead satanic rock singer foiled (in part) by a toilet with the lid up.

And now I give you the (singing) voice of Sammi Curr, Dave King, along with the rest of Fastway performing After Midnight! Get those horns in the air creeps!

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Disney’s Halloween Hall o’Fame

I’m a huge fan of A Disney Halloween/Disney’s Halloween Treat. I’ve posted about it before. I’ve even done my own podcast about it. But recently, while searching YouTube for videos about it, I stumbled upon something similar that I had either forgotten or never knew existed: Disney’s Halloween Hall o’ Fame.

I may or may not have seen this special. It seemed familiar to me, and I almost remember being shown it in middle school, but I can’t tell if these memories are real or just the phantom memories I often experience. In any case, the special stars Jonathan Winters as a Disney security guard. He finds himself in a room full of Disney props one Halloween night. He cuts up Jonathan Winters-style for a little bit, and then comes across a crystal ball in which he sees a talking jack o’lantern (also Winters) who introduces a handful of classic Disney Halloween cartoons: “Trick or Treat”, “Pluto’s Judgment Day”, and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”.

I honestly didn’t care for this one as much as I did A Disney Halloween/Disney’s Halloween Treat. There was less content and I just found Winters’ shtick to be tiresome. Still, it’s got those great Disney shorts. Not only so, but some YouTube hero has remastered both this and Disney’s Halloween Treat so that they are sharper and more vibrant (in contrast, my version of Disney’s Halloween Treat is so faded it is nearly unwatchable). You can find his channel and all the remastered videos here.

hallowindow

Hallowindow

Something that always scared me as a kid were silhouettes. There something about knowing someone is just on the other side of a curtain but not being able to tell who it is that was always unnerving to me. Maybe that comes from having watching Psycho one too many times as a kid.

Hallowindow is a series of Halloween videos that are designed to be projected on to a sheet-covered window in your home on Halloween night. The videos come in both “normal” and “mirror-imaged” formats, so if you’re projecting from the rear, the words will not appear backwards when viewed from outside your home. Each video is only a few minutes long, but they’re long enough that the average trick-or-treater will not see the same thing twice.

Again to clarify; the projector is inside the house, projecting the videos on to a sheet which is also hung inside the house, covering the window. This footage (courtesy of Youtube’s alsautoandappliance) was shot from outside the home, as it would appear to trick-or-treaters.

The videos are available on physical DVDs, or as direct digital downloads. Last year, I bought all four downloadable packages (Hallowindow I-IV), set them up as a playlist on my laptop, connected my laptop to my projector, and let them run in a loop all night long. We also cracked open our window and put a pair of computer speakers up to the screen, to play the spooky soundtrack as well.

As a result, this is what my front yard looked like last Halloween, all night long:

hallowindow

Hallowindow was a huge success! Kids were frightened by it (in a good way — there’s nothing too scary or gory in the videos), and adults absolutely loved it! Every time I checked, parents were outside (usually in the street) watching the entire video loop.

We’ll definitely have the Hallowindow video loops running again this Halloween. In a time where fewer and fewer people each year seem to participate in trick-or-treating, I love adding something to my neighborhood and giving the visiting kids (and adults!) something to remember.

vintage-candy-ad-halloween

What Sort of Candy Will You Give out this Halloween?

I think about what sort of candy to give out at Halloween a little too much, especially when you consider that most of the times, I get very few Trick or Treaters. I don’t mind that of course, because I usually get to eat all the leftovers. The sweet sweet leftovers. Here are some thoughts I have on Treats.

1. Stay away from healthy alternatives. Good for you, you care, but you know who doesn’t? The Trick or Treaters. They can sit at home and probably get all the apples they can eat, so leave the healthy food to their parents.

2. Try and not buy the cheapest candy available. I loved getting a good haul when I was a kid, but how many Dum Dums did I really want? If you shop around you can find some name brand minis for a good price. When I was a a kid, I would prefer 1 mini candy bar to a dozen lollipops.

3. No homemade treats. I know you are really creative and an excellent treat maker, but those parents will not think so. 9 out of 10 times your treat goes in the trash.

4. If you live in a high traffic area and like to get into the Halloween spirit, that is great, but maybe take some of that cash you spend on fake spider webs and invest in a bit more candy. The kids are not really checking out your scenery, they are running to that doorbell with dreams of chocolate and sugar. Do get the scary mask if you want to really make an impression.

5. Keep it edible. I know some houses have started giving little toys instead of candy. Please help stop that trend.

vintage-candy-ad-halloween

Make Sure You Stock up on Nabisco Candies this Halloween

Because I am a big fan of Sugar Daddies and I will give you trick of your life if you do not deliver the goods. I never liked getting the tiny Sugar Baby packet. There was always like 3 Sugar Babies in it and it was hardly worth the effort of opening it. But a Sugar Daddy! That thing could be tiny and it would still last for 8 hours. A great investment.

nabisco candies