I’m not ashamed of my age nor to admit that I miss the old stores like K-Mart, F.W. Woolworth Co., and Toys ‘R Us during Halloweentime. K-Mart and Woolworth’s were like one-stop shopping. They had everything.
Up until their demise in the early 90s, I was weekly shopper. In fact, I used to work at the mall and went Woolworth’s every day during my lunch hour. They had some cool Halloween ads too.
Once the center in American lives, most of these department stores no longer exist.
Selling cheap Halloween costumes became big business in the 60s through the 70s and 80s. Most were made of highly flammable plastic. They tore easily and it was hard to see through the little eye holes. These days, costumes like that would get canceled before they were even loaded onto the truck, but they’re considered vintage Halloween antiques now. A rare, unopened, or one in pristine condition could be worth quite a lot of money.
Osco Drug Store is still in business. I believe it’s part of Albertsons/CVS family now. Do you see those candy bar prices? Those were full candy bars too!
A few years ago, Tucson.com dug up old print ads from the 1920s through 1960s to prove that Halloween has always been a big celebration in Tucson. There were far too many to post here, so go check them out by clicking the picture below.
I find it funny that people complain about the overcommercialization of Halloween, but these vintage ads prove stores have been cashing in on the Halloween craze since the 1920s.
Every Sunday, we celebrate excerpts and quotes from the works of the Master of Macabre, Edgar Allan Poe.
Fun Facts: It seems Poe was influenced by a number of other authors of his time to write a story based on the Spanish Inquisition, after reading History of the Spanish Inquisition by Juan Antonio Llorente. William Mudford’s The Iron Shroud, a short story of iron torture chamber was also an influence, as well as George Sale’s translations of the Qur’an, for which many of Poe’s works were heavily inspired by.*
Every year, I see recipes for Halloween pasta using black squid ink pasta. It always looks so fun for this time of year. Pasta is typically a fast and easy meal to make, so, after years of thinking about it, I finally found a place that sells black squid ink pasta (Cost Plus) and decided to make my own version of Halloween Spaghetti Monster. The results were delicious, even if my pictures were complete fails. (Please don’t tell me it looks like a dog.)
Black Squid Ink Pasta is made from durum semolina wheat, water, and 1% squid ink. I was always nervous that it would taste fishy, but that’s not the case. Instead, it tastes just like bland wheat pasta. The creepiest thing about black squid ink pasta is the boiling water turns a deep charcoal color and look like slimy worms once drained.
1 pkg Plain Spaghetti 1 pkg Black Squid Ink Pasta 1 jar Traditional Marinara or Pasta Sauce Black Olives (1/2 cut for monster nose and mouth) Green Olives (for monster eyes) Dash of Parmesan Cheese
For best results, follow instructions on jar
Add sauce to crock pot along with 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Cook for 3 hours on high/1 hour on low
For best results, follow instructions on pasta packages
Cook both pastas in separate big pots full of lightly salted water 1. Spaghetti for 12-14 min 2. Black squid ink pasta for 7-9 min (takes slightly less than regular pasta)
Drain water and return to the pots
Serve in bowl and add pasta sauce
Use olives to make monster face
All reheats nicely with a little tab of butter. Happy Halloween!
Happy Halloween! This month we celebrate Halloween icons and the Black Cat is as synonymous with the holiday as the jack-o-lantern. Dark as night, cool, mysterious, irreverent guardians, it’s no wonder how they became so feared, blameful of calamity, and deemed witches’ familiars, cats simply appear to have their own agenda.
Why did the mummy go to the bar? Because he needed to unwind!
Do you ever wonder what mummies dream about during their long dust naps? As it turns out, the answer is… bananas! At least, that’s what’s in A Mummy’s Dream.
2 Frozen Bananas (Fresh bananas can also be used)
1 cup whipped cream
1 cup ice 1 1/2 oz Kahlúa coffee liqueur 1 oz vodka 1 oz spiced rum 1/2 oz cream of coconut 2-3 oz pineapple juice
Throw everything in the blender for 2 minutes, and voila, A Mummy’s Dream.
Garnish: Splash of chocolate or caramel syrup around the glass or on top Garnish: Maraschino cherry
A Mummy’s Dream is a sweeter, frozen version of a Dirty Monkey (or Dirty Banana). It comes out thick like a shake. This is highly modifiable recipe, according to how much sweetness or banana flavoring you prefer.
It’s no secret that advertising played a big part in making Halloween the $8 billion dollar industry it is today, but, did you ever see some of those vintage Halloween ads and say, what were they thinking? Here’s a few I really just had to question:
On Poe Sundays, we celebrate the Master of the Macabre, the grandfather of gothic fiction, writer-poet extraordinaire Edgar Allan Poe.
Fun Fact: Despite that readers the worldover consider the narrator to be male, there is no gender specified in The Tell-Tale Heart, thus, some critics have taken up the point that the narrator may in fact be a woman.