Haiku of the Week

Our theme this month is campfire creatures.

musty pine cabin
a beast roams the campgrounds
summer’s first moon

Hot Ghoul Summer

Happy first day of summer! While Covid-19 is here to stay, the pandemic is winding down. Things are opening up and wearing masks is optional, but please stay safe and be smart. This summer, nobody has a boo-kini body. We can all breathe a little sigh of relief over the fact that nobody cares if we didn’t get in shape. We’re all just doing the best we can and don’t let anyone make you feel bad, especially yourself. It’s gonna be a hot ghoul summer! Rather than groan about the insufferable heat and humidity, let’s exert our energies in more positive ways until September. Here’s a few good ideas to try and events to go to this summer:

SPOOKTACULAR SUMMERWEEN WEEKEND
In what I hope will be the first of many, Spooky Weekend brings together an online shopping event for Halloween lovers, featuring over 100 vendors. This weekend only, Halloween enthusiasts will have access to exclusive sales, discounts, and deals, along with chances to win amazing giveaway items. It’s never too early to start planning Halloween or get the jump on your holiday shopping. The best part, getting the chance to support independent owned businesses and artists across the globe.
http://www.spookyweekend.co.uk/

THROW A GOTH POOL PARTY
Why should Hollywood celebrities and pop stars have all the fun? Go buy some black pool floats and summer gear from Blackcraft Cult and take your chubby self to the beach, or the lake, or the pool. Now, relax. We deserve it!

SUMMER READING
Looking for a nice, safe, entertaining place with air conditioning? Then, head on over to your local library! Libraries are full of ghosts. The ghosts of thousands of books that have been sitting untouched on the shelves for over a year, maybe longer. There might even be some real ghosts, test your side vision. Beside that, you can learn new things, like tarot or costume-making, read spine-tingling tales of horror or mystery, and immerse yourself in fantastical worlds. Libraries are great places to find new passions. As long as you’re quiet and respectful of others, you too can haunt the library all day long.

Find your local library here: https://www.worldcat.org/libraries

Ghostbusters, 1984 ©Sony Pictures

SUMMER PUMPKINS
Watermelons are the second cousins to pumpkins. Whether it’s a fruit or a vegetable, is debatable, nonetheless, you can hollow them out like a gourd and carve a jack-o’-lantern face on the rind all the same. Have fun by using your Halloween cookie cutters to make spooky shapes of delicious, juicy melon. Decorate the outside and practice your carving skills all summer long. By October, you’ll be a pro!

TO COSPLAY OR NOT TO COSPLAY
Hot ghoul summer dictates that we be ourselves. There’s no judgement or bullying allowed. Walk or run away from all monsters. Have fun. Do your thing. Wear spandex and a cape. Don platform shoes. Dye your hair blue.

©BoredPanda

San Diego Comic-Con will be held as online event only this July 23-25, 2021, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still dress up. If anyone says anything rude, just tell ’em you’re trying on your Halloween costume. They can’t fault you for being an excellent planner, right? Go ahead, wear the costume.

SCREAMING ROOM
The pandemic dampened the spirits of Midsummer Scream creators for a second summer, but restless souls do not go quietly into the night, thus, the Screaming Room Film Festival 2021 was born. Curated and presented by HorrorBuzz.com, this unique short film festival will feature two years worth of the submissions of the best horror and Halloween shorts, originally planned for Midsummer Scream conventions 2020 and 2021, respectivefully. This spooktacular event will take place the weekend of July 10-11 at the Frida Cinema in Santa Ana, CA.

The Midsummer Scream Screaming Room Film Festival 2021 presented by HorrorBuzz.com

AWAKEN THE SPIRITS
Proving there is indeed no rest for the wicked, the Midsummer Scream creators found themselves a second location to summon all the other spooky spirits into a grand mini celebration and preview of what’s to come this Halloween season 2021.

Awaken the Spirits will held in the Pasadena Convention Center this August 14-15, 2021. It’ll be a smaller venue and missing a few elements from Midsummer Scream, namely the Hall of Shadows and the Black Cat Lounge, but the Halloween vibe will be strong enough to rattle the bones and bring the dead back to life.

The Midsummer Scream presents Awaken the Spirits!

Happy Caturday – June 2021

One starry night, I saw a black cat looking up at the moon.

Do you think animals wonder about the moon? We certainly know lunar cycles have an affect on animal behaviors, but I can’t seem to find the answer to whether they admire the moon and star gaze like people.

World renowned artist Aja Trier picks up where van Gogh left off, by painting animals, landscapes, famous cities, and more under the infamous starry night. With titles like ‘The Haunting of van Gogh’ and ‘van Gogh Never Saw Las Vegas’, Ms. Trier is clearly inspired by the doomed Impressionist and her works are more tribute than imitation.

Artist: Aja Trier
Where to purchase goods: http://www.sagittariusgallery.com

Aja Trier’s art is sold online through her own gallery, places such as Fine Art America and private galleries around the globe, please see her website for details.

A Spooky Renaissance is Coming

I announce the return of the monthly blog! Random musings and kitsch movie lists for my fellow horror lovers, that’s what I’ll offer at the end of every month. Can you believe it’s already the end of May? We are well past the halfway point to Halloween. This is a crucial time of year for many Halloween fans because it’s been 8 months since we’ve seen a jack-o’-lantern, Summer, the most dreaded season, is right around the corner, and we desperately need something that will satisfy our cravings until October. We’re hunting down springtime scares and often finding comfort in horror nostalglia. Halloween lovers might be a little prickly right now.

Most of us still have Covid anxiety and after a year of living in and out of lockdowns, nobody knows how to act. Mass shootings have returned and vaccination lotteries are all the rage. Human beings have to be bribed to take care of our health. How the hell did we get this far? Anyways, it’s suggested that we ease back into society, gingerly, like curious cute kittens, ready to explore, adorably pounce on butterflies we can’t catch, and slash the hell out of anyone who messes with us. This is why I predict a cautious summer with steady routines and subtle day trips to our favorite local hangouts, where we can get used to being around people again, wearing clothes that don’t stretch, and obeying traffic laws. By Fall, however, we should be ready to party. I’m really looking forward to that.

Halloween season is the perfect time to get adventurous, try new things, and travel the world, or maybe just to the next city over, if you can’t afford a plane ticket. Trust me, it all counts. Visually, one half of the world will be stunning, so get those cameras ready. I’m hoping climate change hasn’t doomed our favorite autumn landscapes just yet. Another reason why we should take plenty of photos this fall. In fifty years, no one will believe we had bountiful harvests, tall trees, and grass this green. But, let’s table the rest of this discussion for later this year.

Halloween is a holiday that can be shared by communities and we’ll be needing to build up the goodwill and learn to trust society all over again. Trust each other again. What better way to do it over a shared love of pumpkin spiced lattes and creepy yard haunts, plus, there’s extra incentive in finding the beautiful abandonment of a pre-covid world. Abandoned places. Restless spirits. Scary monsters. Haunted people. Only time will tell how much we’ve changed after this pandemic. The anger. The fears. The death. We’re gonna need to channel these dark energies, and the arts, the culture, music, movies, comics, gaming, literature… it’s where we’ll go to bear our souls. Fear not my friends, I feel a spooky renaissance may be on the horizon.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments section or hit me up on social media.

Happy 3rd Anniversary to me!

Recently, Halloween Haiku celebrated its 3rd anniversary. It’s been a quiet and subdued year, partly due to the pandemic, partly due to the fact that I’ve been unemployed since January. The job hunt takes up most of my energy, focus, and time these days. I had even toyed with the idea of shutting down, but decided to simplify instead. I post haiku every week. We’re not the biggest or the most exciting web blog, but who doesn’t need a little quiet contemplation every now and then?

I tried many times to hold events and do contests, but the truth is, I simply don’t have a big enough following to justify the costs. Given my current situation, I’m not going to try and rectify that anytime soon. We’ll see what the Halloween 2021 season brings.

Haiku is hard. I’m not even sure how good I am at it. It’s more than coming up with three lines. It’s about conveying emotion, feelings, and memories. Trying to conjure up connections through seventeen syllable poem and imagery is not a simple task either. True haiku is about nature. Senryu is less about nature and more about people. It’s often times witty or humorous. Most of my poems falls under the category of zappai, a seventeen syllable poem that does not match the format or characteristics of either haiku or senryu. I like writing halloween haiku, horror haiku, or dark haiku. I like writing in third person, say, from the witch’s point-of-view:

burning straw
escape the witch hunters
a magical broom

Maybe it’s no Matsuo Basho, but it’s not a haiku failure either. It’s just different. If you’re interested, you can learn more about zappai and other haiku styles here.

I want to thank my supporters, readers, and anyone who stops by to take a look at my little blog. I appreciate your time and energy. Here’s to another great year of Halloween Haiku.🎃

Book Gift Ideas for Halloween and Horror Fans

I’ve compiled a list of great holiday horror and Halloween books that your favorite Halloween and horror fan will love this Creepmas. I live in Los Angeles area so some of my suggestions reflect my current location, but free feel to check local bookstores in your area. Happy Holidays!

Holiday Horror:

We Bleed Red and Green by Jeff C. Carter

Hot off the heels of his October anthology We Bleed Orange & Black: 31 Funsize Tales for Halloween, Jeff C. Carter is back with 12 new tales of Christmas terror.

Secret Santa by Andrew Shaffer

There’s a lot to unwrap in this fun, festive horror set in the big, bad, cut-throat publishing world of the 1980s.

Nos4A2 by Joe Hill

Time-travel, immortal vampires and Christmas make for one terrifying tale for the holidays. When you’re done reading, check out season one of the TV adapation from AMC Channel on Amazon Prime.

Krampus: Shadow of Saint Nicholas by Michael Dougherty (Graphic Novel)

From the creator of Trick ‘r Treat, Michael Dougherty shares his Krampus vision in a new graphic novel form, filled with stunning artwork.

The Old Magic of Christmas by Linda Raedisch

Come check out the Yuletide tales of witches, elves and ghosts, Perfect winter reading. Keep an eye out for the new Audiobook coming on December 22, 2020.

Krampus’s Great Big Book of Yuletide Monsters by Amanda Woomer

Come explore the spooky world of Krampus and other holiday monsters in this latest book from author and paranormal investigator, Amanda Woomer.

Halloween Books:

Pumpkins and Party Themes: 50 DIY Designs to Bring Your Halloween Extravaganza to Life By Roxanne Rhoads

I know 2020 put a damper on our Halloween celebrations this year, which only means we should come back hard in 2021. This book is full of ideas and DIY designs to help get us ready for the perfect party next year!

Creating Your Vintage Halloween: The folklore, traditions, and some crafty makes by Marion Paull

What a fantastic way to learn all about Halloween traditions. This beautiful, fully-colored little book is a dream for vintage Halloween collectors and Halloween lovers.

The Halloween Kid by Rhode Montijo

From author and illustrator Rhode Montijo, follow along with the adventures of the mysterious masked defender of Halloween. Word around town is there’s an animated show in the works.

Other Horror Related Books:

The Lady from the Black Lagoon by Mallory O’Meara

This LA Times Bestseller, which topped all the 2019 ‘Best Of’ lists, uncovers the mysterious life of former Disney animator, Milicent Patrick, the only woman in history to create a Hollywood classic movie monster.

Graven Images: The Best of Horror, Fantasy, and Science-Fiction Film Art from the Collection of Ronald V. Borst (Hardcover), Introduction by Stephen King

I absolutely fell in love with this beautiful, bright, fully-color collection of vintage Hollywood movie posters. It’s a great read for film lovers and filled with the history behind some of Hollywood’s best classic horror and sci-fi movies.

Universal Studios Monsters: A Legacy of Horror by Michael Mallory, Stephen Sommers (Foreword)

Come explore the magnificent legacy of Universal Studio’s Monsters, learn all about the characters, their mythologies and get behind-the scenes insights into Hollywood’s golden age of horror.

The Spirit Guide: America’s Haunted Breweries, Distilleries, and Wineries by Amanda Woomer

I predict once this pandemic is over, travel will come roaring back to life and 2021 will be the perfect time for a paranormal adventure. This awesome read breaks down what to expect when you visit some of America’s most haunted bars, breweries, wineries and more!

Classic Books:

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (Poirot) by Agatha Christie

UNIQUE GIFTS FOR HALLOWEEN AND HORROR FANS

Looking to impress that special Halloween and horror fan in your household this Creepmas? Well, check out my list of oddball and unique, but totally awesome gifts! Remember to shop local and small business when you can this year!

BUY FACEMASKS! Protect your loved ones and help defeat this Covid-19 pandemic! Great stocking stuffers! With over 280,000 dead from Coronavirus, I’m advocating face masks hard this year. You can never have too many. Buy different kinds. Themed face masks are fun. Do it for yourself, your family, your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers, your school mates, your grocery store clerks, your favorite artists, musicians, celebrities, and complete random strangers. Staying alive is not a political issue! PLEASE WEAR A FACE MASK.
https://www.zazzle.com/halloween+face+masks

Scare Package from Creepy Co., $53.99-$109.99
I’m not sure this is a new idea but I love it! Creepy Co has fun 2 item or 3 item sets available featuring blankets, T-shirts, hats, socks, etc.
https://www.creepycompany.com/collections/creepy-co-scare-packages

Mezco Toys Presents Living Dead Doll, Elvira-Mistress of the Dark, now available for Pre-order, ships in July 2021, $52
The Queen of Halloween, Elvira joins the Living Dead Doll family. This is a must have if you are an Elvira fan or a Living Dead Doll fan.
https://www.mezcotoyz.com/ldd-presents-elvira-mistress-of-the-dark

Sam Statue Decoration, $39.99
Sam from Trick ‘r Treat movie is our Halloween hero!  This 16” light-up statue decoration made of resin, sold exclusively at Spirit Halloween Stores is gorgeous.
https://www.spirithalloween.com/product/16-inch-light-up-sam-statue-decoration-trick-r-treat/178192.uts?Extid=sf_froogle

Legend of Sleepy Hollow Writing Gloves, $26
I think I’ve mentioned before that Legend of Sleepy Hollow is one of my favorite literary characters and I adore these fingerless gloves from Storiarts. Great for a night of reading.
https://storiarts.com/collections/gloves/products/the-legend-of-sleepy-hollow-writing-gloves

Pawzuph Statue, $23.99
This hand painted polyresin statue named Pawzuph, a horned occult cat, is simply too beautiful for words. I feel like this little guy needs a legendary story to go with him.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/825728054/pawzuph-horned-occult-cat-figurine

The Walking Dead We Are the Walking Dead Black Mug, $15
After ten years, The Walking Dead Universe is still going strong, with two different shows on television right now, the final Season 11 of the flagship show, due out in late 2021, and planned spin-offs featuring our favorite characters. Plenty of more collecting to be had.
https://thewalkingdeadshop.amc.com/collections/drinkware/products/the-walking-dead-we-are-the-walking-dead-black-mug

Krampus Activity Book from Fright Rags, $10
Scary T-shirt afficionados Fright Rags now features officially licensed Krampus brand and this Krampus Activity Book is hours of fun.
https://www.fright-rags.com/collections/krampus/products/krampus-activity-book

MINIATURES
Halloween Miniatures make great gifts. They’re perfect for dioramas, terrariums, supplementing entire Halloween villages, or just all by themselves. Some name brands are expensive, but shop around to get best prices and discounts. Off-season is always a good time to buy. Miniatures make great stocking stuffers too!

Lemax Collection – Spooky Town Villages – Prices and Stores Vary
https://www.lemaxcollection.com/villages/spooky-town

Dept. 56 – Prices and Stores Vary
https://department56.com/

Miniatures.com
https://www.miniatures.com/Halloween-C41.aspx

The Little Dollhouse Company
https://www.thelittledollhousecompany.com/dollhouses-miniatures-furniture-kits/halloween-miniatures-c-9_375/

L.A. COUNTY LOCALS
Suggestions for my hometown peeps. Online ordering and pick-up available. Check website for store hours and other info. Facemasks are great stuffers!

Dark DelicaciesLarge selection of horror books, signed CDs & Vinyls, clothing, purses, jewelry, horror memorabilia, horror Geeki Tikis, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab oils, horror facemasks, and other unique gifts.

Frankenstein Turntable Spinature, $25
https://www.darkdel.com/store/p1920/Frankenstein_Spinature.html#/

Horror Socks from Character, $10
https://www.darkdel.com/store/p1846/Horror_Socks.html#/

FACEMASKS
https://www.darkdel.com/store/p1735/Masks___.html#/

******

Bearded Lady’s Mystic MuseumLarge selection of clothing, books, witchcraft supplies, tarot cards, divination, taxidermy, antiques, and unique gifts. Looking to get into witchcraft, but don’t want to be overwhelmed or intimidated? Then, this is the place to go!

Vampir Slippers, $38
https://beardedladysmysticmuseum.square.site/product/vampir-slippers/4111?cp=true&sa=false&sbp=false&q=false&category_id=13

Krampus Air Freshner, $5
https://beardedladysmysticmuseum.square.site/product/krampus-air-freshener-/4137?cp=true&sa=false&sbp=false&q=false&category_id=53

FACEMASKS
https://beardedladysmysticmuseum.square.site/s/search?q=face%20mask

*****

Halloweentown StoreLarge selection of T-shirts, costumes, facemasks, replica vintage Halloween decor, novelty gifts, Funko Pop! Vinyl Figures, Wacky Wobblers, Iconz, Mystery Minis and more. Great place to find sold-out collectibles too.

Trick ‘r Treat Vinyl Record, $105
http://www.halloweentownstore.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=HS&Product_Code=WAX105&Category_Code=Vinyl_Records

Ouija Mystifying Mints, $5
http://www.halloweentownstore.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=HS&Product_Code=CANDY117&Category_Code=Mints

FACEMASKS
http://www.halloweentownstore.com/page/HS/CTGY/Face_Masks_Fabric

*****

Monster-A-GoGo, featuring Kreepsville 666 The “Original Scare Wear” – New location in East L.A. (Melrose closed), clothing, purses, accessories, pins, collectibles, Hexmas, and brand names such as Elvira, Vampira, Vincent Price, and more!

Haunted House Purse, $54
https://store.kreepsville666.com/collections/new-and-restocked/products/haunted-house-purse

Elvira Macabre Mobile Men’s T-shirt, $25
https://store.kreepsville666.com/collections/gifts-under-25-00/products/elvira-macabre-mobile-mens-t-shirt

FACEMASKS
https://store.kreepsville666.com/collections/face-masks

*****

TraditionsTraditional homemade style and replica holiday themed vintage décor, wreaths, figurines, ornaments, home and garden, tableware, Bethany Lowe, Kathrine’s Collection, and more! Collectibles and other items sell out quickly!

Jack O’Lantern Topiary $150
https://www.christmastraditions.com/product/TJ7743.html

Black Cat Jack with Pumpkin $15
https://www.christmastraditions.com/product/TPH7812a.html

MERRY CREEPMAS!

Gifts for Classic Monster Lovers

Every Sunday until the week of Christmas, I’ll post a gift giving guide for Halloween and horror fans. From cool collectibles to offbeat gifts, check out these awesome gifts I came across, featuring the classic Universal monsters.

Ravensburger Universal Monsters Horrified Board Game – Target/Walmart ($30)

Universal Monsters Funko Mystery Minis – Amazon/Various Stores ($7-$25)

Holiday Horrors Monsters Ornaments – Trick or Treat Studios ($19.99)

Universal Monster Geeki Tiki Mugs – Entertainment Earth ($19.99)

Universal Monsters The Creature From the Black Lagoon and Frankenstein’s Monster Bottle Stopper Box Set – Toy Wiz ($29.99)

Dracula Puzzle, Pocket Size – Wiz Head ($12.95)
https://wizhead.com/site/product_detail/MON-22-P

Universal Monsters Socks! Art by Sara Deck – Fright Rags ($12)

Invisible Man Vintage Mug – Tee Public ($11)

Phantom of the Opera Bookmarks – Film Cells ($9.99)
While Film Cells does have its own website and store, they’re only selling the Universal Monster bookmarks via Amazon

The Mummy – Classic Universal Monsters USPS Stamp replica pin / tie tack – Boris Karloff – Postal Brass ($8)

Universal Monsters art print, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, Wolfman, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Horror art, 11 x 17″ print – Paul Maitland ($15)

LINKS TO OFFICIAL LICENSED CLOTHING COLLECTIONS:

https://www.hottopic.com/pop-culture/shop-by-license/universal-monsters/

Creeped Out Christmas Art/Photo Challenge 2020

So, here’s the deal, Krampus is coming. That’s that. 2020 is not done with us. The face on Grandma’s vintage snowman, probably caved in. Those holiday lights you put away last year with meticulous care, suddenly, a big knot. The money you saved to give the kids a nice Christmas, probably going to fix your car or pay the rent or buy a new refrigerator, whatever, it’s gone! To top it all off, Covid-19 just ruined all our holidays plans! Such is pandemic life!
Burnt cookies, broken baubles, no problem. Don’t get mean, get creative! Join us on Instagram this December for the Creeped Out Christmas Art/Photo Challenge 2020! We like it dark and scary! #CreepedOutChristmas

Join in the fun any time, any day, but, if you post something all 25 days, you’ll be entered into a random drawing** to win a prize!!!

**Contestants must post an authentic, original art piece or photo each day from December 1-25, on Instagram, using #CreepedOutChristmas AND be a current follower of @halloweenhaiku9 be to be entered into the drawing. Contest ends midnight, pacific time, December 25, 2020. Winner will be chosen and announced here and on social media on December 26th. Please see Contest Rules for more details.

Prize – TBD, valued up to $20.