stranger in my house
stranger in my house
Halloween fans are dreaming of a dark and moody Christmas. Forget the goofy grandma sweaters and wicker baskets full of over-processed cheese and stale crackers, this year, slay the holidays with some frighteningly awesome gifts for your favorite Halloween lover or yourself!
THE STOCKING STUFFERS
Halloween miniatures, $2-$20
Help your Halloween fan get a jump on creating a miniature display for next season with these adorable little Halloween miniatures.
Halloween and horror pins, $5-20
Pins make the best stocking stuffers. Most are cheap but the collectibles can be more expensive.
Vintage-style Halloween magnets, and stickers from Vintage Spooky Company, $5
Graphic designer Gary makes all his own original Halloween and monster art, inspired by vintage Halloween wares and other spooky stuff.
Don’t laugh. Everyone needs batteries. Sure, you could go for AA or AAA, but I suggest those CR2032 batteries that go in tea lights and animatronics. Those little guys get costly. Believe me, they are so appreciated.
LAST MINUTE BUYS FROM AMAZON
Llewellyns 2020 Magical Mystical Calendar featuring artwork by Lisa Parker, $15
Llewellyns make the best mystical, spiritual and witchy calendars, and they’ve once again teamed up with renowned fantasy artist Lisa Parker for 12 months of magical felines
Gracula Garlic Twist Crusher, $16
The kitchen is one of the hardest rooms in the house to decorate for Halloween fans and this little garlic crusher is simply delightful. This little novelty item is probably not good for serious cooks and heavy usage but seems perfect for once-a-blue-moon meals.
Black Candle Pillar Holders, $20
Every good witch needs a little iron and light to help ward off evil. Black candle pillar holders come in many shapes, sizes and styles, start here:
Haunted Skull Cake Pan, $28
The Nordic Ware Haunted Skull Cakelet Pan is an absolute treasure. You can make pizza skulls, skull muffins, skull burritos, Dia de Los Muertos cakes and whatever your imagination can come up with. This quality cast aluminum, non-stick pan is a must-have for any Halloween lover’s kitchen.
TIME TO SPARE
Poe Ornaments and Tea Ball Infusers by Annabel Lee and Me, $9-10
Annabel Lee and Me specialize in Poe centric and gothic wares. After you put up your dark and spooky Christmas tree covered in Poe ornaments, sit back with a nice cuppa hot tea.
Prints from the Edward Gorey Collection, $12
Eccentric artist Edward Gorey liked to draw creepy creatures and cats. He even drew the Prince of Darkness in a whimsical scene. If you’re ever in Yarmouth Port, MA, stop by the Gorey House Museum.
The Ghoulish Grimoire books by artist Diana Levin and author Shawn Givens, $12
Now on the 7th issue, these unique horror anthologies feature stunning black/white pen and ink illustrations, accompanied by two short stories, sometimes poems and other musings, which are always the perfect blend of creepy and macabre imagination. Back issues from this talented couple are still available. Get them before they’re gone!
Horror Movie T-shirts from Fright Rags, $25-40
Halloween fans and horror lovers can represent 365 days a year with these officially licensed T-shirts and other cool merch from the most iconic horror films of all time.
“United” Halloween flag 3×5 ft by Rhode Montijo, $25
Halloween fans can now let their freak flags fly with this giant orange and black striped jack-o-lantern flag that will look great hanging on the wall. Don’t forget to pick up some adorable Halloween prints and buttons too!
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and Gris Grimly, $25
Citing the monster as a childhood favorite, acclaimed artist Gris Grimly jumped at the chance to illustrate the very first, full-length novel using the original 1818 text from Mary Shelley. This beautifully haunting book with stunning artwork is one-of-a-kind. Pick up a copy at his newly reopened online store.
Fine Art Prints from Killer Pumpkins, $30
Welcome to the colorful and spooky world of artist and designer John Pelico, whose digital artwork is simply mind-blowing. Whoever thought grim could be so cheerful. Only prints are available online but if you catch Killer Pumpkins at San Diego Comic Con or other So Cal conventions, sometimes they carry unique merchandise like coffee cups and lamps.
Infernal Creatures: A Collection of Rare Occult Artworks book from Century Guild, $35
Century Guild is a private museum and gallery, now based out of Southern California, that specializes in fine arts between 1880-1920s, particularly Arte Nouveau and Symbolism. This exquisite hardcover book features full-color, professionally photographed art and posters, printed on the highest resolution paper. Fascination with death and the occult is not a contemporary concept
Horror Movie Burst a Box, $50
A unique twist on a centuries old child’s toy, which still features the chilling ‘Pop Goes the Weasel’ tune. Choose from Billy, Chucky, Freddy, Jason, Pennywise, or Sam.
Today, I’d like to give thanks for all the Halloween fans and curious souls who have stopped by my little web blog to share in the love for Halloween. Be sure to check us out in December, when we’ll celebrate the dark and spooky side of the holidays.
Well, it’s happened. Another Halloween season has come and gone, and it’ll be 11 long months until our favorite holiday comes back around. Post-Halloween Depression is real. There never seems to be enough time to do all the things we want to do during the month of October. While it’s easy to fall into the trappings of woulda, shoulda, coulda, guilt never brought back Halloween any sooner. If you have a serious issues, get help. Young folks, talk to someone. For reals. Maybe you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is the loneliest time of the year and it doesn’t have to be.
If you think you got a handle on it and you’re just looking for ways to squeeze the spookiness outta the holidays. Here’s a few helpful tips:
Find Your Tribe
Life is simply too short not to hang with people who don’t engage your interest, inspire your creativity or support your vision, even if it’s just turning your front yard into a cemetery every October.
Halloween groups on Pinterest, Reddit and Facebook are great places to find likeminded fans. Commiserating with others helps us not feel so alone, and trust me, you are not the only one who cannot bear to watch Freeform’s sugary programming on repeat for the next two months.
Shop ’til You Drop
Don’t put away that credit card just yet because shopping for Halloween items is even better after Halloween. This is the time when stores are blowing out their stocks and have slashed prices from 50-80% off. Spirit stores, Michaels, Joanns and World Market, just to name a few, all have big sales still going on. Never underestimate the power of retail therapy.
Scare up Your Next Halloween
There’s no time to cry when you’re a notebook deep full of ideas for next Halloween, and next year is gonna be a doozy. Halloween 2020 will be on a Saturday, there’ll be a full moon and that’s also the day we set our clocks back. Sounds auspicious already!
Let Autumn Linger
I don’t understand why people insist on rushing into Christmas when we have the beauty and wonder of the harvest to celebrate. Pumpkins, scarecrows, fall leaves, much of what we love about Autumn is what we love about Halloween, and nothing is better than natural spookiness of fall.
You can always decorate with autumn lights and harvest candles. Hang a fall wreath on the front door or somewhere over the mantle. Instead of the Christmas tree, put up an autumn tree during the month of November. Check out this fantastic autumn home decor from All for Fall & Halloween member Megan Sanders:
Give Thanks to Dark and Moody
Maybe you’re one that needs to feed your gothic soul all twelve months outta the year. Well, Wednesday, keep your striped socks on, because it’s quite easy to flip the holidays to satisfy our love for all things dark and brooding, as seen here in this incredibly beautiful dark holiday photography:
For more photos like these, check out our Dark and Moody Holidays board on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/halloweenkristy/dark-and-moody-holidays/
Celebrate Bad Santa
Of all the bad Santa origin stories in the world, Germany’s Krampus is the clear winner. The half-goat, half-demon, schnapps loving, children whipping, horned god of the witches is the most recognizable of all holiday bad boys and has been depicted in numerous way, but the consistency has always been his long twisted horns, a long tail, snake-like tongue, razor-sharp claws, and black hooves for feet. Additionally, he often wears a long heavy coat, wrapped in heavy chains, with some type of big bell attached.
Krampus is bad cop to Santa’s good cop. He carries a bundle of birch branches for whipping naughty children and stuffs the really, really bad ones into a basket or sack that he takes home to torture, drown and eat.
How this devil ended up as Santa’s evil sidekick is a mystery but he’s the only one celebrated internationally, even has his own designated night, Krampusnacht on December 5th
Embrace the Spooky Side of the Holidays
Krampus is more proof that Halloween and Christmas go together like peanut butter and jelly. Artists, creators, and movie makers have been genre-bending and making the holidays scary for decades.
From twisted Santa histories to spooky holiday tales, there are plenty of the dark or supernatural elements to admire or revere during the holiday season.
So, dry your tears and get to planning, cuz the holiday scares are just beginning. Put some fangs on your snowman or hang some bloody reindeer antler bones on your front door and your relatives just might behave on Thanksgiving day.
The Witch’s Tale was the first horror-fantasy radio series, which aired from May 28, 1931, to June 13, 1938, on WOR, the Mutual Radio Network, and later in syndication. Creator Alonzo Deen Cole, a 34-year old Minnesota native, convinced the station to air the supernatural series that he wrote and directed himself. His goal was to draw audiences away from more conventional musical shows airing on rival stations.
The creepy 30-minute weekly anthology featured a cackling host named Old Nancy, a witch from Salem, who, along with her wise black cat named Satan, spun a new wicked “bedtime yarn” each week. The show terrified younger listeners and was a huge success with New York children, who adored Old Nancy, often imitating her cackles and quips, in efforts to scare younger siblings.
The shows were broadcast live, recorded for syndication, and then distributed to various national markets. It’s reported, that in 1961, Cole didn’t think the recordings held any value, so he destroyed nearly all of them (only about 30-50 recordings exist today).
Most scripts were original stories but there were a few literary adaptions as well. Cole played the cat Satan and enlisted the aid of his wife Marie O’Flynn to play lead female characters. Old Nancy, liked telling tales was created by stage actress Adelaide Fitz-Allen, who portrayed the spooky witch until her death in 1935.Auditions were held soon after to find a new Old Nancy and 13-year old Miriam Wolfe, a radio prodigy from Brooklyn, New York was chosen for the role after Cole heard the girl mimicking the character’s trademark cackling laugh. Wolfe would play the character for several years, in addition to other characters, before leaving to pursue other interests. Veteran radio and film actress Martha Wentworth (the famed Disney voice artist) then stepped in to lend her voice talents as Old Nancy. Top New York radio actors were often cast to fill roles of secondary characters respectively.
In 1936, a companion magazine called The Witch’s Tales was published by the small firm, Carwood Publishing Co., which reportedly failed to promote the radio show properly and completely mismanaged finances and distribution of the magazine. Only two issues (November and December) ever made it into print. Although Alonzo Deen Cole was named editor, real editorial work was believed to be done by Tom Chadburn. Cole did, however, write the lead story for the first issue and contributed the plot for the main story in the second issue. The magazine’s other stories were all reprints from the American version of Pearson’s Magazine.
The spell cast by The Witch’s Tale came to an end in 1958, with talk of bringing the series to television. Cole was eyed as a consultant and story supervisor for the pilot, but the idea never came to fruition.
You can find many episodes over at Archive.org: https://archive.org/details/TheWitchsTale
The video shown below is titled Graveyard Mansion, originally aired in 1934, about two brothers who may have stumbled upon a New Orleans vampire. Take a listen.
a lover, taken too soon
Artist and comic creator Drew Rausch is our go-to guy for all things spooky AND weird. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of times at horror shows and in addition to being uber-talented and crazy busy, he’s super nice and funny. Drew is co-creator of the webcomic My Blacks don’t match, with Jocelyn Gajeway, Eldritch! with Aaron Alexovich, and the subculture comic Sullengray, also co-written with Jocelyn Gajeway. His work can be seen in Boom Studios’ Cthulhu and Zombie Tales, SLG’s Haunted Mansion, IDW’s Edwards Scissorhands, and many more.
Artist: Drew Rausch
Where to Purchase Goods: Online store, Comic and horror conventions, gallery shows, and special events
Website: https://drewrausch.com or https://drewrausch.bigcartel.com/
Social Media: https://www.instagram.com/drewrausch
Why we love them: Based on my few convos with him, Drew is just like any of us, a big ‘ole Halloweenophile, comics fan, music lover, classic horror movie buff and lover of all things spooky and weird. Whether he’s drawing webcomics or creating cool pins of offbeat characters he’s dreamt up, one can clearly see the influences of comics, monsters, and classic horror movies in his artwork. Plus, he still takes commissions from time to time, when he’s not busy (which is almost never, so be patient, but his art is totally worth the wait.)
excitement brews in the air
chill in the air
crunchy leaves at our feet
halloween no more
I will not mourn the passing of Halloween because Halloween lives here all day, every day, all year around.
What I will miss is the community spirit that shows up every September/October. I’ll miss the creative inspiration that buzzes around Halloween season, driving people to craft, create, cook, make, bake, paint, draw, write, sing and celebrate the spooky beyond. I’ll miss seeing the adorable kids in their costumes and the funny, imaginative guises from the adults. I’ll miss the haunts and the mazes, and the creative minds that have built elaborate, sometimes ingenious, macabre sets. I’ll miss seeing decorations and the lights in all the stores, and in the yards where I live. I’ll miss hearing Halloween tunes on the radio and watching thrillers and spooky movies on television. I’ll miss people talking about their favorite memories and how they’re looking forward to making new ones. I’ll miss the festive harvests, the parades, the pumpkin patches, the endless rows of candy, and the fun Halloween treats that make us feel like kids again.
I’ll miss the Halloween season, but Halloween is never over, oh no, Halloween is forever.