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Thursday, October 25, 2012

League Assignment: This is Halloween!

This is Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!

From Cool and Collected...
This week’s topic might duplicate what many of you are already doing for your Halloween countdowns, but I wanted the League to do something Halloweeny this week. Here is your assignment…

This is Halloween! This is Halloween! What are your Halloween traditions?

Nintendo + Halloween =  Amazingness
I must say, I've been kinda lapsed in any super-defined traditions over the past few years...since college, it's pretty much been go to work, come home, go to bed.  Shame because Halloween used to be my ultimate holiday as a kid.  I was obsessed with drawing haunted houses, making my own masks, turning rooms of my house into terrifying tombs of the undead (in July...mom loved coming home from work to her candles burning and the fake cobwebs pulled down from the attic...I was 9, alright?)  I remember being so blown away by the skeletal pipe organ in the Disney haunted house, I had my dad make a fake pipe organ out of old boxes and wrapping paper rolls for the pipes with gold and black spray paint...super awesome! 

Casa de Mr. R, circa 1987

This was before I read "Harold" from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.
Now that the wife and I have a baby on the way this January, I cannot wait to get back into the Halloween spirit. (Now that I'm working a daytime hours we have time freed up to do a simple theme costume this year to work baby bump into it. She's wearing a pumpkin shirt and I'm wearing a Pi shirt...get it?)  Even when I sold all of my old Ghostbuster toys this year, I held onto my Proton Pack and Jumpsuit exclusively for the reason to pass it onto the little man as soon as he can wear it and based on toy prices, he will definitely be wearing the most expensive costume in his class :)
Mr. R, thee frog!
Awesome 80's product placement!

My favorite wall art ever!  I drew this scene so many times! Seeing it instantly made me smile!
What a brutally hard game.

I couldn't get enough Halloween decorations.  I loved the cheap-o wall art of vampires, bats, cats, skeletons and haunted house drawings with such amazing details.  I used to draw my own too and made paper plate masks of devils and werewolves.  Ghosts and Goblins and Castlevania were instant must haves for me for video games and I collected any Halloween related books I could find be it puzzle, 3d, activity or story book.   Let's not forget the great Halloween specials: Ghostbusters.(Boogaloo or any Samhain episode will stay in your brain as a kid long after viewing, holy hell) we had Garfield with those pirate ghosts, It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (of course), Will Vinton's Claymation Halloween, Disney's Ikabod Crane, any Tree House of Horror and so on.

Good song from my favorite Garfield cartoon.

Even as a 3 year old, my uncle was teaching me the ways of the dark side...
(he's the one who gave me my first Joes and Star Wars figures too)

My parents used to always have a bash at the house during my grade school years where the whole fam would come over.  The trip to Taney's Costume and Novelty shop in our neighborhood was a highlight of the year as we'd stock up with rubber rats and bats along with cool ghost and graveyard ceramic kits my mom would paint.  My mom and me would go to the Pocono's American Candle Shoppe to pick up other cool Halloween stuff (A highlight being a "bat"globe that played the Alfred Hitchcock theme which screamed "classic")

I was a pimpin Count...diggin the cane, ring and flashing bat necklace!

Even in school I was the Halloween kid.  I always went all out for the classroom Halloween party. I did a big chalk mural on the board in the classroom.  I remember in 5th grade, I made a tape of the first season of "Are you Afraid of the Dark?" and we all got to watch it for the afternoon.  Good times.   Not only was Halloween a great time but looking at the pictures, it epitomized so many aspects of what we all come to these blogs about.  It is festooned with pop-culture and saturated with nostalgia.  I'm actually working at my own elementary school now and it was such a mind trip to walk to my parents house through the leaves after work today and really made me miss all that came along with this part of the year.
That's me on the left in the "Ewok" outfit...I dunno...

My college years brought back the Halloween spirit after the long doldrums of everything being "lame" in my superficial high-school years when I thought I knew everything but simply had that confused with really just being terrified of everything.   I really went all out on my costumes plotting annual trips to the Philly "Halloween adventure" super store with my now-wife to find a stupid overpriced costume and then customize it...One of our bests was when I went as Jesus (ironically from a modified Roman Soldier uniform)  and she went as a demon with black wings and all.  We turned some heads and won some contests, successful Halloween all around.    We have since settled a bit but always made a point to at least carve or decorate pumpkins which was the case this year.  She painting an impressive silhouetted night scene and myself having fun with a Sharpie creating my favorite ghost, Boo-Diddley! 

"Trick or Treat...die"

So really Halloween never died, it just experienced periods of hiatus.  I've always been drawn to it.  Man, I think a reason I liked Donnie Darko as much as I did was because it was centered around Halloween with "Frank" possibly being the coolest costume to graze the screen.  Speaking of movies, this time of year has always required the compulsory viewing on weekends of classics including annual screenings of Blair Witch, Mothman Prophecies, the Ring, Fright Night, The Gate, the Friday the 13th Series, the Ruins, the Shining, Event Horizon, Cujo, It, Christine, Maximum Overdrive and anything else we can spot.

The wifey's pumpkin!

So I'm not sure if this constitutes tradition but it certainly laid out my various experiences with Halloween.  To this great day in October which kicks off the official "Holiday Season", I salute you!

Knock on some doors in the League Neighborhood...

Branded in the 80's is worth it just for the Ecto-Cooler Recipe! (nice photos too)

Monster Cafe speaks of the Monster Cafe!

Dan and Pauline are showing off fond animated memories!

Take a look at some of Geek Til It Hurts' film choices!

That Figures rounds out some more great viewing choices!

Whatever I think of speaks of Halloween Karaoke!


  1. Excellent post. It got me all nostalgic all over again.

    Don't worry, once the kiddo arrives, I promise you that your Halloween spirit will return with a vengeance. (Congrats, BTW!) ;)

  2. Fabulous. All of it. We didn't even decorate this year, save for a few pumpkins, but I have a bunch of those cheesy old popcorn plastic window things. They would be right up your alley! :)
    Happy Halloween, Adam!

  3. I like playing scary old school games around this time of year, too. I totally busted out Shadowgate for NES this past weekend.


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