Hooray for Halloween nights! That slight chill! The sounds of crickets who refuse to admit that they're out of season! Dagger-shaped clouds bathed in moonlight! Ahhh, the only thing missing is the knowledge that I can enjoy it all night and then sleep until 3 PM. Would Halloween nights be a valid reason for quitting my job?
Earlier, we stopped at CVS on a spooky hunt. CVS never has too much great stuff, but they do have the biggest Snapple selection I've ever seen, and this helps compensate for things. Below are tonight's finds.
Halloween Window Silhouettes: You've seen these cheap, plastic Halloween window "covers" for years, in every conceivable style. If you're like me, you've probably avoided them. They seem bulky, tacky, messy and kind of pointless. No matter what a company prints on an enormous plastic window cover, it's still an enormous plastic window cover, and it's probably going to look like shit taped over a window.
Or so I thought!
I got a pair of skull-themed Window Silhouettes, which admittedly look pretty badass -- like an x-ray of a skull with alien red eyes tacked on. Problem is, they're not window-sized...they're door-sized. I can understand why the makers of Halloween Window Silhouettes didn't want to limit their potential market to people with full-length glass doors in their homes, but a spade is a spade. These are Halloween Door Silhouettes.
The package claims that you can "trim" the plastic to make the things fit in windows, but I'm having a hard time seeing how this is possible. The entire silhouette is almost 5.5 feet tall, and even the skull alone is well past 4 feet tall. In a standard window, you'd only be able to fit the left side of the skull's jaw. I should've known something was up when I saw the "buy one, get one free" banner over these at CVS.
But! If you're lucky enough to have a full-length windowed door, you are in for glory and prestige of unfathomable heights.
That's our back door -- it's a sliding one, featuring glass panels with Venetian blinds trapped inside. Not the ideal scenario for a Halloween Door Silhouette, but it absolutely works.
The picture does not do this thing justice. We taped it on the door from the inside, shone a light through it, and up above is how it looks from the outside. A humongous, disembodied glowing skull surrounded by pitch blackness. Really awesome, and the effect improves with distance. I heard some kids a few house away roaring their approval, which both filled with me with pride and made me realize that the families who live behind us can see what I'm doing in the yard. The more I think back, the more I'm concerned.
In short: They're one of the most inexpensive Halloween decorations ever, and they're everywhere. Even if you can't find these wicked skulls, you'll have no trouble finding the plastic window/door covers in a multitude of other spooky styles. If you've been passing 'em up, it might be a good idea to reconsider. So long as you have really, really big windows to work with.
Halloween Bubble Tape: Hmm. Not too impressed. It comparison to 2006's "Mummy Tape," this is not a big event. For 2009, Hubba Bubba's unleashed a new type of Halloween Bubble Tape, in a sleek black case with a neat vampire sticker on the front.
That's all well and good, but the flavor? It's original. Plain old original! No black raspberry! No blood orange! Not even a ghoulish grape! Sure, a closer inspection of the label while at CVS would've confirmed this and saved me some disappointment, but who would expect plain old original bubble gum to come out of a package like that?
I absolutely hate it when companies only dress up their products' packaging for Halloween. It's so chintzy and illegal. The only saving grace is that Hubba Bubba reportedly has an assortment of monster stickers available, so even if you aren't chewing anything extraordinary, at least you can collect gum cases with vampire, mummy and other monster sticker labels on them. The downside? To open the packages, you have to tear right through the middle of the monsters' heads.
I hate being forced to decapitate monsters. I feel that doing so is a decision I must come to on my own terms.
Dangling Spider Lights: Niiiiiice. A box of ten Dangling Spider Lights only cost me 7.50, and it can easily be argued that a ten-pack of large, plastic spiders would be worth that price even if they didn't light up. But they do!
Within the mix are three different spider styles with three different light colors, and my camera really didn't want to portray them in a positive fashion. Trust me, they look much cooler than that. The lights perfectly straddle the line between being "creepy lights" and "party lights," so depending on your intent, you can either make you home look like a haunted crypt, or like a place where people go to do the Charleston with flasks of gin in their free hands.
Before I retire, how about a Halloween survey?
In the comments, discuss your experiences in watching scaaaaary movies as a child. This is a free-for-all survey -- you can take that direction however you'd like. If your parents brought you to see a horror movies in theaters when you were way too young for it, confess. If you snuck in a viewing of The Exorcist when you were nine-years-old and couldn't sleep for weeks, tell us about it.
My own experiences wouldn't have as much to do with any specific movie, but rather the manner in which they were watched. My parents were never very strict about bedtimes (I honestly cannot recollect a time when I had one), nor did they particularly care if I slept in my bedroom or not. (To this day, I prefer couches.)
As such, it was typical for me to sleep downstairs, where nobody else slept at the time. I'd camp out on our old sofa in front of our enormous old television -- a luxury item purchased after one of my parents' rare Atlantic City victories, if I remember correctly.
I didn't have an irrational fear of scary movies, but I also knew how to live within my limits. I avoided watching them when I was home alone, or worse, home alone at night. Of course, we all fall off the wagon sometimes, and there was more than one time when I was on my own in the evening hours, downstairs, watching a movie that I definitely should not have been watching.
Whenever this happened, I had one of two responses. In some cases, I'd eventually freak, change the channel, turn on every light in the house and essentially create a kind of virtual daytime. In other cases, the movie and darkness would just totally paralyze me, and I'd be unable to crawl out from under the blanket, even it was just to change the channel to some inoffensive uppity late-night infomercial. Nothing quelled abstract fear like the sight of Jack LaLanne juicing celery.
The latter cases were pure torture, but I loved 'em. There was something exhilarating in that fear, even when it got so out of control that I was convinced I was seeing ghouls and demons in every window and every mirror. It's hard to replicate that rush once you grow up, much as I try. I still love to watch scary movies in the dark, but I can't say that it stirs my soul much. Then again, the kid version of me would've never kept a 7' audio-animatronic Jason Voorhees in plain view.
I hope your stories are better and more specific than mine.Posted by Matt on 10/06/2009. E-mail me!