HALLOWEEN HAS ARRIVED! Perfect weather for it, too. Here, I mean. No clue what you're dealing with wherever you are. Here, it's cold, grey, and windy in a totally non-aggravating way. The perfect ending to what's been my favorite Halloween season in a very long time.
My goodie bags are a hit. Kids are coming to our door and leaving like they've just won the lottery. Most of them were wearing pretty great costumes, too. I've seen clowns, Batman, some kind of bloodied surgeon, and what was either an Indian princess or a really bad attempt at a tiger costume.
Really makes me wish I had a reason to don a costume, myself. I don't, but I guess that's why I baited Harley with cupcakes.
Harley, you are unbelievably adorable and I love you so, so much.
X-Entertainment's 2010 Halloween Countdown is now OVER. Thanks to everyone who visited, commented and generally justified my decision to spend too much time and too much money writing about Slurpees and old Ghostbusters memorabilia. I hope your Halloween season has been fun, fulfilling and overloaded with fun-sized Snickers.
Once the smoke settles (and it's going to settle sooner than you think), we're onto bigger, brighter, redder and greener pastures. X-E's Christmas Season is on its way!
And here we are. Last SNT of the Halloween season, and just hours away from Halloween Proper™. No idea how many of you are around tonight, but if you're here, tell us about your costumes, parties, costume parties, and ghost-themed socks.
Our plans for Halloween? Nothing, zilch, nada. We never do anything on Halloween. It used to bug me, but we've been doing-nothing-for-Halloween for so long, it's practically become our tradition. One last shot to stare at an apartment full of purple lights and cotton webs before it all feels oh so totally played.
With Halloween falling on a Sunday this year, we're expecting far more trick-or-treaters than usual. Can't wait. Contrary to my many public death threats, I actually do like kids. Especially when they're smiling, thankful and dressed like my favorite cartoon characters.
And I am so not someone who views this trick-or-treat thing as something those of us in charge of front doors must merely "endure." No freakin way. If you're gonna spend money and walk up and down staircases a thousand times, you may as well do it better than anyone else.
So today, I prepared to do just that.
Yup, it's time to assemble my annual trick-or-treat goodie bags! While all of the neighboring louses abide only by the letter of the law, I am determined to make every freak who knocks on my door leave with the opinion that I am the baddest man on the planet.
Here's how it works: First, I find some Halloween-themed Ziploc bags. Then, I get to stuffing. Since I've spent two months writing about more candy than I could ever hope to eat, we have plenty to work with. Every bag gets an assortment -- not just one piece, and not just two pieces. Not even three!
Aside from the candy, every bag gets a toy. Nothing huge -- either a plastic bug, or a stretchy skeleton, or maybe one of my leftover Universal Monsters pogs. It's all junk that I'd probably throw away otherwise, and you know the kids will be thrilled. All they're expecting are fun-sized bags of Skittles, but I'm delivering several pieces of candy and a toy, all packed in a totally reusable creepy Ziploc bag! They will call me God! Capital G! (more...)
At the tail end of X-E's very first Halloween Countdown (seven years ago!), I did an article on the most amazingly decorated house ever. An exaggeration? Only slightly. The homeowners turned their front lawn into an absolute horror hall of fame, with classic monsters, modern slashers and too many random rubber body parts to count.
I liked Halloween just fine before I started writing about it endlessly, but beginning the Countdown in 2003 is what truly forced me to take notice of how great a season it really is. From the random displays in department stores to the nutty plastic clings in my neighbors' windows, Halloween went from something I noticed out of the corner of my eye to something I was staring at dead on. I loved what I saw.
But seeing that house was something else. I still remember driving past it seven years ago. It was a total awakening for me. For so long, I'd only viewed the spooky season as a light side dish. Fun and filled with novelty, but not much more than a fleeting distraction. I won't claim that my entire outlook was changed by the crude mannequins on some guy's front lawn, but it was certainly one of the contributing factors. Halloween could be taken so much further than I ever knew, and it was absolutely not something I had to let go of with age.
So you can just imagine the joy jump I made upon learning that they brought it back after all this time!
Yes yes yes! The same house and the same decorations -- along with plenty of new ones. It's just a short drive from where we are, and I can't express how unusual it is to see something like this around here.
Where I live, people decorate...but not like this.
Here, Halloween is pretty much "just for kids," and what you'll see around town reflects that. Only a few scattered houses bust out the seriously "scary" stuff. It's almost to the point where it's frowned upon. In a sea of happy scarecrows and grinning ghosts, this house sticks out like the sorest, goriest, most violently severed thumb in the history of mutilation. I love it.
The family who owns the property builds this chaos for charity. Didn't catch which charity, exactly, but we were quick to dump a wad of singles into their wooden donation box. It was the least we could do. Not only do these people spread Halloween cheer better than black vodka and slutty fishnets, but they're cool with gobs of total strangers trampling their lawn day in and day out. Our host was woman in a witch cloak, wearing crazy white contacts. It took every ounce of reservation in my being to avoid grabbing her by the shoulders to shout "danku danku" four thousand times in a row.
Their front lawn isn't huge or anything, but they really maximized. There was stuff everywhere. Every nook. Every cranny. Every word ever used to describe the crevices of English muffins was thoroughly utilized.
We could've spent an hour there and still not seen everything. (And we would have, but it seemed like a social faux pas. Invitation or not, we were still wandering around someone's lawn. Think you'd need to be on a first name basis to do that for an hour.)
The immediate stars of the show are dozens of life-sized horror statues, representing, good God, everyone. Freddy! Jason! Dracula! The Wolfman! Leatherface! Some creepy gothy woman with glowing green eyes! A dead pirate! A hunchbacked butler serving a plate of bloody ears! Yeahhhh!
Those statues were enough to make my heart tha-wump, but it's the little touches that seal the deal. Everywhere you look, there's something else to see. Cages full of zombie babies. Random severed legs. Giant rats. Tables full of demon skulls. It was endless, and it had to cost these people a fortune. It may not mean much coming from someone who forked over more than a hundred bucks for a sealed can of Hi-C Ecto-Cooler, but I'll say it anyway: Money well spent, you awesome people.
I was waging a war against rapidly dying batteries, but just in the nick of time, I snagged this video of the action:
You'll have to forgive the short length and shaky camera work; I was determined to avoid catching the family or any of the random passersby on film. If some other blogger was there taking video, I wouldn't want to be caught making my retarded "awe" face as I gazed upon Michael Myers, either.
Whatever, the video shows more than enough. You can't tell me that this place isn't impressive. If you do, I will burn you. It's more than impressive. It's iimmpprreessiivvee.
I love how there's so much noise emanating from the surroundings. Not just the mechanics of the statues that move, either. Some of the decorations shout at you. Others just play chilling themes. Then there are all sorts of screams, bangs and animal noises. No clue where they were coming from, but I appreciated 'em all the same.
Capping off all the wonder? Their second story window had a Psycho theme, complete with neon-lit Bates Motel sign. Antichrist on an upside-down cross: I absolutely love this house.
As you grow older, Halloween seems to just sort of "wind down" as you approach the big day. There's no crescendo to it at all. Well, for once, to heck with that. It's October 29th, and I just saw the entire spirit of Halloween manifested as a thousand knickknacks on a stranger's front lawn. I feel good. I think I can stave off the ickyness for two more days.
I'm so going to send that family a fruit basket. A good one, too. Like, with exclusive peaches from the best estates. They deserve that and so much more.
After the jump, a small collection of additional photos. Nothing that isn't already in the video, but hey, I took 'em, so you're getting them. (more...)
So, $18.93. I said I would spend it, and I did. On uninteresting candy.
Three "jumbo bags" of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, which came to a total of $15.97 with taxes and fees.
I know you were expecting more. Frankly, I was too. I went to three stores, and the Halloween sections in all of them were absolutely ransacked. By the time we got to Target, I was determined to make that our last stop. (It was either that or I'd miss my self-imposed deadline.)
The place was an absolute mob scene. The entire Halloween section looked like it'd just seen a triple threat match between Blanka, King Kong and a giant pig. Most of what they had left was thrown on the floor and half-crushed. There were still a thousand people there, all gunning for their last minute spooky needs.
In the end, it came down to three bags of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, or a skeleton-themed nutcracker. I admit that my decision was partially influenced by the idea of having nearly 75 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups all at once, but there was more to it than that. See, when you buy three jumbo bags, you get a free pillowcase.(more...)