Throwback: Halloween Carnivals

One of my fondest memories (before the world got all easily offended about every damn thing) was the yearly Halloween carnival at our school.  All the kids and some of the adults in our town would dress up, play games, and eat – a lot.  We weren’t worried about kids having too much sugar or kids getting too scared.  We ate funnel cakes and cotton candy until we got sick and let little kids go through the PG-13 haunted house without fear of damaging anyone’s fragile psyches.

Now, it seems like these carnivals aren’t as fun as they used to be, whether it be because people are worried about security, because nosy parents are worried about other people’s kids having too much candy, or because the morality police has decided that Halloween isn’t a family-friendly holiday.

The latter makes me think of that King of the Hill episode where one dumbass, holier-than-thou woman gets Halloween banned in Arlen.  What the hell is wrong with people?  I have to turn that one off whenever it comes on.

Anyway, school Halloween carnivals just don’t seem as prevalent or as fun as they used to be, so this is my plea to all the parents or would-be parents out there to get your kids/future kids involved in things like these while their young.  If you find out about a carnival, don’t dismiss it.  Kids love that kind of stuff, and if you skip it, you could be missing out on giving your child some pretty great memories.

 

TFO’s Top 3 Favorite Supernatural Series

Do you love to read?  I do.  I love curling up with a good book, a nice cup of tea, and a blanket and just getting lost in my imagination.  And, of course, being who I am, my favorite books are scary or related to the supernatural.  Also, I really enjoy getting to know certain characters and revisiting my “friends” from time to time, so finding a good series is very important to me.

Here are my top 3 favorite supernatural series

3.  Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series

You might already be pretty familiar with this series from its TV adaptation, True Blood, starring Anna Paquin.  The show is good, but it really strayed from the source material.  So if you have already seen the show, don’t worry.  You can still enjoy the books.

They’re so much fun, and Sookie is such an endearing heroine.  Vampires take center stage in this series, and her interactions with the various vampires around her, as well as with other supernatural creatures, are sexy, harrowing, and sometimes hilarious.

2. Kim Harrison’s Hollows series

Rachel Morgan is the star of this series.  She’s a sassy witch in the post-Turn U.S. where vampires, werewolves, witches, demons, fairies, and other supernatural creatures have come out of hiding after a semi-apocalyptic event takes out much of the human race.

Rachel and her partners Ivy (a vampire) and Jenks (a pixy) tackle many obstacles in their quest to make their own place in the world.

1. Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series

Anita Blake is a badass.  I met her in high school after stumbling upon “The Laughing Corpse,” the second book of the series, in the public library.  After wearing out the library’s copy, I found out that the series was still going on, and that’s all she wrote (except obviously not).

Anita is an animator, or zombie raiser, that interacts frequently with other supernatural creatures, including vampires and werewolves.  I say “interacts,” but it’s so much more than that.  Just read them. You’ll be glad you did.

Lights Out & Other Creepy Internet Videos

Happy Friday everyone!  The big day has arrived!  I’m going to watch Lights Out tonight!  I’ve said this in a few of my past posts, but I have been so freaking excited for the release of this movie.  I saw the short film a while ago (click here for link to video), and I’ve been counting down to the feature-length movie since I heard they were doing one. And now my wait is over!!!

*Happy Dance* *Happy Dance*

In honor of this movie and since my little obsession with it all started with the short film I saw on YouTube I, I thought I’d post my top favorite scary Internet videos just to get your blood pumping this fine Friday morning.

If you’re at work, fair warning: some of these are jumpers.

The Fallen Angel

Some men out in the woods try to chase down something strange that they saw, and you won’t be disappointed.

The Grudge Girl

This one is short, simple, and just fun.

Body of a Pig

A creepy voice is recorded in a creepy place, and it goes unnoticed until the men involved watch the video.  So cool.

Silent Hill Real Life P.T.

I love the Silent Hill game series, and this fan-made version of the P.T. trailer is fantastically scary.

Marble Hornets series

This is actually a creepy Internet series inspired by SlenderMan.  Although they’re a little slow at times, I enjoyed them.

Max Headroom Incident

Most of these videos are staged or obviously fake, but this one is actually of a real incident in 1987 when someone hijacked a TV station.  The person responsible has never been found.

Bedfellows

I love a good short film, and this one is so freakin’ creepy.  No spoilers. Just watch.

Crooked Rot

It’s hard to describe this one.  It’s a music video?  Kinda? Maybe?  I don’t know, but I bet you won’t be able to stop watching once you start.

The Mysterious Stranger

This short is from The Adventures of Mark Twain.  Claymation is pretty creepy anyway.  Throw in a little Satan, and you have yourself a very freaky little video.

I hope you enjoyed the videos.  So who else is going to watch the movie tonight?  Let me know in the comments, and have a very scary weekend!

Easy DIY Window Monster

Halloween is creeping toward us, and I am FUH-REAKING out because I haven’t started on my projects yet.  Yes, I have 102 days left as of the date of this post, but I have A LOT planned this year.

I’ll be posting more-involved DIY projects throughout the Halloween season, but since we have a little over 100 days until the big day, I thought I’d just post a quick little project I whipped up a few Halloweens back.

Three Septembers ago (a Friday the 13th actually), we moved from an apartment into a small house.  Moving is a lot of work, so I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for Halloween that year.  I set out my cemetery and hung up some ghosts and goblins.  I really wanted to do more, but I just didn’t have a lot of time (or money – buying a house is expensive).  I was proud of my little cemetery, but I thought my house was missing something.

We have a big double window by our front door, so I decided to dress it up a bit.  BUT…I didn’t want to spend any money.  Luckily for me, I’ve got a creative mind.  I had some black, easy-peel contact paper – the kind that doesn’t stick too much.  I cut out some eyes and teeth, stuck them to the window, and – VOILA! – window monster.

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Ain’t it fun?  It took hardly any time at all, but it added a bunch of Halloween flava.  Kids loved it, and with it backlit from behind with a low lamp, it showed up great.

What kinds of fun projects do you foresee for your Halloween festivities?  You better start planning now!  I know I am.

The Babadook: 5 Scariest Moments

My husband and I just finished binge-watching season 6 of Game of Thrones.  Don’t worry.  No spoilers here if you haven’t seen it, but let me just say –

IT. WAS. AWESOME.

So where does the post title come in?  Well, this season had a new recurring character played by Australian actress, Essie Davis.

Ms. Davis stars in The Babadook as Amelia, an exhausted mother to a – let’s just say – very special child named Samuel.  After seeing her in Game of Thrones, I just really wanted to watch the movie again.  So that’s exactly what I did yesterday morning.

Davis is amazing in this movie, and although little Samuel really annoys the living crap out of me in the first half, I’ve got to say that Noah Wiseman does really well in his role, too.  Mr. Babadook himself is a remarkably scary figure, bringing to life childhood fears of the boogeyman and making this one of the scariest movies in recent memory.

So let’s count down the 5 scariest moments of The Babadook:

5)  The First Reading

Samuel chooses this book for his mother to read to him one night, and we’re first introduced to the incredibly creepy titular Babadook.  Although this scene doesn’t happen very far into the movie, you’re already well aware that the little guy has some problems, so when Amelia starts to read the story, the tension is heightened because you know this isn’t going to end well.  And it sure doesn’t, leaving Samuel a crying mess and Amelia yet again beaten down by life.

4)  The Second Reading

The book shows up at their house after Amelia has shredded it and put it in the trash bin.  When Amelia reads through it again, there are new pages added to show the probably fate of Amelia, Samuel, and Bugsy, their adorable little dog.  And then the phone rings.  When Amelia answers, all she hears is the word “Babadook” spoken in a creaky, creepy voice.

3)  The Chase

Amelia has been possessed by the Babadook after letting him in and chases Samuel about the house after killing Bugsy.  Her eyes are crazed, and her hands are out to her sides and curved into claws, mimicking the Babadook’s stance.  When she yells at Sam, her voice morphs from her soft-spoken tone to a deep, menacing one.

2)  The Bedroom Battle

Just when you think everything’s okay, little Samuel reminds us that you can’t get rid of the Babadook right before he’s pulled upstairs by an invisible force.  Amelia runs after him and faces her fears by screaming at the Babadook, materializing in the dark side of her bedroom, to leave them alone.

1)  The Fireplace

My favorite scene of this movie is when Amelia is running from the Babadook and ends up in a heap by the fireplace.  The Babadook’s hat falls from the chimney, and Amelia lurches away from the fireplace.  Her terrifying, slow crawl creates such tension in the scene.  Gets me every time.

 

Throwback: Creepy Kids Songs

Does anyone else remember those fun songs we use to sing as kids in Kindergarten?  Little Bunny Foo Foo? Baby Bumblebee?  Yes? No?  Whatever.  Whether you do or you don’t, I think you know where this blog post is going.

My favorite kiddie songs, of course, were those we sang around Halloween.  I’m not sure why, but one of them popped in my head the other day.

“Stirring and stirring and stirring my brew”

(*Make stirring motion with hands.*)

“Ooooooooooo,

Ooooooooooo”

(*Move hands down in front of your face.*)

[Repeat]

“Tip toe, tip toe, tip toe, BOO!”

(*Make ‘tip toe’ motion with fingers before scaring the person next to you.*)

Cute, right?

And then there’s the always awesome “The Hearse Song,” edited to show how I always sang it as a kid:

“Don’t you ever laugh as a hearse goes by,
For you may be the next to die.
They wrap you up in a big white sheet
and cover you from your head to your feet.
They put you in a big black box
And cover you up with dirt and rocks.
All goes well for about a week,
And then the coffin begins to leak.
The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out,
They play pinochle on your snout,
They eat your eyes, they eat your nose,
They eat the jelly between your toes.
A big green worm with rolling eyes
Crawls in your stomach and out your sides.
Your stomach turns a slimy green,
And pus pours out like whipping cream.
You’ll spread it on a slice of bread,
And that’s what you eat when you are dead.”

Loved. That. Song.  And my aunt always added a quick, rousing rendition of “Gopher Guts” after the end of that one with a quick intro to make it flow right:

“It tastes like…

Great big gobs of ooey, gooey gopher guts!

Great big mounds of mutilated monkey meat!

Great big gobs of ooey, gooey gopher guts!

Oh, I forgot my spoon!

But I got my straw.

Slurp! Slurp! Slurp! Slurp!”

[Repeat last two lines three times]

It just makes me smile thinking about those little songs.  They’re a little cute, a little creepy, and just fun to sing.

Are there any creepy songs from your childhood that you still like to sing from time to time?

TFO’s Top 10 Favorite Scary TV Shows

I don’t know about you, but it is too damn hot outside for me to enjoy much of anything.  Put me in a  pool, and I’ll be fine, but I do not get how anyone can just sit outside in this kind of weather for fun/relaxation.

Aw hell no.

That’s why when summer rears its ugly head, I retreat to my nice, dark, air-conditioned house to watch TV, nap, and…nap some more.

What can I say?  My bed is super comfortable.

But I don’t write about beds or naps here.  I write about skeery things.  So for this Top Tuesday post, I thought I’d count down my top ten favorite scary tv shows.  What else are you going to do to avoid the heat?

TFO’s Top 10 Favorite Scary TV Shows

10. Scream Queens

Oh man.  This show cracks me up.  If you’re looking for a still-gory, kinda-creepy, but still funny horror show, this one is a safe bet.  Emma Roberts is hilariously bitchy in this as the diva Chanel Oberlin.  Watch this. It’s worth it.

9. Penny Dreadful

This show just ended unceremoniously, but I guess with only three seasons, it’s not a long watch.  Old-school horror icons are re-vamped (see what I did there?) and star in a macabre vision of Victorian London.  It’s really fun and really creepy.

8. Ash vs. Evil Dead

Another funny one.  If you’re a fan of the Evil Dead trilogy, you’ll love this show. It totally remains faithful to the over-the-top insanity of the movies.  So weird. So gory. So funny.  And it’s got Lucy Lawless in it, which is always a plus.

7. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy, Buffy, Buffy.  You were the OG.  She was a complete badass, and this show had so much going for it.  Vampires, witches, laughter, sadness, a musical episode – why wouldn’t you watch this one?

6. Tales from the Crypt

I’ve already talked a bit about this one in a previous post.  I love it.  You’ll love it.  Just watch it.

5. Supernatural

I’m going out on a limb here and putting this in my top 5 even though I haven’t actually seen all of it. *Gasp!* I know.  It’s sad.  I’ve only seen the first season (when it first premiered on TV) and a few random episodes here and there, but I’m about to remedy that.  Even if I haven’t seen all of it, I know enough about Sam and Dean to know that I can recommend this one highly.

4. The Walking Dead

I’d be surprised if you aren’t already watching this show.  I mean, who doesn’t watch The Walking Dead?  Nazis and commies, that’s who.

3. American Horror Story

If you’re attention-span isn’t too long, this show is for you since the story changes with each season.  Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Denis O’Hare, Lady Gaga, Kathy Bates – there are so many great actors that have starred in this fun series.

2. Hannibal

This show is beautiful.  While some may find it a bit pretentious, I freakin’ loved every minute of the precious few seasons it was on.  Hopefully, it will come back in a few years (hope never dies), and we’ll be able to continue our journey with Hannibal as he eats his way through life.

1. The X-Files

An oldie but a goodie.  This show will always have a special place in my heart.  I spent many a weekend night watching agents Mulder and Scully do their thang.

 

The Deadly Flan: My Search for a Long, Lost Scary Poem

When I was in high school, I took drama for a semester.  The class was riddled with problems because the teacher in line to teach it quit within the first few days of the school year.  We had substitute after substitute that just didn’t know what to do with us, but there was one in particular that really tried.

She asked us all to find a poem or some short monologue to perform in front of class.  Being a fan of creepy things, I decided to look up scary poems on the internet .  That’s when I found “The Deadly Flan” by Loro Figgy.

It was a fun poem about a murder, and I practiced and practiced until I had it just right.  I was so excited to perform it in front of the class – and then the substitute quit. *sigh*

I had a copy of it at one point, but it’s been missing for years. And sadly, it was on an old Angelfire site that is now defunct.

It’s missing. I’m sad.

So this is a call for help.  Some parts are ingrained in my mind but not all, and it’s driving me insane.  This is what I remember:

“The Deadly Flan”

by Loro Figgy

I baked a big flan,

A deep cherry flan,

In a pan made of plastic. It melted.

So I served the thing up,

In a big paper cup,

To my guest and she died when she smelt it.

“The death,” the judge stated,

“Was premeditated.”

The prosecution agreed.

“Will you make your repentance,

Before I pass sentence.

Oh, wait. How do you plead?”

Well, I did what I could.

I blamed Sara Lee, Betty Crocker, and Darjeeling Tea.

Said I, “They conspired,

Their short tempers fired,

To kill both my friend and me.”

[MISSING]

“But I with a soul,

As pure as a foal,

Came wandering in unawares.”

“I saw the dire coven,

Their heads in the oven,

And thought they were baking eclairs.”

[MISSING]

“And gave it to my dear friend, Anne.”

[MISSING]

“So you see, oh judge,

The plot wasn’t mine.

Surely, no fault befalls me.”

“The culprits are there!”

And I pointed, “Those three,

Ms. Crocker, Ms. Lee, and Ms. Tea.”

[MISSING?]

Well, I’m here today,

And I’m happy to say,

My pride has made me walk taller.

Though it’s sad and it’s grim,

The company’s slim,

For the town where I live has grown smaller.

[MISSING?]

Perhaps, I’ll invite,

Just to mellow their spite,

For the lies I issued in court,

Betty Crocker, Sara Lee,

And Darjeeling Tea,

And bake them a blueberry torte.

So there you have it.  That’s what I remember.  I plead with any of you out there, if you have read this poem or have a copy tucked away somewhere, please oh please fill in the gaps.

I’ll bake you something for it.

DIY Dollhouse of Horrors: Part 3

Another DIY Wednesday calls for yet another installment of…

The Dollhouse of Horrors!

If you haven’t read parts 1 or 2, click on the links.

Outfitting a haunted dollhouse with creepy items is no small task (Yes, that was a pun. Deal with it).   There just aren’t that many creepy minis for sale out there.  Well, at least not any that don’t cost a buttload.  A ‘buttload’ in this case means ‘more than I’m willing to pay for something I can make myself.’

Anyway, I enjoy playing with clay and getting my hands dirty, so I decided to craft some myself.  I started with some easy headstones, pumpkins, body parts, and a land/sea monster:

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And then I decided to look to the movies and other scary things for inspiration.  I thought it would be cool to just have little nods to the classics out there and some of my favorites.

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I made Jack Skellington’s head, a clay hook that reminded me of Candyman, some red ball candy to honor One Missed Call, the Necronomicon, an ear of corn for the fridge from Children of the Corn, and other little things.  I also spruced up a few items I already had.  An axe got a little bloodier, a pie got a little blood-action, too (Sweeney Todd, anyone?), and an errant Polly Pocket got painted to look like Chucky.

And just for the record, here’s a picture of my dirty hands:

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So much fun.

Next DIY Wednesday’s post will feature the inner decor of the house.  Check back to see the progress!

Independence Day Trilogy: A Patriotic Tribute to Horror

Happy 4th of July! We Americans are celebrating our independence hard today with hamburgers, ice cream, and fireworks, and if you’re like me, you’ll want to add a little fright to the mix.

Unfortunately, there aren’t too many Independence Day-themed horror movies out there, but there are at least enough to add a little horror to your holiday.  So if you were wondering what kinds of horror movies to watch on the 4th of July, wonder no more.

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I recommend starting with the horror-comedy Uncle Sam (1996), because I think it’s always best to start off light and end fierce with make-your-own trilogies.  There’s a science to it, people.

This movie is about a Desert Storm veteran who returns from the grave on Independence Day to punish the unpatriotic citizens of his hometown.  And he does it with a super-cool Uncle Sam mask.  Full of blood and gore and absurdity, this is a great flick to start off on.

Next up in the unofficial 4th of July Horror Movie Trilogy is I Know What You Did Last Summer (1998).  Jennifer Love Hewitt shows off her “talents” in this movie about a group of friends who runs over a stranger after an Independence Day celebration and covers it up by dumping the body. Of course, said stranger comes back to terrorize them resulting in madness and mayhem for them and fun for you.

Finally, let’s wrap this thing up with the always classic Jaws (1975).  You can’t very well have a 4th of July Horror Movie Trilogy without it.  I’m not even going to go into details with this one.  It’s Jaws, for god’s sake.

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Well, there you have it.  The Official Unofficial 4th of July Horror Movie Trilogy.  I’m feeling pretty good about this one.

And for a little extra credit: if you’re just way too pumped after your hella patriotic firework display, you can throw a little of The Purge (2013) or The Purge: Anarchy (2014) into the mix. Sure, they don’t have anything to do with the 4th, but you have to admit that the new founding fathers from these movies have created a super-patriotic holiday, sans fireworks.

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I hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday!  Let me know what you think of the trilogy in the comments.