Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Opposites attract, or is that attack?

I have a question for you dear readers.

Are there some of you out there that have spouses, partners, significant others, that just do not get into Hallowe'en?   Maybe there are some of you out there that have loved ones that openly disapprove of your fascination for the dark and spooky.  How do you deal with this?  Hallowe'en to me personally is a lot more fun than Christmas.  Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas.  No, strike that.  I don't like Christmas.  I hate the commercialism, the stress, the demands and the expectations.  I adore what Christmas is all about but what it has turned into gripes me.  I love Hallowe'en because it's a holiday that demands nothing of you rather than to have a good time, unless you're a haunter and then the demands multiply by a factor of 1000.

Just curious if I'm the only one out there.

Few And Far Between...follow up on and Boney The Skeleton

A while back I ordered and reviewed a Boney the Skeleton that I ordered from House of the Unusual and I wasn't entirely happy with the quality of Boney when I got him.  I am unfortunately one of those people who doesn't send stuff back, even in restaurants (the only two things that I have sent back was a chicken sandwich at Subway and a hamburger at a local barbecue joint...both were raw and bleeding in the middle and I don't play with food poisoning).  I usually just think, "oh well, there it is, this isn't what I expected".  I have done kind of like someone who leaves negative feedback on Ebay without giving the seller a chance to make it right (I can say I haven't done this, I just don't leave feedback to keep from leaving negative). In this day of big box retailers and cheap imported merchandise, I forget that there are people like me, smaller businesses that are trying to make it honestly and when something slips through the cracks, you want to make it right.

Shame on me.

I got this in my inbox yesterday...

Hello my name is Eddie and I manage the

I was wondering why you posted an article on your blog about the skeleton and never asked or called me to see if I would give you a refund?
You see I have been trying for years to be able to bring people like you and me all those original comic book goodies of when we were kids.
The recreation of the Frankenstein and Boney are next to impossible without having to print hundreds, when only a few would sell. I have this 
printed upstate NY in a print shop that has a large format printer. After dealing with this person for so long, I receive the items and just send 
them your case looks like the printer was short of toner...I also discovered the last 4 have similar defects.
After I read your post and examined the products I felt very bad and was ready to shut down my site for a while and rethink everything again. I was very frustrated in what had just happed to my company. I have never tried to rip-off anybody. And only now did I find out that the paper might be 50 lbs not 80 lbs stock...I feel betrayed by my printer, but that's what happens when his son takes over the business.
Hey I want to apologize and send you the Frankenstein in its place. I will have all this original stuff redone soon but I hate doing that because I would have to charge almost $200.00 for each..Is that worth it I don't know.
I recreated the Polaris submarine from my original at a cost of $645.00 and was able to sell it on eBay for $350.00 Not a very good investment.
Anyway I am very sorry and would like you to send me your address so I can send you the Frankie.

PS.  You know this is funny but after 40 years I just realized that Boney's hand is up instead of down as the ad pictures him...Believe me when I say this, the real one I have which is new in mint condition...looks worse than the copy.

PPS...I used to have 11 Boneys and 9 Frankie's...I have sold or gave most of them leaving me with only 1 of each...In 2004 I sold 5 Franks and 6 Boneys on eBay...You see the ones you see for sale now a days... most were mine.

This is obviously someone who got lesser quality products from his supplier who he trusted and in turn, didn't know anything was wrong until he ran across a strange Southern man's Hallowe'en blog.  This guy is obviously honest and got sideswiped from his printer and from me, to which I offer my apologies.  It wasn't the quality that I expected but it was unknown to him.   I LOVE the concept of offering all the stuff from the back of comic books like I grew up with.

In short, I'm giving this company another chance and I ask that you please do also. It's MY fault for not bringing the printer's error to his attention.  

Thanks to all of you for your kind consideration.

Monday, September 28, 2009

It's That Time Of Year...

...When the Hallowe'en dishes take their yearly bath in the dishwasher from storage.  And also when I hear the familiar rant from Mrs. Macabre,
(Big long heavy Zoloft-can't-touch-it depressed sigh) "Are we going to go through with this AGAIN with the dishes?!"

Three words..."YES WE ARE!"

Sunday, September 27, 2009

So I got a little crazy with the glitter

A while back I found some German glass glitter on Ebay. I went a little crazy. It has a flicker bulb in it so it looks like a regular Jack O' Lantern in the dark.

And a close-up of the glittered surface (might have to use this picture as my desktop).

Would this be what Edward's Jack O' Lantern would look like?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Haunted Book Review Thursday

Country Living: Happy Halloween
Bewitching Parties and recipes, enchanting pumpkins and decorations, plus lots of other spine-tingling ideas

For those who know me by now know that I try to be a gentleman.  A crazed demented insane shell of a man but a gentleman nonetheless.  Therefore I will first of all praise the finer points of this book:
  • The cover is absolutely wonderful, the die-cut cat is unique and striking (uh oh, he's gonna make this one nasty)
  • The photography is par for the course with Country Living's quality, beautifully illustrated, lavish color photographs adorn every page (Aaaand here's the windup.....)
  • The directions to the projects are simple to follow and involve readily available materials that don't involve a lot of time and money (And here's the pitch.....)
And that's all the nice things I have to say.  Now for the fun part:
I feel that I have been betrayed by the editors of Country Living.  I have many past issues of their October Halloween issues and have never been disappointed.  There has always been a rustic charm and old fashioned feeling of the warmth of Halloweens past with projects from past issues that are noticeably absent in this one.  The first quarter of the book was spent on Jack O' Lantern carving, with nothing that I haven't seen before elsewhere (I'm also a traditionalist when it comes to Jack O' Lanterns, I only carve faces but that's just me).  The second quarter is the crafts section and I really didn't see anything that was remotely original.  Then we come to three-eights of the book which is recipes.  I collect cookbooks also but didn't see anything overtly original or strikingly different about their Halloween dining menus.  The last eighth is kid's costumes.  They're cute, easy to do and there's some great patterns that can be used included.  However, like the kids in Martha's Halloween book, your kids are not about to be Red Riding Hood (unless torn fishnets and 29 hole Doc Marrtens are involved with makeup from Spencers), they're going to want to be %$#@&!!!  HANNAH MONTANA, HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL KIDS OR ANYTHING ELSE SO UNHALLOWEENY IT MAKES ME WEEP IN MY SLEEP!!!  Unless they're going to go as someone from Twilight in which you're going to have to wash the clothes, bathtub and towels four times to get rid of all the glitter that's going to be stuck to it.

But I digress.

This book was shrink wrapped when I bought it, otherwise I wouldn't have if I would have seen it first.  I was terribly disappointed that it ran along the lines of Better Homes and Gardens instead of the caliper that I was used to from Country Living magazine.  But you get a year's free subscription to Country Living free with purchase but I lost my receipt so that's out.(Strrrrrrriiiiiike!)

In the $17.95.  Spend it on something else that you might use for Halloween, like 10 or 15 bags of those little candy corn pumpkins that I can't eat enough of, and candy corn, the traditional stuff, not any of that hoidy toidy gourmet crap.  What?  Am I the only person that eats this stuff?   And Smarties (loves me some Smarties too!).

Don't look at me that way, I told you that I was weird.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Trip to the Cemetery

Sausage Von Trapp and I have several things in common but one of the more striking is our love for cemeteries. Old cemeteries especially.  It's fun to just visit old and forgotten cemeteries and look at the grave-sites, read the inscriptions and just wonder about the people who are under foot. And to take photos, lots of photos.   I find a serene beauty in cemeteries, their tombstones works of art and often case in older sites, poetry in the epitaphs. Armed today with cameras (my little Fisher-Price model compared to her Space Shuttle model) we went to Tuscaloosa Alabama's oldest cemetery to have a look around...

We wandered to the older part of the cemetery snapping pictures left and right when a particular stone caught Sausage's eye.  What's so special about this particular monument? How about the inscription...

Stranger attend as you pass by,
As you are now, so once was I,
As I am now, so you must be,
Prepare-For you must follow me.
To joy above or pain below,
Then ever stand prepared to go.
Sausage called me over and asked if that was what was on one of my tombstones in my yard because it looked familiar. My jaw dropped, I didn't even know it was a legitimate epitaph much less it being here in my proverbial back yard.  This was one of my oldest tombstone's epitaph that I still use in the Final Unresting Place.  This, of course, made my millennium.

Either Sarah Mallory had a solemn warning or had a sense of humor to have that on her gravestone.  I wish that I could have found out more about her but time had destroyed all but the top of the inscription.

I would encourage you to go visit cemeteries, particularly older ones.  They are quite fascinating.  You see motifs that had meaning to our ancestors that are on their grave markers, some being quite beautiful...

I am familiar with some, like the dove could mean a soul's flight but does anyone know anything about some of the others?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Haunted Video Review Thursday (on schedule)

The Haunted History of Halloween
The History Channel
If you are in any way remotely curious or attracted to Halloween, then this DVD should either be in your collection or imprinted on some brain cells from where you have seen it on TV before.   This is the full historical and cultural history of the second most popular holiday (the first being my birthday).  Narrated by Harry Smith (CBS The Early Show), this takes you on a brilliant and fascinating journey from the ancient origins of Halloween, the role of the Catholic church in the formation of Halloween, the Victorians, the World Wars and the Religious Right,  to present day celebrations from around the world.  Dispelling myths, misinformation and urban legends about Halloween, this program also sheds insight on Wicca and their relationship to Halloween and views as well as practices of modern Wiccans.  Fascinating stuff!
I have watched this no less than 4 or 5 times and it keeps getting better each time.  It's insightful, informative and just a whole lot of fun...just like The Exorcist!
Good, just making sure you're paying attention!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Haunted Video Review Thursday for last week...

Sorry for the tardiness, last week we were in the process of becoming new parents to Smidgen the kitten and I forgot to post this blog...

Haunted Video Review Thursday (from last week)
Mmmmmmmmmmmm, cheesy!


The Paul Lynde Halloween Special
Starring Paul Lynde, Tim Conway, Billy Barty, Florence Henderson, Margaret Hamilton, Billie Hayes & KISS (yes, that KISS, their first televised prime time appearance)
Year: 1976 (that means disco is in it too!)

Paul Lynde (beloved practical joking Uncle Arthur of Bewitched) hosts this prime time Halloween special from the golden days of prime time television.  Before I get too far, you should go get your credit card and buy this video.   Go on, I'll wait, minimize this screen and go to Amazon and pick it up.

Now that you've bought it, you'll thank me later.  I was in the 6th grade when this came out, it was the Bicentennial and I vaguely remember this special coming on TV (we got 3 channels, 4 on a clear day).  Paul Lynde was the same scathingly sarcastic smarta$$ that he was on Hollywood Squares but this time in his own Halloween special.  Margaret Hamilton (the Wicked Witch of the West) stars with him and wears the wicked witch dress the only other time since the Wizard of Oz.  Billie Hayes (Witchiepoo of H. R. Pufnstuf and just about every other Sid and Marty Krofft kid's show made) is her over-the-top self while Florence Henderson is just so out of place amidst the antics of Tim Conway, Billy Barty (famed little person actor), and the vocal stylings of KISS, it's pathetic.  The whole show is corny, cheesy and downright fun; it reminded me of the days before VCR's and Tivo when you rushed home to turn on the right channel at the right time to watch a holiday special.

This is sheer nostalgic pleasure!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ten Little Known Facts about Halloween

I would like to introduce you to Ms. Kelly Rockey, a freelance writer from  Ms. Rockey asked to write a guest blog on Hallowe'en Cerebrations and I am honored that she chose my blog to write on two things that are near and dear to my heart...Hallowe'en and trivia!
Ten Little Known Facts about Halloween

Every year we break out the costumes and the spooky decorations in October. We carve our pumpkins, we buy the candy. But how much about this frighteningly fun holiday do we really know? There are many fun and interesting facts about Halloween that most people aren’t aware of. Here are ten little known facts about Halloween.

1. The history of Halloween began in ancient times with the Celts living on the British Isles. The Pagan calendar had October 31st as the last day of the year called Samhain. Celtic priests honored their god of death, known as Samhain, on the night of the 31st. The Celtic people believed that the spirits of the dead rose on that night and so they wore costumes to scare them away.

2. After the Roman Empire gained control of the British Isles Samhain also became a harvest festival honoring the goddess Pomona, the goddess of fruits and gardens. Apples were considered sacred at this time and this is where the tradition of bobbing for apples comes from.

3. The colors black and orange are widely associated with Halloween. Orange represents the Fall harvest and black represents death.

4. After the rise of Christianity the first day of November was known as All Saints Day which was originally called All Hallows Day. That made October 31st All Hallows Eve. That is how Halloween got its name.

5. Trick or Treating is also credited to the Irish people. They would go door to door gathering food contributions for the Halloween feast held in town. If the people refused then the “trick or treaters” would play a practical joke on them.

6. Jack-o-lanterns began as a method to scare away ghosts. Many people believed the lights would frighten away spirits. Today 99% of America’s pumpkins are used for Jack-o-lanterns.

7. In modern times Halloween is the second most commercially popular holiday (Christmas is the first) Over 1.5 billon dollars is spent on costumes each year and more than 2.5 billion is spent on other Halloween paraphernalia.

8. In the United States the first citywide Halloween celebration was held in Anoka, Minnesota in 1921. It is believed that the reason the townspeople decided to put on this celebration was to divert its youngsters from committing Halloween pranks.

9. Of all the candy sold annually in America, 1/4 of it is sold during Halloween time. The number one candy choice for Halloween is Snickers. America spends 2 billion dollars a year on Halloween candy.

10. The current world record for the biggest pumpkin is 1446 lbs. (That’s a lot of pumpkin pie!) Growing large pumpkins is a serious hobby with prize money as much as $25,000 at some fall festivals.

This post was contributed by Kelly Rockey, who writes about costumes over at

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Oh, I just didn't need THIS!!!

1...2...3....awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!! How cuuuuuuuuuuuuute!!!!!!!!

Mrs. Macabre brings in a box with a screaming kitty in it and I'm thinking "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!". Curses for me being kindhearted!!!
 Mrs. Macabre found this little rascal near the office all alone.  It (don't know the gender yet) isn't weaned (we're bottle feeding it) and probably is about a week or two at the most old.  

This makes #8.  We so didn't need another cat but he's/she's so cute and has already bonded to us that we can't give her/him up.

Spay or neuter your pets, there's not enough insane cat people to give them all loving homes.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Clothing Question for Ya'll

Mr. Macabre needs some advice, he has looked at this coat for so long, he can't see the forest for the trees.  This is Mr. Macabre's coat for Hallowe'en merriment.  It's 100% wool.  I hope that it's cool that night...
The silver skulls are ornamental on the cuffs and on the back tail.  It looks kind of plain and I'm not sure about front buttons.

Any suggestions?

Spiders on drugs

Found this whilst purusing the internets.  I thought it was serious at first.  I was wrong...hilariously wrong!

Customized Wall Sticker Giveaway!!!

If you're vain like me, you can't have too many pictures of yourself hanging around.  And photos are so small you have to get right up on them to swoon at yourself and face it, printing from a printer just doesn't cut it for larger stuff.  It's annoying!  How about a 24" x 24" wall sticker of yourself or anything else you wanted hanging on your wall (as long as it isn't obscene or copyrighted, I don't think that they might appreciate that).  Me?  I have been wanting to print my x-rays of my skull from this past post to make them into a wall sticker so I can love me inside and out!
I'm so vain.
So you can be self-centered too, (and I) are giving away 1 custom 2 foot by 2 foot Wall Sticker to 2 lucky people!  If you have kids, you can pull out a humiliating photo of them and blow it up!  Fun for the whole family!  What a great (cheap) gift for someone on your list!   All kidding aside, this is a cool giveaway from the kind (and generous) people at are the details of the giveaway:

  • To enter, just give me a comment on how you would use a 24" x 24" wall sticker. 2 people will be drawn at random and receive a coupon for your prize and how to redeem.
  • Open to US Residents and $5 Handling fees apply but shipping is free
  •  Better be quick...drawing ends September 14, prizes awarded September 18th!

Go to Large Format Posters and see what all cool products that they have to offer and then head on over to Here to see all the different options and ideas that you might not have even thought of to do with your new wall sticker!

I'm going to try my tweeting skills on this too... my twitter id is Marvinmacabre.

Good luck!

Sunday Stealing--Random Dozen

Stolen from Diane at Good Mourning Glory
Sunday Stealing: The Random Dozen Meme

1. When you go to Wowmart, what one thing do you get every single time, besides a funky-wheeled squeaking cart full of frustration?
A firm resolve never to go back.  I hate that place.

2. What is something that people are currently “into” that you just don’t get or appreciate?
I just don't get Twilight.  I'm a vampirephile and all but there's something about glittering vampires that I just don't get.

3. What is something that really hoists your sail that other people might feel “ho-hum” about?
Of course it would have to be Hallowe'en.  I am pumped about choosing my costume, getting the props done, giving out the right candy and a week before people aren't even sure about what they're going to be!

4. Favorite song to sing in the shower or car?
The all-time favorite is I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor but Grim Grinning Ghosts by The Friendly Indians or Trick or Treat by Necromantics is on my play list for shower concertos!

5. A really great salad must have this ingredient:
I'm serious when it comes to a salad, therefore artichoke hearts are da bomb when it comes to a truly spectacular salad!

6. What advice in a nutshell would you give to new bloggers?
Just be yourself, write what you know and don't compare yourself to other bloggers.

7. What was the alternate name that your parents almost named you? Do you wish they had chosen it instead of the one they gave you?
My folks didn't have a backup name, I was a junior from the start.

8. What in your life are you waiting for?
Security for the future.

9. You get a package in the mail. What is it, and who is it from?
It's from Ebay!  It's probably something that is a skull or skeleton or a vintage Hallowe'en thingie.

10. Today–what song represents you?

Suddenly I See by KT Tunstall (The real video can't be embedded *%^&$##!!!)

11. What is one thing that blogging has taught you about yourself?
That the more I give, the more I receive in happiness.

12. How are you going to (or how did you) choose the clothes you’re wearing today?
What do they say about you in general or specifically how you’re feeling today?
It's a dreary day so I'm probably going to pick something brighter to counteract the gloom.  I usually try to buy clothes that are different, more artsy to match my personality.

Thanks Diane!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Haunted Book Review Thursday

The Dracula Cookbook: Authentic Recipes from the Homeland of Count Dracula
Marina Polvay, author
Ms. M bought me this years ago and I have yet to cook anything from it, which is a pity in itself because there's lots of decidingly different and wonderful recipes in this book.  Despite the uber-cheesy Count on the cover, Ms. Polvay shares some sophisticated and ingenious tablescape ideas a (alas, no pictures though) that are clearly for grownups and are exceedingly elegant and unique:

"Cover the table with a cloth of jet black velvet.  Add red velvet napkins, with a centerpiece of thorn apple--otherwise known to witches as Devil's Apple--set off by snapdragons and Venus Flytraps. Use ornate white porcelain platters  trimmed with lots of green  or revert to that old standby, baroque silver."
There's some recipes in here that I have doubts are indeed Transylvanian (crawfish etouffee for one) but if you knock back a couple of Beelzebub's Tails (1 oz vodka, 1 oz cranberry liqueur, 2 oz cranberry juice, 4 to 6 oz club soda.  Half fill a glass with ice cubes.  Pour vodka, liqueur, juice over the ice and top with club soda, stir and serve), you won't care!
This book, despite the cover, is sophisticated, fun and a must for those wanting to truly dazzle guests with a formal Hallowe'en dinner.  There's no witch's fingers with almond nails, no vomit dip, no eyeball appetizers and don't get me wrong, I can make Kitty Litter Buried Treasure like the best of them, but there's some times that you might want something special and 'grown up'.  This book's for you.  With dinner party ideas and menus, folklore and table decor, you can't go wrong.
If you cook or it.
Halloween Recipes & Crafts
Christine Lyseng Savage, Rosa Poulin, Tamara Eder, authors
 Remember this guy?  Yep, the Count had some bills to pay and sold his image to another book for royalties.  Bad Count, bad!  First of all, I personally FROWN upon copying the front of another book, there ARE nerds like me out there that WILL find it (don't go to the movies with me either, I find every continuity flaw there is in a movie).  The Dracula Cookbook was last published in 2000 and Halloween Recipes and Crafts was in 2003 so the latter should have had a ghost or something on the front instead.
But I have digressed, the nerd in me took over, sorry.
I just flipped through the book...again.  This is a children's party and recipe book.  You won't be interested.  The crafts are simplistic.  You know all this already.  However, there is one good idea in there that I have actually done before with good results:  Wax dripped candelabra.   Simply melt some wax over a double boiler slowly and just when it's melted, gently spoon wax over a candleabra. building up wax drips.  Looks cool.
Now you don't have to buy this book, I told you all the best thing in it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I swore that I wouldn't get on Twitter.  Twitter is silly, I haven't got time for such things like these and I refuse to lower myself to the whims of a new fad.

My newTwitter name is marvinmacabre.

I am such a hypocrite.