You might think some of the candy offerings for children available now are unappetizing (cough*Nerds*cough), but imagine finding a Whiz and a Plopp in your trick-or-treat bag! These are just two of the unfortunately-named candies from the past in a gallery at Collectors Weekly. Some are unappetizing, some are racist, and some were packaged to resemble dangerous stuff, like the candy you might mistake for a kitchen-cleaning pad. What were they thinking?
(Image credit: The Candy Wrapper Museum)
(Image: Family Fun Magazine)
Halloween is in a couple of days, but don't be afraid. That's plenty of time for you to come up something easy and fun, like these milk jug ghosts.
Take a look at more easy DIY Halloween decoration suggestions over at our new Homes & Hues blog post: 8 Spooktacularly Easy Last-Minute Halloween Decorations.
Go to any convention these days and you're bound to see plenty of Daleks, but Costume Works reader Michelle might just have made the ultimate Dalek costume for her little Whovian daughter. That's because it doesn't just have a great outer shell, but it even has a gross, shriveled Dalek body bursting from the inside.
And, if you look closely, the little girl inside is wearing a red dress, which could be a shout out to everyone's favorite Dalek minded human -Clara Oswin Oswald. Best of all, her sister even went as a TARDIS. If I saw these two trick or treating on my street, I'd just give them the whole bowl of candy and tell all the other kids I just ran out because these two won Halloween.
In the time of Halloween, the serious and not-so-serious often turn to parlor games that verge on the occult, in trying to contact ghosts and spirits that we don't think about during the rest of the year. The common Ouija board is one way to either pass the time, have a few laughs, or scare yourself silly. But where did it come from? Ouija historian Robert Murch found out over twenty years ago that no one had completely documented the history of the Ouija board, outside of the reason for its popularity.
The Ouija board, in fact, came straight out of the American 19th century obsession with spiritualism, the belief that the dead are able to communicate with the living. Spiritualism, which had been around for years in Europe, hit America hard in 1848 with the sudden prominence of the Fox sisters of upstate New York; the Foxes claimed to receive messages from spirits who rapped on the walls in answer to questions, recreating this feat of channeling in parlors across the state. Aided by the stories about the celebrity sisters and other spiritualists in the new national press, spiritualism reached millions of adherents at its peak in the second half of the 19th century. Spiritualism worked for Americans: it was compatible with Christian dogma, meaning one could hold a séance on Saturday night and have no qualms about going to church the next day. It was an acceptable, even wholesome activity to contact spirits at séances, through automatic writing, or table turning parties, in which participants would place their hands on a small table and watch it begin shake and rattle, while they all declared that they weren’t moving it. The movement also offered solace in an era when the average lifespan was less than 50: Women died in childbirth; children died of disease; and men died in war. Even Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of the venerable president, conducted séances in the White House after their 11-year-old son died of a fever in 1862; during the Civil War, spiritualism gained adherents in droves, people desperate to connect with loved ones who’d gone away to war and never come home.
Which explains why it became so popular, but the story of how the game came to market is even more fascinating. There were homemade boards to tell fortunes before the Ouija board was patented. The businessmen who rushed to patent the game knew they had to prove that it worked before they could secure a patent. And they did just that. Read that story, plus how the Ouija board really works, at Smithsonian.
Over a month ago, we asked you to send us a picture of a memorable Halloween costume from your past to share with everyone on the Halloween blog. Quite a few Neatoramanauts did just that, and we got some great pictures, and some great stories about them!
We also awarded t-shirts from the NeatoShop to five of these folks. In case you missed the costume parade on the Halloween blog, here they are all together! They are presented here in no particular order, except that the five winners are first. Clicking on the name will take you to the original post with the story behind the costume.
Jen Cornwell led her class back in elementary school dressed as an order of McDonalds french fries! Her mother always made great costumes. Now she can dress in a t-shirt from the NeatoShop. See her California Raisin costume, too!
Mindy sent in pictures of costumes she made for her children -and they are awesome! When her daughter wanted to be a house, they made her Alice in Wonderland, in the scene where she grows as big as a house! The Link and robot costumes are great, too.
Another year, Mindy's son asked to be a squid. That had to have been a lot of work! For being such a creative Mom, Mindy gets a new t-shirt.
Jamie C and her husband Lucas made this couple's costume on a tiny budget, but it turned out to be a real hoot -they are contestants on the TV game show The Price is Right! Note that she outbid him by a dollar. This costume won Jamie a shirt; be sure to check out their Lego costumes as well.
Allie Brosh of Hyperbole and a Half has a story for us about Halloween in her latest post. At age 4, she attended a preschool Halloween party dressed as a dinosaur. The dinosaur costume gave her power, and she became the dinosaur, which of course, leads to a strange and completely believable story that unfolds with delightful illustrations.
And Brosh is now a published author! Her book, Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened, is now on store shelves. Wired got an interview with Brosh about the book. Now that it's out, let's hope that Allie has more time to post more wonderful stories on her blog! -via Boing Boing
Previously: More from Allie Brosh.
When Halloween rolls around, I can’t help but think of Disney’s Haunted Mansion. Of course, if you actually visit Disneyland this time of year, you’ll be treated to The Nightmare Before Christmas version, which is great, but still not the classic we’ve all come to love. So, since no one can enjoy the traditional version of this great attraction in person, we may as well enjoy it through art. While a few famous artists, like Shag, have been commissioned by Disney to create artwork based on the Haunted Mansion, the most heartfelt creations are those by fans with nothing but love to motivate them. Here are a few of our favorites:
Your New Ghost Hosts
Here’s a creation that does a great job branching between the Nightmare Before Christmas Haunted Mansion with the original by imagining Jack and Sally dressed up in the iconic ensembles worn by the ride’s cast members. Artist Brianna Garcia also did a great job illustrating the famous bride from the Haunted Mansion in this piece.
Happy Haunts Materialize
Adam Taula’s take on the Haunted Mansion is quite refreshing. It not only just shows the exterior of the building, but it also illustrates just how creepy the building itself is.
A Villainous Turn of Events
There are a whole lot of fan tributes to the stretching portraits and a lot of them are good, so you’ll just have to excuse the number of them in this article. With that in mind, it’s hard not to love seeing DeviantArt user smallvillereject’s version with some of the many classic Disney villains. Humorously, Madame Medusa’s positive relationship with her pet alligators makes the tightrope portrait take on a whole new vibe.
Is Toy Story Actually Stretching?
Similarly, I don’t think Jesse has much to worry about as long as Rex is the only “monster” under her tightrope. And this time, Hamm is pretty much OK as well, considering a barrel of monkeys isn’t exactly as dangerous as dynamite. If Woody weren’t dead in this scenario, Chris Raimo’s Toy Story mashup wouldn’t even be all that spooky.
Wall-To-Wall Creeps of Gotham
Our friend C Merry once again dressed her dog in over-the-top style for Halloween! Oscar Madison is a paraplegia puppy who gets around with help of wheels. Last year he was dressed as Max, the Grinch's poor dog. This year, Oscar's Halloween costume pays tribute to Wreck It Ralph and Sugar Rush. Oscar and his sister Tiki proudly strutted their stuff Saturday at the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade in New York City. See more pictures of Oscar and Tiki in their Halloween garb at Buzzfeed, plus a video showing all the components that went into the project.
(Image credit: C Merry via Facebook)
Everybody panic! Megan MacKay carved the scariest Jack-o-Lantern you've ever seen! Be cautious when you share this image; it might induce nightmares and melancholy in certain sensitive people. I know I may have to take a breather, or at least I would if this weren't a scenario I confront just about every day. -via Nerdcore
It’s okay to be a psychopath. It’s just essential to be discreet about it except on Halloween (or Devil’s Night). Then you can go crazy.
Redditor joowee used the opportunity of Halloween to impersonate Glorious Leader Kim Jong-un. Pretty good likeness, wouldn't you say? This simple getup won a costume contest.
We had a costume contest at work earlier in the week. I took first place. Of course, I had to win anyway. Bwuahahaha...
There may have been "consequences" for any judge that selected another costume, if you know what I mean. But you don't know how good this really is until you see what joowee looked like before the transformation. Continue reading for that.
Tennessee YouTube member hickok45 showed us how to carve a jack-o-lantern with a handgun (twice), and how to chop down a Christmas tree with a shotgun. This year, he presents the many different ways you can destroy a pumpkin after you're done with it. The chosen methods tend toward the violent, which is no surprise. Some men really do love their their power tools and weapons! But somehow I doubt if he expects you to emulate his skills with a light saber. His favorites are shown a second time in slow motion.
This is actually hickok45's fourth video in the Pumpkin Killing series. You can see more pumpkin mayhem in parts one, two, and three. -via Viral Viral Videos
Freddy Krueger, Jason, Leatherface, Michael Myers, and Jigsaw plan what they are going to do this Halloween. Those plans are pretty gruesome, as you can imagine. But as in any conference of peers, personality conflicts and one-upmanship creeps in to complicate matters. They even manage to get a dig at Buzzfeed in. Anyone who has seen the modern horror movies, namely Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, and Saw -and their many, many sequels- can imagine the mayhem that would be unleashed if these characters actually could agree on anything. -via Tastefully Offensive
I checked the front page of reddit and was impressed by how many Halloween costumes there were. Of course, it's because Halloween is Thursday, so many folks had costume parties and costume contests this weekend. By the time you wake up Monday morning, they will be replaced on the front page of reddit, so I'll list them here so you can see what everyone "went as." Click on the redditor's handle to go to the original post and see what others are saying about these costumes.
Redditor randomroll thought his costume might be too subtle, but you recognize Edward Snowden, don't you?
This is not a Halloween scary story or a new Stephen King novel, the hotel that inspired The Shining, The Stanley Hotel, has recently announced that they will be digging up a historical pet cemetery on their premesis. The plan is to dig up the 12-grave cemetery in order to make room for a wedding and corporate retreat pavilion, but as anyone familiar with Stephen King's work can attest, this plan will not go well and obviously people will end up dead and the plan will be cancelled long before the new construction can start. I just recommend you stay away from the hotel in the meanwhile.
British actors Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry have been working together for three decades. Their recent work is nice. But in my opinion, their best work as a comedic pair was in Jeeves and Wooster and Blackadder Goes Forth.
A Bit of Fry & Laurie was a sketch comedy show that the duo operated from 1987 to 1995. Here’s a clip from it. The two talk about the American Halloween custom of trick-or-treating. They helpfully explain to Britons how to interact with the children.
In the comments, share your favorite sketch or scene from the collected work of Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry.
-via 22 Words
That's a pretty great TARDIS dress, but I'm really impressed by the girl in the background -I've never seen a Cassandra costume like this one. These aren't the only amazing Doctor Who costumes out there. In fact, Geek Sugar has a collection of 25 great Doctor Who costumes that are probably from conventions but would make epic Halloween costumes too. While there are tons of David Tennant costumes, and even though he's my favorite, it's actually quite refreshing to see people dressed as Christopher Eccleston or Peter Davidson. Also, I've never seen someone dressed as Donna Noble, which is also great -even if she just looks like a bride when not next to The Doctor.
Sandy Cramer of Knot Just Rope tack shop has a jet black horse named Raven. Raven is very patient and stood for 2.5 hours for her Halloween paint job as a skeleton. The ten-year-old horse was first painted for Halloween last year, and was such a hit that people came from miles around to see her! Raven looks good whether she's carrying the Headless Horseman or little kids in their costumes.
The paint is acrylic and comes off so easily that it needs to be touched up before appearances. A bath and a brush will take it all off, because it stays on the surface of the fur instead of soaking to the skin like dye. Read Raven's story at Facebook, and see many more pictures of the skeleton horse in this gallery. -via Everlasting Blort
There's no mistaking who's face is glowing in the dark on this Jack-o-lantern, unless you've never heard of Breaking Bad. Heisenberg is an ominous sight on a dark night! This pumpkin by Ed Seymour is one of 25 Cool Halloween Pumpkins Inspired By TV And Pop Culture Characters at Uproxx. They pay tribute in vegetable form to everything from Spider-Man to Game of Thrones, from classic art to Angry Birds, from Steve Jobs to Troll face. They're not all Jack-o-lanterns, either; some are painted pumpkins or pumpkin sculptures, but any of them wold look good on your porch this week!
(Image credit: Flickr user Ed Seymour)
Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamun in Egypt in 1922. On March 24, 1923, novelist Marie Corelli warned him in the press that bad things happen to those who desecrate tombs. Within two weeks, Lord Carnarvon was dead from an infection brought on by a mosquito bite he suffered just two days after Corelli's warning was published. The mummy's curse caused it, of course.
The idea of the mummy’s curse was already a popular story, but Carnarvon’s demise (and Corelli’s apparent prediction of it) turned it into one of the great legends of the age. Rumours quickly spread that Carter had found warnings in the tomb itself. There were reports of a clay tablet, allegedly found over the tomb’s entrance, that read: ‘Death shall come on swift wings to whoever toucheth the tomb of Pharaoh.’ According to the stories, Carter buried it in the sand in case it scared his labourers into stopping their work. The whole situation was a gift for journalists who, four months after the tomb’s discovery, were desperate for more Tutankhamun-related news. Once the curse story took off, they began running daily updates, roping in scholars to debate whether evil spirits were to blame for Carnarvon’s demise.
In the next twelve years, six of the people who were present when the tomb was opened were dead. The mummy's curse? Not when you consider there were forty people there, and they weren't all young and healthy. Curses against grave-robbing had been around for a long time, and they were particularly attached to mummies when modern archaeologist began to exhume them. How many other mummies were unearthed with no dramatic deaths? But the power of a good story propelled the mummy's curse into popular consciousness. Read how it happened at Aeon magazine.
How did Halloween come into being? And when did we start dressing up and going trick and treating anyhow?
Today I Found Out's newest YouTube clip explains it all:
The practice of wearing costumes or masks during this sort of end of Autumn celebration probably comes from a Celtic New Year’s Samhain tradition.
During Samhain, young men impersonated evil spirits by dressing up in white costumes with blackened faces or masks. It was believed that during the transition from one year to the next, the realms of the living and the dead would overlap, allowing the dead as well as evil spirits to roam the Earth. By dressing up as spirits, hopefully the real evil spirits would leave you alone, rather than rip out your entrails or otherwise harass you.
Your Halloween costume may be cool, but it's not Nicholas Cage cool. Like the actor once said about his movie Face/Off, "Without tooting my own horn - I think it's a masterpiece." We wholeheartedly agree, Nick.
You can't put that bunny of awesomeness back in the box!
More Halloween Costumes over at our Halloween Blog
Rob Cockerham of Cockeyed goes all out for Halloween costumes, and his homemade creations tend to win contests left and right. This year, he is Disneyland! He constructed a miniature replica of the theme park, made to wear at an angle, so people could see it. That's his face sticking out of Sleeping Beauty's castle.
You can also see Space Mountain, Star Tours, Pirates of the Caribbean, Autopia, the Mark Twain steamboat, Fantasyland Theater, the Innoventions building, the Astro Orbiter, the Jungle Cruise, and the Dumbo ride, among smaller details. The structures of the Matterhorn, Splash Mountain, and Thunder Mountain have moving animations. Can he walk around in it? Yes, but he cannot lift his own drink. Doorways may be a problem, too.
Redditor Pontdepierre offered this Halloween costume idea, recreating the painting of Saint Sebastian by Peter Paul Rubens. A pretty decent likeness, huh? It's part of the list 17 Brilliant Art History-Inspired Halloween Costumes at Buzzfeed. See costumes by Warhol, Khalo, dali, and more. If you have to explain them, you know you're at the wrong party.
Collectors Weekly has an exclusive interview with Mad magazine illustrator Jack Davis. Davis drew for many of EC Comics' horror publications like Tales from the Crypt in the early 1950s. He talks about how EC publisher Bill Gaines gave him his start in comics in 1950.
“I wanted to be a cartoonist and get syndicated,” says Davis, who worked as an assistant to Ed Dodd, creator of the syndicated “Mark Trail” comic strip, while he was in college. “I figured I had to go to New York City because that was where everything in publishing was, including the comics syndicates. I took a year at the Art Students League in New York, and I’d look for work. I’d go up and down Madison Avenue, where I was rejected at the syndicates and at a lot of the publishers.”
But not all of them. “I saw a comic book one day and went down to the offices of Entertaining Comics, where I met the publisher, Bill Gaines. My work was bad, and they liked it,” he says, laughing. “They gave me some stuff to work on right away, and I was very excited about that.”
Soon, Davis, who was sick of being a starving artist, developed a reputation for speed, as an artist who could sketch and ink sometimes three pages in a day. “I’d have to be fast, because when you turned them in, that’s when you’d get your money,” Davis says. “The faster you drew, the faster the money came in.”
The interview coincides with the opening of an exhibit at Mondo Gallery in Austin entitled "It Didn't Rot Our Brains," featuring the Crypt Keeper and other art from EC horror comics. Davis created the illustration you see here just for the event. It shows publisher Bill Gaines with the Crypt Keeper himself. Read the rest of the interview at Collectors Weekly, and enjoy a gallery of Davis' magazine art.
TED Talks cover just about any subject you can imagine, with varying quality. And now they aren't just for humans! Zombie Tim Martin of Reawakening gives tips to other zombies about how to survive the humans who have the hare-brained idea they could survive the zombie apocalypse. Quite inspiring! -via Tastefully Offensive
What do you think of when you watch Texas Chainsaw Massacre? I'm no psychic, but I'm willing to be it has nothing to do with food. But if you go to the iconic house where the Leatherface resided in the film, you won't find a bunch of rotting body parts, but a dinner called the Grand Central Cafe. They do have Texas Chainsaw Massacre memorabilia on the second floor, so you can look at pictures of a family of cannibals enjoying their dinner before you enjoy yours.
Believe it or not, that's not the only weird transformation of past horror movie locations either. Cracked has four more you won't want to miss as well.
Image Via Austex [Wikipedia]
Visual Burrito (Royce Hutain) made a Halloween costume for his 22-month old daughter, using LED technology to make the child easy to see in the dark. I'm sure you'll agree that she shows up well in the dark -as a cartoon stick figure! I bet she can even draw herself. It's not the first LED stickmen that he's made: here is the adult version, made for nighttime snowboarding. -via reddit