About Those Witches and Their Broomsticks

First off, while this video may be technically SFW, it is not for children. We know that witches were depicted as riding broomsticks as far back as the year 1451. Daven Hiskey from Today I Found Out goes a little further into the reason some women took such pleasure in riding a broom stick. Yes, it was the drugs.  

(YouTube link)

In days of yore, women who would never be afforded the honor of being called a scientist or a physician learned what plants could heal, kill, or get one high. Many of these plants were later associated with witchcraft because they could easily cause death. But in the hands of someone armed with the ancient knowledge passed down to them, they could be a mind-expanding trip. It's strange to think of this parallel world where highly respected men were sponsored by kings and nobles to experiment with turning ordinary substances into gold, while more secretive folk were performing real magic with herbs and flowers. -Thanks, Daven!

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The Doll Asylum

Locally sourced and organically raised. #dollasylum

A photo posted by Leslie Davisson (@eldeefoto) on Oct 23, 2016 at 9:06pm PDT

Mark Williams and Heidi Loutzenhiser of Portland, Oregon, go a step beyond for their Halloween decorations every year. They turn their home into an attraction called The Doll Asylum. Over a thousand dolls are used to create haunting and/or bloody tableaux from science fiction to slasher scenes. The asylum has an extensive "history" to set visitors up for an evening of dread. The Doll Asylum will be open every night through Halloween. Admission is free. The picture above is one of the less disturbing of those available. You can see more, rather gruesome images of the Doll Asylum at Unreality.

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What Do Zombies Really Eat?

A closer reading of the literature proves the menu for your next zombie gathering is more complicated than just "brains."


In the ancient Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, Ishtar, the goddess of love and war, threatens to start a zombie apocalypse: raising the dead to eat the living. It’s the oldest reference to zombies in the world. It makes no mention of brains in particular.


Nachzehrer by Flibertyjibbeth on DeviantArt

Some say the Nachzehrer from German mythology is actually a vampire, but blood is not on its menu. Instead, after rising from the grave, the ghoul eats its own flesh. As the Nachzehrer feasts, its living relatives become sick.

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Teen's Head Stuck in Pumpkin

Kristy Ralphs recorded her family's pumpkin-carving evening. The kids are showing off for the camera. Her daughter Rachel thinks she can fit her head inside the big pumpkin. Yes, she can, but then she couldn't get her head back out!

(YouTube link)

Everyone had suggestions, like calling the fire department or using a sawzall. Kristy eventually put the camera down to help out. In case you are wondering if Rachel is still in there, here's a clip recorded just a few minutes later.

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Dad: Why were you putting your head in there, anyway?

Rachel: I just thought it would be fuinny.

Mom: It was funny!

Funny enough for a viral video. They never said exactly how she got out of the pumpkin. I like to think that she ate her way out. -via Uproxx

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Family Computer Halloween Costumes

A guy in Japan who goes by RuiRei Channel saluted his family's love of video games by designing their Halloween costumes in the form of Nintendo's Family Computer game console and two controllers! His twin sons are the game controllers. These are completely homemade. See pictures of the costumes in development, and a peek at the family's awesome LEGO costumes from last year, at Unreality.

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Spooky Club

Brothers Joe and Lloyd Stas bring us a goofy Halloween short film that delivers in a hurry! The Spooky Club is a group of guys who have eerie but useless talents. In this video, they are on a mission to find Vincent Price's skull and cremate it as he had wished.

(vimeo link)

We got an email from Vincent’s daughter, Victoria saying how much she liked it and how her Dad would have loved it too. It made us feel super proud! It’s 23 years this week since he died.

Read more about Spooky Club and the making of the short film. If you want to join Spooky Club, sign up here. -Thanks, Joe!

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The Scariest Urban Legend From Each State

No matter where you live, you're bound to hear some sort of urban legend about your town, city or state. While it would be a little insane to do an article with all the urban legends from all the cities in America, this collection of the scariest urban legends from each state is filled with delightfully terrifying local tales. While you'll obviously want to read the one from your state, if you really like scary stories, it's worth the time to read them all. And, of course, like many collections of urban legends, some of the stories are actually true -like the California one.

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"The Monster Mash": The Most Popular Holiday Novelty Song

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website.

Holiday songs are nothing new. Whenever Christmas approaches, we will all be bombarded on our radios and at the malls we visit, by various Christmas carols, classic songs and novelty tunes. “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" sung by Alvin and the Chipmunks is as expected at Yuletide as electric razor commercials for Dad or diamond ring commercials for your girlfriend.

More recently, we have Randy Brooks' “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” Even Hanukkah now has Adam Sandler's recent classic “The Hanukkah Song.” These are all categorized as "holiday novelty songs.”

But for Halloween, for the past almost 50-odd years, we've all become accustomed to listening to the musical strains of a man named Bobby "Boris" Pickett and his main contribution to musical immortality. It is almost impossible for most of us (especially those of us who grew up in the '60's) to think of Halloween novelty songs without immediately thinking of "The Monster Mash."

Robert George Pickett grew up in a movie theater in Massachusetts where his father was the manager. Like countless millions of kids before and after him, he fell in love with the movies and dreamed of growing up and becoming a movie star. Bobby started doing impressions of the various movie stars he'd see on the silver screen. He did various impressions of the stars he loved, but by far, his favorite movie star was horror movie icon Boris Karloff.

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The People Who Scare People For a Living

Haunted houses are bigger than ever. There are more than 1200 professional haunted attractions in the U.S., many of them running all year long. The people that work at these "haunts" are dedicated to their craft, so they come together of the annual HAuNTcon, the Haunted Attraction National Tradeshow & Convention. It's held in a different city each year, in late January or early February. There are seminars and classes on fright acting, props, makeup, and setting up a business. There are all kinds of weird things for sale. There's a costume ball, tours of nearby haunted attractions, and a chance to show off what you can do. Leonard Pickel, founder of HAuNTcon, says the people who come are a close-knit group.

“You would think they’re creepy, but haunted house people are the best people on Earth. We get all our frustrations out scaring the crap out of other people,” Pickel said.

To Leonard, the warmth that permeates HAuNTcon is consistent with the very nature of haunting, which—while antisocial on the surface—is fundamentally about forming a connection. “When you scare somebody, they get an adrenaline rush. But you get an adrenaline rush, too. It’s symbiotic.”

Read about HAuNTcon and the people who attend each year at Fusion.

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Princess Cumulus

You recall the LED Stickman costume that Royce Hutain made for his toddler daughter Zoey in 2013. He improved on that to make it a Minnie Mouse costume for her in 2014. This year, he and Zoey collaborated on a new costume: a thunder cloud! She is “Princess Cumulus.”

(YouTube link)

The costume is adapted from an inflatable suite with Arduino-controlled LED strips underneath. The fart sounds for thunder are Zoey’s contribution. While they had fun with this one, it is impractical for going door-to-door, so she will trick-or-treat as Wonder Woman.  -via Tastefully Offensive

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San Francisco-Themed Halloween Costume Ideas

San Francisco is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and the City by the Bay is full of proud citizens who adore their city despite the grime, the crime and the soaring rent costs.

These proud San Franciscans show love for their city in creative ways, and since Halloween is such a big deal in the city it's the perfect time to dress up as an SF landmark, like the leaning Millennium Tower.

It's not hard to come up with a San Francisco-themed costume idea, just look at all the cool stuff they make in the city, like the best croissants in the U.S., the most banal modern art, and the self-driving car. (Illustrations by Kelly O'Grady)

See San Francisco-Themed Costume Ideas here

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25 Halloween Life Hacks

(YouTube link)

Everywhere you look on the ‘net, there are tips for making your Halloween celebrations easier or even more fun. As he does sometimes, John Green takes some of those ideas and tests them to see if they really work the way they are supposed to. He doesn’t take a lot of care, so your results may vary, but you get the idea. My contribution: use a large rubber glove, cut the glove off with scissors, including each finger. But his result is funnier, in the Halloween episode of the mental_floss List Show. 

PS: I have never found a better way to carve a pumpkin than by using a hole-boring drill bit and a sawzall. Done in two minutes.

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An Honest Trailer for The Nightmare Before Christmas

Get ready for Screen Junkies to ruin your childhood (again) with an Honest Trailer for the 1993 Tim Burton movie The Nightmare Before Christmas. They say they are doing this for Halloween, but isn’t it supposed to be a Christmas movie?  

(YouTube link)

I have my suspicions that this trailer contains things that aren’t really in the movie. Or was it really a Hot Topic ad?  -via Tastefully Offensive

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The First Known Depiction of a Witch on a Broomstick

The first time a witch rode a broom in popular culture could have been in the illustrations of a book published in 1451. French poet Martin Le Franc’s Le Champion des Dames (The Defender of Ladies) shows two women flying with sticks between their legs, although only one is clearly a broom. At least, that is the oldest evidence we have of the legend of witches flying on brooms.

According to Witchcraft in Europe, 400-1700: A Documentary History, edited by University of Pennsylvania history professors Alan Charles Kors and Edward Peters, Le Champion des Dames has “the first such illustration in the pictorial history of witchcraft.” Le Franc’s long poem about virtuous women is interrupted by a discussion of witchcraft, and the covered heads of the two women marks them as Waldensians. This Christian movement emerged in the 12th-century. With its tenet that any member could be a priest, even a woman, and perform sacraments and preach, the bloody ire of the Catholic Church soon followed. That these heretics would also meddle with the supernatural was not a leap, but why the broomstick?

What people said about witches and what they did with their brooms is pretty suggestive, if not downright prurient. Read more about witches and their brooms at Hyperallergic. Link contains some art nudity.

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11 Spooky and Totally Tasty Halloween Cocktails

Halloween may be on a Monday this year, but that doesn't mean you can't have a Halloween party on the weekend or even enjoy a few fun cocktails the night of. If you're looking to celebrate with a little buzz this year, but want to make sure your drinks suit the mood, here are some fun cocktail recipes perfect for the spookiest day of the year.

1. Candy Corn Cocktail

Candy corn is a highly polarizing creation with some diehard fans and a lot of outspoken enemies. You don't have to like the candy to appreciate this delightfully layered cocktail though since they incorporate the fantastic flavors of whipped crime vodka, sour mix, pineapple juice, grenadine and fresh whipped cream.

2. Black Heart Cider

No, this recipe doesn't actually involve making your own hard cider from scratch as that would take months -it does, however, contain cherry cider -hence the name. With black vodka, cherry cider, muddled blackberries and sparkling wine, this pitch-black cocktail is surprisingly light and fruity as well as creepy-looking.

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Crocheted E.T.

Stephanie Pokorny made an E.T. costume for her 2-year-old son Jack with a crochet hook and a good eye. She didn’t use a pattern, but just tried it on him as she went along and stopped when it was big enough! The costume is one-of-a-kind, so she won’t be making another, no matter how many requests she gets. Read more about the project at Pokorney’s website Crochetverse. -via Everlasting Blort

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The 2016 Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade

God Save the Queen. #NYC #halloweendogparade

A photo posted by phoebe (@phoebsie) on Oct 22, 2016 at 12:26pm PDT

The annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade was held today, and the dogs really put on the dog! You can see the Queen and her corgis were there, as well as this “sheep” dog.

This dog was hilarious. Meet Cilantro - A Dog In Sheep's Clothing #halloweendogparade

A photo posted by Jake Dietrich (@jrdeets) on Oct 22, 2016 at 12:31pm PDT

There was a rock band in attendance.

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Where’s Your Costume?

Halloween is our annual excuse for impersonating someone other than who we are. This guy was making his best effort, but was shot down for having motivations far beyond reality. He won’t try that again. This is the latest from Buttersafe.

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Monster House

At first glance, this looks like a big Halloween decoration (and it is), but just watch what it does.

(YouTube link)

Help! I’ve been eaten by the garage! Amanda Destro Pierson made this monster garage for her home in Cleveland. It’s proved to be so popular that she is working on marketing a kit to sell for Halloween next year, so that every garage can be monstrous. Meanwhile, here’s an Instructable tutorial to get you started on your own. -Thanks, hearsetrax!

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Custom-made Squid Man Mask

Devon made a silicone mask for her boyfriend Peter as part of a sculpting class at Make Up Designory NYC. The finished product is jaw-dropping! She posted the process of the mask being made, which meant making a mold and model of his whole head. See how she did it, plus more pictures of the finished product, at Unreality.

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8 Haunted Houses You Can Buy Right Now

Have you ever dreamed of living in a haunted house? Making that dream come true is as easy as believing the home you are in is haunted. But if you want a haunted house that has been scaring other people for years, you can certainly purchase one. For example, there’s the Priestly House in Canton, Mississippi.

Originally built by physician James Priestley in the 1950s, this Greek Revival home stayed in the Priestley family until the 1990s. When new owner Frankie McMillan moved in, she became concerned that Priestley’s wife, Susan, hadn’t gotten the message to clear the premises. McMillan claimed to have seen Susan in hallways and in the bedroom where the woman is believed to have died. The home was restored in 2004 and is listed for $699,000.

There are a range of locations, prices, and ages among the eight haunted houses on the market right now that you can check out at mental_floss.

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You Could Spend Halloween Night Sleeping in Dracula's Castle

Whether you really love feeling terrified on Halloween or you secretly believe you're a vampire and just need the right environment to live the life you've always dreamed of, Airbnb has you covered this Halloween. That's because they're giving you the chance to sleep in Dracula's castle on Halloween night, and you won't be left sleeping in some bedroom like a tourist -instead you'll get to sleep in velvet-lined caskets within the crypt itself. As if that wasn't enough to really set the mood, your host for the evening will be Dacre Stoker, Bram Stoker’s great grandnephew.

All you have to do to enter is answer the deceptively simple question, "What would you say to the Count if you were to come face-to-fang with him in his own castle?" So put away your garlic, silver and crosses and start writing!

Via Associated Press

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How the World’s Biggest Costume Maker Cracked Halloween

If you’ve ever purchased a costume fashioned after a pop culture character, the odds are good that it came from Ruble’s. The company started selling costumes at a small shop in Queens in the 1950s and now has licenses to produce costumes of characters from Mattel, Marvel, DC Comics, Playboy, Nickelodeon, Star Trek, and Star Wars, among others. Howard Beige, who runs Ruble’s with his siblings, tells us how they prepare for Halloween by anticipating what costumes and masks will be popular a year ahead of time, so customers can get exactly what they want.  

But figuring out what that mask should be, and how many to make, isn’t easy. More people are dressing up for Halloween, but they’re doing it differently, picking costumes in early October based on news events, movies, or internet memes that went viral only a few weeks or months before. Rubie’s tries to anticipate Halloween trends a year in advance, but it’s constantly adjusting its plans as expected blockbusters flop (The Legend of Tarzan), beloved actors die (Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka costume will be popular this year), or millions of people get swept up in the Pokémon Go craze and Beige finds himself mass-manufacturing last-minute Pikachu costumes to fill thousands of back orders. Pokémon will break into Rubie’s 10 best-selling costumes this year, which didn’t happen when it was popular the first time around. “Thank God we already had the license and the designs for that one,” he says. “Otherwise, it would’ve been a disaster.”

Read about the history of Ruble’s Costumes, and how they operate today, at Bloomberg Businessweek. -via Digg

(Image credit: Emiliano Granado for Bloomberg Businessweek)

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Homemade Tauntaun Costume

Clint Case was ready with a video camera when his young son tried out his Halloween costume yesterday. He will be trick-or-treating as Luke Skywalker riding his Tauntaun. This adorable costume is completely handmade.  

(YouTube link)

“Is your Tauntaun drunk?” Oh, he has two weeks to get used to walking in that thing before Halloween. Sure, you can buy a Tauntaun costume, but it’s not going to hold a candle to one you make yourself. -via Tastefully Offensive

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Can You Guess Which of These Spooky Urban Legends Are True?

You hear dozens of scary stories every year around Halloween, but it's sometimes hard to tell whether the stories you hear are true or false. Sometimes that can actually be part of the fun -guessing whether the story is an urban legend or a true terror tale. That's why this TopTenz article featuring ten horrifying Halloween stories is so delightful -some of the stories are just urban legends and some are entirely real. Can you guess which is which?

Be prepared -a lot of the tales truly are nightmarish.

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Best Couple Costume Yet

Party time! Excellent! This Wayne and Garth is actually former Miss Delaware Kate Banaszak with her Irish Wolfhound Kellan. That’s a big dog! Commenters were speculating about the breed when WhiteheadJ suggested:

Could've been a Great Dana Carvey.

Party on, Wayne. Party on, Garth. -via reddit


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A New Room Was Just Discovered at the Winchester Mystery House

It's been almost 100 years since the famously disturbed Sarah Winchester died, but we're still discovering new surprising things about her legendary Mystery House in San Jose. After Sarah was accidentally trapped in an attic room during a 1906 earthquake, she had the room boarded up because she feared that spirits caused the earthquake. Inside the room, the preservation team uncovered items that had been sitting in storage for over 100 years, including a pump organ, a Victorian couch and more. It's a perfect surprise just in time for Halloween.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Truffle Mummies

These adorable little mummy faces will be the hit of your Halloween party! And they are filled with yummy no-bake pumpkin cheesecake. The recipe is genius: crushed gingersnaps and graham crackers added to pumpkin and cream cheese, plus more spices. The decorating part requires a little dexterity, but the results are cute as can be. Get complete instructions at Creme de la Crumb. This was part of a list of Halloween party treats at Buzzfeed.

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Stranger Things Halloween Costume

The most topical costumes for Halloween 2016 include the presidential election, Harambe, Suicide Squad, and Stranger Things. The Netflix show has several characters you could portray but the most iconic image from the series is the wall of lights. The costume above was spotted at Dragon Con. It’s the most elaborate of the many Stranger Things wall costumes in a list at Buzzfeed. The others would be much easier to pull off.

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Halloween Then And Now

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Halloween is relatively young as far as holidays are concerned, but by the mid-20th century it was so popular with adults and kids alike that everyone agreed they couldn't live without a night of costumed trick-or-treating.

But over the decades Halloween has become virtually unrecognizable, and much more terrifying...

In the beginning Halloween costumes were simple and homemade, but as the holiday became more popular so did the idea of buying a licensed costume off the rack, and then some adults started buying off the wrong rack.

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Soon the madness spread to other Halloween traditions, as simple and smile inducing gave way to complex depravity, and the world was exposed to the horror of a jack-o'-lantern giving birth.

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But despite the changes Halloween is still pretty much the same as it ever was, only these days people tend to show a lot more skin.

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See 12 Comparisons of Halloween Then And Now here

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