Oscar's Wreck It Ralph Halloween Cart

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)

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Kim Jong Un Costume

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.

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Pumpkin Killing

(YouTube link)

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

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Halloween Conference Call

(YouTube link)

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

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The Halloween Party Weekend

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?

Redrock1188 was the Terror that Flaps in the Night: Darkwing Duck.

Number one in the pun costume category, zacch dressed as Edgar Allen Hoe.

Tubbsie was Flanders from The Simpsons.

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Prepare for the Worst: The Shining Hotel Is Digging Up a Pet Cemetery

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.

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How to Deal with Trick-or-Treaters in the UK

(Video Link)

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

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25 Fantastic Doctor Who Halloween Costumes

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.

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The Skeleton Horse

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

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Pop Culture Pumpkins

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)

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The Mummy's Curse

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.

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The Origin of Halloween and Trick or Treating

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.

Watch the clip or go to Today I Found Out on the Origin of Halloween and Trick or Treating - Thanks Daven!

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Nicholas Cage Morphsuits

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.

Imgur user RubberDogTurdsGIFS (what a name) uploaded these photos of what is probably one of the strangest Halloween costumes we'll see this year. Behold, the Nicholas Cage themed Morphsuits.

You can't put that bunny of awesomeness back in the box!

More Halloween Costumes over at our Halloween Blog

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The Happiest Costume on Earth

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.

(YouTube link)

To see more pictures of the final costume, you'll want to skip to page 17 of Cockerham's tutorial. This is going to be in a costume contest Saturday. Wish him luck! -via Metafilter

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Resurrecting the Crypt Keeper

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.  

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The Real Life Locations of 5 Horror Movie Locations

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]

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LED Stickman Costume

(YouTube link)

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

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Two Cats and a Big Bass Drum

Halloween greeting cards have been around for a long time, although it's not a holiday meant for sentiment. Not that it matters; people have always loved sharing funny pictures, even when those pictures had to be sent through the postal service. And funny cat pictures are universal.

Let's take a closer look at this odd piece of art. We have a cat playing a bass drum. The drum does not look happy about it. Another cat is carrying the drum, but he's got a bandage around his face. Did the other cat put his eye out with a drumstick? And their audience is made of mice! Who came up with this? The poem says Fee, fo, fi, fum. Am I remembering it wrong, or did the line from Jack and the Beanstalk actually say Fee FI, FO, fum?

This vintage Halloween greeting card is one of 13, all featuring black cats, that you'll find at Buzzfeed.

(Image source: VintageHolidayCrafts.com)

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I Now Pronounce You Victim And Wife

What's more romantic than a stroll in the country with your fiance? Well, if you're this couple who was photographed by Brandon Gray, apparently getting murdered by Jason is the epitome of romance. At least, I assume that's why they chose to include the serial killer striking down and killing them in their engagement photo series.

While I tease, I actually think this is pretty cool. Part of being a geek couple is celebrating your shared interests and I wholly support doing this during your wedding and all the preparation you put into your wedding and these kinds of photos are just this. Besides, you can always send the pre-murder photos to your grandma and other relatives that just "wouldn't get" the whole serial killer photo series thing.

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Coexistence of Vampires and Humans Is Possible: Proofs Based on Models Derived from Fiction, Television, and Film

The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research.

by Wadim Strielkowski (Charles University, Prague), Evgeny Lisin (MPEI, Moscow), and Emily Welkins (University of Strasbourg)

Our paper describes intertemporal interactions between vampires and humans based on several types of vampire behavior described in popular fiction, films, and television series. Our main research question is: If vampires were real and lived among us, would their existence be possible? We draw several scenarios of vampire–human equilibria and use models with differential equations to test under what provisions vampires could have existed amongst humans. Mathematical modeling reveals that several popular culture sources outline the models describing plausible and peaceful coexistence.

Recent Research About Vampires

Since the 1980s, such topics as behavior of vampires, economic significance of vampirism, and optimal bloodsucking strategies (e.g. preventing the depletion of renewable human resources) have found their way into the research literature, becoming an inspiration for several academic papers (Hart and Mehlmann, 1982, 1983; Hartl, Mehlmann and Novak, 1992; Neocleus, 2003; Efthimiou and Gandhi, 2007).

Vampires are often described in legends and folklore. The word "vampire" comes from the Hungarian language. The first myths and legends about vampires can be found in Mesopotamian texts dating back to 4000 B.C.E. (Campbell Thompson, 1904).

Consider introducing vampires into the model of population growth denoted by dx/dt = kx. The vampire population is denoted by the function y(t), y0=1. Vampires act as natural predators for humans. The human population dynamics can therefore be presented as the following function: dx/dt = kx-v(x)y, where v(x) is the rate at which humans are killed by vampires.

Assume that the number of any vampire's victims is growing proportionally. Thence, the function v(x) can be presented as the following: v(x)=ax, where a > 0 is the coefficient of the human's lethal interaction with a vampire (a human is either killed by a vampire or is turned into a vampire). As a result, the differential equation describing the growth rate of human population can be formulated as the following: dx/dt = x(k-ay). Assume the dynamics of vampire's population change to be y(t). The growth of vampire population will be determined by the quality and quantity of interactions with humans.

After selecting its victim, any vampire can kill it by draining its blood, turn it into a new vampire, or feed on it but leave it to live.

Let us also introduce vampire slayers into the model. The slayers regulate the population of vampires by periodically killing vampires. The equation will then be modified to be dy/dt = baxy-cy, where 0 < b ≤ 1 is the coefficient reflecting the rate with which humans are turned into vampires and c ≥ 0 is the coefficient of lethal outcome of the interaction between a vampire and vampire slayer.

In order to solve this, we need to consider a Lotka-Volterra system, or a "predator–prey" type model (Volterra, 1931). The system allows for the stationary solution, meaning that there is a pair of solutions for the system that creates a state when human and vampire populations can coexist in time without any change in numbers. The size of human population is determined by the effectiveness of slaying vampires by vampire hunters c and the number of cases when the humans are turned into vampires ba. The size of vampire population depends on the growth rate of human population k and vampires' thirst for human blood a. The stationary solution shows that when vampires are capable of restraining their blood thirst, the size of both populations can be rather high in mutual co-existence. The system is held in balance by the existence of vampire slayers.

The Stoker-King model

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A Brief History of Fake Blood

The Carrie remake is all about blood -fake blood, of course, but the modern movie audience expects it to be not only believable, but as scary as the 1976 version of the movie. Well, that scene cannot be as surprising as the original, but it may be more gory.

Movies have had bloody scenes as long as there have been movies, but back in the days of black and white film, it was easy to fake. Most filmmakers used chocolate syrup! After all, in black and white, the viewer was none the wiser. But when color came along, it had to be more realistic -and fake blood has been getting more realistic ever since. Movie makers often make their own, or they can buy it for $65 a pint -not as expensive as the real thing, but still pricy!

Often several different kinds of blood are used for the same movie. In addition to whether or not the blood is edible, each blood is selected according to the lighting, whether the blood should slowly dry or stay wet, whether it’s arterial (lighter) or venous (darker), and what kind of style the director is looking for. For one of his gorier plays, writer-director Martin McDonagh used nine distinct varieties of fake blood. And some filmmakers still want the old-fashioned stuff: For the nightclub massacre in Kill Bill, Vol. 1 (2003), Quentin Tarantino ordered more than 100 gallons of “samurai blood.” “I’m really particular about the blood, so we’re using a mixture depending on the scenes,” he explained. “I say, ‘I don’t want horror movie blood, all right? I want Samurai blood.’ ... You have to have this special kind of blood that you only see in Samurai movies.”

Read how fake blood technology has advanced through the history of film, in an article at Slate.  -via mental_floss

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Was Jack the Ripper an American?

Jack the Ripper terrorized the Whitechapel district of London for a few months in the fall of 1888, exactly 125 years ago. No one has ever been officially identified as the murderer of at least five women that autumn, but many have been named as possibilities. As part of their 31 Days of Halloween series, Atlas Obscura looks at one of those suspects, an American named Francis Tumblety. Tumblety passed himself off as a doctor, although his education credentials were nonexistent. He'd been arrested several times, but never convicted for anything serious. He was also known to despise women.

Tumblety traveled frequently to London and often stayed in the posh West End hotels. However, despite his wealth, he was known to often “slum” in the unsavory East End. On November 7, 1888 he was arrested and charged with eight counts of gross indecency (homosexual activities) with four other men, and released on bail. Then on November 12 he was arrested on suspicion of the Whitechapel murders. He posted bail again on November 16 and fled under the alias Frank Townsend to France where he boarded a steamer ship and returned to New York City. An investigator from Scotland Yard was sent to New York and Tumblety was hounded by the American press, but no conclusive evidence against him was found regarding Whitechapel, and the gross indecency charges were insufficient cause for extradition back to England. Later, investigators scoffed at his being a likely suspect.

There were plenty of other suspects, but never enough evidence to tie any particular person to the murders. And just like the other suspects, there's a long list of clues that point to Tumblety as the Ripper. Read that list at Atlas Obscura.

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Don't Check It Out, Don't Split Up

(YouTube link)

As we've seen, groups of young people who take sensible precautions and make conservative decisions make for boring horror films. What we need to see is a lone, doomed, minor character take complete leave of his senses and volunteer to check out a suspicious noise. It happens all the time, as this supercut from Slackstory shows.

Along the same lines, if you want to find something in the dark, you need to split up your group -otherwise you'll all be killed at once and the movie would be too short! Although in a few of these clips, I can almost imagine the one suggesting that two people "split up" might really just want to get away from their annoying partner. -via Laughing Squid

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12 Fantastic Family Halloween Costumes

One of the great things about being a new parent is getting to geek out with your youngsters who actually think you're pretty cool...at least until they hit about 12 and suddenly decide you are the lamest person on earth and that anything you enjoy must be the worst thing ever. That's why you've got to get in your family Halloween costumes while you can. If you still need some ideas for your family's costume, or if you just want to see what other clever parents have come up with, you won't want to miss this fun Oddee article with 12 fantastic families in matching costumes.

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Josh Sundquist's Flamingo Costume

Josh Sundquist (previously at Neatorama) is a rapper, math nerd, and Paralympic champion. He lost his left leg due to cancer years ago, which gives him the ability to pull off some really clever Halloween costumes. His 2013 costume may take you a minute to figure out. Oh yes, he's a flamingo, but will he be up for doing this handstand for everyone who asks? Sure, he's an athlete, but that could get old when you're out trying to have Halloween fun. It might be better just to pull out the picture when someone asks him what's with the pink bodysuit and that goofy shoe. -via reddit


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