Saturday, August 30, 2008

SNICK's Masterpiece Theater: Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Ok I promised you in the Goosebumps Blog about "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" and I am a ghoul of my word.

Every Saturday night as a kid, from 1991-1996, I'd put on SNICK and go out-of-my-mind crazy in fear whenever I saw the intro to the show:

The show revolves around this group of kids/tools who call themselves "the Midnight Society" who meet every week in the deep, dark woods and tell each other scary stories around the campfire. Wikipedia has also made a complete list of all episodes here.

The one that probably bothered me the most is Frank, because he only told stories that continuously featured some guy named Dr. Vink. Get some new material already, Frank.

Someone actually created a blog last month all for the Midnight Society and comprehensive reviews of the show. I linked to the one that features Frank so you can kind of get a visual. I had to give them a Monster Bash shoutout because I love what they're doing. Great work,!

Anyway, the show also had guest stars such as Ryan Gosling, Neve Campbell, Bobcat Goldthwait, Hayden Christiansen, Melissa Joan Hart, Charles S. Dutton, and Gilbert Gottfried.

Every episode tended to have a happy ending, and the midnight society would dump out the fire and chit chat and leave.

I still am not really convinced that this show was really meant for little kids...

look at this guy from the Tale of the Ghastly Grinner:

That's a little scary, no?

And then there was one called "The Tale of Laughing in the Dark" where this kid steals Zeebo the clown's nose, and then he comes back from the dead looking for it...


Not only was the clown pretty creepy, but that fire breathing dragon and about 1:30? Perhaps a little unsafe?

This person made a great fansite dedicated to AYAOTD, including what happened to the members of the Midnight Society, as well as some fun trivia like coffee mate and sugar made the fire spark up, and the movie "The Sixth Sense" was based on an episode of 'the Dark called "The Tale of the Dream Girl".

Want to develop your very own Midnight Society? Try the official game on for size! Or just watch one of the seasons, they're all available for sale. Campfire not included.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Being All Alone = SpooOoOoOky? or Great?


Ok so here's a little debate I've been thinking about.

Being all alone.

Is it scary? Is it awesome?

I'm torn on the issue.

Henry David Thoreau loved it. I believe that when he was writing Walden, he was living in a sort of isolation. I mean, he had visitors, but ultimately, how many visitors really want to go visit a pond all the time?

Hermits love it. My mother loves it. Sometimes, I even love it.

Everyone needs a little "me" time.

Since I am still living at home with my dear ol' mom and dad...I do dances of joy whenever I hear that they are going out somewhere, no matter how long/short.

I never need "me" time at night though. At's a whole 'nother story.

Being alone, in a creaky old house, in the dark, during a thunderstorm. No way.

In horror movies, they many times will have a character home all alone, at night (sometimes during the day), and they are attacked. It makes me never want to be alone! You're more vulnerable!

In that movie 1408, John Cusack is alone in a hotel room and goes out of his mind in fear.

In The Shining, Jack Nicholson begins to go insane in a haunted hotel because he and his family are in complete isolation from civilization during a huge snowstorm.

In When a Stranger Calls, the babysitter is home alone babysitting the kids and there's a maniac on the loose.

In Scream, Drew Barrymore is alone at home in the opening scene.

In Halloween, Jamie Lee Curtis is alone for most of the movie with Tommy, babysitting on Halloween night.

Those are just a few examples, i'm probably missing a bazillion more.

I also find that when I am alone, I am more aware of things. Like, oh, when was that window open? Did I open that? I thought I closed it...

or what was that noise? I've never heard that noise it knocking?

Also, things sound more scary. A car driving by with loud music...trucks....the ice cream truck's almost sinister-sounding circus music....dogs barking....children playing outside where I can only hear them and not see them trick me to believing in ghosts.

And of course who can forget when you're a little kid you're scared to all sorts of extremes when people tell you to "pretend" your parents are home when you're home alone and someone calls or comes to the door, so a "stranger" won't come and kidnap and murder you. That's terrifying.

I guess my final thoughts would be that having alone-time is great during the day...but at's pretty creepy. I enjoy the company of others.

Silence is not always golden.

What do you think?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Goosebumps: The Horror Books of My Youth

R.L. Stine was my favorite author until I was in like 9th grade.

I've probably read every single one of the books in the series Goosebumps.

This just goes to show you my love of horror even at an early age...btw.

When I was in 5th or 6th grade, I discovered the raised "bumps" in the title of those books. It was love at first goosebump. I hated to read, but once I got my hands on those books, I was a readin' machine.

Goosebumps is/was a series of books (62 of them) from 1992-1997. Scholastic would send around those fliers of books that you could order, and I would force my mother to order me every single Goosebumps book. The first one I ever read was Welcome to Dead House. I was HOOKED.

There was literally something for everyone, from haunted houses, to zombies, to living dummies, to bugs, to science experiments gone awry, to ghosts. Goosebumps had it all and my appetite for horror fiction was insatiable.

And then they even made tv movies about some of the books, like The Haunted Mask, and I was enthralled:
Here's a trailer someone made for it, which i appreciated:

Wikipedia comprised a list of every single Goosebumps book, and let me tell you, there's alot more now than when I was a kid. also has a series called "Horrorland" that continues the saga of Goosebumps.

An additional Goosebumps series, "Give Yourself Goosebumps", allows the reader to "choose their fate" and pick the characters' choices in the book. A good example is Escape from the Carnival of Horrors, as it has a great Carnival/Circus type of storyline with additional gimmicks and games the reader can play.

Goosebumps was to me what appeared to be the book version to inspire the Snick show "Are you Afraid of the Dark?" which was another thing I loved as a kid.

more on that to come later.

Announcement: 70 more days til Monster Bash '08!!! SO CLOSE!!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Costume Prep Guide

We're in the home stretch to October...have you even started thinking about your costume? No?
Well, I have. Actually, I begin to think about what I'm going to be immediately following the Christmas season. Usually, something will happen: someone will say something, I'll see something on TV, I'll be somewhere and the idea will just hit me. In fact, this year's Halloween costume came to me in the beginning of Aughost. Hence why I'm blogging about it now-because time is running out!

As a seasoned Halloween admirer, I've learned that it is NEVER too early to get your costume together. Nothing is worse than waiting until the last minute and struggling to buy a cheap costume-in-a-bag. I had to do that when I was Ms. Mustard,

and I think it's pretty safe to say that there are few things that are more rewarding than visualizing your costume, and creating it with your (or in my case-my mother's) bare hands. People will appreciate the effort and admire your tenacity in creating your own costume.

Creating Mr. Peanut wasn't as easy of a task as many may have thought. To be honest, I hardly even know how difficult it was because I found a picture of him online, printed that sucker out, and gave him to AMR (mom) and said "CREATE HIM!" And she did. I think she used that egg-crate type of mattress, put yellow fleece over it, and history was made.

The key though, is starting EARLY. You need time to find everything and make sure that your costume is not only perfect, but accurate. Personally, I think it's easier to find what you need before the rush of season starts and everyone else is scrambling around and buying everything and all your left with is a clown wig and a pair of toy binoculars...then what?

So, I guess your next logical question would be, "Monster Bash Blog, where do I begin?"

Well reader, I say, start with something you like. For me, two years in a row, I liked obscure objects, and yellow things. In 2006, I was at a loss for ideas. I walked around the costume store, and I was torn between banana costume or Mustard. Ultimately, Mustard persevered. I had originally longed to be Mr. Peanut in all of his top hatted glory, but my timing was off. It was too late to begin to craft him, and I don't know if you're aware of this, but an official Mr. Peanut mascot costume on eBay is close to $300. no. way.
In 2007, I was much more prepared. I was going to be Mr. Peanut. or bust. I started early, and got my costume underway.
To think of what you'd like to be, I immediately go for the less mainstream. I like to first think of things that nobody else will be. I'd hate that feeling of having a monster bash and having 3 people dressed exactly like, or even better than, you. How will you win best costume that way? It's impossible! Also, when you're something so insanely popular, it becomes difficult to keep the price range down and to find what you need.
You really need to break out your creative hat and think it over. If you start early enough, dedicate enough time to planning out what you'd like to be, and how feasible it really would be to create. Some ideas I've thought of, and am not using are: porcupine, alarm clock, teapot, Jason Giambi, and Jenga game. You are more than welcome to those if your creative juices haven't been flowing. Of course, if you're hellbent on being something wildly popular and well known, try to take an obscure route with the character/item. Maybe, instead of being a plain a penguin mailman. Just a thought. Not saying you should be a penguin mailman, but if you were, that would be pretty obscure.

Next, think about how you will create this character. For the peanut, I knew that once the body was created, the rest would be minor detailing. I made sure to examine each part of the creative process-from the material to the textures to the overall design. While AMR crafted the masterpiece that is his peanut body, I would go each week to the party store/costume shops and locate the top hat, walking stick, shoes, monocle, gloves, and tights. You want to make sure that you keep it as accurate as possible. If you do too loose of an interpretation, nobody will know who you are. I can't think of anything worse than this conversation:
A: "wow, what...a are you supposed to be?"
B: "i'm __________ (insert what you are)"
A: "oh...uh...yeah...i guess i can see that....."
I was uncomfortable even typing that scenario. You don't want to be that guy/girl...
A helpful hint is to find a picture or drawing of the character/object you want to recreate...and use that when shopping. I print out pictures from Google images and use them. I like to get 2-3 different shots, just to make sure I have as many angles as possible to work with.

Of course, when being a detail perfectionist, you also may want to determine a max. budget. You don't want to spend $75 on a hat that is absolutely perfect when you could easily have altered a hat that costs $9.99. In many cases, the slight imperfections of your costume can be what makes your costume endearing to people. You want it to be spectacular, but believable. You want other costume runner-ups to think "Wow, I could've made mine and I would've looked just as cool...but I didn' they win". A great place to look for costume details is thrift stores. Don't snub them. They'll have some great, authentic looking pieces for 1/4 the price of the costume shop, and probably better quality.

Continuing on with costume making 101- what I like to do is take a picture of the character/thing I'm going to be, and make a list. What exactly do I need to make this work? Then, as I locate things, I check them off. I like to list them in order of priority. What is/are the most important components of this costume? Is there a wig, or outfit that the character wears? Is there a label or tag on the object that makes it so recognizable? Make sure that is one of the first items you buy/make. Once you get the major details down, you have plenty of time to work out the rest.

So far, I have 3 items I need for my costume. I need one more major detail, and then the rest is all alterations and minor detailing. Once we're halfway through September, more and more people will begin their costume search. You want to make sure that you are in pretty good shape by then, because that is not only when more things will become less readily available, it is also when prices will increase. That clown nose that was once $.99 is now $3.95. Get out there and get that bargain!

Anyway, I hope this blog has either lit that fire under you to start creating your costume masterpiece, or even given you a little insight on alleviating the formidable task of how to make your costume spectacularly spOoOoOoOoky!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Til' Death....?

...Do us Party?

So, I went to a wedding recently, and being a 25 year old female with a significant other for a significant number of years...going to weddings now makes you think about...well...your own wedding.

Monster Bash Blog loves weddings! It's a giant party where everyone is happy and eating great food and celebrating everlasting love and watching Jim dance to Michael Jackson songs.
Weddings are also great because regardless of how traditional or nontraditional they are, each one is different and reflective of who is having the wedding.

Now, I know what you're thinking...and trust me..Monster Bash Blog is NOT going soft on you. This isn't becoming Wedding Bash Blog. I'm still into spoOoOoOOoOoky gore and horror.

But, more than a few times, I have been approached by friends with the idea that I should have a spOooOoOokified wedding when my time comes (which if my calculations are correct will be in another 55 years and I'll be a spinster and then my wedding will REALLY be scary).

And you know what? I've given it some thought. I've been tirelessly searching the internet trying to see what other people have done for their SpoOOOooOoOOktacular day.

One website shows haunted place settings for one wedding:

and here someone did a corpse bride/nightmare before christmas themed wedding and cake:

someone other people even documented their halloween themed wedding in blogs.

And of course, not everyone went with the "dress in costume" invites and Nightmare Before Christmas route...some people kept it classy-traditional and just used the autumn theme more so than the Halloween theme.

There are definitely pros and cons to doing it either way.


  • I do enjoy that in October, the weather isn't scorching hot or freezing cold, so temperature-wise it's a good move.
  • If you have your reception at a place that has views of trees or outdoor scenery, the folliage would be gorgeous.
  • Orange is my favorite color.
  • It's it could be considered the most extravagant Monster Bash ever.
  • Halloween = insane amounts of fun, Weddings = insane amounts of fun, so therefore, Halloween Wedding = 2x insane amounts of fun!
  • The bridesmaids don't have to worry about hideous dresses, they can wear a costume!
  • Fall is awesome.


  • Not everyone likes Halloween (because they obviously have other underlying emotional issues, because I really can't imagine why someone in their right state of mind wouldn't like Halloween), and so not everyone would enjoy it.
  • Corny-factor....i.e. "Costume? are you kidding me?"
  • Would people want to replace the "Electric Slide" with the "Monster Mash"?
  • Tied with the "Corny-factor" but, if it doesn't go perfectly, it could be a huge disaster
  • People may be allergic to candy corn
  • Could be too scary for the kids (flower girls/ring bearers)
  • My mom would cry
I guess my overall feeling right now, is that despite my undying adoration for the 31st of October, I'm still a traditional kind of lady.....

.....But don't think for a second that I'm not adding my own personal, spOoOoOoOky elegance to my big day.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Tellin' You About The SpOoOoOkiness of Telepathy

Some great (and not-so-great) horror movies have been created and based around the premise of the main character having the power of mind control, telekinesis, or telepathy.

Telepathy is a form of communication/control through using only the mind, as opposed to the normal five senses.
Telekinesis is the ability to use the mind to control the movement of objects, opposing the laws of Physics.

Because mind control is so fascinating, comic book characters are written to have it, the Jedi used it in Star Wars, and many horror movies utilize it for their main characters/villains. Alot of the time, the poor characters that have these mental capabilities are left to feel like circus freaks or completely alone and isolated in a world of trouble.

here's a few...

Released in 1981 by Director David Cronenberg, the movie is about a small population of people, called Scanners, who live among normal people but have telepathic and telekinetic capabilities. Scanners is perhaps most infamous for this scene:

which is an effect of having your mind controlled by a Scanner. That's pretty scary stuff.


This movie is based off of the first published novel by Stephen King. It's about teenage girl who is bullied and harassed because of her social awkwardness and religious fanatic mother. She discovers her ability to use her mind to control things. She ends up going crazy at her prom after being tormented further by her peers and having pig's blood poured over her.

The Shining

"Here's Johnny!" Possibly one of the most terrifying movies of all time (without much gore), Stephen King's novel (again) is put to film this time by Stanley Kubrick (who's movies are pretty freakin' strange) in 1980. The movie is about Jack Torrence (Jack Nicholson) who is a writer and is struggling to make a living for his family (wife and son). He agrees to take on a winter caretaker job at the Overlook Hotel for the entire winter in isolation. During this time, Torrence begins to delve deep into insanity (partially due to the isolation, and the fact that the hotel is haunted by many, including the former caretaker's family, who was murdered). The son (Danny Torrence) has psychic abilities that are referred to as "shining" which enable him to send out a warning to the head chef, who also has this "shining" capability.

Friday the 13th part VII: The New Blood

Well, Jason and co. never disappoints. He's been at camp, he's been in Hell, he's been in space, he's been on a cruise ship. In this movie, "Part VII: The New Blood", he now has to deal with a telepathic girl and her dead father who's at the bottom of the lake. Never to be outdone, I always say! Ok so Tina Shepard is the main character, who is harboring alot of guilt because years ago, she killed her abusive, alcoholic father by using her telekinetic powers and throwing her dad to the bottom of, you guessed it, Crystal Lake. Her mother decides to take her to a psychiatrist to try to help her control her mind powers (the psychiatrist is played by none other than the man, the myth, the legend: Terry Kiser...a la Weekend at Bernie's I and II):

So anyway, while all of this is going on, J.V. is running rampant as usual, killing promiscuous teens left and right. Tina is forced to use her powers to fight Jason, who I imagine is very confused at this point, and the movie ends with her father coming to life out of the lake and taking Jason back under with him.

can you think of any other good ones?

If not, Test out your telepathy and mind control! Then maybe you can mentally send it over to me!

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Funhouse: A Buried Treasure

I just want to give all of you MB Blog readers a little update:
As of yesterday, August 4th, 2008 Jim and I went to Party Box in Lodi and there was a lovely woman stocking the shelves with none other than HALLOWEEN items! that's right! Pumpkins, bloody weapons, and skeletons as far as the eye can see!
Then, feeling lucky, we headed over to Party City on Route 17, and the main shelves were emptied the corner in the back was the remaining pineapples, leis, tikkis, and other garbage from luaus far and wide...and....starting to make its way onto the main shelves? PUMPKIN LIGHT SETS!!!

Last year I had to wait until mid-August. But this year....August 4th. I'm with you party box/party city people. I'm with you.

Anyways onto the blog....

You see, this is why i love MonstersHD. If you didn't know...go back and read about it.

I was surfing good ol' channel 777 and stumbled upon a Tobe Hooper (a la The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist) gem called The Funhouse.

It's from 1981, so you know it's great/wretched. It was so good, in fact, that Tobe Hooper turned down some nobody guy named Steven Spielberg to direct this dud of a movie called E.T. to finish filming this instead.

First of all, The Funhouse has the most tag lines of any movie I've ever seen.
My personal fave is : Pay to Get In, Pray to Get Out!
But of course there are some that are a little
Something is alive in the funhouse... something that has the form of a human, but not in the face... something that feeds off the flesh and bone of young innocents...
and some that don't make any sense:
Something is alive in the funhouse... something better dead!
and then I guess they settled on one?:
Something is alive in the funhouse... something that, tonight, will turn the funhouse into a carnival of terror!
I've tried reading the 3rd one about 6 different times/ways and it still doesn't make sense.

Stick with the Pay/Pray's way better, Tobe.

Ok so I know you're probably on the edge of your seat to find out what this great movie is all about...I'm going to give you the first paragraph or so of the synopsis as written by If this doesn't make you want to see it more than anything else in this world, I don't know what will:

Against her father's orders, Amy goes to a sleazy travelling carnival with her new boyfriend Buzz, her best friend Liz, and Liz's boyfriend Richie. Unbeknownst to the four teens, Amy's prank-happy little brother Joey (who happens to be obsessed with classic horror movies) sneaks out of the house and follows them to the carnival... which Amy's father was opposed to because a couple of Girl Scouts were found murdered at its previous location; no one knows who killed the two children or how, although both girls had to be identified via dental records.

At the carnival, the four youngsters smoke marijuana and sneak into a 21-and-over striptease joint. They heckle Madame Zena the Fortune Teller, visit a freaks-of-nature exhibit, and view a magic show.

I took the liberty in highlighting the parts that I found the most outrageous in red. I hope you don't mind.

Apparently, Dean Koontz wrote a novel from the screenplay but the book was released before the movie because production somehow took so long on this work of art.

Basically the movie has a deformed son of a carnie that is so tortured that he must kill. He can't help the way he is, poor thing.

I think you need to check this movie out, it's so ridiculous, it's astounding!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Aghast in Au-Ghost! (Get it? August)

Well, Aughost (August) has finally descended upon us.

What does this mean to normal people?-Summer's end is nearing...people go "fall clothes" shopping...the days end just a little moan and groan about "back to school" business and how much summer-reading didn't get done....and the beach gets completely mobbed for its final month of this year.

What does this mean to Monster Bash Blog? HALLOWEEN IS SO CLOSE!!! Don't get me wrong, I love Summer and I'm a huge fan of the warm weather, swimming, carnivals and fairs, and vacationing to beaches...but just humor me and take a deep breath...can you smell those apple orchards yet? what about the pumpkin patches? what about the FEAR and HORROR that Halloween produces? Me too!
In fact, last year, 8/11/2007, was when I made my very first Halloween-related purchase.

Because this year's Monster Bash will be such an intricate production with an elaborate theme, I had to begin a little early. While Ghoul-eye was when I actually began my shopping, Aughost is when I delve deep. Party City sneaks a cauldron and some lights out...testing the waters...and I greet them eagerly while the employees find me to be a strange individual, dancing through the aisles of partially-labor-day/partially-fall items.

Since we're such good spoOoOoOoky friends, I'm going to give you some helpful hints for planning your own bash (not a Monster Bash though, a smaller-scale bash that isn't comparable to MB in any way, shape, or form):

So far this year, I've ordered much of my props and decor from OrientalTrading.

I don't know if I've truly given OT the credit it deserves. This website is a phenom. I found out about it when I was initially going to be a spoOoOoOoky teacher. They have great classroom decorations...but what many don't know is that it also has great, cheap Halloween props. They sell some things by the dozen or in bulk, and, you can get great deals on shipping, which helps me out for the bigger props.

I use OrientalTrading in combination with a shot of, and I tend to dabble in the eBay world for the more obscure products. I am wary of eBay though, because it's slightly less trustworthy than the others.

It's really simple math:




(Halloween Magic...I had to fit a Joker cameo in here somewhere)

What I can't get online, or I don't trust the visuals I see on my computer, I head to the Party City/Party Box combo. While slightly more costly, nothing gives me greater joy than walking up and down, up and down, down and up the aisles and envisioning Jim's room becoming the scariest room on the the universe!. Last year, I saw a giant hanging gutted pig prop, and if it wasn't $700, I would've found a place for it. Even though it almost induced vomit.

I have also been drawing sketches of the layout of Jim's room and where all of the props will be. Last year, I spent a hefty sum of money on absurd props and decorations, so this year, it will be about being innovative and creative and reworking everything to fit into the theme. This is the first time in Monster Bash history (2 years) that we will be having a solid theme. First it was the mad scientist lab...then...the morgue...and this'll have to wait and see!

Soon I will begin dropping hints to the theme. Very subtle of course.

And so, while all year long I dream of what Monster Bash 2008 will be like, Aughost is when the actual real shopping and designing truly begins! After all, we're in the 2 month stretch here!

Can you take the wait?

(picture courtesy of my mother at Monster Bash 2006....can you guess what she is?)