7 Gifts That Don’t Suck for Vampire Fans

Kicking off the 2022 Christmas gift-giving guide season with 7 gifts that don’t suck for vampire fans. Vampire fans are a picky bunch and luckily, there are numerous gift ideas that will quench their bloodlust and won’t break the bank.

Bleeding Skull Candles

Bleeding candles are all the rage. Something Different Vampire Blood Tears out of the UK sells taper candles online or through Amazon, or you can try these bleeding skull candles from Gute, which look even cooler.

Bleeding skull candles from Gute

Gothic Black or Purple Damask Throw Pillows

These beautiful gothic throw pillows designed by Teri Sherman and sold through Redbubble are easy ways for vampire fans to goth up a regular couch or bed. Sold in black, purple, and red.

Coffin Ring

Nothing says I’ll love you forever like a coffin ring made of Onyx from Blood Milk Jewels. Of course, there are cheaper alternatives out there for people on a budget, or pricer options, for those looking to get even more serious.

Vampire Capes

Capes are in! Okay, well, long capes like this Black and Red Reversible Cape from the Pyramid Collection is still tricky fashion and better suited for costumes, but short black capes and ponchos are definitely a thing. They go with everything from little black dresses to jeans and boots, and they keep little black hearts warm.

Bela Lugosi Collection from Creepy Co.

Bela Lugosi has an entire line of officially licensed and trademarked clothing and merch sold online through Creepy Co., which offers a number of officially licensed horror collections. Thanks to his business savvy and vigilant family, Bela Lugosi is practically synonymous with his most famous role, Dracula, the 1931 film from Universal Pictures, and I’m all for keeping that legend going. From pins to patches, socks to t-shirts, and my personal favorite, the poster pajama set, surely there is something here for vampire fans of all ages and types.

Wine Gifts from Vampire Vineyards

Vampire Vineyard won the domain name game over vampire.com and successfully trademarked a number of vamp names and images to use with their brand. Their single wines come with a cute little Vampire Wine Cape and are actually quite tasty. Vampire offers a broad range of wine, food gifts, and other merch. Everyone knows wine is the true elixir of life, so vampire fans can relax with a bottle and stop worrying over whether their blood types match.

The Vampira Diaries, 1954-1956 Book by Jonny Coffin

Maila Nurmi a.k.a Vampira, the first inspiration for all the mistresses of the dark that followed, had a bit of a rough life and it’s hard to be supportive of her legacy when there’s next to no official merchandise out there. That’s why this limited edition pre-order coffee table book to celebrate her life is so important. Authored by the eccentric Jonny Coffin, creator of the original Coffin Case, this is a chance for fans to learn a little more about the Original Glamor Ghoul and it’s sold directly through her official shop run by her family, which is nice. I hope they can capitalize on Vampira’s popularity and run a successful store. Btw, I hear only 1000 hand-stamped books will exist, so they’re likely to sell out fast.

Haunted Holidays are Here!

Welcome, December!


After giving it some thought, I changed this month’s theme to Haunted Holidays. I realized I was creating two different themed plans in December and I wanted to take a little bit more time to plan out my approach to writing haiku next year, so…Blood and Ice will be next month’s theme.

This December is all about the haunted holidays! Back in the day, people told ghost stories during Christmastime and I would love to bring that tradition back. I encourage everyone to create, write, or find a short ghost tale to tell on Christmas eve, and if you’re having trouble, might I recommend simply retelling the classic timeless tale from Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. Scrooge is the hero we need right now!

Scrooge art by Carter Goodwich

December Fun

Here’s a look at some of the shenanigans I have planned this month:

  • Haunted holidays haiku every Monday
  • Brand new gift-giving guides for Halloween and horror fans
  • New recipes for christmassy cocktails
  • Haunted Holidays Photo Challenge
  • 12 days of Christmas gift-giving countdown (Details TBA)

I’m kicking off the celebrations with a daily photo challenge. You may post both traditional or haunted photos or artwork. Jump in any time, even if you skip a day, or 5, but, if you can post all 25 days in December, I’ll enter your name into the cauldron for a drawing to win a haunted holidays prize pack.

No purchase is necessary for any of the upcoming contests, but you must be following my blog and be friends with me on at least one of my social media pages (listed below) for a chance to win! Please see official contest rules for more details.

To join in on the fun, follow me @Halloweenhorrorhaiku on Instagram and @Halloweenkristy on Twitter or r/Halloweenhaiku on Reddit.

I wish you a season filled with amusement, inspiration, love, and joy. Please be safe and stay healthy. Remember to take some time for yourself, relax and recharge, so you don’t burn out or lose your damn mind by January.

Krampus postcard, circa pre-1920

Culinary Cannibals Marathon

On this last day in November, I serve up a fresh list of intriguing or scary movies featuring cannibals. Holidays are all about eating. Thanksgiving just passed and I still have leftovers coming out my ears. Pretty sure, cannibals don’t have this problem. Anyways, if you’re feeling stressed, why not chill for a day, or the weekend, and have scary movie marathon.

These are my faves, but there are certainly other good cannibal films out there. This year, I shy away from Cannibal Holocaust exploitation type movies cuz horror movies should be fake, lest they become something else. The real killing of animals and the rape of women is just sickening and I want to do my part to hold people accountable. Fuck those movies.

Personally, I’m excited to see the recently released Bones and All starring Timothee Chalamet, Taylor Russell, and Mark Rylance. I might even add it to the list for next year.

From Halloween to the Haunted Holidays

I guess the day before Thanksgiving is as good a time as any to officially ended the 2022 Halloween season. I finally removed my Halloween porch decorations last weekend, and while some items stay up year-round, I’ve cleared my spooky corner to make way for some haunted holidays.

_upscale

This month’s theme has been Halloween Encore. I wasn’t quite ready to let go of Halloween, especially since my work schedule in October kept me from doing all the things I wanted to do this season. Many of the DIY decorations I wanted to make are either half-finished or completely unstarted and I never baked my Halloween cake. My brand new pumpkin mold pan is still in the box. Not all was bad with the season though, I kicked off October with a weekend trip to June Lake, which was amazing and reminded me to get out an explore wilderness a little more. I was able to attend the Oogie Boogie Bash at Disney’s California Adventure for the first time and I checked off half my Halloween bucket list, which I will continue to do, just because it’s a fun list no matter what season it is.

The thing that makes me most happy though, all the new friends I picked up this year and the nice turnout for the 4th annual Halloween Haiku Challenge. I finally sent out all prizes to our winners. This was the toughest year to judge yet. The talented writers that joined our little contest inspire and motivate me. Congratulations to all!

Speaking of December, the holidays are going to be a bloody good time this year. The theme next month will be Blood and Ice: A Vampire’s Christmas Tale. No sneak peeks. You’ll just have to be surprised.

Blood and Ice: A Vampire’s Christmas Tale, new holiday haiku coming in December

In addition to the killer haiku I have planned, ‘Tis the season to give and I’ll be sharing some fanglicious cocktails and recipes, plus new gift-giving guides for Halloween and horror fans. I’m also checking my lists twice to make sure I recommend the scariest holiday horror movies of the season. To top it off, Krampus helped me steal Santa’s magic bag filled with stocking stuffers that I’ll give away this season, but you must be following my blog and be friends with me on at least one of my social media pages for a chance to win!

To join in on the fun, follow me @Halloweenhorrorhaiku on Instagram and @Halloweenkristy on Twitter or r/Halloweenhaiku on Reddit

Wishing you all a very Haunted Holidays!

Throwback Thursdays – Treat-or-Treating

Will trick or treating be a Halloween tradition that survives the apocalypse?

Past:

Trick-or-treating can be traced all the way back to the Celtic celebrations of Samhain, on what is now known as October 31st, the night when the dead were believed to come back to the living. Villagers disguised themselves in costumes made of animal skins to drive away evil spirits. Food and drink were left out. Bonfires were lit. Sacrifices made. Basically, the Halloween party life hasn’t changed much, well, maybe we don’t sacrifice as many bodies as we used to, but, we’re still lighting shit on fire and eating and drinking until we pass out. By the middle ages, people dressed in more elaborate costumes went door-to-door asking for treats, even performed for treats. Christianity took hold and their diehard zealots tried their best to push out pagan ceremonies of All Hallows eve, October 31, and All Hallows Day on November 1, with their own for All Saints Day on November 2. Everything only got muddled and combined. Immigrants brought their Halloween traditions, including trick-or-treating, to the USA, but by the 1920s, pranksters almost got Halloween canceled with their viciousness, horrible pranks, and acts of violence, that’s when parents started to organize community-wide events like parades, carnivals, or festivals.

Present:

Whoohoo, trick-or-treating is back, baby! According to Statista.com, Halloween spending is up to $10.6 Billion dollars in 2022, with $3.6 billion dollars being spent on costumes, and deep-pocket pet owners shelling out $710 million dollars to dress up their pooches and kitty-cats. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, they estimate about 42 million trick-or-treaters this year and 128 million dwellings offering treats, and a recent article from US News and World Report says the top three costumes were: the witch, Spiderman, and that funny inflatable dinosaur.

Future:

Mask or no mask, let’s face facts, you need people to trick-or-treat. You need people to pass out candy and you need kids, small people, to collect it. I mean, the USA couldn’t make it through a manageable pandemic without hoarding toilet paper and staying inside to stop the spread of a highly infectious deadly disease, it’s doubtful the majority of the population is going to make it through one of IET‘s 13 hypothesized apocalyptic doomsday scenarios.

The good news is, when the dust clears, I believe there will some form of a society, and probably one in need. Going door-to-door to collect food and handouts could become commonplace again, not mention to leaving “treats” to ward off evil (people) from doing good folks harm and you can be sure, as long as someone remembers October 31st is Devils night, somebody is going to be up to no good. I think trick-or-treating will most definitely survive the apocalypse.

Trick or Treat art by Raluca Iosifescu.

Throwback Thursday – Visiting Haunted Attractions

Will haunted attractions be a Halloween tradition that survives the apocalypse?

Past:

The mention of real haunted houses dates back to First Century A.D., when Roman author and politician, Pliny the Elder, wrote a letter about a man haunting his house in Athens, ever since then, people have been telling stories of ghosts and haunted houses. That’s its own topic for another day. This post is about haunted attractions, live entertainment inspired by haunted places and things.

In 1802, Madame Marie Tussaud opened the first wax exhibit, which took the public by storm, depicting gruesome decapitations of public figures such as Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Her permanent museum on Baker Street in London featured what she called the Chamber of Horrors, wax figures of notorious murderers and villains. This is thought to be the very first horror attraction. Sadly, Tussaud’s closed in 2016.

Madama Tussaud Chamber of Horrors Guillotine

Over 100 years after Tussaud’s, the first-ever electrified haunted attraction ever recorded was the Orton and Spooner Ghost House, at the Edwardian Fair in 1915, as part of the steam collection, in what would become known as dark rides, moving vehicles, trains, and boats that took passengers through scenes, like a spooky house or the tunnel of love. It didn’t take long before attractions featuring dark rides popped up in carnivals, world fairs, and exhibitions worldwide.

The Haunted Mansion in Disneyland

In 1969, Walt Disney opened The Haunted Mansion featuring groundbreaking technology and audio-animatronic ghosts. This is when commercialized haunted attractions were thought to have become a cultural mainstream. The idea was born in 1951 between Walt Disney and his Imagineers, when early illustrations created by the Legendary Harper Goff, of the proposed park featuring a church, a graveyard, and a “run-down manor perched high on a hill that towered over main street”, but Walt didn’t like the idea of a rundown house in the middle of his brand new park. It’s said that after a visit to the Winchester House in San Jose, CA, with its creepy deadends and stairs leading to nowhere, Walt was inspired to fashion the mansion in a similar way. It originally was going to be a walkthrough too, but Walt and the team decided on making it a dark ride that would carry passengers through their animated “Museum of the Weird” and christened their vehicles “doom buggies.” During the planning years, The Haunted Mansion grew darker and stranger, and took on several iterations, not to mention several years to build. Sadly, Disney died in December of 1966 and never even had the opportunity to experience one of his most popular creations.

Since The Haunted Mansion’s opening in the late 60s, there have been hundreds of commercialized haunted houses or carnival dark rides, too numerous to count. Haunts popped up in abandoned buildings and farmhouses across the USA, People capitalized on both rumored and actual haunted places, offering tours, mazes, hayrides, and festivals in honor of legendary ghosts and American haunts. According to AmericaHaunts.Com, there was even a book written on the subject authored by Jim Gould and Tom Hilligoss, who detailed makeup FX, scene ideas, and marketing strategies. Over 20,000 copies were sold and Gould and Hilligoss became known as the first Haunted House experts. They would go on to create the Haunted House Company, one of the first outfits to sell FX, masks, lighting, costumes, etc.

Present:

After Hollywood’s horror boon during the 1970s and 1980s, horror movies became more mainstream and an entire industry of itself. Bigger theme parks found a way to offset seasonal attendance by offering haunted mazes and attractions. In 1973, Knott’s Berry Farm turned part of its fairgrounds into Knott’s Scary Farm. Today it boasts 160 acres featuring haunted mazes, spooky characters, scary rides, and scare zones. Universal Studios would cash in on the craze during the1990s, using its extensive film history with classic monster films and newer horror franchises as inspiration for haunted mazes and attractions. Soon after, all haunts everywhere featured popular characters from horror books, movies, and television. These days, I’ve heard there are something like over 4000 amateur-made, professional, or commercialized haunts every Halloween.

Future:

No people, no haunted attractions. We’ll all become ghosts. Every place will become haunted. Simple as that.

4th Annual Halloween Haiku Challenge 2022

4th Annual Halloween Haiku Challenge 2022
#Halloweenhaikuchallenge

We’re just 13 days away from Halloween night and now the real fun starts! Share your most original or scariest Dystopian or Halloween Memories Haiku for a chance to win some spooktacular prizes.

The contest starts on October 18th and ends at midnight, the witching hour, on October 31st. Winners will be announced on November 1st here and on social media. 

To join in on the fun, follow me @Halloweenhorrorhaiku on Instagram and @Halloweenkristy on Twitter

Three ways to share your haiku:

  1. Post your haiku here in the comment section of this specific blog post. (After review, I will make your haiku visible to the public.)
  2. Post your haiku on Twitter, using the hashtag #HalloweenHaikuChallenge and tag me @Halloweenkristy to ensure that I see your post.
  3. Post your haiku on Instagram, using the hashtag #HalloweenHaikuChallenge and tag me @Halloweenhorrorhaiku to ensure that I see your post.

Judging Criteria:

  • Originality. You must be the sole author of the haiku you post. No exceptions.
  • Theme. The theme of your haiku must either be 1) Dystopian Halloween or 2) Halloween Memories.
  • Scares. The scarier the better! It is Halloween after all.
  • Format/Style. All haiku, senryu, and zappai are eligible and should fall within the usual standard 17 syllables (i.e., 5-7-5). Sorry, Tanka or any other style of poetry is not acceptable for purposes of this contest. We’re not hating, just a matter of space and time.
  • Only one entry per participant.

Prizes*:

1st Place Winner:

Halloween Prize Pack, retail value over $50

Disney Oogie Boogie Bash Pin from 2022
Disney Halloween Die Cut Magnet
The Conjuring Horror Blu-Ray/DVD Combo
Evil Dead Sticker
Halloween buttons/stickers
Halloween card

1st Place Halloween Prize Pack for 2022 – #HalloweenHaikuChallenge

2nd Place Winners:

Two runner-up poems will be chosen to win a Halloween card and one Halloween magnet.

2nd Place Halloween Prizes for 2022 – #HalloweenHaikuChallenge

3rd Place Winner:

One third-place winner will be chosen to win a Halloween card and some Halloween stickers.

*Open to US residents only. Prizes subject to change.

Disclaimer:

All works are copyright of their respective owners. By participating in this contest, you agree that Halloween Kristy can use your haiku to further promote this contest and http://www.halloweenhorrorhaiku.com on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) Unauthorized use, modification, reproduction, or distribution of copyright poems submitted to Halloween Haiku Challenge 2022 without express written permission from the copyright owner is strictly prohibited.

For further details on contest rules, please visit: https://halloweenhorrorhaiku.com/contest-rules-eligibility-and-some-disclaimer-stuff/

Halloween Kristy reserves the right to remove and discredit any haiku and/or images posted here or on social media containing plagiarized or copyrighted material, pornography, vulgarity, bigoted, racist, or sexist views.

Throwback Thursday – Jack-o’-lanterns

Will jack-o’-lanterns be a Halloween tradition that survives the apocalypse?

Past: Centuries before the Native Americans introduced pumpkins to puritan societies, the Celts (ancient Irish peoples) were carving gruesome faces into turnips and potatoes and filling them with candles, all in an effort to guide wandering spirits to safety and ward off evil spirits during Samhain.

Ancient Celtic jack-o’-lantern at Carnegie Museum of Natural History

By the early 1800s, the Irish began telling the story of Stingy Jack, a man cursed to roam the earth for eternity after being rejected entry into both Heaven and Hell.

“As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then, simply “Jack O’Lantern.”

https://www.history.com/news/history-of-the-jack-o-lantern-irish-origins
Stingy Jack art by Anton Vitus

Present: Irish immigrants brought their legend of Stingy Jack with them to the America and replaced turnips with pumpkins, which were big and easier to carve, not mention, the most economical gourds to cultivate, growing almost anywhere with the proper care.

With the commercialization of Halloween, we saw the pumpkin carving grow into a elaborate artistry and jack-o’-lanterns made out of every material substance known to man.

Future: According to an article “Could Humans Grow Food During a Nuclear Winter?” in Discover Magazine from March 2022, any sun-blocking catastrophes, i.e., volcanic eruptions, meteor crashes, or nuclear war would likely reduce sunlight by 40%, causing global permafrost and reducing much need precipitation. A Nuclear disaster would most surely ruin the earth’s soil, at least for a good 5 years or so. Without good sunlight and moderate soil temps, it would probalby be a number of years before survivors could grow fields of pumpkins again, or any food for that matter.

We have already experienced reduced crops in the last few years due to climate change, with soaring temps, severe rain storms in the East, and record-breaking droughts out West. Mini pumpkins, which can grow in controlled environments and small spaces, may be the only variety of pumpkin that survives.

All said, carving jack-o’-lanterns is arguably the oldest and most beloved Halloween tradition. I think as long as there’s a candle or a light, a metal bucket, and one human being left on the planet caring enough about Halloween, the jack-o-lantern will survive.

Throwback Thursdays – Bobbing for Apples

Will apple bobbing be a Halloween tradition that survives the apocalypse?

Past:

Apple bobbing dates back to antiquity and is commonly associated with the Celtic festival Samhain, where apples were a sign of abundance, fertility, and good harvest. The game goes like this, several apples are placed into a tub filled with water, then, children or adults, with hands bound behind their backs, try to catch apples with their teeth. There were several variations of the game, including one called Snap Apple where the apple hangs from a string tied to the ceiling. Eventually, apple bobbing became a fun courting act between young ladies and potential suitors, particularly in regions of the United Kingdom. A young lady would drop her apple, representing the man she most desired, into a barrel and attempt to bite the apple by dunking her head into or near the water. Catching the apple in one try meant the romance was destined to succeed, while more than three tries meant the relationship was doomed. Hard to believe that’s how many a marriage started before the 1900s, but there you have it. Young women even put their apples under their pillows the night before for extra luck.

Halloween Postcard circa 1912

Present:

Health and safety concerns pretty much keep bobbing for apples a thing in the past. The fear of catching Covid, Influenza, or some other illness from contaminated water is high and parents of small children especially fear drowning, not to mention the high possibility of eye injuries from accidental scratches or infections. This game is more dangerous nowadays than it ever was in the past. Most instances of apple bobbing events happen during private parties or fall festivals and more often than not, involve schoolchildren. No young lads want to mess up their coiffeurs and any ladies looking for a soulmate will find that match.com is a far easier and safer way to attract a good man.

Photo by Polly Castor

Future:

Whether due to the radioactive contamination from the fallout of a nuclear war or worldwide freshwater shortages due to climate change, it’s hard to imagine the earth will be fertile enough in the future to grow orchards full of apple trees needed for apple bobbing. Soil and water would both be irradiated in the event of a nuclear explosion, so, growing any crops at all will be a challenge. Given the high chance of scarcity of food during the apocalypse, I don’t anticipate apple bobbing to be a Halloween tradition that survives. Still, only one apple is truly needed to play, so, all hope is not completely lost. Let me know your thoughts in the comments or hit me up on social media.

Happy Halloween!

Barren apple tree

31 Days of Halloween 2022

Happy October! After starting late this Halloween season, I’m now ready to post the schedule of this year’s 31 Days of Halloween Celebration. The theme this October is dystopian Halloween. With the doomsday clock ticking down, due to savages like Russian dictator Vladamir Putin and gun-crazed trump-loving jesus-freaks, it’s probably way past time to think about how humankind plans to survive the apocalypse, in particular, how we’ll preserve our traditions and holidays, like Halloween.

Part of the month, we’ll have some fun with the dystopian Halloween-horror theme, but I have decided to mix in some good old-fashion Halloween traditional themes as well, cuz, I just love talking about those Halloween memories.

Have a safe and happy Halloween season!

31 Days of Halloween Schedule

Monday Macabre
Mondays are always dedicated to Haiku, but every Monday in October we’ll explore a dystopian Halloween.

Tuesday Terror
Every Tuesday, I’ll share my favorite scary movies that I believe make great Halloween season viewing.

Wicked Art Wednesdays
Every Wednesday, I’ll share some spooktacular Halloween art with an apocalyptic twist. I might even post some my own original Halloween pencil stencil art.

Throwback Thursdays
Preservation of Halloween traditions is important for several reasons. Every Thursday, let’s explore the origins of some Halloween traditions and muse over whether these traditions might survive the apocalypse.

Friday Fright Nightcaps
Ghosts aren’t the only ones who like to get sheet-faced on Halloween. Check back every Friday for Halloween season-inspired cocktails.

Sinister Saturdays
In the past few years, Sinister Saturdays have always been dedicated to food and Halloween recipes.  The problem was, besides my being the worst cook in America, people are simply reluctant to let you share their recipes online, even if you give them complete credit and link back to their website. So, in the true spirit of Sinister Saturdays, we’re just going to let the demons loose that day and see what they come up with.

Poe Sundays
This year’s tribute to the master of macabre, Edgar Allan Poe, will feature my thoughts on the best Poe adaptations on film.

4th Annual Halloween Haiku Challenge 2022
#Halloweenhaikuchallenge

Share your most original or scariest visual Halloween Haiku photos during October for a chance to win some prizes.

More details about the haiku contest will be announced on October 18th.

Join in the fun, and follow me @Halloweenhorrorhaiku on Instagram and @Halloweenkristy on Twitter