The Saturday after Black Friday is always Shop Small Business day. No supply chain issues. You help the economy. You help independently-owned and small businesses thrive. You find amazing, fangtastic gifts for your favorite Halloween and horror lover. Helping makes you feel good. Everybody wins!
In Burbank-Los Angeles, SoCal:
Dark Delicacies – If you’re looking for horror books, horror collectibles and memorabilia, and spooky novelty items https://www.darkdel.com
Unlike most Halloween fans, I do not get immediately sad after Halloween because there’s still so much spookiness going on to carry us through Thanksgiving, through the holidays, all the way into next year. What a fabulous time to be a horror fan because there are some incredible apparel, collectibles, products, and amazing box sets of the greatest films in history out there, and, for the next 5 weekends, I’m going to post my gift-giving guides for your favorite Halloween and Horror fans.
The Bela Lugosi Collection at CreepyCo. ($10-70) https://www.creepycompany.com/collections/bela-lugosi Lugosi Enterprises is dedicated to preserving the memory and legacy of the man forever associated as Count Dracula. They’ve been quite savvy, selective, and tenacious about their licensing agreements in recent years and that’s more apparent than ever with their deal at Creepy Co. This holiday, you can find some awesome apparel, including button-up shirts, t-shirts, PJs, socks, enamel pins, and much more.
Custom designed Bedding and Bathwares – There will be Cute at Society 6 ($17-$120) https://society6.com/therewillbecute Artist and illustrator Caley Hicks brings her world-class spooky cute to Society 6 with these Halloween baths and bedding sets. Normally, I’d include Caley’s works in an upcoming Artist gift-giving guide, but I’m in love with the idea of having a Headless Horseman decorated bathroom.
Dead Sled Coffee ($18-$20) https://deadsledcoffee.com/ Why we don’t have coffee bars filled with coffee, horror, and heavy metal music on every corner is beyond me. For the people who don’t care where their coffee comes from, or, at the very least, trust that their favorite musicians and horror icons have lawyers and management that have already scoured Dead Sled’s ethics and ability to produce good-tasting environmentally friendly coffee.
Godzilla Jenga/Godzilla Monopoly ($22-40) https://toywiz.com/godzilla/diecast-microman-miscellaneous-toys-figures/ I don’t talk about Godzilla enough. He is the King of the Monsters after all, which is why I got so excited when I found a Godzilla version of Jenga and Monopoly from USAopoly. Why play Jenga when you can play Godzilla Jenga! Finally, a reason to be excited for family board game night. Just don’t let Grandma play as King Ghidorah.
Elvira Meets Vincent Price Comics (($1.99 and up) https://www.comixology.com/Elvira-Meets-Vincent-Price-1/digital-comic/943748 Dynamite Entertainment brings the Mistress of the Dark together with the Merchant of Menace to save the world from Apocalyptic doom! In a madcap mix of comedy and horror, the Hollywood star spector and horror hostess with the mostess pair go together like peanut butter and jelly. Digital subscriptions start at $1.99, regular comics are $5, but special limited edition variant covers are for collectors only.
Frankenstein Complete Legacy Collection ($26-47) https://www.uphe.com/movies/frankenstein-complete-legacy-collection If for some reason the giant 30 film collection of the Universal Monsters Legacy Collection isn’t your jam, then consider getting The Frankenstein Complete Legacy Collection, which, in my opinion, contains all the best films of the Universal Monsters collection. including Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.
Horror Movie Figure Collectibles from NECA ($39-70) https://necaonline.com/2020/12/12-days-of-downloads-2020-day-9-ultimates-visual-guide/ Start a yearly tradition of giving the gift of a horror movie 7″ scale action figure with accessories, officially licensed, made with high-quality materials, packaged in beautiful boxes. These are not toys, these are collectibles and horror fans should own them all. Well, at least one, your favorite one.
Halloween/Goth Shoes ($45-$120) https://strangecvlt.com/ I’ve heard it said if you’re gonna join a cult, then, join a shoe cult, and there’s no better place to start than Strange Cvlt shoes. From sandals to flats, Mary Janes to platform boots, this is the only socially acceptable fetish a girl can have without getting burned at the stake.
Friday the 13th Blu-ray Collection – Deluxe Edition ($129-159) https://www.amazon.com/Friday-Collection-Blu-ray-Betsy-Palmer/dp/B07GNV288V Bring Jason Vorhees home this holiday! Finally a worthy Blu-ray collection of the most successful, long-running slasher series in film history. All 13 movies, some digitally remastered in 4K and featuring a booklet, behind-the-scenes, commentaries, interviews, and special features in the most incredible packaging I’ve ever seen from Scream Factory.
Season’s Screamings Tickets – December 17-19, Pasadena Convention Center ($30-60-95) https://midsummerscream.org/seasons-screamings/ This one-of-a-kind holiday horror convention promises just as many chills and thrills as its parent-con Midsummer Scream, which was canceled earlier this summer. This is the place to find dark holiday gifts and spooky stocking stuffers. The event includes special ghoulish guests, over 200 exhibitors and vendors, and the Hall of Yuletide Spirits, a “dark showfloor of holiday themed haunts and yard displays, created by Southern Californias most talented haunted house creators.” Did I mention Pasadena is simply lovely this time of year?
Amazing Pre-order Gifts: Every penny is worth the wait!
☆Dying Light II Stay Human – Feb 4, 2022 ($60-80) https://dl2.dyinglightgame.com/ Techland’s sequel to the worldwide phenomenon Dying Light could be the dream of every gamer and zombie fan alike. Trailers and early play-throughs show a creative, technical, and visual feast. The first Dying Light game featured hours of gameplay, multiple DLCs, great customer and technical support, and developed a strong community of fervent players (like me) anxiously awaiting this new gaming adventure.
☆Bela Lugosi as Dracula by Infinite Statue & Sideshow – June 2022 ($300-355) https://www.sideshow.com/collectibles/dracula-bela-lugosi-infinite-statue-909742?var=909743 Sideshow and Infinite Statue teamed up with Kaustic Plastik to give us the Dark Prince himself, Bela Lugosi! This handpainted, incredibly detailed sixth-scale figure features two different sculpted heads, ten poseable hands, fully costumed, accessories, and captures the beauty and essence of the most recognizable horror icon ever created. The Deluxe version features a spooktacular coffin for $355. This is the ultimate tribute to both the character of Count Dracula and the beloved actor who embodied him. A must-have collectible for vampire fans.
Why the change? I want to expand more into the horror genre and blog more about horror movies, books, creators, etc. I’ll still write haiku and post about all things Halloween. Honestly, I don’t think my blog will be much different.
**This was the planned post for Throwback Thursday, but real life problems kept me away from computer. Sincerest apologies.**
Let’s visit the amazing yesteryears of Vintage Halloween advertising.
Jell-O has been around for a long time and was big into promoting its brand during the holidays. This is one of my favorites because it includes this awesome Hallowe’en poem.
Another favorite from Colgate because of the Hallowe’en poem. Note the use of the old spelling of Hallowe’en, which dropped the apostrophe over the years.
“No amusement of modern times equals it.” If makers only knew how successful their product would be. Phonographs were instrumental in helping Halloween become one of the biggest holidays in American history,, if for no more reason than their popularity at parties.
These ads reflect the dark orange and black style, which was popular back in the 1930-1940s.
Curtiss Candy Company owned Baby Ruth and Butterfinger among many others, when it was bought out by Standard in 1964, who later merged with Nabisco in 1981. Nabisco then sold off Curtiss brands to Nestlé in the 1990.
Brach’s has been making candy since 1904. They’re most famous for Candy Corn, but once upon a time, Brach’s was the go-to candy store for Halloween goodies. Their ads were simply amazingly drool-worthy, appealing to both adults and kids. Look at all that candy!
Speaking of adults, with Halloween parties all the rage well into the 1950s, beer makers made some nifty ads for Halloween.
During the 1950s, some ads featured lots of graphics and were quite wordy. What some may consider serious advertising fails today, make for some awesome vintage Halloween ads.
7-Minit was owned by 6 O’Clock Foods, Inc. and that’s about the only history we know about either.
More random vintage Halloween candy ads circa 1940s-1960s
It’s always been fashionable to make punch bowls outta pumpkins!
Back in the day, people could trust drinking and eating right there on the front porch.
Okay, I’ll admit, I only love this ad because of the Headless Horseman. Is this too scary for advertising? Some might think so. People don’t like reminders of violence and disembodied heads is about as gruesome as it gets. Absolutely my favorite! BWAHAHAHAHA….
It’s Frankenstein Friday! Last day in October is always dedicated to the mad scientist and his big badass monster. Today, we toast Mary Shelley’s brilliant gothic horror with a variation of a sour-apple vodka martini, called Frankenstein’s Martini.
2 oz sour apple mix 2 oz vodka 1 oz pineapple juice Splash of real lime juice
Mix all items well in a cocktail shaker and pour over ice, or not. I like my cocktails chilled like the dead.
I wish I knew a potion to instantly fill my empty bottles. I drank the last of my sour apple mix experimenting on this recipe!
🎃Carve a pumpkin 🎃Read a ghost story 🎃Watch a spooky movie Make some Halloween art 🎃Create a Halloween playlist 🎃Put a Halloween decoration on the front porch 🎃Visit a Cemetery or graveyard 🎃Pick out a Halloween costume 🎃Make a Halloween themed cocktail 🎃Bake a spooky treat 🎃Make candied apples 🎃Drink some apple cider 🎃Write a spooky haiku 🎃Take a walk at night to look at your neighbor’s Halloween yard decorations and lights
There are only two weekends left in October and it’s time to kick it up a notch. No Halloween party plans, no problem. You can totally make your own party with this Spooky Spicy Halloween Margarita!
1 cup ice
1/2 cup orange juice (fresh or concentrate)
5 oz. Blood-orange margarita mix
1 tsp. lime juice
1 tsp. hot sauce (I used Franks Red Hot)
1 tbsp Agave Syrup
2-3 oz. tequila
Garnish with orange slices or lime wedges or black salt (optional)
Fast and Easy Black Salt Rim Garnish: 1 tablespoon of sea salt 4 drops blue food coloring 4 drops red food coloring Mix very well together
Add tiny bit of lime juice around glass rim and dip glass in black salt
Put ice, blood orange mix, orange juice, lime juice, Agave syrup, hot sauce, and tequila in a blender and blend well.
Pour into glass
Garnish with black salt rim or fresh fruit (optional)
As usual, this recipe is highly modifiable. Too spicy, add more juice. Want more spice, add more hot sauce. Want more alcohol, add another ounce of tequila.
I’ve heard rumblings that recipes with “premade” ingredients aren’t good recipes. Well, to that I say, congradu-friggin-lations on having your life in order long enough to make stuff from scratch, but the rest of us don’t have time for that. Now, move along, you’re blocking the blender. It’s time for Spooky Spicy Halloween Margaritas!
Cigarette makers were some of the first to use Halloween in advertising. For at least a hundred years, people were fooled into thinking cigarettes didn’t taste like ashtrays.
Famous actors and entertainers would personally vouch for products, back in the day when celebrities were thought to have integrity and such opinions could be trusted.
There was the disturbing common practice of real medical doctors declaring some cigarette brands healthier than others and even making claims that smoking was beneficial.
Old Gold took the high road and chose not to lie about selling products that kill people.
What a waste of a good hat!
Excess was king during the 70s. From cigarettes to Halloween costumes, everything was sexy.
Newport brands liked to show pretty young couples having a ball carving jack-o-lanterns and picking out pumpkins to show how romantic cigarettes can be. I guess the couple that smokes together, loses a lung together.
In the 80s, Camel made huge profits off its Joe Camel character and sexy ads selling cigarettes that made you look cool.
By early 90s though, the jig was up, whistle-blowers started coming forward about the lies big tobacco companies told the world about their filthy products and the print ads all but disappeared in a puff of smoke.
So, whether we want to admit it or not, our favorite holiday definitely helped sell cancer sticks.