Monday, October 31, 2011

Have a Scary Halloween!

The big day is finally here! Thank you to our readers for following the blog. I hope we've provided some inspiration for your dark celebration and maybe unearthed some macabre sources. We leave you with a few pictures from our 2011 decor (more to come on the main site).

Have a Scary Halloween!

The family portraits
The Medusa bust

The Dining Hall of the Dead
Table decor to die for
A wicked Halloween Boo-quet


The 2011 Hauntsville Village

Zombies haunt our porch




Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: eBook

Just in time for Halloween, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Interactive eBook has been released for the iPad/iPhone (and it's available for $4.99 for a limited time). Seth Grahame-Smith's mash up of Jane Austen's classic tale of society, manners, love, and zombies is a pitch-perfect comedy, and this ebook edition features rich illustrations to make the experience enjoyable even for people who don't like books. It's brought to us by PadWorx, the mad geniuses behind last year's award-winning Dracula: The Official Stoker Family Edition ebook.



Adam's Scary Apples

Candy apples are the iconic treat of Halloween. Like their caramel counterparts, candy apples require a few careful tricks to ensure success. A candy thermometer is essential, and you'll also need to remove the wax coating from supermarket apples. For inspiration, head over to the Matt Bites blog for the most wicked looking candy apples, and the recipe for Adam's Scary Apples.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pirates of Emerson

A few friends and I attended the Pirates of Emerson haunted attraction this weekend. This attraction has been going strong for 20 years and now features six mazes, as well as fortune tellers, a corn maze, carnival games, pumpkin patch, and other events. Pirates of Emerson has been featured on the Discovery Channel as one of the Seven Scariest Haunted Houses in the Country. It certainly lived up to expectations and the attention to detail is unlike any other attraction in Northern California.


It's Pumpkin Beer Time!

Halloween weekend is finally here, which means it's time to pour a pumpkin beer into a frosty mug! A visit to my regional liquor supermart revealed a world of pumpkin beers. Just a few years ago it was difficult to find any, now there's at least 15 breweries producing this seasonal beer. I'm sure selection varies across the country (and I'd be very interested to hear about your favorites). My favorites this year are the Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat, Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale, and the Blue Moon Harvest Ale.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Light Show!

This spectacular light show has been making the rounds on the internet and you haven't seen it yet, you must stop what you are doing and see it now. Simply brilliant!


Halloween Weekend: TV Watch

It's a dark, cold night, and you're stuck babysitting tonight while everyone else is at the big dance. Bummer. Maybe there's something on the TV to distract you from all those weird phone calls you've been getting.

First up is the (possible) premiere of Grimm on NBC (9/8C, although it may be bumped by the World Series). Early reviews are just okay but it's always fun to check out new supernatural shows.

The DIY Channel is re-airing their 2010 special Halloween Fright House: Secrets Revealed this weekend (check local listings).

The Food Network's schedule is crammed full of Halloween specials including Sandra Lee's Halloween Wonderland, Alton Brown's All Hallows Eats, Giada at Home Halloween, Challenge: Halloween Ghost Story Cakes, on and on... (check local listings)

The Simpson's annual Halloween episode, Treehouse of Terror airs this Sunday on Fox (8/7C pm).

Discovery Channel's dares to probe horror director Eli Roth (Hostel) on the special How Evil Are You? as they recreate the Milgram experiment and try to find "the evil gene" (Sunday, 9pm).

The Psychoville Halloween special premieres on Sunday at 9pm on FEARnet. This wacky British series is nauseatingly funny, dry, witty and best of all, entertaining!

For those lucky few who have access to the FEARnet network (or FEARnet onDemand), look out for the all-day Trick 'r Treat marathon on Halloween day. Also make sure to check out Sam's appearance on the four new shorts. This movie is required viewing for all Halloween fans.



Thursday, October 27, 2011

Whisky Hill Tree

A friend sent me this picture of a spooky tree from the backroads of Silicon Valley. There's something both majestic and terrifying about trees – they look like gnarled hands reaching up from the earth. Repeated viewings of Poltergeist and Evil Dead as a youngster probably added to my fear/fascination of trees. The ancient Druids were onto something when they worshipped amongst these trees. Many believe that trees are sacred and hold a powerful spiritual presence or power. Even in our modern society, trees continue to capture the imagination.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Zombie Apocalypse

Our yard haunt has finally gone live and work on Halloween 2011 is officially done!!! This year our theme is "Zombie Apocalypse" and it's a bit on the gruesome side with bloodied tombstones, hanging body parts, and three zombies breaking out of the ground. Hopefully the lil' trick 'r treaters will be make it to the front door. Here's a sneak peak, and more pictures will be posted on the Ghastly Gallery after Halloween.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Eerie Halloween Food

I've been working on new food recipes for the Eerie Entertaining section of MyScaryHalloween.com (and our Halloween party). First up is bruschetta with port-poached figs, Marscapone cheese and topped with Prosciutto. They look like hearts and skin on toast, although I haven't come up with a clever name.

Then two more cupcakes: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting, and Chocolate Chiffon Cupcakes with Pumpkin Buttercream Frosting. 




Monday, October 24, 2011

Martha Stewart's Haunted House

Martha Stewart's Haunted House special premieres tonight on the Hallmark Channel. From the site: Martha Stewart shows viewers how to turn a two-car garage into a festive fright for family and friends. Viewers will learn how to recreate everything from a wicked lawn scene to a fearful maze through their garage. Friends and family can get into the spirit by helping create the haunt.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Halloween T-Shirts

Walk into any major retailer and you'll find an assortment of really cool, inexpensive Halloween tees for women, girls and boys – but none for guys! According to a Target rep Halloween t-shirts for dudes never sell. Um, years ago when you carried them, they always sold out... immediately. Since then we get the stupid "this is my costume" shirts or an even lamer "doctor's scrubs" tee. Seriously lame. (Although apparently, holiday boxers are all the rage?!?) JcPenny does have a neat "Bite Me" shirt on sale for $5.99, and Kohls has a "Skeleton" tee. Seeming as how most guys don't like to wear costumes, these shirts might be a great alternative.



Saturday, October 22, 2011

Paranormal Activity 3: Review

Creepier, action-packed, non-stop tension, likable characters, and even some humor – everything part 2 messed up (and thankfully, no supporting role for a pool cleaner). Much, much better than part 2 and a great companion piece for the original classic. One thing to mention, is that either the filmmakers are either toying with us (or maybe it was heavily re-edited) but 75% of what was in the "official" trailer was nowhere in the film. Oooooooor, perhaps they were showing scenes from part 4. Who knows?


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Costco Candy

Trick 'r treat time is just around the corner! Stock up today on Costco's dwindling supply of chocolate candy bags, 150 pieces for $13.99 in our neck of the woods. Last year we counted almost 250 trick 'r treaters (some of them repeats), so we need at least 2 bags and a strict 2-piece per child allotment no matter how precious. That gives me 50 extra pieces that will likely be consumed by the Candy Disbursement Team (or the secret eaters in my household).


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Halloween City

Party City is a great place for costumes and this time of year they launch their seasonal Halloween City stores. While they don't have the immense selection of that other Halloween store, they do offer great prices, buy one get one offers, and friendly service. Visit the Halloween City for locations and a 20% off coupon.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Zombie Pumpkins

After the decorating, party planning, village building and Autumn baking, the last thing to do before Halloween night is the pumpkin carving. Once butchered, pumpkins don't last too long here in Northern California where the cold nights lead to really warm days. Usually the carving happens during the afternoon of Halloween day. If you are new to pumpkin carving or need a a refresher, we've put together a visual step-by-step Pumpkin Carving guide.

Downloading a pumpkin carving stencil will also make things easier. Zombie Pumpkins continues to offer the best, most original patterns out there and you can download and print them right from their website. Their website changes it's theme every year and this year it's called "The Spirit of Zombie Pumpkins". Wickedly awesome!!!


Monday, October 17, 2011

The Thing (2011): Review

Purists will rightly scoff at this prequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing. It may not have the depth of dread, finesse, or pace of Carpenter’s classic but there's still a lot to like. This Thing is faster, leaner and though a bit CGI-heavy, there were some outstanding practical effects (a rarity nowadays). Towards the end several scenes cleverly bridge this prequel with the subsequent film, but still, quite a few questions remained unanswered. Maybe they’re saving that for the actual sequel! As popcorn movies go, it's entertaining enough and horrible monsters are always a blast.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Walking Dead tonight!

The long, slow slog to the season 2 premiere of The Walking Dead is finally upon us. Rejoice zombie fans! Entertainment Weekly had advised to eat at least 30 minutes before watching the episode since much grisly gore is in store. Tune into AMC at 9/8 CT.


Zombie Dog

The Fright Catalog never fails to impress. Take a look at this Zombie Dog. For $26 bucks this devilish fellow can sit right by you on the porch as you hand out candy. It will fit perfectly into any pet cemetery scene. Speaking of which, the remake of Stephen King's Pet Sematary is rumored to be underway at Paramount with director Alexandre Aja at the helm. Aja was behind the masterful French horror film High Tension, the creepy Mirrors, and the fun Piranha remake. If anyone can reinvent King's unsavory story into a dire film, it's Aja.



Saturday, October 15, 2011

Best Zombie Films of ALL-time


Saturday is going to be a zombie movie marathon. Here's the ones to watch: 

Top 13 Zombie Films of All-Time: 

1. Night of the Living Dead (1968) - original creepiest
2. Dawn of the Dead (2004) - heartstoppingly brilliant
3. 28 Days Later (2003) - viscious speed
4. Shaun of the Dead (2004) - funny yet frightening
5. Zombieland (2009) - hilarious yet gorefilled
6. REC (2007) or Quarantine (2008) - chillingly dark
7. Dead Alive (1993) - over-the-top gore
8. Dance of the Dead (2008) - high school mayhem
9. Return of the Living Dead (1985) - 80s schlock
10. Pontypool - Cronenberg-ish head trip
11. Planet Terror - Rodriguez gem
12. Fido - 50s zombie pet satire
13. Dead Snow (2009) - Nazi zombies


Friday, October 14, 2011

Zombie Weekend!

Zombie weekend kicks off with a look at the new book Zombies! An Illustrated History of the Undead. Author Jovanka Vukovic (former editor of Rue Morgue magazine) takes a historical look at the rise of the zombie genre from it's early origins, to the first neo-zombie films of the 30s and 40s (!) to the heyday of the 70s and 80s, and the subsequent spread through other media (comics, books, TV and videogames). This is the definitive tome of the genre and it's chock-full of photographs, movie posters and illustrations.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Gris Grimly's Sketchbook

I am a huge fan of Gris Grimly, and while he may not be a household name yet, in the next two years he is bound to explode. He is currently working with Guillermo Del Toro on adapting a dark take on Pinocchio. It will be a stop motion film which will fit right alongside Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride, and Coraline. It is so exciting!!! In the meantime, check out his two volumes of Edgar Allen Poe, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and just in time for Halloween is his Atrum Secretum, a collection of personal thoughts and sketches deep from the grim mind. It is a beautiful black hardcover book, and a must-have for collectors.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Halloween Nation

Lesley Pratt Bannatyne is one of America's leading Halloween authors, and her latest book, Halloween Nation, is an indispensible guide to the way we celebrate this dark holiday and why we do it. It goes beyond the early history into the modern traditions of Halloween – haunted attractions, parades, pumpkin carvers, and extreme enthusiasts. It's a blast and a must-have Bewitching Book.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hauntcast: Radio for Haunters

Home haunters must check out this free podcast featuring Chris Baker and the Scream Team. Originally conceived for haunters, the podcast has recently expanded, offering content for all Halloween enthusiasts. Each podcast features news, reviews, prop building advice, interviews with premier haunters, plus listen to up-and-coming Halloween/horror bands. Log onto Hauntcast.net for more info or download the podcast directly from iTunes.



Monday, October 10, 2011

Halloween Clearance Time at Michaels

It's Halloween clearance time! I've had my eye on these creepy framed photos at Michaels for a while now, and at 30% off, it's time to get a few. They feature lenticular morphing pictures that are a touch too dark to see clearly, but the frames are wickedly gothic. And you can even use additional coupons readily available on the Michaels iPhone app (scanned right from your phone). Martha Stewart Halloween items are also on sale for 30% off.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Get 25% off Spirit Halloween!

Are you a fan? Log onto Facebook and "Like" Spirit Halloween today – you'll get access to a coupon for 25% off your entire purchase! No, not one item – your ENTIRE purchase! But beware, the coupon is only good for one day: Monday, October 10th. Perfect timing for those who are still building their yard haunts or gathering costumes.



Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pumpkin Rot & Pumpkin Hollow

Halloween enthusiasts know the go-to site for inspiration is PumpkinRot.com. Artist/yard haunter/prop maker extraordinaire Rot has shared his dark vision for celebrating Halloween for over 10 years via a website full of vivid photography, the What's Brewing Blog that explores every nuance of Halloween, and rare sales of hand-made props through the Rot Shoppe. This year, they partnered with a folk art company to bring us a line of spectacular, must-have jack-o-lanterns. They are available NOW directly through Primitives by Kathy and they are even on sale! The pumpkins come in a variety of sizes, colors, and some are even lit – my favorites of course are the sinister ones!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

American Horror Story Delivers!

American Horror Story premiered on FX last night and it sure lived up to (and surpassed) all that disturbing advertising. The entire show was filled with WTF?!? moments creating the creepiest and most unsettling show I’ve seen in a very, very long time. (I couldn't believe this is airing on TV!) So many mysteries surfaced, and I am cautiously optimistic that the rest of the season will deliver the goods promised in the pilot. The cast, including the breathtaking Jessica Lange and Frances Conroy, is wickedly impressive, and Dylan McDermott has made a hell of a, um, splashy comeback.


Williams-Sonoma Pumpkin Carving Set

Williams-Sonoma is known for their fancy kitchenwares and they too have gotten into the Halloween spirit with their ultimate Pumpkin Carving Set. Check out this stainless steel set of four classic tools with sturdy riveted handles for paltry $19.95. Fancy! And to light those jack o'lanterns, what better than a remote controlled LED lights?



Wednesday, October 5, 2011

HalloweenRadio.net

Terror Tunes make every Halloween complete whether its playing in the background of your party or making work bearable. HalloweenRadio.net is a free seasonal radio station that you can stream right from the web or through iTunes. They carry two streams, a song based station and an atmosphere station perfect for your yard haunt.

And speaking of Terror Tunes don't forget to check out our 2011 playlist now available on iTunes, and download a copy of MyScaryHalloween's official theme song from our website!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dream House: Review

Dream House was dreadfully slow (for such a simple movie with no atmosphere), conflicted in tone and narrative, and obvious from the start (thanks to the trailer which gave up every interesting bit in the movie). I kept hoping it was going somewhere special given all the talent behind this but ultimately it's a dud. It's being marketed as a horror film because it's that time of year, and horror fans are easy prey. But this is mostly a soggy drama with a little toe in ghostly waters.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Eerie Elegance

Move over Martha, there is a new queen of Halloween and her name is Britta Peterson. Her second self-published book, Enhanced Eerie Elegance was released last month and it is a killer companion to her first book. The full-color photography coupled with the step-by-step instructions makes these cool projects manageable for every level of haunter. To order, visit EerieElegance.com, and check out video tutorials added every Monday through Halloween on the Eerie Elegance blog.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Halloween Wars

The Food Network is launching a new four-episode special called Halloween Wars tonight. This competition series has five teams made of pumpkin carvers, candy makers and cake designers working together to create the “ultimate Halloween themed display.” Every week one team gets the ax. While you're at it, check out The Food Network Halloween website – it's crammed with frightful food, creepy cocktails and spine-chilling sweets.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

MyScaryHalloween.com

October finally arrives and the countdown to Halloween begins. Make sure to check out the newly refreshed site for MyScaryHalloween.com, everything eerie and frightful for a haunted holiday. We are still working on costume and decorating galleries so keep sending in your pictures (along with your name) to info@myscaryhalloween.com.


Friday, September 30, 2011

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil: Review

In theaters today is the farce/horror/comedy Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, a hilarious parody of horror movies that is clever, frequently brutal, and even endearing! A bunch of surly college students believe two backwoods hillbillies have captured their friend and will stop at nothing to save her. However, Tucker & Dale are not what they seem. Tyler Labine again upstages everyone else around him just as he did on the CW show, Reaper. I believe Labine could be this generation's Bruce Campbell, and he would be perfect in The Evil Dead remake (yes, it's happening). [A]


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Chillerama: Review

Chillerama is low-budget horror-comedy where Grindhouse meets Creepshow. The vibe is ridiculously absurd and definitivelly hardcore – not for mainstream audiences (or tastes). Fans of bad taste, independent, gross-out, or inappropriate films will get a kick out of this "ultimate midnight movie"  – a definitive ode to B-movie horror schlock at its best (worst?). Check their website for screenings around the country (also available via VOD starting today).

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mr. Bones

If you love the (now mostly sold-out) Boney Bunch collection at Yankee Candle, you should check out Coynes & Company's other line called Mr. Bones which is obviously from the same artist, available at TheGiftycom and Dillards. Even Bed, Bath and Beyond is carrying some of the pumpkin people which swap out the skull heads for pumpkins. The figure below holds a raven in a cage.










(Photo from waxluvswicks.blogspot.com)











Sunday, September 25, 2011

Red State: Review

Red State is a vexing yet engaging thriller(?) about sex, religion, and politics. Fans of Kevin Smith (Clerks, Mallrats) will wonder why he’s directing a film about three misguided teens, a Fred Phelps-type preacher out to rid the world of gays, and ATF shootout at a compound. While the film looks great, I was never really sure where it was going or what the point was – especially after lead characters started getting their heads shot off. Then there was a crazy climax that too briefly took to a really fascinating turn, only to come crashing down seconds later in the abrupt and unsatisfying finish. John Goodman is exceptional as is the crazed preacher, played by Michael Parks.