Written by Jonathan Wojcik

Wal Mart 2014

We've already seen how the dread Warmlat is presently infested by maggot-headed skull goblins, but the rest of their seasonal merchandise isn't half bad either. In fact, this might be one of the best Wal Mart Halloweens I've seen in the better part of a decade, if not quite as amazing as this year's Dollar Tree selection.

Granted, the truly spookiest thing at any Wal Mart is the knowledge that thousands of people (like us) flat-out cannot possibly afford to eat if they shop anywhere less evil, but it's really hard to take photographs of that. It always comes out looking like the same black, pulsating sphere of wiry tendrils anyway.

Graveyard Ceramics

   Let's look at these first! It's a nice assortment of light-up ceramic horror that might seem harmlessly ordinary at the outset, but let the middle one sink in for a bit. That skeleton is holding a whole pile of little, wooden houses in its arms. Not even gravestones. What's happening, there? This is either a humongous skeleton attempting to steal a small city, or a regular sized skeleton who really wants you to see all the birdhouses it made. That's just what he does. He makes birdhouses and shows them to you. Undeath messes you up like that.

Corpse Bride

   Oddly enough, there weren't any "grooms" per se, just plain, kind of underwhelming skeletons in black robes. Not that a skeleton can REALLY ever be underwhelming, but they certainly were compared to this gorgeously terrifying, charred cadaver. She features light-up eyes, bendable arms, and a repurposed umbrella for a lower body, covered up by her gown. You can even open and close it, I guess for ease of storage, and I suppose you could also use her to keep rain off of something, though the rest of her would get all soggy, probably stop lighting up, and maybe grow mildew. Don't be fooled, that's exactly what she wants.

Snake Wreathe

   Wal-Marts are selling a wide variety of Halloween wreathes this year, but I'd say this all-snake variety is the coolest. It's subtle, like you might not notice it's made up of snakes until you get up close. Of course, it's probably a lot more rewarding to make one yourself, and then you could use more life-like rubber snakes, and then drape an actual real snake in there for an extra special trick-or-treat surprise, like a mamba or a spitting cobra!

Lawn Ghosts

   Our friends found these at only one specific Wal Mart. At every single other one I've been in, the lawn ghosts have a totally different design, nowhere near as fat and hilarious as these little guys. That grumpy face is ridiculous. Every single time I look at this picture I hear "boo, I'm a ghost" in the voice of Eric Cartman.

Glow in the Dark Gift Bags

   #54 on the list of things that aren't meant to be "decorations" but that I hang up as such anyway: Halloween gift bags. Heck, that spider you can half-see on the right side of the first photo is another Halloween paper bag I've had since 2003. The more the merrier. I really like the art style for both this fanged, masked ghost and candy-crunching pumpkin, and they're made of pretty sturdy cardboard. Since I'm not going to be using them as actual bags, I should probably consider cutting their two sides apart and effectively doubling their number, then I could have one somewhere on every wall of the same room. Yeah!

Skeevy Pumpkin Man

   Look at that face. This hanging, fabric pumpkin guy looks exactly like he has a Peter Lorre face and also exactly like he lures children into a white van. Not for anything gross or perverted, mind you; pumpkin monsters are too cool for that. No, he just grinds them up and sells them as hot dogs to other children in other towns. Whichever cul-de-sac eats the most will be next. He gives it a couple years, though, for sustainability. He's eco-conscious.

   Also, for some reason, my skeevy pumpkin man had this homemade sticker stuck to his packaging by some other customer. I have no idea who this is or what this means, or why anyone would choose to stick it onto skeevy pumpkin man. Skeevierer and skeevierer.

Toilet Monster Stickers

   At long last, you can purchase stickers to turn your toilet into a creepy feces-eating mutant, even including a slimy green lizard tongue! Unfortunately, I'm just not willing to use this when we know we're moving out of this dump as soon as we possibly can. It took them two months to fix our hot water when we moved in, we had to get our own refrigerator after they delivered three broken ones in a row, and it took them seven months to get our central air conditioning working, which rendered several rooms useless even for storage in Florida's 100+ degree summers.

And yet, as much shit as they probably owe to us at this point, I can already guess they won't let me take the toilet with us just because I put awesome stickers on it. Slumlords.

Double Faced Giant Reaper

   I don't think you can buy one of these. It's solely advertising the presence of Halloween at Wal-Mart, pointing customers to the seasonal section...but it has a weird secret!

   I know this thing is only double sided for the benefit of the customers, but I choose to believe it's also a "canon" anatomical characteristic, because giant inflatable skeleton signs at Wal Mart have a "canon," don't you know.

Other Signage

   Yes, just like their rival Target, Wal Mart has also whipped up some beautiful cardboard signs for the season, which are all probably going to be bent up and destroyed when they're no longer useful. This three-eyed octopus was the first one to go up, alerting patrons to the seasonal candy aisle.

   We get a better look at the octopus here, on one of several signs featuring bands of children in mediocre costumes being chaperoned by huge monsters, their faces saying "just keep smiling and pretend it's not there, guys."

   Another monster appears to be a girl, if cartoons have taught me anything about what hair bows mean. She's an ordinary design as far as monsters go, but it's not often they get to be girls, with hair bows and everything. She's also got a treat bag of her own, just the right size for all of those children's heads.

   The third monster is more toad-like, complete with ear membranes behind its eyes, though the spiny tail says more "reptile" than amphibian. This one lugs around a much more impressive sack, possibly for all the headless bodies his fuzzy girlfriend didn't want to eat. That is where children keep all their poop, after all. Not for all tastes.

   The final sign monster is totally the weirdest, and totally doesn't want to be photographed clearly. I swear I tried like five times before I got too embarrassed of jumping around in the middle of a Wal-Mart trying to photograph a picture of cartoon children in spandex.

The monster seems like your typical rock beast at first, but the craters indicate it's also the kind that comes from space, its single eye is decently haunting, and it also appears to have four legs in a centaur-like arrangement.

Seriously, doesn't anybody out there work at any of these stores with all these awesome signs? Can't you hook me up when you're done with them? Check out this one from Party City, too:

   This would be PERFECT to hang up right where we keep all of our spiders, and you know that isn't even a joke, either.

Halloween 2014 Archive: