Written by Jonathan Wojcik

Assorted Spooks III

As I write this, we're well over halfway into October, and I feel like I still haven't done nearly enough. I haven't drawn enough, I haven't written enough, I haven't seen enough Halloween before it's all going to sleep for another seven months.

But I guess I'm always going to "feel" that way. In reality, I've spotted better stuff this year than almost any other, I've seen more passion for Halloween from the general public, and now that I live in the Pacific Northwest, I've soaked in more concentrated autumn than anywhere I've ever lived.

So, here's another round-up of some of the more interesting skeletons, monsters and pumpkins I've encountered in the past few weeks.

SPIRIT: Cyclops Skull

Spirit Halloween stores are a staple every year, yet they rarely offer anything new, and often pale in comparison to even the likes of Target, Home Depot or Wal-Mart if what you're looking for are props, toys and decorations.

This year, the only thing at Spirit that really caught my eye was this cool cyclops skull, though it might have made more sense if it were significantly larger than a regular human skull.

My favorite thing about cyclopseses is that they were supposedly an interpretation of an elephant's skull, so not only did people think there were one-eyed monster people, but that they were at least ten or fifteen feet tall and had outrageously long "fangs." How did we end up just portraying them as big ogre-like men? I guess we can probably blame Hollywood.

TARGET: Bow Tie Tombstone

I think we all know that whoever was buried here, they were always a skeleton in a bow tie, and their entire career revolved around bone puns.

WALGREENS: Boogie Bear

So this bear was born in 1805, and he died in...Eternal Fun? Well, good for him I guess. His face apparently rotted off before the rest of his bear body, but he's still having a good time. There's no telling when he died, exactly, I mean he could have lived for a couple hundred years and only just died. "Eternal Fun" could have started only days ago, who knows.

FAMILY DOLLAR: Bootleg Skelanimals

Family Dollar is another dollar chain I encountered in every other state, but doesn't seem to exist in our new home of Portland. Good thing we stopped by one on our three-day road trip here, or I might have missed that they were selling their own knockoffs of both the "Crazy Bonez" scorpion and the brandless skeletal frog I love so much. Their versions of both are made of a much more durable, hard plastic, cheaper and shinier, which is especially fortunate because my version of the same frog has actually sort of disintegrated over time. This one should hold up a lot better in the back window of our car.


This is artwork on a package of otherwise typical tiny, glow-in-the-dark plastic spiders, but I love this gorgeous, probably Japanese artwork. It looks like the cover of some forgettable 1980's NES game cartridge.

Obviously that woman is trying to convince Not-Indiana-Jones to stop waving fire at such a rare and beautiful specimen.

TARGET: Terri Rantula Tombstone

...Because otherwise, this will happen. Look what you did, asshole. She told you.

WAL MART: Creepy Door Ghosts

I like this door cover because the ghosts look so normal and inoccuous until you get to their horridly clawed hands. These ghosts look like they're going to rip your limbs off, all with the same dopey green smiles on their faces.

WALGREENS: Sally Bottles

These are those reusable metal drinking bottles for biking, jogging or hiking, but you have to also be comfortable with everybody watching as you pull Sally's giant, plastic head off and suck the fluids out of her neck hole.

Does Jack know you're putting his classic moves on his wife??

JOANN: Jerkhole Trees

I don't know what it is about these big, styrofoam light-up trees that looks so RUDE. Couple of rude dudes with tudes here, I tell you what.


Dancing solar characters have gotten cooler and cooler lately. Rite-Aid is selling not only a happy pumpkin with flapping leaves and eyes, but an entire solar powered haunted house, with little waving ghosts and a whole attic that rocks to and fro! This house is JAMMIN'!

The only oddity is that this haunted house would cease to party at night, though I guess if ghosts usually rest during the day, this is their equivalent of an all-nighter, right? I guess once the sun is down they clock back in to the usual haunting jobs.

CARDS & SHIPPING: Windup Hopping Skull

A little shipping supply store down the street from us is actually selling a lot of old, second-hand Halloween gifts, and among them are these wind-up, hopping, bleeding skulls with googly eyes. My favorite thing about them is that their heads are angled upwards, like a little baby chickadee begging its mom bird for food. Calm down, skull! I'll throw up down your throat later!

TARGET: Skelesnake

There weren't quite enough Target items this year for their own article, but I had to share this amazing, bendable skeleton snake. I don't think this is a Crazy Bonez item, but it's close.

EVERY GROCERY STORE AROUND HERE: Giant Inflatable Reeses Spider

This year, Hershey's has brought out a wonderful peanut butter cup spider monster to advertise their wares, including this giant, inflatable specimen perched atop a pumpkin. There are far too many ways this is perfect for me, but as you might have guessed, they aren't for sale. They're promotional decorations only. How do I get one of these, Hershey? I've probably spent more on Reese's products in my lifetime than most people have on a house. WHERE'S MY SPIDERCUP?!