Written by Jonathan Wojcik

2019's Early Halloween Finds

My first yearly review of actual Halloween items is typically a look at early birds like Michael's Crafts, but this year we're doing something just a little bit different and looking at a handful of EXCEPTIONAL Halloween treasures I came across over the summertime!


Found at a Seattle antigue store, this little resin ornament depicts either an alligator or a crocodile - difficult to distinguish in cartoon form - who is not only dressed like a witch, but eating someone's tombstone. That's by far one of the most menacing things an anthropomorphic crocodilian could do. Even your damn grave gets chomped.


Found at the same antique store and for a remarkably low eight dollars, this is a long, hollow, black plastic staff topped with a magnificent latex rubber mass of cloaked spirits flowing up out of the staff's metal knob. The sculpt itself is excellently detailed and very dynamic, but I think it's the paint job that really sells it; that gradient from mossy teal to radioactive lime green is simply divine, accented perfectly by the red eyes of the ghouls. It's such a tacky and ridiculous thing to be the end of a staff at all.


Would you believe this was from the same antique store? Don't worry, it's the last one! This is just a bag of nice little plastic tombstones to stick on cakes or meatloafs or whatever, quite nice looking and heftier than most "topper" decorations, but the real prize here is the card art that looks like Don Bluth's interpretation of Slimer. Let's look at that WAY BIGGER, shall we?!

It's easy to get distracted by Don Bluth Slimer and his offering of such a finely-topped goodie, but we mustn't fail to appreciate that phenomenal haunted background. I would love that artwork all on its own. It looks like a view straight off a Goosebumps book, doesn't it? The font of the phrase "Ghost Alley" ties the image even further together. Everything here is just peak Halloween graphic design.


I regret that, after typing it out, the phrase "stingray skull witch" sounds like it should describe somthing far more exciting than this, so I hope the image actually loaded before you could be let down. That's not to say I don't appreciate and love the existence of a Halloween stingray plush, or that a Halloween stingray plush means a stingray in a witch's hat with human skulls for polka dots. The tag actually indicates that it's a Seaworld gift shop item, and I'm left wondering what else they might have made along these lines. Neither ebay nor even google brings up a single instance of this or any other spooky Seaworld plush, so it's possible we may never know a thing about the rest of her family. Could there have been a pumpkin-patterned crab? A vampire porpoise? A ghost octopus? I can only ever speculate, and I will until I draw my last breath.


Holy crap. Found from the same consignment place as the stingray, I was IMMEDIATELY captivated by the raw insalubriousness of this figure, its stretched-out, grinning skull face disconcerting enough without the white bark peeling and flaking from its underlying coal-black wood, making it look as much like a charred mummy as an anthropomorphic tree, and then of course there's the wax. I don't even want to clean it off. The translucent wax dribbling forever down its ghoulish visage is simply too perfect, exactly the way it is. This does also mean that I will likely never place another lit candle in the hollow of our new friend's cranium, but I'm sure some day I'll find something else that fits there nicely enough.


Speaking of candles, that's all this entity even is, and illuminated from the inside by an LED light rather than any sort of simulated flame on top, which is an interesting design choice indeed! Monster candles are amazingly rare in Halloween imagery considering how obvious they are, so every new addition is quite welcome, and this just a great looking sculpt all around. This is actually a brand new 2019 item from "At Home," which begins stocking Halloween in JUNE(!!!) these days, though not a lot of their other stock grabbed me.

Interestingly, At Home's website does not show my candle monster, but a totally different design and much more fearsome black-waxed design. Loving the long, drippling mouth on this one, though the look and feel of it is just different enough from the white candle that they almost wouldn't really look quite right displayed together. Not unless there was, say, a third design in yet another color and style to round them out, right? How about a red one??

If you liked my "Halloween Bestiary" features every year, I'm thinking this actually adds just enough candle monsters to my known sightings for an entry.

And finally...


The infamous Ubume known to the internet as "Momo" was the star of our very first 2018 Halloween post, along with several more of the artist's spectacular "Grudge Girls." Tragically, the original, real "Momo" has been scrapped since her materials began to deteriorate, and her creator reportedly felt regretful of how much she frightened young children. He did, however, give his personal approval to a latext mask you can still find for sale around the internet, and the likeness is truly striking! I'm glad to have her beautiful, sweet face staring at me while I sleep for hopefully many years to come, though it would have been even nicer if you could find any merchandise with the rest of her cute bod.

Only problem is, the one I bought made me look like a big weirdo to any postal worker who actually read the package:

Let's hope the labeling is a little subtler and more discreet when you really order a hot, scary latex mom by mail.