Written by Jonathan Wojcik
Sorry that this year's Halloween II seems like a bust; nobody's had the energy to do the usual Nightmare Creature stuff, and I think I kind of over-exerted myself through October; but I guess what I wound up with was a "quality over quantity" Halloween. I'm pretty happy with the year's posts, but as usual, there's a lot of fun miscellany I didn't find a place for in my other articles, so let's have a final rundown, one month after what the world thinks of as the "real" Halloween!
Found at Winco foods, these large, transparent Halloween stickers have such a gorgeous, scribbled ink sort of style that I even bought some doubles, and you can right click->view if you want to zoom in on them a little. My personal favorite is the owl standing on the crescent moon, quite possibly one of the cutest and most stylish owls I think I've maybe ever seen in my life.
These Awesome Winco Stickers
That big ghost is nothing to sneeze at either, though; drippy-looking ghosts are always my favorites, and now this one gets to look like it's rising from the muck of our sundew terrarium.
I liked these stickers so much, I converted some of them into larger, transparent, colored png's you can feel free to save and do whatever you want with:
I never find that much to talk about from Spirit stores, oddly enough, but you know I'm a big fan of medical monsters, and while this nurse could have used a less human, more Silent-Hill-Ripoffy face in my book, I appreciate that they still let her be more on the ghoulish side with grey, dessicated flesh, and what really earns it a spot here is the fact that she's hung up by plastic tubing instead of the fake chains that literally every other hanging ghoul uses. The only variation I've ever seen before might have been rope or barbed wire, but I mightbe imagining that. I'm pretty sure everything in this series of props used chains up to this point. It's an implication that somebody's shackling zombies up in a hospital like it's a haunted dungeon, and that's fairly hilarious.
Spirit Halloween Hanging Nurse
These were sold at Rite-Aid this year, and it's ostensibly a "skeleton" or "ghost" you can hang from a doorknob, but I feel like it gets weirder the longer you look at it. It could have performed its function with any loop of twine, but they opted to give it an actual ring-shaped forehead. Its body is a giant spring, it has bells down its spring-chest,and it wears nothing but a bright yellow bow tie, tutu, and leg bands.
These Target items are here not because they especially stand out among pumpkinheads, but because they weren't brought out at all until November. It's actually pretty rare that I see Jack-o-Lantern headed characters like this for the post-Halloween harvest season, and I think that's because actual merchandise of them is considered so intrinsic to Halloween, but I more than welcome the excuse for their extended presence. Scarecrows are the only cool thing about November "Holiday" imagery.
"Harvest" Pumpkin People!
I actually spied these same window clings in the background of someone's unrelated Halloween photos, immediately checked ebay, and miraculously found some being sold from way over in Britain. I don't think I need to explain why I did that, do I? The simple addition of four little fangs on that haunted house turns it into a splendidly maniacal monster itself, and that witch rising out of (or at least looming behind) her own cauldron is a badass design. I've never seen a witch with a simplified, noseless, kind of opera-mask looking face like that and I absolutely adore her. These are now clinging to a tank of shrimp and a tank of slugs, respectively, if you needed to know that.
These Glow in the Dark Windows Clings
I missed including these in my Wal Mart post, and almost missed their existence entirely! They were hidden away in the arts and crafts section, an entire bag of ultra-tiny Halloween cats suitable for scrapbooking and even custom charms or jewelry! You can see that every one of them are wonderful in some way or another, but I have two clear favorites you should be able to find quickly enough where I decided to put them, for whatever reason, among my collection of garbage monsters:
Creeped Out Cats!
Speaking of stickers again, I ran into these ancient sticker sheets at a local party supply store and had to have them. They're made by Paper Magic Group, which I think I may have discussed once before because it's actually the manufacturer of countless Halloween items I've reviewed over the years, especially any with bright, colorful, cartoonish character designs. These stickers offer an interesting variety of ghosts and ghouls, but my favorite is the thing with the cat skull for a head, and the fact that for some reason there are also ladybugs. I could definitely get behind re-contextualizing ladybugs as one of the "creepy" insects. Then maybe one of the less respected arthropods can take their place as a "cute" one in our culture. I nominate pseudoscorpions.
Paper Magic Stickers!
I'm not a Burger King person, but once I caught wind of these I obviously had to have some. Loosely inspired by the popularity of "Stranger Things," I think, Burger King went for a full-blown dark horror campaign this Halloween that I don't think I've ever seen from a fast food restaurant, complete with these amazing eye-covered cardboard crowns! As you can see, one of them now adorns my life sized Fiend Without a Face, one of the rarest Halloween props I own. I'm going to be absolutely heartbroken when its latex inevitably breaks down, but so far it's held up for nearly fifteen years and counting.
2019 Burger King Crowns
The crowns as well as some other custom pieces were all part of a larger "BKursed" event, which APPARENTLY included a whopper that could sometimes be haunted, but I don't think any of our local kings offered this one. I'm really loving the whole aesthetic here, though. This is such a "grown up" Halloween tie-in, and doesn't even fall back on a specific horror movie, genre or even any particular trope, just a broad and very stylish sense of darkness and doom. Whoever came up with this deserves a raise.
A cool friend actually sent me a whole box of insect toys and other stuff, but the single most Halloweenly item was one being sold at Five Below at the time, a store we don't have out here in Oregon. Look at this thing! It's a gigantic, rubber earthworm filled with slime, flies and maggots, and the packaging even felt the need to justify this with a whole store about a normal worm mutating in a garbage dump to become carnivorous...eating up all the poor maggots!! This is one of the most "me" things quite possibly ever mass manufactured. I don't dare ever remove it from the package; that stretchy, squishy rubber could too easily sustain damage or accrue contaminants over time, and I wouldn't get to display it with all those lovely accompanying graphics anymore either!
I almost sought to devote an entire article to this one, all the way back in August when I first saw it at Lowe's, but in the end, I couldn't quite squeeze enough words out of it. Obviously a giant, one-eyed, bandaged, bright green worm monster weaving through a haunted ambulance would have been one of the single most amazing Halloween things I ever could have witnessed at any time in my life, but this happens to come during a time in my life when I'm best known for a webcomic prominently featuring medical monsters, sentient objects, worms, and even a bright shade of green as an iconic symbol. This is it: the Awful McHospital. We found him at last.
It's just too bad that it's a giant inflatable decoration and we have only a small balcony it could never reasonably fit on. If we kept it indoors it would also take up too much space, need to be plugged in, and probably get holes in it from all of our differently clawed organisms, so I'm gonna need somebody to shrink this down and sell it in a hard plastic form, thanks!!!
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