Halloween at Michael's 2023

Written by Jonathan Wojcik

It's August 8th, and that means it's been Halloween for over an entire week! Michael's Crafts are virtually always the first to begin stocking their shelves for the season, but in recent years they take their sweet time putting everything out over the course of August, and their online catalog doesn't start to spoil everything until...right about now!

The following are "only highlights" from that catalog in 2023, but even that's going to be pretty substantial. It's a great year for Michael's!


This is one of the floral department's new decorative picks, attached to a long bendable stem for incorporation into wreathes, planters, costumes or whatever you want! A simple fake rose with a green-lipped mouth at the center, but pretty charming. In fact, of all the toothed flowers I've ever seen in recent Halloweens, this looks the most like one of those flowers improved by my dear personal real life friend Dora Guzzler.


Larger than the carnivorous rose, there's no actual visual indication that this is a carnivorous plant, and in fact I think it's just a more toxic green repaint of a regular fake plastic plant bud, but I appreciate the notion.


A small, hanging plastic skeleton with a spooky gothic doll head, dripping black tears and with a stitched mouth. She's also got a cape, long hair with pink streaks and a rose attached to her ribs. What type of goth is this, exactly? Which of the many goth styles and sub-styles is she going for? I think maybe her answer would just be "yes."


Oh my god, I love this so much. Without a candle in it, it's a crow without a head. With a regular candle in it, it's a crow whose head is a candle. With a candle shaped like something, the possibilities are endless! I've got some candles shaped like whole skeletons that could fit this. I could give this crow a whole skeleton for a head. Then I could light it for a while and have a crow with a skeleton for a head that's also a melted candle. This...is too much power. This is too much freedom to know what to do with.


This is a statue of a limbless, headless skeleton - the ribs, spine and pelvis - encrusted in select locations with pinkish clusters of wilting flowers. That's a kickass look! It's at once beautiful and sickly.


A brand new Eyebell, in a coffin shape! I have no doubt it features some of the same exact voice clips as every other Halloween eyeball doorbell, usually including "I SEEE YOU." We get it, man, that is literally the only thing you can do!


But wait! This is totally new! This plastic doorbell looks like a dirty brass sculpture of an owl with a little gold human skull on its chest, which is the button you ring. My Michael's didn't have these out, and there isn't any video on the website, so all we know is that the eyes light up.


Finally, an even more unusual and novel spooky doorbell: a pair of eerily fused, witchy hands clutching a translucent bulb with the visage of some ghastly specter inside! It's almost a skull face, but not quite; look closely and it's at least barely fleshed, with glowing, round red eyes not set in gaping sockets, and an almost lipless but not fully fleshless mouth. Unsettling!


These little, round, painted styrofoam frogs come in sets of two and are so cute I can barely stand it.


Michael's has a new set of Halloween nutcrackers every single year, and they're usually nothing new, but this year's have lovely pastel color schemes! A blue-skinned witch with a black and pink outfit, including a pink lacy outer skirt and a little wooden cauldron at her feet that delightfully says "MAGIC POISON" on it. A dapper skeleton in a pink and lavender tuxedo with a psychic eyeball cane. A pumpkin headed man dressed like a king with a golden crown and a black cape, carrying the word "BOO" and accompanied by a tiny, adorable ghost.

I also mean this in the most respectful and welcoming way possible, but these designs also read just gay as hell. I'll have to leave it to all you little gender people in my comments to tell me which pride colors these are.


It's Tuxedo Raven.


I've seen butterfly-winged skeletons before, but this one is kneeling down and praying. To what, we don't know, and I'm not sure we want to know.


Not what this is called either, but this toad statue just looks so pleased with itself. So content with the world. If he knew half the nonsense going on lately, he wouldn't be, but if you shatter his illustion we will kill you actually.


This busty skeleton bride lovingly holds the detached head of her kneeling skeleton groom, setting up approximately half a bajillion jokes I can't write here in case any of you are babies or something reading this from those little soft plastic baby computer tablets.


They actually call it a throne in the catalog, but this is a skeleton sitting on a solid black toilet, wearing absolutely nothing but a golden tiara while it looks down at its phone. Classy!


String lights in the shape of little, glowing snakes!!! These would only be better if they were the kind you could plug in, instead of requiring a battery.


Batteries or not, these are GREAT! Light up spooky moths! Moths have taken off so well as a Halloween symbol lately.


This is a skull statue with I believe printed cardboard butterflies attached all over it, actually one of five or six skulls I've already seen this year with butterflies on them. This one is a cut above the rest for the sole reason that one butterfly is perched in its right eye socket, with a single eyespot marking visible!


These are part of a product line called "Electric Halloween," using some neon colors and neon light imagery. The theme is more subdued on these cat characters, one of them a witch and one of them a skeleton, but with neon outlines that I think really pop.


I also saw some of these in person, but their photo from the website gives you a much clearer look! A fake fabric butterfly with an entire human skull printed across its wings. Simple but positively wicked...and they come three or four to a pack!


I took a video of this one for you. When activated, this human faced tree stump glows purple and jerks violently as it speaks, causing it to shuffle randomly around on smooth surfaces. The only flaw? He laments that he now "sings a death song" but he never sang a song of any kind while I was testing him out.


Have another video! This looks like a normal spooky clock at first, with a sculpted bat on top, but when activated, it reveals its own additional set of bat wings and an animated light-up face! I love that it's such a toothy skull-like mouth and big, glowing, kind of sad eye sockets, with the center of the clock hands as a "nose." Just a really fun, charming character design all around!