This is another one I've planned to do almost since I started the Halloween Bestiary so long ago, but wasn't so sure how I ought to approach. I even considered a generalized entry on sentient eyes wherever they might crop up, but where's the fun in that when we can make every possible thing with an eyeball into its own distinct entity?!

I'm not sure exactly when these talking eyeball doorbells (hence, Eyebells!) first became a holiday staple, but it definitely can't have been that long. I think I first noticed them only six or seven years ago, first in a Big Lots store, then a slightly different model over at Target. And a slightly different model over at Wal Mart.

The function of an Eyebell is fairly obvious, and crosses over a great deal with the Peepers we looked at only weeks ago. These, too, probably exist primarily to relay information to their master and can be armed with a variety of spells, but I think we can surmise from their behavior that Eyebells are much more intelligent beings from the moment of their creation, and they might even be offended by comparison to the lowly Peeper. Those creepy plants - NO place for a human eyeball to be! - are little more than a security system. The EYEBELL is an EMPLOYEE, thank you very much, and THE LEADING EXPERT on who should and shouldn't come through this here door, BUCKO!

The biggest advantage of the Eyebell is that its intellect and psychic abilities allow it to make flawless judgment calls as a gatekeeper, reading the intentions, desires and fears of every visitor and even exerting a little hypnotic suggestion to turn them away or bring them inside as the situation demands.

The downside to such an intelligent but stationary being is, like the Skelephone, the omnipresent risk of boredom. It's almost impossible to stop an Eyebell from developing some bizarre neurosis or another as it spends day after day watching over the same small area, but this can be alleviated somewhat by magically expanding its range of vision. An Eyebell doesn't necessarily need to be only a single eye, but can consist of an entire network throughout the same manor or even swap visual information with Eyebells clear across the globe. Its mind will hold together as long as it can see something interesting somewhere, and since the advent of such technology, many of them at least have a spare eye or two in their own personal TV room.

Eyeballs can learn just about every skill you can expect from a psychic being; some have a limited ability to foretell the future, some can practice astral projection to really curb that cabin fever, and some develop a telekinetic control over their immediate surroundings, manipulating the door, gateway, porch, wall, or for that matter the entire building they're attached to depending on their age and training.

They aren't always just a door fixture, however; an Eyebell can be added to pretty much anything you might want guarded. Treasure chests and safes are an obvious choice, but there are those who might even mount one to the inside of their car, the front cover of a diary or any other personal item they don't want just anybody using for themselves. They can even be made portable, set into articles of clothing or jewelry to serve as a personal bodyguard or spy.

Whatever the case, they take the job deathly serious, and tend to become deeply attached to whatever it is they're supposed to watch over, so their creator had best keep in mind the unavoidable loyalty shift if they assign an Eyebell to keep tabs on a particular person.