Monday be damned! Who cares if it's the start of the work week, for tonight we honor the dead by going to the homes of complete strangers and confiscating their sugary treats. And if you're not going trick-or-treating, that's perfectly fine... you can always your own personal Halloween party with an all-night horror movie marathon. Whatever rattles your bones.
As you can see above, Re and I already celebrated Halloween in style over the weekend; I dressed up as Skeletor and she made an awesome costume inspired by Dia de los Muertos. What was cool is that our colors ended up matching, so I just told everybody she was Skeletor's bride. I'm sure this comes as a shock to all of you, cuz after all these years I thought for sure Skeletor would've ended up with Evil-Lyn, but no... he dumped her for Re. Good choice, me thinks. Speaking of our outfits, I have to send another huge thank you to 80sTees for their support and for sending me the Skeletor costume. As you can see, it's pretty much the best Skeletor costume out there, and I'm sure I could walk into Snake Mountain and fool all of his minions into beliving I was the real deal. Well... Beast Man would fooled at the very least.
(I was also Frankenstein's Monster. Audrey II approves.)
Over the past two months, we've covered a hell of a lot of Halloweeny material, and I hope you've all enjoyed every gruesome minute of it. Here's a recap of some of the highlights this season:
-We devoured loads of new Halloween candies.
-We learned never to take a cat on a yacht.
-We rejoiced upon finding out that there is an official Halloween soda.
-We still never unraveled the secrets of Secret Ghostdom.
-We went on the worst Halloween boat ride ever.
-We decided it was best to never buy a cheap Freddy Krueger make-up kit.
-We gouged your eyes out with more greatest horror movie moments.
-We read up on the history of Splatterhouse.
-We splattered your walls with our new Halloween pixel posters.
-We drooled over a coffin full of donuts.
-We laughed at what some people try to pass off as sexy Halloween costumes.
-We witnessed the madness that was the 1987 Joe Piscopo Halloween Party.
This is my absolute favorite time of the year and it always makes me smile to know that so many of you have made I-Mockery your online Halloween home. I really try to give you guys the best and widest variety of Halloween coverage you'll find anywhere online every season - from visiting haunts and reviewing movies, to taste testing candies and tracking down the most absurd novelties and more, I always aim to give you every spooky lil' thing I can get my bony hands on. I'll do my best to keep that tradition going strong.
I'll have some post-Halloween photos and videos to put up on I-Mockery soon too, so don't go anywhere. Once more, I must thank Dr. Boogie and Protoclown for their awesome contributions to our Halloween celebration. Also, a huge thanks to Re for uploading all the Halloween content to the site while I was on tour around the country in September.
Of course, a huge thanks again to you for sticking with us during our annual "Two Months of Halloween" celebration. It's a lot of work to put all this content together, but it's a lot of fun too, and your feedback definitely helps keep our macabre mojo flowing.
Oh, and in case you're wondering about what we're going to be doing once Halloween has passed... let's just say that there's a little project you may have heard of that we'll be putting the wraps on. Not sure what I'm talking about? Okay, how about I show you a special little jack-o-lantern as a hint:
Oh yes, it is happening. It is happening very, very soon.
Please drop a comment (whether you're logged in or not) in our blog and let us know what you thought of the Halloween season and what your favorite articles were. Also, let us know what your Halloween plans are and feel free to post photos of your costumes if you're dressing up!
Thanks again everyone and Happy Halloweeeeeeeeeeeeeeen!
Ever since seeing the documentary Hell House; I've been fascinated by the idea of religious-themed haunted mazes, and I've always wanted to go to one to learn the various ways I'm supposed to be suffering in Hell after I die. Unfortunately not many of my friends wanted to go because they didn't want to give their money to a church, but I eventually did manage to find two others who thought it would be as much of a laugh as I did. So off we went to the Journey Trails Haunt, in New Kent, Virginia, which is about thirty miles past bumfuck.
The description of the place made it sound like it had some serious potential for amusement--three attractions, a Heaven path, a Hell path, a museum of Biblical history and relics, and there was even a bonus called "The Last Ride", a coffin that was supposed to simulate the experience of being buried alive, but that was an additional $5.00. They even had THIS wonderful little gem in the FAQ on their website: "Oh! If you are prone to wetting or soiling yourself when you get scared (as many of our victims do), you may want to bring a change of undergarments too!" I just HAD to see what their idea of "so scary you'll shit your pants" was.
So my friends and I get there and we're immediately greeted by an eager man in a suit who is hanging around the coffin ride. We walk up to examine it, and discover that it's a coffin on hydraulics, and pretty much all it does is lift up and down and bump around a bit, and there's a voice that tells some kind of story to the person on the inside. A video monitor is set up outside so that people can watch the person inside on a night-vision cam and see their reactions. Since the ride wasn't very exciting, the reactions weren't particularly interesting to watch. So we decided to pass on this "experience" and move on to the main event. (Unfortunately they didn't allow cameras on the trails and all I had was my cell phone camera, so I was only able to snap a couple grainy pics).
There were three lines leading to each of the main attractions, and the line to Hell was by far the longest, so we opted to go to Heaven, then hit the museum, and save Hell for last. As we're waiting in line to get to Heaven, some teenage clowns who weren't nearly as creepy as they thought they were came out of the Heaven door and tried to frighten the waiting line. Yawn. Though I was a bit curious as to what these bizarre child-molester clowns (that seemed to me the angle they were going for) were doing in Heaven. We finally get inside, and discover that the pathway to Heaven is a tight maze through the woods, bordered by black plastic tarping and very, very dark. There were girls that popped out of nowhere and screamed at us at the top of their lungs, angry rednecks yelling us to get off their property, "creepy" clowns trying to freak us out, angry voices yelling at us and making loud noises from the darkness, and toward the end, people with chainsaws running at us. Basically a lot of the kind of thing that you'd see in a normal haunted maze, only not as good, and light on monsters. And this was supposed to be the Heaven trail?
We finally get a little over the halfway point and there's a quote from the Bible on a banner suspended between two trees, but it's so dark that it's hard to make out what it says. A short time later we come into what I called the "D&D Treasure Room", a small room with a treasure chest full of gold coins, a gold chalice, and other spoils from the dragon's horde. There's also a pleasant, smiling woman standing in the room facing some folding chairs, and she asks us to have a seat. She gives us the brief lecture about life and death, making choices, and gives us all a certificate that we survived the road to Heaven and we made it. And then we're booted back out into the main courtyard. Okay. Not exactly what I was expecting. Here's a pic of my treasure for completing the quest:
We then went into the museum, which was a very small room containing such Biblical artifacts as Samson's jawbone, the Pharaoh's staff, Gandalf's cloak, and more. At the end of the room there was a woman who had a baby constrictor snake that you could hold for a few moments if you wanted to. And that was really the only interesting part. So out the door and off we were to Hell! The line for Hell had all but vanished at this point, and we started to wonder if in fact those people were actually sent to Hell and they were never coming back.
But a moment later it didn't matter, as we were stepping into the giant serpent's mouth and on our way to Hell! Which was, as it turns out, pretty much exactly the same as the path to Heaven. Dark tight corridors bordered by black plastic tarping, teenagers with chainsaws, and so on. Not really thematically different at all, but this one was supposedly "MUCH" more terrifying. Halfway through we walk into a room and there's a man in a suit with dark hair slicked back, and he's got a table with a book on it. There are two doorways leading out of the room, one that leads into light, and one into darkness. He tells us that he can guarantee our safety if we sign the book and take the light path, and we will be out of the maze. If we choose the dark path it's going to make what we've been through so far look like "a kid's picnic". There were two other people in our tour group and they immediately said "Well, we're taking the Dark Path! See ya!" and off they went. I wanted to ask this guy if the light path really did lead out of the maze, because for the money I spent I wanted to get the whole experience, light and dark, but he wouldn't say. A moment later a voice called out over the wall "You guys coming or what?" and with that we turned and headed down...THE DARK PATH!
Which was pretty much more of the same. Again. Though there was an overly breathy werewolf who followed us at one point. And a large medieval man with a torture rack, so that was something at least. But for the most part Hell was pretty bland and disappointing. We get to the end and there's another room, with a vaguely (unintentionally) creepy man who asks us to form a semi-circle. Then he asks us with great interest which path we chose in the middle room. We all said the Dark Path, because we wanted to get our money's worth. He then tells us that man in that room was the Devil, and he was trying to trick us, and that both paths led to the exact same place. I'm not really sure what the lesson they were trying to impart on us there was, since there was no correct option. "Trust no one", I guess? Or perhaps "No matter what you do, you're fucked!" He also gave us a very brief pep talk about the choices we make in our life and how important they are. And then we go through one more tiny section of chainsaw people and exit out of a port-a-potty door. And that's it. The exit to hell is a port-a-john. Not terribly surprising, I guess.
I have to say I was rather disappointed. I was hoping for something like they had in Hell House, where they would try to teach us important and hilariously misguided life lessons, about homosexuals, abortion, drugs, the occult, and so on. But there was none of that. I wanted it to be highly offensive and completely out of touch with reality, but instead it was just kind of bland. They didn't even get that preachy with us at the end. They kept it brief and weren't pushy at all, so there was nothing I could even be mad at. I'm all about people believing what they want as long as they don't bother anyone else. And they were surprisingly (and disappointingly) low-key and cool about it. For $15 I wanted to be told how my support of the gays was going to lead to my being sodomized daily by a gorilla demon in Hell...and they just failed to deliver on that. There wasn't really even any kind of theme or point to the paths, or much of a difference at all between them. At the end they had a little survey you could fill out, and get a chance to win an extravagant feast (i.e. "combo meal") at Chick-Fil-A. Big spenders!
If you're in Virginia and you've heard of this and think it might be amusing, I'd advise against spending your money on it. It's really not worth it, and there are much better haunted trails you can spend your money on. So my quest for a ridiculous, over-the-top, preachy and offensive "Hell House" continues. If any of you have had any noteworthy or amusing experiences in one of these Hell Houses, please share your story in the comments! I'd love to hear about it!
In case you didn't know, Krispy Kreme Donuts is doing some special Halloween donuts to celebrate this spooky time of year, so I decided to go check them out. They offer three different Halloween donuts, which if you get in a dozen come in a large "Krispy Skremes" box decorated just for Halloween.
They have a pumpkin face donut, a spider web donut, and a donut with orange and black sprinkles. They also have a pumpkin spice donut which I also picked up, which isn't strictly part of the Halloween promotion, but it's a pumpkin donut, which means it's awesome so how could I not get that?
I wish I could tell you that these donuts had amazing Halloween flavors, that one tasted like corpses, or another oozed a red bloody filling (like Voodoo Doughnut) as you chomped its life away, but sadly these were pretty boring. The pumpkin face donut is just an icing on top of their standard glazed donut, and the orange and black sprinkles were just tossed on top of a plain donut. The spider web donut was filled with a super thick white goopy filling that didn't really taste particularly great, but at least that was something other than plain. Honestly the best donuts in this box were the pumpkin spice donuts that weren't even part of the promotion. But it's still pretty cool that Krispy Kreme is at least doing something different to celebrate the season.
If you happen to have a Krispy Kreme in your area you might as well check them out, but if you don't, you're not exactly missing anything spectacularly exciting. But "boring" or not, these are still donuts, and are thus totally worthy of being devoured.
You guys know I love Boo Berry, and after fighting for so many years just to keep his cereal in circulation, it's nice living in a time now when it's fairly easy to find come Halloween. Plus, nowadays we can look forward to other Boo Berry products being released each year as well. Last year was a good year for Boo Berry; he was officially declared the best monster cereal, some Fruit Roll-Ups were made in his honor, and he even got a brand new Boo Berry Halloween costume. This year, he's back again with two new Boo Berry vinyl toys from Funko as part of their new Pop! Ad Icons collection.
As you can see, there are two versions of him - the standard Boo Berry and the shiny 2011 Comic-Con variant. They clearly went for the classic Boo Berry look with the droopy eyelids 'n all, so any hardcore fan should be real happy with how these figures turned out. Both of them look great (and ridiculously adorable), so it's absolutely worth tracking each one down if you ask me. Be aware that the Comic-Con variant is a bit tougher to track down as they're part of a limited edition set with only 480 figures ever produced, but I've still seen a few pop up on eBay here 'n there for about 20 bux or so. Did I mention how sickeningly adorable these figures are? I can almost picture them hanging out with Glo Worm, that's how adorable they are.
But vinyl figures aren't the only new Boo Berry product for the 2011 Halloween season...
Hot Wheels has released a special Boo Berry edition of a 1929 Ford pickup truck. Gotta love how they went with the classic look for Boo Berry on the packaging. The truck itself has a really nice overall design which includes the cereal logo in between some creepy old trees on the doors, a few blue bats scattered around, shiny purple hubcaps, and a picture of Boo Berry hovering around a haunted house on the roof. My only wish is that they had filled up the back of the truck with miniature boxes of Boo Berry cereal, as if to suggest it was out making a delivery, but I'm sure anybody who is into papercrafts could make that happen... and they should. Also, if any of you happen to own a 1929 Ford pickup truck, you'd be a fool not to paint it like this. A fool!
Lastly, for those of you wondering about the cereal itself this season, I'm happy to report that it's now more widely available in stores than probably any other year in recent memory. Almost every grocery store in town had some boxes of it, as did Target and Walgreens, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding it. I'd show a picture of the 2011 cereal box, but it's the exact same one from last year when they made Boo Berry look like he has fish lips for some unknown reason. Disappointingly lazy on General Mills' part, so here's hoping they come out with a new box design next year - sans fish lips of course.
All in all, another very solid Halloween season for fans of Boo Berry.
I've been going to Halloween haunts for as long as I can remember, and no matter how cheesy or low budget they can be, I always enjoy myself a lot. That all changed last weekend when I went to a brand new haunt that I was more excited about than any other event (aside from Halloween itself) this October. So come with me on a tour of something that should have been absolutely amazing, but instead, turned out to be absolutely disappointing. Come with me for a full review of the awful Ghost Ship of Newport Beach. We begin with the promotional ad that drew us all in:
Looks great doesn't it? I thought so too. They certainly put more money into advertising the Ghost Ship than on the Ghost Ship itself. When I saw this ad and found out it was a haunt that actually takes you out to sea, I was instantly sold on it. Sure, it had a whopping $60 price tag, but the chance to go on a completely unique haunted ship with a bunch of friends is something I wasn't about to pass up. We bought our tickets early and were anticipating our ghostly voyage for over a month. October 15th finally rolled around and we couldn't wait to see what the ship was going to look like in person.
Wow. None of us could believe how normal it looked on the outside. Look, I didn't expect this thing to be rusty and have holes on the sides 'n all... the thing obviously needed to be seaworthy, but no decorations on the outside whatsoever? Come on! Spray it with some fake blood and cobwebs; drape it with some old torn black netting; hang a few skeletons off the side to use as boat fenders... anything! It was even docked next to some other luxury yachts that had big yuppie cocktail parties going on, and frankly, the only thing on the outside of the ship that distinguished it from them was a banner hanging off the back with the Ghost Ship logo on it. Of course, the banner itself was partially covered up by an American flag... I mean... a spoooooky American flag. The ghost pirate LeChuck would have their heads for such an offense.
None of us thought this was a good sign, but we bit our tongues and boarded the ship, hoping that the inside experience would make up for our completely lackluster introduction to the Ghost Ship.
When we boarded the ship, we were directed to the top floor, where we entered a dimly lit room filled with chairs facing a stage area with a spotlight on it as we felt the vessel pull away from the dock. Once we were all seated, a man with a welding helmet walked into the spotlight and began introducing three prisoners whose executions we would witness aboard this "floating asylum" that we were on. One guy was rolled out on a dolly cart and you could clearly see that he was sitting on top of a skeleton. Then they shut the lights off and pretended to melt his bones off with acid, but it wasn't even that dark, so you could easily see the guy running off to the side of the stage as the audience collectively groaned. Then, when the lights came back on, only the bones remained on the cart. We're talking total amateur hour here, folks. The welding helmet guy even struggled to remember his lines, so we were left wondering whether he was an actor or an actual welder who they handed a few lines to read at the last minute. To conclude the show, they had a few guys run down the aisles with cans of compressed air that they shot into people's faces - one audience member even complained that it was shot into his ear saying it hurt. And no, it wasn't scary, cuz you could see them coming with cans in their hands... it was just plain stupid and I heard lots of people in the crowd saying the same thing.
After the painfully bad stage show ended after a whopping six minutes, we were then free to head downwards to one of the two remaining levels. The middle level was a bar area and the bottom level was a haunted maze you walked through. We went straight for the maze, but much of it was pitch black with very little to see, you just kind of felt your way through some inflated walls... nothing particularly memorable. It didn't last long at all either; we made it through the whole thing in under five minutes and it felt like a neighborhood yard haunted attraction at best. The longest part of the maze was waiting in a small hallway that had virtually no air being pumped into it until we were allowed to enter.
And that's when it hit us: in roughly ten minutes, we had already experienced all the major attractions the ship had to offer. Now we were all starting to feel a bit seasick, but it sure as hell wasn't because we were out on the ocean, it was because we were duped into believing this would be a scary, professional, and fun haunted attraction.
We headed up to the middle floor to check out the bar / lounge area, hoping that there would be something of interest. See that white sheet haphazardly tossed onto the couch there? Yeah, that's about as far as they went with decorations... a fog machine and a few sheets on couches. I could make a trip to any local Halloween shop, spend 20 bux on some fake cobwebs and other decorations, and I could make that ship look a hundred times better than it did. That's no exaggeration... it was that bad.
What was really sad is that the actual crew members didn't even dress up for the event. Sure, there were some paid actors wandering around in cheap costumes they bought at Target or something (I saw one guy in a Leatherface mask and a hospital gown, I shit you not), but the actual crew was dressed in standard sailor attire. Kinda kills the effect of being on some haunted ship when the members of its crew didn't even dress up for the part. The best thing in the lounge area was a skeleton-butterfly hybrid woman doing a quick burlesque performance followed by a corny magician who had almost as much confetti on hand as Rip Taylor. I don't really drink, but they didn't even have good names for the libations at the bar (which, I might add were not complimentary, despite the high ticket price). You're on a Ghost Ship for chrissakes... call one of the drinks "Ghoulish Grog" and toss a few skull-shaped ice cubes in the cup! It's not rocket science.
So there we were, with an hour left to go on our Ghost Ship voyage, we all sat around in the lounge area, bored to tears and wondering how anybody could screw up such a great concept so badly. Oh yeah... they only cared about taking people's money, that's how. A lot of customers started leaving negative reviews for the Ghost Ship on its official Facebook page too, but the organizers of the ship quickly started deleting them. On top of that, they're claiming that other local haunts were responsible for the negative reviews. Nice business, eh? I'm pretty sure I'm not a local haunt, nor were any of the other disappointed customers that night.
But at least we were out in the ocean, right? That had to be kinda creepy, right? WRONG.
This was our view the entire night on both sides of the ship. The ship puttered around the local harbor area which had plenty of shops and homes lit up along the shoreline which we were only a few hundred yards from at best most of the time. We didn't have any feeling of being out in the middle of nowhere with no land in sight... we hardly traveled anywhere that night. "The only haunted attraction in the country that sets sail into the dark, open ocean at night for a seventy-five minute ride of horror." That's a direct quote from the official Ghost Ship web site. Open ocean my ass. Talk about false advertising...
You know what else would be a good idea for the Ghost Ship? How about not having white Christmas holiday rope lights lining the entire thing. It's really not hard to find orange Halloween rope lights and they cost the same. It's a sad day when Ghost Ship the movie is better than Ghost Ship the haunted attraction.
I've been to countless haunts and reviewed many of them on this site over the past 13 years or so, and I've never been to a haunted attraction that had put so little effort into it to where I had to give it such a negative review. It felt so incredibly lazy that we all believed it was blatant, and by the end of the night, everybody couldn't wait to abandon ship. Keep in mind, none of this is the fault of the actors aboard the ship, they were just working with what little material they were given, so I applaud them for trying. The fault here lies completely with the people who run the Ghost Ship and here's hoping they're held accountable, because they sure aren't offering any refunds or real apologies. When the captain is a moron, it's time to mutiny, and some people have. Some unhappy customers have already started reporting them to the BBB, so I guess that's another first for a floating haunted attraction.
I really wish I ran this haunt myself, cuz I could easily do so much more with it it... I certainly have the experience. But hey, even though I don't work for the Ghost Ship, I decided to be a good sport and lend them a hand by parodying their promotional ad to reflect the experience more accurately:
If you're anywhere in our around Southern California, please do yourself and your wallet a favor and do not take a ride on the Ghost Ship. The sad, simple truth is that it's an absolute waste of a great idea and your money. For that kind of cash, you can enjoy a wide variety of other professional haunts all over the state who actually care about giving people the scares and fun they're looking for.
Here's a little something I simply had to share this with you guys. When I got back home from the road trip with Keith Apicary, Re had a nifty little surprise waiting for me: she tracked down this awesome vintage Tales From The Crypt candelabra! I was a huge fan of the HBO series (I have all the seasons on DVD) and looked forward to all the corny one-liners that the Crypt Keeper would deliver each week back when it was still on TV. Some people are greeted with hugs and kisses when they return from a long trip; I'm greeted with an ancient corpse who tells bad jokes in a televised horror anthology series. Awesome. Let's take a look... or as the Crypt Keeper would say, "let's take a hook!" or something like that.
Perfecto! The Crypt Keeper's eyes glow, his candle comes with a flickering bulb, and his hands rest nicely atop his his book of tales - what more could one ask from a lamp? It's as if he's lit a candle beside your bed to tell you some horrific tales to ensure that you'll never sleep again. I can almost hear John Kassir's voice cackling away whenever I turn this thing on, and I plan on surrounding him with Halloween candies for the rest of the month. Who better to guard them, right? Between this, my Halloween Bubble Light, and my Blinky Glow Lite, I think I'm set for spooky indoor illuminations this season.
SURVEY: While we're on the subject of Tales From the Crypt, what are some of your favorite episodes and why? I've always had a soft spot for the "And All Through The House" episode since it was my introduction to the series.
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