Category Archives: Holiday Ideas

Dia De Los Muertos

La Calavera Catrina

Or, the Day of the Dead to us Americans. I first learned about this holiday when reading Ray Bradbury’s “The Halloween Tree” (which, if you haven’t read it, I suggest going out and getting a copy ASAP). Although we usually associate this holiday with Mexico, it actually is found throughout Latin America. It is closely tied with the Catholic holy day, All Soul’s Day, which falls on the day after Halloween, and is celebrated throughout the world (albeit, a little less awesomely, IMHO). Dia de los Muertos is centered around one idea- to honor the dead. This is done by giving presents to children and other living family members, as well as preparing special types of food, such as sugar skulls or pan de muerto (a sweet egg bread). It’s traditional to leave food out for the dead, either by offering them a literal place at the family table, or by leaving offerings of food on their graves. Figurines depicting skeletons (calaveras catrinas) in everyday situations are made and sold to be displayed in the home.

Instead of the same old Halloween party, try throwing a Day of the Dead celebration. Dress up like calaveras, make some delicious Mexican food, and raise a toast to those who have gone before us. However, be careful. You may get some visitors that you didn’t expect. ;)

Pan de Muerto (Thanks to Allrecipes)

  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons anise seed
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

Directions

  1. Heat the milk and the butter together in a medium saucepan, until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and add them warm water. The mixture should be around 110 degrees F (43 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl combine 1 cup of the flour, yeast, salt, anise seed and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Beat in the warm milk mixture then add the eggs and orange zest and beat until well combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of flour and continue adding more flour until the dough is soft.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
  4. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. This will take about 1 to 2 hours. Punch the dough down and shape it into a large round loaf with a round knob on top. Place dough onto a baking sheet, loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until just about doubled in size.
  5. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven let cool slightly then brush with glaze.
  6. To make glaze: In a small saucepan combine the 1/4 cup sugar, orange juice and orange zest. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 2 minutes. Brush over top of bread while still warm. Sprinkle glazed bread with white sugar.

Freak Out the Neighborhood

Have you been on the FrightCatalog.com Facebook page lately? Fans from all over are sharing photos and videos from Halloweens past — especially the amazing yard decorations and home-based haunted houses. Envious? You too can create an awesome haunted room or yard! There are more cool decorations on FrightCatalog.com than anyone could ever cover in one blog post, but here are a some of the new higher end props (and one budget-friendly fun pick):

Stalkaround Creepo The Clown

Scar the neighbor kids for life with this scary 8-foot puppet that appears to move and walk on its own. $2,750.99.

Egyptian King Torso

Scary life-sized latex mummy torso to decorate your lawn or snack table. $299.99

Animated Suspended Skeleton

Thrashing animatronic skeleton! $3,199.99

Runaway Ghost Scene Light Up

Looking for something a bit lighter? This 8-foot long inflatable Pac-Man-inspired Halloween decoration will light up the lawn and get the laughs — only $89.99.

Yummy

Cupcakes are hot. The best part? Cupcake artists go all out to create the cutest, cleverest and, sometimes, creepiest cupcakes possible. Case in point: I attended an event for the Fringe Wilmington Festival a couple of nights ago, and among the extreme cuisine offerings were ghoulish little cakes like these:

Creepy cupcakes by Cupcake KABOOM! Photo: Jessica Graae

Mmmm… body parts! These are done by pros, and I wouldn’t discourage anyone from tracking down their local cupcake artists and having them supply your Halloween party. It’s a lot of work. But, if you have the confectionary creativity, you can make your own, for parties, fall barbecues, Halloween bake sales or just for fun–and Fright Catalog can help:

Skull Cupcake Pan

I love the skull cupcake pan, because you don’t have to do much but pour cupcake or muffin batter in, bake, and pop out ghoulishly molded cakes. Only makes four cakes, so it’s more suited for a creepy family breakfast or dessert than a big party, unless you buy several–which isn’t out of the question, as each nonstick pan is only $4.99.

Pumpkin Cake Pan

The pumpkin cake pan is a full-sized single layer cake pan that would be ideal for your annual pumpkin bread, made with the meaty guts of your jack-o-lantern.

Halloween Cupcake Box

Transporting cupcakes to a Halloween party or bake sale? You’ll need the Halloween cupcake box, to stylishly carry twelve cupcakes. Also good for Halloween cupcake swaps. I’ve never participated in a Halloween cupcake swap, but come on–that’s a good idea!

Halloween Night Event: The Walking Dead

AMC wants to be on your Halloween night schedule, hoping folks will follow the evening’s celebration in front of the TV, for the premiere of the long-awaited “Walking Dead” series at 10:00 PM.

Click to Watch the Official HQ Walking Dead Trailer!

My initial reaction, honestly, was that October 31st seems kind of late. I was hoping the show would launch earlier in the month, though I’m not sure where I got the idea that it would. Then the question: is the target demo going to be home in front the TV on Halloween night? The show is anticipated enough that a lot of people will make sure to be now, but it’s not on everyone’s radar yet. Of course, I say that before they’ve blitzed the trailer during “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad.”

In any event, it’s a Sunday night; the biggest parties will be going on Friday and Saturday. Actually, the more I think about it, the timing sounds just about right: prepare the feast, do trick-or-treats, visit the neighborhood haunted house, and cap off the night with “The Walking Dead” premiere. Not bad!

Of course, this is all the more reason to have a zombie theme this year–and naturally Fright Catalog has all sorts of props, costumes, and zombie accessories for the big day!

Hot Blood Splattered Vampire Sex.

In honor of True Blood Sundays.

If the title didn’t get your attention, this full size picture should:

The Joy of Vampire Sex: ‘True Blood’ on Rolling Stone’s Latest Cover

This is probably one of the most awesome Stone covers ever. The only thing that would have made it better would be if they replaced a lame Sookie with a naked blood soaked Halloween Harlot. We can’t all be perfect though.

Anyway, here’s the plan. This picture has inspired me to throw a hot vampire orgy sex party (even if it’s just in my head).

First step: Invite sexy vampire friends (remember: you MUST invite them in) All pre-party fang re-vamping can be done here. Also invite a flock of Fang-Bangers for food supply.

Second step: Provide mood lighting and ample beverages.

Skeleton Hand Wine Glass

Sample Beverage List:

BLOODY MARY (what’s a vampire party without a classic bloody?)

INGREDIENTS: 1 part Vodka, Tomato juice, splash of Tabasco, a splash of Worchester, a little horseradish, a slice of lime
INSTRUCTIONS: Mix Vodka and Tomato juice and serve over ice with a splash of Tabasco, a splash of Worchester sauce. Mix in a little horseradish if you want a little more of a kick. Place a slice of lime on the rim.

SERVING GLASS: Tall glass.GARNISH: Celery Stick

BLOOD OF A VIRGIN

INGREDIENTS: 2 parts vodka, 3 parts bourbon, 1 part red wine, 3 drops of virgin blood
INSTRUCTIONS: Mix all ingredients in a blender and heat over an open flame for 20 minutes. Serve with extreme caution!

SERVING GLASS: Wine glass or hurricane glassGARNISH: 3 cherries

RED DEATH

INGREDIENTS: Amaretto, Southern Comfort, Sloe Gin, Orange Juice, Vodka, Triple Sec, Lime Juice
INSTRUCTIONS: Mix one part of each in a cocktail mixer with ice. Strain into shot glasses (or serve over ice if you want to get trashed faster)
Goes down like fruit punch… be warned!

SERVING GLASS: Shot Glasses
GARNISH: None


 

Third Step: Cover furniture/floors in saran wrap a la Dexter style.

Fourth Step: Get everyone drunk and naked and covered in blood…. andĀ  proceed with vampire sex orgy.

I mean. It’s so simple that even a Jason Stackhouse could do it.

Enjoy.

Wrap Yourself in Neon for Halloween

Of all the new items for 2010 in the FrightCatalog, I think I’m most excited about this:

Cool Neon Strobe Wire

No, it’s not a weird top hat with glow sticks taped to it… the item is the glow strands, but they’re not old-fangled temporary glow strands that you crack to mix the mysterious chemicals that make it shine for a few hours. These are four foot, pliable, battery powered neon lights that can be attached to any costume. Dress as a spaceship, or TRON or … a neon sign! Set to constant light or strobe! This is awesome. $16.99 per neon strand, comes in blue, yellow and green.

Oh, and speaking of glowing stuff, you know what else is cool? iGlow gels for hair and skin. I checked this out recently and it’s a must-have. This isn’t some day-glo color that shines under a blacklight–this goop actually glows.

iGlow Hair Gel

Apparently, the chemicals in glow sticks are not toxic when you mix them, because that’s the basic concept here: you mix together two parts, and the resulting gel glows for about eight hours. No “charging” under white light or anything–it’s fully self-illuminating.

Isn’t the future cool?

Feeling Med-evil? Dragon Slaying Party!

Here’s the plan. Go with me on this one.

It’s the kid’s birthday, or you just got a raise at work, or you got a divorce, or just any excuse in which a party can be thrown.

Go with a medieval theme. Due to the popularity of the movie “How to Train Your Dragon” the kids will be more then thrilled. Here are the steps to assure a party the kids will never forget. Trust me on this one.

It’s a medieval party so you will need to put out the themed eating utensils to assure the proper eating of your homemade dragon cake. Have the kids help you make and decorate the dragon. It may come out more dysfunctional looking with their help, but the ineptitude of children has a way of making you feel smarter. Plus you can use it as bonding time or whatever.

Next get everyone in the mood by setting the scene with a proper background of haunted trees. Turn on theĀ fog machine to make everything eerily fantastical.

Now for the main event: the dragon slaying. There’s two ways you can play this game: socially acceptable or child traumatizing. I of course prefer the latter of the two…but it’s not my party.

Socially acceptable dragon slaying:

You the adult don the costume of the dragon. The children get to dress up as knights and princesses. You run around your mystical woods scaring the knights and wreaking havoc. The mini-knights finally take you down in a blaze of fiery glory. They attack you with plastic swords until you snuff your final puff of breath. Little kids win. Little kids scream in happiness. You bust your hip and take a couple sword pokes to the eyeballs but hey, the kids are happy.

http://www.frightcatalog.com/i/240×240/1006943.jpg

Child traumatizing (more fun):

This time the roles are reversed. The children are dressed as dragons and you are the knight. Time to take revenge on the little heathens. My advice, get the baby dragons first. They can only crawl. Once they are strung up by their feet you can set your eyes on the faster ones. They are tricky little buggers. The kids will scream and probably cry… but they are dragons. Don’t let them fool you. Once all the dragons are slayed, you can enjoy a nice big dragon cake all to yourself in sweet silence. Now that’s a happy ending.

What are you waiting for? Get your dragon slaying party started today!

Disclaimer for the town idiot:

I do not endorse attacking your child with a sword and eating his cake. You could probably get arrested for that. This article is for satirical purposes only.

“Kill Me” Elmo

That furry red body, those crazed bug eyes, and that high pitched deceivingly innocent baby voice… it’s just not right I tell you.

I did my research on the little critter we’ve all grown to hate… Sesame Street’s own red devil, Elmo.

Elmo may seem innocent, but we know better. If you remember back in 2006, Elmo caused mass pandemonium with his “Tickle Me Elmo” toy. Christmas is hard enough without adding a hard to get $30 toy to the list. Parents literally almost killed each other to get their hands on this toy. Oh the things we do to appease the monster child. To be fair, perhaps the vibrating red doll didn’t just appeal to children… but that’s a different story.

If the “Tickle Me” craze wasn’t enough to make you hate Elmo, how about his potty training book? I recently came across an article from 2006 that discussed numerous complaints to the company in which the book said “Who wants to die?” instead of “Who wants to try to go potty?”

The name “Elmo” with the letters rearranged spells out “Mole”. This leads to only one conclusion. Elmo is a mole sent to the US by Iraq. They are using him to manipulate children and their parents to get all the Elmo toys/books/etc put in place in every home in America. Once this happens, every ticking time bomb Tickle Me Elmo will go off simultaneously….resulting in most catastrophic terrorist attack the US has never known.

Do not despair! There is hope! People are already starting to fight back…

It’s not too late for you to join the fight! Be proud to be an American!

We have a hero in our midst… and his name is Oscar the Grouch. As we all know, he is the most realistic character on the Sesame Street block. He reflects the modern world as we know it. Together, we shall rise out of our trash cans of idealism and shaded reality and fight for America. Start practicing today with the Elmo Pull String Pinata.

May the red, white, and blue be with you!

Your Halloween Harlot- Miss Cara Maria

Disclaimer: There is no proven link between Sesame Street or Elmo and Terrorism against America…just strange documented events that I’ve strung together to create something that probably isn’t there. Sesame Street please do not sue Fright Catalog. We know not what we do. This article is for entertainment purposes only… and the mass selling of your Elmo Pinatas.

Fulci’s Zombie vs. Shark All Over TV

I was knocked over when I saw the new Windows 7 ad, which features a clip from Lucio Fulci’s 1979 film “Zombi 2″ (aka “Zombie” and “Zombie 2: The Dead are Among Us” in the US). The Italian “zombie vs. shark” scene is a cult classic, but the clip’s relative obscurity made it possible for the ad to recontextualize it — it’s not a movie clip in the ad, but a nature documentary streamed from the fictional “Zombie Companion” Website that describes the zombie’s “loving bond with its fellow man-eater, the Great White.” Which begs the question: Do David and his roommates live in an alternate post-zombie outbreak universe? Is “Intel WiDi” even real? Still, best Windows 7 ad ever!

Check out the uncut zombie vs. shark scene here.

Fun fact: “Zombi 2″ is not actually a sequel. The first “Zombi” is Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead” (“Zombi” was its Italian title). The name was changed to lead people to believe it was connected to the popular American series. Despite the cheesy marketing ploy, “Zombi 2″ is a classic in its own right. Let’s see if the exposure from the Windows ad leads to a run on Man-Eating Shark costumes to pair with Zombie costumes this year!

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