Category Archives: Halloween Fun

Fun tidbits from the kooky edges of Halloween.

Happy National Costume Swap Day

Surprised that there’s a National Costume Swap Day? You’re not alone  I only just found out. According to the holiday’s Facebook page (holidays have Facebook pages?), swapping Halloween costumes can actually reduce waste and save money.

Basically, it’s the green movement invading the dark depths of Halloween, trying to push its zen hippie agenda. What’s next? National Reuse Christmas Wrapping Day?

Stated on the holiday’s website, Swapping half the costumes kids wear at Hallowen would reduce annual landfill waste by 6,250 tons, equal to the weight of 2,500 midsize cars!

Okay, even I have to admit that that’s a lot of wasted Halloween costumes, and it doesn’t even include pet or adult Halloween costumes. Unfortunately, the official video of the holiday is…less than entertaining:

If you are actually interested in participating in National Costume Swap Day, here’s a list of towns and states that are holding swaps throughout October. And don’t fret “ all official swaps must have proper insurance and liability coverage, just in case some kids get rowdy over the same costume, I guess. =

And for my Canadian readers, you can always check out the Canadian version of National Costume Swap Day, which, I assume, involves maple syrup and hockey and all those other stereotypical qualities that make you guys such excellent attic neighbors.

Anyway, we are not only 18 days until the big dark day comes storming down city streets, so I hope you are making final preparations. Decide on which costume to wear, which candy to hand out, and which decorations go where, because Halloween will be here before you know it!

Alice Cooper Welcomes You to the Ship of Fear

So youve got all these Halloween costumes based off iconic horror characters (Jason, Freddy, Candyman, etc.) and you consider yourself the biggest fan of Halloween/horror, right? Well, what if I told you that next year, in 2013, you could spend Halloween night with the actors of your favorite horror icons?

Oh sorry  I forgot the best part: youd be spending this time on a cruise ship sailing from Miami, FL, on October 28 to Nassau, Half Moon Cay, and Freeport, before returning back to Miami on November 2.

Thats right  Alice Cooper is welcoming you to join him and a bunch horror icons on the Ship of Fear, the largest house of horror on the high seas. For 5 days and 5 nights, you can enjoy the luxurious amenities of a Carnival Victory cruise while enjoying the company of your favorite horror icons.

Want to soak in the sun while asking Kane Hodder what it was like to play Jason? Have a question for Mary Lambert about what it was like to bring King’s Pet Cemetary to life? On this cruise, youll have more than enough opportunities to do just that.

Plus, the cruise features various activities, such as live music from Cooper and Snider, in-depth Q&A panels with cast members and filmmakers, a zombie prom, and a classic horror reunion that features many of the genres biggest names in front of and behind the camera.

List of expected cruise horror guests:

  • Alice Cooper
  • Dee Snider
  • Joe Dante (Director of Gremlins)
  • Don Coscarelli (Director of Phantasm series)
  • Mick Garris (Director of The Stand)
  • Mary Lambert (Director of Pet Cemetary)
  • Belinda Balaski (The Howling)
  • Reggie Bannister (Phantasm)
  • Zach Galligan
  • Ed Gale (Chucky)
  • Kane Hodder (Actor behind Jason)
  • R.A. Mihailoff (Actor behind Leatherface)
  • Tony Todd (Actor behind Candyman)
  • And more!

Lastly, the Ship of Fear will celebrate Halloween with Screech On The Beach, an event that takes place at Half Moon Cay, Carnivals own private island, where you can party long into the evening with all the aforementioned horror icons.

Seriously, if you are in any way a horror fan, this is the way to celebrate your love for the genre. Plus, you can enter to win a free cabin“ right now! So what are you waiting for? Stop reading this blog and go kick your name into the mix. I already put mine in.

Halloween Drinks: The Pumpkin Keg and Good Shots

Get a bunch of inebriated adults in Halloween costumes together and fun is sure to follow. At least, that’s how it is with my Halloween parties. Anyway, today we’re assuming that all of our readers are adults and capable of making rational, responsible decisions. Don’t drink and drive, you get the idea. So enough boring talk, let’s get right into the booze-making!


First up, we got the Grape Eyeball Punch, a recipe taken from The Washington Post:

Start to finish: 2 hours (15 minute active)

Servings: 12

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups grape juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 3 one-inch slices of fresh ginger
  • 3 cups green grapes, peeled or not
  • 3 12-ounce bottles ginger beer or ale, chilled
  • Alcohol of choice

Directions:

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the grape juice, cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice and ginger. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat. Allow to cool to room temperature, at least 1 hour. Strain out and discard the seasonings, then transfer to a large pitcher or punch bowl and chill until cold. Once chilled, add the grapes and ginger beer or ale. Done add alcohol, and prepare for a wild ride. (Can be served as a non-alcoholic beverage, just negate addition of alcohol.)

 


Next, also from The Washington Post, we have the Orange Haze:

Start to finish: 10 minutes

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

  • ¾ ounce orange liqueur
  • ¾ ounce milk chocolate cream liqueur
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • Orange zest, to garnish

Directions:

Pour the orange liqueur into a shot glass. Very slowly pour the chocolate liqueur down the side of the glass, then drizzle the honey over the top. Garnish with orange zest. It’s that easy.

 


Lastly, we got the most impressive creation from The Huffington Post, The Pumpkin Keg:

Start to finish: 30-45 minutes

Servings: N/A

Ingredients:

  • 1 large pumpkin
  • Carving knife
  • Spigot
  • Scooping spoon
  • Beer

Directions:

Carve the top off the pumpkin and scoop out the innards, as you would when preparing to create a jack-o-lantern. Cut a hole slightly small than the spigot near the bottom of the pumpkin. Then push the spigot into the hole, ensuring it’s tight and snug. Finally, fill the pumpkin with beer. (I know, I know this is blowing your mind. It blew mine, too.)

Halloween Candy: A Blessing or a Curse?

Disregarding Halloween masks and costumes for a minute, let’s talk candy:

Kit Kats, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Butterfingers, Skittles, Tootsie Pops, Hershey’s Kisses, Reese’s Pieces, 3 Musketeers, Charleston Chews, York Peppermint Patties, M&M’s (of all bazillion varieties), Snickers, Krackel Bars, Mr. Goodbars, Jolly Rancher Chews, Nestle SweeTarts, Nerds, Blow Pops, Nestle Crunch, Twizzlers, Twix, Whoppers, WarHeads, 100 Grand Bars, Baby Ruths, Pop Rocks, Junior Mints, Dots, Mike & Ikes, Starburst, Sour Patch Kids, Swedish Fish, Jelly Belly Beans (again, of all bazillion flavors), Ring Pops, Fun Dip, PayDays, Heath Bars, Milk Duds, Almond Joys, Cow Tales, Raisinets

No theater visit goes without one bag of these delicious morsels. And every friggin’ time I tell myself, “Eat them during the movie, not before.” Never happens.

The list goes on and on, and I’d bet that most readers know of or have eaten every single one of those candies. Hell, for many Halloween enthusiasts, wearing costumes and masks are only a means of receiving or handing out candy. These sweet morsels are the center in which all of the holiday’s activities revolve around, but there are many groups and organizations that feel this center on sugar is doing more harm than good. They have no problem with the masks or costumes, but this idea that candy must be essential for Halloween, they believe, should be changed.

As an example, a dental group in Illinois is trying to encourage kids to stop eating Halloween candy by offering money in exchange for unopened candy. In fact, they are paying as much as a buck a pound for unopened candy. All of this candy will then be shipped to the men and women serving our country overseas. Never mind the odd lesson being taught to children  e.g. that it’s okay for adults to eat candy, as long as they are serving their country  this kind of initiative is only one of many that hope to make Halloween a healthier holiday.

Be wary of the house handing out brownies. You may end up having a really, really good night.

Even the United States government has been pushing Halloween health tips that target the holiday’s consumption of candy. The most recent push came on October 6, in a press release that started, The really scary thing about Halloween can be the amount of candy that children get to eat.

The press release then lists tips to ensure a safe and healthy Halloween for kids, which range from parents being the candy-hating role model by moderating their own intake of sweets, to trading a toy or allowance for a child’s candy. The former example could work, maybe, while the latter gives the child a twisted incentive for collecting candy and using it as a trade item for something else with equivalently perceived value. Wouldn’t this then reinforce a child’s belief that candy is valuable? Very odd.

The last tip this press release gives is one that this writer as a child hated more than anything: Think about giving out non-food treats such as stickers, toys, temporary tattoos, bubbles, small games or colored pencils. If you prefer to give out candy, choose bite-sized ones and hand out dark chocolate (it has antioxidants) or hard candy (it takes longer to eat).

Any love for Abba Zaba?

Look, I understand trying to re-imagine the idea of Halloween and its obsession with candy, but if the best thing you have to replace candy with is bubbles, then you have to try a bit harder. That’s like saying you don’t agree with giving gifts on Christmas, instead handing out high-fives and positive one-liners like You’re the man or Did you lose weight?

It’s nice, I guess, but in the end you’re just an asshole.

The Top 5 Adult Costumes for 2012

Its that time again: the annual roundup of this years most popular adult Halloween costumes options. Some of these come from statistical data released by the National Retail Federation (NRF), while others come from gut intuition; regardless, if you want a recognizable outfit that wont have people asking, So what are you, again? these are you ideal choices.


Number 5: Pirates/Zombies/Witches/Vampires

Kicking off the top-5 list are the generic costumes: pirates, zombies, witches and vampires. These no-name costumes provide an iconic image that seems to never die. Year after year, these four groups remain favorites with all Halloweeners, often only beaten by temporary trends popular for the year.

You can tell he’s a pirate by his beard.

Sure, sometimes one of the four groups will see a surge in popularity  The Walking Dead for zombie costumes, Twilight for vampires, or The Pirates of the Caribbean for pirates  but this surge is temporary. Still, even when one of these costumes fades out of mainstream attention, they never seem to go away. People love them. These are the outfits that our children may very well be wearing.

You can tell it’s a zombie because it’s a zombie.

If youre going as any one of these outfits, youre all set for a great Halloween evening. Unless someone lives under a rock, they wont be questioning your outfit.


Number 4: Elvis/Marilyn Monroe

I know, I know  youre wondering, What the hell do these two have to do with modern times? But thats exactly the point: popularity is cyclical. Things come in and out of style, just look at todays fashion. People want outfits that remind them of times long since gone past, and few individuals conjure up this sensation quite like Elvis or Marilyn Monroe, two of the hottest pop stars of all time.

It oozes sex appeal.

From individuals to couples, these two outfits are absolutely entertaining to wear. Each one comes with a personality that the wearer can replicate, which adds an extra layer of fun to the whole ordeal.

Boom – Marilyn.

Plus, both Elvis and Monroe had  how do I put this scandalous lifestyles that made mainstream headlines. Using these scandalous headlines, such as Elvis not being dead and Monroe messing around with a president, can add even more costume possibilities. Have fun with it.


Number 3: Nicki Manaj/Katy Perry/Psy

Did you hear that Psy recently held a free concert in South Korea? It attracted something like 50,000 people. The guys so hot right now that Im surprised hes not on fire.

I hear Katy Perry sweats rainbows and cries unicorns.

You know whos also hot, right now? Katy Perry and Nicki Manaj. These two pop divas are destroying the top-10 charts, much to this writers disappointment. Regardless, if women are looking for someone to emulate, these two are perfect. They have wacky fashion tastes, insane personalities, and a recognizable image that doesnt seem to be going away anytime soon. Also, both of them appear to be somewhat crazy, which is great fun for those Halloweeners that enjoy being in character of their costume.


Number 2: Bane/Batman/Catwoman

I dont have to tell you why these costumes are on this top-5 list, do I? Movie just came out. Christian Bale. The other actor with the face mask and the explosive nuclear device and the skin-tight outfit on Catwoman. Blah blah blah Batman.

Look at all that Batman.

Going as any one of these characters is a surefire way to skyrocket into mainstream popularity. People know Batman. People love Batman. The same goes for Bane and Catwoman.

I…I don’t know what she’s doing…but I like it.

Hell, you could go as a generic police office and just say youre from the movie, and people will still love your outfit. Batman = Halloween costume gold.


Number 1: Michael Myers

What, did you think Id let the whole list go without a single iconic horror character? Please, this is FrightCatalog, not some mainstream pop blog. Since Halloween is returning to theaters for this October, were expecting a massive surge in Michael Myers popularity. Those poor souls who have never experienced his horror now have a chance to see it on the silver screen.

The mask.

So thats it, Frighters, the top-5 list of costumes that we expect to be burning up and down the streets this Halloween. I expect plenty of angry email telling me that Im wrong. But thats fine. Because Im not.

London Opens Human Flesh Meat Market

While we continue to grow excited for showing off our Halloween costumes, there’s something strange brewing in the UK: Capcom, video game developer and publisher of the widely successful Resident Evil franchise, has opened an edible meat market in London. No big deal, right? Wrong. It’s a human flesh meat market. Take a look:

Reminds me of the human bakery, in Thailand. This stuff is straight out of someone’s nightmare.

To be fair, the meat is not, in fact, made from human flesh. It’s mammalian meat designed in the shape of human body parts, though it still gives the whole meat consumption thing an eery vibe.

Frankenstein Maddness!

HAPPY OCTOBER FRIGHT FANS!

We here at fright catalog are getting more and more excited for the best day of the year, HALLOWEEN! And as we buzz around the office, fulfilling orders, answering calls and basically being the Christmas elves of Halloween- a certain conversation topic keeps resurfacing. Halloween movies of course!

As we all know, around this time each year there are always a few new Halloween movies that come out in theater. This Friday in fact marks the opening of Tim Burtons newest film Frankenweenie! This is the story of a young boy who, like many of us, couldnt seem to get past the death of his pet. Burton took this relatable experience and used it to make a new lease on the oldie but goodie story line of Frankenstein.

Which made us wonder- how many retelling of Frankenstein are out there anyway? How many cinema classics has Marry Shellys work of literature inspired? We certainly have many Frankenstein products like this costume with a classic look.

Naturally- this sparked a very long winded discussion in the office through which we came up with what we think are the top three representations of Frankenstein.

Of course there is the classic 1931 FRANKENSTEIN film directed by James Whale. This film in particular has a long history with censorship. In 31 when it was first released, many state censorship boards cut out the scene where the monster throws a little girl in a lake and accidentally downs her.  This is a pivotal moment in the plot however as it marks the moment when the monster realizes its own mortality- many suggest that without this moment the story is degraded to monster film.

Second there is the 1994 version of Frankenstein, featuring the man the myth the legend- ROBERT DINERO!
Maybe not his best look!

And FINALLY! LAST BUT NOT LEAST! Our personal favorite:
YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN!
For any of the fright fans out there that have never seen this amazing, amazing piece of cinema, we HIGHLY SUGGEST IT! It has all the things you could ask for in film- great one liners, an epic dance number and the best of Gene Wilder!

Bomb Squad Called Due to Halloween Costume

It wouldn’t feel like October if someone somewhere weren’t having a bomb squad called due to hyper realistic Halloween costumes. Thankfully, in San Mateo, California, that’s exactly what happened.

At 9:30am today, a man identified as Gilberto Masias was driving around town while wearing a gas mask with grenades hanging from his neck. This freaked out some of the locals, who immediately called the police.

The police called the sheriff’s department, which responded by sending out a bomb squad to find the guy. After evacuating about a half-block area, the bomb squad members detained Masias, where upon they discovered that he was wearing a Halloween costume.

“Sir, I’mma have to ask you to tone down your costume’s awesomeness.”

But it gets better: bomb squad members also discovered an inert grenade in his car, according to UPI.com.

When asked about the gas mask and grenade, Masias claimed to be a costume shop worker wearing an early Halloween costume, so as to get into the mood for the month.

Now, let’s talk for a minute about this guy’s dedication to Halloween costumes. I understand wearing a costume around to get a feel for it, to get into the character, and so forth. But an inactive grenade? Where the hell does someone get an inactive grenade? And why would you carry it around?

Plus, the bomb squad claims to only have found one inactive grenade, yet locals claimed he wore a necklace of grenades. Did he purchase the necklace and accidentally end up receiving an actual grenade? If so, that’s awesome.

I wonder if the police would have reacted the same way if Masias were a woman.

Well, maybe not too awesome, since Masias was cited for possession of an inactive grenade.

Regardless, this is definitely a sign of things to come, this month. It’s time to bust out those costumes, people, because Halloween is only 28 days away. Get those Halloween decorations up, finalize those costumes, and start preparing for the madness, because it’s only just begun.

Are Zombie Costumes Dying?

Zombies may finally be a dying breed. According to the National Retail Federations annual list of popular Halloween costumes, the number of adult individuals wearing zombie costumes this year has fallen from 2011’s fourth place to 2012s fifth place, with only 3.6% of the adult population wearing them. Some could interpret this as a sign that zombies are losing their grip on the mainstream masses.

This zombie’s sign is all too true.

The costumes ranking higher than zombies are witches (ranking #1, with 9.5% of the adult population), vampires (#2, with 5.2%), pirates (#3, 4.6%), and Batman costumes (#4, 3.7%). The Batman costumes come as no surprise, what with The Dark Knight Rises releasing this year, but the fact that one film can carry such pull as to push down a whole genre is surprising. Then again, people may just be getting sick of the undead.

What can we say? People love the Joker.

But before we go throwing around assumptions, let’s examine last year’s Halloween trends: Still in first place are witch costumes (with 13.4% of the surveyed adult population), followed by pirates (3.9%), vampires (3.7%), zombies (3%), and Batman costumes (2.2%).

According to rank, yes, zombie costumes have fallen in ranking popularity. But that doesn’t explain how zombie costumes came in at a lower rank while having a higher percentage than the year before. (In 2011, 3% of the adult population wore zombie costumes, while the 2012 survey lists 3.6% of individuals wearing zombie costumes.)

Here’s how it happened: Look no further than the number differences for the other categories. All of the costume genres ahead of zombie costumes fell in percentage between the 2011 and 2012 surveys. Basically, less total individuals were wearing zombie costumes, but more people were also wearing less of the costumes ranking higher than zombie costumes.

A bit complicated, but nothing too crazy.

Irradiated female nurse zombie? Love it.

So what’s the takeaway? Here’s what we think: Zombie costumes continue to be one of the go-to options for Halloween. Why? Well, they represent all of what Halloween has to offer – death, decay, fright, and a limitless ability to blend all of these elements with one’s own creativity. You want to be a burn victim zombie? Do it. Headless zombie? Go ahead.

Halloween is about wearing what you feel best accentuates your personality. If that’s a slobbering undead monstrosity, have a party, and screw what the data says about zombie costumes losing popularity.

Presidential Halloween Masks: Obama Outselling Romney

Although the presidential election is still a month away, many costume companies believe the election has already been decided by the number of presidential-themed Halloween masks sold. To date, Obama masks are well in the lead over Romney masks.

The Huffington Post states, This year, Obama masks are outselling Romney masks by more than 30 percent… The site adds that numerous reputable Halloween retailers have monitored their presidential-themed mask sales over the years, with one company’s sales predicting the victor in the past three elections. If that’s true, it looks to be another term for Obama.

Need an Obama mask?

It makes sense: popular culture trends often dictate which Halloween costumes are In and which are Out. One can imagine seeing numerous superhero costumes come Halloween, especially those featured in recent successful full-length films, e.g. The Avengers and Batman. On the other side of this popularity coin, still using superheroes as an example, few individuals would walk the streets as, say, Black Bolt or the Thing. The lack of connection with mainstream audiences for the two previously mentioned examples can be seen by their lack of appearances on Halloween evening. The same goes for presidential candidates.

The presidential candidate that most connects with the mass public is reflected by the amount of masks sold by Halloween retailers. People want to wear the plastic face of a man they admire, not someone robotic and foreign.

Or a Romney mask?

Obviously, mask popularity is not universal. Some states prefer a specific individual’s face over another. For example, 100% of the GOP-themed Halloween masks sold in Alabama are of Paul Ryan, claims the Huffington Post, while Joe Biden leads the mask sales in North Carolina.

Now, let’s look back at some previous elections and their mask sales:

  • Bill Clinton outsold Bob Dole by 71% to 29%
  • George W. Bush outsold Al Gore by 57% to 43%
  • Bush outsold John Kerry by 65% to 35%
  • Obama outsold John McCain by 60% to 40%

There’s still time to sway the current Halloween mask sales percentages. Maybe you would rather see Obama’s numbers drop, or see Romney’s go down even further. Either way, your purchase could help predict this November’s winner. Choose wisely.