HALLOWEEN’ING Day 17: “Amityville (The House On The Hill)” (Lovebug Starski)

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halloween'ing 2017
amityville the house on the hill
The season of Halloween has produced some of the best novelty songs to be released. And hip-hop, when it started to take off in the 1980s, had some cuts dedicated to the holiday. “Are You Ready For Freddy” by The Fat Boys, “Nightmare On My Street” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, and…um, there’s more out there, I’m sure. Rap’s not really my thing. Point is, though, I do loves me a good Halloween novelty song, regardless of the music genre.

Which brings us to “Amityville (The House On The Hill)”, by one Lovebug Starski. Doing a bit of research, it looks like Lovebug was pretty prolifent, releasing six albums between 1981 and 1986, which is when this particular song was released.

I’ve only recently come across “Amityville (The House On The Hill)”, and only because it was talked about in a podcast I listen to. I thought I was pretty up on the obscure Halloween novelty songs; evidently not.

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HALLOWEEN’ING Day 16: Tiny Toon’s Night Ghoulery

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tiny toons night ghoulery
Back in the early 1990s, one of the greatest afternoon cartoons to have ever existed was the Tiny Toon Adventures. Nowadays, many may recall the show Animaniacs over Tiny Toon Adventures, and for good reason. But Tiny Toon Adventures was just as great, doing the subversive comedy disguised as a children’s cartoon show. There were a small handful of seasons, plus a few specials that aired. One of which was the Tiny Toons’ Night Ghoulery special.

I have to admit that I was completely unaware of this thing’s existence until recently. It was originally supposed to air in October of 1994, but for whatever reason it was delayed until it was finally aired in late May of 1995. Which, for a Halloween special, makes complete sense.

Sarcasm aside, Night Ghoulery is a one-hour special that parodies several movies, stories and other television shows with the kind of whimsically twisted aplomb you would expect from these Acme Academy students.

For whatever reason, this has not been released on DVD as of yet. And a VHS copy is rare, and has been going for upwards of three figures on Ebay and Amazon. The individual segments can be found on YouTube, but here’s hoping someone at Warner Bros. will remember this was a thing and give this and other Tiny Toon episodes a proper DVD release treatment.

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HALLOWEEN’ING Day 15: He Dies At The End

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Sometimes, you don’t want a full-length movie to get your Halloween horror fright on. Sometimes, just sometimes, a bite-sized short will do the trick. And thus, I present to you He Dies At The End, a nice, brief short (only four and a half minutes long) that isn’t short on the suspense or the sense of dread and such.

Alone in an office, a man is taking part in a strange online quiz, to find out how he will die.

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HALLOWEEN’ING Day 14: Welcome To Night Vale

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halloween'ing 2017WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE
One of the Exalted Geeks introduced me to the twice-monthly podcast Welcome To Night Vale a couple of years ago. This was a fantastic find, as this half-hour long podcast manages to blend together both my love of horror and my twisted and dark sense of humor.

Presented as an NPR-style radio show broadcast in an unknown part of the American Southwest in the town of Night Vale. It’s pretty evident that this town isn’t quite normal, as Lovecraftian weirdness is reported on by one of the more pleasant sounding hosts you will ever come across.

WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE

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HALLOWEEN’ING 2017: Day 12 – 2017 Halloween Cereals

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halloween'ing 2017
Every year, I get mildly interested in what kind of Halloween-themed cereals that will be offered for the season. Yeah, I said “mildly interested.” Doesn’t seem like much of a sell in this ongoing yearly thing I do, but at least I keep an eye open whenever I go to one of the major supermarkets that displays them prominently in the aisle. Maybe I’m getting old(er), maybe my nostalgia glasses need a good spritzing of glass cleaner. But, I seem to recall the big cereal brands (General Mills, Ralston, Kellogg’s, and I’m sure there are others I’m missing) really going nuts during the Halloween season. I also recall a time when the Monster Cereals were a year-round thing, too. But, I digress.

This year, I’ve seen…not a whole lot. There are a lot of cereals that are coming in that “Pumpkin Spice” flavor, but I don’t include Pumpkin Spice for the Halloween’ing bits, because Pumpkin Spice is a general fall season thing, and not a Halloween item. Only the ones that are specifically Halloween-y are included here. And that limits things, it looks like.

First find of the season, very prominently displayed at one of the HyVees in Omaha (the one in the Peony Park area…memories) were this year’s aforementioned Monster Cereals. I haven’t been to one of the Super Targets yet, so I don’t know if there are any special variants or if they brought back Fruit Brute, but the Big Three are here and accounted for, with a basic artwork that works for the season, and most importantly doesn’t hop on some big presidential election in the presentation.

There was my personal favorite of the bunch, Count Chocula:
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Followed by my close second favorite, Frankenberry:
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And last and personally least, Boo Berry:
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The next find I spotted at the Wal-Mart in Fremont, NE, while picking up provisions for my yearly weekend of seclusion at my relatives’ pond. They were the Kellogg’s brand cereals, and…there were only three prominitely desplayed:

Froot Loops…
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Apple Jacks…
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and Frosted Flakes.
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I couldn’t find any of the other Kellogg’s brands getting in on the Halloween fun, and I was up and down the regular cereal aisle several times. For that matter, on the back of the Monster cereals, there was evidence some of the other General Mills cereals and brands were getting in on the fun…but I couldn’t find them anywhere. Maybe I didn’t look closely enough. Maybe I will have to come across them later in the month and post the findings later. I don’t know. But, these were the ones I found so far. Happily munching on some Frankenberry as I write this.

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HALLOWEEN’ING Day 11: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow & Other Macabre Tales (Washington Irving)

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IMG_20170929_172745569
The name Washington Irving should be familiar to those of us Gothic literature enthusiasts. He was one of the first early American-born writers, with quite a few contributions to 19th Century ghost stories. You might remember a little story called The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow? Even if you’ve only seen the Disney animated short, the underrated Tim Burton movie, or even nods to it in various bits of media (my favorite being an episode of The Real Ghostbusters), the original story is a classic ghost story that goes hand-in-hand with Halloween.

This particular book that contains this and various other short stories by Washington Irving (including his other famous work, “Rip Van Winkle”) I ran across at Barnes & Noble, in the Discount Books section for cheep a couple of years ago. It includes the two stories mentioned, plus __ others: “The Spectre Bridegroom”, “Strange Stories by a Nervous Gentleman”, “The Devil and Tom Walker”, “Walter Webber, or Golden Dreams, “Guest from Gibbet Island”, “Legend of the Two Discreet Statues”, “The Grand Prior of Minorca”, “Don Juan: A Spectral Research”, “Legend of the Engulfed Convent”, and “The Enchanted Island”. I paid about $7.99 for it, not factoring in the tax, back then. I’ve seen it listed for less than that at the Barnes & Noble online site, though, as an ebook.

For some classic American Gothic ghost stories, this is one of the better collections.

The LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW & Other Tales of the Macabre

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HALLOWEEN’ING Day 10: “Trick Or Treat” (Rackets & Drapes)

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rackets and drapes trick or treat
Rackets & Drapes was a shock rock band from Denver, Colorado, that released three full-length albums and an EP, all with songs that played on horror themes with deeper meanings than just the horror. Their music also goes great in any Halloween playlist. Mind you, I really wanted to share “Scary-Go-Round”, off of their 2000 release Trick Or Treat, but for whatever reason i couldn’t find it on You Tube for easy streaming for this post. Instead, I went with the title song from that album. Which, given this is a Halloween-themed post, yeah, I guess this one makes more sense.

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