The Creepy Tradition of Krampus, the Child-Stealer

Krampus has crept out of its origins and into the American popular imagination.

Lump of coal, move over: Krampus Day is one punishment you’ll grow to love.

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Missing Halloween? Don’t fret (and DEFINITELY don’t be bad): December 5 is the day Germany expects the demonic Krampus to visit hell on mischievous children everywhere.

Fun, Family, Food, Fear: Hurrah!

Give your child a cute toy and a kiss this Dec. 6. (Or chase her all over the place – it’s up to you.)

You heard that right. It’s not just a creepy movie or nouveau tale – the myth of Krampus goes back centuries.

And yes, kids do believe the beast-man is coming this December to either set kids straight, or take them back with him to the place of eternal nightmares.

Believe it or not, this is all celebrated in good fun. Costumes, games and as special winter carnival are all part of the Krampus tradition in parts of Europe.

Who Is Krampus?

Krampus was made popular by the 2015 movie, but the legend has

Horrific costumes and fab food are all part of the festival of krampuslauf.

been around for centuries. Central European tradition says that this beast is half-man, half-goat – and it comes every December 6 to stuff misbehaving children into his hideous hell-sack and spirit them away.

Once almost certainly used to keep kids in line, the myth of Krampus is big fun for young and old today. There are holiday cards, toys and even a Krampuslauf (or “Krampus Run”) with adults in costume chasing frightened kids through Alpine towns.

Ho, ho, ho….ly hell, we say. But for its eager annual participants, the day is big fun, with food, dancing, laughter, and of course, screams. (We’re all in for that last part!)

Coming to America

Krampus cards are ho-ho-horrific.

Though the Krampus movies didn’t earn much in the way of green, they did open this ages-old belief to a more Western imagination.

Looking to celebrate? Dress up in something scary (horns are a must), cook fun Bavarian foods, have some beer, and chase the kids everywhere while they shriek like crazy. (Don’t worry – you can pay for their therapy later.)

De-traumatize the little monsters just a bit with a light-hearted children’s Christmas movie afterward and hand out yummy treats.

And remember: be good! We don’t want to hear about how you got stolen away in the dead of night. That would mean you couldn’t come back to have frightening fun with us in October 2019!

 

 

Be Like Mike: Halloween 2018 Edition

With Oct. 31 right around the corner, we’re sitting on our bloodstained little hands NOT to include any spoilers in this quick-‘n-dirty Michael Myers costume tutorial. (We’re not THAT mean.)

Instead, we’ll take what you probably already know, even if you haven’t caught the Halloween 2018 release yet. We’ve got you, boo! Here’s how to grab your own killer gear so you can look just like the 2018 version of Mike.

Enjoy…and stay scary!

The Mask

You’re just not Mike without the mask. Buy the officially licensed one if you’re short on time.

Otherwise, get a standard Halloween makeup kit or use makeup you already have (you may not have the palest colors; we recommend Dollar Tree). Here’s an incredibly cool tutorial:

 

The Coveralls

These are iconic too. They’re a bit cooler-looking for the new movie, partially because they’re more weathered and realistic.

Grab any old pair of work coveralls from your local Goodwill or thrift shop; if they don’t have front chest pockets, draw these on with dark-blue magic marker. (Yes, really. In the dark, it makes one cool effect.)

Turn the collar up in the back and you’re done.

Coveralls look TOO good? Here’s How to Weather Them:

Now That’s a Knife!

Make your own quickie knife with the tutorial below, or simply cut out cardboard and cover it with aluminum foil. CAREFUL: don’t crinkle the foil too much. You want it smooth and super-shiny.

That’s it, folks – so easy! Now grab a trick-or-treat bag and start collecting body parts…err, candy. But first, here’s the trailer we promised you. Enjoy…and have a killer Halloween!

15 LAST-MINUTE Halloween Finds – Each for UNDER $15!

Halloween may be a multi-million dollar industry in the U.S., but this year, you don’t have to break the bank – or rush around in stores. Our sinister scouts dug up these 15 fantastic Amazon finds for under $15 each…just for you.

Please note: we are not the supplier of these items. Always do your research on any item you buy online. Prices do not include shipping costs. If you are an Amazon Prime member, the item may include free shipping.

Click the pics for more information…and stay scary!

1. Zombie Hand Wall Decals * $11.99

Creep party guests and trick-or-treaters out with these reaching hands. Includes 5 haunting pieces that peel off the wall without damaging paint or wallpaper.

2. Pretty Kitty Ears Headband (Pack of 2; Black/White) * $6.99

Be one cool cat and turn heads with these lacy, sexy cat ears. They sit on a comfy headband. Comes in a pack of two (Black; White).

3. Skeleton Gloves * $11.69

Warm up – you look chilled to the bone! You’ll want to wear these unisex skelly gloves even when it isn’t Halloween…’cause they’re just that cool. One size fits most.

4. Vampire Bat Wall Stickers * $9.99

Decorate your home-sweet-cave with these 28 cool pieces. Bats are made of PVC (vinyl) for easy-stick, easy-removal (no damage to walls or glass).

5. FX Bullet Wound Kit * $6.80

Okay, we’re not going to lie: that looks bad. But it’s supposed to! Realistic wounds apply with adhesive, come off with enclosed solvent. LATEX ALLERGY WARNING: Contains latex.

6. Mini Poseable Skeletons (Pack of 2) * $12.99

These 16″ skellies are two (see what we did there?) cute! Pose them in a variety of scenes to spook up your decor.

7. Bloody Handprints/Footprints * $7.99

Point party guests in the direction of the freakish fun with these spooky prints. 40 pieces with handprints, footprints and faux blood splashes.

8. Vampire Fangs * $10.79

That Halloween party doesn’t have to bite. But it’ll be a lot more fun if it does. Choose from three sizes.

9. Glitter Skull Tattoo Kit * $13.03

Have your Halloween with a side of gorgeous with this uber-glittery kit. Includes stencil, makeup and application brush. LATEX ALLERGY WARNING: Contains latex.

10. Cosplay Elf Ears * $5.98

Play up your Medieval side with these elf ears. Two sizes (M and L); simply clip over ears and you’re ready for some fantasy Halloween fun. LATEX ALLERGY WARNING: Contains latex.

11. Skeleton Restroom Door Cover * $5.50

Would it be crossing a line to say his meal REALLY went through him? Probably – but we’ll say it anyway. Hangs on the door to tell party guests where to park their bones after too much party punch.

12. Body Parts Necklace * $7.96

Have a heart! Or in this case, have a finger and a couple ears. This zombie is proud of his job and shows it with a trophy necklace. LATEX ALLERGY WARNING: Contains latex.

13. Bloody Treat Bags * $11.49

Thirsty? Fill these 12 bags with juice, soda, liquid candy or whatever your grim little heart desires. Note: bags do NOT come pre-filled. Your order includes 12 fillable party bags.

14. Creepy Baby Mask * $12.99

We just can’t look at this…thing without crab-walking backward. That’s why we knew we HAD to include it. Make party guests cry like toddlers with this creepy mask that pairs with any outfit for a hairless scare.

15. Bat Kitty Costume * $10.99

Why should humans have all the fun? Humiliate your favorite cat or small dog with these devilish little wings. Comfortable (at least, we haven’t heard any wearers officially complain).

 

Visit These Totally Haunted Halloween Destinations

With Halloween only a few weeks away, it’s a great time to take a few days off and go on a thrilling adventure. Here are some of the spookiest travel destinations you can visit for a good scare:

Credit: Don Hollycross Photography

Colonial Williamsburg (Williamsburg, VA)

This living history museum in Virginia is a popular tourist destination that thousands of holidaymakers and history buffs visit each year.

Here, dedicated actors live and portray daily life as it was during the Colonial period and the American Revolutionary War. And if you doubt the rumors of hauntings at this popular vacation spot, going on a tour with https://colonialghosts.com/ may quickly change your mind.

Credit: history.org

Colonial Ghosts, one of the most popular Williamsburg ghosts tours in the country, says it provides a uniquely authentic experience. Every night, licensed and knowledgeable tour guides lead visitors through the historic streets and buildings of Colonial Williamsburg, sharing intriguing facts and stories about the area. You can learn a lot from these tours—you will also be scared silly.

Colonial Williamsburg played a key role in the American Revolutionary War, and has seen its fair share of battle, tragedy and violence. It’s no wonder that reports of hauntings, ghost sightings and paranormal activity in the area abound. Every story told on the Colonial Ghosts tours is backed by thorough research and credible eyewitness accounts, adding to the spook factor of the tour—ghost stories are so much more terrifying when they’re based on fact.

Credit: wikipedia.org

Eastern State Penitentiary (Philadelphia, PA)

This imposing prison in Philadelphia was once one of the most famous and expensive in the world.

Within its castle-like walls, prisoners were subjected to grueling forms of punishment, including solitary confinement.

Inmates were made to eat, sleep, live and work alone, and had to wear hoods over their heads while being escorted by guards from one part of the prison to another.

Credit: atlasobscura.com

This extreme way of living caused many inmates to mentally break down, and numerous prisoners died during their stay at the penitentiary. To this day, the ghosts of these inmates are said to haunt the prison (now a historic site,) with multiple sightings and frightening experiences being reported.

If you want to get the full spooky treatment when you visit, the prison conducts its own Halloween tour called Terror Behind the Walls, guaranteed to send chills up and down your spine.

Dauphine Orleans Hotel (New Orleans, LA)

Credit: dauphineorleans.com

This beautiful boutique hotel is located in the French Quarter of New Orleans, and features quaint buildings that date all the way back to the 19th century.

Considered one of the Big Easy’s finest and most luxurious hotels, what makes it so spooky? Local residents and return visitors will tell you: the hotel is considered to be one of the most haunted sites in the city.

Credit: dauphineorleans.com

Guests and employees of the hotel alike have reported numerous sightings and eerie, unexplainable happenings such as footsteps in the night, bar glasses randomly falling off and shattering, and indistinguishable voices.

The ghost of a man dressed in a dark Confederate uniform has regularly been seen pacing the front courtyard, while the spirit of a young, forlorn bride-to-be whose fiance was killed before their wedding is said to haunt the place in her wedding dress.

Fright Kingdom (Nashua, NH)

Credit: frightkingdom.com

Located in a tiny town in New Hampshire, Fright Kingdom is an unexpectedly effective 65,000-square-foot Halloween attraction.

This uber-creepy destination is one of the most elaborate haunted houses in America, with convincing actors and impressive special effects.

Credit: frightkingdom.com

Attractions include Grim, an almost pitch-black labyrinth where the darkness heightens the terror, Bloodmare Mansion and Psycho Circus.

Fright Kingdom is open from September 28 to November 3 from 7am to 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 7am to 10pm on Sundays.

Lizzie Borden House (Fall River, MA)

Credit: awesomelocations.blogspot.com

The story of Lizzie Borden is one of the most grisly American unsolved mysteries. In 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were brutally murdered in their home with an ax.

Lizzie, Andrew’s daughter, was the main suspect in the case. She was eventually acquitted of the murders, but to this day, the case remains unsolved.

Today, Lizzie Borden’s house operates as a bed and breakfast for curious and adventurous tourists.

It is said that almost everyone who spends a night in the B&B experiences some kind of paranormal activity, from hearing voices in the night, objects being mysteriously moved from one room to another, to the covers being ripped right off you while you sleep. A stay at the Lizzie Borden house is definitely not an experience for the faint of heart.

These are just some of the spookiest places you can visit in America. Plan your trip now and enjoy a chilling, thrilling Halloween weekend you’ll likely never forget.

Get Wiggy With it: Our 8 FAVORITE Halloween Wigs

Halloween wigs aren’t generally built for the long haul. They’re supposed to stand up to dancing, candy-binging and following tots around the ‘hood for just one night.

But we have a real treat for you today. If you’ve been considering a Halloween wig, these little babies have come a LONG way. Click each pic for details.

(Psst: See our tips at the end of the article for wig-wearing if you’ve never donned something spookysexyscarycool.)

She’s Got it All

This rainbow wig comes with matching socks and gloves for the look that has it all. So cute!

Killer (in a Weirdly Hot Way) Clown

This wig is truly killer! (And you knew we were going to include it…who doesn’t love Harley Quinn?) Check out the reviews to see it on real customers.

Frank-ly Hot

This is such a COOL take on the Bride of Frankenstein. Add some hot to your night with this fun pick.

Go Get ‘Em, Guy!

Nobody can hold THIS guy down (unless he wants that). Uber-blonde, long, and fun…female party guests will be asking for a li’l tug all party night long.

Red Bombshell

They’ll fall in love with you…and you’ll fall in love with this super-cool look. It’s on-trend and will look hot on your vamp-est outfits. Go for it!

80s Megaheat

Ouch! You’re too hot to handle in this totally 80s throwback. Go retro bleach blonde or dark-‘n-mysterious.

Fairy Fun

Don this whimsical piece and you’ll enchant one and all. In fantasy ombre.

This Wig Trumps All

Don’t worry, the real thing looks pretty fake too. You’ll get laughs and plenty of attention from this little piece.

Wig-Wearing Tips

  1. Wigs aren’t for everyone. The above wigs are all synthetic. They may feel itchy to some sensitive individuals. Make sure you buy from a supplier who offers a returns policy, just in case.
  2. Make sure the wig you purchase comes with a built-in wig cap. If not, you can purchase wig caps cheaply on Amazon or at your local beauty supply store.
  3. Wig too shiny? Dust it with cornstarch if it’s light-colored, or with cocoa powder if it’s dark.
  4. Most costume-style wigs are tell-tale by the front hairline. To soften it, try tinting the front of your hair with a temporary (rinse-out) color that blends with the wig. Then pull a few pieces of your own hair out at the front.
  5. While extremely long, lush wigs may look cool, they’re more prone to tangling. You may want to test out your wig with one wear before putting it on for the party night.

5 *Even Freakier* Halloween Makeup Tutorials

Last year we brought you these reality-defying, head-bending Halloween makeup ideas. This year, you asked us for more – and you asked for the scoop: just how do they create those fantastic effects, anyway?

Your wish is our command, HA fans: here are five even freakier Halloween makeup ideas, plus vids to creep you through every step. Enjoy!

NOTE: Some tutorials contain add-ons like latex prosthetics or glue. If you’re allergic to any of these items, please DO NOT attempt.

1. It’s a Scream

The “open mouth” idea isn’t new, but this tutorial amps things up a notch. Wow! We know we’re screaming. (And we kinda can’t stop.)

2. Horror Hands

We admit it – our minds are blown. Try these FXs to trick out your trick-or-treaters this year.

3. That’s Out There. Way, Way Out There

“Pale Man” wins our vote for most understated costume name of the year. WhatEVER this thing is, it’s scaring our pants right off (and we love it).

4. You Forgot Something

And by that we mean: half your face. This inhuman take on the “pulled-off face” is out of this world.

5. Oh. Eye Get It

Honestly, we’ve been wondering for years how this is done. The idea seems simple but it’s true art. (No, really!) Try these eyes on for size.

The 10 Creepiest Vintage Halloween Pics…Ever

 

At Halloween Alliance, we LOVE creepy. But when we researched vintage Halloween images, we got a little more than we bargained for. Come along with us on a spooky journey into a much darker past than you may have imagined. But beware: when it came to preying on fears, kids weren’t spared anything in the good ol’ days. (Anything.)

Yeah…we’re going to go ahead and consider this an overprotective parenting fail. It doesn’t seem like those harnesses did a whole lot of good. But hell (sorry), at least they’re together, right? Forever…

Women: you’re probably okay. Men: run. Dear God, run. Save yourselves. That isn’t a Men’s Room, right? …right?

You can’t MAKE us say it. No. Seriously. You can’t. So just forget about it. We aren’t going to…Oh, okay, fine. What a cute little devil. Satisfied?

There really aren’t enough underwear changes in the world to get through just one viewing of this adorbs little vintage gem.

Yeah, we know. “Grownup doll” costumes are supposed to be peek-a-boo and flirty and adorbs and…not freakin’ terrifying. But…then there’s this. By the way, she’s (or is it a fella?) HOLDING a doll, too. And it’s…looking at her. We’re pretty sure of it. (Don’t go to sleep, lady…okay?)

That isn’t the car Michael Myers used to escape from the asylum, is it? We kind of think it is. We kind of feel worried right now. We’re kind of wondering whether this li’l guy ever saw 1959.

Sure, Halloween is all about hiding, but we’re wondering what “the teacher” (air-quotes, meaningful nod) is indoctrinating this masked little bunch into. And what she’s instructed them to unleash on the town while it’s peacefully sleeping in cozy beds.

We don’t remember the Black Death breaking out any time during the 20th century but just in case it were to pop up, these kids were ready. Plus, they had a sailor and some dude with a cone to help out in case…Okay, we’ve lost the plot on this one. Anyway…happy Halloween, strangely wrapped kiddies.

Isn’t it weird which one of these two is crying?

…but no one heard little Timmy’s whimpers in the night whenever the closet door creaked open, slowly, so very slowly, almost tauntingly, the soft snick, snick of the razor prickling his ears…nor did they seem to notice the hollow look in his eyes. But one day…yes, one day the town would come to regret…Be right back, we feel a movie plot coming on.

 

REVIEW: Dying to Be a Haunt Actor? This Book Tells You How

Review: Author Larry R. Johnson Jr. Unveils ‘Handbook for the Aspiring Haunt Actor’

Do you love screams, laughter and once in a while, an uncontrolled pants-wetting before your very eyes? (And we’re not just talking about the kids.)

As a youngster, while the other children were dreaming of becoming firefighters or teachers, were you the kid daydreaming that one day, you’d be Freddy Krueger?

Do you live to see someone handsome or gorgeous made horrific with a few flicks of dripping home-made goo?

Then you might be just like this guy. Growing up in his North Carolina home, future author Larry R. Johnson Jr. dreamed of something bigger (and more faux blood-covered) than the average.

“I Just Wanted to Make People Ugly”

It all started innocently enough.

Or…not.

The young Larry knew he was different – and creative. His fascination with the ordinary-turned-macabre led him on the path to one day becoming a haunt actor, he says.

“I wanted to do the stuff they did in movies that made people ugly,” Johnson explains in the Introduction to his new ebook, Handbook for the Aspiring Haunt Actor.

He continues in the gotcha! deadpan you’ll quickly come to know and love, “I also wanted to be a pro wrestler. Mostly, though, I wanted to make people ugly.”

Ugly. Got it.

Grim and Gainful Employment

He succeeded. Johnson went on to become an actor in one of North Carolina’s largest and best-known haunt attractions, Hacker House.

Was it easy? Well, yes…and no. Enter Handbook for the Aspiring Haunt Actor.

In this delightful, dark and just-a-little-devilish manual, Johnson details his surprising first step into haunt acting (and what he learned along the way); his evolution since then; and every down-and-dirty detail of how to win that dream haunt acting gig of your own.

What’s Inside the Book

Handbook for the Aspiring Haunt Actor reveals all of the following, in a folksy, fun and occasional profanity-marked (we loved it) let’s-sit-down-and-talk-over-coffee tone:

  • Why a haunt actor audition really is an audition – and how to be ready
  • Getting the “scare” your prospective boss wants to see
  • Improv and thinking on the move
  • Dressing the part (and feeling comfortable while “in character”)
  • How to communicate with your interviewer so you get the gig

A Haunting Future

Johnson notes that it doesn’t all stop at simply landing the job. You’ll also learn:

  • What “oops, that’s not in my contract” work you’ll get (like hands-on set building) – and why you should be a “yes man” when it’s offered
  • Getting along with your coworkers
  • Evolving your character and refining your craft
  • Movements, sounds and your character’s “voice”
  • What to do when haunt visitors heckle, throw a punch, or just won’t give you the scare reaction you’re looking for

And can we just put this out there? The makeup and costuming tips are phenomenal. From making your own faux blood, pus and scars to dressing for scary success, Johnson doesn’t miss a trick – and he’ll definitely save you some coin, whether you’re going pro or staying closer to home to terrify unsuspecting trick-or-treaters.

The Quick & Dirty

PRICE: You can’t beat it. Currently, the book is listed in Kindle format for $1.99. (Please note: prices can change. Click the image of the book above for details.)

STYLE: Down-to-earth, occasionally crude, surprisingly funny, sneak-up-on you smart, with tons of informational meat on its bones…it’s EXACTLY what we love at Halloween Alliance.

LENGTH: It’s a very readable, totally filler-free 76 pages. No word will be wasted; even with the engaging style, Johnson gives you a bang for your buck in quality, immediately usable information.

WE SUGGEST THIS BOOK FOR: People who want to be come paid/professional haunt actors; people who want to be part of their own home haunt/scare on Halloween; people who are already haunt actors but want to hone their craft; anyone wishing to make decor, particularly moving or stationary monster or human props, look more realistic.

 

Recipe: Whoa! Make This AMAZING Face-Hugger Chicken

 

It’s gory, it’s creepy, it’s…chicken? Every once in a while we come across a recipe that literally blows our black little socks off. Today we give you this AMAZING “face hugger” (from the Alien movie franchise) feast, direct from the culinary artistry of Eat the Dead. Thanks, fellas – this is true genius!

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Copyright eatthedead.com ~ Reprinted from: Nov. 14, 2017

So, as some of you may know, I made an Alien’s inspired chest burster turkey last year for Thanksgiving…or as I’m now calling it: Fangsgiving…

And while it turned out amazingly delicious, I was also told in no uncertain terms that I would not be able to make another chestburster for this year’s holiday…and because I love my family, I agreed.

But nobody said ANYTHING about not making an Alien’s inspired Facehugger chicken!

BEHOLD!  THE FACEHUGGER FEAST!

Made from a full-sized roasting chicken, snow crab legs, and a homemade chicken sausage tail, this sweet slab of petrifying poultry is smokey, succulent, and has just enough bite from a secret ingredient to make you cautiously come back for more.

In short, it’s damn good.

This recipe is a bit involved.  It takes a good 24 hours and includes multiple steps and a few unique ingredients, but trust me when I say, it’s so worth the effort…both visually and for how good it tastes.

Now, before we get too far into this, let me say that yes, this can absolutely be done with a turkey as well and would make the perfect show-stopping centerpiece to any Thanksgiving meal.  I just didn’t have the oven space for a full turkey face hugger.  Maybe next year?!

To make your own Facehugger Feast, the first thing we need to do is prep the chicken.

24-hours ahead of time, brine your chicken.  To do this you will need:

  • 1 roasting chicken
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1/2 cup Kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar

In a large pot on the stove, mix together your water, salt and brown sugar.  Over medium heat, mix until fully dissolved.  Allow to cool completely.

Place your chicken into a large container and pour your brine over, fully covering the chicken.

Pop the whole thing into the fridge for at least 4 hours, and up to 24 hours.

Now let’s work on the rub.  You will need:

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • teaspoons ground cumin
  • teaspoons onion powder
  • teaspoon smoked paprika
  • teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

Whisk all these ingredients together and set aside for 30 minutes to really get acquainted.

Let’s also make our honey glaze.

For this you will need:

  • 2/3 cup Ghost Pepper honey*
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • teaspoons lemon juice

*The secret to the sweet heat in this recipe is the ghost-pepper honey.  I found some a few weeks ago on Instagram from a company called The Beecreeper.  Seriously, this stuff is intense!  They’re still working on setting up their website, but you can bug (ha!) them on IG @_beecreeper_

If you can’t snag your own ghost pepper honey, simply add 3 teaspoons of chili powder…but know it’s just not going to be the same.

Whisk all this together and set aside for 30 minutes as well.

While that’s resting, let’s move onto the next step.

For this you will need:

  • Your rub
  • Your glaze
  • Your brined chicken (patted dry)
  • 3 feet of sausage casing
  • Butcher’s twine
  • 1 additional boneless chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • .5 oz (roughly 1/2 teaspoon) transglutaminase** powder.

**Remember our earlier recipe, the Chili Con Carnage?  We discuss in depth there exactly what transglutaminase powder is and where to get it.

We’re going to start out by first spatchcocking our chicken.

Wait…spatchwhat?

Spatchcocking…and before you let your dirty little mind run off into the gutter, let me explain exactly what spatchcocking is.

When you spatchcock a chicken, you remove the backbone (ie: spine) and flatten the whole thing out before cooking.  This is done for a number of reasons.

In normal cooking a spatchcocked chicken roasts in just 30 minutes, which is actually 15 minutes less than a normal roasting meaning tons of saved time.

It also exposes more of the bird to dry heat, resulting in a crispy, crunchy skin.

And while this is all good, we’re doing it for another, more artistic reason.

This is a face hugger:

This is a spatchcocked chicken:

See the similarity?

Okay, true…we’re missing the tail and a few other details need to be adjusted, but it’s the same general shape!

To spatchcock your chicken (quit giggling, I can hear you!) pat your brined chicken dry and flip onto your cutting board, breast down.

Using a pair of strong shears, cut along both sides of the spinal column lengthwise on your chicken, splitting your bird in half from tail to tip and completely removing the spine.

Congratulations, you now have before you a spineless chicken…or as I like to call it: My ex.  

Now we need to remove those pesky wings and legs.

From the INSIDE of your bird, carefully locate the top joints of your legs (aka drumsticks) and slice through those.  Pull the legs up through the skin, basically turning it inside out.  Cut the skin off at the base of the leg bone closest to where the feet would be if they were still attached.

Flip your bird over, breast side up, and carefully remove the wings, trying to ensure that your cuts are as close to the skin and as small as possible.  Now smoosh your bird flat, pressing the breast back into the board with the palm of your hands.  You’ll hear some crunches…don’t worry, that’s normal.

You should end up with something that looks like this:

Save the legs, wings, and spine for another recipe.

Now that that is done, move your chicken to a large aluminum foil lined cookie sheet with high edges and give it a good rubdown with your rub.

In a food processor, combine your boneless chicken breast, 2 tablespoons of your rub (you should have plenty, don’t worry) and your transglutaminase powder.  Pulse until you end up with a thick paste.

Drizzle in enough chicken broth to form a thick milkshake like slurry.  Mmm…meat slurry!  The goal here is to create a mixture that is just barely liquid enough to be easy to jam through a funnel into your sausage casing.

Tie a knot at one end of your casing.  Pull the open end of your casing over the nozzle end of a funnel and pull up the rest of your casing like it’s a sock and your nozzle is a very strange looking foot.

Scoop your meat slurry into your funnel.  Using the blunt end of a wooden spoon handle, jam the slurry through your funnel and into the casing.  Don’t worry if it’s not evenly distributed yet, just fill the casing up until you’ve used all your slurry.

Once you fill it all the way up, tie a knot in the open end of your casing at about the 2 1/2 foot mark.  Gently squeeze your casing, evenly distributing the meat slurry through the whole thing.

Using your butcher’s twine, wrap your casing starting at one end and ending about 6? below the other end.  This will be the crest of your hugger body as well as your tail.

Loosen the skin all along the back of your chicken.  Do this by gently sliding your hand between the skin and the meat of your chicken and lifting upwards. Don’t completely separate your skin from the edges or on the leg section of your roast…you just want to create a large pocket in the back for the crest tube (sausage) and legs (coming soon).

Stuff the unwrapped end of your chicken sausage between the skin and the meat on the back of your chicken, pulling the knotted end all the way through so it sticks out the neck area of your roast.  The rest should be sticking out the bottom as a tail.  I used two toothpicks to pinch the chicken skin closed over the back of the chicken where the tail went in to help keep it in place. Curve the tail back and forth on itself so the entire thing fits on your cookie sheet.  Next, take another toothpick and give the entire tail a few pokes through the casing.  You don’t want to do too many, but a few along the length every few inches or so will allow the steam that will result from cooking escape.  Forgetting to do this can result in a tail that splits or blows up while cooking.

Give the tail a good rubdown with the rub as well.

Now let’s prep your facehugger so you can attach the legs later.

For this, you’ll need 8 holes for your crab legs, 4 for each side.

I’m going to be completely honest with you and tell you that the first time I made this dish, I jammed the legs in before cooking the chicken (hence all these photos).  This ruined the crab legs. If you decide to do it this way, know ahead of time that we’re cooking this beast at a temperature that will dry your crab legs out and make them taste awful.  Trust me, you will NOT want to eat them…so I strongly suggest either getting the cheapest legs you can find that you don’t mind ruining, or stick them in at the end.

All the photos in this tutorial are of me doing it the wrong way…putting the crab legs in before roasting the chicken.  Don’t do this…but for now, just deal with the fact that I made a mistake and you’re benefitting from it.

I picked up a right half and left half set of snow crab legs for $8 total at my grocer.  Get just the legs…you don’t need the claws.

Using a sharp knife, slit your chicken along the “back” in three slices on both sides and two in the front using this template as a guide:

Using your tin foil, twist up 8 tubes approximately the same size as your crab legs and jam them in as place-holders for now.

Size them appropriately to your crab legs, starting with the largest ones in the back and getting smaller as you go.  Save the two smallest legs for the front.

IF YOU ROAST YOUR CRAB LEGS, tuck your legs up so they’re “crawling” and use the edge of your cookie sheet to keep them in place.

A ball of aluminum foil, wadded up, works well to keep the front elevated and in place.

Give the whole thing another rubdown with your rub.

Now let’s add some glaze!  Using a food safe brush, give your entire face hugger (except the legs) a nice thick layer of glaze.

Pop into a 350F/175C oven and set your timer for 15 minutes.

At the 15 minute mark, pull it out and give it another thick basting with your glaze.  Return to the oven for another 15 minutes and repeat the glazing.

At the half-hour mark, pull out, wrap the legs in tin foil to keep them from burning, give it one more good swab with your glaze, and return to the oven for a final 10-minute stint.

All in all, you’ll be roasting it for 40 minutes.  I know I said a spatchcocked chicken takes only 30 minutes to roast, but because we’ve added so much to it, super soaked it with the glaze, and have a chicken sausage tail, we need to ensure food safety by guaranteeing the interior reaches a consumption safe temperature of 165F/73C.  Test for doneness by taking an internal temperature reading at the thickest part of the roast.

when it’s done, pull it out of the oven and remove the foil from your crab legs.

If you haven’t roasted your crab legs (good on you) NOW is the time to insert them into your roast beast.  Gently pull out your aluminum foil place holders and swap in your crab legs.

Gently snip off the butcher twine from your sausage tail now as well.  Allow it to rest for 5 minutes and then transfer to your serving platter.

Bask in the enviable glow that comes from creating something so damn devious looking and so damn tasty!

I mean, come on…  Look at this thing!
 Carve into this beautiful bastard and enjoy!
Happy Thanksgiving and…

Bone Appetite!

 *
This recipe post was reprinted with express permission from eatthedead.com. PLEASE ask permission from any site if you see a recipe or tutorial you’d like to share. For more information on this amazingly artistic crew, contact them here

13 Totally Weird Superstitions

 

Broken mirrors, black cats…ceiling fans? You’d be surprised at the absolutely weird and wonderful superstitions that famed cultures have drummed up. Here are 13 of the strangest superstitions ever to span the globe, but don’t laugh – you might be next!

1. Night of the Living Gum

According to legend, superstitious Turks believe that if one chews gum after dark, the chaw will turn into dead flesh. (And as we all know…death lasts an Extra, Extra, Extra long time.)

 

2. Wait! Don’t Turn On That Fan!

Superstitious snoozers in various areas of Asia believe that falling asleep with a fan blowing in the room will result in death. Not cool, guys. Not cool.

 

3. That’s a Hairy Cute Baby

Romanians – famous for vampires, werewolves and all creatures that go slurp in the night – believe if you beat animals, your next child will be very, very hairy. We suspect a wandering wife with an eye for chest fuzz made this one up.

 

4. An Unlucky Dozen

If you give an even number of flowers to a Russian paramour, you’re likely to be unlucky twice: first, even numbers portend fatality – and second, wishing death on your beloved is just NOT a panty-dropper.

 

5. Shear Fear

Japanese believe that if you trim your nails at night, you’ll die prematurely. (Sure, Grandma COULD have lived to 97…but she just had to take care of bidness during Jimmy Kimmel.)

 

6. Tuesday, Bloody Tuesday

Apparently, rather than Friday the Thirteenth, Spaniards have Tuesday the Thirteenth. Let’s skip Taco Tuesday that day. We feel behind the eight ball as it is.

 

 

7. The Lonely Corner

According to an adorable Hungarian tradition, if you sit at a corner of the table, you’ll be an old maid, never to marry. (Oh noes!) We’re left to wonder just what host sits a person on a corner anyway…but yeah. Don’t do that.

 

 

8. Sparkling, Clean, Delicious Disaster

An old German spell calls for toasting someone with water rather than  champagne. Upon your first sip, the intended will drop dead. (Like nobody was going to notice that? It’s a wedding, dude. There are a lot of people watching.)

 

9. Shut It

Celts believed a bird flying through an open window portended death. We feel it’s a fair bet that somebody’s going to die at some point in a pretty big village, but we’re installing locks anyway.

 

10. The Acorn of Power

Similar to the Ring of Power in Lord of the Rings, an old Celtic tradition from the British Isles holds that if you carry an acorn in your (nasty little) pocket(ses), you’ll never grow old. Great, plant one on us!

 

11. No Glove, Get Love

Medieval Europeans believed that giving gloves as a gift meant ill luck. It hearkened to small tokens at a joust or other potentially lethal event. Tip: Want to win a lady’s heart? Don’t give her a death sentence. You’re welcome.

 

12. I WOULD Have Gotten the Job…if Not for that Darned Goat

Another quaint Medieval tradition held that if you passed by a wandering goat on your way to seeking employment, you’d never get the job. Manhattanites, beware!

 

13. Lift Your Skirt Up if You Want THIS

No, really. According to a 1914 edition of The Oxford Dictionary of Superstitions, turning the hem of your skirt up will mean you magically receive a brand-new dress. Or…well, that’s what that dude told ya, anyway.

Happy Friday the 13th!

 

Make a Creepy “Skinned” Face

 

When you said you wanted to get tanned, we’ll bet this wasn’t what you meant! We saw this eerie image floating all over Pinterest but were unable to locate the original artist. So we decided to try it out for ourselves – and it’s surprisingly easy.

Here’s how to craft a super-creepy “skinned” (cut away from the skull)-face Halloween prop just like the one shown. Happy haunting – and don’t go into the woods alone.

You Will Need:

  • A creepy latex face mask. Searching for masks under “old man,” “zombie” or “baby” (an example is shown at right) on Amazon or ebay will give you great ideas.*
  • An Exacto knife.
  • Acrylic paints. We suggest deep red, black, and white.
  • Twine.
  • A weathered photo frame large enough to stretch your mask across.
  • Sandpaper, if you want to distress/weather a standard wooden frame.
  • A kitchen or sea sponge and a small paintbrush.
  • A heavy-duty hole punch.
  • Short nails (to go into the sides of the frame).
  • A hammer.

*If you are allergic to latex, look for a realistic non-latex mask. It may not be as stretchy, but you can get a similar effect by distressing the mask as described in the steps below.

Step One: Start Cutting

Credit: juneauempire.com
  1. Cut the face of your mask so it’s easy to stretch somewhat flat. Don’t worry about getting too exact with this. You want it to look cut somewhat haphazardly.
  2. If the eye holes aren’t very large, cut them a bit wider. The idea is that the skin has been cut away from the skull. (We know – eew!)
  3. If the mouth is not open, cut a slit between the lips and make sure it gapes when stretched.
  4. Punch holes near the edges of the face (as shown) using the hole punch. If your hole punch isn’t quite sturdy enough to do the trick, cut holes or slits with your Exacto knife.

Step Two: Add Paint

  1. For depth, dip your dry sponge into some black acrylic paint. Dab lightly on the insides of the eye and mouth holes. Again, don’t be too exact. (TIP: If you already have plenty of depth in the mask, you can skip this and the next step.)
  2. Using a different area of your sponge, add a few dabs of gray inside the eye and mouth holes for more depth. Now extend dabs of sickly gray-black across the face if you wish. Allow to dry.

Step Three: Stretch the Face

  1. If you want to distress your frame, rough it up with your sandpaper and smear streaks using your sponge and the gray paint; allow to dry.
  2. Hammer nails into the outsides of the frame where you want the twine to extend outward. These can be slightly off-kilter; again, messier and more haphazard is better.
  3. Cut pieces of twine for each of the holes you have punched into the mask. Tie one twine piece through each hole.
  4. Pull each piece of twine taut to stretch the mask and make it look extra-creepy. (Be careful not to pull TOO hard or you may tear the mask. Just have it look stretched out, with the eyes and mouth gaping.)
  5. Secure each piece of twine around its corresponding nail and tie tightly.

Step Four: Finishing Touches

Credit: craftsy.com

To give your stretched face gory realism, dab/smear dribbles of red paint onto the mask, the twine, and the photo frame. Remember: messier is better!

You can also mix red with a bit of black to get deeper, “older”/dried-blood colors. Dab with your sponge or toss onto the face with a paintbrush for extra splatter.

Allow your creepy creation to dry completely before hanging. Enjoy!

10 HILARIOUS Sayings For Your Tombstone Prop

 

You’ve created the perfect tombstone prop. It looks creepy, decayed and, well…you dig it. But what about that finishing touch?

That’s right: every awesome Halloween tombstone needs a GREAT epitaph.* Fresh out of killer ideas? These 10 sayings will knock ’em dead! Here are our freaky faves.

* An inscription commemorating one who has passed on, particularly as inscribed on a tombstone.

Don’t worry. Where you’re going, you don’t actually need much space.

 

 

 

We’re all for romance…but if she’d read this first, he’d have been the first one to go.

 

 

 

 

He’s undead eight times and counting.

 

 

 

 

Well now, isn’t somebody going to be surprised…

 

 

 

I mean…you unicycle blindfolded across the freeway in rush hour traffic just ONE time and this is what happens. Sigh.

 

 

 

We’ll never forget Frank. I mean Hal. No. Wait.

 

 

 

 

Oh, mann.

 

 

 

…and on…and on.

 

 

 

 

No kid of the 80s could possibly not have this tombstone in his or her haunt.

 

 

 

 

And of course…

We hope so! What’s Halloween without an unexpected visit or two? HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

 

 

 

“Little Halloween” is April 30! Host a Witch Party

 

Image credit: Modern Moments Designs

We know. 364 days is such a loooong time to wait for the next phantasmically fantastic Halloween.

We’re right there with you. That’s why we’re absolutely stoked about Walpurgisnacht.

German for “Walpurgis’ Night,” it’s named after St. Walpurgis and yeah, it’s a thing. Francian abbess Walpurga is said to have cured lung diseases, household pests, and believe it or not, even rabies.

She’s also said to have battled witchcraft.

And that’s where the fun comes in. For centuries, Northern and Eastern Europeans have celebrated the end of April each year with a feast in honor of the sainted abbess Walpurga. And they do it with a bang! Dressed in witch costumes, celebrants light bonfires, feast, and march through town in a sinister parade that’s all in magical good fun.

Here’s how to split up the long, hauntless year with something truly terrifying…and fantastically fun. Read on for your Walpurgisnacht party tips.

Invite Your Coven

There aren’t many (or possibly any…we haven’t dug any up so far) Walpurgisnacht party invitations. However, any of these written in creepy calligraphy will do:

  • Select tarot cards such as the Empress, the Magician, the Heirophant
    The Everyday Witch Tarot makes a deck of perfect party invites.

    and any of the four queens to represent magical, witchy personalities. Write the party information on the back of each card and send them out. Or try anything from a deck like the Everyday Witch Tarot – they’ll make amazing keepsakes.

  • Grab some black stationery and white ink and try your hand at calligraphy. Google for a crash course. Add some witch’s hats and spiderwebs along the border for flair.
  • If you’re able to hand-deliver party invitations to a close-knit group, write them in paint marker on witch’s hat headbands.
  • If you’d like, be a modern witch and send invites out via email or a party invitation service.

Dress the Part

  • Create your own witchy garb using any black, red or green clothing or material. A black or gem-colored dress for women or black shirt and black jeans for men are perfect. Witch things up with your splash of color as a cape.
  • Of course, you’ll want a hat. Hunt local consignment shops, since you’re buying off-season. For ultimate savings, ask a friend if she has an old costume hat, or if her daughter or son has one, and borrow. Your “thank you” is an invitation to the party.
  • Don’t have anything thrilling to wear? Spice up your look with mystery by using face and body glitter. This works for both men and women – go for it!
  • Try some sexy makeup. Here’s an awesome tutorial for some real witchy fun:

Deck the Haunted Halls

Credit: Pinterest, Catch My Party
  • Hang cobwebs. Everywhere. And we mean that.
  • Place candles around the party area and dim the lights. For safety, you may wish to use battery-operated flameless candles.
  • Drape a black or orange tablecloth over the main party table.
  • Place a decorated witch’s hat in the center as a centerpiece; cover it with glitter for extra glam.
  • Serve snacks out of plastic cauldrons from the dollar store; if you can’t find any at this time of year, check online for steals or dig through your garage for serving dishes from Halloweens past.
  • Drape black cloth scrap pieces over windows and mirrors. Pin back for creepy, witchy curtains.

Find Some Freaky Foods

Pinterest is your friend here! We found a freaky few; links are attached.

Crank Up Some Magical Tunes

Whip up your own magical playlist to set the mood. Need some ideas? Here are 40 of them! (We LOVE this playlist.)

*

Now that you have all the ideas, go ahead and make your party magic. Remember: if you have an idea, send it to us. We may feature you in an upcoming article on halloweenalliance.com!

 

Make Your Own (So Easy!) Zombie Costume – PLUS Bonus Vid!

How fast can you pull together a great, authentic-looking zombie costume? Quicker than you can say “one, two, brains!”

Zombie costumes are fun – and they’re SO easy. Why? Because one of the hallmarks of a “realistic” zombie is that it’s very, very imperfect. Everything is falling apart, falling off, torn, rugged, ragged. This means you have plenty of room (and then some!) for creativity with your zombie costume – and it also means you don’t have to shell out the big bucks to get a “realistic” look.

Ready to stagger into that Halloween party and blow the entire room away with your creativity? Here’s how to get zombified!

Step 1: Homework

Catch your favorite back-episodes of Walking Dead...and don't forget to bring snacks!
Catch your favorite back-episodes of Walking Dead…and don’t forget to bring snacks!

Watch the following (or Google or Bing for images) for zombie costume inspiration:

  • The Walking Dead backseasons 
  • Cesar Romero’s Night of the Living Dead series (and the remakes)
  • World War Z
  • 28 Days Later (and 28 Weeks Later)
  • Zombieland
  • Resident Evil
  • Shaun of the Dead
  • I Am Legend
  • Dead Snow
  • Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” Video
  • The Crazies
  • Dead Alive
  • Re-Animator
  • Rec

Step 2: The Clothes

  • In most zombie movies, books and TV series, people are pulled from their normal lives into zombiehood as a zombie Prom queen2 complete (very unwanted) surprise. That means you can take any outfit and zombify it. Businessman, cheerleader, mom in her bathrobe, prom dress: get creative and decide how you want to have “turned” and when and base your outfit accordingly.
  • For the ultimate in economy, visit a thrift store or the Goodwill for fantastic finds (or simply use old clothing of your own). Cut and tear holes and jagged pieces into your clothing. The more torn up and stressed, the better. Fray sweaters; cut off a cuff three-quarters of the way; stretch out a boat neck. You want to look as if you were putting up a zombie clothesterrified struggle just before succumbing.
  • Now take paint (paint is better than makeup, which can smear off onto furniture, your car and other places you just don’t want it) and streak and dot “blood” marks onto your clothing. Acrylic paint is perfect, as it will give a stark, bold color and will dry quickly, but fabric paints will work, too.
  • Spatter red paint for blood spots and smears onto the clothing. Add some brownish-red or dark brown spots for dried blood as well.
  • Can’t get enough gore? Paint green and greenish-yellow onto your duds (brains, anyone?).

Step 3: The HairZombie Costume Walking Dead

Muss it, mess it, half-pull it out of a ponytail, pommade it sideways – your hair, like your clothing, should show evidence of a pre-zombification struggle and, afterward, a life on the run…or, well, on the stagger.

Get some wacked-out (and walked-out) texture into the hair by adding mousse or by overusing dry shampoo and finger-arranging it to stand up, out or at angles (or all three!). For a great effect, add little bits of lint, string and even faux leaves to look as if you’ve been sleeping outdoors and charging through the forest in search of prey.

Add some fun to your top. A bloody bridal veil, a hat, or a good old-fashioned hatchet through the head are all perfect touches for your horror look.

Step 4: The Makeup

  • zombie makeupGreasepaint is the typical, and traditional, makeup to use for Halloween. (It’s also the type of makeup used, in the old days, by stage actors.) Greasepaint works well because it covers so heavily. However, it is just what its name implies: greasy. For that reason, you may want to go with standard drugstore or department store makeup. If you don’t have sensitive skin, shop the dollar bin, your local dollar store or the cheapest brands you can find, since this will (presumably) only be a once-a-year occurrence.
  • Make your base very light. You should look semi-bloodless and paler than your normal complexion. A very, very light foundation is what you’re looking for. However, if you’d like to go as bone-white as possible, you can take even the lightest foundation up a shade in color by adding white liquid eyeshadow base and mixing well. Now dab a tiny bit of gray liquid eyeliner into your foundation and blend well for a grayish cast.zombie makeup woman
  • Smear gray or black liquid or gel eyeshadow under your eyes for a sunken look.
  • For a truly AMAZING zombie look, add dark red eyeliner to the waterline (inside “shelf” line around your eyes). This is the ultimate in a bloodshot/burst blood vessel zombie look.
  • Now go for the deepest blood-red lipstick (or red liquid eyeliner or eyeshadow) for blood spots. Add some dark brown as well for dried/crusted blood.
  • You can “pale out” your lips using foundation with a touch of gray, or make them blood-red (and add more makeup dripping down your chin…but you knew we were going to say that).
  • Make sure to paint some “scars” in various strategic areas for a total fear factor!

That’s it! You’ve been zombified – and are sure to horrify. If you’d like to really get into things and don’t mind zombie makeup 2spending a few dollars more, check out zombie makeup kits with ready-made gory prosthetics (artificial skin/blood/flesh pieces). These generally glue on; try out the adhesive on the inside of your arm 24 hours in advance to make sure you don’t have a reaction to it.

Have fun and be creative with this creepy and fab costume!

Bonus! Watch This “Exposed Bone” Hand Makeup Video Tutorial

We LOVED this tutorial. IMPORTANT NOTE: The technique shown in this video includes the use of latex. Latex is a material that some individuals have an allergic and potentially life-threatening reaction to. If you have or suspect a latex allergy, utilize an alternative material. Enjoy – this look is SO cool!

These 7 Freaky Makeup Ideas Will Blow Your Mind

 

Halloween fads come and go, but one we’ve been seeing for the past three years or so has been a serious amping up of unique (and freaky!) makeup. Halloween enthusiasts seek out makeup looks that keep pushing the envelope. And we love it!

Here are the most amazing, mind-boggling and, yes, freakiest trends we dug up just for you. (Click on each image for its source.) Enjoy!

Giant Mouth

Youtube: melissa bernard

Yes, we did just “make” a teensy bit in our pants, thankyouverymuch. Giant mouths (this one goes down to her collarbone!) are, pardon the pun, huge again this year. Youtube has dozens of tutorials, so search for your favorite look.

Creepy Dolls

sophee.co.uk

Let’s face it: dolls are ALWAYS creepy. Make yourself up to be a doll and you’ll be creepier yet. Top on the creeper list? Ventriloquist dummy dolls (when have those ever NOT been scary?). BONUS FEAR POINTS: at the party, carry  a horrifying baby doll, and talk to it…frequently.

“Unzipped” Flesh

denisechavez.com

Zip it! Oh, sorry, that’s right, you can’t. “Unzipped” flesh, especially on the face, delivers double-takes, so if you’re going for max impact (and attention), zip away! (Hint: short on time? Buy “zipper” transfers.)

Doubled Features

dailymail.co.uk

Hey there, four eyes. Okay, so that wasn’t nice…but it WAS accurate. This is one seriously trippy look and when done well, will keep you from trusting your OWN eyes. It’s worthy of note, though, that the above look was created by an actual artist (on herself), so if you’re not already uber-talented, YMMV.

Giant Eyes

girls-makeovers.blogspot.com

Oversize eyes are another cool look and follow the “severely oversized appendage” trend. You’ll only deliver the full effect when your eyes are closed, but trust me, the reactions will be worth it. (Shown here: the Corpse Bride.)

Mouth-Inside-an-Eye

sadtohappyproject.com

Eye-yi-yi! Like the double-eyes makeup above it, this one takes serious artistic talent, so invest in the help of someone who has a way with a makeup brush and a good (wait for it) eye for depth, dimension and realism.

Stitched Mouth

Youtube: Bonnie Corbin SFX

VERY popular this Halloween is a stitched mouth, such as this look, entitled “Silenced.” Click the image for the vid that describes the process. So creepy…and so cool!

 

7 Awesome (and Easy!) Dollar Store Pumpkin Projects

 

We just can’t seem to stay away from Pinterest this year. If you’re Pin-addicted like we are, we know you’re going to LOVE these amazing (and cheap!) pumpkin projects.

Grab a bunch of dollar gourds, a few crafting supplies and it’s ready, set -get your spook on!

#1: Spooky Porch Light

As shown, simply cut out the back of a plastic pumpkin (be careful; cut plastic edges can be sharp) and place over an orange LED lightbulb. Done!  Spooky mood lighting AND cool decor, all in one.

#2: Glow-in-the-Dark Eyeballs

We absolutely LOVE these. Paint using glow-in-the-dark white and green paint. The irises can be cut from either felt or a paper plate. Paint the irises black. Paint or use markers to create the bloodshot-effect capillaries.

Place in your bushes or anywhere you want a freaky effect.

#3: Stacked Planter

Poke holes in the bottom of the top pumpkin for drainage before beginning this craft if you plan on filling with a live plant. Underneath, Krazy Glue a bunched piece of aluminum foil forming a slight pouch under the holes and bottom to catch the drained water.

Once this is done, spray paint each pumpkin. Using a stencil and medium art brush, paint lettering and numbers. Krazy Glue the pumpkins together for stability, allow to dry complexly and place your plants in the top.

#4: Concrete Pumpkin Mold

Concrete is heavy, but the small size makes this semi-perm decor perfect for areas that receive rough autumn weather, including high winds.

This project is simple: mix concrete and pour into a plastic pumpkin; when dry, cut the pumpkin away. Decorate however you’d like. Please note that what is shown here is a dirt mixture; you can create any mixture you’d like – permanent (such as concrete) or semi-permanent.

#5: Bandanna Pumpkins

These are great because you can find bandannas or other fabric scraps at dollar stores, sometimes in multi-packs.

For the stem, use twigs from your yard. Also pick up some crafting glue. Apply glue all over the pumpkin and apply the fabric, pressing firmly. Insert pins to hold in ribs and at the location of the stem. Break off part of a twig for the stem and glue in place.

6. Spider Pumpkin

For this craft you’ll need a foam faux pumpkin rather than the plastic version. Pick up plastic bugs (spiders, roaches) or other creepie-crawlies. Push into or glue onto pumpkin to cover the surface. Done – and spooky!

7. Looking Glass Pumpkins

Buy some Looking Glass spray paint (Krylon is one brand). Spray the entire surface of your pumpkin.

For a really fun effect, create these out of varying sizes and shapes of faux pumpkin and use more than one Looking Glass color.

Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Mummy Meatloaf

Meatloaf is delicious no matter how you slice it (see what we did there?). Add bacon and a sweet, tangy glaze and now it’s a monster of a meal!

This super-fun recipe is one the kids can help with and is simple to prepare, yet it makes a perfect, creepy centerpiece for your party table. Here’s how to make your own bacon-wrapped mummy meatloaf for your Halloween party table.

Ingredients:MEATLOAFmonster meatloaf raw

  • 2 lbs. ground beef OR 1 lb. ground beef + 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (reserve several slices for eyes & teeth)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • dash black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 c. ketchup
  • 4-6 slices bacon

GLAZE

  • 3/4 c. ketchup
  • 1 T. brown sugar barbecue sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix together all Meat Loaf ingredients except for bacon. Make sure the ingredients are mixed well.
  3. Place loaf in baking pan and press into the shape of a face (with lower half narrower than upper half).
  4. Mix together Glaze ingredients. Pour over loaf and spread until evenly coated.
  5. Add onion slices for eyes and teeth.
  6. Wrap bacon across and around loaf as shown. If you wish, tuck the ends of the bacon underneath the loaf. We left a piece or two out so it would give a cool “unraveling” effect.
  7. Bake 60-75 minutes, until loaf has reached an internal temperature of 160F.
  8. Cool 20 minutes before serving.

mummy meat loaf

 
 

Meet the Warrens: The Original Ghostbusters

 

Before there were Ghost Brothers and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, there were the Warrens. Here’s what the famous couple had to say on life, love, and demonbusting.

The Warrens visited such reportedly haunted locales as the Amityville “Horror” house.

Long before there were ghost busters (of any description), The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Regan Macneil and televised paranormal investigation crews by the dozens, there were the Warrens, a deeply spiritual couple who spent their lives investigating homes for paranormal activity.

The couple are known today in connection with the blockbuster The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2 and are also connected historically with the allegedly possessed doll, Annabelle. They also investigated the infamous  Amityville Horror house on Long Island.

But their roots go back much farther than contemporary movie-making, much-touted urban legend and myth.

The Early Years: A Match Made in Paranormal Research

The famous demon-hunters were official researchers as far back as 1952.

Husband-and-wife team Lorraine and the late Ed Warren married during World War II at just 17 years of age (Ed’s birthday was Sept. 7, 1926 and Lorraine was born Jan 31, 1927).

The couple often said they sensed something in common even before they discussed their then-unconventional experiences with the paranormal during their courtship. But once they opened up, the combination sparked what would become a worldwide career occupation for thousands.

It didn’t take long for the inseparable pair to combine their mutual sensitivity to the supernatural and join forces against potential unearthly evil (something the couple often said may have brought them together): in 1952 the couple formed the New England Society for Psychic Research.

Today, the organization is the oldest ghost-hunting operation in New England and has inspired similar research across the globe.

Spooky Beginnings

The couple, just 17 when they married, felt drawn together over their mutual interest in the paranormal.

But interest in the paranormal went farther back than that for the pair and began before they even met.

According to the late Ed Warren (d. 2006), the Warren family grew up “in a haunted house” where incorporeal footsteps, banging and pounding could regularly be heard.

Admonished by his policeman father that there was “a logical reason” for the sounds, young Ed agreed – but to him, that logical reason was the existence of spirits.

He confirmed this himself with his first early form of amateur ghost hunting: “My family would all go to bed and just around 2 to 3 o’clock in the morning…I would hear the closet door beginning to open up,” Warren later told reporters.

Inside the closet, he would “…start to see a light beginning to form and it would morph into like a ball shape.” The face of an “old woman” would then appear in the ball.

The odd occurrences continued for years inside the house and sparked a firm belief in and fascination with the paranormal, Ed would later reveal.

The First Ghost Hunts

The Warrens were portrayed in “The Conjuring” and “The Conjuring 2.”

Frustrated by his family’s refusal to address the odd issues head-on, Ed took things a step further when, as a teen, he met Lorraine.

The two felt an instant connection and opened up to one another about their mutual interest in – and experiences with – the paranormal.

Lorraine, herself psychically sensitive since childhood, agreed with Ed to pursue their interest, but on an unofficial basis at first – and by going around via the back door, in a manner of speaking.

They began by finding out what houses in the area were reported to be haunted.

The couple were called upon by the desperate Perron family to exorcise evil spirits in 1970.

“(In those early married years) we were just kids [and] nobody was just going to let us in[to their homes],” Ed would later reveal on the couple’s website.  So the two devised a way to broach the subject with tentative homeowners.

Ed, an artist, “would do a really nice sketch of the house with ghosts coming out of it, and I’d give it to Lorraine,” Ed recalled later. “(Lorraine would) go knock on the door and…she’d say, ‘Oh, my husband loves to sketch and paint haunted houses and he made this.’”

This provided the opening for the homeowners to tell their story, if they wished. Many times, according to the couple, it worked.

A Reputation…and An Occupation

The real Annabelle is a Raggedy Ann doll. It now resides at the Warrens’ Occult Museum.

Before long, the couple had built a reputation for sensing the spiritual. Eventually, rather than having to knock on doors, people came to them – by the dozens and, over the years, hundreds.

It all began in 1962, when the couple uncovered the spirit of a little girl who identified herself as “Cynthia” in a reportedly haunted home. The Warrens helped the spirit to move on.

A new mission was born, Lorraine would later recall. It morphed from simply communicating with spirits to helping them cross over to the other side…and then to exorcising demons.

The couple, devoutly Catholic, relied on their faith to protect them during such events, and Lorraine discovered that she was a trance medium through which spirits could communicate.

“Just An Ordinary Couple”

The Warrens quickly gained notoriety, visiting the famous Amityville “Horror” house in New York, heading up the much-publicized Perron home exorcism and even confiscating the Annabelle doll (the movie was entirely fabricated, though the Warrens were asked for input) and spiriting it away to their museum.

But they never lost touch with their earthier side, according to friends and family.

“They (were) essentially ordinary people who happen(ed) to do highly extraordinary work,” their website modestly claims.

A list of the most famous cases the Warrens were involved in can be found here.

Lorraine Warren Today

The couple were inseparable until Ed’s death in 2006 at the age of 79.

In the highly dramatized The Conjuring, Lorraine Warren suffered terribly from her contacts with the darker elements and even fainted, with not-so-subtle references to the toll the work took on her, but the real Lorraine is now 90 years old and said to be in good health.

However, she has retired from ghost hunting to enjoy her twilight years. She has given interviews as late as 2016, still with her understanding yet down-to-earth personality and frank advice.

The legacy of the Warrens can be seen in thousands of ghost hunting and paranormal research societies across the globe today.

 

Reprinted from beyondthesixthsense.wordpress.org

Why Are We So Scared Of CLOWNS?

 

Want your boat, kid? They all float down here.

If you shuddered just reading that ominous little invitation (and quickly turned on a light), you may be like a surprising number of people who truly fear clowns. (There’s even a name for it – coulrophobia.)

From Twisty in American Horror Story to Stephen King’s It, the darker side of clowns will make even the bravest soul shudder. Here’s why.

The Tragic (and Threatening) Clown of Yesteryear

The tragic kidder Canio in the opera Pagliacci makes us cry more from fear than sympathy.

Perhaps part of our collective trepidation when it comes to clowns is that they weren’t always meant for children – and that historically, they haven’t always been innocent.

From his earliest days through the late Middle Ages, the clown – sometimes called a jester, or simply a “fool”- was a bit rougher around the edges than the laughing face we know today.

No laughing matter: The traditional court fool’s political antics were as likely to get someone’s head put on a spike as they were to induce giggles.

The two morbid grave-diggers in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, for instance, were termed “clowns” by the Bard himself. .And Canio, the stage manager-cum-actor from the tragic opera Pagliacci (which means – you guessed it – “clowns”), cried behind thick, cheery theatre makeup while he wondered whether his wife was cheating – and whether he should stab her to death. (Spoiler alert: she was, and he did.)

Dangerous Laughs

Court fools in days of yore were meant to poke dangerous fun at politics, highlight human frailties and sometimes even to outwardly badger the helpless, such as invalids or the poor. (Witness the cringeworthy old-time village idiot motif as an example.)

And tragically, they were associated with putting on a brave face while suffering all of life’s injustices, piece by painful piece.

This all formed a rather unsettling and decidedly un-funny framework for the idea of the modern-day clown.

Clowns Creep Their Way Toward the Present Day

Really now…who wouldn’t trust a grown-up who hides his identity and lures children inside an enclosed area with food and toys?

The clown as we know it today, with outlandish clothes, crazy makeupand a loud, silly voice, began to develop in the mid-1800s, introduced in the popular imagination along with the modern circus.

Carnivals and sideshows of various descriptions had already existed for centuries, but the 19th century circus was a new era, with sideshow “freaks,” danger, occasional grifting, and modern-looking, white-faced clowns.

That motif has carried through to how we like our clowns to look today (but only under bright lights, and at a distance!).

The “Ick” Factor…and Other Clown Psychology

Restaurant clowns: making children run like hell since 1963.

Modern-day clowns have their place in pop culture, such as the lovable Ronald McDonald, purveyor of over-fried treats and beloved of children across the globe – when they’re not terrified of him, that is.

But perhaps that modern association of clowns with kids (can we all say “ick”?) is part of our collective problem with clowns.

Let’s face it: a stranger draped in disfiguring clothing and attempting to engage children using pretty flowers, balloons or candy as bait takes center stage in nearly any parent’s horrified imagination.

But there’s more to it than that, at least according to psychologists. One theory suggests something known as deindividuation may be a factor in the clown-fear phenomenon. Deindividuation involves hiding one’s identity, something that’s sure to invoke distrust – what is this person hiding, why is he hiding it, and who is he, really?

If it looks crazy, sounds crazy and acts crazy, it might just be (wait for it) crazy. Because logic. Image: ebaumsworld.com

Outlandish clothing, makeup and behavior can also be seen as way outside the norm not only because, well, it is…but also because from a gut-instinct perspective, anyone acting too crazy might be just that, and therefore, a threat.

One thing’s for sure: we’re so collectively creeped out about clowns that any number of schools and town Halloween parades across the U.S. have rules against dressing up as clowns on the premises.

And some states even have laws against dressing up as a clown in public, though usually with the caveat that the outfit must be accompanied by some sort of suspicious activity. Though this would seem to be common sense no matter what one is wearing, the fact that clowns are specifically mentioned in the ordinances is notable.

I to the C to the K. By the way, his name is Wrinkles…not kidding. Image: parenting.com

Meanwhile, British sociologists have determined what we already knew: ironically, children are among the most prominent clown-dislikers in the world.

It’s undeniable: clown hysteria is in full swing and shows no sign of slowing.

Which can only mean one thing.

You HAVE to dress as a clown this year!

Stake Your Creepy Claim. Be a Clown This Halloween

Please be advised that we do NOT recommend, nor do we endorse in any way, doing anything that might be even loosely considered illegal. So please check your city ordinances and any other attendant authorities before donning your creepy clown costume and scaring the pants off one and all.

With that said, clowns have been a popular Halloween theme for years. In 2017 clowns are huge once again in the wake of the remake of Stephen King’s terrifying It.

There are so many ways of being a creepy clown, but if you want to stay true to Hollywood form, here’s a 2017-version Pennywise tutorial to get you started:

Now that you’re sufficiently freaked out (just think of the effect this will have on those who view you!), here are some easy ways to be a terrifying clown:

  • Work on that cackle. It should be REALLY terrifying. Go for a hissing, ominous voice, an I’m-dirty old time gangster accent, a screaming-loud laugh or whatever terrifying associations you have with clowns. Trust me, they’ll ALL work.
  • If you have a specific clown in mind – for example, Krusty (The Simpsons), Pennywise (It), Ronald (of hamburger fame) or Twisty (American Horror Story), check out Youtube. There are tutorials by the dozens for pretty much any clown that pop culture has already dreamed up (or was that actually a nightmare?).
  • Love a great mystery? Go retro as a clown of old (suggestions: the original Pennywise; Clarabel from Howdy Doody; Killer Klowns From Outer Space; the morbidly musical ICP) and see who gets it. If a passerby guesses and calls out your clown name, scream “you win a prize!” and hand him or her a lolipop wrapped in ribbon dripping with red food coloring.
  • Clowns of all kinds have one thing in common in the popular imagination: a bone-white face with exaggerated, drawn-on features. This means you can wear practically anything (jeans and a t-shirt will do) and still be an awesomely notable clown simply by dolling your face up with a super-inexpensive Halloween makeup kit. Go for it and remember – be creative!
  • Going for more realism? Look for an old-fashioned ruff (the stiff, stand-out collar associated with clowns). Even creepier: wear the ruff…with your t-shirt and jeans. And of course, the makeup. (Eeew. We may have just creeped OURSELVES out.)
  • Carry spooky toys with you. For example, tear some hair out of an old doll you have lying around. Poke out one eye or if possible, poke it in just partially. (Cracked eyes are great, too. Trust us, there IS no way to screw this one up.) Paint the doll a morbid, sickly blue-gray and carry her around by the hair. Yell out offers to passersby to “come play.”
  • Get a GREAT creepy clown name. We suggest this fun generator. We’re still partial to the odd and twisted moniker “Wrinkles,” though…but you HAVE to promise not to tell him because, well…we’re pretty terrified of him.
  • Remember: it’s all in good fun. We’ve joked around considerably during this terrifying little tutorial, but small children can be legitimately traumatized by grown-ups dressing weirdly and acting in a strange, loud, lunging manner. Know your audience and DO NOT approach a stranger’s child (or your own…unless you’re already all stocked up on hospital-strength rubber bed-wetting protector sheets).

Buy a clown costume at Halloweencostumes.com

Happy Halloween! Meanwhile, we leave you with this…

The COOLEST Halloween Treat Ideas

 

Be “that house” this year – that’s right: the ones kids turn their costumes inside-out for so they can come back for seconds. Here‘s how.

 

Trick-or-treat, smell their feet, give them something good to eat!

Okay, so we’re sure you’re not likely to engage in that second option (can we get an “eeew”?), but as for the rest, we’ve got the goods right here! Keep little hands dipping into the Halloween treat cauldron with these absolutely amazing candy ideas. 

Creature Eyes Lollipops

 

These sugary delights REALLY look like monster eyeballs. At $19 for six assorted pops, these make an eye-popping (you knew we’d go there) impression. Find yours here.

Candy Urine

We know…we couldn’t stop laughing either. Have these gross little goodies lined up on your mad scientist display for your phantasma-tastic party. Each contains sour liquid candy; they run 4 items for $10. Find them here.

Halloween Fortune Cookies

These are a fun twist on the fortune cookies you already know and love. Each cookie is Halloween-colored and contains a spooky-slash-funny fortune. And at less than $9 for 50 cookies, they’re easy on your wallet this Halloween season.

Sour Flush Candy

Here’s one last nod to the “gross candy” idea: dip the “plunger” (lolipop) into the sour candy to coat; then lick. These come in delicious sour apple and are the most reasonably priced we’ve found to date, at $22 for a pack of 12.

Peeps Caramel Apple Chicks

Can we get a YES please? Mmmmmmmmm…these Peeps are ghoulishly delightful. (Caramel apple FTW!) If you can’t find them on store shelves this year, check this site to order. They’re $1.50 for a package of three Peeps.

Hershey’s Candy Corn Bars

The candy corn apparently wasn’t enough, so Hershey’s dipped this treat in white chocolate. (Oh my gourd.) Caveat: you’re NOT supposed to eat the entire box by yourself (oops). 21-count box for $24; order here.

Dia De Los Muertos Sugar Skull Candy

Halloween isn’t the only holiday in mid-fall. Dia de lost Muertos honors the dead on two days – Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 – and is celebrated in Mexico. It’s also growing in popularity in the U.S. Be unique and celebrate “the other Halloween holiday” this year. We found them here.

 

 

Get your Halloween on. All year long.