Oct 312009
 

Happy Halloween everyone! It’s the day of celebrating and honouring the dead. And, you know, dressing up and getting lots of free candy.

In honour of the day, I thought I would post some photos I found of Halloween costumes from the days of yore.

There were no princesses, or super heroes, or everyday things slutified. Just kids in terrifying masks, dressing a little more scary, and a lot less kitschy.

No seriously, these costumes freak me out.

hallow1

hallow2

hallow3

That last face is going to haunt my nightmares.

(via buzzfeed, who found them on flickr user stevechasmar’s photostream)

Oct 302009
 

Traditional_Irish_halloween_Jack-o'-lantern

While Googling to find out where, exactly, the apostrophe in All Hallows’ Eve went, I stumbled across the picture above, on the Wikipedia page for Halloween. There, it’s described as a “traditional Irish halloween Jack-o’-lantern from the early 20th century on display in the Museum of Country Life, Ireland.”

It’s flipping creepy!!

To me, it looks more like a turnip — or possibly a rutabaga — than any kind of gourd I’ve ever carved. But from reading the Wikipedia page, I think a turnip is more traditional than a pumpkin. I wonder how well the colour has been preserved over the last century?

On the website for the Museum of Country Life, I can’t find any reference to this particular item, but it does seem to be precisely the type of thing that they collect and exhibit.

Oct 292009
 

Cthulhu_and_R'lyeh

I’m so glad that I stumbled across a list of the 13 most dangerous monsters ever. I won’t give it away, but the list presents from least dangerous to most dangerous, and Cthulhu, above, is only the second-most-dangerous.

Don’t miss the comments, in which the list’s author entertains a few additions to the list and muses about where he would put them (Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, for example). I particularly enjoyed the fact that he spends some time actually thinking and reasoning about the positioning on the list, and didn’t just slap it together. His words on vampires:

Now, here’s the thing about regular vampires:  they’re fucking lame.  They sneak around in the dark and drain blood from people.  They talk a big game, sure, and everyone thinks they’re sexy.  But is sexy going to protect you from the Wolf-Man?  No.  The Wolf-Man is going to tear your god-damn head off. Ordinary vampires are equally vulnerable to sorcerous power, which is why the Mummy, whose physical capabilities are on par with a vampire’s, anyway, would still kick the crap out of a vampire.

Do you understand this, Twilight fans?  Regular vampires are shit.  They can only beat Zombies, Witches, assorted Poltergeists, and Mr. Hyde.  That is BARELY BETTER THAN A REGULAR PERSON.  Shut the fuck up about vampires.

I have nothing to add.

Oct 122009
 

trickrtreatpic5

The community of Bobtown, Pennsylvania has decided that this year, there will be no cries of “Trick-or-Treat!” That’s right, Halloween has been banned.

They cite “safety reasons” for the ban.

Assistant Dunkard Fire Chief David Pritchard, running unopposed for supervisor in the election, said he was surprised by all the negative reaction to the decision to ban trick-or-treating.

He says there’s been a lot of break-ins lately and that older people in Bobtown were scared.

Now, what on earth do break-ins have to do with Halloween? If the break-ins are happening on Halloween, I would understand, but banning one of the greatest joys of childhood because of a few B&E’s? Ridiculous!

This seriously depresses me. And I can see the shift in attitude towards Halloween, even here in Brandon. There are fewer kids on the streets every year; parents instead drive their kids to the houses of friends and family, and that’s it.

When I was young, my mom usually accompanied me trick-or-treating, often dressing up herself. Once I was older (probably 10 or 11) I was old enough to be trick-or-treating with a few neighbourhood kids, by ourselves.

By the time I was 13, I was going even further, filling up two pillowcases before my night was over. My trick-or-treating career ended by the time I was in high school, though.

Halloween was truly one of the most enjoyable things about my childhood. There’s nothing like the thrill of shouting “Trick-or-Treat!” at the top of your lungs, and being greated with warm smiles, questions of “what are you?” and handfuls of candy.

And for all the naysayers out there, this is from the book Free Range Kids, by Lenore Skenazy:

Was there ever really a rash of candy killings? Joel Best, a professor of sociology and criminal justice at the University of Delaware, took it upon himself to find out. He studied crime reports from Halloween dating back as far as 1958, and guess exactly how many kids he found poisoned by a stranger’s candy?

A hundred and five? A dozen? Well, one, at least?

“The bottom line is that I cannot find any evidence that any child has ever been killed or seriously hurt by a contaminated treat picked up in the course of trick-or-treating,” says the professor. The fear is completely unfounded.

So, parents, please let your kids enjoy Halloween, even if that means having to get warmly dressed, and walking the blocks with them. And when they’re older, let go of the leash and let them go by themselves.

Sep 062009
 

Following Keith’s post a few days ago, here’s another Halloween idea (it’s never too early to prepare for my favourite holiday). There are full instructions at Make Online, which is a website aimed at people who tinker a lot more than I do.

If you enjoy soldering LEDs and resistors (I did this in jr high shop, actually, so I could probably figure it out) and if you happen to have an Arduino chip and some buttons in your junk drawer (this, I do not have) then perhaps it would be an easy project.

This looks like something that would be awesome to have outside your door on Halloween, though. Way better than the “spooky music” CD.

(via BoingBoing)