Yes, you really did just watch that.
Welcome to Dinosaur Dracula’s 2015 HALLOWEEN COUNTDOWN.
Counting the X-E years, this is my thirteenth consecutive Countdown. Jeez! In that time, I’ve seen the Halloween season grow bigger and better, to the point where I now couldn’t name many friends who don’t consider this the best time of year. (And hey, it is!)
I used to begin these Countdowns with some degree of caution, knowing that a portion of the site’s readers felt I was starting “too early.” Well, not anymore. These days, it seems like everyone’s down with embracing Mr. Boogedy for two full months. Thank God!
I feel bad for the poor few who never figured out how to make the season work for them. I mean, one of the best things about Halloween is how malleable it is. We may share some stock answers about why we love the season, but the truth is, deep down, we all love it for very, very different reasons.
Halloween appeals on a thousand fronts. There is truly something for everyone. If you’re a straggler, do me a favor: Use the next two months to figure that shit out.
For me, the season’s greatest strength is its ability to turn nothing into everything.
From now through Halloween, every walk at night, every trip to the supermarket, every flip through the channels — these mundane activities are now all-out adventures, fueled by an unending ocean of weird candy, horror movies and unpleasant creaking sounds. (And pumpkin spice. Fucktons of pumpkin spice.)
Things I previously “had” to do are now things I can’t wait to do… because Halloween is everywhere if you look hard enough.
That so many of you rely on the Halloween Countdown as part of your season’s lifeblood is, for me, beyond humbling and blessed. It’s also a great motivator. For the rest of the year, I can afford to fuck up. Now? Forget it. By November, I’ll have blown through three keyboards and 500 cans of Red Bull. Next year’s Countdown will be written by the ghost of me.
So, what’s in store for you? OH GOD, SO MUCH. The amount of Halloween goodies already in stores makes the 2015 season a clear candidate for “best ever.” Whether it’s a cool new spooky edible or a cool new spooky action figure or a cool new spooky carburetor, expect to see it covered on Dino Drac.
…but since my house was halfway built on nostalgia, you can also expect plenty of tributes to beautiful and horrible old things — from toys to movies to books. Basically, the Countdown is my excuse to finally say “fuck it” and buy all of the crap that’s been sitting on my eBay watch list for months. Wait until you see some of the junk I found!
There will be articles, there will be videos, and the weekly Purple Stuff Podcast will continue. If I don’t give you something to do at least forty times between now and Halloween, I will have failed. (I won’t fail.)
Oh, and continuing a tradition set on previous Countdowns’ opening days, here are eight Halloween things that you can do RIGHT NOW:
#1: PLAY CASTLEVANIA ONLINE!
I can’t name many things that put me in a Halloween mood faster than the original Castlevania game, for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Released in 1986, it’s a bonanza of eerie music, crazy creatures and just enough frantic difficulty to make you sweat. Hell, just looking at the damn title screen should be enough to make this hot August night feel like October 31st.
#2: WATCH A RGB HALLOWEEN EPISODE!
The Real Ghostbusters had a handful of episodes that got down with the devil, but this one just might be my favorite. In When Halloween Was Forever, fan favorite Samhain endeavors to make Halloween last forever… which was really just the kid-safe way to unleash “Hell on Earth.” Come for Slimer, stay for the robed dude with the pumpkin for a face.
#3: LEARN ABOUT PET TARANTULAS!
Almost none of us will ever own a tarantula, and most of you wouldn’t even consider it. But it really is a thing, and it’s way less “out there” than you might be imagining. In fact, pet tarantulas are a pretty big business, and this site will walk you through many of the dos and don’ts of big ass hairy spider care. Fascinating, even if you’ll never partake!
#4: CATCH UP ON THE ALLAGASH ABDUCTIONS!
I don’t know if I really buy into any alien abduction story, but some of them are pretty convincing. Even when they’re not, they’re still gripping. The “Allagash Abductions” is one of the most famous cases of all time. You might not walk away from this featurette as a new believer, but it’ll still make you lock every door. (Some of you may remember this case from Unsolved Mysteries, too!)
#5: PLAY HALLOWEEN BLOCKOUT!
I’m a sucker for low-rent Flash games, and I’m especially a sucker for low-rent Flash games that make use of adorable pumpkin graphics. Clearly inspired by Arkanoid, Halloween Breakout gives you the chance to blast a virtual marble into an army of tiny horror icons. The programmers won’t elect to quote me on this, but it’s pretty fun for a minute.
#6: GO SHOPPING, DAMMIT.
Hey, look, I don’t care what time it is — something’s open. Buying Halloween junk is the most surfacey yet effective way to boost your spirit, and yes, there really are lots of things already in stores! Whether you choose a pharmacy, department store or supermarket, it’s a safe bet that you’ll find pumpkin candles and/or Three Musketeers bars with blood red filling. Start your hunt NOW!
#7: WATCH THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER!
Released in 1960, I fell in love with this adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story way back in grade school, when one of our teachers grossly overestimated a tween’s ability to handle Vincent Price. Stylistically tame by today’s standards, the film is still so damn creepy. It’s also very specifically something to lazily watch at 2 in the morning. If you’re reading this while the rest of the world sleeps, now’s the time.
#8: POUR YOURSELF A DRINK!
This is the perfect season to get tanked. Anything will do, but if you’re yearning for something especially appropriate, check out this great list of Halloween cocktail recipes. Most can’t be made for less than a $50 budget, but if you read the list while downing a Schlitz, you’ll get the same effect.
There. That should keep you busy. Busy and joyous and maybe weirded out.
Get set, brothers from other mothers and sisters from other misters. We’re gonna party until we’re SICK.
…course, some of us are already there.
Thank you for being a part of Dinosaur Dracula’s 2015 Halloween Countdown. For the next two months, we won’t just exist. We will live.
PS: The Halloween Jukebox is now reactivated! It should be easy enough to find. Also, a huge thanks to Jason Week for the absolutely killer Halloween banner, and to Cliffpro for coding until his hands turned blue. If you’re new to the site and wanna keep up to date, following me on Twitter is the easiest way!
The third episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast is now live! (And I really gotta thank you guys. We never expected this to take off like it has, and the feedback on the first two episodes has been a great motivator for us to gut through the ten billion technical hiccups that seem to accompany our every record.)
This time, me and Jay play a little game of Halloween word association. One of us says a random word, and the other has to think up the first Halloween or horror-related thing that comes to mind. Fun!
We have friends in town this weekend, so tonight’s episode is on the short side. Apologies to those who would’ve preferred an extra 20 minutes of us matching scary movies to random adjectives.
Enjoy, I hope!
…in other, tangentially related news, Dino Drac’s 2015 Halloween Countdown is now LESS than a week away. 😮
I still have an incredible amount of prep work to do, and between that, the Funpacks and the probably ill-timed adventures in learning to podcast, yes, I’m well aware that this hasn’t been my most prolific month. I’ll make it up to you starting next week… and all through September and October.