The 2013 Halloween Mood Table!


It’s October. Officially October. Undeniably October.

I’m happy it’s here, but I’m also petrified. The Halloween season is moving so FAST this year! September flew by in what felt like a week, and I’m sure October will be no different. Be sure to make the most of it, guys.

A good way to start? Build your Halloween Mood Table!

Many of you will remember last year’s version, but longtime readers know that this tradition started way back in 2007. Life threw me a few curveballs that year, and I just couldn’t get into the Halloween spirit. The Halloween Mood Table was my last ditch effort to get back in the groove, and while I won’t pretend that it turned rust to gold and made everything in the universe stink of caramel apples, it was an always-present reminder of why Halloween is awesome.

The concept: Grab a small table. Like a coffee table, or something even smaller. Anything, really. Anything that could be loosely construed as a table. Cover it with Halloween shit, and put it in a place of prominence. At heart, that’s all it is. A shrine to Halloween. An immediate spirit-booster. A chance to decorate!

Here’s what I came up with for this year’s Mood Table:


She’s a trash heap, but a beautiful one. I wanted to go a bit bigger than usual, so this is actually two tables. (Look close and you’ll spot a taller “tray table” behind the standard tiled one I use every year.)

It’s loaded with toys, books, DVDs, candy, and all sorts of decorations. You can’t look at this and not love Halloween. You also can’t walk within five feet of it without somehow knocking half of it over. It’s like Mutant Stupid Dominoes.

Thinking about creating your own Halloween Mood Table? Great! I’ve prepared a FAQ to help guide you through…

Halloween Mood Table FAQ
Note: Not all questions have been asked frequently, or at all.
Version 1
October 2013

What is a Halloween Mood Table?
A small table covered with Halloween goodies of all types, preferably stationed in a part of your home where you’ll very often see it.

What is the point of a Halloween Mood Table?
Aside from just looking good, your Mood Table should constantly reinvigorate your love of the Halloween season – and maybe even provide direct ways for you to enjoy it.

What kind of table should I use?
That’s totally up to you, but you don’t need to “go big.” Even the smallest table will work. Hell, things that aren’t even tables will work. An old TV tray with flip-out legs would do just fine, for example.

What should I put on my Mood Table?
The things you choose should “move you” in one way or another. When you look at my Mood Table, you only see a pile of decorations, toys and garbage. But so many of those items have personal meaning.

Should my Mood Table be as “saturated” as yours?
It certainly doesn’t have to be. If you want to turn it into a major project, great. They’re fun to build. But the true point of a Mood Table is to be a visual reminder that it’s the Halloween season. So long as you look at yours and are inspired to “do Halloween things,” it doesn’t matter if it’s topped with one thing or a hundred things.

You said that my Mood Table could provide “direct ways” for me to enjoy the season?
This step is not mandatory, but I like to stuff my Mood Table with spooky books, horror DVDs and other things that fall under the umbrella of “activities.” (Past Mood Tables have included everything from pads and crayons to a small television.) The theory is that you’ll be more likely to read/watch/do those things if they’re out on your Mood Table.

When should I set up my Mood Table?
October 1st is my chosen day. Some people may prefer to start earlier. I like starting in October because it’s a good way to signal a major difference between celebrating Halloween in September and celebrating Halloween NOW. If you feel like a whole month is too much of a spatial commitment, you can also start later.

Any other tips?
I’ve found that Mood Tables work best when they have some sort of illumination. (That’s why I dumped a strand of orange lights on mine.) Adding a bit of a glow can transform your Mood Table into a really interesting nightlight, too. If outlets are in short supply, you can always eke by with candles. Just avoid setting your house on fire, Clark.

I also like to include a bowl of Halloween candy. Even if don’t eat much of it, consulting that bowl is as close as I’ll get to trick-or-treating.

Of course, the biggest tip is to HAVE FUN. Have fun building it, have fun looking at it, and have fun trying to keep your dogs and cats away from it.

You know, I almost didn’t build a Mood Table this year. For once, my Halloween spirit is in no danger of a nosedive, and it’s not like I “needed” one. Now that it’s done, I’m so glad I continued the tradition.

Traditions are important. Even dumb traditions are important. As we grow older, many of the Halloween traditions we used to love are no longer doable. The best defense? Create new ones!.

Good luck with your Halloween Mood Table.

Happy October!

59 Responses to The 2013 Halloween Mood Table!

  1. I am so, so excited for October this year. I move into my first solo I’m A Theoretical Grown-Up apartment on the 15th and I think one of the first things I do (after I figure out the Ikea instructions and assemble my bed) will be to put a mood table together.

  2. I know what I’m doing tonight! Thank you for this tradition, Matt.

  3. I’m happy you kept up the tradition of your yearly mood table. This year’s is especially laden with spooky activities, including some good books. I always try to start off my Halloween season with a horror novel.

    Thanks for all your hard work over the years!

  4. Very nice mood table! I actually threw together a “quickie” mood table earlier in September. My office/bedroom is COVERED with Halloween and Horror stuff, so the whole mood table thing is a bit more difficult because I basically have a Halloween mood *room.* :-)

    Still, I think I may move some stuff around and construct a mood table somewhere else in my house to try and spread the love.

    To truly celebrate the new October day, I had an overnight movie marathon and did a little countdown (like NYE) for midnight.

  5. Have you read Church of the Divine Psychopath? Black Flame went out of business in a flash, and I missed my chance to buy their Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street books . . .

  6. This is a lot bigger than previous ones, and it’s all the more awesome because of it!

    As per tradition since 2008, I also wrapped up my own Mood Table this morning. This is my first year adding orange lights, and you’re right, it really transforms my Table from a pathetic kid’s sad collection of Halloween junk into a work of art.

    Mine has some space reserved for the inevitable “other stuff” I’m going to be collecting throughout the month, so I’m hoping for a nice, big, “completed” Mood Table by October’s end.

    Anyway, thanks for this tradition again, Matt. Gotta love the Mood Table!

  7. I love that Sam from Trick R Treat is on the table, gently reinforcing Halloween traditions. I also like the way that the Gremlin is suggestively positioned atop the stem of the pumpkin. Very nice.

  8. Hey Matt, you ever considered doing a Halloween tree? Google images has given me a ton of great ideas.

  9. Wow this is the Mega Mood table! Love the huge Stay-Puft. Before I saw the second table in the back I thought you had everything balanced on the smaller table. How long before the cats knock it over? Also LED flickering candle lights can be used for a cool effect if running string lights is not an option.

    “and have fun trying to keep your dogs and cats away from it.” You left out “and kids!” :)

  10. I am so happy to see the return of the big jug of cheese balls. I also appreciate the Mordles and Sam. Matt, you continue to do we monsters proud.

  11. Hey Matt, are you planning on reviewing Curse of Chucky??

  12. I know exactly how you feel Matt! I started up this year’s Halloween Movie Madness, and before I know it, it will be all done. Last year, it wasn’t so bad, but this year has been flying by so fast already…

  13. haha, the cheese-balls have turned green!

  14. I LOVE where you placed the living dead dolls!

  15. Awesome as always! I can’t remember if this has been covered or if its a secret, but where did you get the critter “doll”?

  16. halloween mood tables are awesome if you live in a small apartment and dont have enough to decorate but still want to enjoy the season.
    Matt, a halloween table for you seems really pointless since you have enough halloween to flood a house, but it’s good to share the idea with the new people this year

  17. Best advice Matt. Creating new traditions is imperative. Adult life would be pretty dull without seeing your mood table and following along with the countdown! As far as making one myself – well I think I have a year round “mood condo” lol.

  18. Holy crap, you’ve got my Friday the 13th book on there! I am honored, sir.

  19. I’ve got a combination of Mood Table-inspired things this year. For one, I stuck a bunch of Halloween decorations to my door that absolutely were not intended to be stuck on a door. I’ve also devoted a couple of shelves to storing macabre objects, like plastic skulls, spooky action figures (like Scarecrow from Batman), and books of ghost stories, all covered by a strand of candy corn-colored lights and watched over by a 7-foot wraith.

    But I really don’t need my Halloween mood lifted either. I’ve been celebrating almost nonstop in small ways for the past month, and I intend to continue doing just that. And as much as I don’t want to see the Halloween season end to make room for a depressing November, I’m super anxious to debut my all-time greatest costume on the big night itself.

  20. Holy crap, this is your most jam-packed mood table yet! I’m honored that the Horri-Ball I sent you last year was able to make the scene. And that Halloween Color Blank looks perfect there. I think he was tailor made for Halloween Mood Tables.

  21. I will not be creating a mood table this year. There is no way it wouldn’t be all over the floor within 5 seconds. However, yours is phenomenal. Fine work.

    Must also add that I hate the word “goodies”. Not that this will keep you from saying it, but I had to speak my piece. Still, a great looking table. A+

  22. The mood table is a great work of art this year. this is my version of a ceremony with trupets signaling the arrival of the festive season.

  23. Matt,

    Thanks for this year’s fantastic Halloween stuff. For the first time in a long time I am looking forward to this time of year. I’ve had my own table up since mid-September – your site has really made me go in wholesale this year. Thank you for that. Been a long time follower, since the old X-E days, but have never posted till today.

  24. I covet your Gremlin. That is all.

  25. Haven’t made a table, but I dug out all my horror movie dvds like i do every year. The spread includes Halloween 1 and 2, F13th 1-4, NMOES 3 and 4, and the Rob Zombie House of a 1000 Corpses-Devil’s Rejects duology.

  26. @Scott Phillips: Wow, small world! (That’s the author of the F13 book on my table, guys.)

  27. Maybe Mother Nature won’t ruin Halloween for the third year in a row this year in the Northeast!

  28. I’m going to go set mine up right now. Although mine is actually a mood shelf. It’s the shelf right next to my computer, so it’s a location I’ll see all the time. Thanks for inventing such a cool Halloween tradition, Matt!

  29. I have never actually done this (Mrs. Manimal would kill me), but man….the pang is hittin’ hard this year.

  30. First of all, I saw “The Haunted History of Halloween” among the History Channel DVDs on your table. I like that. I rent it from the library every year the first week or so of October. I like to inaugurate the Halloween season by learning about its past while I decorate for it. (I do the same thing with the History Channel’s Christmas special.)

    Second, while I have no room for an elaborate “Mood Table” and no fondness for any decoration scarier than a plastic skeleton, yours looks great this year, Matt. Considering that I spent the entire Halloween season last year off my feet due to a fractured ankle and ours had to be postponed anyway due to nasty weather, this year’s Halloween has nowhere to go but up.

  31. Wow, I also own some things strange and sinister. That book has one of the best covers I’ve ever seen. It just looks like one of those old forbidden books you might see in a movie. :-)

  32. That Freddy at the top left is so chillin’!

  33. I wish I could go blow some money on Halloween junk so I could make one of these.

    I have some window clings and orange lights around here somewhere though.

  34. I was looking to do a fall mood table in the middle of the month. I love ALL of fall, not JUST Halloween…I got Pumpkin pop tarts today!!!!!!!!!!!!! 3 years of looking! That and the retro yummy mummy cereal. AND Pumpkin Spice Yoplait and apple crisp yoplait!

    Incase anyone is interested…there is a new coffee mate called Hot vanilla…it is vanilla and cayenne pepper.

  35. It’s interesting how many of the mouths on those dolls and puppets, etc are in the OPEN position (even the Gremlin on the floor).

    Compare with a “regular” doll collection and you can see that the recipe for horror is mouth open = scary!

  36. Damn… after weeks of unstable internet that made watching stuff like video reviews a pain in the ass, I finally got caught up to this place tonight. Of course I could have just read all the non-video posts, but that would have ruined the weird notion of continuity that I have about this place. Good to be back, and on the very first day of the “Best Three Months of the Year”, no less.

    I’ll refrain from a novella-length response to everything that caught my eye in tonight’s DD marathon, but the two things that I can’t go without mentioning are what had me laughing the most: the absolutely PERFECT end of that Haunted Mask video (which I rewound ad nauseum), and—because my sense of humor is perpetually that of a 12 year old—the phrase “spirit of a stunted penis”, and its associated toaster strudel. That caused a legitimate, cartoon-style, sputtering spit-take.

    Also, if any of you you like that blood orange Jones Soda, do yourselves a favor and get some of the blood orange flavored San Pellegrino. It may not have the spook-factor, but holy shit, does that stuff ever make a great mixer! Or on its own, for that matter. The local co-op had cases of all those distinctively foil-topped San Pellegrino citrus sodas on sale this summer, and while I’m normally not a “drinks loads of soda” sort of person, I could pound those like there was no tomorrow. The exceptionally tart lemon variety, especially.

  37. I like the idea of a Halloween Mood Table, but if I was to try to make one, the contents of said table would be all over the floor in two seconds flat and then be chewed up in the next few seconds after that. Thanks to a wonderful combination of two cats that like to knock stuff off tables and a dog that chews up whatever gets knocked off tables by the cats. But I do enjoy seeing your tradition carrying on!

  38. Question: Are those green cheese balls I see under the table? If so, from whence do they come?

    I’ve done a few smaller scale mood tables over the past few years (think I started around your third one. Problem is the best table in the house for such a project is in a spot that I hardly spend time in and isn’t getting moved any time soon. Thous I was thinking of changing it up this year to a mood window. I figure I stare out the same stupid window every night when I wash the dishes, so why not make that a comforting experience for a change. I’ve already got a few things on it, but I’ll work on it let ya know how it turns out.

    Note: Love the imperial Dracula and Franky keeping watch over the canned ghost.

  39. I love it..Can you come over and set mine up? For some limited, rare, Very old Koolaid packets if course ^_^

  40. Yes, traditions are very important whether you’re on your own or have a family. I have several mood “tables” around the house. Granny Gross is prominent as is Maggie Simpson in Vampire attire and an old Hallmark haunted house that has to be 50 years old.

    As for your set up, it’s great! But where is shrunken Apple Head? Am I the only one that loves him? No kissing or hugging just love! Pure love for that little bastard. Please include him and make us both happy.

  41. Shrunken Apple Head isn’t ready to make his 2013 debut just yet! ;)

  42. MM was awesome. But I like Cherry Hill a little better as the hotel was a little TOO big… got lost a few times. Tho less cops – that was a plus!

    Anyway – if anyone needs bummer news – Paramount seems to want to make the next Friday the 13th installment a found footage film. That’s LAME.

  43. Don’t think I’ll get around to making a Halloween Mood Table but yours and the others you’ve posted on Mummy Shark are excellent.

    Though I did subconsciously observe the passage of Sep. to October by opening a box of Fruity Yummy Mummy. I started there because my box has a small scrape on one of the red letters. Enough so that it’s noticable if I hung it on a wall. So I want to eat it and then get a new one.

  44. faster and faster every year.

  45. Great table, and great effort all-around on the site. As I grow older, it’s important to keep a sense of wonder and joy around the Halloween season. You and your site do just that. Many thanks.

  46. Man, it’s like Halloween just up and exploded or something, haha!

    Seriously, Matt, you really outdid yourself this year. This Mood Table is just made of pure awesomesauce, every bit of it. Well done, sir. Also, what Stephen King book is that? I only see it in two pictures and can’t see the title in either one.

  47. I did a mood table. Then also decorated the wall behind it. Thinking about adding one item to the table or the wall each day.

  48. Your mood table is great! I’m feeling a boost in my Halloween spirit from just looking at it. I’d like to make one of my own, but my living space is pretty much a shoebox and my cats would have my mood table’s contents on the floor in three seconds. However, I’m slowly collecting things to put on one. I got a bunch of cheap plastic skeletons, bat stickers, and three of the monster cereals in the retro boxes. (I’ve got Boo Berry, Frute Brute, and Fruity Yummy Mummy. By the way, am I the only one who couldn’t leave them alone and is eating them?)

  49. Your Mood Table made me smile, Matt :D :D :D

  50. I admire you for doing this. It’s good to keep the holiday spirit going and stuff. Maybe I’ll try something like that, although it would be much smaller.

  51. This is more like a Mood Pile. The table seems to only be there to keep everything from falling on itself. LOL.

    But what if… what if you actually MADE a Halloween Mood table. Decorated or fashioned solely for that purpose? And then sold them? And then became rich?

  52. @SuperRecoome I have Some Things Strange and Sinister too! It’s definitely the most attractive of my spooky short story collections. Matt’s table is the first time I’ve seen a copy other than mine in the wild.

  53. I zeroed right in on the History Channel DVDs. They’re right up there with the Unsolved Mysteries: Ghosts collection for stuff we’ll put on when looking to capture the appropriate mood.

  54. Man Im I ever glad i stumbled on to this website because its awsome. The picture of the table is so good i had to use it as the background on my phone. Happy Halloween

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