Dino Drac After Dark

Frightening Free-For-All Thread! (#5)

Okay, now we’re getting to that point in the season where time seems to move at double-speed. I don’t know, is it just me?

So let’s all look at this week as a little “reset button.” Think about how you want to spend your free time in October, and start making some plans!

This is your Frightening Free-For-All Thread. Talk about whatever ya want, all week long. Dino Drac After Dark has also been updated with new editions of the Sinister Survey, Macabre Movies of the Week and Chilling Challenge. Have fun!

Sinister Survey! (#5)

For this week’s Sinister Survey, let’s talk about the scariest places we’ve ever been.

These could be places that were actually literally scary, or just places that freaked you out as a kid despite their relative normalcy.

One of mine would have to be Grandma’s basement.

I spent a lot of time in my grandparents’ basement as a kid, since I had no interest in sitting in the dining room as my parents loudly gabbed with them about things I couldn’t have cared less about. Besides, the TV was in the basement!

But man, that place was always one wrong shadow away from pure hell. This was an old Brooklyn house, full of creaks on its best day, but when you added the water heater and all of those weird pipes, it was an unending concert of creepy noises.

The basement had terrible lighting, and was full of decades-old tchotchkes that grew frightening with age. (Like Grandma’s old dolls — the ones that automatically shut their eyes when you held them horizontally. Eek!)

It wouldn’t have been so bad if the basement didn’t come with its own share of ghost stories. My father and uncles had a few, including one where the spirit of the house’s former owner kept pointing to a particular spot in the wall, ultimately revealing a hidden stash of liquor and tobacco. (An admission from the afterlife that he never quit drinking or smoking, like he’d told everyone.)

It was all bullshit, I’m sure, but I absolutely believed it, and assumed that this ghost could pop up whenever I was down there. Since I’d never get to see those Three’s Company reruns upstairs, it seemed like a fair enough trade.

Your turn! Talk about places that have frightened YOU, in the comments!

If you missed the previous Sinister Survey, it’s over here.

Macabre Movies of the Week! (#5)

Time for the Macabre Movies of the Week! There’s something for everyone in this batch: Halloween history, anti-Halloween propaganda, and super hip Ghostbusters. It’s like you blew all three genie wishes on my YouTube picks.

Let’s kick things off with The Pagan Invasion: Trick or Treat, a direct-to-VHS “documentary” that I reviewed several years ago. It was one of those super-religious propaganda pieces that wanted everyone to drop Halloween like a bad habit, but even accidentally, it’s still entertaining as hell.

With wonderful ‘80s footage of everything from VHS conventions to costume shops, it’s also worth watching for the strange testimonies. Lord knows if the interviewees actually believed their stories or were just “in on the joke,” but either way, this has quietly become one of my favorite things to watch during the Halloween season.

The Real Story of Halloween is a History Channel doc from 2010. I guess it’s pretty famous, since approximately six thousand people have uploaded it to YouTube.

I love documentaries like this, which are still all over TV during October. For me, they’re tied with those Food Network shows where people have to bake cakes shaped like spiders or whatever.

This first-season episode of Extreme Ghostbusters is called Home is Where the Horror Is. I’ll swipe the description from Google, because nothing will sell you on it faster:

“The Extreme Ghostbusters try to rid a house of ghosts, only to learn that the house itself is a ghost. The Ghostbusters must defeat it before it feeds on two captured children.”

Enjoy the videos, now or throughout the week! If you missed the previous Macabre Movies of the Week, they’re over here.

Chilling Challenge! (#5)

This week’s Chilling Challenge is an easy one, but I think you’ll enjoy it!

One of my favorite pastimes is looking over the trivia sections on IMDB. I can easily spend hours doing that, researching movies I’ve seen, movies I want to see, and movies I know I’ll never see.

So let’s take a hint from that. Search through IMDB, and report back with an interesting trivia tidbit about a movie, show or TV special. Obviously, the trivia should be about Halloweeny movies and shows!

You can do up to 3 different trivia tidbits, if you like. I’ll start:

Friday the 13th Part III:
In the original ending, Chris rows back to shore and begins walking towards the house. She suddenly hears a noise from the house, and thinking it’s Rick, begins to run to the porch of the house. Once she arrives at the front door, it suddenly bursts open and Jason emerges, to the surprise of Chris. Jason then grabs Chris by the hair and chops her head off with a machete.

It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown:
When writing a letter to the Great Pumpkin, Linus states, “You must get discouraged because more people believe in Santa Claus than in you. Well, let’s face it; Santa Claus has had more publicity, but being #2, perhaps you try harder.” This is a reference to an advertising slogan for Avis Rent-a-Car that was well known in the 1960s.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3:
At around the 38 minute mark, Jennifer (Penelope Sudrow) is watching the movie Critters.

Your turn! Search IMDB for interesting pieces of trivia about movies, shows or TV specials with some tie to the Halloween season. Report back with your findings!

If you missed last week’s Chilling Challenge, click here.