Saturday, October 1st:
October is here! I hope you’ve had a great season so far. Now we’re in the REAL DEAL HALLOWEEN SEASON, so make the most of these next four weeks!
I’m using today to catch up on doing nothing. It’s been a minute since I could get away with blowing a day that way. Candles burning, Amityville II streaming, Halloween the Cat sleeping, and I’m under enough heavy blankets to do a solid imitation of Giles Corey.
I’ve started prep on my next video, and will continue once I’m done vegetating. It’s just such a perfect day for laying around. Cold air, gray skies, it’s drizzling, and I just remembered that extra box of Hocus Pocus cereal waiting in my trunk.
(That cereal is the f’n bomb, by the way. It’s somewhere between Strawberry Honeycomb and C-3PO’s.)
Happy October! Go do something or nothing. Whichever makes you happier.
Dropped the latest Purple Stuff Podcast today, which is about some of the best and weirdest Halloween-related items currently listed on eBay. We had so much fun with this one!
The hardest part was narrowing down our picks. It killed me to leave a few choice items out of the show, like that Bram Stoker’s Dracula Hologram from 1992.
There was a whole set of these, and if you’re wondering why Bram Stoker’s Dracula was commemorated with fancy holograms, I have an answer!
At that particular point in time, “upscale holograms” had become a bit of a fad item, to the point where there were entire stores dedicated to selling them – usually in artsy and/or touristy areas. I first saw the Dracula holograms in one such store, while on vacation with my parents at God knows where.
They ended up choosing some lame hologram of a generic clown, but you better believe that I made my best pitch for vampires. The memory is still so vivid that I can’t believe I never pulled the trigger on one of these eBay auctions. Which brings me to this week’s physical challenge!
PHYSICAL CHALLENGE: Before sundown on Sunday, buy something on eBay that tickles your Halloween nostalgia bone. If you don’t use eBay, just abide by the spirit of the challenge and use a different site. Goal is to grab something you either had or wanted long ago. Remember, it’s gotta be at least vaguely spooky!
Thursday, September 29th:
Just a shorty for you tonight, as we gotta wrap up this month’s podcast before tomorrow’s drop!
Thought I’d yank this video out from the Dino Drac archives. It’s an episode of Friday the 13th: The Series that aired back in 1988, with all of the original commercials included. (Speaking of the podcast, we covered this episode a few years ago!)
If you’re unfamiliar with the show, it had zero to do with Jason Voorhees. Every episode was about some haunted artifact from an antique store that the good guys had to track down. Opinions vary, but I don’t think anyone could argue that there wasn’t a sincere effort behind this series.
This particular episode, What a Mother Wouldn’t Do, is about a cursed cradle that can keep a sick baby alive so long as regular sacrifices are made. It’s a good one, IMO, and it’s made better by the inclusion of so many commercials from 1988, covering everything from Roy Rogers to 7UP Gold!
Keep in mind, I’m not pitching this as something you should study and critique like a big new fancy movie. It’s just some spooky/cheesy background noise to make the air a little colder and the sky a little darker. Enjoy!
Wednesday, September 28th:
If we’re being honest, the Halloweens of our childhood weren’t as exciting as we make them sound. I think we kinda combine the best memories from our best Halloweens and force ourselves to believe that they were all that great.
In reality, Halloween sometimes felt just like another day of the week. This was especially true when you aged out of trick-or-treating. I can’t remember what year was my last year, but trick-or-treating certainly didn’t survive through all of junior high.
At that point, 10/31 was mostly good for two things. One was swiping candy from my own family’s giveaway bowl, which was hardly a felony since we always bought too much. The other was watching sitcom reruns from 5PM – 8PM, and hoping against hope that they’d be Halloween-themed.
On a good year, many of them were. From Growing Pains to Roseanne to Night Court, a solid Halloweeny sitcom rerun was often the biggest thing to separate October 31st from any other day.
It sounds mundane and it was mundane, but I have such fond memories of holing up in my bedroom to scarf down tiny Twix bars, while Dan Conner imitated Leatherface on my busted television. No costumes, no trick-or-treating and I still had homework to do, but it was enough to make Halloween feel a little more special than the days before and after.
Tuesday, September 27th:
If you missed my posts on social media about it, I got to break a little news of my own this week – with a little help from a tipster who we’ll call The Hand of the King.
An internal ingredients list for Burger King suggests that there may be some kind of new HALLOWEEN WHOPPER on the way. On separate pages, there are listings for ORANGE WHOPPER BUNS and GHOST PEPPER CHEESE. I don’t know if those two ingredients are meant to go together, but they sure sound like the makings of a spooky sandwich to me!
Now to be clear, this isn’t nearly official. Burger King has said nothing about it. There’s always a chance that something was planned but fell through, and I suppose there’s also a chance that these two ingredients have zero to do with Halloween. But I’m reasonably confident that something sinister is in the works.
We’ll probably hear more in the coming days, one way or another. If it happens, hopefully it’ll be a full-scale rollout and not a super limited promo like they did with the Ghost Whoppers. Cross your fingers, guys!
What a season this is shaping up to be. Most of the good stuff usually comes out by the end of September, leaving October in the lurch. This year, there’s so much great stuff that won’t hit until next month. I love it.
PS: If you’re subscribed to The Purple Stuff Podcast on Patreon, this month’s bonus show just dropped, and it’s all about things you can look forward to this October! There’s a whole lot more than hypothetical Whoppers on the horizon.
Monday, September 26th:
This is a page from a 2006 Circuit City circular, highlighting a sale on horror DVDs. I can’t believe how many feels I’m getting from this thing.
Back then, going to Circuit City and especially to Best Buy for cheap horror DVDs was a typical Friday night for me. Only rarely was I after a particular movie, and often enough, I wouldn’t even watch whatever I walked out with. It was just something to do, back when everything from phones to television to the entire internet had less time-sucking powers than they do now.
In 2006, I was working insane hours at a job that went many miles beyond full-time, and after a tough week, those little excursions for cheap horror movies were like retail valium. I loved digging through the bargain bins, convinced that the best DVDs were at the bottom. (They never were.)
I sold most of my DVDs off in the years since, but looking over at the modest pile that still remains, I’m struck by how many titles came directly from those cheapie bins. Just seeing them makes me remember the smell of those electronics stores. It’s hard to describe, but they smelled like 9V batteries taste.
Circuit City is long gone, but we still have a Best Buy nearby. Maybe I’ll check it out this weekend. Pick up a five dollar copy of Halloween 4 and let it collect dust on a shelf. It’ll be 2006 all over again.
Sunday, September 25th:
Yeah, this is a little basic, but I love those YouTube videos that are just like, 10 hours of waves or 10 hours of rain or 10 hours of some other weirdly soothing noise.
I’ve never been very good at going to sleep on purpose, and usually just wait until I’m exhausted enough to pass out. But those videos really do help, and during this time of year, many of them double as Halloween watches.
Take the one above, for example. Hours and hours of thunderstorm sounds. We long for big storms when we’re in spooky moods, but big storms prefer to turn up when we least want them to. Videos like this are great substitutes.
Give it a shot tonight! If this one isn’t to your liking, there are way more options on YT. Lighter rain, heavier thunder, black screens, whatever ya want. They’re a nice way to make any regular night feel happily haunted.