Welcome to the Spooky Foods Graveyard! Enjoy this look at *40* seasonal snacks from yesteryear, and try not to wake the dead while you browse.
#40: McDonald’s Pumpkin Pie!
(Introduced in 1984)
I’ve been sitting on this one for weeks, because it seemed like the perfect food to end this feature with. Introduced in 1984, it’s the McDonald’s Pumpkin Pie!
Now, I know that McD’s still sells variations of pumpkin pies during the Halloween season, but they’re not like this. See, this is from back when McDonald’s still fried the pies, giving them a pastry shell that resembled a thrice-fried egg roll from a really shady Chinese takeout place. (It’s a compliment.)
McDonald’s switched to baked pies in 1992, and while healthier, it’s hard to argue that they’re tastier than yesteryear’s, which were like desserts from a no-fucks-given country fair.
Pumpkin wasn’t the only “limited time” pie that McDonald’s offered back then. Dig deep and you’ll find evidence of everything from pineapple to blueberry pies. Ronald hit every fruit, but only one could possibly headline our stay in the Spooky Foods Graveyard, and you’re looking at it.
#39: Dracula Ice Lolly!
(Introduced in 1981)
Made by Walls, Dracula Ice Lollies were only sold in the UK. (I get the impression that popsicles were a bigger deal across the pond. I’ve seen so many UK exclusives with artistry that far surpassed the frozen treats that my yankee ass grew up with.)
Here we had a cherry red Dracula who genuinely looked too stunning to eat. Even the wrappers were beautiful, resembling those old horror comics that dealers stick behind glass and charge 500 dollars for.
I love everything about the Dracula Ice Lolly. Everything except its fear of travel. These things were like Mickey’s Parade pops for goths.
#38: The Addams Family Cereal!
(Introduced in 1991)
Ralston made so many boxes of Addams Family Cereal that to this day, in the year of our Lord 2023, there hasn’t been a single moment where it’s been at all hard to find a sealed box. If you’ve ever wanted to enter the hip, happening world of cereal box collecting, this is an easy place to start.
This one had a lot going for it. The cereal shapes included skulls and headless dolls, while the lure of a “mystery flavor” (psst, vanilla) was sure to get most kids to at least try it.
Course, this being Ralston, the food was secondary to the peripherals. On top of having one of the sleekest packages in breakfast history, The Addams Family Cereal was famous for its freebies. Most notable was a collection of figural flashlights that came shrink-wrapped over the boxes.
I mean, even if you much preferred Lucky Charms, how do you not pick the cereal that comes with a goddamned Cousin It flashlight?
#37: Pumpkin Face Bubble Gum!
(Introduced in the ‘80s)
Made by Fleer, each pack of Pumpkin Face Bubble Gum consisted of just one piece of gum, but that didn’t matter since it was truly enormous. You’ve probably seen photos of this pack (and even of the gum itself) floating around the internet, but unless they were shot next to a ruler, it’s hard to grasp just how large these pieces were. Palm-sized, but only barely.
The actual pieces looked identical to the pumpkin on the packages. A big, happy, orange jack-o’-lantern. Pumpkin Face worked exactly like Razzles, where it tasted and “chewed” like candy, before magically transforming into a wad of gum.
If you’re wondering what the flavor was, well, that depends on who you ask. Everyone agrees that it wasn’t pumpkin. Some say it was orange, while others claim that it was just a general “candy flavor,” unwed to any particular fruit. Whatever the case, it surely tasted great. After all, Fleer was the company that invented bubble gum!
#37: Scary Black Cherry!
(Introduced in 2001)
Burger King’s tongue-dyeing Halloween treat was made famous by Bart Simpson, who drank it ON LIVE TELEVISION approximately 5000 times back in 2001. (Remember, that was the year BK gave away those Simpsons Spooky Light-Up figures.)
Weirdly, they didn’t outright say what the concoction was made from. “Scary Black Cherry” was its complete title. In more recent years, BK brought it back and ID’d it as frozen Fanta, but I don’t know if they were using Fanta that long ago. I guess the lucky thing is that none of you give a shit about any of this.
The Slurpee-like drink quietly became a quasi-tradition at Burger King during the Halloween season. They don’t do it every year, I remember drinking it as late as 2018, when they had the Nightmare King Whopper.
(Actually, would that disqualify it from the Graveyard? Man, it might. Oh well, I already wrote this and I’m not wasting it.)
#36: Slimer Bubble Gum!
(Introduced in 1989)
This was likely inspired by Bazooka’s tubes of soft bubble gum, and no complaints from me, because that stuff was delicious. Inside was 1.6 ounces of gooey green bubble gum, which looked like what I’ll charitably call “paste.”
If you never experienced bubble gum from a tube, it was definitely unique – and only barely gum. The way I remember it, the stuff quickly dissolved into nothingness, necessitating extra-huge wads if you wanted to chew for a while. It was worth it, though. The gum was sugary as hell, and really tasty.
To the untrained eye, this might look like toothpaste. Incredibly, Slimer Toothpaste was also on the market, around the same time, sold in tubes that looked extremely similar to these. And to top it all off, one of the toothpaste flavors was bubble gum!