Farewell, October …

Photo by Andy Hay, via Flickr.

Photo by Andy Hay, via Flickr.

You know it, I know it. This rotting pumpkin knows it. Halloween 2013 is officially over.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, and I want to thank you SO MUCH for visiting my blog! I will be back again next year, starting September 1st, 2014.

That’s ten months away, but I’m already counting down the days.

Until then,


Happy Halloween!

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October 31st is here!! HAPPY HALLOWEEN, everybody!!! I hope your day is full of all the magic, mystery, and fun we love about the holiday.

Thanks for spending some time with the Skeleton Key this season! To show my appreciation, I have a mixed bag of random Halloween treats that I hope you will enjoy:

-Pumpkinrot has put up photos of his incredible Halloween display, the Scarecrow Catacomb!

-Read this heartwarming story about a Detroit Halloween hero named Nick!

-A list of books about, and a good overview of, the history of Halloween! (Time to hit Barnes and Noble.)

-The winner of the Great Pumpkin art contest winner will be announced sometime today!

-Check out the Halloween-themed Google “doodle“! It’s an interactive animation.

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-2013’s most popular costumes for adults, according to National Geographic: 1. witch, 2. Batman character, 3. vampire, 4. zombie, 5. pirate.

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-High-tech costumes that incorporate iphones and other devices … There’s an app for that?

-Yo, that IS messed up! More scary dolls!

-A 10-minute video (from the 60s-70s) of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion, behind the scenes:

Victorian Ghost

Beautiful photos of a little girl who wanted to be a ghost, but not the “holes-in-the-bedsheet” kind.

More information here. Many thanks to my amazing friend Christy for sending me this link! <3

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Horror on Reddit

I have scoured the intimidatingly vast forums of Reddit for you, my dear readers, to select my favorite short scary stories from the site. Here they are, in no particular order, accompanied by the eerie photography of R. E. Meatyard.

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Museum of Death by Socklayblue

When she woke up, she found herself enclosed in a glass box just big enough for her to stand in. The box was in the center of a studio with twenty or so spectators meandering around the room looking into the other various glass boxes containing other human beings. She cupped her hands against the glass and stuck her face against them and squinted to view the human inside the glass box not far from her. He hung naked from a rope attached to the top of the box, blatantly dead. She looked down and saw a small sign on the bottom of the box that read “Death by lynching”. “Such a magnificent art piece,” she heard a spectator viewing the box say.

She looked around the room at the other various glass boxes containing humans. One was overrun with rats gnawing flesh, one cadaver floated in water, and one was hard to spot from the gas that filled their box. The panic finally sank in and she began to bang on her glass box, but only one guest looked just to turn away, uninterested. She stopped banging when a spectator walked up to her box and stared at her the way a tourist stares at the Mona Lisa. The spectator looked down at the sign attached to her glass box and she overheard them say, “Death by starvation.”


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Untitled by JustAnotherMuffledVo

I begin tucking him into bed and he tells me, “Daddy, check for monsters under my bed.” I look underneath for his amusement and see him, another him, under the bed, staring back at me quivering and whispering, “Daddy, there’s somebody on my bed.”


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Slideshow by Danatblair

Fingers trembling with excitement, I opened the package. Just as I had hoped, it was the camera I won on ebay. With mild delight I realized I had received a better deal than I had planned because the previous owner had left the memory card in the slot.

Before sending an e-mail to the seller alerting them of the mistake I decided to see if anything was on it. Setting the camera on slideshow I watched as the camera displayed a picture of a shipping label. My confusion turned to horror as the next image was of a person brutally murdered. The rest of the card was alternating pictures of a mailing address followed by a murder scene.

The last image was of the shipping label from the box I had just opened.


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Neighbors by RealScience87

I am a homeowner. I can finally say that. I worked for thirty-nine years in a hot, damp, New York City kitchen, renting a studio apartment from a friend. I saved every cent I could. Six months ago I determined a had enough money and purchased a one story home out in the country. It was all I could afford, but I could afford it and now it’s mine.

The biggest shock to me is the seclusion. There is only one neighboring house and the realtor assured me that it has been empty for some time. However, three nights ago when I took my dog outside I happened to glance up at it. Three figures were standing on the porch, motionless. I could not see their faces, but I thought they were staring at me. The night before last, they were there again, except they had moved off their porch and into the yard.

Each morning I have gone out, looked at the house, and seen nothing. It seems they only rise as the Sun sets. Last night they stood at the edge of my property. I’m looking for them now through my window. I don’t see them, but dusk is closing fast.

3 Q’s: Artist Sam Heimer

I’m currently obsessed with artist Sam Heimer‘s work, which I originally discovered (like so many other amazing things) on Pumpkinrot‘s blog. Sam makes striking Halloween-inspired art that brilliantly combines old-school style with beautifully dark symbolism. I find his creations so intriguing.

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So imagine my delight when Sam agreed to do a short interview for this blog!!! Here is our Q&A.

Q: What’s your favorite horror film?

A: “John Carpenter’s The Thing. The Lovecraft-plagiarized source material is presented in a gripping, harrowing way. The pre-CGI effects are far superior to the crap haunting films now. And the ending is soul crushing. Beyond that, my favorites are the standard classics with Karloff, Lugosi, and Price.”

Q: What’s your favorite Halloween candy?

A: “Candy Corn. One of the few iconic candies that have survived even though nobody but me seems to enjoy it, and is a reminder that Halloween is a harvest holiday.”

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Q: Why do you often choose Halloween as a subject for your art?

A: “Every year, like clockwork, the one or two illustration pieces I’ve created and am actually happy with were done in homage to Halloween. The holiday’s imagery and folklore are a constant muse and rarely stray far from my work. I’m drawn to the fact that the roots of Halloween go back to the start of agrarian practices, making it the oldest holiday in a way, and because it’s a celebration of the harvest and the fragility of life, it’s really the only holiday I understand or can relate to. Long live the harvest and check all modern gods at the door. Plus the bakelite masks and vintage decorations are bitchin.”

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Not only a talented artist, but also a very insightful guy. Thanks, Sam! It was a pleasure.

To see more of Sam Heimer’s work, visit his blog and his Etsy shop

More Halloween Humor

Happy Friday! Here’s a little Halloween hilarity to help bring on the weekend.


My friend Miriam sent me this one, from a British magazine.

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You said it, Ned.

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Now that’s just mean.

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Not cool, bro. Not cool.

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This guy’s parents are either really creative … or really hungry.

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Horseman’s Hollow and Blaze


Over the weekend we visited Sleepy Hollow, NY, for two of my favorite events: Horseman’s Hollow (an outdoor haunt) and The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze (an outdoor display of carved, illuminated pumpkins).

You might recall that last year I was a little disappointed with Horseman’s Hollow’s offerings, but this year, it was totally back up to par! It included a new haunted theater stage, grisly infirmary tents, an expanded corn maze, and some elaborate spider-human mutants, among other delights. As before, everything was in the style of the 18th century, in keeping with the town’s historic roots. Such a nice touch.



Blaze was once again spectacular. It seemed like everything imaginable had been re-created there, but in pumpkin form: aliens, tombstones, cats, bats, dinosaurs, spider webs, flowers, even Cyclops and a minotaur.  Seeing that many carved pumpkins in one place is mind-boggling! You really can’t tell from my photos, but there were over 5,000 on display.







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