Category:
Halloween

No Halloween on Sundays

Every so often Halloween falls on a Sunday — as it does this year. Whenever this happens it seems to inspire efforts to move the celebration back a day, to Saturday, because there are those who feel it's sacreligious to be parading around as ghosts and witches on the Sabbath.

The most high-level effort to change Halloween from a Sunday to a Saturday, that I'm aware of, happened in 1971 when Gov. Bob Scott of North Carolina decreed that Halloween was officially moved back a day for everyone in his state because, "It is not proper for ghoulies, ghosties and goblins to be flitting about on the Sabbath."

It's also reportedly illegal in Rehoboth, Delaware to celebrate Halloween on a Sunday.

The Danville Register - Oct 20, 1971

Posted By: Alex - Sun Oct 31, 2021 - Comments ()
Category: Halloween

The Scarecrow of Tomorrow

Miss Penelope Shoo. A scarecrow with style. On display by the Wonder Bakery exhibit at the 1939 New York World's Fair.

Pittsburgh Press - July 2, 1939



source: The 1939-1940 New York World's Fair, by Bill Cotter

Posted By: Alex - Sat Oct 30, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Fashion, 1930s, Halloween, Yesterday’s Tomorrows

Death and Horror

In 1977, the BBC released "Death & Horror" — an album of horror-themed sound effects which (unlike most sound-effect records) made its way onto the UK's Top 100 charts. The entire album is on YouTube, so perhaps some of you might find a use for it this Halloween.



The success of the album attracted a prominent critic. As reported by the Associated Press (Mar 17, 1977):

A new BBC record contains sound effects of a stake being driven through a heart, an arm being sawn off, a hot poker gouging out an eye and other grisly tidbits. Self-appointed decency campaigner Mary Whitehouse says she is "horrified" by it.

She called the record "utterly irresponsible" and said Wednesday she will ask the government to ban it.

The publicly financed British Broadcasting Corp., a generally sedate organization known to many Britons as "Auntie BBC," said the long-playing record was intended for drama groups, owed most of its effects to "the mistreatment of large white cabbages," was made "without the loss of a single member of the staff" and assuredly was no cause for alarm. . .

Mrs. Whitehouse, who has campaigned against stage nudity and pornography such as a proposed film on the sex life of Jesus Christ, sent protests to the head of the BBC, Sir Michael Swann, and said she will complain to Home Secretary Merlyn Rees.

"What is the BBC's aim?" she asked. "To brutalize and desensitize people?"

Mary Whitehouse was a well-known "decency" campaigner. Wikipedia has a long article about her.

Execution And Torture
00:01 The Guillotine
00:10 Arm Chopped Off
00:15 Head Chopped Off
00:22 Sawing Head Off
00:31 Leg Chopped Off
00:38 Neck Twisted And Broken
00:43 Arm Broken
00:49 Stake Driven Through Heart
00:55 Branding Iron On Flesh
01:08 Red Hot Poker Into Eye
01:18 Nails Hammered Into Flesh
01:40 The Scaffold (Trap Opens, Body Falls)
01:50 Sawing Leg Off
02:08 The Firing Squad (Commands And Volley)
02:35 Whipping
03:15 Three Gun Shots
03:27 Burning At The Stake
04:00 Dagger Thrown Into Wood
04:08 Arrows Fired Into Wood
04:20 The Pendulum

Monsters And Animals
04:55 The Mad Gorilla
06:05 Monsters Roaring
06:36 Wolf Howling
06:58 Werewolves Howling
07:22 Wolves Baying At The Moon
08:00 Wolves Howling And Snarling
08:48 The Hell-Hound (Growling And Snarling)
09:28 The Hell-Hound (Panting)
09:48 Bats Calling
10:24 Bats Squeaking And Flying
11:00 Dracula In Flight
11:55 Snake Hissing
12:40 Rattlesnake
12:58 A Cat Howl

Creaking Doors And Grave Digging
13:10 Creaky Door Closes
13:19 Creaky Door Opens
13:28 Creaky Door Closes
13:40 Heavy Creaky Door Opens
13:49 Coffin Lid Closes
13:59 Nailing Coffin Lid Down
14:31 Coffin Lid Opening
14:47 Assorted Creepy Creaks
15:30 Crypt Door Closing
15:45 Grave Digging (In Stoney Ground)
16:36 Grave Digging (In Wet Ground)
17:25 Portcullis Closing
Musical Effects And Footsteps
17:38 Phantom Of The Opera (Organ Sounds)
18:44 Ghostly Piano Sound (Low Pitch)
19:01 Ghostly Piano Sound (Low Pitch)
19:23 Ghostly Piano Sound (Low Pitch)
19:40 Ghostly Piano Sound (High Pitch)
19:51 Ghostly Piano Sound (High Pitch)
20:10 Ghostly Piano Sound (High Pitch)
20:22 The Lost Chord
22:05 A Gong Roll
21:22 Gong Struck Once
21:45 Ghostly Footsteps (With Chains)
22:40 Squelching Footsteps

Vocal Effects And Heartbeats
23:21 Strangulation (Male)
23:35 One Scream (Male)
23:43 Two Screams (Male)
24:00 Three Men Screaming
24:10 Heavy Breathing (Male)
24:45 Two Screams (Female)
24:59 Three Screams (Female)
25:15 One Long Scream (Female)
25:30 Two Women Screaming
25:44 One Woman Sobbing
26:23 Heavy Breathing (Female)
26:55 Lunatics Laughing
27:44 Human Heartbeats
28:25 Electronic Heartbeats
28:57 Frankenstein's Heartbeats

Weather, Atmospheres And Bells
29:35 Three Thunderclaps
30:15 Thunderclaps And Rain
30:54 Approaching Thunder
31:15 Rain And Distant Thunder
32:31 Heavy Rain
33:25 Eerie Wind
34:29 Weird Wind
35:23 Cathedral Bell Tolling
35:52 Church Bell Tolling
36:28 Church Bell Tolling In The Wind
37:15 Wind Howling In Ship's Rigging
38:02 Jungle At Night
38:43 Tropical Atmosphere At Night
39:23 The Electronic Swamp
40:44 Dr. Jekyll's Lab
41:23 Midnight In The Graveyard
43:30 Daytime In The Graveyard
44:35 The Chinese Water Torture
45:39 Boiling Oil

Posted By: Alex - Fri Oct 29, 2021 - Comments ()
Category: Horror, 1970s, Halloween, Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

Scary Morning Mouth

Happy Halloween!

Life - Oct 26, 1953

Posted By: Alex - Sat Oct 31, 2020 - Comments ()
Category: Advertising, 1950s, Halloween

Halloween Donut Party

Throughout the 1950s, the donut industry tried hard to make Donut Parties a Halloween tradition. Their PR men also claimed that donuts could help make Halloween "more nutritious."

San Bernardino County Sun - Oct 30, 1957



San Bernardino County Sun - Oct 30, 1957



Oct 23, 1955 - “Dos & Don’ts for Halloween Donut Party”



The Salem News - Oct 17, 1955

Posted By: Alex - Thu Oct 31, 2019 - Comments (4)
Category: Food, Junk Food, Nutrition, Halloween

Weird News Costumes

With Oct 31 almost upon us, I was trying to find examples of people who dress up for Halloween as characters from weird news stories. So far, I've found two.

The first is the Swiss Cheese Pervert. You may recall he was that guy who would drive around Philadelphia propositioning women while holding and fondling a piece of swiss cheese. He was arrested in 2014. Chuck mentioned him once in a column.

The Swiss Cheese Pervert



Swiss Cheese Pervert Costume (via uproxx.com)



The second is the "Monkey Jesus" painting — the name given to an amateur art restorer's attempt in 2012 to "fix" a 1930 fresco of Jesus.



via Yahoo! News

Posted By: Alex - Mon Oct 30, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Costumes and Masks, Halloween

The Weeny Witch

From the 1940s to the 1970s, the makers of "Skinless" wieners tried hard, through relentless advertising, to establish "Weeny Witch" parties as a Halloween tradition. Basically, these were parties that completely centered around hot dogs. A "Weeny Witch" (a hot dog dressed up as a witch) would serve as a table centerpiece.

To make the Weeny Witch party more festive the company distributed a pamphlet with party suggestions, which included "Bobbing for Franks" as well as "Feeding the Weeny Witch." The latter involved creating a cardboard cutout of a witch's head. Blindfolded kids would then try to stick their weeny in the witch's mouth.

Image source: reddit





Image source: And Everything Else Too



Albuquerque Journal - Oct 23, 1949


Posted By: Alex - Mon Oct 31, 2016 - Comments (5)
Category: Food, Junk Food, Halloween

Deceased Gentleman Mistaken for Halloween Decor

Here's a case of tragic timing that has been making the news rounds

It's actually a bit of sad situation. Neighbors thought the body was a decoration for Halloween, and it sat on the balcony for several days.

You can read about it from AOL News, LA Times and a few other sources. LA Times piece has a photo of the building.

Posted By: dherlich - Sat Oct 17, 2009 - Comments (5)
Category: Death, Injuries, Halloween

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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