Saturday, October 31, 2009

Review Of TRICK 'R TREAT By John Rose

Welcome to the Big Day... Halloween,  and The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween is closing out with a review of one of the best Halloween movies to come along in years: Trick 'r Treat.  Written and directed by Michael Dougherty and based on his short animated film "Season's Greetings,"  Trick 'r Treat is not going to please you if you are a fan of Saw, Hostel, or any of the other grim visages that Hollywood usually attempts to bombard you with around this season.  Trick 'r Treat is something different altogether; it is an unabashed love letter to Halloween, scary movies, and Halloween traditions.

Trick 'r Treat consists of four different narratives, all centered on Halloween night within the town of Warren Valley, Ohio, that are interwoven together.  The common element within these stories is a mysterious little figure named Sam (Quinn Lord) who wears orange pajamas and a burlap mask, and makes several key appearances throughout the film.  Each of the tales is a sort of retelling of a familiar legend of Halloween, from the local school principal (Dylan Baker) who turns out to be that guy you've always heard about who poisons trick-or-treaters, to Kreeg (Brian Cox) the town Halloween curmudgeon trying to scare off trick-or-treaters who gets his comeuppance at the hands of Sam.  Supernatural themes enter the picture with tales of a virginal "good girl" (Anna Paquin) who is attacked by a "vampire" only to reveal that she, her sister and her friends are something quite monstrous themselves, and an urban legend of the "Halloween School Bus Massacre" in which four children attempt to frighten the neighborhood weirdo (Sam Todd) by visiting the site of said massacre, and unfortunately disturbing something.  All of these tales combine at the end, and the film as a whole presents a very old-school, very delightful vision of Halloween and seasonal horror that has roots stretching from early pulp horror comics (which is fitting, due to its nod to Pulp Fiction in style of narrative) all the way to John Carpenter's original Halloween, the Evil Dead series, and Creepshow.  While this film may be quite disappointing to horror fans who love copious amounts of gore and nudity, it's right up the alley of anyone who has ever experienced the simpler pleasures waiting in a late-night creature-feature filmfest.

Strangely enough, this sure-fire winner has never received a theatrical release from Warner Bros, who continuously pushed back its release and finally put it out in a direct-to-DVD release on October 6.  Director Dougherty has suggested that perhaps the film's presentation of violence against children may be the reason, but if people can sit through the first-half all-out orgy and the second-half all-out bloodbath of Hostel, or the irritatingly disjointed aesthetic of such films as Grindhouse and House Of 1000 Corpses, they should not have much problem with the almost-no-gore of Trick 'r Treat.  What gore there is is minimal and, believe it or not, entirely necessary to the plot.

So be told: if you are going to see a film for Halloween this year, skip the latest Saw sequel or Eighties-horror remake, rent (or better yet, buy) this DVD, pop some popcorn at home and settle in for a Treat that has no trick.  This film deserves better press than it's got, and after viewing it you'll see why.

Happy Halloween to all!

Friday, October 30, 2009


Today is the last day before Halloween, and we have some thrilling news... after years of waiting, fans of Boris Karloff's Thriller TV series can now rejoice, for Thriller is coming to DVD and will be here by next Halloween!

Premiering in 1960, Thriller adapted many tales of famous horror and mystery writers such as Edgar Allan Poe and Robert Bloch for the small screen.  Hosted by none other than Boris Karloff, he of such famed classic horror productions as Frankenstein and Black Sabbath, Thriller is now regarded as a watershed production by horror fans (including no less than Stephen King, who saw fit to mention the series in Danse Macabre, his 1981 overview of horror's influence on film, radio, TV and other media).  Many have waited for this series to hit DVD, and Thriller will now see its DVD debut from Image Entertainment, in a completely remastered collectors' edition with all 67 episodes.  It will be the first time Thriller has been released on DVD anywhere in the world.

Though we have no information on a release date as yet, our info comes to us from the website, which regularly tracks upcoming DVD releases.  Keep an eye out for a release date soon.

Join us tomorrow for the big day on The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween, same bat time, same bat channel!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


 Well, we are winding down on The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween, and today we share one of the coolest, spookiest and kookiest sites on the web--Monster University!

Created by mad monster artist Mike Hoffman, Monster University revels in old-school horror done in a new-school way, with monster-themed comics, art books, prints, and trading card sets (!) all available for sale--and if you have a Paypal account, ordering is super-easy!  Hoffman has also created CDs of original monster music centered around his spooky school for monsters, and these are available as well.  There are definite Jack Davis and Frank Frazetta influences in Hoffman's work, so if you're an old-school-horror fan, these are a great jolt in your electrodes.

Join us tomorrow on The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween as we prepare for the grand day, and we'll see you soon...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Hey, y'all, we're gettin down to the wire now! Welcome back to The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween, and for them what does not know me I am Petronella Nightshade, what am Punkin to my friends. This here is our last Easy-Bake Coven recipe, and I thought I should give a couple recipes today on some things to drink for a Halloween party--punches and such. Everyone will be preparin to either go to a Halloween party or preparin to give one, so these here is nice for special beverages and so forth.

First up is a nice punch called Bloody Blast, what would be good to serve up if you are havin a vampire-themed
party. I know this is good cause Bethany liked it and she don't like nothin.

What's In It:

3 12-ounce cans tomato or vegetable juice (our Mad Doctor sure likes that V-8)

2 tablespoons of Worchestershire sauce (which is pronounced "Wooster-shire" even though it's spelt different)
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
Celery sticks and pimento-stuffed olives (optional)

What You Got To Do:
Combine everythin except the celery sticks and the pimento olives together in a pitcher and stir it up real good,
then chill it in your icebox for an hour before your party. Pour it up into ice-filled glasses and garnish them with celery sticks and the pimento olives for "eyes," which is all optional since young ones should not be pretendin that they all down the pub and such, but it is all right for adults. Bethany herself said that she ain't never had no eyes with her blood, but the olives is right tasty with this. This here serves six but doubles right quick.
Next one up is called Boo Brew, and this has some cloves in it for spicin it up like pumpkin pie and such. This here is a heated drink, which is good if you are livin in a place where the fall comes in early and it gets a little chilly round Halloween time.

What's In It:
8 cups cranberry-raspberry juice
5 cups of white grape juice
16 whole cloves
2 small unpeeled oranges, cut up
2 unpeeled lemons, cut up

Multi-colored candy sticks (optional)

What You Got To Do:
Put everythin but the candy sticks in a 4- or 5-quart kettle or Dutch oven (I am sayin kettle cause that is what us
witches would use) and bring it all to the boil on a high heat. Turn the fire down and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Strain this mixture through a sieve (or one of them wire-mesh strainers) into a 4- or 5-quart slow cooker set to warm or low heat, and throw out the cloves and the fruit. Serve this in cups with a candy stick for a garnish. It is also good to stir this around in your brew--right tasty. This here will serve 24 folks. If you cannot find the cranberry-raspberry juice I am sure it will be just fine to substitute your favorite cranberry mixed juice. White grape juice is the kind what's made from seedless green grapes.

Now this last one is almost an ice-cream dessert, called
Crypt Coolers, and will be nice for them what has been runnin around trick-or-treatin and chasin each other and wants to cool off.

What's In It:
2 cups vanilla ice cream
2 cups of orange sherbet
2 cups orange juice (get a real nice kind in the carton, not the canned concentrate)
5 drops of yellow food coloring
5 drops of red food coloring
1 cup of lemon-lime soda (such as Sprite or 7-Up, or that Sierra Mist)

What You Got To Do:
Now for this one, a blender is handy. Combine your ice cream, sherbet, juice and food colorings in the blender (makin sure to put on the top or you will have a mess all over the kitchen) and process until it's smooth. Add the soda and process it again until it's just blended, then serve it up quick before it melts.

This here will make you 5 cups' worth, but any of these recipes can be doubled, tripled, and so on to make as much as you need for your guests. If you like, you can make them all and then everbody will have some of what they like best, and can try somethin they ain't tried before, which is a good thing to my mind.

And that's it. I have sure had a lot of fun bringin you all these recipes, and am hopin that all of you have a right fine time this Halloween season. I am also hopin, if you ain't never tried to cook before, that you have learnt a little somethin and maybe feel like you can spread your wings some and get you some more confidence in the kitchen. It don't take nothin but time, and if you make a mess, why, you just clean it up, dust off and start again, cause every mistake will teach you somethin, and no one should be scairt to learn somethin new cause that is how we get a right smart. Blessings be on you and yours!


Petronella "Punkin" Nightshade

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Good evening, darlings, and thank you for reading. Welcome to our last Haunted Mansion Mondays for The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween, and today we will talk about a most legendary figure of this hallowed haunt--one who is not a feature of the Mansion but still regarded as its most iconic figure. That's right, it's none other than the Hatbox Ghost!

Depicted as an elderly, Victorian-era-dressed ghost in a cloak and top hat holding a hatbox, the Hatbox Ghost was originally developed for the Attic scene in the Mansion, where one meets the mysterious Bride of the Manse just before escaping through the window to the Graveyard Party below. While our dear old fiend may or may not have been a possible suitor for the ghastly grande-dame, the idea for the Hatbox Ghost was that his head would disappear from his body and reappear in the hatbox in his hand, all in time with the Bride's beating heart. Unfortunately, as noted in a interview with Imagineer Chris Merrit, the effect was unsuccessful due to lighting problems.

"The gag was based purely on lighting. The ghost's head was illuminated by black lighting. A light inside the hatbox he held would rhythmically illuminate and hide the head in the hatbox, while, in tandem, the actual head on the ghost's shoulders would be hidden by extinguishing the black lighting."

Ambient lighting within the scene, plus the character's closeness to the Doom Buggies, prevented the spectre's face from disappearing fully. Though the Hatbox Ghost was removed from the Mansion before its public opening on August 9, 1969, he was present for several park-employee previews on August 7th and 8th, and a number of visitors claim to have seen him within the Attic for several weeks following the Mansion's grand opening, suggesting that attempts were made to make the Hatbox Ghost work properly before being removed permanently.

Shortly after the removal of the
figure, the Hatbox Ghost disappeared (as did a second HBG figure produced, but never installed, for the Walt Disney World Mansion). While no one knows what has become of this singular figure (a true mystery in the annals of Disney), the Hatbox Ghost has become something of a legend in the eyes of many Mansion fans, and been prominently featured in the artwork for Disney's Haunted Mansion record albums. Also, Disney has continued to market the Ghost's image, and the Hatbox Ghost has been made the official "spooksperson" for both Disneyland Resorts' O-pin House pin trading event and this year's Haunted Holidays event.

Considering the advances made in special effects since its opening, it's certainly not impossible that the Hatbox Ghost could someday return in glory to the Haunted Mansion. All I can say to that is, hurry back... and be sure to bring your death certificate if you care to join us...

Do return tomorrow for The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween, darlings, as the grand and glorious day is almost upon us.

Warmest regards for the Halloween season,
Bethany Ruthven

POST-MORTEM: More information on the Hatbox Ghost may be found at the delightful and frightful website; merely click the link in our post above. I wish all of our readers a wonderful and joyous Halloween.

Also, I agreed to post on Tuesday instead of Monday so our Mad Doctor could promote his bloody book, so I apologize for any confusion you may be undergoing at this point.--B.R, Esq.

Monday, October 26, 2009


It's five days to Halloween, and today for The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween, we have a very special announcement: The MonsterGrrls are now on!

The MonsterGrrls, Book 1: Out From The Shadows is now available for sale on, the world's most popular Internet retail site. We're very excited about this and hope you will share our excitement.

On November 1, the original book The MonsterGrrls, on, will be officially out of print, but will return in our new format very soon, both on CreateSpace and Amazon. The Monster Shop on Cafepress will not go away, however--we're now in transition to changing the Shop into Atomic Brain Industries, which will continue to sell our lines of MonsterGrrls and Fang Club items. Our new URL is, so go there now for Grrls' stuff and one last grab for our original saga before November 1.

See you tomorrow for more of The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween!

POST-MORTEM: Click our post title link above to get your copy of
The MonsterGrrls, Book 1: Out From The Shadows right now!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Hey, y'all, this here is Petronella Nightshade, what am called Punkin, doin another Easy-Bake Coven. Folks is allus worried about safety on Halloween, and one notion of safety I have seen is that before you take your young one trick or treatin, you ought to have a nice dinner beforehand so's they shan't fill up on Halloween candy. This here recipe is called Hot Dog Mummies, and is fairly easy to do. Our Mad Doctor likes sausages better'n hot dogs, so I reckon this could be done with sausages too if you pre-cook them a bit.

What's In It:
1 can of refrigerated breadsticks (like Pillsbury brand, or some such)
1 dozen hot dogs (or sausages and so forth--precook your sausages a bit)
Cooking spray
Mustard and ketchup

What You Got To Do:
Heat up your oven to 375 degrees. Bust open that tube thing that the breadsticks come in and separate all the
breadsticks, hen with a knife or a kitchen scissors, cut each breadstick in half and then cut the pieces into two strips. This here will be your wrappin for the mummies. Each breadstick ought to make 4 pieces, with a total of 48 pieces all round.

Wrap 4 pieces round each hot dog so it looks like bandages, and stretch them a little bit so it covers them good. About half an inch from one end on each hot dog, separate the "bandages" so the hot dog meat shows through to make a face on. Place your wrapped-up mummy-dogs on an ungreased large cookie sheet, then spray them lightly with the cookin spray.

Bake these for 13 to 17 minutes until the dough is light golden brown and the hot dogs are heated up. With your mustard and ketchup, draw some eyes on the "face" of each mummy-dog.

And that's it. I hope you have a happy Halloween and do not fill up on too much candy or nothin, and wish many blessings on you yours for the season. See you tomorrow for more of The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween, and y'all start gettin ready cause it shan't be long now.

Petronella "Punkin" Nightshade

POST-MORTEM: If you are livin at a high altitude (say 3500-6500 feet up) bake these for 15 to 19 minutes so they shall be good and done. --P.N.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Welcome back to The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween, everybody! This is Frankie Franken reporting on a cool new play from Jackson, MS's Fondren Theatre Workshop--The Monster Monologues, a play in which fourteen famous monsters do some fairly serious yet funny self-examination.

Written as a collaboration between John Kander (who appears as Dracula), Brad
Bishop, Opie Cooper, Danny Dauphin, Brent Hearn, John Howell and Bret Kenyon, TMM features thirteen of the world's notorious classic movie monsters gathering at the funeral of The Fly. Wondering if they are all past their prime and jealous of the new generation of hipper monsters, the Fang Gang starts to question their credibility and careers, while at the same time wondering just who killed The Fly.

This play will be presented at The Cedars, 4145 Old Canton Road, at 8 P.M. on October 23-25, and on the 29th, 30th and 31st, with special Halloween shows on the 30th and 31st at 10 P.M. If you're in the neighborhood, come out and enjoy a cool Halloween theatre experience!

See you tomorrow for more of The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween!

Francesca "Frankie" Franken

POST-MORTEM: Find out more about the Fondren Theatre Workshop by visiting here.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Welcome back to The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween, and today, just eight days before Halloween, we have some really special news--the first book in our brand-new MonsterGrrls series is out right now!

For some time now, we've been working on a way to bring the story of the Grrls to the public in a new format, and this time we blew up the lab. While the first few books in this series will reprint some material from our original book The MonsterGrrls, it will also add new material to create a brand-new series that better explains the saga of the Grrls and how they were "sent from the dark side into the world we know," to quote a longtime friend and fan. Because of our experiments, we get to move in a new
direction--one that we're really happy with.

Titled Out From The Shadows, the book explores the arrival of the Grrls to
Clearwater High School and the beginnings of their friendships with social outcasts Emily Peters and Theo MacKenzie, and Punkin's friendship with computer hacker Stuart Nelson. As they begin their new adventure in a high school with humans, the Grrls run afoul of the mean-spirited Jessica Hardin-St. James and her Clique, who challenge them to spend an evening in the mysterious and supposedly haunted Pritchett House. Future books in the series will not only detail the rest of the Grrls' story, but also tell the parts we never told.

Published under our imprint of FrankenGeek Press, the book is currently available at, a new company owned by that allows budding artists, writers, filmmakers and musicians to make their output available to the general public immediately. The book and subsequent books in the series will soon appear on Amazon in both printed and electronic format, viewable through Amazon's popular Kindle reader.

We're very excited about the Grrls' new series, and we hope you will be too! Stay tuned to the Morlock Heights Harbinger for further developments with the MonsterGrrls, and don't forget to come back tomorrow for more of The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween!

The MonsterGrrls, Book 1: Out From The Shadows is available right now from for $9.00. Click on the title link above to order your copy now.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


ARRROOOOOO!!! Gang, this is Harriet Von Lupin reporting for The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween, and I'm so excited! It's not only nine days before Halloween, but one of our absolute favorite bands in the world, the Misfits, has got a brand new single ready for release on Halloween!!

The Misfits are one of our Mad Doctor's biggest inspirations (although for us Grrls, they do remind us a lot of band we like called Teenage Undead), and this new single is the first new original material from these guys in a decade! (Wow, that is like ten years!) It's also their first new release since the super-cool Project 1950 that they put out back in 2003 (which has our favorite song, "Monster Mash") and will feature two new songs, "Land Of The Dead" and "Twilight Of The Dead"!

The new single, which is gonna be out on a limited-edition 12-inch maxi-single, also showcases a weirdly cool zombie painting by artist Arthur Suydam, who has painted stuff for the Marvel Zombies series. It's an homage to zombie-film director George Romero, whose work inspired both songs, and the first pressing of 1000 on clear red vinyl is available now for pre-order at the Misfits' Fiend Store on their website and at the Misfits Records online store. On October 27th, both songs will be digitally available from the Apple iTunes store and other digital music providers. This record is also gonna be on sale at Misfits shows, in a special orange vinyl edition also limited to 1000 pieces! Man, how cool is that?

We can't wait to give this new single a listen, and we hope the Misfits will be around for many more Halloweens to come! See you later on The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween! ARRROOOOOOOO!!!!

Harriet Von Lupin

POST-MORTEM: The Misfits Records newsletter reports that all online orders will ship by or before, but no later than Halloween. Plan your listening parties accordingly, dudes! --H.L.V.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Hey, y'all, this here is Petronella Nightshade, but most folks call me Punkin. I get that name from my Mama, who has been callin me Punkin ever since I was a young one, and today on The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween we have done started the Countdown To Halloween!!

It is fittin that I am nicknamed Punkin, cause I am on here today to talk about punkins. More specific, I shall be tellin you about jack-o-lanterns and where we get them from.

Y'all know what a jack-o-lantern is, of course. It's a punkin that someone done cut open and carved out the flesh and seeds inside, then they done carved a face in it and put a light inside it so it shines through the holes. Usual it's a candle, but these days one can have an electrical light inside it so that the young ones do not hurt themselves. Also, some folks these days has gotten downright creative and such with punkin carvin, puttin in faces of presidents, famous folk, cartoon characters, and so forth. But once upon a time, jack-o-lantern used to mean a night watchman with a lantern, and then it meant a will-o-the-wisp, which is a glowin light that appears sometimes in bogs or swamps. There is an old Welsh legend that says if you see a will-o-the-wisp, a funeral will soon take place roundabouts, most likely cause some unfortunate soul fell in the bog whilst followin one of these.

But punkin carvin is not new. There is a long tradition, both in England and here in America, of folks hollowin out vegetables for use of a lantern, such as turnips, mangelwurzels (which is a kind of beet) or swedes (rutabagas). But folks didn't start callin them jack-o-lanterns till about 1837, and they didn't start usin them round Halloween until 1866. Usin punkins is mostly an American notion, and punkins was often associated with fall harvest festivals anyhow, plus they were a good deal bigger, which of course makes a better lantern.

There is an old, old story, what they call a folktale, around jack-o-lanterns. It is that one time there was a feller named Jack, who made a deal with the Devil and exchanged his soul for payin off a tab down the pub. Soon the Devil come to collect, but Jack was a kind of tricksy and mischievous feller, and talked the Devil into climbin up an apple tree so's he could get some apples to take into Hell. Well, as soon as the Devil's up the tree Jack whips out a knife and carves a cross into the tree, so he's stuck up there and can't come down. So Jack allows as how he can come down if the Devil will let him go free and never take his soul, and so the Devil lets him go. Now as all the livin do, Jack dies, and of course a feller who's crafty enough to trick the Devil up a tree probly ain't goin to be fitted for angel wings. So since Jack can't go to Heaven, he goes to Hell, but the Devil will of course not let him in because he has sworn not to take Jack's soul, and most likely if Jack was to get into Hell then things would really get warm anyhow. So Jack ain't got nowhere to go, and must wander the Earth for a restin place. He asks for a light to see by, so the Devil gives him an ember from he flames of Hell that won't ever burn out. Jack's favorite food is turnips, so he carves him out one for a lantern and sticks the ember inside it, and so off he goes wanderin the Earth, lookin for a place to rest, and so folks who encountered him started callin him Jack Of The Lantern. So there you go. And so if you make a jack-o-lantern this Halloween, remember that you're takin part in an old tradition, which is all right because old traditions is usual connected with most holidays.

So that is all for me, and may blessings be on you for the Halloween season. Y'all come back tomorrow for more of The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween, and I shall see you then!

Petronella "Punkin" Nightshade

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Welcome back to The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween, and today we report that Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant will be opening in theaters this Friday, October 23rd!

Based on the popular book series by Darren Shan,
Cirque Du Freak follows the story of Darren (Chris Massoglia), an ordinary teen who wants a more exciting life, but gets a lot more than he bargained for when he encounters a traveling freak show led by vampire Larten Crepsley (John C. Reilly), who transforms Darren into a vampire. Brought into the world of the freaks, the newly undead Darren accidentally breaks a 200-year-old truce between two warring vampire factions, and things rapidly get, well, freakier from there. This terrifically dark movie is our theatrical-release pick for the Halloween season, and is also featured as a part of Universal's Halloween Horror Nights attractions at Orlando. If you're looking for a cool movie to see in theatres this Halloween, check out Cirque Du Freak.

See you tomorrow for more Halloween hauntings on The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween!

POST-MORTEM: Click the title link above to check out the movie's website. For you bookworms, you can start reading the series after ordering from here, and if you're in the Orlando area this Halloween, check out the Halloween Horror Nights website here. And don't forget to thank our fiend Ray Keim, who regularly creates designs for the Horror Nights!

The Countdown To Halloween starts TOMORROW! Be there!

Monday, October 19, 2009


Good evening, darlings, and thank you for reading. Welcome back to Haunted Mansion Mondays on The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween, and today we shall examine the far-reaching influence of the Mansion on the Internet. I have three sites of note which will allow you to enjoy and learn about the wonders of this beautifully macabre dwelling, as well as give you inspiration for your own happy hauntings on this Halloween.

Created by graphic designer Jeff Baham, has an exhaustive number of historical photographs, notes, history, memorabilia and media related to the Mansion, and is probably the premier site on the Web for the Mansion. See all sorts of photographs detailing the Mansion's history (including the only known photo of the infamous Hatbox Ghost), listen to clips of sound effects, see videos of the Mansion, and much, much more. This lovely site is located at, and also has an online store where one may purchase the Doombuggies book "Secrets Of The Haunted Mansion," written by Baham himself.

CGI artist Ray Keim's amazing Haunted Dimensions website showcases computer-graphics-crafted artwork of the Mansion, as well as a number of free downloadable zip files of his amazing paper models of several of the Mansion's key elements, including the Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris Mansions, the entrance pillars, and the outdoor crypt. Keim is a seasonal designer for Universal Studios Orlando, and is involved in designs for their popular Halloween Horror Nights attractions. Visit Ray Keim and procure your own tabletop Mansions at

And finally, to view how the Haunted Mansion has affected at least one of its many guests, animator James Lopez's blog The Haunted Mansion-Northside features many fond remembrances and creations inspired by the dark ride, including one post showcasing his amazing Mansion-themed office, complete with demonic wallpaper and staring statues. View the delightful insanity at

The holiday fast approaches, and next Monday will conclude our treatise to the Haunted Mansion. Do return for more of The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween, and if you're not careful, a ghost may follow you home...

Bethany Ruthven

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Here's something cool for today's post on The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween--The William Castle Film Collection is out on October 20th!

Castle, the director responsible for such classic horror films as The House On Haunted Hill (1959) and 13 Ghosts 1960), was famous for such theatrical gimmicks as "Emergo" and "Illusiono" but also made some fairly cool films regardless. This new DVD set contains such well-known films as The Tingler (1959), Mr. Sardonicus (1961), the aforementioned 13 Ghosts, and the classic The Old Dark House (1963), in addition to several features on all of the crazy gimmicks surrounding each of these and other films in the set, and two bonus episodes of the 1972 TV series Ghost Story, which Castle produced. So if you're looking for something totally goofy in addition to scary for Halloween, you might want to score yourself a copy of this collection.

See you tomorrow for more of The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween!

The William Castle Film Collection is still up for pre-order at; to lock in your copy, click the title link above.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Welcome back to The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween, and today we're talking about our favorite new TV show, The Vampire Diaries, and also a bit about the writer whose works inspired it, L.J. Smith. Smith has been writing the Diaries since 1991, when TVD's first book, The Awakening, was published. It has since been reissued along with her Night World series (which we in the Monster Shop find to be miles better than Twilight) and she is also writing a new Vampire Diaries series called The Return.

The Vampire Diaries is the story of Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) who is recovering from the death of her parents, along with her willful brother Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) and her stretched-thin Aunt Jenna (Sara Canning). Trying to find solace in school and friends, Elena meets Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley) a newcomer to the town of Mystic Falls, where Elena lives. The two are drawn to each other almost instantly, but Stefan has a number of secrets he's desperately trying to hide from Elena--for starters, he's a vampire, though he has eschewed the traditional violent lifestyle of vampires. Another secret is that Elena is a dead ringer for a woman that Stefan loved many years ago. And then there is the worst secret of all: a killer who drains his victims of blood is loose in Mystic Falls, and Stefan knows who it is--his evil brother Damon (Ian Somerhalder), who continually tempts Stefan to turn to darkness and accept his heritage of vampiric brutality.

The series, though soap-operatic in spots (subplots involve Jeremy falling for stoner-chick Vicki (Kayla Ewell) while Elena's best friend Bonnie (Katerina Graham) deals with latent witchcraft-powers manifesting and trampish "frenemy" Caroline (Candice Accola) takes a walk on the dark side by becoming Damon's stooge) is filmed well, and effectively displays Smith's flair for the darkly dramatic. It's easy, due to all the young actors and its small town/high school setting, to dismiss it as a poorer cousin of the much-revered Buffy The Vampire Slayer, or even to call it Dark Shadows 90210, but Smith's dedication to thickly layered plotting (evident in all her writing and this series as well) indicate that there's more at work here. If you are put off by the soppiness present in Twilight or just want a vampire story that's more traditional yet still a little different, I suggest you give this series (both book and TV show) a try.

We hope to see you tomorrow for more of The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween!

The Vampire Diaries appears on The CW channel's Thursday-night lineup at 8 PM (7 Central time). The books are available from here, and you can visit the show's official website here.

Click here to go to L. J. Smith's website and learn more about
The Vampire Diaries and her other series The Night World, Forbidden Game and The Secret Circle.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Hello, everybody, and welcome to today's post for The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween. Today I'm reviewing the latest DVD movie featuring a character that's just perfect for Halloween--Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins, released by Warner Premiere and Cartoon Network. Scooby Doo and his friends Freddie, Daphne, Velma and Shaggy have been around since 1969 and solved a great many mysteries, but one mystery their fans have wanted to know about is: what was their first case, and how did they become friends and get together? This new live-action film tells just that!

Misfit teen Norville "Shaggy" Rogers (Nick Palatas) is having trouble
fitting in and making friends at Coolsville Academy, but he soon finds a friend and kindred spirit when he adopts Scoobert (a CGI creation voiced by Frank Welker), an incorrigible but good-hearted dog who gets lost on his way back to the pound and witnesses two ghosts rising from their graves in the Coolsville Cemetery. When a misunderstanding on the school bus lands Shaggy in detention along with mystery-loving jock Fred Jones (Robbie Amell), drama club enthusiast Daphne Blake (Kate Melton), and science nerd/inventor Velma Dinkley (Hayley Kiyoko), those same two ghosts attack Coolsville Academy--and the gang has a mystery on their hands. Accused of pranking the school, the future members of Mystery, Inc. team together to solve the mystery and clear their names, but not without learning to live with each other first!

Though it purports to be the first adventure ever for the Scooby Gang, it does appear to be set in today's time, since I doubt there were laptop computers or MP3 players available in 1969. But the movie is great fun nonetheless, with spooks, scares
, good performances by the actors, and a lovable CGI Scooby that's closer to the cartoons than the other live-action movies. You'll also see the first-ever use of the gang's beloved Mystery Machine, and learn about what's really in a Scooby-snack! So be sure to check out this neat little movie for your Halloween family viewing.

See you tomorrow for more of The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween!

Francesca "Frankie" Franken

Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins is available on DVD at Click the image above to order.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Hey, y'all, this here is Petronella Nightshade, but everbody calls me Punkin, and I am speakin to you through this here computer blog for The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween. Today I am doin the Easy-Bake Coven, and this here is a real easy fudge recipe that you can do with one of them microwave machines, and it's just right for Halloween cause it's that layered fudge, with Halloween colors. Besides, I don't know nobody that don't like chocolate at Halloween.

What's In It:
1 teaspoon butter

2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk, divided

8 ounces white candy coating
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
2 to 4 drops orange paste food coloring

What You Got To Do:
Line up an 8-inch square pan with foil and butter it (so's the fudge won't stick) and hold aside.

In a microwave-safe bowl, heat up your chocolate chips
and one cup of the milk on high for 30 seconds, then stir it together real good. Repeat this until it's real smooth, then pour it in the pan and chill it up in your icebox (or refrigerator*) for 10 minutes.

While that's chillin up, in another microwavable bowl, melt up the candy coatin with what's left of the milk. Stir in the orange extract and food colorin and spread it over your chocolate layer, then chill it in the icebox for one hour or until it's firmed up. Use the foil to pull the fudge out the pan, and cut it up into 1-inch squares, and that's all there is to it. You can make up a bunch of this and tie it up in treat bags for Halloween, too.

So I hope you are havin fun with all these recipes and such, cause postin recipes ain't somethin we have tried before, but of course it is no harm to try somethin new and be different now and again. I shall see you soon for our next postin on The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween, and many blessings be on you!

Petronella "Punkin" Nightshade

MAD DOCTOR'S NOTE: When Punkin refers to an 'icebox' she means a refrigerator, as this is how most witches refer to such a device. Just clarifying. --M.D.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Hey, dudes! This is Harriet Von Lupin for The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween, and we are reporting on another cool horror-rock band for you to add to your Halloween party playlist--Calabrese!

Calabrese is three actual brothers named Bobby (guitars
and vocals), Jimmy (bass and vocals) and Davey (drums) from Phoenix, Arizona, who specialize in red-hot, punk-flavored rock 'n roll with cool B-horror movie lyrics! After forming in 2003 and making a self-released six-song EP called Midnight Spookshow, Calabrese drew rave reviews from fans and critics alike, all over the world. They were approached afterward by several indie labels, but these guys stayed true to themselves and formed their own label, Spookshow Records. So far, they've released two albums, 13 Halloweens and The Traveling Vampire Show, both of which are favorites in the Mad Doctor's Monster Shop!

Right now Calabrese is preparing their third CD, and has an ongoing contest on their website until October 30th that could let you name the new CD! If you want to participate, send any CD titles you come up with to Hey, your title might just be the one they pick! (Check their website for more info and a list of new song titles--just click on the title link to get there!)

Gotta go now, but be sure to come back tomorrow for more of The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween! OW-WOOOOOO!

Harriet Von Lupin

POST-MORTEM: Calabrese currently has a "Double Feature" deal on their website allowing you to get both
13 Halloweens and The Traveling Vampire Show for $15.99. Click here to go to their merch page and order.