Happy Halloween to all from Highbury Cemetery! May the Candy Corn gods look down upon you in favor on this day and grant you the opportunities to celebrate the high holiday in the manner you see fit. 

Another year's worth of planning, building, and most importantly celebrating, the season comes down to this. So go forth and revel in All Hallows Eve. Our Holiday. Carry on the traditions that make the season so great, for we are the anointed that keep the spirits alive, nurture them, and pass them on to future generations. We are Halloween.


A Most Prestigious Award!

In 20 years of home haunting, I have never received anything like this! The presentation stopped me in my tracks and put a HUGE smile on my face, even if it was covered behind a ghoulish mask.

Last night was our neighborhood's trick-or-treat (I'll have a full recap on the evening's events later on). And while it started off a bit slow, it soon picked up and things got moving. A large group of neighbors came to check out the haunt, and that's when it happened...

One of the younger boys, who I believe is in first grade, came forward and presented us with THIS!

A golden skeleton trophy for being his "favorite scary Halloween house in the neighborhood!" I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT! It is literally the kindest gift that I have ever gotten and is an incredible acknowledgement of what we do! I was so surprised and happy to get this. We then spent the next 10 minutes thanking him, talking with the entire family, and taking tons of photos with the entire group (which consisted of about 12 people in total).

This is definitely going to be displayed in a prominent place here at the Cemetery and will serve as a true reminder of why we go through all of the hard work each October. It was the perfect, completely unexpected, but completed appreciated start to another successful trick-or-treat night!

Sunday Sneak Peek

So it's now early on my trick-or-treat Sunday afternoon, and it hasn't stopped raining all day... I knew this was coming, so I set up the full show last night in order to get my photos and video done. And I'm so glad I did! Perfect weather last night lent itself to a nice, quiet evening of shooting.  

The Candy Corn offerings have been made and fingers crossed it stops raining for just a few hours tonight...

Here is just one image from last night's photo session to tease before tonight's soggy trick-or-treat. Regardless of the weather, it's go time for Highbury Cemetery. Wish us luck!


Saturday Sneak Peek

Well, 2023 doesn't seem to be shaping to be one of our better haunt seasons, as we will be continually dealing with wind, rain, and falling temperatures all the way through Halloween.

But, we have dealt with this before and I'm still going to set everything up. We're supposed to get a few breaks today, so I have decided to run the full show tonight to get video and photos, then put the delicate pieces away and cover up most of the other pieces before tonight's rains move back in.

We'll see what we can put out for tomorrow's trick-or-treat, but it's not looking too promising. I'm still making my final pleas to the Candy Corn gods, but we'll see what we get.

In the meantime, here are a few shots from this afternoon's setup.



"Horrific Halloween Spooktacular! Scary Scores & Sounds!!" Record


Iciest night of the year (colder than Christmas!), when "undead" totter on legs unsteady from graves unready to keep their eternal sleep. "All hallows eve," when ghosts soar through moonlit skies, beasties feast on some poor prize, and other things go "bump!" in the night! (good lord deliver us!!)

Here you will hear the fear that you fear, geared for the weird, to vampires endeared (can you withstand the frantic antics of closet skeletons, belfry bats, demon cats, wolves and rats, ape men and wolf men and mad men and monsters galore?)!! Monsters galore and more! The score! Forever gore fills the score, spills the gore on the score to the core of monster lore! Eerie-played by ghostly maid on an organ made for Death's Arcade!!! (Hail the haunted organ! Purge the dirge!) Yes, Halloween! In "undead" vernacular, the devil's spectacular... A Halloween spooktacular!!! Come, if you care... come if you dare!!!

We have come to the final Friday of October, which means the last Freebie Friday for another year. But please do not be sad, because I'm finishing the season off with an absolute classic!

When I hear the words "spooky sounds," a few classic releases come to mind. The ones that have insanely cool illustrated covers with monsters, skeletons, haunted houses, jack-o-lanterns, and ghosts. The ones that have a continuous flow of the standard creepy sound effects essential to any great release. Howling winds, howling wolves, cackling witches, cracking thunder, mad laboratories and the monsters that they create, wailing organs, tolling bells, cats, bats, and bloodcurdling screams. And Verne Langdon's Horrific Halloween Spooktacular! Scary Scores & Sounds has it all!

Side one is a straight collection of standard spooky sounds, flowing smoothly between each, making a nice, even 15 minute track. Howling wolves, a tolling bell, and thunder are always a classic segway into any good "spooky sounds" record! The guy getting whipped is an interesting sound clip, as well...

Side two is equally as good, with a creepy gothic organ track as the main sound throughout. It differentiates itself from the first side nicely, giving you two completely different tracks to choose from!

And I haven't even mentioned Ron Cobb's insanely cool cover art. The one-eyed green zombie face looks like it's emerging from the darkened pages of an old EC Comics cover. A real eye-grabber (see what I did there?), that looks great in any record collection!

This one is definitely a must-have in your spooky sounds stockpile, as it absolutely nails the old nostalgic Halloween vibe. Enjoy!

Download Horrific Halloween Spooktacular! Scary Scores & Sounds!! here.


Charnel House - "As Above, So Below (The Reprise)"

With our time quickly dwindling down on another festive Halloween season, I wanted to drop one more surprise. The past three weeks have been a total blur with the amount of activity going on, but I was able to make time to get one last project completed before the big night.

As Above, So Below (The Reprise) is another new track from Charnel House, my haunt ambient audio project. This track is actually a reworking of an early track that was released, but I was never quite completely happy with. I went back and added more discordant, harsher sounds to give it a darker feel, and I'm much happier with the results.

The season of light and warmth begins its slow transformation, and the cold creep of darkness and decay takes hold. The balance of all things continues cyclically. The blaze of Autumn’s ashen tones envelopes the land as withered remains become one within the burial chamber...

This new track, like all of my Charnel House releases, are absolutely 100% FREE to download and use in your haunt display or other Halloween project! My gift back to the Halloween community. Enjoy!

Download As Above, So Below (The Reprise) here.

And visit my Charnel House page, where you can sample and download my earlier releases! At some point, I will have the page updated with all the newer releases. At some point...


Highbury Cemetery T-Shirt, 2023

So for the past 20 years, I have created a t-shirt based on that year's haunt logo. I print a handful of shirts up here at the Cemetery, and then given them out as a thank you for anyone who helps set up, work, or tear down my yard haunt display. A small token of gratitude to those who help keep this crazy thing going for another year.

For the 20th anniversary edition, I wanted to do something a little extra in honor of the big milestone. I took this year's "XX" haunt logo and created the version for the shirt, breaking it out into two colors (not an easy task, as the shirts are always hand-screened on my kitchen counter).

But I also ended up adding that little bit extra. When you turn out the light, you get an added surprise on the shirt. Glow in the dark background!

I'm REALLY happy with the way these shirts turned out, probably the best results in 20 years of doing this. I can't wait to pass these things out at the end of another trick-or-treat for yet another job well done!


Black Mountain Transmitter - "Black Goat Of The Woods"

One week to go until the big night, and the "to-do" list is starting to suffocate. So many little projects left to complete in an already full schedule. Couple that with a rapidly decreasing weather forecast, and the stress levels are starting to rise. 

Luckily, I can just stop for a second, press play on an absolute classic dark ambient release like this, take a deep breath, refocus and put the hammer down. I'm still hopeful of getting it all done and still hopeful that this year's trick-or-treat isn't a complete washout...

An ode to the Lovecraftian lore of Shub Niggurath, Black Goat of the Woods was conceived as "the soundtrack from some lost low budget horror movie, rediscovered on an old and faded VHS cassette found mouldering in a deserted house in the depths of the woods."

Black Goat of the Woods pays homage to the dark denizen of the nocturnal glades, and is a true paean to backwoods horror.



Guest Acting At The Haunted Schoolhouse And Laboratory

This year, I had another opportunity to do some guest acting at the famous Akron Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory. With it being their 50th Anniversary (as well as the 20th Anniversary of Highbury Cemetery!), I knew that I wanted to upgrade my haunt character for this year...

So I took my "plague doctor" character from the last few seasons, and decided to build from that. I definitely wanted to keep my illuminated staff accessory prop, originally built back in 2017 for an MHC costume ball. It still gets many compliments every time I carry it and its a great focal point to have outside of the character itself. The illuminated, swaying lantern and the clanging bells add nice visual and auditory touches to the overall character.

The one big upgrade for this year was the mask. The Pumpkin Pulp "Plague" mask is a great piece that cuts a great, creepy profile, but it was definitely time for a change after 2 or 3 seasons of use. So I decided to go all in on a new silicone mask, and settled on a new "Dark Mummified" variant of the Exhumed mask from Immortal Masks. Although it was a hefty investment, it has been absolutely worth every penny. The silicone moves freely with any turn of the head and emotes clearly with any facial expression. Plus, the mummified, undead corpse sculpt and paint job is absolutely perfect paired with the weathered brown hood of the cloak costume. 

Pair this with a new pair of all-red mini sclera contact lenses from PsEYEche and a horrifyingly gross, fully blackened tongue (thanks to a handy bottle of Mouth FX Pitch Black liquid), and it got great/grossed out reactions all night. I channeled my inner Gene Simmons as guests asked for photos with me, and just before taking the photo I'd stick out my gross, black tongue. The guests loved it and I'm VERY happy with this upgrade!

I ended up working two nights as a queue line actor, menacing patrons in the long lines and midway area, getting them ready for what was to come inside the houses. I took tons of photos and got many compliments. The entire character came together really well and everything worked flawlessly on both nights. I couldn't be happier with the new upgraded version, and I'm now ready for one more night of acting... this time for my own yard haunt on Halloween night!


Great Pumpkin Project Drop No. 3: Schoolhouse Rock

Jack-o-lantern drop number three is now complete for this year's Great Pumpkin Project! It was a quick drop en route to the evening's main festivities.

I grabbed the freshly carved jack-o-lantern, loaded him into my car, and headed out.

I reached the parking lot, gathered up the jack and the rest of my gear, and headed in. I entered past the ticket booths and into the large Monster Midway, and calmly walked over to the photo op area. I placed the jack perfectly into the scene, and then continued on to the night's final destination: another crazy night of guest acting at the Akron Haunted Schoolhouse & Laboratory.

I wonder how many photos this jack made it into last night?


Halloween Party (1989)

I wanna start this one off with quick anecdotal story. The year was 1987, and 14-year-old me and my best friend Jim were fully engrossed in the 80s slasher horror craze. We would have sleepovers all the time and have our parents take us to the local video rental store where we would go straight to the horror section. Our parents (and the video store employees) were obviously not paying attention, as we routinely walked out with some really crazy titles.

As we continued to watch video after video, the next logical step in our progression was of course to write and film our own slasher flick! My family had just gotten our first VHS video camera and we were ready to go. We sat down and brainstormed ideas, eventually settling on Butcher Town as a title.

I sat down and began writing a script to what I thought was sure to be the next big slasher horror hit. And that's about as far as we got. 3 or 4 pages of a story. We eventually jumped to the next big idea (which I think was our first walk-through haunted house!) and Butcher Town was permanently shelved...

And that is why I love this video so much.

Halloween Party is an amateur horror film project that was created by Connecticut teenager Dave Skowronski and his friends in 1989. It was a straight forward slasher, following a killer in a mask (who, it looks like, rose from a grave in a cemetery?) who stalks a group of teenagers having a party on Halloween night.

Now I will come right out and say that this video is pretty bad. It's shot directly to VHS tape, every scene is too dark, and most scenes are of the girls talking over each other and you can't really hear what they're saying. 

But damn if that isn't what makes this so good. Couple all that with the hilariously bad killing scenes, a solid killer character, an opening in a cemetery with actual scary music, and the early digital title type, and you have an absolute nostalgic gem. A perfect snapshot into the free-for-all that was 80s horror and the DIY projects that it inspired.

Huge credit to Skowronski and his friends for actually producing this. You can tell that they are true fans of horror and had an absolute blast making it. And, it even made a Halloween night broadcast on their local cable access channel (which is what this video was taken from).

Be sure to catch the local horror host after the film's end as well as a full blooper reel. It really is an enjoyable watch that really encapsulates Halloween and horror fun from those crazy 80s.

It almost makes me want to go back and revisit Butcher Town. If I could only find that original script again... Enjoy!


"TERROR Treats!" Cassette

New Horror - More Fascinating Than Science - More Frightening Than Fantasy!  You are about to participate in a unique experience! Fear not! Warning: Do not lock the door! Carry some garlic, a wooden stake, a hammer, and a crucifix, just in case!

Time for the third installment of Freebie Fridays, where I share a selection from my ever-growing collection of novelty Halloween "spooky sounds" vinyl records, cassette tapes, and CDs.

This week we have an absolute gem in the 1987 cassette release of "TERROR Treats!" By T.A. Hamilton. This was another blind buy because I had never heard of it before, but was a done deal the moment I saw this absolutely incredible cover art! (After researching it, I have now seen two different versions of this release, and this particular version is far superior in total presentation.)

But the cover art was just the beginning! I put the unmarked black cassette in and hit 'play.' Both sides clock in at about 15 minutes for each side, and contain a flowing collection of the usual spooky sounds: howling winds, cackling witches, thunderstorms, screeching cats, ghoulish laughter and screams, mad laboratory sounds, etc. Nothing really new (outside of the brief snippet of dialogue with hilarious, exaggerated pronunciations like "imaginaaashun-uhhh"), as I think these sounds were all pulled from other sources. 

But the entire thing has an added reverb echo effect over it, giving it a unique and cool sound. Add to that the flat production and you have the perfect throwback "spooky sounds" release. The low quality production on this is what makes it so, so good! Pure nostalgia on this one, and another worthy piece for your collection.



Black Mountain Transmitter - "Cemetery Miasma"

Ultra lo-fi haunted graveyard ambient.

SAY NO MORE! Really great discordant, black ambient audio (with just the right amount of Halloween spookiness added in!) from the also really great Black Mountain Transmitter. Here is your instant cemetery haunt soundtrack! Just press play and enjoy!!

Great Pumpkin Project Drop No. 2: Pumpkins For Sale

Jack-o-lantern drop number two is now complete for this year's Great Pumpkin Project! I actually had this little fella carved and ready to go over the weekend, but I opted to keep him safe and dry in the garage while we went through four straight days of rain. Yuck.

The weather finally cleared up last night, so it was time to go.

The location for the second drop was another obvious idea that just kinda popped into my head. A highly visible area that would be seen by many people, and also a quirky and ironic spot that would hopefully illicit some smiles...

As it got dark, I loaded up the car and make the short drive to the drop point. Luckily, it was a slow night and there weren't many people in the parking lot, allowing my son and me to casually drop the jack-o-lantern into its spot, get some photos and video, and then slip away undetected.

In this drop, I played on the idea of going "full circle" - that is, returning a fully carved and illuminated jack-o-lantern back to its starting point, the line of pumpkins available for purchase at the local grocery store...

After dropping the jack-o-lantern in its new home, we went inside to grab a few things. As we were leaving, we noticed the security guard, fully engrossed in his phone, knowing that we were home free with another successful pumpkin drop.

Drop number three is coming shortly...


The Neighborhood Trick-Or-Treat Flyer

Well, after 4 straight days of rain, I was finally able to get the annual neighborhood trick-or-treat announcement flyers distributed to every house in my development (I think we counted 125 houses in total?). In recent years, I have become the unofficial official flyer creator and distributor, which I do without complaint. Designed and printed by me, and distributed by me, my son, and a few of his neighborhood friends (work smarter, not harder!).

And while I'm disappointed with the meager two-hour window for trick-or-treating, I'm happy to see the annual orange-and-black flyers go out to all the neighbors, signaling the countdown to the big night.

One more thing off the list, now onto the other fifty...


Halloween Kids Misfits Boy

For Halloween, this trick-or-treater walks among us disguised as the iconic Misfits Fiend! Equipped with a Misfits candy bag to stash plenty of treats, this horror-kid is ready for all hell to break loose!

Great Misfits references in that description! This action figure has it all: amazing old school Halloween card art, a great Walk Among Us Ben Cooper-style Halloween costume, and an incredibly cool Misfits candy bag accessory that was an actual promotional trick-or-treat bag from the Walk Among Us vinyl reissue from way back in 1988. Super7 really did their horror punk homework on this one.

There are lots of great littleHalloween nicknacks that I pass on, but this little guy isn't one of them. This one went straight into the cart as soon as it was available. Grab your own little Misfits Boy (as well as the rest of the Halloween Kids line, if you're so inclined...) over at Super7 now!


Cemetary - "Up from the Grave" (Demo 1985)

How about another serving of metal for your Monday?

After posting the incredible Ripper from Houston, Texas, last week, I wanted to follow it up with another obscure 80s horror metal smasher.

Cemetary from Center Line, Michigan (not the more famous version from Sweden) was another short-lived band that only put out this amazing (and now highly collectible) demo in 1985. The band met their unfortunate demise just a year later when drummer George "Sillexx" Selaty died by accidental suicide (although it true metal legend, it is said he died by hanging during a black mass ritual...)

Solid metal tracks with nice guitar work (especially on the final track, Nightmare) and King Diamond-inspired vocals. A great raw (and unfinished) sound on this demo, it would have been great to hear these tracks recorded and produced in a proper studio, but alas, it was not meant to be.

Long live Cemetary...


Animated Grave Breaker 2023 Prop Upgrade

Two years ago, I picked up a cheap Grave Breaker prop from Halloween City and transformed it into a ghastly, twisting corpse powered by a reindeer motor. You can check out the corpsing portion of the project here, and the animation portion here. It was a fun little build that added some much-needed movement to the front of my display.

Fast forward to today and I have now added a second version to my Cemetery. A few weeks back I was in my local Michael's checking out their Halloween wares, and I came across another Grave Breaker static prop and threw it in the cart. Cheap to begin with, but makes for a great starting point on another animated ghoul that I needed to add to my display...

I followed the same corpsing technique as the first prop, giving it a grotesque, dead flesh look. I ended up adding whisps of hair from an old wig to give it just a bit more creepiness (I simply snipped sections of hair from the wig and applied it randomly using contact cement.)

After the corpsing portion was done, I turned to animating it. The first prop turns side-to-side, so I decided that this version would rock front-to-back. I ended up throwing a linkage arm together with leftover pieces from the first build, powered by a vertically-mounted reindeer motor that I had left over. I mounted the arm to a single piece of PVC, pivoting on a single bolt and washer axle. (Take a look at the original supply list here.)

I'm really happy with the results of this one. It's a huge upgrade to the out-of-the-box piece, and it all went together quickly and fairly easily. I love the subtlety of the movement, as its slow, creepy lunge is just enough to catch your eyes and will look great among the tombstones at the front of my display.

Lords Of Infinity - "Go Open The Door Of Death"

So I woke up late today to a cold, rainy, miserable day, still completely exhausted from a fun night of guest acting at the Akron Haunted Schoolhouse & Laboratory. With the late start, crummy weather, and a tired, depleted body, I quickly realized that everything I had planned for the day just went right out the window...

But I did want to drop this one for today. I originally posted this back in March, but I have been revisiting this release by Lords Of Infinity again lately, and I still find it to be an exceptional track to listen to during the Halloween season. Perfectly dark and creepy.

And how could you NOT love a track with THAT title!?



"Night Of Terror!" CD

It's National Haunted House Day, it's Friday the 13th, AND it's Freebie Friday! It doesn't get much better than this, so let's dive right in!

This week's offering was another blind purchase, based on nothing more than the ridiculous/totally awesome cover art.

Night Of Terror! A Continuous Tale Of Horror Told In Sound. Well, I'm not sure I'd go THAT far, but I did luck out and picked up another Halloween gem.

What really grabbed my attention with this one was, in fact, that crazy cover. It instantly reminded me of those crazy Ghanaian hand-painted movie posters. So much storytelling in a freeform, non-realistic, totally sensationalized rendering. On this cover, I guess the cowboy in black is rounding up the dead girls for some kind of swamp ritual? Amazing.


The inside cover (which I have scanned and included in the folder) is the story that corresponds to the list of sounds as the track plays (it's all one continuous track, clocking in at just over an hour). And it's pretty good. Full of the classic "spooky sounds" tropes, it somehow links all of the disparate sounds into one ghoulish tale.

The track itself contains a collection of the usual sounds (collected from other sources because I have definitely heard them all on other releases) all laid over a continuous thunderstorm. And even though there is nothing groundbreaking here, the less-than-perfect production (was this dubbed straight from a cassette?) lends to that wonderful, nostalgic, creepy feel. Its perfection really lies in its imperfection. And I haven't even mentioned the "Lion Growls" and "Mad Ape" sounds thrown in just for fun!

"Night Of Terror!" really hits that old "spooky sounds" sweet spot and I'm glad I took the chance on it. This is a fun one you can spin all night long.



It's National Haunted House Day!

Happy National Haunted House Day! Why not celebrate this wonderful holiday by going out tonight and taking in
a local haunted attraction?

I will be doing my part by guest acting in the queue line at my favorite local establishment (who happens to be celebrating their incredible FIFTIETH SEASON this year!). And they have never looked better! I got a chance to go through the Akron Haunted Schoolhouse & Laboratory last week and both houses are looking better than they have in years. If you're in the Northeast Ohio area, come on out tonight and join in on the fun! I'll be waiting for you...


Grave Owl - "The Solar Crypt"

Last month, I had posted about my discovery of Library Of The Occult Records, a label out of the UK that describes itself as "Esoteric Electronics, Dungeon Jazz and Wizard Psych sounds on limited vinyl releases."

And since that initial discovery, I have been grabbing releases left and right. Really great modern interpretations of 70s folk/horror/occult sounds on everything they put out!

Grave Owl's The Solar Crypt was actually the first release that I had heard from the label. It is a little-known side project from none other than Pär Boström, mastermind of dark ambient acts Kammarheit and Cities Last Broadcast (among numerous others).

But on this release, Boström forgoes the usual dark, droning atmospherics in favor of a rather unique, synth-based occult/horror soundtrack sound. Much more upbeat (yet still maintaining a dark essence) than any of his other projects. An unexpected treat for fans of both dark synth wave and dark ambient.

Another fantastic release from Library Of The Occult Records. Enjoy!


Ohio. The (Haunted) Heart Of It All.

So ask yourself this question. "If I could live anywhere in the U.S., where would I live?"

I bet your answer wasn't...Ohio.

And that's okay. We don't have the glitz and glamour of say, California, or the rugged mountainous beauty of say, Colorado, or even the warm tropical beaches of say, Florida.

But we do have one thing. And that is HAUNTS. Yep. Haunted Houses. We have more haunted houses than any other state in the country. Not Pennsylvania, not Texas, not even California. OHIO. And it's "official." We now have ONE HUNDRED THIRTY haunted attractions in the Buckeye State.

New survey finds Ohio leads nation in the number of Halloween haunts and attractions.

My local newspaper ran a story, picking up on The Scare Factor's state-by-state totals of haunted attractions, and Ohio once again came out on top. And while I have seen this list numerous times, I actually don't take a lot of stock on the numbers. But it is nice to live in a state with such an incredibly rich history of Halloween and haunted houses (it's a big part of why I still do what I do!). So take that, California!

Check out the entire article here. They have a nice writeup on why we have so many haunted houses and a list of the state's Top 10, although The Haunted Schoolhouse & Laboratory at number 10 is downright criminal. (And it's great to see them give a shout out to Highbury Cemetery friend Randy Skalos and his truly incredible home haunt, Haunt on Williams!)

The Halloween Art Of Drew Rausch

So everyone is following Halloween artist Drew Rausch's Instagram page, right?? Because he's participating in Rhode Montijo's Fantasmicalloween, where artists create 31 different pieces in 31 days, based on a master list of daily, spooky topics. And he is absolutely killing it!

I'd put him up into the group of Halloween-based illustrators like MontijoSam Heimer and Austin Pardun, who really nail that vintage and creepy, yet totally whimsical and fun, October aesthetic. 

Each piece in this series just gushes with total Halloween spirit, and I can't wait to see what he continues to create through the season.

Just one week into October, and here are just a few of the pieces Rausch has already created. So, so, good!

"Pumpkin Wizard"

"Acorn Twins"

"The Corn Witch"

"Ghosts Eating Toast"

"Spooky Skeleton Sketch"


Ripper - "Halloween"

How about a little metal for your Monday?

Recently, I have been going down a deep rabbit hole of early 80s underground heavy metal (and its obvious close ties to all things Halloween) and discovered an absolute gem.

Ripper, a band from Houston, Texas, put out an absolute banger of an album in 1986 called "...And The Dead Shall Rise."

Image courtesy of Occult Rock Magazine.

Dual male/female vocalists (bassist Sadie Paine's vocals drawing favorable comparisons to 45 Grave's Dinah Cancer) supported by solid metal guitar work and awesome spooky Halloween and Carpenter-esque soundbites, together with an absolutely incredible costume array and publicity photos quickly puts this on my "must-have" list. How this band was not featured in literally ANY 80s slasher film is beyond me. So classic. So tight. So fun! This one really nails that Halloween/horror/heavy metal sweet spot.


Truemetalfan has a really great in-depth interview with singer Rob Graves (before his passing in 2016) on all things Ripper. Check it out here!


Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale

So we're a full week into October and I have yet to review one single seasonal pumpkin beer on my dreaded Drunken Jackos Rating Scale. Time to correct that...

Every October, I grab a few new and different pumpkin beers from the local market and review each on my super highly scientific Drunken Jackos rating scale. More fun than anything, plus I'm always down to sip on a pumpkin beer throughout the Halloween season. So let's get to it.

As I said, I'm always reviewing new pumpkin beers each season. Until today. This one was one of my first beer reviews, and I believe it still holds the highest Jacko rating I've ever given. I have always been a big fan of Dogfish Head's Punkin' Ale. Although in my quest to find something new and different, this one has fallen off a bit and it's been a couple of years since I've had one.

This past week, I was searching the shelves and noticed the Punkin' Ale on the shelf. Only now it was a six pack (up from a 4) and it was in cans (instead of bottles). I decided to give it another go, based on my previous experience, and put it in the cart.

Today, I finally cracked open a can, and... well...

Upon opening the can and on first pour, I noticed the absence of any distinctive aromatic note. I really had to search to find a subtle earthy, vegetal aroma. Although the beer did pour a very nice medium amber hue with a strong, lasting head. It really did look great in the glass.

Unfortunately upon first taste, I actually found it quite muted from the memories of the wonderful nutty, spice flavors from previous years. I really had to search to find a true, distinct flavor. It finally arrived in the aftertaste, leaving a nutty, caramel flavor in the mouth.

Overall, I was quite underwhelmed with this version of Punkin Ale. I'm not sure if anything was changed in moving to a six pack of cans, but it really left me longing for that distinctive earthy, nutty flavor that really set it apart from the other sweet pumpkin beers on the shelves.

It's still drinkable as is, but it really is a shell of its former self, and because of that, (this version) of Dogfish Head's Punkin' Ale gets 2 out of 5 Drunken Jackos.


Cult of the Black Moon // Retro Tape Mixed Archives by Atrium Carceri & Cities Last Broadcast

A quick post for a Saturday that will be spent working on Halloween projects in my garage...

Here is a new Cryo Chamber dark ambient mix put together by two of the absolute best in the genre: Atrium Carceri and Cities Last Broadcast. The mix features tracks from their collaboration on the Black Series (Black Corner Den and Black Stage of Night), and is full of wonderfully rich, smoky, atmospheric melancholy. And check out the image that was used!

A perfect soundtrack for a cold day here in the Cemetery. Enjoy.


"A Night In A Haunted House / A Night In A Graveyard" CD

It's the first Friday of October, and that can mean only one thing...

Freebie Fridays!

Every Friday in October, I dig up one of the vintage novelty Halloween soundtrack cassettes, CDs, or vinyl records from my ever-growing collection and share it with all of my fellow classic "spooky sounds" junkies.

I've been doing this for quite a few years now, and I still absolutely love doing it. It's a great way to share the love during the Halloween season, and a great way to (re)discover some really neat-and-or-hilarious old novelty soundtracks from Halloweens long past.

So let's get down to business!!

This season's first offering is the really great A Night In A Haunted House / A Night In A Graveyard double play CD, originally released on cassette (with different art and track sequence) in 1987.

"They say it's haunted, but we don't believe in such nonsense... do we?" 

Right off the bat, you can tell this one is a keeper. ...Haunted House is really well produced with high quality, and surprisingly dark, sound effects. By far the best part is the narrator, and his dour, gravelly, British-accented voice. He ghoulishly introduces each track as though it's a continuing guided tour through a haunted house. He introduces each particular room, followed by supporting sound effects. And it all flows together smoothly.

"Don't look back. Don't look back. Don't. Look. Back." 

...Graveyard continues the same theme on the second half, with the narrator guiding you on a nightmarish tour through an old, abandoned graveyard and surrounding countryside. So many classic "spooky sounds" sound effects on this side, but it never strays into the silly side of things. It stays very dark and ominous throughout...

I favor the ...Graveyard side of this release by the slightest of margins, with its dark, atmospheric, creepiness that is only enhanced by the narrator's introductions.

But both sides of this release are truly phenomenal. This really is one of the best "spooky sounds" releases I have in my collection, and even though it's not a continuous track of sounds, it still flows incredibly well with excellent mixing and high quality production on both sides. I really recommend adding this to your collection, as well. Enjoy!



Great Pumpkin Project Drop No. 1: The Spirit of Halloween

Last night, I finally joined in on this year's Great Pumpkin Project fun with my first jack-o-lantern drop of the season.

I picked up a nice little pumpkin from the corner store and brought him home. My son got really excited when I asked him to draw the face, and after a quick carve and a GPP tag attachment, he was ready to go...

Now there are a TON of really great locations around, but one particular place just kinda popped into my head and stuck. It seemed like an obvious location. So we loaded the pumpkin into the car, and headed out.

Upon arrival, I was surprised at how many people were still in the parking lot and the establishment itself. We had to sit for a few minutes before we could do the deed. We grabbed the pumpkin and casually walked over to a patch of trees just off to the side of the entrance to our local Spirit Halloween...

After the successful drop, we walked into the store, browsing all of the animated props, costumes and masks. We then exited, walking past the jack and admiring our work as we drove off.

There is nothing like the feeling of a good pumpkin drop. I just hope this one sticks around long enough so that like-minded Halloween fans might catch a glimpse and share in the enjoyment.

Drop number two is coming shortly...