Written by Jonathan Wojcik
While still in Iowa, I had the chance to check out a Halloween store we didn't have down in sticky Florida, a Halloween Express superstore! Focusing more on costumes, there weren't a very great deal of unique props, but certainly a few gems I just had to share, like this skeleton who really just looks like he needs help getting the cobwebs out of his eyes.
These little swingset-skeletons looked like they were having a significantly better time. On the list of cutest skeletal beings I've ever seen, these are very close to the uppermost dozen or so, which means a lot, believe me. It is a LONG list.
I thought these pure-white hags were rather unusual. There's a lot of creepy, hanging monsters out there, but not many are just pale, clammy old people. She's like some sort of ice-witch, or maybe her family has just lived deep underground for several thousand generations.
This skeleton wasn't plugged in, so unfortunately, we have no idea what he does, and that's a crying shame because I'm just fascinated by those unnatural, cartoonish eye sockets. They probably weren't intended to look so inhumanly oblong, but it's a surprisingly ghostly effect all on its own.
This "flying monkey" is an item I've seen online many times, but never wanted strongly enough to buy one mail-order. Seeing it in person, however, for little over ten bucks, is another story entirely. It's cobbled together from pieces that are also used for various bat and ghost props, but it works. A photo really doesn't do enough justice to this thing's freakishness, and the cheap, almost sloppily assembled materials only add to a sort of "sideshow taxidermy" effect.
This big spider is another one I'm familiar with from the internet, and really loved once I saw it up close, but this one was a little beyond my price range for yet another large, fake spider, something I already have somewhere between ten and ten thousand of. The eyes, however, do light up, and the legs are fully bendable. Maybe I made a mistake leaving it behind, but I'm really trying not to stretch my dollar a bit better this year.
Luckily, I didn't have to leave completely spiderless. This cheap, floppy rubber one is more my style anyway, with a really beautiful combination of colors and a suction cup on every single foot. I love bug toys with suction cups.
By far the most disturbing thing in the whole store, if not one of the most disturbing Halloween props I've ever encountered, was what I now is marketed as "Moldy Mommy." It's an awfully cutesy name for an undead woman cradling a chillingly realistic infant corpse, which we can interpret as either a zombie itself or just traditionally dead. In either scenario, "Moldy Mommy's" dialog is equally depressing:
Haha! Silly old Moldy Mommy! The brightest future ahead of your baby is the fact that she won't be alive enough to care when the fly eggs hatch. BOO! YOUR BABY IS DEAD AND YOU DON'T KNOW IT BECAUSE YOU ARE TOO! YOU HAVE A DEAD BABY, STUPID! SUPER SPOOKY HAPPY HALLOWEEEEEEEN!