I always thought I dreaded goodwill. As the cheapest option for clothes and countless other second-hand goods, I have memories of what felt like hours, like entire days spent waiting on adults to browse its off-smelling, sickly-lit aisles.
But sometimes, sometimes, it had a few interesting items on offer come Halloween. At least, that was my experience with most Goodwills in my previous home states of Maryland, Florida, and Iowa.
Once we came to Portland? Once I was greeted by Goodwills with fifty foot long inflatable spiders on their rooftops? I knew something about these would be different.
For possibly the first time, those off-smelling, sickly-lit aisles have yielded some of the absolute BEST Halloween doohickeys I've found all year.
Ecstatically Happy Skull
You can FEEL the bone puns exploding from this skeleton's gaping maw, can't you? Like puffs of hot, moist air all the way through your monitor. I've never seen a skull so delighted to be bodiless and nearly toothless, but why shouldn't it be? It has a spider.
Pudgy, Patchy Ghost
This is just a nice little model of a floating ghost on a stand, who looks a lot like the ghost from the Ghostbusters logo if he put on a few pounds and apparently needed to mend some tears in his fabric.
Devil Faced Ghost
This is one of those hanging ghosts that vibrate and make a "WOOWOOWOO" noise, but I've definitely never seen one with such a colorful, monstrous visage. It looks more like the face from a Japanese oni mask than your typical sheet ghost.
Cackling Kooky Skull
With stitches, crazy eyeballs and frizzy white hair, this is clearly the undead skull of either a mad scientist or a maestro. The teeth look like they're supposed to chatter, but they no longer work. All that works is its laughing noises and the motion sensor in its nose. There's also no company logo or date on this guy, and I've never seen one of these before, so there's no telling how old it is or where it came from.
Big Ceramic Ghost
This ghost looks great with a tealight inside, illuminating its adorably beady eyes, Jack O' Lantern and the cool tears in its sheet.
This Ghost Wants You to See
"I picked them myself!" says this ghost, showing you its pumpkin and its weird, burnt gorilla head.
This Ghost Wants Off This Ride
This pumpkin is going way to fast for this ghost's liking, unlike the last year's Frankenstoid who apparently came from the same series.
A Pumpkin Witch!
It's not often I see lady pumpkinheads like this, and it's not just her head that's plant based, either. She has leaves for hands! She's so proud of the human skull she just got done cleaning, possibly with the broom she fashioned from the same person's femur.
RUDE Halloween Treat Bowl
This almost didn't stand out to me at first, but once I picked it up, I noticed that this thing had a battery compartment, a speaker, and weirdest of all, a set of wheels on the bottom.
For only four dollars, I just couldn't resist buying this thing just to solve the mystery, and I'm so glad I did.
Her wheels don't work, but this old lady is still delighted by the very idea she may be keeping candy just out of a child's reach.
It's obvious these voice clips were meant for a "witch" character, and maybe these bowls were available with more typical witch heads, but I'm thankful this company was cheap enough to recycle the same recording for not only a skull, but a skull that looks blackened by fire.
Is THIS the vengeance of a witch burned at the stake? To taunt children by making it very slightly more difficult to grab tootsie rolls?