Written by Jonathan Wojcik

Thirteen more 2016 Spooks!

It's time once again for a round-up of eclectic ghouls and goblins who defy my usual "store by store" categorization!

Pumpkin Headed Skeletons

These were one of only a couple Halloween items at a hardware store I stopped in for something totally unrelated. I've always enjoyed this style of cheap, hollow plastic skeleton but I've definitely never seen them with pumpkin heads like this. Look at these rowdy boys, spooking up the hardware store.

Halloween Clacker

This was in a Portland grocery store whose name I no longer remember, but this little lady is having a grand old time bashing those eyeballs together. Her own eyeballs, or the eyeballs of some other poor sucker? I certainly couldn't say no to that face.

SAFEWAY: Scarecrow Pumpkin Box

So, Safeway is selling its pumpkins out of huge cardboard bins printed with this artwork, and the more I look at this scarecrow's beautiful face, the more I appreciate it. This is honestly spookier than almost any scarecrow I've ever seen that was supposed to be scary. It's done in such a subtle way it may have been pure accident, but that face is haunting.

HOMEGOODS: Black Metal Ghosts

I left non-skeletons out of the Homegoods article, but I really loved these solid metal ghosts, painted completely coal-black other than the whites of their eyes. This item was probably meant to be painted white, but I'm glad we get such a beautifully gothic change of pace, and I also really like the tattered, patchy sculpt on these specters.

SAFEWAY: Skeleton Cups

I don't know why you would ever need such ridiculously long, tall drinking vessels that are probably also very difficult to wash without accumulating mildew in their bulbous ribcages, but perhaps that's all part of the SPOOK-TACULAR fun of imbibing beverages from a limbless, incredibly long-necked skeleton in the first place.

WALGREENS: Singing Ghouls

These hilariously squat, noodly-limbed cadavers come in mummy and skeleton flavors, and when their buttons are pressed, they start singing Ghostbusters in ghoulish voices. There's actually been quite the explosion of off-brand Halloween products that sing Ghostbusters this year. In the spirit world, that's gotta be pretty controversial. These dead dweebs are trying far too hard to be offensive.

WALGREENS: Skeleton Lantern

You know, I don't see a lot of partially clothed skeletons emerging from the grave like this. It's usually all about the bare bones. He looks pretty sad, though, I guess because some asshole came along and set up a lantern directly in the way of reattaching his skull. Who would do this???


This eerie owl looks nothing like a skeleton owl actually would, but that's okay. It's made in the same style as the unsettlingly fleshy looking skelecrows from last year, which I liked because they looked so unnatural and grotesque. This is some sort of totally non-avian ghost or goblin trying to look like the skeleton of owl.

HOMEGOODS: Bicycle Riding Witch Lizard

This is a HUGE metal sculpture of a witch riding a bicycle, but her nose and upper jaw are the same thing, making her look a whole lot like some sort of bicycling lizard-muppet.


Look at this beautiful child.

TARGET: Time Skeletons

Of course these wouldn't just be hourglasses with skull designs, don't be silly. These are creatures. Creatures with two skulls and adorable tiny hands who also enjoy keeping time or maybe just attempting to eat hourglasses whole.

WAL MART: Spooky Sticks

These are supposed to be pet toys, specifically for playing fetch with a dog, but I'm pretty sure dogs love regular sticks exactly as much as their capacity to love a mass produced, designer stick. Fake rubber sticks in the shape of Halloween monsters is definitely more for the benefit of us humans than anything else. Maybe a little too much. "Dog toys" isn't really the first thing I'd think if I saw these things removed from context, especially when the vampire is also a buff, mostly naked superhero for no apparent reason.

There's even non-monster versions of "the sticks," but the packaging still indicates they're meant to be Halloween items. I think these are also making me even more uncomfortable than Captain Fangtastick, especially when Twiggy has the exact same face they put on inflatable dolls.


You know, I've covered dollar general almost every year, but this year I kept thinking I could just do it later, and then maybe later still, and then maybe later again, all the way up until we moved to Oregon and did you know there are parts of America WITHOUT Dollar General stores!? I had no idea! These wonderful trash bag rats are thus the last Dollar General Halloween item I'll be seeing for quite some time.

Aren't they adorable, though? Trash bag ghosts, spiders and pumpkins have been around for decades, but these little rats are entirely new!