Written by Jonathan Wojcik

SEPTEMBER'S SPOOKY ROUNDUP



Every year I try to make this type of article sound a little cooler than "a bunch of miscellaneous Halloween finds that didn't fit anywhere else," but you probably don't care, do you?!


WINCO FOODS: OPTIONAL TOOTH PUMPKINS

I really love the eyes on these pumpkins, but I'd really like to know why exactly they come in both "teeth" and "no teeth" options. They would have to go to the trouble of making two different molds, two different factory lines for something this functionally trivial. It certainly makes a big difference aesthetically, but it's still so weird. Were they really just that indecisive? Were there internal arguments? You would think they'd make some other things different about the alternative design, like eye shape or coloration.



HOME DEPOT: REAPER CANDLELABRA

This is a fake LED candlelabra, but what's interesting about it is the base formed from multiple shrouded skeletons who seem to be merged together around the waist, or at least all sharing the same multi-sleeved, multi-hooded cloak. That's actually pretty menacing! Or maybe it's just kinky. Maybe some things in life are both???



LIPPMAN CO: BUG MASK

Lippman doesn't really care COMPLETELY unique items, you can definitely get this elsewhere, but it's where *I* saw it in person. It's only referred to as a "bug mask," but that really undersells how cool it looks. THe antennae are straight off some real beetles, the giant eyelashes are just adorable, and the shiny blackness of the whole thing, while accurate to plenty an insect, ends up looking like some sort of weird leather bondage mask on a human. This is not a complaint. I am totally all for this hypothetical latex beetle creature and can only imagine how cool a matching body would look.



HOMEGOODS: BLUE PUMPKIN

Another pretty unique ceramic pumpkin! I love the pale blue, the blocky teeth painted white so you know they're "real" teeth, the closed eyes and the little hat. There's just a lot of personality in this Jack'O, and I immediately hear a Boris Karloff kind of voice when I look at it.



HOMEGOODS: BOO

I've done whole articles for Homegoods before, but ours sold most of their skeleton stuff by the beginning of the month! They're now stuck constituting less than half of my Miscellany post. I snooze, you lose I guess!

I really like this though. It's just barely more than the barest minimum to make something a "ghost." It's a dirty log with some pits for a face and a "Boo" sign. If it was cheap I'd have taken it home and loved it forever, but it was almost eighteen dollars and I feel like that's probably better spent on almost anything else.



ROSS: SLIMY CAULDRON

AWESOME! The designer of this was possibly aping Disney's poison apple design, but it's so much cooler as a slime-skull dribbling out of a black cauldron! It's also absolutely perfect for a bog garden, meaning that it is a container with no drainage and a non-porous, glazed interior. Fill that with a mix of wet sand and wet peat, and you've got a miniature bog suitable for all the cool plants that require such an environment, including the majority of carnivorous ones!



LOWE'S: SKELETON TOAD

Yet another bony Anuran joins this year's festivities! This is a new addition to the electronic skeleton pets introduced a year or two ago by Big Lots and a few other retailers, and of course emits an extremely loud croaking as its eyes flash and its jaw flaps!



ACE HARDWARE: HEADLESS GUY

What is that outfit anyway? Is this a jockey or something? He doesn't have a horse, but I like seeing a headless pumpkin man in his own context for once, especially one with a bleeding neck stump! It's interesting that this outdoor decoration is entirely fabric on the outside. I don't see that too often. Probably gets pretty funky in Pacific Northwest rain.



HOMEGOODS: GOLDEN FLY

The great thing about this is that it's NOT a Halloween item. It was actually out with the "spring and summer" stuff they're putting on clearance, alongside butterfly, bee and flower motif items. I'm sure the average person has a likelihood of looking at this and thinking that it's only a honeybee, especially with the golden coating, but it is 100% the anatomy of a fly.


Besides the single pair of Dipteran wings, the eyes are also a dead giveaway and it's even got the nose-like pit that houses a real fly's blunt little antennae. Flies are traditionally insects of Halloween when they're associated with any season at all, so I say this belongs here, but it does make me happy that an insect so commonly reviled is being sold - consciously or not - as something beautiful and decorative with no "spooky" or "creepy" pretense at all. They deserve it!



THIS YEAR'S SPOOKY "FUN SIZE" KIT KATS

Yeah, yeah, "wouldn't fun size be bigger?" we've all heard the joke. I've made the joke too. Let's move on from that; it IS fun to get a whole lot of little tiny chocolate bars, and whoever illustrated this year's mini kit-kat wrappers oughta get a raise. I know it's usually actually just a one-off commission, but I hope they were paid enough for a skeleton and a ghost this freaking gorgeous. Look at those! I would want these exact graphics as gigantic signposts or pillars or cut-out figures. The textures and details are just lovely, I adore the green flames in the eyes of the skull and there's even a cute little rat in there! I totally missed that until taking this gigantic photo! Yeah, right click this bad boy and "view image" - I don't usually leave my photos high-resolution when I make these posts, and a part of me regrets that to be honest, but I'm making an exception this time. You deserve to be able to see these Kit Kat bars as if they were the size of small men.


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