Good evening to all you fine fiends and freaks out there!
It’s been a bonkers week here and I, as your gracious host of this 50 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN celebration, have fallen flat on my face in producing some content for you all. My apologies.
So here’s what we are going to do to get things back on track, starting tomorrow evening – the DAYS OF HALLOWEEN party will start up and go full steam ahead all the way up to the greatest day of the calendar year!
In an exciting update on things, we’ll also be doing a few giveaways, trivia contests and raffles along the way to hook some of you wonderful folks up with some tricks or treats!
In the meantime, enjoy a look back at the weekend that was!
The Missus and I decided to whip up a fun little capsule of this past weekend that came and went far too quickly.
From aisle perusing to a horror host meet-and-greet, it was the perfect way to kick off the Halloween season!
First up, Your Favorite Horror Newbie was in the mood to do some autumnal decorating throughout the house. This will include a few DIY projects that we will highlight here on Mangled Matters over the next few weeks. While shopping for supplies for the first project at our local dollar store, I was quickly reminded just how awesome dollar store Halloween decoration aisles are. The quality may not always be top-tier, most of the items we found were not only really solid decorations but also definitely worthy of a buck! With tons of cool little goodies, including erasers, stickers and eyeballs, I’m thinking about grabbing a few 4-packs of the black and orange Halloween cups and filling them up with these little trick-r-treat party favors!
On our way home, we stopped at a local pawn shop at my request. In the past, this particular spot has had some sweet DVDs and Blu-Ray, and with a few extra bucks in my pocket, I decided to see what the movie shelves offered. I was not disappointed! For a grand total of five bucks, I acquired The Others in a two-disc set, Mars Attacks!, The Exorcist, Devil and The Blair Witch Project, unopened.
Not too bad of a haul..
Then came Sunday morning. Thanks to the great folks at JJ Blinkers – a magic, gag and spook shop open all year round – I had the privilege of meeting horror host Rich “Svengoolie” Koz for the third time! This time around, my lovely wife Krystina and my youngest brother-in-law Adam joined me to wait in line with a cast of Sven fanatics ranging in age from toddler to senior citizen.
The shop is a staple of the community and has hosted a number of events over the years. Svengoolie actually visited back in 2011 and I was devastated that I missed out, so this was an especially exciting trip for me. The place is a mecca for goofballs and pranksters all across the Land of Lincoln and definitely well worth a visit!
Downtown Antioch, Illinois is a beautiful little stretch of land that has exactly the nostalgic feel that a town should have when hosting a classic monster movie host. The line started at the front doors of JJ Blinkers and probably spanned two blocks at its peak.
One of the coolest aspects of the day while waiting in line was meeting a gentleman from Texas who actually flew in to visit the horror host with the most! We swapped tales of our favorite Svengoolie episodes and he reminisced about horror films from his childhood as we waited in the beautiful afternoon sunshine to meet Mr. Koz.
There was a really good turnout for the event, much to the surprise of no one. JJ Blinkers sold Fast Passes the day before the event to allow fans the opportunity to get into a shorter line than the one that snaked down Main Street on Sunday morning. I picked up our Fast Passes (as well as our rubber chicken!) and we ended up only standing in line for a little over an hour. Both lines ran quite smoothly and all of the staff members were exceptionally helpful and nice while we waited for our chance to meet the legend from Berwyn!
Finally, we made it to the front of the line. Once inside, we navigated our way through stacks of gag gifts and stared wide-eyed at the fantastic collection of masks and props on sale inside the shop. JJ Blinkers has been around since 1985 and is one of the most fun establishments I’ve ever walked in to.
Once inside, it didn’t take more than a few blinks to be within steps of Svengoolie! While Krystina and Adam met Sven, I had a few moments to chit-chat with Jim Roche, one of the nicest guys in the business and Sven’s right hand man when it comes to these public events. Suddenly, it was my time to meet my all-time favorite horror icon, a gentleman who means so much more to me than just the funny guy who shows old-time horror flicks every Saturday night. I’d met him twice before, but I was just as excited this time around as I was the first time. Having already acquired two signed photo cards from Sven, this time I went all in and got a rubber chicken. It was a must. It’s always great to meet a childhood idol of yours and this past Sunday was no exception!