Tag Archives: Nightmare Nostalgia

Halloween III: Season Of The Witch Is The Imperfectly Perfect Halloween Film

If you would have told me ten years ago I’d be writing these following words, I would absolutely say you were out of your fucking mind. HALLOWEEN III: THE SEASON OF THE WITCH is finally recognized by most fans as a worthy entry in the beloved horror franchise; and honestly I couldn’t be more pleased that SOB Colonel Cochran is part of the inclusive horror legends club.

Now, John Carpenter’s Halloween and it’s sequels, particularly 2 and 4, are of course amazing and essential Halloween viewing. However, Season of the Witch is an entirely different bag of dicks in the franchise as we all know and although the fans have been much kinder to the red-headed stepchild of the series in recent years, the hatred still exists for those unwilling to accept a non-Michael Myers Halloween movie.

To that, I just have this to say…

Which brings me to a very good point that we can only watch Myers gut up teenagers so many times before our brain sensors tell us enough; we want something else. Which is precisely what John Carpenter had in mind when studios were pushing for another Halloween film from the director after burning Michael alive in Halloween II. The Shape was dead and Carpenter grew tired of the story- hence Season of the Witch came to be with the idea of a Halloween horror anthology series focusing on different and terrifying urban legends and folklore surrounding the holiday. The main idea of the film would be “witchcraft meets the computer age.” They brought in Joe Dante ( Gremlins) to direct, and hired the remarkable Nigel Kneale (the Quatermass films) to pen the script, which focused on modern-day Druids practicing Halloween in the old-fashioned way. Oh and well, with a couple of androids thrown in. After all, the early to mid-eighties movies focused a LOT on technologic advances; peering into the future with slave robots and such.

Now get Pauley that beer SICO.

Dante dropped out of the project when Steven Spielberg and John Landis offered him a chance to participate in Twilight Zone: The Movie. Even though Halloween III was a box-office bomb, I’d much rather be associated with Season of the Witch than a movie that contributed to the death of three people. Anyways, in stepped in Tommy Lee Wallace to direct who also helped Carpenter coin that Silver Shamrock jingle that is forever imbedded into our brains as some sort of fucked up version of “London Bridge Is Falling Down”; which is exactly what the tune was modeled after.

Halloween III may be the most “halloweeniest” of all the movies in the franchise- yeah, I just made that word up for all intents and purposes. It takes every aspect of the beloved holiday and throws it all together in this film like a delightful bowl of Halloween candy varieties. When you think of Halloween, you think costumes, children, trick or treating- and this installment has it all and then some. Along with aheavy dose of old-world style witchcraft. For the longest time, society has paired witches and Halloween together in an unholy matrimony. It’s sort of problematic to practicing witches, as they are who they are all year round, and they are certainly not evil, but that’s an argument for another day. It’s never been a deal breaker for me so let’s move on.

While, other films in the franchise may have scenes involving Trick or Treating that set the nostalgic Halloween mood, Halloween III focuses on the premise of DEATH by trick or treating and their beloved masks. That’s pretty fucked up and to boot, the film had the balls to kill a kid very brutally in front of us. It was trailblazing at its finest.

As for atmospheric settings, one could never forget the montage near the end with that Silver Shamrock jingle going off in the background like some sort of death march for the children decked out in their Silver Shamrock masks rushing through a night of candy- collecting all in an effort to get home in time for “the big giveaway”. Beyond the opening credits and nighttime neighborhood scenes in Halloween 4, this movie gives off the some of the most Spidey-senses worthy moments of the holiday ever captured in these films. My favorite moment, and maybe the most iconic, is the group of children trekking across a dark landscape, silhouetted against a pumpkin-orange sky. Few images in the Halloween series better sum up the spirit of Halloween night as much as this one moment right here.

It’s a true aesthetic pleasure to say the very least.

Then, there’s Conal Cochran: the most underrated horror villain of Halloween… EVER.

I don’t use the word “underrated” lightly, however, I feel it’s quite appropriate here. Conal Cochran (Dan O’Herlihy), the proprietor of Silver Shamrock Novelties and sworn allegiance to the dark arts of Witchcraft make him for a dangerous enemy to have indeed; especially if you’re a kid. Cochran, presumably has way more kills under his belt than not only his film predecessor Myers, but the holy trinity of slashers themselves – Freddy, Jason, and Michael. And think about this: The ending is open-ended and leaves us to speculate whether the final commercial ran its full course. If it did, then Cochran would have succeeded in committing mass genocide of children across the United States.

What a dick, eh? Cochran, who uses his success of his company to coordinate the largest Samhain sacrifice to appease the Celtic Gods on the glorious night of Halloween, is as evil and terrifying as they come. As if his ominous stare downs weren’t creepy enough, his monologue alone is chilling to the bone (the thrill and absolute madness in his voice sells it completely). Cochran is hardcore. But as tough as he was, he was no match for Tom Atkins: The Man, The Myth, The Mustache. If anyone can save the world from a Pagan madman, beer guzzling- womanizing Dr. Challis was gonna be that guy.

While the movie has gained moderate success over the past few years, maybe the key factor in acceptance of the bastard installment is our own maturity and longing for the nostalgia aspect of what Halloween once represented. As children, we hated it. As adults, we embraced it as the perfectly imperfect Halloween film it is. What a grand joke on the children, eh?

{Samhain Review} Sacred Space Crate: The Gold Standard For Witchy Subscription Boxes

Let’s talk about subscription boxes. You can get one for just about any product and or genre under the sun and brings immense joy to those of us who await it’s monthly arrival as it seems like Christmas once a month- which in itself is totally worth all the joy. For those who practice the craft of nature’s infinite knowledge and spell casting, Sacred Space Crate might just be the gold standard for monthly witchy subscription boxes.

Following the wheel of the year, Sacred Space packs a magical array of goodies essential to any craft in accordance with the seasons and whether you’re a novice or an experienced practitioner, each item can be used with ease along with hefty directions and care instructions for each individual piece. This month of course, is all about Samhain and was pretty blown away by the attention to detail and items packed in this box. Not only were they beautifully and carefully packaged, the energy of intention put into this bundle were beyond my expectations and immediately felt so much joy and connection with each individual piece.

Here’s what was included with the Sacred Space Crate Samhain Box and a little review of each piece:

  • Samhain Wall Plaque- A custom designed plaque celebrating Samhain and an affirmation invocation to bring down the spooky blessings. It’s a really cool and unique wall hanging to display above your altar or anywhere you deem fit.
  • Black Obsidian Pendulum and a Ouija Board Coloring Page- a divination pendulum adorned with the powerful protective Obsidian crystal adorned with the all important chakra beads for balancing. It was wrapped in a pretty box in a bed of moss for earthly charging purposes and after messing with it a bit, I can attest it does what it supposed to do. The Pendulum Board paper page that comes in the box is meant to be used with the Pendulum itself and you can color it with your intentions, making it that much more potent! A velvety soft bag with sugar skull charms, one attached and one detached are included for safekeeping.

  • Samhain Ritual Candle- Oh boy, this candle is ahh-mazing. It is spell-crafted with guiding your ancestors to you and to be used on Samhain or Dia de los Muertos. Filled with black opal chips and infused with frankincense, myrrh, lilac, and rosemary brings together a wonderful magical scent. I’ve yet to burn it of course (saving that for later) and I don’t even know if I want to because it’s so pretty. AND IT HAS LITTLE PUMPKINS IN IT.

  • Summon Spirits Conjuring Oil and Rosemary Powder- This hand-crafted oil used for communing with the spirits was curated under the Dark Moon according to the inserts via that came in the box, including the herbs and chips used to make it; which I wont disclose fully here- that I feel is for subscribers only as it contains passed down family information. However, I can tell you it smells heavenly and may be attracting all the deceased if I don’t stop dousing myself in it. Oh well. The Rosemary powder, I was especially excited to see as I use Rosemary quite often myself. This just made dressing my candles MOUNDS easier and is perfectly potent at that. PATTI TIP- take a tiny bit, place in an air tight bag of your choosing, and insert into your pillowcase to promote a restful nights sleep.

  • Heart Tea Infuser and Handcrafted Tea with Ancestors Pouch– Another family recipe from Sacred Space Crate concocted for ancestral magik. This can obviously be ingested but be warned it doesn’t taste that great! However, it was made for the intentions and not the taste so keep that in mind. It can also be sprinkled on your altar for ritual purposes if you’re not so much a tea drinker. The tea infuser spoon was a nice addition seeing as I don’t own one (I’m a tea bag gal). Sturdy and reliable. What more can you ask for.
  • Hypersthene Stone– I’m ashamed to admit I had never even heard of this one, (I have quite a few crystals too) so I’m glad the inserts explained everything I needed to know about this little bad boy. Enabling the third-eye chakra, its a powerful psychic stone activating your own spiritual awareness and abilities; also a good stone to have around when feeling overwhelmed or stressed. The color is dark blue black and apparently hats sunlight, so I keep it in a little pumpkin container on my altar. It seems happy to be there when not in use.

  • Beyond the Veil Incense- Blended with Bergamot, lemon, white lilies, cedarwood, and patchouli, are hand-dipped and leave a powerful energetic scent throughout the room and space. When I lit it, I scryed the smoke to understand the energy coming off it, and it is most certainly a whimsical dark dance of energy. At least that’s what I got from it!
  • Tummy Salve- As a woman with recurring vertigo and PMDD issues, I was pretty STOKED to see this and try it. A blend of ginger, peppermint, and lavender in a sensitive balm mix works just as good as Zofran in my opinion. Maybe not for everyone depending on severity, but a wonderful natural alternative route to easing nausea and tummy troubles. I tried this the first day and IT WORKS.

As stated earlier, the box comes with inserts providing detailed information on hot properly care for, and use these items. In this box, a Moon in the Zodiac calendar following the moon phases and a Samhain Book Of Shadows insert is included as well. Each monthly box is packed with 10-14 magical items along with  a Moon in the Astrology Calendar. Each box contains at least 1 beauty product and/or 1 healing product from Sacred Space Crate Apothecary. Monthly boxes run about $60 in the USA and they do offer international shipping at a slightly higher price. Boxes can be purchased on a one-time basis for those unsure of committing, but I can guarantee you’ll be hooked your first time. The website also has a shop filled with all kinds of magical items featured in past boxes along with everyday witchy essentials.

You can check out the website and order through here, and as November’s box is an anniversary milestone for the company, you can probably expect this one to be one you really don’t want to miss!

Big thanks to Scared Space Crate for sending this box to me for review purposes! Just take my wallet now because you’ve gained a loyal customer. Now to just break it to the husband. Eesh.

Full Disclosure: I was sent a free box for review purposes, however the review is unbiased and I have never used nor received this prior; nor am I paid or coerced to post any sparkling reviews. Thanks!

Books To Read For Halloween Part II Stephen King Edition

Welcome back, my Nasties! It’s time to dim the lights, cozy up with the corpse of your dreams, and spice the cider as we discuss more terrifying tales to titillate your tinglers this Halloween!

In my previous post, there was a definite lack of Stephen King’s wide variety of grizzly works. Nearly every book he’s written has gone on to become a certain masterpiece in the field of horror and his career has given nightmares to generations since his first published work.

Dedicating time to discuss each of his books would be a miniseries of reviews in of itself, and, admittedly, almost all of his books in their own way can be enjoyed for Halloween, I’ve selected those paranormal powerhouses that I tend to re-read this time of year.

‘Salem’s Lot


This was the book that introduced me to King’s work and I’ve been hooked ever since. Upon a first read – back in my teens – I would have told you the book is primarily about vampires, and, to be fair, it is teeming with legions of undead fiends of the night. The vampires here are ruthless, uncaring, and bestial with blood-lust. King envelops the reader with a phantasmagorical atmosphere much like how the quiet town of ‘Salem’s Lot is slowly engulfed by creeping vampires. It sets a malignant mood for eerie spooks and chills that’s required for Halloween.

Upon re-reading the book last year though I was struck by a new revelation. Something I somehow missed in my youth. This is an exceptional haunted house story. It all has to do with that old corpse of a house looming gravely atop the hill.

Yes, there are the vampires, but the center of the story, the rotted and tacky black core all has to do with that old accursed house where bad things happen and worse things are drawn towards. It’s the demonic heart of the story. In one book King does something very difficult and he does it very, very well. He reinvents gothic horror by utilizing universally established vampire lore set within the shadows of the old haunted (dark) house legend. Bravo, sir. This is a must-read for horror fans.

IT


The book opens upon a dark and rainy day when innocents is taken by the reawakening of an eldritch evil lingering deep in the roots of Derry, Maine. Given the movie’s (both of them now) global success everyone knows who Pennywise the Dancing Clown is. IT’s become a household name now. I picked this one not just because it’s my favorite Stephen King book but because if you like monsters for your Halloween – especially the classic ones – you’ll not want to miss out on reading this book!

Stephen King wrote IT because he wanted a book where he could include all those wonderful Universal guys like Mummy, Wolfman, and Frankenstein’s monster. Plus Rodan just for the Hell of it. Pennywise was his chance to use these monsters he grew up loving. Pennywise takes on the face and image of what people fear, and if children fear monsters they’ve seen in movies that’s precisely what he, IT, will become. This is a macabre terror train monster extravaganza and boasts some truly chilling moments.

You grow to love the main cast of characters and come to fear for their safety. Something that marks the work of a great writer. And King was in his element with this book. The story also allows us to step back in time for a glimpse back to the happier days of childhood. Along the way are monsters, Lovecraftian sized terror, and a Killer Clown. No wonder this is my favorite one!

Needful Things


Often overlooked by its big brothers, this book is an underrated horror gem for fans! For one thing it just screams Autumn to me. Fallen leaves, crisp air, long nights and a haunting presence lurking in unnatural shadows.

As is his favored way of approaching stories, a sleepy little town in Maine finds itself in the center of a hellacious onslaught once a humble emporium opens up. Needful Things, it reads in the window and inside the kindly Mr. Gaunt awaits you with a warm smile and cheerful eyes.

His shop also just happens to have exactly what you’ve wanted your whole life. Can you believe your luck? Your holy grail here in your hometown! The coveted treasure of your heart’s desire. And Gaunt offers you one Hell of a deal. You just have to do him a little favor and it’s all yours. You just have to pull a little prank for him. A trick for your treat.

What starts out as seemingly innocent pranks pulled on local neighbors quickly escalate to harsh offenses. Those deeply buried little irritations that have piled up over the years are like dried corn husks in the mind. Gaunt simply hands every customer a match. He doesn’t make them set the flame. But he does encourage it.

Once again proving how dangerous everyday people are Needful Things establishes the worst kind of monsters are those who wear human faces. And if you want a bit of Devil for Halloween you won’t want to miss out on this one.

Night Shift

Sometimes devoting so much time to a larger book like IT can feel a bit overwhelming. So there’s Night Shift for those of us who want to read a microwave version of King’s horrific imagination. Night Shift is a collection of King’s earlier short stories and includes classics like Children of the Corn, Sometimes They Come Back, and Graveyard Shift among the gruesome tales.

Pet Sematary

Another of his books that just screams Halloween to me. What’s considered to be his very best work by many fans, Pet Sematary is a ghoulish tale of loss, of the sanctity of the grave, and those who would defy the natural course of life. At least on the surface, and that already is a great stuff! But Stephen King always has something wicked underneath it all. And in this case it’s the Wendigo.

Rising out of the dark of night is the demon of starvation, of famine, and of unrelenting desire. The Natives of the land knew of it, became wise to its evil presence once it settled down in those parts, and wisely feared the thing of evil. The ground – the one far beyond the solemn little child-built cemetery – went sour ages ago by the substance of that thing’s evil and the very woods themselves try to keep curious men from ever discovering the accursed grounds dedicated to the Wendigo. It’s a place where things refuse to stay buried.

Who doesn’t love seeing the dead rising from their restless graves? It fits in with Halloween tradition! And this book has plenty of it, but, the book’s primary concern is the evil spirit, Wendigo, who has soured the land and – much like how Pennywise works Derry – pulls the strings to feed its vile needs.

If you’ve only watched the movies you’ve missed half the story. I was hoping with the remake they might feature the Wendigo in a more prominent role but the filmmakers wussed out and left the monster out of the movie. That’s real smart ain’t it? Make a monster movie without the monster. Yes, those buried in the old forsaken Micmac Burial Ground are cursed with unwholesome existence and rise with the stink of the unholy earth on them. But what both films missed is what the power behind the Micmac Burial Ground is.

In the remake we see those creepy kids acting out the ritual to bury their dead pets while they play drums and wear creepy masks. Like some pagan tradition. A tradition revolving around some ancient spirit…like, oh fuck I don’t know, the Wendigo? The movie teased at the presence of the Wendigo and mention it but that’s where it stopped. The evil spirit is active in the book and gives the story a more sinister vibe. Like you know the poor Creed family was doomed the moment they moved into that new house. The Wendigo already stretched out its hand to claim them.

Knowing that the reader can only sit back and read about the doom that befell them.