Horror sites and blogs such as this are known for celebrating the Halloween season by highlighting its movies, actors, attractions, and horror hosts. Few, however, ever really get down to the ground level of Halloween – that is trick-or-treating! While it can be traced to other parts of the world, the tradition really took off in this country during the 1950′s. By the time I was old enough to start knocking on neighborhood doors and ask the question that would invariably lead to a bag full of candy, it was over 20 years later and firmly established as a holiday tradition.
One of the best parts of any convention for the Daves is re-connecting with the many horror hosts we have met since we began this site in July of 2010. The only downside is that in many instances, there is so much going on that it is hard to really spend some quality time with them. Between them signing autographs and taking pictures and us covering the event, down time is rare. Luckily this changed somewhat at the ROCK & SHOCK Convention in Worcester this year.
By Richard Church~
Please grade on a curve, as I am writing this at 3AM (and I’ve been up since 6AM, yesterday), and these accounts may or may not be completely fabricated!
ROCK N SHOCK 2011 brought together various cast members from the 80′s slasher franchise A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. The most noteworthy of these was Robert Englund who has appeared many times in my native Chicago at the FLASHBACK WEEKEND conventions. Despite this fact, I had never formally met him. I’m not exactly sure why that was, but I suppose it might have been that I was never a huge fan of those films. I know this is probably coming across as horror blasphemy right now but, “back in the day,” I preferred my horror deadly serious and didn’t care for the clever puns and humorous turn the series would end up taking.
I first became aware of WerePups over a year ago. After a friend took pics of them at the HORRORFIND convention in Gettysburg, PA, I knew it was something that I wanted to find out more about (plus, of course, I wanted one). Thankfully one of the pics my friend took included the URL for the WerePups website and the rest is history so to speak. Over the past year I came into contact with Asia Eriksen (creator of the WerePups), her husband Anders Eriksen (creator of Nightmare Gloves, the BEST Freddy Krueger gloves available) and of course Eriq Chang, mastermind behind Fable Foundry, who brought everything together.
This past week, I had the unique opportunity to experience two zoo Halloween attractions located over a thousand miles from each other. Both Daves are volunteer docents (from the Greek word “to teach”) at their respective zoos and enjoy sharing their important conservation messages with thier guests. I have been affiliated with Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo for over 13 years (both as employee and volunteer) and David Albaugh joined his zoo (Roger Williams Park in Rhode Island) earlier this year. Before I continue, let me state that this is NOT a compare/contrast piece. Each year, numerous guests at the zoo will say things to me like, “Your zoo is better than mine,” “My zoo is better than yours,” etc. The truth is, all Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited zoos are not in competition with one another. In fact, it is quite the contrary. These non-profit organizations all work together for the singular purpose of doing important conservation research around the world (which most of the public is unaware of ) while also educating and connecting their visitors with nature during their recreational visits.
There’s always a special place in my heart for the big ROCK N SHOCK horror convention that takes place each fall in Worcester, Massachusetts. Back in July 2010, when David Albaugh and I created this site, there had never been any plans for us to formally meet (that story covered HERE). ROCK N SHOCK provided the opportunity and venue for this to not only take place but to also solidify our friendship – turning online pals into best friends. By the time the weekend was over, there was never any question that I would return.
I have been a huge fan of Halloween since I was a kid and it is one of those things that I never grew out of. I have always made it a habit of visiting all of the local Halloween haunts and corn mazes as well as having my own yard haunt. Surprisingly though, I had never been to the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, RI. This year, thanks to me becoming a docent at the zoo this past April, I was guaranteed to not only be seeing the event but also working it for most of the month. I had always heard great things about the event but had no idea that I would be totally blown away by it!
Welcome back! This is part 3 of my series of blogs on Halloween novelty songs. If you missed part 1 click here or if you missed part 2 click here. What originally started out to be a 2-part blog ended up being in three parts because of all of the great stuff I have found (and to be honest, I could probably do a part 4)! Hopefully these cd recommendations will help rock your Halloween party or add just a little bit of fun to your yard haunt this October 31st! So…for this edition…I will be covering horror host Zacherley, some great imports and a recently discovered (by me anyway) rarity box set that is a must have for any monster music cd collection!
With both Terror Daves currently running amok in New England, we’re pleased to welcome the great Thomas Berdinski as our guest blogger! Mr. Berdinski directs, writes, and produces for The Cult of Moi and Vous Film Producioni Company LLC as well as runs a great site called The Italian Zombie Movie. If his name sounds familiar, that’s because Berdinski and his wonderful work is no stranger to TERROR FROM BETOND THE DAVES! Be sure to check out his wonderful GIANT RUBBER MONSTER MOVIE post HERE. Today, he’ll be sharing his own narrative of an exciting event that took place last weekend….
In a short while I’ll be hopping a plane out to Rhode Island to reunite with the other Dave. We’ll be doing some sight-seeing, covering the Rock & Shock convention, as well as visiting Salem, Massachusetts. Salem, of course, is famous for its witches and the infamous trials that took place there in 1692. However, witches weren’t the only thing troubling the minds of New Englanders back in our country’s earlier days. Two hundred years later, it would become the locale for another supposed creature – the vampire!
Recently, I joked with friends that this Halloween season I’d be like a Grateful Dead “Deadhead” or Jimmy Buffett “Parrot head” and follow the Horror Host Svengoolie around wherever he goes. Throughout this latest Svengoolie “tour,” I’ve made it as far north as J.J. Blinkers near the Wisconsin border and all the way out to The Amhurst Asylum in Valparaiso, Indiana with the month not even half over. I do have to say that of all these wonderful venues, NONE were as beautiful as Long Grove, Illinois where Sven appeared last Saturday at a new 365 day Halloween store – “Harper’s Hollow!”
Last Sunday, I grabbed the kids and headed over to the town made infamous by the Svengoolies – Berwyn, Illinois – to observe a rather unusual event. The Annual “Houby” parade has taken place for over forty years now and, along with the National horror host, has become a local Berwyn tradition! For those scratching their heads wondering what a “Houby” is, it is the Czechoslovakian word for “mushroom.” Yes, you are reading this correctly, the entire parade is dedicated to mushrooms! Mushrooms and truffles are to the Czechs’ what the tomato is to the Italians. It is a big part of their culture and it should also be noted that other “Houby” events take place throughout the year in other places throughout the United States.
It’s our favorite month once again…the cooler weather, scary movies and Halloween. With the coming of October (or actually late August, early September now) comes stores filled with Halloween masks and props. Of course most of these leave A LOT to be desired but there are some that you can still buy, usually from smaller mask companies, that never disappoint. Of course I am talking once again about Chuck Jarman, owner of BUMP IN THE NIGHT FX. Chuck is no stranger to Terror From Beyond The Daves as he was featured a year ago HERE!
Not long ago we interviewed the winner of the 2007 FOX Reality Show – “Search for the Next Elvira,” April Wahlin. TERROR FROM BEYOND THE DAVES is now pleased to welcome one of the quintessential Elvira-impersonators, Patterson Lundquist, who graciously agreed to do this interview as well as share even more insights regarding the show! We’d like to thank Patterson for not only answering all of our questions but doing so with an amazing amount of honesty.
While it was the National Horror Host, Svengoolie, who is indirectly responsible for bringing the Daves together as friends, it has always been our stance that TERROR FROM BEYOND THE DAVES was really the bastard child of the 2010 Vampira Tribute and SCARY MONSTERS MAGAZINE. In reality, the two are complimentary of each other. Within the pulpy pages of the world’s only “REAL Monsters Magazine,” classic monsters as well as Horror Hosts have always been featured side-by-side. And why shouldn’t they be? For many of us adult Monster kids, it was the classic commercial hosts who introduced us to all the greats be it Godzilla, The Universal Monsters, the films of Hammer Studios, the wonderful “B” movies of Roger Corman, as well as those from directors who were slightly…ahem…less gifted.