Sventa Claus Makes Merry at the Mystic Market!

On Saturday, December 7th, I pulled into Saint John’s Church in Lyons, Illinois to see Sventa Claus. The holiday version of MeTV’s horror host, Svengoolie, has become a tradition here in Chicago and one aspect of our local-gone-national celebrity we can still claim for ourselves. I was looking forward to seeing him while also supporting my friend, Lozen Brownbear. Lozen’s an animal-lover like myself and I’d attended her “Mystic Market” fundraiser up in Elmhurst last year. It’s a great way to pick up some unique, hand-crafted gifts for the holidays while sending much-needed funds to her furry friends at the Sacred Space Animal Sanctuary and Rescue.

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Svengoolie and the Sea Witch – “Nightmare on Chicago Street!” Part 2


After his signing, Svengoolie took a little break while I headed to the main stage for the costume contest. At this point, things had gotten pretty rowdy outside with a fight erupting in front of the Port-o-Potties; some drunk guy yelling at a girl for taking too long. This eventually led to more people getting involved including the police. I met back up with my daughters who were huddled next to a building. It was a great way too “people watch” while staying dry from the light rain that began moments earlier.

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2019 “Nightmare on Chicago Street!” Part 1


This year’s Nightmare on Chicago Street had near-perfect weather and another large turnout. My daughters and I arrived at the Safe Zone early to take photos and peruse a few antique stores located inside. The plan was for us to stay together until the arrival of MeTV’s national horror host, Svengoolie. At that point, I’d take off to assist him while the girls covered what was going on in the streets. And believe me, there was a LOT going on.

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The 31 Horror Films in October that I’d never Seen before!

By Jason Schoolcraft

This year instead of my normal Halloween viewings of (mostly) classic horror films, I decided to change things up a bit. The challenge was to watch thirty-one new-to-me movies in so many days.  It seemed like a great plan but ended up being more challenging than I thought. As many of you know, I’m a movie fanatic and finding a NEW horror film isn’t easy. Now the results are in and here’s a list of everything I saw and my brief reactions to them.  It was a lot more fun than I expected. Remember, I rate a film on its own merit and don’t compare Independent/low budget movies with mainstream Hollywood tentpole films. These are MINE and only my ratings so watch at your own discretion. And here’s the results of my 2019 challenge…

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The Ghosts and Mr. Goolie!

In comparison to most of the Svengoolie appearances I’ve attended, my 100th was rather subdued. It happened nearly two weeks ago at the 2019 Chicago Ghost Con presented by Chicago Hauntings; a true crime/ghost tour company that illuminates the darker side of the city’s history, The heart of this organization is Ursula Bielski who’s something of a local legend if not treasure. Even if you don’t believe in the supernatural you have to appreciate her books/lectures on Chicago cemeteries and the incredible amount of research she put behind them. This event took place at the Holiday Inn Chicago SW-Countryside Conference Center – a large and beautiful building that boasts modern conveniences in a somewhat old-fashioned setting. In fact, when I pulled in, it’s curved brick walls reminded me of a castle. Since I was early, I decided to finish my coffee in the car before going in. During this interlude, I observed a woman dressed to the nines walk outside for a smoke. Either I was way underdressed for this occasion or she was cosplaying as a deceased debutante. Things got a lot clearer when I walked inside only to discover I was crashing a wedding party. Obviously, I’d parked on the wrong side of the building! I quickly drove around to the front entrance which was decisively less regal and jam-packed with cars. In place of a bride’s maid, this time I saw a goth looking gentleman smoking instead. After he crushed out his cigarette, I followed him inside.

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Jack O’Lantern Spectacular: Providence and Louisville Carving Mash-up!

Jack O’Lantern Spectacular is a seasonal event that began in New England and has since spread to Louisville, Kentucky and (more recently) the Minnesota Zoo. It boasts 5,000 carved pumpkins which include your simple jack o’ lanterns along with the “intricates.” These eye-catching works of art feature detailed images that are truly breathtaking. Last year I visited the Louisville event on November 1st but never posted any of those pics since…well…Halloween was over. So when my friend, Jason Schoolcraft, sent shots from the JOLS taking place at his Roger Williams Park Zoo in Rhode Island, I figured I’ share pictures of both. I should note that just like any carved pumpkin, these don’t last and are always being swapped out for new designs. So let’s dive in…

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