Bear with me, folks, I’ve had this story sitting in a draft folder since May and apologize for discussing the “Halfway to Halloween” mark when we’re closing in on the big day itself. Regardless, it was too cool an event to pass up and I’m pretty sure I speak for most of us when I say Halloween is a lifestyle and not just some date on the calendar anyway. So let’s get to it…
It all happened on May 5th when I returned from work and found my two youngest kids (both teens) lounging in the living room and staring at their phones. Since February, this single dad’s been working two jobs/seven days a week so the scene didn’t so much annoy me as make me feel guilty for my short-comings. I’ve always prided myself as being a “fun” dad but it seemed like this year I could do very little outside business hours, including weekends. Despite being tired and wanting to zone out in front of my own electronics, I was determined to make this Friday night different. I’d accomplish this by taking them to Elgin, Illinois for the city’s fifth annual (and our first) Monster-Mash Up. Needless to say, when I asked them to put on their shoes and join me, they weren’t exactly jumping for joy over it. So I sat down and explained that after our seeing the premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 the night before, I was reminded of how long it had been since we’d done anything fun together. Even if the event proved a bust and they wanted to glare at me all night long, at least we’d be together. Apparently my locker room speech paid off because they both got up without an argument and prepared for the hour’s journey to Elgin.
There was still sunlight when I arrived at the Elgin Safe Zone for their annual Nightmare on Chicago Street this past Saturday evening. This year I’d be attending alone as most of my friends were back home watching the Chicago Cubs play in a historic baseball game that would see them heading to the World Series for the first time in over seventy years. Under those circumstances, their absence was understandable…and what better reason to skip a zombie Apocalypse than for the possibility of watching Hell freeze over instead? In my world, however, the Nightmare on Chicago Street IS the World Series and there was no place I’d rather be.
An old friend of the Terror Daves offered us a sneak peek at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois. I’ve never done it before and had always wanted to see what the fuss was about it. Needless to say, I couldn’t refuse her offer. We arrived around 6:30pm on a Thursday night and the sun was just starting to set. After ninety minutes on the road we saw the park’s familiar sky tower, clutched by King Kong.
Another Halloween season has come and gone and as we approach the Christmas season, it is never too late to reflect on Halloween and all of the fun that was had. Each year, Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island, presents an amazing show featuring over 5,000 carved pumpkins. Money raised for this event helps the zoo on so many levels and I am happy to report that this year’s show broke all attendance records, including the largest Halloween night ever, a night usually slow as most people are out with their kids trick-or-treating. Here I present to you a series of pics taken on the last night of the 2015 season. Enjoy!
Photo courtesy of Jim Roche
Svengoolie was given new headquarters at this year’s Nightmare on Chicago Street, and a classier one at that. Side Street Studio Arts is yet another reason to love the city of Elgin, Illinois; providing residents an opportunity to express their creative side and a venue to display their work. Consequently, the national TV horror host would find himself sitting amid sinister, yet beautiful, works of art; all part of their Something Wicked: A Dark Arts Exhibit. The line outside to see him started forming almost as soon as the event began and for good reason as he’d only be signing for an hour before hosting the annual costume contest
The other day I promised fifty pictures sampling some of the great costumes seen at this year’s Nightmare on Chicago Street but, as a special Halloween treat I’ll be giving you closer to sixty! So grab a bowl of Trick or Treat candy and see why this is our favorite holiday!
HAPPY HALLOWEEN from the Terror Daves!
I no sooner said goodbye to the ladies of Midnite Mausoleum before earning myself a speeding ticket trying to zoom back east for Elgin’s Nightmare on Chicago Street. If you’ve ever attended one of these in the past than you’d understand my exuberance as well as all the hyperbole I’ve used to describe it over the years; both on this site as well as in the latest issue of Scary Monsters Magazine.
Picture several city blocks created to look like a zombie apocalypse; complete with militia roaming an undead “Safe Zone” while garnering inspiration from their own macabre Uncle Sam; national TV horror host, Svengoolie. You can’t blame me for making this my favorite stop during the Halloween season, nor for having a led foot while trying to get there.
In this regard, I’m far from alone. Now celebrating its fifth year, Nightmare on Chicago Street has fast become Chicagoland’s premiere Halloween experience with last year’s attendance reaching over 12,000 people!