While checking out the vendors at this year’s Days of the Dead Chicago, I was pleased to see that Jay Langley and his signature Scarebears were among them! I love sinister toys and particularly enjoy gruesome Teddy Bears which a few amazing artists out there have been crafting; and each with their own unique touches. We’ve featured a few of them on this site but, after spotting Jay and his latest batch, I realized (to my great shame) that the Scarebears had yet to be one of them. That’s pretty surprising since I was an instant fan when I first saw them a few years back; enamored with their EC Comics’ style gore and signature skulls with eyeballs! They’re also affordable by convention standards and obviously a big hit with many of my fellow horror buffs who I often see walking around with one at events. I own two of them myself and look forward to adding more of them before my Terror Dave days are over.
After the great autograph signing experience, I had with Cassandra Peterson, a.k.a. Elvira Mistress of the Dark, I was anxious to attend her special Days of the Dead Q&A panel later that same night. We walked through the hotel, past an indoor swimming pool, and outside to an enclosed tent set up for panels and events. This wasn’t the most ideal situation considering the snowstorm and frigid temps made the tent pretty cold despite additional space heaters. I felt particularly bad for a couple of attendees dressed as Frank n’ Furter and the half-naked “Rocky” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It wasn’t long after we took our seats that Cassandra made her way on stage. Below is taken from an audio recording that night…
For me, one of the biggest draws for this year’s Days of the Dead Chicago was the appearance of Cassandra Peterson a.k.a. Elvira: Mistress of the Dark! I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her a few times before (the first of which I discussed HERE) and later enjoyed her brief reboot of Elvira’s Movie Macabre on our local Chicago station WCIU; the same channel as Svengoolie before he’d go national via MeTV a few months later. That was an exciting time since they were the two hosts I’d grown up with. From age eight to fourteen, I idolized Rich Koz’s Son of Svengoolie (now simply “Svengoolie” with the blessing of his predecessor) before our local WFLD 32 station got swallowed up by the corporate FOX. It was also around that time when I discovered Elvira after renting some of her “Thriller Video” hosted films from my local mom & pop video store. I also remember making frequent road trips in my ’20s to all neighboring Illinois and Indiana Suncoast Video stores in an effort to collect all of her Midnight Madness VHS tapes. That’s one thing we collectors have lost in our modern Internet world; that good old fashioned thrill of the hunt!
On Saturday June 13th I headed up to Lombard, Illinois to attend a Hearse Show. Not only did the event promise a collection of automobiles specifically designed to deliver you to your final destination but also live music and a visit from national horror host Svengoolie. As someone who firmly believes that Halloween is much more a state of mind rather than just a date on the calendar, an occasion such as this was just too darn fun to pass up! Joining me for the ride was my friend, Susan, a gal who also enjoys the macabre. Continue reading
I never thought The Wisconsin Dells had more to do than their World famous water parks. Well “Surprise” they have a museum dedicated to all things…torture devices! Located just off the main strip lies the Museum of Historic Torture Devices which will have you happy you can experience these as a spectator ONLY!
Last weekend I went to see national horror host, Svengoolie, at a Chicago store called Cook Brothers (“We stack em Deep and Sell em Cheap!”). Though not as remarkable as his previous appearance at The Squared Circle, it did represent a bit of a milestone for me. Since discovering that he’d return to the airwaves in 2003, this would mark my 35th time seeing him (either as Svengoolie or Rich Koz) at a public event.