This vintage Halloween safety video from 1985 is a real treat

This Halloween safety video from 1985 starts with puffs of dry ice smoke set to funky music. It then cuts to floating disembodied masks, and it just gets better from there. Read the rest

So much great vintage Halloween stuff at my local flea market this month

I love a good flea market. Even though I don't really collect anymore (I make exceptions for extraordinary items), I love seeing what weird, old stuff is out there. Here where I live in Alameda, California, on the first Sunday of every month, there is a massive vintage and antiques sale with over 800 dealers. The most recent Alameda Point Antiques Faire was this past Sunday and many vendors brought out their vintage Halloween wares. Here's a look at some of the old-fashioned paper trick-or-treat bags, plastic kiddie costumes, ephemera, blow molds, and other fun seasonal items I spotted out there.

This E.T. Halloween costumes deserves a special shout-out -- it's 100% handmade with love!

Sexy Darth Vader!

If you go: The best time to arrive to the Alameda Point Antiques Faire, in my opinion, is at 7:30 a.m. when the price drops from $15 to $10. Yes, at 9 a.m., it drops to $5 but then it starts getting crowded and/or hot. Children under 15 are free with an adult. There is tons of parking and a free shuttle if you end up at the back of the enormous lot.

Pro-tips:Wear a sun hat, sunglasses, and comfortable shoes (my Fitbit tells me I clock in around 15,000 steps!). Also pack a water bottle and a snack, though you can also purchase food and beverages. Bring small bills and negotiate for what you want. The faire closes at 3:00 p.m., so that's when big deals start happening (the vendors have been there since around 4:00 a.m. Read the rest

"Halloween in a Box" tells the story of plastic costumes of yore

My mom always sewed my Halloween costumes when I was a kid, so I never got to wear one of the many licensed ones featured in the recently released documentary, "Halloween in a Box." I'm not really complaining but the plastic-masked ones you'd find at Woolworth did have a real charm to them. In any event, this film follows the history of these costumes and how its manufacturers had to work together to keep trick-or-treating alive after the Tylenol poisonings of the early eighties. Read the rest

Watch 221 pieces of candy corn perfectly spiral and fall like dominoes

Here's a cool domino spiral of candy corn that seems impossible to pull off. How can these lightweight triangular pieces of candy perfectly knock each other down without leaving one kernel standing? Explained by YouTuber FlippyCat: "After trying a few techniques, I ended up free standing the candy corn on top of mini black dominoes, which blend into the black floor. The entire 221 pieces of candy corn fell without stopping!" Aha! So it's a trick, and a pretty sweet one at that. Read the rest

The Tombstone House was built with 2200 discarded gravestones

I bet this Petersburg, Virginia home is the last place local trick-or-treating children want to hit up for candy on Halloween.

The Tombstone House" was built in 1934 using the lower half of marble tombstones procured from Poplar Grove, the nearby Civil War cemetery. There are 2,200 discarded headstones in total, all from Union soldiers.

Atlas Obscura shares the house's story:

The soldiers all died in the siege of Petersburg, which lasted for nine months at the end of the Civil War... After their original wooden grave markers rotted away, the government installed upright marble headstones to take their place.

However, during the Great Depression, maintaining the cemetery and the headstones suffered because of scant funding. The city decided to cut the tombstones in half and lay the top halves, which were engraved with the soldiers’ details, on the ground so they no longer stood erect. These makeshift flat graves saved money on mowing and maintenance costs.

The bottom halves of 2,200 slain tombstones were then sold for the princely sum of $45. Their new owner, Oswald Young, used them to build his house, chimney, and walkway...

The house is located at 1736 Youngs Road in Petersburg, Virginia.

Thanks, Greg Wright! Read the rest