Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ghost of Uncle Forry.

Forry's getting a little devilish, to be sure, but I think he'd appreciate the look.
Besides... who doesn't like Grampa Munster hair?
The glasses were a last-minute prop made with foam, a Dremel, and acrylic paint. Hopefully a real frame will surface before the big night but if not, I am no longer freaking out about it. This is looking good, moving better than it was, and if I can get everything else done by then I'll be happy with flaws!

Tho' I hesitate to show it yet, here is new video of a different routine, this time the oft-told story about his first experience with science fiction. I hesitate because I am still unhappy with the tilting inconsistency/jerkiness, and the reworked jaw still moves unpredictably and it's frustrating.
But you know what? Without an R&D budget and a studio of Imagineers, I'm feeling pretty good about it.

Of course, I'm sure you'll avoid all these problems when you're making your Forry Ackerman animatronic.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

A night to be remembered...

No one likes admitting that they found something really cool at a place as redundant, wasteful, domineering and generally just plain evil as WalMart.

But what was I doing there anyway? Exactly... their evil is all our fault.

Because seriously, how can one not pick this up for NINE DOLLARS?

A brand new (released on Sept. 22nd) CD containing the entire original 1969 souvenir album, along with a 'bonus track' that is a 5 minute mix of sounds from the Disneyland Haunted Mansion AND a very cool PC gallery of the original booklet paintings by Imagineer/artist Collin Campbell.

This logo just makes me happy.

The entire book from the original LP is reproduced for the jewel case:

My favorite image from this booklet when we had the LP long ago; the Hatbox Ghost, whose design has, for me, always epitomized the feel and spirit of the Haunted Mansion.

The PC gallery displays each of the original paintings (therefore no text) for the booklet, and conveniently offers a 'print' function. So now you can have excellent high-res prints of all of the imagery from this classic album.

A very worthy pick-up, even if you already have earlier recordings of it. No pops or clicks or hisses (which makes the kid in me weep a bit, but thoroughly pleases the archivist in me!), and that gallery alone is worth the price.

Protection? If only they had known...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The 1,000th Happy Haunt?

Gone since '69...

Back for '09...

...The Hatbox Ghost.
I always wondered how many Happy Haunts resided in the Haunted Mansion. If there are in fact 999, then this 'initially-in-but-immediately-removed' figure, the so-called 'Hatbox Ghost', was the 1,000th? Or have there merely been 998 since they removed him, and they've been lying to us since 1969? -**

At any rate here he is alongside a should-work-fine-hopefully Uncle Forry. MAN do I need to find those glasses frames.
Smiles, everyone! SMILES!

Of course, one of those 990-something spooks rests uneasily in a coffin, and has been trying to escape for 40 years. Here, through the magic of wire, foil, paper mache and Model Magic, are his hands (well, my vision of them). I will have him trying to escape something, likely a coffin but it's a cool tribute no matter where I put them. (They still need the sleeves/shirt cuffs, which are on their way):

Lemmeouttahere! C'mon! Lemmeouttahere!

I like how they double as the hands that shadow across the old clock in the hallway.
Sort of.
I think they look better as shadows. Like most people I know.
And I know there's only one hand that moves across the clock face. Don't test me...

Paint-glue-foil-paper-tape-fur-lights-latex-batteries-wires. Is. (Are). My. Life.

** - which would be shocking because Disney never never ever lies.


The Blog bone's connected to the... YouTube bone.

Kathy, Janet, Peggy, Mimi and Annie Lennon showing off the Lennon Family Hallowe'en Spirit on the Lawrence Welk Show, October 30th, 1965.

Out-of-synch audio courtesy of YouTube.

Hear the word of the Lord -

Monday, September 21, 2009


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Smart Shopper?

Oh boy... lots to get to!

I have been working on Hallowe'en... sculpting, painting, etc. Sadly, my Uncle Forry animatron is needing higher torque (read $$$) servos, otherwise I'll need to scrap him for this year (time's far too short now for the complete rebuild which is probably the only solution). REALLY bothers me. I thought I'd figured up the weights and angles correctly.

BUT, on a lighter note, I have made more Haunted Mansion-ey things, and they'll get their own posts soon.

This post concerns a long day of running errands which turned into a

Hallowe'en Display Comparison Shopping Day!

It began at

Not a DUMDUMSHREKPOP in sight, but I kind of expected that; such magic is a fleeting thing.

Ah, PEZ... tradition and simplicity.

The guy was putting things out and laughing at me taking pictures for my blog. Good-natured laughter, but still... you're Walgreens! Where's your uppity coming from? Attain the size of CVS (let alone K-Mart) and then you can be uppity.

Family: do these remind you of our nightlight?

Looks like Klaus Kinski (yet, ironically, nothing like Nosferatu).

This is one of the strangest, coolest, most "I'd never never ever ever eat this ever in my life ever!" Hallowe'en candy ideas I've ever seen. Still, it looks so inviting...

*Hellooo Helllooo Helllooooo Helllloooooo...*
*Isn't it cozy? Isn't it cozy? Isn't it cozy heeeerrrre?*
*Bats in the Belfry -hiccup!- *

This is a very cool upside down bat-thing.

I think Walgreens is trying hard, and they're doing very well (laughter/uppity-ness notwithstanding).

On the other hand...
Other than the candy aisle, this one aisle is it. Nothing but make-up, kids costumes and baking accessories.

Yes, I know they're not done putting things out, but the unopened stock all read 'make-up'. So this year, at this WalMart anyway, the whole prop/decoration thing is dead.
And they've got this slogan:

What? I don't get it. Sure, this year Hallowe'en's on a Saturday. But the idea is vague. Is this a command (On Saturday night, please come alive)? Is it the name of some concept event, 'WalMart's big Saturday Night Come-Alive!'? Was I dead before? Without punctuation or em-pha-sis, I'm lost. Either way, why wouldn't they have written 'Hallowe'en Night' or even 'October 31st' instead of the nebulous 'Saturday Night'? Very lame.

Between the discovery of Uncle Forry's servo problems and this WalMart trip, I was feeling a little despondent... so it's a good thing I had business on the other end of town.


Are those Skulls and Pumpkins I see? Much better...

The second and third Dead films on DVD for $5 each? Yeah, K-Mart's ready for Hallowe'en. Feel much shame, WalMart.

And not far from K-Mart, is our fairly-new friend...

From this end cap to the women in the background, ALL Hallowe'en aisles. THAT'S the ticket! (Okay, that one side is cleaning supplies but they were in the middle of moving those to another aisle to make room for more Hallowe'en goodies... so this is the store not done yet!)

Finally picked up the new Mad Monster Party DVD for $9.99. WalMart, K-Mart, Walgreens, even Best Buy all failed miserably on this DVD. So thank you Target.
Can they do that? Where's the Disney lawsuit?

Beautiful tombstones; love the Celtic cross... though the one that reads 'Spells' is a little baffling. What does it mean? Spells died? The death of spells? Here lie spells? Weird.

(I had some video of the K-Mart and Target displays, just to give an idea of scale, but Blogger is acting up and isn't processing videos very well today).

You know, I don't buy an awful lot of Hallowe'en stuff each year. I have amassed so much over these long years, that I only buy little things, or big things only if they scream 'take me home!'... it doesn't happen often.

But I love walking among all the crazy, fun, sometimes stupid but always wonderful Hallowe'en aisles. It's tradition, it's required, and it's always a nice reminder of what's important, and more significantly what isn't important, about the greatest night of the year.

Decisions and prop posts soon-


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Don't know how I missed this.

I read about this quite some time ago, and intended to give it a mention when the release date got closer, but I plumb forgot! Too much time behind my own bar, I suppose...

At any rate, as of September 8th there is a new 'Special Edition' release of Mad Monster Party on DVD, this time with Making Of -, Music Of - and Animagic Of - featurettes.

Amazon has it for $9.99, but your nearest Target, Wal- or K-Mart should be carrying them for a similar price (if not in the DVD section, then on a Hallowe'en end-cap somewhere nearby!).

I haven't picked up mine yet (again, I just sorta forgot this was coming!)... must remedy that tomorrow! I'm really looking forward to the music featurette with composer/arranger Maury Laws... love that score!!!

This is indeed our time to shine-

Old School. Oh yes.

Once again, it's movie time at the Skull & Pumpkin.

Well, not a movie, really.

A filmstrip.

An online friend reminded me this evening of the cheap coolness of filmstrips, and during a search for a specific strip for this friend, I stumbled quite serendipitously upon two incredible pieces of old school (literally) All Hallow's wonderosity... the aptly named and full-of-oddness Happy Hallowe'en (1956) and Hallowe'en (1948).

I do not know the name of the person who shot these or put them online for me to find (for that is surely why he did it) but I thank him... and you will all thank me for removing his very poorly read and needless narration (the story's in words on the strip!), and adding in its place some very 50's-era spooky incidental tracks from my huge library of such music.

I love the non-descript 'old tyme' costumes and settings in the first strip. No doubt the 'olden days' are in some European country, but where and when, exactly?

The second strip has some amazing things. The pregnant top-hatted costumer is stunning, as is the flour-faced coin-chewer (you'll see)... has anyone reading this ever done the flour-coin thing? And what's with the completely false historical claims (American Indians had special ritual dances for this night of the year)?!?

At any rate, I wish I could've been able to provide the 'boooop!' sound which always accompanied the magic of filmstrips in school. That 'booooop!' is like a bell to go out for a mental recess to 3rd grade.

But take heart that, where we once watched filmstrips in a darkened classroom without drinks, snacks or laughs, we can now forego such strictures and enjoy these things the way they were meant to be enjoyed; popcorn, drinks, snacks, and the nostalgic laughter of good friends.

Alright, sheet screen hanging in front of the fireplace... lights dimmed... record player's cued up... everyone able to see?




Sunday, September 13, 2009

LPs and DLs.

Welcome back to the pub.

Happy Sunday. I hope everyone had a nice Saturday night... we had a great one here at the ol' S&P.

So I was talking with a friend on the UMA (would you sign up already?) about Disney's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow animated feature and album, and as a gesture of friendly coolness I thought I'd upload my copy of the LP to Megaupload for him to grab.

I then thought "What the heck? I should be posting the link at the Skull & Pumpkin for EVERYONE to enjoy, should they so desire!". So...


This was a well-worn LP when we were kids; we still murmur 'the rich-est farm-er in the count-y' at appropriate (and even inappropriate) moments.

So... some Sunday listening from the pub.

Hurry up and get it though; I imagine Disney's crawlers are going to find it soon and Megaupload will have to kill the file.

It's only a painless 17.2 mb file anyway, shouldn't take you more than a minute or so.

Hallowe'en stuff to come soon.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Another brief musical note.

I thought it was time to add a few more songs to the jukebox here at the Skull & Pumpkin.

The problem? I can only have so many songs, or files of so much size, at any one time on the host site.

SO, a few of the songs I'd had since the beginning had to go away for the time being.

The Ghost & Mr. Chicken theme, There Never Was A Love Like Mine, and The Gonk have disappeared. In their place, I have provided:

3. Waltz For A Witch, another great cut from the Mad Monster Party soundtrack. A very good tune for background when cleaning and decorating for Fall.

4. Hallowe'en Spooks, the quirky 1959 jazz 'pumpkin carol' from the inimitable Lambert, Hendricks & Ross. This is a shortened version, and includes yours truly on a fourth vocal part.

6. Old Radio Glow, originally titled 'The Pumpkin Glow Of Your Old Radio' (which wouldn't fit in the title bar!); a homemade track comprised of audio from a number of old radio recordings, ads, etc. This is actually the 16th track from my 3 CD Autumn compilation, A Scary Home Companion, which I made for family and friends some years back. Anything that starts with Bradbury and ends with Orson Welles... eh, you be the judge.

By next month I'll be changing things up again, but everything comes back around.

If you have requests, let me know in the comments.

Hallowe'en Spook out-

Thursday, September 10, 2009


No biggie. But again, the hit is mine. Love the symmetry of it so far.

Keep on keepin' on...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Things are gettin' hairy.

Give me some hair; long, beautiful hair...

Oh, you could go driving for hours and come up empty then go online to buy an indeterminate yardage of not-quite-the-right-length fur, spend $15 or more a yard, and find out it is too short, shaggy and doesn't fluoresce...

OR you can find a cheap wizard mask for $7 at K-Mart that has long white hair and discover with elated surprise that it glows like the Bikini Atoll... and use scissors and hot glue to remove and reapply to your homemade Hitchhiking Ghosts.

Okay, Ezra here doesn't have hair yet... and I am not sure if he will. I've seen so many pics of him with and without hair (I know, I know, CA vs. FL parks) that I remain unsure.

I have also made their hands (with big pointy thumbs) and the hats for Phinneas and Ezra.

I hope I can build their bodies and make them move before the month is out.

And somehow get everything else done!

At any rate, an update for you die-hard pub visitors.


The 'Skulls And Pumpkins' Post, again.

More skulls and pumpkins, from my niece.

A pumpkin that is a skull:

A pumpkin INSIDE a skull on a leg with a cruddy sock:

The Pumpkin King is in fact a Skull (well, skeleton):

Grimm, from Mandy:
Thanks Mand!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Yet another 40 years ago...


My niece just sent me an image about which I'd nearly forgotten, but I am so glad to have it back, now in digital-forever form; how could I not display it proudly here at the pub?

Yes. My parents, dressed for their big costume party just a few days before Hallowe'en, 1969 (you can read my sister Julie's memories of that night in the Comments section).

Look at them. How could I not turn out the way I did?

(Note to family: Dad was only a year older than Jules, and Mom was younger than Betsy!)

I remember, as a child, seeing this picture often in our photo albums and thinking how weird it was to see Dad wearing a costume (I was only a year and some months old when this was taken, so I have no recollection of it at all). He wasn't a boring man (far from it) but he wasn't a costume kinda fellow.

As to how my Mom looks here?

Who would have thought that Lily Munster looked anything like Phyllis Diller (or that either of them looked anything like my mother!)? Still, I always see a bit of them, and a little Betty White (who does remind me of Mom) when I see this image.

I flashed on this picture some years ago when, during a Google pursuit of B-list actresses of the 50's and 60's, I found this image of Susan Cabot:
The difference is mainly that Mom meant it to be scary; I'm pretty certain the tragic Ms. Cabot was oblivious.

Another major difference is that I'm fairly certain the picture of Susan Cabot with her arm around my Hunchback'ed Dad's shoulders does not exist.

At any rate THANK YOU Miss Manderoony for the picture!

Spending some serious quality Hallowe'en time tomorrow (very excited!) so more prop pics soon.

Fang! --

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Pumpkin Giant!

Gather 'round, patrons of the ol' S&P.

It is once again story time.

Pull up your stools, settle a little more snugly into your seats, and enjoy the tale of

The Pumpkin GiantAn English Folktale from Mary E. Wilkins
Retold by Ellin Greene
Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman

(EDIT: The text of this version is not the text in the book, but is from
Mary E. Wilkins' original telling. The book version is decidedly less
rambling and more to the point, but I love this version too, and it
makes for a good little read for any Hallowe'en-lovin' reader.)

A very long time ago, before our grandmother's time, or our great grandmother's or our grandmother's with a very long string of greats prefixed, there were no pumpkins; people had never eaten a pumpkin pie, or even stewed pumpkin; and that was the time when the Pumpkin Giant flourished.

There have been a great many giants who have flourished since the world began, and although a select few of them have been good giants, the majority of them have been so bad that their crimes even more than their size have gone to make them notorious. But the Pumpkin Giant was an uncommonly bad one, and his general appearance and his behavior were such as to make one shudder to an extent that you would hardly believe possible. The convulsive shivering caused by the mere mention of his name, and, in some cases where the people were unusually sensitive, by the mere thought of him even, more resembled the blue ague than anything else; indeed, was known by the name of "the Giant's Shakes."

The Pumpkin Giant was very tall; he probably would have overtopped most of the giants you have ever heard of. I don't suppose the Giant who lived on the beanstalk, whom Jack visited, was anything to compare with him; nor that it would have been a possible thing for the Pumpkin Giant, had he received an invitation to spend an afternoon with the Beanstalk Giant, to accept, on account of his inability to enter the Beanstalk Giant's door, no matter how much he stooped.

The Pumpkin Giant had a very large yellow head, which was also smooth and shiny. His eyes were big and round, and glowed like coals of fire; and you would almost have thought that his head was lit up inside with candles. Indeed there was a rumor to that effect amongst the common people, but that was all nonsense, of course; no one of the more enlightened class credited it for an instant. His mouth, which stretched half around his head, was furnished with rows of pointed teeth, and he was never known to hold it any other way than wide open.

The Pumpkin Giant lived in a castle, as a matter of course; it is not fashionable for a giant to live in any other kind of a dwelling--why, nothing would be more tame and uninteresting than a giant in a two-story white house with green blinds and a picket fence, or even a brown-stone front, if he could get into either of them, which he could not.

The Giant's castle was situated on a mountain, as it ought to have been, and there was also the usual courtyard before it, and the customary moat, which was full of bones! All I have got to say about these bones is, they were not mutton bones. A great many details of this story must be left to the imagination of the reader; they are too harrowing to relate. A much tenderer regard for the feelings of the audience will be shown in this than in most giant stories; we will even go so far as to state in advance, that the story has a good end, thereby enabling readers to peruse it comfortably without unpleasant suspense.

The Pumpkin Giant was fonder of little boys and girls than anything else in the world; but he was somewhat fonder of little boys, and more particularly of fat little boys.

The fear and horror of this Giant extended over the whole country. Even the King on his throne was so severely afflicted with the Giant's Shakes that he had been obliged to have the throne propped, for fear it should topple over in some unusually violent fit. There was good reason why the King shook: his only daughter, the Princess Ariadne Diana, was probably the fattest princess in the whole world at that date. So fat was she that she had never walked a step in the dozen years of her life, being totally unable to progress over the earth by any method except rolling. And a really beautiful sight it was, too, to see the Princess Ariadne Diana, in her cloth-of-gold rolling-suit, faced with green velvet and edged with ermine, with her glittering crown on her head, trundling along the avenues of the royal gardens, which had been furnished with strips of rich carpeting for her express accommodation.

But gratifying as it would have been to the King, her sire, under other circumstances, to have had such an unusually interesting daughter, it now only served to fill his heart with the greatest anxiety on her account. The Princess was never allowed to leave the palace Without a bodyguard of fifty knights, the very flower of the King's troops, with lances in rest; but in spite of all this precaution, the King shook.

Meanwhile amongst the ordinary people who could not procure an escort of fifty armed knights for the plump among their children, the ravages of the Pumpkin Giant were frightful. It was apprehended at one time that there would be very few fat little girls, and no fat little boys at all, left in the kingdom. And what made matters worse, at that time the Giant commenced taking a tonic to increase his appetite. Finally the King, in desperation, issued a proclamation that he would knight anyone, be he noble or common, who should cut off the head of the Pumpkin Giant. This was the King's usual method of rewarding any noble deed in his kingdom. It was a cheap method, and besides everybody liked to be a knight.

When the King issued his proclamation, every man in the kingdom who was not already a knight, straightway tried to contrive ways and means to kill the Pumpkin Giant. But there was one obstacle which seemed insurmountable: they were afraid, and all of them had the Giant's Shakes so badly, that they could not possibly have held a knife steady enough to cut off the Giant's head, even if they had dared to go near enough for that purpose.

There was one man who lived not far from the terrible Giant's castle: a poor man, his only worldly wealth consisting in a large potato field and a cottage in front of it. But he had a boy of twelve, an only son, who rivaled the Princess Ariadne Diana in point of fatness. He was unable to have a bodyguard for his son; so the amount of terror which the inhabitants of that humble cottage suffered day and night was heart-rending. The poor mother had been unable to leave her bed for two years, on account of the Giant's Shakes; her husband barely got a living from the potato field; half the time he and his wife had barely enough to eat, as it naturally took the larger part of the potatoes to satisfy the fat little boy, their son, and their situation was truly pitiable.

The fat boy's name was AEneas, his father's name was Patroclus, and his mother's Daphne. It was all the fashion in those days to have classical names. And as that was a fashion as easily adopted by the poor as the rich, everybody had them. They were just like Jim and Tommy and May in these days. Why, the Princess's name, Ariadne Diana, was nothing more or less than Ann Eliza with us. One morning Patroclus and AEneas were out in the field digging potatoes, for new potatoes were just in the market. The Early Rose potato had not been discovered in those days; but there was another potato, perhaps equally good, which attained to a similar degree of celebrity. It was called the young Plantagenet, and reached a very large size indeed, much larger than the Early Rose does in our time.

Well, Patroclus and AEneas had just dug perhaps a bushel of young Plantagenet potatoes. It was slow work with them, for Patroclus had the Giant's Shakes badly that morning, and of course AEneas was not very swift. He rolled about among the potato-hills after the manner of the Princess Ariadne Diana; but he did not present as imposing an appearance as she, in his homespun farmer's frock.

All at once the earth trembled violently. Patroclus and AEneas looked up and saw the Pumpkin Giant coming with his mouth wide open. "Get behind me quickly" O my darling son!" cried Patroclus. AEneas obeyed, but it was of no use; for you could see his cheeks each side his father's waistcoat.

Patroclus was not ordinarily a brave man, but he was brave in an emergency; and as that is the only time when there is the slightest need of bravery, it was just as well.

The Pumpkin Giant strode along faster and faster, opening his mouth wider and wider, until they could fairly hear it crack at the corners.

Then Patroclus picked up an enormous young Plantagenet and threw it plump into the Pumpkin Giant's mouth. The Giant choked and gasped, and choked and gasped, and finally tumbled down and died.

Patroclus and AEneas, while the Giant was choking, had run to the house and locked themselves in; then they looked out of the kitchen window. when they saw the Giant tumble down and lie quite still, they knew he must be dead. Then Daphne was immediately cured of the Giant's Shakes, and got out of bed for the first time in two years. Patroclus sharpened the carving-knife on the kitchen stove, and they all went out into the potato field.

They cautiously approached the prostrate Giant, for fear he might be shamming, and might suddenly spring up at them and--AEneas. But no, he did not move at all; he was quite dead. And, all taking turns, they hacked off his head with the carving-knife. Then AEneas had it to play with, which was quite appropriate, and a good instance of the sarcasm of destiny.

The King was notified of the death of the Pumpkin Giant, and was greatly rejoiced thereby. His Giant's Shakes ceased, the props were removed from the throne, and the Princess Ariadne Diana was allowed to go out without her bodyguard of fifty knights, much to her delight, for she found them a great hindrance to the enjoyment of her daily outings.

It was a great cross, not to say an embarrassment, when she was gleefully rolling in pursuit of a charming red and gold butterfly, to find herself suddenly stopped short by an armed knight with his lance in rest.

But the King, though his gratitude for the noble deed knew no bounds, omitted to give the promised reward and knight Patroclus. I hardly know how it happened--I don't think it was anything intentional. Patroclus felt rather hurt about it, and Daphne would have liked to be a Lady, but Aeneas did not care in the least. He had the Giant's head to play with and that was reward enough for him. There was not a boy in the neighborhood but envied him his possession of such a unique plaything; and when they would stand looking over the wall of the potato field with longing eyes, and he was flying aver the ground with the head, his happiness knew no bounds; and Aeneas played so much with the Giant's head that finally late in the fall it got broken and scattered all over the field.

Next spring all over Patroclus's potato field grew running vines, and in the fall Giants' heads. There they were all over the field, hundreds of them; then there was consternation indeed! The natural conclusion to be arrived at when the people saw the yellow Giants' heads making their appearance above the ground was, that the rest of the Giants were coming.

"There was one Pumpkin Giant before," said they, "Now there will be a whole army of them. If it was dreadful then what will it be in the future? If one Pumpkin Giant gave us the Shakes so badly, what will a whole army of them do?"

But when some time had elapsed and nothing more of the Giants appeared above the surface of the potato field, and as moreover the heads had not yet displayed any sign of opening their mouths, the people began to feel a little easier, and the general excitement subsided somewhat, although the King had ordered out Ariadne Diana's bodyguard again.

Now AEneas had been born with a propensity for putting everything in his mouth and tasting it; there was scarcely anything in his vicinity which could by any possibility be tasted, which he had not eaten a bit of. This propensity was so alarming in his babyhood, that Daphne purchased a book of antidotes; and if it had not been for her admirable good judgment in doing so, this story would probably never have been told; for no human baby could possibly have survived the heterogeneous diet which AEneas had indulged in. There was scarcely one of the antidotes which had not been resorted to from time to time.

AEneas had become acquainted with the peculiar flavor of almost everything in his immediate vicinity, except the Giants' heads; and he naturally enough cast longing eyes at them. Night and day he wondered what a Giant's head could taste like, till finally one day when Patroclus was away he stole out into the potato field, cut a bit out of one of the Giants' heads and ate it. He was almost afraid to, but he reflected that his mother could give him an antidote; so he ventured. It tasted very sweet and nice; he liked it so much that he cut off another piece and ate that, then another and another, until he had eaten two thirds of a Giant's head. Then he thought it was about time for him to go in and tell his mother and take an antidote, though he did not feel ill at all yet.

"Mother," said he, rolling slowly into the cottage, ''I have eaten two thirds of a Giant's head, and I guess you had better give me an antidote."

"O my precious son!" cried Daphne, "how could you?" She looked in her book of antidotes, but could not find one antidote for a Giant's head.

"O AEneas, my dear, dear son!" groaned Daphne, "there is no antidote for Giant's head! What shall we do ?"

Then she sat down and wept, and AEneas wept too as loud as he possibly could. And he apparently had excellent reason to; for it did not seem possible that a boy could eat two thirds of a Giant's head and survive it without an antidote. Patroclus came home, and they told him, and he sat down and lamented with them. All day they sat weeping and watching AEneas, expecting every moment to see him die. But he did not die; on the contrary he had never felt so well in his life.

Finally at sunset AEneas looked up and laughed. ''I am not going to die," said he; ''I never felt so well; you had better stop crying. And I am going out to get some more of that Giant's head! I am hungry."

"Don't, don't!" cried his father and mother, but he went, for he generally took his own way, very like most only sons. He came back with a whole Giant's head in his arms.

"See here, Father and Mother " cried he, "we'll all have some of this, it evidently is not poison, and it is good--a great deal better than potatoes!"

Patroclus and Daphne hesitated, but they were hungry, too. Since the crop of Giants' heads had sprung up in their field instead of potatoes, thy had been hungry most of the time, so they tasted.

"It is good," said Daphne, "but I think it would be better cooked." So she put some in a kettle of water over the fire, and let it boil awhile, then she dished it up, and they all ate it. It was delicious. It tasted more like stewed pumpkin than anything else; in fact it was stewed pumpkin.

Daphne was inventive, and something of a genius; and next day she concocted another dish out of the Giants' heads. She boiled them, and sifted them, and mixed them with eggs and sugar and milk and spice; then she lined some plate with puff paste, filled them with the mixture, and set them in the oven to bake.

The result was unparalleled; nothing half so exquisite had ever been tasted. They were all in ecstasy, Aeneas in particular. They gathered all the Giants' heads and stored them in the cellar. Daphne baked pies every day, and nothing could surpass the felicity of the whole family.

One morning the King had been out hunting and happened to ride by the cottage of Patroclus with a train of his knights. Daphne was baking pies as usual, and the kitchen door and window were both open, for the room was so warm; so the delicious odor of the pies perfumed the whole air about the cottage.

"What is it that smells so utterly lovely?" Cried the King, sniffing in a rapture.

He sent his page to see.

"The housewife is baking Giants' head pies," said the page returning.

"What?" thundered the King. "Bring one out to me!"

So the page brought out a pie to him, and after all his knights had tasted to be sure it was not poison, and the king had watched them sharply for a few moments to be sure they were not killed, he tasted, too.

Then he beamed. It was a new sensation, and a new sensation is a great boon to a king.

"I never tasted anything so altogether superfine, so utterly magnificent in my life," cried the king; "Stewed peacocks' tongues from the Baltic are not to be compared with it! Call out the housewife immediately!"

So Daphne came out trembling, and Patroclus and Aeneas came also.

"What a charming lad!" exclaimed the King, as his glance fell upon Aeneas. "Now tell me about these wonderful pies, and I will reward you as becomes a monarch!"

Then Patroclus fell on his knees and related the whole history of the Giants' head pies from the beginning.

The King actually blushed. "And I forgot to knight you, a noble and brave man, and to make a lady of your admirable wife!"

Then the King leaned gracefully down from his saddle, and struck Patroclus with his jeweled sword and knighted him on the spot.

The whole family went to live at the royal palace. The roses in the royal gardens were uprooted, and Giants' heads (or pumpkins, as they came to be called) were sown in their stead; all the royal parks also were turned into pumpkin fields.

Patroclus was in constant attendance on the King and used to stand all day in his antechamber. Daphne had a position of great responsibility, for she superintended the baking of the pumpkin pies, and Aeneas finally married the Princess Ariadne Diana.

They were wedded in great state by fifty archbishops; and all the newspapers united in stating that they were the most charming and well-matched young couple that had ever been united in the kingdom.

The stone entrance of the Pumpkin Giants' castle was securely fastened, and upon it was engraved an inscription composed by the first poet in the kingdom, for which the King made him laureate, and gave him the liberal pension of fifty pumpkin pies per year.

The following is the inscription in full:

"Here dwelt the Pumpkin Giant once;
He's dead, the nation doth rejoice,
For, while he was alive, he lived
By e----g dear, fat, little boys."

The inscription is said to remain to this day; if you were to go there you would probably see it.

A childhood favorite, this little tale.

I wish I had more pictures but... that's how it goes sometimes.

Spook on --

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The 'Skulls And Pumpkins' Post.

Skulls and Pumpkins:


Skulls That ARE Pumpkins:

Vito Corleone?

A Skull Inside A Pumpkin:

A Skull That IS A Pumpkin Inside A Pumpkin:A Little Skull Inside A Big Pumpkin:
A Skull That Is A Pumpkin And A Pumpkin:
It's like 'Go Dog, Go!', and nearly musical in its beauty.

Skulls and pumpkins. So easy on the eyes.

Hallowe'en prep posts coming soon.