Friday, October 24, 2014

31 Days of Spooktober, Day 24: Theories about themes for American Horror Story, Season 5

A group of my girlfriends and I get together just about every week for our AHS viewing party.  It's a small affair, as there's only the four of us (many have asked to join us, but we prefer to keep the group as is).  We bring snacks, often make themed-cocktails (like last night's Bloody Orange, a take on a Tequila Sunrise, but with tangerine soda, white rum, grenadine, Pimm's #1, Apple spice liqueur, and a splash of Lillet.  No, I do NOT mess around here.), and prepare to get our pants scared off (which happens with great regularity.  And makes the cocktails a necessity).

But the other thing our little troupe does is take a stab (hello pun!) at figuring out what the next season's theme will be.  Thus far, we have not really hit the jackpot.  No, we haven't even come close.  But I have a feeling we might, just might, have two very viable theories this time around for Season 5.

First of all, we know that we're to pay close attention to the first two episodes for hints dropped by the series' creator, Ryan Murphy.  And so we did.  And we all fell into the "it's gotta be outer space or space aliens" camp, as did many a blogger and entertainment soothsayer.  Yes, this season IS set in Jupiter, Florida.  Yes, Jessica Lange DID sing "Life on Mars".  Yes, a day player wore a nifty vintage tie with what looked to be the solar system printed on it.

Yes, yes, yes.  But Mr. Murphy has stated that is NOT the theme.  No "area 51" will be visited.  So, we got to thinking about some other clues.  These, too, were pretty obvious.  So obvious, in fact, that they didn't hit us until after a few weeks' worth of reflection.

So now, I give you what four nice ladies from the Chicago suburbs came up with for next season's theme.

1.  "American Horror Story: Devil".  Frankly, I do NOT like this theme.  Here's the situation: I saw "The Exorcist" when I was, like, 11 years old.  Way too young.  And it's haunted me for life.  So anything satanic or demonic does not sit well with me.  I'm quite the "positive life force" type.  But this idea works if you look at one of the first lines that's said in the first episode of Season 4, which is (I'm paraphrasing) something like "I had no idea I'd be walking into hell." And what does the doorway of the main freak show tent look like?  That would be the devil's mouth.

Now, let's piggyback this onto one of the AHS storylines that was left hanging.  Remember at the end of Season 1?  When the child, who was the offspring of one living and one dead parent, murders his babysitter?  That totally freaked me out, especially that eerie "chipper and happy" outro music.  Anyway, what happened to that child?  And, could one basically surmise that he's something "unholy"?  And could one further surmise that he could be some sort of anti-christ character.  The season would then be set in the not-too-distant future.  An alternate title could be something about the anti-christ.  Ick.  Freaks me out. I'd probably not even watch the season.  But this could be viable, given the hints and that dangling story line from the first season.  Murphy doesn't really link seasons or reuse characters, with the exception of this season and the second season with the character of Pepper, but this would be an interesting way to round out the entire series.

However, the theme that really intrigues me ...

2.  "American Horror Story: Victoriana" (alternate title: "American Horror Story: World's Fair").  The Victorian era was not full of lace doilies and floral teapots. Nope.  But what were the clues in season 4 that would have us propose this idea?  And the Victorian era is pretty darned broad.  Where might this go?

Here are some of the main plot points:  "The Devil in the White City", spiritualism/mysticism, and Houdini. Now, let's think back to some of the clues. 

I already spoke about the ideas of hell and devils and such.  The entire story of serial killer H.H. Holmes and his castle of horrors is told with brilliantly grotesque specificity in "TDIWC" and those people who ventured in after the atrocities took place said it was "hell on Earth". And Holmes is the "devil" referred to in book's title. And, like the unsuspecting twins, scores of women walked, essentially, into the devil's mouth when they entered the Holmes death castle.

The Columbian Exposition, where Holmes found his victims, took place in Chicago.  In the second episode, Michael Chicklis's character speaks about working in Chicago at some point.  He also mentions Houdini's brother. The Houdini brothers' first major booking was at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893.

This takes us to the world of spiritualism, which was very popular in the Victorian era and continued into the 1920s.  Table tapping, Oujia boards, seances.  And Houdini went on a personal crusade to debunk those spiritualists.  And I can already see those phony psychics dressed in velvety robes, adorned with Jupiter, Mars, and the solar system.

So, those are our theories.  With special attention paid to the second one. Plus, Ryan Murphy is planning a companion series, "American Crime", so a final AHS season focused on the horrific Holmes crimes would be a solid stylistic segue.

Well, Mr. Murphy?  If we're right, could we be invited to the series' finale party please?  Just the four of us.  We like keeping the number small.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

31 Days of Spooktober, Day 22: the vintagey Halloween awesomeness of D. Blumchen

So you want some incredible Halloween items that are vintage-looking but don't break the bank?  Go to D. Blumchen and Company fer cryeye!!

The following are instructions for crepe paper rosettes from the amazing people at D> Blumchen and Company.  Please visit their site for a bevy of Halloween items that will knock your witchy-striped socks off:

This is copied from the D. Blumchen site.  Go there for more how-to's!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

31 Days of Spooktober, Day 21: "Monstrous Monkee Mash" episode of "The Monkees"

Ghoulies, sit back with your Bosco and enjoy a FULL EPISODE of vintage "Monkees" goodness.  I remember every year they ran the reruns, I'd always hope and pray this one would show up for Halloween.  And look!  My favorite Monkee as my favorite Universal Monster!  Doesn't get much better than this!


Monday, October 20, 2014

31 days of Spooktober, Days 19 and 20: The new "Haunted Mansion" swag!!

Hello ghoulies!  I was not able to write yesterday because of a jam-packed schedule compounded with the fact that I threw my lower back out.  It happens every couple years or so.  The last time was because I was sitting for hours in a rental car while travelling all over the East Coast to visit vintage amusement parks for my book, "The Cotton Candy Road Trip".  Yes, I visited the last few parks on my journey barely able to walk. It was pretty pathetic.  This time, I was bending over to wash my face, and my back just said, "Okay - I'm done." And it doesn't matter how much exercise I do (cuz I'm power walking at TOP speed); my back was just kaput. (Shakes fist at onstage injury I suffered twenty years ago ... bah, bah and double bah).

So, what will make up for my absence?  And what will come close to soothing my tender back? Oh, looking at recent posts about the new Memento Mori shop in Disney World, with all items devoted to my beloved Haunted Mansion!

Photo: Once you enter Memento Mori, the new Haunted Mansion Store, you won't want to find a way out:
Image from D23.  Definitely a print I must own to add to my "Witches and Gypsies" wall in my meditation room.
More info about the store on the Disney Parks blog:

Some other "Die hard" fans made these things:

And this blogger is feeling pretty much like I'm sure I will when I finally get there in November: take my money!  You win!:

Finally, a video tour of the store:

Saturday, October 18, 2014

31 Days of Spooktober, Day 18: Boozy Autumnal Cupcakes!

My dear friend Zach makes the best cupcakes.  And they are decorated to the teeth.

I need to have Zach make me most of these cupcakes.  And I need it now.

Honey Toasted Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes with Boozy Honey Buttercream Frosting |
From Half Baked Harvest: Honey Toasted Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes with Boozy Honey Buttercream Frosting.

Oh, my god ...

Friday, October 17, 2014

31 Days of Spooktober, day 17: Vintage Gurley Halloween Candles!

Vintage Gurley Halloween Candle ~ Witch with Pumpkin
I've got one just like her.  Wick pulled out to keep her UNlit!

Check out this Pinterest page that's dedicated to vintage Gurley Halloween candles!

These little figurines played a huge role in my childhood!  I can still smell the waxy goodness.  I can also remember how I pulled out the wicks so my Mom wouldn't ever burn them; I just dug them as the wonderful pieces of Mid-Century art that they were!

So click the link above and enjoy!

P.S. I still have mine.  I have the Big Witch, several Little Witches (who I called "The Tabithas"), a couple ghosts, and a bunch of pumpkins.  I'll never part with them.