Haunters Wish List

With the holidays right around the corner, everybody's looking for unique gift items to get that special haunter in their life. We've compiled a list full of novel, unique and helpful items for haunters from every walk of life. Some of these items you've probably heard of or seen before; some you may not have seen before. In any event, we've racked our brains and searched the web to find some of the coolest, most useful and cost-effective "toys and props" that the industry has to offer!.

"Once soft and cuddly, now dead and bloody." This is the philosophy behind Teddy Scares: to take something cute and cuddly and turn it into a macabre plush that's morbidly appealing. While I will admit that these aren't exactly "haunt-related", they're so cool that they have to be on the haunter's wish list. Currently, they have five different bears to choose from: "Rita Mortis", who's the 'bad-ass' of the group, "Edwin Morose", the broken-hearted poet, "Abnormal Cyrus", the cyclops bear, "Hester Golem", the
re-animated zombie bear and "Redmond Gore" the mask-wearing, ax-weilding serial killer. Each bear stands at 12" tall, comes with it's own removeable toe tag and an accessory, be it a bloody weapon, a roach crawling out of the bear's chest or an eyeball resting in a pocket. Teddy Scares are priced at around $25 each and can be found at places like Spencers, Tower Records and various other retail and online shops. Like what you see? Expect even more in the near future. Newer bears are being unearthed for a likely 2005 release. There is even a fan club for those of you who find these plushes ghoulishly irresistable (this editor is not ashamed to admit that he owns one!). Benefits include a Teddy Scares T-shirt, discounts off future purchases, and even a limited edition Teddy Scare. For more information on Teddy Scares or to find a retailer, please visit http://teddyscares.com

Haunted Media's first DVD Documentary, "Season of Screams" is a feature-length documentary on the world-famous screampark, "Knott's Scary Farm's Halloween Haunt", this video takes you on the inside and tells the story behind the legacy of the "Halloween Haunt", with interviews from those that helped start the annual event, to the actors, to fans of Halloween Haunt and more! It really brings the history of "Knott's" alive in many ways; so many that you'll find yourself watching this documentary over and over, even at almost 2 1/2 hours long! The production is top-notch, with an overall very professional feel to it and the soundtrack is also very good, although reminiscent of Midnight Syndicate. The bonus features are interesting to say the least. Extra footage
from the "Wolfman Jack" show, footage of retired mazes, photos, a tribute to the late head of the makeup department, Melanie Ann Smith and more! Fact is, "Season Of Screams" will appeal to every haunter, regardless of whether or not you've been to Knott's before. I would highly recommend picking this DVD up. It's filled with funny stories, interesting facts and is a great entertainment value all around. For more information on "Season of Screams", please visit http://hauntedmedia.com

Ed Gein has without a doubt inspired many horror movies and in turn been a direct (or sometimes indirect) influence on today's haunts. In keeping with the cannibalistic tradition, Kevin Klemm, founder of 'The Ed Gein Collection' has prided himself on making some of the coolest and most grotesque products around. One unique product in particular is their signiature item: the skull bowl. So morbid that you'll swear it came straight from Plainfield, Wisconsin. The bowl is made out of a life size replica of a human skull and comes complete with a finger bone handle, and reversed jaw for stability. Use it as a candy dish or perhaps even to eat out of.
The uses for such a dish are only limited by your imagination. The skull bowl retails for $39.99 and can be found at http://edgeincollection.com

What haunter hasn't been through Disney's Haunted Mansion? And let's face it, those of you who have had the chance to visit this attraction has come to love it and appreciate it, especially for it's visual effects that continue to amaze guests 35 years after its opening. One of the many effects that still continues to be talked about and attempted to emulate is the famous changing portraits. While you may not have a Disney-sized budget, that doesn't mean that you can't have a similar effect. Haunted Memories
have created their own version of the changing portraits and have offered them at an affordable price. Unlike Disney's changing portraits, these use a lenticular screen effect to change the images from normal to grotesque. Currently, there are 20 different portraits to choose from and they are priced at around $130. For more information, please visit http://hauntedmemories.com.

"Scary Dark Rides" is a fascinating ride that takes you on a magical journey from the golden era of dark rides and traveling spook shows, all the way up to present day dark rides, with a few breaks along the way. This book is not so much the entire history of the dark rides, but rather the author's story; what he recollects and admires so much of these treasured rides. If you've ever been to one of those hokey carnival spook houses, or were one of the "foolish mortals" who dared enter Disney's Haunted Mansion, then chances are, this book will take you back to these places and make you reminisce about yesteryear. Doug's unique style of writing will not only conjur up warm memories of days
past, but he actually takes you back into his childhood and makes you feel as though you're a part of it. "Scary Dark Rides" paints a vivid portrait of all types of dark rides, from the spooky, to not so spooky, all while entertaining you with some brief history, little known facts and humor that presents itself from a unique point of view. Overall, this is a wonderful book that anybody who's ever enjoyed the cheap thrills and laughs that a dark ride provides, should pick up! It's a great read, a fascinating tale and one that you won't soon forget! To boot, it's VERY reasonably priced and makes a great addition to ANY haunter's book shelf. You can find "Scary Dark Rides"at http://spookybook.com

For the more subtle haunter, Pushin' Daisies also offers a coffin wall clock which would prefectly adorn any wall. The clock is made from white pine, is painted black and measures 5 1/2" x 11". It features an American made quartz movement which runs on one AA battery and a gothic-style face to help keep track of time, even after you've passed on. This morbid timepiece retails for $26.95 and is also available in an unpainted natural finish. You can find the coffin clocks at http://www.pushindaisies.com/candypress/scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=78

Finally, we have one last piece from Disney's Haunted Mansion. The front gate sign. You've all seen it, hanging on the brick column outside the foreboding mansion facade, with the demon face on top and the ever familiar "Haunted Mansion" logo inscribed on it. Well, now's your chance to own an exact replica of the sign, molded from the actual Disneyland sign and cast in resin. This large and heavy plaque measures 14" by 24" and has a hanger on the back. It's finished with a simulated weathered bronze finish with deep relief and detailed features and sells for $199. You can find this true collector's item at http://www.phil-sears.com/Disneyana6.htm. If this is a little out of your price range, this site also offers a scaled down plaque version of the famous gateway sign. You could also check eBay for miniature replicas. Luckily, I was able to find a scaled down version to grace my desk with.


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