SPOTLIGHT: Spirit Halloween

SPOTLIGHT: Spirit Halloween

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Fall Means Halloween

As anyone who loves Halloween in North America knows, Spirit Halloween stores as much a seasonal tradition as trick-or-treating. For those who don't know,

Spirit Halloween ( is the largest Halloween specialty retailer in the country with more than 1,200 locations in strip centers and malls across North America. Celebrating 33 years of business, Spirit is the authority on all things Halloween, offering one-stop shopping for everything from costumes to decor and party goods to accessories. In addition to being a fun and interactive event for shoppers, Spirit stores offer complete selections of costumes and accessories for infants/toddlers, children, ‘tweens, teens, and adults along with exclusive décor you won’t find anywhere else.

For a lover of Halloween and things spooky, a trip to a Spirit Halloween store is like walking through the Winter Wonderland and Santa’s Workshop to those who favor Christmas. Being able to browse their wares in person is a real treat

Spirit Halloween retail locations feature larger-than-life, nightmare-inducing animatronic displays for the home. Those tempted to walk around the spine-chilling “Clock Tower” will be frightened by the motion-activated Howling Werewolf, a life-size Swinging Scarecrow, a crazed three headed dog Cerberus, and back by popular demand, the evil Lil Skelly Bones. Brave shoppers can also experience the “Haunted Hotel” where Floating Ghost Girl surprises from above with demonic laughter and a haunting cry followed by the Electrified Corpse, which hangs upside down, shaking and glowing from LED lights and equipped with screaming, moaning, popping and zapping sounds.

For those planning a party but still undecided on a theme,

Spirit’s wide selection of new Ouija-themed items allows the stylish hostess to match a Ouija dress and scarf with Ouija candles, pint glasses, shot glasses and more. With themed décor such as Spirit’s Haunted Séance Board, spooky Ghost Writing Book, motion-activated Spider Portrait and Whirl-A-Motion LED projection spotlights, it’s never been easier to transform a home into the neighborhood’s most talked about haunted house.

Costumes and Costuming

The most anticipated items are the costumes. What has hit Spirit Halloween for the season? Spirit Halloween offers a variety of costumes to satisfy all ages and costuming desire. This year’s top picks and can’t-go-wrong selections range from presidential candidates to superheroes and villains to animation and games. From their latest press release, here are the top ten costumes/categories for 2016:


2016 is all about the anti-heroes. And doesn’t it feel so good to be bad! Harley Quinn, the Joker and Deadpool all combine the daring and mischievous traits of a villain with the heart of a hero.
Images: Spirit Halloween

Girl Power

Who runs the world? Girls. Fierce, fearless females remain popular this year, with super heroines Supergirl, Batgirl and Wonder Woman (who celebrates her 75th super hero-versary in 2016!) as well as real-life heroes: doctors, police officers and firefighters. Daughters will be thrilled to coordinate with moms in costumes for all sizes.
Images: Spirit Halloween

Election 2016

America’s top candidates for president are the most controversial to date. Spirit Halloween has both realistic and humorous candidate masks and wigs for a creative political statement. Accessorize your candidate to show their sexy side, devilish demeanor or even what they’d look like behind bars.
Images: Spirit Halloween


Level-up with the phenomenon that took the world by storm this year: Pokémon. Other fan-favorite gamer costumes for 2016 include Fallout, Assassin’s Creed and Five Nights at Freddy’s.
Images: Spirit Halloween


This Japanese cultural icon has crossed the Pacific! Hone battle skills and dress the part of a Dragon Ball Z warrior, an Attack On Titan cadet or a Naruto ninja in anime-inspired costumes.
Images: Spirit Halloween


Color outside the lines with new Crayola costumes. Collaborate with friends to bring a rainbow of Crayola crayons to life. An easy last-minute costume for shoppers of every age, and perfect for teachers celebrating Halloween and creativity in the classroom.
Images: Spirit Halloween

Trending Tykes

Let the little ones’ imaginations soar as they transform into today’s most-loved cartoon friends, including official styles you won’t find anywhere else from PJ Masks, Shimmer and Shine, Paw Patrol and Blaze and the Monster Machines.
Images: Spirit Halloween

Pop Culture

Go viral with looks from the most talked about topics of the year from FX’s smash hit “American Horror Story” to musical legends Prince and David Bowie.
Images: Spirit Halloween


Throw it back to iconic characters of Halloweens past for a #trendingcostume. From horror classics to beloved characters Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 & 2 and TMNT, these costumes are a guaranteed high five.
Images: Spirit Halloween


Express individuality with a large selection of basics and beyond in every color to elevate a do-it-yourself look. Take a Spirit Halloween costume over the top with key accessories that strut your style, such as colorful wigs, bright eyelashes, bold makeup, statement-making suspenders, masks or hats of all shapes and sizes.
Images: Spirit Halloween

The Heart of Spirit Halloween

At the heart of Spirit Halloween is Spirit of Children (, a program which focuses on making hospitals less scary for kids and their families. Since its inception in 2006, Spirit of Children has raised over $29 million for the Child Life department at hospitals across the country. Donations to Spirit of Children stay within local communities, with 100% of funds going toward a child’s life. For the 2016 Halloween season, Spirit of Children will be supporting 139 hospitals across the country, with a goal to raise $7.8 million. Spirit encourages customers to help make a difference in a child’s life this Halloween season by donating at their local Spirit Halloween or spreading awareness via Facebook and Instagram by using #SpiritofChildren in their photos.

How to Find Spirit Halloween

  • Online and search for one near you:
  • Facebook: For discounts and the inside scoop on all things Halloween, “Like” us if you dare on Facebook
  • Instagram: @SpiritHalloween
  • Twitter: @SpiritHalloween
  • Pinterest:
  • YouTube:
  • Upload your spooky Spirit Halloween shopping experience by tagging photos with #SpiritHalloween on your social media channels.
  • Posted by Alan Smithee in IN THE SPOTLIGHT, 0 comments

    GAME REVIEW: Betrayal at House on the Hill

    Betrayal at House on the Hill

    By Margeaux "Nrrdeh" DeMott

    Betrayal at the house on the hill


    Betrayal at House on the Hill is a board game by Avalon Hill Games. To play Betrayal at House on the Hill you need a minimum of 3 players and a maximum of 6 players. Betrayal at House on the Hill is for ages 12+ and takes about an hour to finish a game. Each player gets a character tile that has two different sides with a character on each side that has its own stats.  Once the characters are chosen, you place plastic clips on the character’s base stat and then place your corresponding character piece in the entrance hall of the house. We had some problems with the plastic clips and had to place paper slips behind them to keep them in place.

    The board itself is made up as you go with room tiles that you draw as you move through doors to discover new parts of the three story house. When you move from room to room, you will often have to draw one of the following three cards: item card, event card, or omen card. Once the room is discovered and the card is drawn, anyone else who goes into that room cannot draw that card. Item cards are self-explanatory - you gain an item. Event cards cause something to happen, such as an effect or forced dice rolls. Omen cards are much like item cards because you acquire a usable tool or gain a companion who can raise your stats. However, omen cards are the biggest deal because they force a haunt roll at the end of your turn.

    Betrayal at the house on the hill

    Betrayal at the House on the Hill character miniatures.

    Haunt rolls can trigger the haunt or allow the players to play together peacefully. In order to start the haunt, the person who draws the omen card must roll a number less than the amount of drawn omen cards. When the haunt begins, one player becomes the traitor and the rest become the heroes. At this time the traitor will leave the room with the rule book for the traitors called the Traitors Tome, and the heroes will stay in the room and read from their rule book called Secrets of Survival. The haunt is chosen by the room and omen card combination of the player who made the roll that started the haunt. After reading the scenario, the traitor and the heroes create plans on how to destroy each other.  In total there are 50 different haunt scenarios to play. The only time players can start to die is after the haunt begins. Death is achieved by losing all your stats in a skill. Your skills are speed, might, sanity, and knowledge. You can be attacked mentally or physically and you can divide the damage inside the appropriate category.

    My Thoughts

    Betrayal at the house on the hill

    Betrayal at the House on the Hill character cards.

    I absolutely love the design for Betrayal at House on the Hill. Visually it is pretty spooky. The box has a wonderfully creepy blue/green and black color palate with yellow accents. It looks very Lovecraftian to me. The cards have different symbols representing them with a raven for the omen card, a bull’s skull as the item card, and a spiral for the event cards. To me they are reminiscent of Poe, but that might be influenced by the omen card. The designs on the character cards are excellent. They all look pretty disheveled and a bit nervous, e.g., they really they look as if they could be smack dab in the middle of a Tales from the Crypt comic. Unfortunate. The miniatures that represent the characters are okay. Personally I would have preferred one color models so I could just paint them myself. The little girl model is creepy as hell, though. She’s just a little girl smiling from ear to ear with a teddy bear that has a x shaped patch of what I believe is bandage tape. Why she is happy that she is stuck in a scary abandoned house on a hill with a bunch of (probable) strangers is beyond me. Not once was the person who played her picked as the traitor so maybe she just waits to see who is left over to feast on or do whatever it is creepy children do to their victims. One of ours, the blue lady, had a hard lean forward and looked as if she was Michael Jackson. This is because she’s just a plastic model that was packed in an unfortunate manner. All attempts to correct her posture have been futile.

    Betrayal at the house on the hill

    Betrayal at the House on the Hill cards.

    Playing Betrayal at House on the Hill was so much fun that as soon as the first game was over we immediately played it again. The first round was spent with myself exploring the entire third floor by myself and everyone else remaining on the ground floor until after the haunt started. My strategy was to go to an area to open as many rooms and hopefully gain as many skill upgrades through drawing cards as possible. That didn’t work out for me, and I actually ended up losing skills. I wanted to prolong the time before the haunt for as long as possible so every time someone had to make a haunt roll I was on the edge of my seat. Eventually it happened, and we played the haunt scenario known as Comes the Hero. I will not reveal anything about the haunt because part of the fun of the game is not knowing what you will be doing until you are doing it.

    Long story short, the heroes lost. I was on the hero side and losing sucked. Losing sucks normally, but I thought we could have pulled our plan off, but we had no idea what the traitor had to do to win and it turned out that we were in the perfect place for him to achieve his win. The second haunt we played was called The Feast. I was on the hero side again, and we lost. Again. You have to be very well organized to win against the traitors that I played against.

    Betrayal at the house on the hill

    Betrayal at House on the Hill: Widow's Walk expansion.

    GUYS! There will be an expansion called Widow's Walk that is coming out this fall! I can't wait to get my hands on that one too.

    Posted by Alan Smithee in FAMILY HORROR, GAME REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments

    COMING SOON: Call of Cthulhu (Video Game 2017)

    Call of Cthulhu (Video Game 2017)

    Call of Cthulhu was first announced in 2014 with a few screen shots of what would be. Very little else has been heard about the game since then. At the date of its original announcement Focus Home Interactive was working with Frogware studio to create the game. However instead of working with Frogware, Focus Home Interactive is now working with Cyanide Studio to make the game. They both sound excited to be working together on this project.

    ‘We are happy that Focus entrusted us with the development of a videogame adaptation of the legendary RPG Call of Cthulhu. As long-time fans of the license, working with longtime partner publisher Focus Home Interactive on such an original and exciting project is, once again, a privilege. We hope to offer fans the game they’ve long been waiting for.’
    Patrick Pligersdorffer – CEO of Cyanide Studio

    ‘We are deeply honored to be partnering with Cyanide again. They’ve grown alongside us for the past 10 years, to become today one of the best independent developers in Europe. With titles such as Styx: Master of Shadows and the Blood Bowl series, they’ve proved their creativity and ability to offer strong gaming experiences in original worlds. Cyanide has been wanting to make a Call of Cthulhu adaptation for years. They now hold all the cards to create a game that will please fans of the Cthulhu mythos, as well as players eager for rich and original gaming experiences.’
    Cédric Lagarrigue – President of Focus Home Interactive 

    We now have new screen shots from Cyanide Studio and Focus Home Interactive along with a website. The website is pretty empty right now, but at least we have one.


    The game is being built in Unreal Engine 4 and will have a semi-open enviroment to play in. Call of Cthulhu is set in a deeply immersive world that uses psychological horror and stealth mechanics to pull you into the experience of the game. As an RPG-Investigation game you are on a mission to find what really happened behind the death of an acclaimed artist and her family on a backwater island. We are promised that we will uncover a disturbing truth as the Great Dreamer, Cthulhu, begins to awaken.


    Stay tuned to House of Tortured Souls. We will keep you up to date with any more announcements from Focus Home Interactive on Call of Cthulhu.

    Posted by Alan Smithee in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
    GAME REVIEW: Spooky’s House of Jump Scares

    GAME REVIEW: Spooky’s House of Jump Scares

    By Margeaux DeMott

    Spooky's House of Jump Scares

    Spooky's House of Jump Scares is by far the cutest horror game you will ever play. You begin the game by being greeted by an adorable ghost girl named Spooky who invites you to take a fun filled walk through her creepy castle. This first person horror game takes you through one thousand different rooms of jump scaring fun! Through the first couple of rooms you'll find adorable little cut outs of ghosts, pumpkins, jelly monsters and other pleasant things pop out at you. They are incredibly cute and harmless. As you progress, you being to find notes of someone rambling about being lost in the house. Oops, I hope you've been leaving bread crumbs. From there, the game begins to throw at you actual harmful enemies.

    The graphics are quite basic. It looks kind of like the original Doomexcept softer around the edges. However, it works excellently for this game. It adds to the charming everything is safe and cute aspect of the game. The music is low key but adds an air of creepy to the game in its own right. The noises accompanied with the creatures are excellent. Watch out for the sound levels though. It really adds to the jump scare. When I played it, the sound was way too loud, and I had to manually turn it down through my sound mixer. You use W,A,S,D to move and the mouse to look. Mouse sensitivity wasn't too bad for me, but if it is for you then prepare to lock your wrist. That is because unfortunately there is currently no way to adjust mouse sensitivity in game. The only thing you can actually adjust in game is the resolution, and you don't even have control over that. Hopefully in future updates this will change.

    Spooky's House of Jump Scares is free to play on Steam and Indie DB (database). On Steam you can purchase the sound track and more skins for the house. Not literally skins though, it's just a term for themes.

    Made by Lag Studios that is run by only two people. Oh and! On their website it has a TBA (to be announced) for a mobile version of the game. So you can be adorably scared on the go. Until then be sure to download Spooky's House of Jump Scares and try it out for yourself.

    9/10 Kawaii AF ghosts

    Watch me play it!

    Posted by Alan Smithee in GAME REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
    COMING SOON: Friday the 13th: The Game (2016)

    COMING SOON: Friday the 13th: The Game (2016)

    By Margeaux DeMott

    JV Mask

    A while ago we heard about a game called Slasher Vol. 1: Summer Camp being made by Gun Media with the help of Tom Savini. This game was in the works to be an asymmetrical multiplayer game for the PC, Xbox one, and PS4. inspired by 80s slasher films where you could play as the killer or one of the camp counselors. The group of counselors consists of six or seven players and they have to try to survive in a don't be a hero type of way. Stealth, avoidance, running like hell (or at least faster than everyone else) are all acceptable ways to keep your blood inside your body and all of your bones in their proper alignment. As the killer, you have one job: kill. Sounds like a game most of us would like to play. Plus, it was touted as a volume 1 game, which meant we could have possibly different killers and settings based on other 80s slashers.

    Moving forward to October 13, 2015 where we have a new announcement. Slasher Vol. 1: Summer Camp is now a full-fledged Friday the 13th game. That's right. They got the green light to use Jason, which means that not only do we get to play as a slasher villain, we get to play as fucking JASON VOORHEES in CAMP CRYSTAL LAKE. Oh, and did I mention that they have Kane Hodder to do the motion capture for Jason, and he's coordinating his stunt men so we can have the most epic animations possible. They also have Sean S. Cunningham himself to lend a hand in making the game. Who's doing the soundtrack, you may ask yourself? Well, guys, it's Harry Manfredini. The composer for the original Friday the 13th score, along with countless other movie music works.

    Friday the 13th: The Game will have multiplayer and single player. The single player will revolve around scenarios based off of scenes from the franchise. This goes for both Jason and the counselors. There will also be a movie trailer at the end of the matches. Like a game highlights video, which we can share!

    You will be able to unlock different Jason character models as well as more camp counselors. There are tiers to the Kickstarter campaign for the game that get you special in-game content. For example, at $65 you get a Kickstarter exclusive Jason character with unique a weapon designed by Tom Savini. Their tier rewards are really well thought out and might make you drool.

    Friday the 13th: The Game has an estimated release date of October 2016 when it will be available for the Playstation 4, Xbox one, and PC via Steam. (Am I the only one that hears Steam and hopes it will be open to mods in the future?)

    Here's the Kickstarter.

    Here's the official website.

    Posted by Alan Smithee in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
    GAME REVIEW: Fingerbones (2014)

    GAME REVIEW: Fingerbones (2014)

    By Margeaux DeMott


    Fingerbones is a very odd, indie, psychological horror game. It is less a "game" and more of a "narrative"... think walking simulator. You just wander around the room clicking on everything you can until you find the next piece of the puzzle. You begin the game in the first room with no weapons or knowledge of what you're really supposed to do. Looking around the room you find some scattered notes. They're written by... yourself - or rather - the character that you are playing. Like a sort of found journal. Using the information from the notes you are able to unlock the other rooms in the game. The point of this is to get the rest of the notes in this safe house to remember who your character is. You are not going to like him. If you do like the character please do the world a favor and lock yourself away forever, and unsubscribe from my YouTube channel.

    The first note you find throws a thought into your head screaming "This guy is an asshole!" That thought is correct - but hold on it only gets worse. I can not stress enough how completely terrible this guy is. It really hits harder when you finish the game and think about the contents of those notes. No spoilers needed here. because…

    The game only takes about thirty minutes to complete in its entirety. There is no save option so make sure that if you exit you do so on purpose and not accidentally. I did that within the first 5 minutes because I forgot that one of the doors is the game exit. Whoops! The music in it is perfect for this creepy lonely shelter. In the game you can hear eerie sounds of a child. They really ratchet up the tension because you are sure that when you turn around or finish reading there will be an angry something ready to get you. Which makes up for the basic graphics. They're so bad. The whole game looks like Minecraft with a sepia filter. The notes look like QR codes. If you are a graphics snob, then you should not bother with this game.

    The game was made and produced by David Szymanski. It is currently available on Steam, IndieDB, and Game Jolt for free. If you have thirty minutes to waste and would like to lose a little faith in humanity then go for it. If you don't want to play it, but still want to know the contents of the notes then you can watch me play it here: Fingerbones Let's Play.

    3/5 Oldboy fingers

    Posted by Alan Smithee in GAME REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
    GAME REVIEW: Clown House

    GAME REVIEW: Clown House

    By Margeaux DeMott


    Clown House is a horror game. Oh wait, I'm sorry. I spelled that wrong. Clown House is a HORRIBLE game.

    The game starts up with a little insight into what's going on: You're trapped in a house with lunatic clowns due to a "MEANINGLESS REASON". Literally. That's what it says. That right there should have been a red flag. The creator didn't even care enough to take maybe ten seconds to give a reason as to why you're in a house with crazy clowns. So you (naturally) want/have to find a key to get out of the house. Around the house there are clowns. Just kinda sitting around, doing nothing. The clowns don't immediately attack you, and you can't shoot them until after they have decided to kill you. Thankfully there's a music spike to let you know you're about to be attacked, so you have more than enough time to defend yourself. The clowns are very slow. Mostly they're just lazing around, disinterested in your existence. When they attack you, it seems like they're thinking, "Hey man, it's not personal. I'm just doing my job. Look, you can still get away!" rather than "I'm a lunatic clown and I'm going kill you and wear your skin!" Oh, and the key is always in plain sight just sitting on top a dresser or another random table.

    The graphics are okay, Playstation One-era looking, and in black and white. For some reason they put this weird shine on everything so it looks like everything has a layer of goo over it. You have to choose between moving forward and having the gun out, which I hate because I prefer being prepared. The set mouse sensitivity is insane, so if you do choose to play it be sure to fix that. The sound is boring, and I can barely recall anything outside of the 'hey a clown is creeping toward you' noise.


    Posted by Alan Smithee in GAME REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
    GAME REVIEW (RETRO): Manhunt (2003)

    GAME REVIEW (RETRO): Manhunt (2003)

    A Game of Survival Through Execution

    By John Roisland

    Manhunt cover

    Created by: Rockstar games

    Released: 11/18/2003 for PS2 format and 04/20/2004 for Xbox and PC in the US.

    Ever since I was a child, I have always had this same recurring dream. In my case, nightmare would be a better word. It is of me running through the dark city streets being chase by violent thugs. These nightmares lasted into my early 20s and then proceeded to fade away. One day, when I was about thirty two, I popped this game I had gotten into my old Xbox. I saw that my nightmares had virtually come to life in the video game Manhunt.

    The basis of the game is that you are a prisoner on death row. At your execution you are heavily drugged instead of being given a lethal dose and are unconscious but not dead. You wake up in a dark room, thinking you were dead, as does the rest of the world. You are given instructions from a voice over a speaker on just exactly how you can regain your freedom. All you have to do is play a game,. All you have to do is survive.

    You were purchased by an anonymous wealthy party to be used in a live action snuff survival game. The objective is to survive and make it through just a few abandoned city blocks. As you play, you will encounter different gangs in the city.

    One thing I enjoyed about this game is that each gang was different, diverse. Some wore masks, and some were skin heads. There was even one wearing a pig's head as a mask. He reminded me of Leatherface - complete with a chainsaw.

    You could play the game in a strategic manner by throwing a rock or a bottle in the distance. This would distract your opponents and you could escape confrontation free. Chances are there wil be at least one member far too smart for this maneuver, and you will have no choice but to fight and fight to the death.

    The beatings were always brutal and the deaths were gruesome. Keep in mind the entire game is being videotaped by your purchaser. You will often hear the video "Director" talking or yelling for more action - he has to get his ratings.

    The quality of the game is good, but the map of the game in its entirety is huge. There is a bit of grainy quality to the video when you are being taped, giving it a found footage kind of feel. At certain times when you sneak up to kill a person, then the surprise is on you. The video records the killing from the front, in slow motion, giving you a very raw video quality of the execution.

    If you were to eat a copy of the film The Running Man, and follow that with a snack of The Purge 2, you would shit out the game Manhunt. The game in its earlier days, had been banned from most countries due to its high levels of violence. Just because it shows you hacking off a guy's head and then saving it in a duffel bag and use it later as a diversionary tactic... What's wrong with that?!

    If you are lucky enough to get hold of this game and a format to play it on, do so. It is a blast. There are enough executions available that would make even Fred Vogel proud.

    7 out of 10 stars, even with its age!

    Posted by John Roisland in GAME REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments