My Haunted Library

All things spooky. Your source for paranormal and supernatural book and movie reviews, strangeography, Halloween crafts and a little cozy fall baking.

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Alternoween: A Halloween Playlist for the Rest of Us


I love cheesy Halloween music as much as the next person – that is, minimally – but having worked in an elementary school for twelve years, I will tell you that “Monster Mash” has worn especially thin. To the point where hearing it makes me want to cry. Here is a rockin’ alternative playlist for those of us who like our Halloween songs on the…less saccharine side. Enjoy!

Haunt You – The Pack a.d.  (2011)  Two Canadian garage rockers inspired by sci-fi and horror films.  Hard-hitting, big sound.  About someone dead.

Red Right Hand – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. (1994)  Dark and ominous…”red right hand” is a line from Paradise Lost, referring to the vengeful hand of God.

The Sky is a Poisonous Garden – Concrete Blonde. (1990)  Whip fast and chilling.

Howlin’ for You – The Black Keys. (2010)  O.k., not really anything spooky, but you can pretend werewolf.  Bluesy with great drums.  The official video parodied action flick trailers…maybe not so work-safe.

One of These Days – Pink Floyd. (1971)  A quiet, ominous windstorm. One disturbing sentence. Menacing bass. Screaming guitar. Beautiful.

Ballroom Blitz – Sweet.  (1973)  Yes, you’ve heard it in Suicide Squad, but it was cool way before then.  Supposedly inspired by a concert the band was playing in Scotland when the crowd started throwing bottles at them and drove them off the stage.  Awesome!

Vampire Blues – Neil Young.  (1974)  Vintage Neil…amazing guitar…sink your teeth into this one.

The Darkness – Zombie Girl (Darker Mix by Komor Kommando). (2009)  Synthy, B-horror movie industrial rock with a heavy beat.

Lullaby – The Cure. (1989)  Giant spider. Childhood nightmares. Drug addiction? Deceptively pretty song with a high creep factor.

Devil Behind that Bush – The Cramps. (1997)  A she-devil scares the lead singer out of his pants.  Hmmm…  Upbeat, surfy, psychobilly.

Night of the Living Dead – The Misfits. (1979) No one does horror punk like these guys.  This song was released on Halloween, 1979.

Novocaine – Switchblade Symphony. (1995) Orchestra meets goth rock with haunting vocals.

Earth Died Screaming – Tom Waits. (1992) Deeply unsettling.  Waits’ growly voice and the eerie “sticks” percussion – created by guys actually “banging two-by-by fours against stones or rocks on the ground” according to Songfacts – make a creepy combo. Clips from The Earth Dies Screaming (1964) zombie film accompany the song in this video.

Yummer Yummer Man – Danielle Dax. (1988)  – Don’t let him near you!  Great ’90s experimental/pop rock. I saw her in concert, opening for the Sisters of Mercy in Boulder…

Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) – David Bowie. (1980)  A woman withdraws from society and goes a little crazy…Great guitar and perscussion.  And of course, it’s Bowie.

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Glowing Eyeball of Doom

Well, not necessarily doom.  Maybe it is a happy glowing eyeball.  Your call!  Either way, they’re fun and easy to make.  I had a group of 4th and 5th graders make a bunch for one of our first BOOOk Fairs.  They loved it.  I can honestly say that I have never seen such diverse eyeballs in my life.  These are fast, easy and striking: a lot of bang for your buck.


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Vampire-Defying Chocolate Chip Cookies

Worried about vampires? No need to, after you have a few of these delectable cookies.  I know!  Garlic!  In cookies!

Absolutely. The garlic is rendered subtle and sweet by a quick boil and a soak in maple syrup. The combination with dark chocolate, a sprinkle of sea salt and a nice buttery cookie is irresistible.

You’ll be picking delectable little bits of sweet garlic out of your teeth for the rest of the night! Except maybe don’t indulge on date night.  Just saying.

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Jello Bugs!


Disturbing laboratory test tubes. Filled with bugs and bright not-liquid stuff.   A.k.a., Jello bugs!

I needed a non-liquid alternative to colored water in test tubes for a mad-scientist display.  Solution: jello.

Personal field testing revealed that regular jello will stand at room temperature (a pretty warm room) for just barely five days before it begins to get moldy.  Plenty of time to gross-out small children without precipitating an unfortunate bio-hazard event.

This is terribly fun to do.  Enjoy!

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