Poe For You This Christmas!

Hey-O! Just me here and I have a present for you. This past summer I had a business/personal trip to the great states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rode Island and while I met numerous wonderful people the highlight of the trip was the chance to hangout with the great J.W. Ocker. Who says blogging about jelly beans and ghosts will get you nowhere?

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If you are unfamiliar with Mr. Ocker he runs an amazing site of all his travels over at O.T.I.S. (Odd Things I’ve Seen) and is the New York Times best selling author of  Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan PoeThe New England Grimpendium and The New York GrimpendiumIt is without a doubt some of the most interesting, funny, creepy and impressive writings on the web and in print.

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So, while I was in Boston to meet up with the parental units for Mom’s birthday, he met me at the hotel for beers before we set out on an amazing tour of the great historic Boston. It was a real treat to have one of the premier experts on not just Edgar Allan Poe but quite a bit of the darker places in Boston. We even were called out by a fan of J.W. Ocker at Cheers. No shit, this awesome dude ran into him at the bar and tagged along with us as we hit the pubs. It was surreal.

So, why am I writing about this some six months later, you ask? Well, J.W. Ocker sent me a few copies of his books which are autographed and instead of me keeping them for my own collection, I have decided to give them to you for Christmas. I have read them all and have my own copies.

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How do you get them? Easy! Just follow me on Facebook and message me! Also you will need to follow O.T.I.S. on Twitter too. It’s a win win win! Trust me, you want to read these three each about two times. More if you have time.

So, no cost to you and I will send them out mega fast shipping to anywhere in the US. If you are reading this from the former USSR, message me and I will see what I can do. There is still love for you too.

So one more time, follow me on the Facebook page right to the top right corner of this site and follow J.W. on Twitter  and then message me. I only have a limited amount so let me know!

Get ready for stupid holiday videos. They are in the editing room as we speak. Soon.

Top 10 Things In My Monster Squad Treehouse

I have been a huge fan of John’s site, Freddy In Space, for quite sometime and if you want to know anything horror or related to that genre, this is where you go. He’s a great writer and a good blog-buddy. So after you read this, please pop over and take a gander at an awesome site.

So, John always has great ideas when it comes to joint blog-ventures and this one is a topic that I just can’t pass up. Back in the mid-eighties a great movie introduced me to Universal monsters in the film, Monster Squad. I could go into the plot of the film but for this project we only need to look at their treehouse.

I think every kid had a dream of starting a secret club and building an awesome fort for meetings and sleep overs. John asked the question, what mandatory ten items would you have in your Monster Squad Treehouse? So here are mine.

The horror House Target Set

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I am a huge sucker for vintage horror memorabilia. I don’t know if I would ever taken this out of the box if I owned it but as a kid I am sure this set would have slowly disappeared from poor marksmanship. But it is fun to have an initiation where you have to kill at least four monsters to join.

Lucio Fulci Movie Posters!

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These posters and VHS box art used to terrify me as a child when we would rent movies at the local rental store but after around the age of nine, my fear turned to fascination. Pretty soon I was that kid from Salem’s Lot who had an entire room full of  macabre items and for a bit my parents thought I was Satan’s minion. It would have been nice to have a club house where I could enjoy these pleasures only with fellow weirdos.

Duke Nukem: The Shining Edition

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Of course my Monster Squad Treehouse would have power and with that power would come the ability to play scary video games. My absolute favorite right now is The Shining version of Duke Nukem. I don’t think any haunted hotel and axe murdering psychopaths would be a big deal with a shotgun. Groovy. I like to image my buddies playing this for hours and talking in their best Duke Nukem voice.

See? How can you not get into this? Sure “Ghosts & Goblins” is fun to play but when it comes to my club, only gratuitous sex and violence. Thanks Duke!

Nudie Magazines

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It’s a boys club. Sorry, no girls allowed.

Every club house should have a proper amount of nudie magazines and my Monster Squad Treehouse will have a double secret hiding space where our stash will be hidden. This is as good as any currency between like club houses. I still have a really shitty Freddy Krueger glove from such a trade. It went like this:

Me- “What will you take for Freddy’s glove?”

Kid- “Whadda ya got?”

Me- “I have a rookie Mark McGuire card in a case?”

Kid- “How about a nudie mag?”

Me-“Banana Boobs for a Freddy Glove? Deal!”

Masks!

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Oh we would need masks! I love these rubber and latex art. It would be a trip to read Famous Monster Magazines in these masks and eat our weight in Twizzlers. And after that we would sneak down and scare my buddy’s sister.

I don’t have a whole lot to say about masks but if I had a Monster Squad style Treehouse without a Frankenstein’s monster mask, I might as well call it a Rainbow Brite Festivity Club. Cause only Sally would join.

The Exorcist

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This is a must for all club members. It’s a test of courage for any ten-year old who has an eye for monsters, ghosts and creepy things. I remember when I first watched the whole thing as a kid and really hated watching the sun go down for fear of heading to bed. It’s a much better film to watch with your gang during a sleepover. And it’s fun to watch new members squirm during the famous needle in the neck scene.

Candy Candy Candy Candy

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If I had a Monster Squad style treehouse Halloween candy would be available year round. Of course if this was back when I was ten, I probably would not have opted for candy corn since that’s more of a nostalgic treat for me today. I probably would have  had quite a bit of Bonkers candy, instead. Remember those? Why the fuck did those disappear but we still have Peeps? This world confuses me at times.

Just looked up Bonkers and they are coming back for Halloween 2013! And the day just became brighter!

Legos!

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I don’t think Legos had a specific model back in the mid-eighties but if they did, the haunted mansion would be a mandatory decoration in the club. What a cool item to have for kids to piece together. There is no doubt that this would be in a million pieces after it gets put together but I think on a fun friday night in the club house, this would be a cool project.

Toben’s Spirit Guide from Ghostbusters

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This is a real thing, right? Gosh I hope so because these would be definite for the treehouse. Imagine the hours of fun it would be to look up ancient spirits from the movie and cartoon like Samhain and the Sandman. Sheesh, even as an adult, the Sandman still is a bit creepy. Am I right?

And Finally…What Ever the Fuck This Thing Is

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I saw this on weirdotoys.com and this would have been in a prominent spot in the Treehouse. New members would have to leave offering gifts at its feet. All would respect it and nonmembers would never be allowed to see it.

I will be honest, it’s disturbing to look at. Kinda reminds me of Victor Crowley from the movie Hatchet. I mean really, he’s wielding a hatchet while eerie music plays to his distorting face. Absolute perfection to a club that worships the strange and unusual. Because I, myself, am strange and unusual.

WATCH THIS CLIP!

So that is what would be in my Monster Squad Treehouse. This is a great idea Freddy In Space!

Be sure to check him out and all those who have participated in this fun little post.

 

Goodbye

Well, I guess this was coming. I mean, I post about as regular as Jamie Lee Curtis. (Activia joke) I need to get a different forum and narrow the topic to a specific direction. While Veggiemacabre has been great, I am a different person than 2007. Maybe better or maybe worse but not the same. I loved this place and the people I have met through it.

I know Matt ended X-E and started DinosaurDracula. This is sort of the same thing but going forward you will see more of a media side since I have invested so much into software. I have a vision and as soon as the know-how happens you’ll see. Thank you for a wonderful five years. Watch below to get the skinny.

By the way, Veggiemacabre.tv will still be here. Just leaving this blog.

Good Journey!

Savannah Trip: The Good, The Beer, The Ghosts

Savannah, Georgia will always have a special place in my heart. It was forged years ago through countless family beach vacations, a middle school field trip where I discovered that girls where not as gross as I imagined, wild college road trips where I really discovered girls were not as gross as I imagined and finally my time stationed near there in the Army. I call it as much home as I do anywhere else and though I am not a current resident, I jump at the chance to bring anyone who hasn’t been. This past weekend I did just that and we hit a few “haunts”, even making time to get a royal sunburn at the beach. Eat it mid-October!

 

We started off for the five hour trek at around four in the morning so by the time we thought about breakfast we were well past the halfway mark. I am not really sure when this happened but somehow I became my parents and insisted we stop at a Cracker Barrel rather than a McDonald’s. I will admit, there is a certain charm about eating under the same roof that has a one pound Sugar Daddy for sale and more Christmas ornaments than the Whoville. I know this restaurant has had some bad publicity with their idiotic rule of not hiring anyone who is gay, but I will admit, their biscuits do make the Pillsbury Doe Boy look like he should be selling ratchet sets instead.

I get a little excited when I am traveling to some place I want to go to, especially cities of nostalgic meaning. Though I don’t recommend breaking the law by exceeding the speed limit AND trying to take a cellphone picture in reference to Back to the Future, in my defense, I saw a palm tree. We were close and by all logic, going 88mph would get us there sooner. Don’t worry, it didn’t last long. I am 3/4 of the way through Crime and Punishment. I get it.

Well look at that. I got us here safe and sound without rocketing back to 1955. Driving down this street brings back so many memories, I can’t even begin to start with the “no shit, there I was” stories and honestly, I am old enough now to realize no one cares. That’s okay because just looking at the cobble streets, historical markers, memorable bars and vibrant tourists traps I have too many warm memories that I don’t mind replaying them in my own head. But this tease of a drive was short because the girlfriend had other plans than being drunk pirates like I wanted. She opted for an afternoon at the beach. I obliged.

I am saving the Tybee Island part of the trip for another part of the blog. I feel that since this is the Halloween season and I had another purpose to come to Savannah, this should take precedence over summer fun. I came back to visit a few places and boy oh boy, they did not disappoint. Not in the least.

Years ago I wrote about a business trip I took to Savannah and the incredible experience that I had at a particular restaurant. I risked looking like a complete jackass and wrote how I saw a ghost.  A full torso vaporous apparition and over the years it has grown into a well sought after story. After that happened I started to become aware that I am not the minority when it comes to spooky happenings in Savannah and this place is known as the most haunted city in America.

Moon River Brewing Company in all it’s glory. This place has been on every paranormal show imaginable and each one has come through with some very creepy footage. What is equally creepy is how all the stories are so similar. It’s not like there are dozens of independent experiences and conflicting sightings. No, just about every person interviewed had like ghostly encounters in the same locations. And one of those location is in the basement where anyone can go, but no one does.

Getting a spot in this place can be tricky but luckily for us we managed to squeeze into a nice two-top just next to the basement stairs with more than an hour to go on the “happy hour” clock. The beers here are incredible and if we didn’t have places to go and ghouls to meet, I would have just camped eating garlic fries and wit beer. But even in beer heaven, my eyes couldn’t leave the dreaded basement stairs and after a couple drinks of courage, I asked our waitress if going downstairs was allowed. She raised her eyebrows, smirked and said, “sure…if you want to”. I did. It’s why I came. The girlfriend, however, was happy to stay with the fries and beer and who could blame her?

I don’t know if all the stories are true and though the “evidence” of a short shadow creature jetting around this place are bone-chilling, I can see how the quiet and musty basement can prod the imagination. But the one thing that I reflect on now is how busy the restaurant was upstairs and I was the only one who was roaming around the famous basement that made shows like Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures so credible and popular. I stayed down here for quiet awhile and took pictures and not a single curious patron decided to come down. Weird.

Another strange thing is when I was taking these photographs I made an effort to take straight photos but so many came out crooked. I know that’s not paranormal but I am a little afraid that I may have a leaning problem.

After enough time passed to piss off a girlfriend, I headed up for more libations and people watching, scouring the pictures for orbs, demons, pirate ghosts, thumbs, and Bigfoot. I got nothin’. Luckily, before we left I was able to talk the girlfriend into a quick tour of the basement because I had a little experiment I needed to conduct.

I know that I can seem a little strange and I am thankful I have someone who puts up with me. I needed to have someone take pictures of me actually in this place. I don’t know, it bugs me that I have thousands of pictures and no proof that I was actually even there. Plus, I needed to show this entity the importance of physical fitness through the power of lunges.

Though this particular lunge is wickedly improper, I think that if there is a…thing in the basement, it got the point. What’s the point, you ask? I don’t know. Ask your mom. (Sorry. You don’t have to ask her.)

But did it work? I don’t know. What do you think?

Well, Moon River Brewing Company was a lovely experience, even if we didn’t “experience” anything. But I will say the atmosphere, people, beer and garlic fries makes this place a step up from any place I would want to be. I just like knowing that wit beer can be consumed while touching the ethereal plain.To the Pirate House!

Remember how I was telling you that Savannah was a dark and creepy place? Yeah, this is similar to a lot of the store fronts and this one in particular happens to be a greeting card and collectible shop. My heart sings knowing the fact that these mannequins are probably stored close to the bathroom and scare unsuspecting grandmothers when they search for a bathroom around April. Had it not been closed, I am sure we would be proud owners of magnolia covered greeting cards. Thank you for your window fronts and also for being closed.

The Pirate House. The last time I was here I witnessed a really strange occurrence that to this day I can not explain. There is no possible way to describe the feeling when I look at this place and going inside it was even more intense. When I left this bar almost six years ago my perception of reality was skewed a bit. Not drastically changed but definitely skewed. I really wanted to get skewed again. In a non-obscene way of course.

We barely made the last call and the bartender looked super annoyed which made me even more annoyed. I didn’t come over here to get the same service as an Applebees in Paducah, Kentucky. I was in an establishment that was older than most states, has tunnels that lead to the Savannah River to shanghai unsuspecting colonials, it is IN the book Treasure Island, famous pirates died here and, most importantly, this is where I saw a ghost. If this bartender wants to be pissy I was in no mood. Much like the guy who puts on the Mickey Mouse suit at Disney World and complains about getting hit in the balls every time a kids hugs him, don’t make the dick-face when we come in at last call. It was 10:30! Don’t be in the service industry of a tourist city and be a jerk. You bag of dicks!

Wow, sorry about that. Where was I? Oh yeah, The Pirate House, established when people lived to be forty and could die from a tooth ache.

I soon got over myself and made it clear that I am glad we were there and the bartender should be performing unicycle tricks on a corner in Pakistan. I observed that the bar changed a little from my last visit and the bar-top was no longer stainless steel but wood and they downgraded the size of their television. Other than that, it was like being right back in 2006. I peered at the corner where I watched some…thing race down phantom stairs and block the TV some years prior. But the mood was different. Too many people. Too many noises. So I excused myself to venture around the now empty restaurant.

You have to admit, even without the countless witnesses of ghostly accounts and the dark history of this place, it does look creepy, eh? I don’t know if it’s the low ceilings or the constant musty breeze but it is impossible to not have a feeling that unless you are carrying dinner rolls and menus, you probably shouldn’t be there. The human brain is a quirky thing but it does let you know that something happened in there. Think I am crazy? You wouldn’t be the first.

Well soon it was time to head out but the cool thing about Savannah (besides the three million other things) is you can get your beers to go. That is right, there is no open container law in this town so we got a couple of Ghost Ales and sat outside for a bit and man, it’s even macabre on the outside!

Well, it was getting late and though walking down River Street drinking Wet Willies’ Mind Erasers and brawling with frat kids sounded fun, I am old and it was time to head back to the room and look through pictures. Those days are long past. Today, I am about craft beer, fine food and folklore. I am an adult. Haven’t you read this blog? (har har har)

The Best And The Worst In Life

The other day I was talking with someone and the conversation morphed into a “what’s your favorite/what’s your least” type of a discussion. And since then I have been thinking about what a strongly opinionated prick I am. Man, I have been going through my whole life thinking I am a laid back, anything goes, I don’t care kind of guy when really, I have very strong feelings about a lot of shit most wouldn’t even think about. Here are a few of my love-hates in life and I hope you don’t judge me too strongly.

Best Movie Period:

I am going to have to go with Jaws. It is just an all around great film. I actually think it is a perfect movie and if anyone wants to argue, I will challenge them to duel with paintball guns filled with Gobstoppers. It had an amazing cast, a realistic setting, a priceless musical score and above all else, a great white shark that taps into our most primal fear; being eaten alive. A good movie will stay with you for life. And that’s why I still believe I am going to be eaten in a swimming pool by a shark.

Worst Movie:

Blair Witch 2: Book Of Shadows is the worst piece of shit movie ever, hands down. I can’t state that any harder. I would rather watch a marathon of Gerard Butler films for a week straight than to ever see this piece of bat crap again. It was so bad I actually can’t tell you anything about it. Can you believe my brain deleted it from my head because it sucked that hard? I know I watched it because I remember being pissed but as far as the characters, plot and setting? I got nothing. I do remember later that night going home and watching something with Sinbad in it and thinking it was really good. Blair Witch 2 destroyed any standards I had.

Best Food:

If you think I am a person of fancy discerning taste, this is going to wreck your opinion. I grew up in Marietta, Georgia and our Friday night restaurant was always the local Mexican joint called El Toro. I am sure you can find the exact restaurant anywhere across the country but for me, nothing beats El Toro. And it’s funny because I always got the #10 (two tacos rice and beans) so I am not sure if anything else would that be good. Actually, I don’t even know if I like Mexican food because I always get the same. Hmm.

Worst Food:

Every restaurant in Eastern Europe. There is nothing like eating uncooked pork, dried salted anchovies and pizza made with ketchup and corn. I drank my way across those countries.

Best Song:

When it comes to music I change on a constant basis. One week I am in the AC/DC mode and the next I am all about The Smiths. You never know. Shit, I never know! So for right now, I will say “Cutter” by Echo and the Bunnymen.

Worst Song:

God, there are so many. I guess if I had to pick one that makes me want to hit my face I would go with Michael McDonald’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. I hate that song, him, his mustache and every keyboard that he touches. If I was an ultimate fighter, this would be my introduction song because it turns me into an angry chimp that freaks out on the owners friend and eats her face. Too soon?

Best Video Game:

I am not really into “gaming” and I don’t even own a console so I have to judge on past memories that go back to the time of Mario and Duck Hunt. I think my favorite would have to be Super Mario Brother 2. And I can’t really tell you why. I guess it was just my age that I associate it with. Life was pretty simple in the 6th grade.

Worst Video Game:

Absolutely Top Gun. No question. I don’t know a single person who hasn’t wanted to kill something over that game. I really believe I would have a better chance of survival flying a real F-14. Just watch this guy. Genius.

Best Childhood Toy:

I can’t really narrow it down without the feeling that I am betraying other great toys that fill my childhood memories. But if you are putting a gun to my head I guess it would be the infamous Millenium Falcon. It was like a dollhouse for boys. Funny thing though, every time I hear the theme song to the Andy Griffith show I think about that toy. Don’t ask me why.

Worst Toy:

I got this piece of shit from my great aunt who had dementia. I was eight.

Best TV Show:

This is a tough one because what was popular in 1989 is like watching cartoons by today’s standard. Gone are the days of moral lessons. But I will stand by my pick and say ALF. I never said my ‘bests’ were everyone else’s. That show still cracks me up and it will always make me comfortable. It’s like popping in the dvd and receiving a visual snuggie.

Worst TV Show:

I hate Nip Tuck. It is so silly to me. It is as if the writers try to out do the last show and it is just ridiculous. The shocking scenes are just not shocking. And to top it off, Mario Lopez is in it. That’s like giving it the seal of shit.

Best Drink:

I can’t handle hard liquor. I just don’t enjoy it. So now, I will say my favorite beverage is 7Up. Look out! It’s a party with this guy!

Worst Drink:

I hate tequila. It really does me no good and the mere thought of drinking it makes me heave. Last year we bought jello shots at this bar. Now in my mind, these are always made with vodka. Always. Nope, these were made with tequila and I promptly puked on my shirt. Never had a boomerang shot like that.

Boy, these posts are really stretching. I need to have a more exciting life.

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