Sunday, October 31, 2010


Today is Halloween and this is the last post of the 2010 Halloween Countdown. Tomorrow Neato Ghoulville will change back to mild mannered Neato Coolville, but before that happens here's Jack giving up the ghost.

I sincerely thank everyone for stopping by. I really appreciate all your nice emails, comments throughout the month. A big ghoulville thanks to all of you old time Neato Readers and a kind welcome to all the new ones. Without you, this place would be a lot less neato!

Be safe, have fun and especially have a keen Halloween!


Every October it's always fun to walk thru the grocery store checking out all the fun Halloween related packaging. Hostess is one of the best companies that goes all out with their Halloween designs. Here's a box from this year -

These next two are from 2004. I love the characters on the Scary Cakes!

The Munsters box below is from 1992 and it has a nifty Herman mask on the back!

Take a look at Jason's box with a Grandpa mask here. While you're at it check out some more Hostess fun here, here, here, and here thanks to Waffle Whiffer.

Finally check out this Halloween Hostess article from this X-Entertainment post from 2003 and one from 2006.



This antique Halloween postcard is brought to you by Paper Payline!


Newberry's Halloween Treat label. Not sure on the age but probably mid-century or earlier.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Two postcards for Spook Hill, located in Lake Wales, Florida. Long ago, this town did the right thing and embraced their gravity hill as a tourist attraction. I have not been, but it is on my list of top roadside attractions to visit one day.

I love the over-the-top description off the back of the top postcard - "A few blocks from the heart of Lake Wales is that mystifying and fascinating phenomenon Spook Hill. Here playful ghosts apparently seize your car and in defiance of the laws of gravity and your previous experience in such matters, roll your vehicle gently backward uphill, while they chortle in unholy glee at your mystification"

You really have to appreciate a community that adopted Casper the Ghost as a school mascot. Really the Spook Hill Elementary might be the best elementary school name in America! View this video for a shot of the school sign.

One of my favorite postcards in my collection is this one of the Spook Hill Motel from 1966. I wonder if this motel is still along the roadside or if it gave up the ghost? Anyway, check out that neato cool Casper motel sign. I'm not sure what's better, Casper or the nifty haunted neon font of the sign.

Follow the links and check out this 1974 clip of Spook Hill and a modern video from last year on Halloween.


From my collection of cereal newspaper ads, is this mid-1950's Kellogg's Corn Flakes Snozaloonys mask ad. Now this is one crazy ad!

Friday, October 29, 2010



It’s not a Halloween countdown without a post relating to the Headless Horseman. Ever since childhood I’ve always been fascinated by good ol’ HH. This is why I photoshopped a real hood ornament of a knight riding a horse into everyone’s favorite pumpkin throwing man without a head.

Last year I was touring an automobile museum and came across this hood ornament of a knight riding on a horse. Instantly I thought it would look much better as the Headless Horseman and quickly snapped a photo. (For all you car buffs out there, I apologize for not paying attention to what kind of car it was.) I simply chopped off the knight’s head and presto, a Headless Horseman hood ornament that’s perfect for a horseless carriage!



From the 1964 Golden Magazine. Artist unknown.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Hey kids, ready to travel back in time to the early 1960's and visit the Safeway grocery store in Missoula, Montana? C’mon it will be fun! Ok, get ready to close your eyes and when you open them you’ll see that we zapped back in time more than 40 years ago.

Whew! Good, we made it! You can open your eyes now ‘cause we’re in the 1960's at the exact moment in time when the employees of the Missoula Safeway store are having their picture made for their annual Halloween costume day.

Looks like we arrived just before they opened the door for business. In just a few moments this group will take their familiar positions and wait on the onslaught of last minute Halloween shoppers. Too bad we don’t know any of their real names, but for fun, we can always make stuff up! (You can do that when you time travel. Really, I think it’s in the time travel handbook.)

We start off with this guy. He’s dressed up like a magician or possibly a circus ring leader, but regardless, I think he’s plotting a villainous take over of the Safeway. We better keep an eye on him.

Nice to see that Napoleon showed up for the photo shoot. Hmm... is this just one of the Safeway employees dressing up as Napoleon or is this the real Napoleon that has time traveled into the future like we time traveled into the past. We better search the Safeway, ‘cause Bill & Ted might be somewhere in the store.

This gal dressed up as a box of Jell-Well gelatin might be my favorite costume. Now if only a few more girls dressed as Jell-Well boxes we could make a Safeway Jell-Well commercial with dancing Jell-Well boxes. Boy, that would be swell-well!

Ug, caveman shop at Safeway instead of hunt all day. Ug, no more kill animal with spear. Ug, caveman like the Safeway meat market and now has time for hobby. Ug, caveman can’t wait to get home to cave and crochet.

Ok, time travelers, now you can tell your children and they can tell their children that you met the man or I should say clown that started the mismatched patchwork pants craze of the 1970's. Yes it took this man almost ten years of wearing these pants every day until they caught on.

Now we have this girl, uh I mean guy. For some reason this person makes me think of that episode of Happy Days where Richie and Potsie dressed up as girls because of the Deadly Dare initiation into the Demons club.

It’s nice that Safeway will hire a convict and by the looks of things this Check(er) Dodger, whatever that means, just got out of the slammer. Good thing he’s standing next to a display of smokes. Maybe he can trade a couple of packs for some can goods and a box of Jell-Well.

Here’s fun trio of gals, who by the looks of things, can’t stop giggling. The tomato lady can barely contain herself after she told a joke to the Royal Satin Shorthand lady and the White Magic Bleach lady. I’m thinking the joke was about the guy in drag behind them.

Hmm... who does this guy supposed to be dressed as? Is his costume that subtle that we’re just not getting it or is he the aloof manager who is above these crazy shenanigans and decided not to participate? There’s always one of these guys at every business or office during Halloween. C’mon man, loosen up a little and have a little fun. He could have at least put on a Lone Ranger mask or something. Sheesh!

Before we jump back into our time machine and head back to 2010, I just wanted to point out how cool this cookie train sign is.

Just take a minute and view this wonderful piece of art. Ok, and that’s it, everyone into the time machine.

Did you guys hear that, a zzzt zzzt noise? Ah, I’m sure it’s nothing. See you back in 2010!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Click here to watch Vlad sing his cold dark heart out!


Here's some fun Halloween excerpts from the October 25, 1943 issue of the Kroger Grocery Store publication, Your Wartime Food.

See those hepcat napkins pictured in that spread for spooks? Here's that very napkin from 1943.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Psst... hey mister, I got a bunch of Halloween buddy icons for all your social media needs right here.

On most Tuesdays we upload profile pics to the official Neato Coolville facebook page. This month they've been Halloween related and the last batch was just posted. You have almost fifty different Halloween icons to choose from! To use one, just click on the icon you want and then right click the image to save it onto your computer. Presto, now you have a Halloween mask for your profile pic!


Visit Weird Hollow and watch Vlad Meets Frankenteena!


This antique Halloween postcard is brought to you by Paper Payline!

Monday, October 25, 2010


What do you do with ten minutes of unused video that you shot for a college project twenty years ago? Naturally you make a fake movie trailer out of the footage and upload it to be used on your blog followed by a fake movie poster and a fake news clipping.

(For everyone visiting from Weird Hollow, sorry but the whole thing is fake. Really, after watching the trailer, I’m sure you figured that out. What? Did the monster wearing acid washed jeans give it away?)

Ok, let me explain the big "why do that?" Looking for something fun and vintage for this year’s countdown I once again turned to my old stash of video that I shot back when I was in my late teens to early twenties. Last year for the Halloween countdown I edited together I Was a Teenage Zombie and for this year’s countdown you get treated (or tricked) with Freak Farm. Freak Farm started out as a college project that my pal Tim Williams and I worked on back in 1990 or '91. Back then, it was just a fun day of running around at an old farm trying to act scary wearing a rubber mask with some cheap sunglasses. (You’ll recognize the green army jacket from the teenage zombie vid. By the way I still have that jacket.) We never ended up using the footage until now, twenty years later. (I can hear my family and friends cringing at this very moment.)

You know, it’s kinda difficult to come up with a story using a bunch of random shots from long ago. To fill out the trailer we went all George Lucas (w/o the computer effects) and shot a couple of new scenes to hopefully match up with our old shots. Yep, that’s me as the mushroom lovin’ hillbilly with the bad teeth and Tim is the hippie guy. Hmm... that wig he’s wearing looks awfully familiar.

I don’t know if anyone else will dig this video or not, but I do know it sure was fun for us, as it’s a good reminder from when we had big dreams and big fun making weird and fun videos. These moving images you watched are simply just recorded good times!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I found an old 1983 Macon Chronicle (Macon, Missouri) newspaper with this swell Halloween photo inside. Elmer Fudd kind of looks out of place hanging out with Yoda and an Ewok.

I just added this clipping to the Growing Up Star Wars flickr group! Be sure to visit the GUSW group for a ton of vintage Star Wars Halloween treats!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Came across this very cool home movie from the late 1970's, probably from 1977 or '78. The video starts off with a classic game of bobbing for apples. One kid is sporting a nifty Star Wars T-shirt. Following the apples is the school parade with all the kids walking by in some great costumes. You'll see some nice homemade R2-D2 and C-3PO costumes, a Dracula kid and a kid dressed as a character from the TV show Emergency. Ok enough of the set up, go and click play!

Video uploaded by richiemakana and big thanks for sharing this Halloween time machine!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


The countown is in the home stretch and I hope everyone is visiting the official Countdown to Halloween headquarters. You’ll find a long list of other dedicated bloggers counting down to All Hallows Eve.

Here's a few of my favorite posts from some of the other countdowners -

Pumpkin Pie Bread - I’m anxious for the first lady to make this for me. Looks yummy!

1987 Imagineering Catalog - I went through a monster make-up phase that year and remembered buying tons of stuff from Imagineering. So looking at this catalog really brings back a lot of fun memories for me!

Frankenstein's Chopper - This might be one of the coolest Frankenstein toys ever!

Sir K. Daver's Mortuary Theater - Horror host fun!

The Beast With a Million Eyes Animated Poster - Freakin' awesome!!!

Hugo at the Monster Rally - Check out Kenner's Hugo Man of a Thousand Faces in a monsterific comic book ad.

The Real Ghostbusters ghost and monster animation cels - Hard to pick one favorite, so check 'em all out!

Haunted House and Creepy Castle of Scooby-Doo Part 1 and Part 2 - A gallery of H-B greatness!

Fact About Halloween - Fun!

Fake Zombie paperback covers here and here - These are great!

Stephanie Buscema's Attack of the 50 Foot Woman Halloween Pin-Up - Way cool!

Creepy Crafts from Supermag - I remember this one from childhood.

The Grave of John Rotzum - Wow, now I can make one too! Hmm... that name sounds familiar.

Of course there's many more neato cool posts out there, but I just haven't had the time to view everything. Everyone has been putting together some amazing posts, so a message to all the Halloween countdowners - "Break off a skeleton hand and give yourself a pat on the back!"


This antique Halloween postcard is brought to you by Paper Payline!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Selected scans from the 1972 Weekly Reader Edition of The Pumpkin Smasher written and illustrated by Anita Benarde. ---Great news: This wonderful book is now back in print! Click here for the Amazon link to order this classic!

Hey let's see this crazy pumpkin smashing witch in action -