The Phantom Neighbor

I am currently the only resident in my 3 unit apartment. For the last two nights someone has been trying to open my apartment door.

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I never investigate it. But I know it’s real because as I write this my door knob is slowly shaking. I can hear the groaning of the wooden entry door as if someone is pushing against it.

I’m sitting on my couch. I have a stupid pocket knife from 5 Below in my hand as I watch my door being tried. I’m careful not to make any noise.

The world is a mad, mad place. Some people kill for money or drugs. And some people kill for the hell of it. Whoever was fucking with me obviously fit amongst these types of people. But I sure as hell wasn’t going out without a fight. That is if the the door was breached. It wasn’t. Thank God. All I need to do is keep absolutely silent.

And that’s when my phone started to ring…

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HP Lovecraft: Hallowe’en in a Suburb

The steeples are white in the wild moonlight,
And the trees have a silver glare;
Past the chimneys high see the vampires fly,
And the harpies of upper air,
That flutter and laugh and stare.

For the village dead to the moon outspread
Never shone in the sunset’s gleam,
But grew out of the deep that the dead years keep
Where the rivers of madness stream
Down the gulfs to a pit of dream.

A chill wind blows through the rows of sheaves
In the meadows that shimmer pale,
And comes to twine where the headstones shine
And the ghouls of the churchyard wail
For harvests that fly and fail.

Not a breath of the strange grey gods of change
That tore from the past its own
Can quicken this hour, when a spectral power
Spreads sleep o’er the cosmic throne,
And looses the vast unknown.

So here again stretch the vale and plain
That moons long-forgotten saw,
And the dead leap gay in the pallid ray,
Sprung out of the tomb’s black maw
To shake all the world with awe.

And all that the morn shall greet forlorn,
The ugliness and the pest
Of rows where thick rise the stones and brick,
Shall some day be with the rest,
And brood with the shades unblest.

Then wild in the dark let the lemurs bark,
And the leprous spires ascend;
For new and old alike in the fold
Of horror and death are penned,
For the hounds of Time to rend.

 

Ep. 17: Return To Horror In The Aisles (Flu Edition)

It’s here. The final bell of our beloved season has arrived. And now you can enjoy Halloween 2017 with our newest episode of IT’S ALIVE HORROR PODCAST!

This time around we explore our local Toys r Us and find horror in the aisles! We had a blast recording this despite me having a mega flu. Nothing beats hanging with my best friend and talking spooky toys while almost dead!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

It's Alive! Horror Podcast

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We here at The Crypt are powered by candy corn and glow-in-the-dark skeletons, but when the deadly flu seeps into our systems you would think it would have us at death’s door. Unfortunately , this flu decided to pick Halloween to invade and we’re not going down without a fight. So tonight we’re back finding horror in the aisles! This time we head to a store that became a morbid mecca to many little monsters: Toys R Us! What ghoulish goodies and fiendish finds does this nostalgic remnant have in store for us? Tonight is the most special night of the year for our kind. So in between the ringing doorbells of trick or treaters or during the drive to your fearsome festivities, turn us up to show your fandom fondly. After all the It’s Alive! Podcast is here to make your Halloween sweeter than any fun…

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Hidden Faces: Rob Zombies Halloween II

So I watched Rob Zombie’s H2 for like the 100th time. My experience with RZ’s H2 is kinda like when I asked for a super soaker hydro cannon but got a water gun super aqua blaster 2000. But after playing around with it I discovered that it’s actually pretty fucking awesome.

Yes. I love Rob Zombie.

With every viewing, I began to see something new. Whether it was the ultra-realistic violence or the top notch acting from Scout Taylor Compton I keep peeling back the delightful layers that the movie holds. This time around I started noticing some familiar faces lurking within the gore-fest of a movie!

Some will be a no-brainer but others will hopefully provide a, “oh yeah!” reaction. I know it did for me when I pulled the credits up on the ol’ internet system.

Let’s roll!

  1. Stretch from Texas Chainsaw Massacre II

 

Caroline Williams, famous for playing the super sexy and cool as icce, Stretch, from Texas Chainsaw Massacre II also plays Dr. Maple in H2! She can be briefly be seen and heard in the total fucked up hospital slaughter. RZ is a huge fan of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. So seeing Stretch only confirms how awesome he is when it comes to paying homage to the greats!

 

2. Octavia “Ms. Academy Award” Spencer plays Nurse Daniels!

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How freaking awesome is it to see Academy Award winner (and drop dead funny), Octavia Spencer, to make an appearance in the bloodiest Halloween film of all time!? Her death scene, for me, is on my top 5 most intense kills of all time.

 

3. Richard Riehle from Office Space is BUDDY!

 

One of my favorite characters from Office Space is Tom Smykowski. Why? Because I literally worked with someone who not only looked like him but acted like him! Always high strung and on the edge = super hilarious in the workspace. Mostly. Anyways, Smykowski plays Buddy, the kind security guard at the hospital that of course gets destroyed by sabertooth aka Michael Myers.

4. Margot “Lois Lane” Kidder was the Haddonfield psychiatrist in H2!

My friend pointed this one out. I couldn’t believe it. I wouldn’t have noticed it! What I do know is that she played Kathy Lutz in the original Amityville Horror film! Glad to see RZ continues to dig deep into the horror classics!

 

5. Mark Christopher Lawrence was the random cop at the end of H2 but he was also in Terminator 2!

This one is really random. At the end of H2 I saw a face that I thought looked familiar. At first, I thought it was the cop from Die Hard. So I looked him up and behold I found that it was one of the security guards at the psych ward from Terminator 2! He was partners with the mega butthead security guard! Guys, I ain’t playing here. T2 is a fav of mine and this fucker stood out. GOD DAMN IT!

I truly hope you guys give Rob Zombies’s Halloween II. It’s purely a Rob Zombie film. However, it’s one of the most brutally violent with the one of the best character archs in the franchise. Scout’s performance was truly awesome. From Suburban high schooler to a tormented monster, she wins all the prizes.

Here’s some Halloween advice – Watch Halloween II and Trick R’ Treat back to back.

 

Merry Christmas.

 

 

 

The Police: Every Breath You Take is Fucking Creepy

Sting and The Police need to be interrogated. Seriously! We all know that all the songs that we adore come from experience. So my fucking question is what kind of fucked up shit was The Police up to when they wrote Every Breath You Take?!

 

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Just look at them! Hiding in the shadows. Plotting some terrible crime against humanity. I can tell that this photo was taken prior to writing:

“I’ll be watching you 
(Every breath you take, every move you make, every bond you break, every step you take)
I’ll be watching you” 

 

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Don’t pretend that this song doesn’t weird you out. If you do I can only assume you are some sort of creepy cloaked individual who stalks the suburbs at night.

Let’s just review the lyrics below, shall we?

Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I’ll be watching you
Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay
I’ll be watching you
Oh can’t you see
You belong to me
My poor heart aches
With every step you take
Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake
I’ll be watching you
Since you’ve gone I been lost without a trace
I dream at night I can only see your face
I look around but it’s you I can’t replace
I feel so cold and I long for your embrace
I keep crying baby, baby, please
Oh can’t you see
You belong to me
My poor heart aches
With every step you take
Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake
I’ll be watching you
Every move you make
Every step you take
I’ll be watching you
I’ll be watching you
(Every breath you take, every move you make, every bond you break, every step you take)
I’ll be watching you
(Every single day, every word you say, every game you play, every night you stay)
I’ll be watching you
(Every move you make, every vow you break, every smile you fake, every claim you stake)
I’ll be watching you
(Every single day, every word you say, every game you play, every night you stay)
I’ll be watching you
(Every breath you take, every move you make, every bond you break, every step you take)
I’ll be watching you
(Every single day, every word you say, every game you play, every night you stay)
I’ll be watching you
Clearly, this is a post-breakup song. But who says that they are watching you no matter what you do?
Sting and THE POLICE! That’s who! They’re literally singing about stalking a person even if they break bonds. I can only assume they mean “marital bonds” which I assume means that the person they are stalking about broke up with them. However, these sick puppies don’t care about the separation. They will continue to watch, stalk and creep on the Ex until they get what they want. THEIR SOUL!
I DON”T CARE ABOUT THIS ARTICLE BECAUSE I’M DRUNK. WHAT I CARE ABOUT IS GETTING THE POLICE ARRESTED FOR DECADES OF CREEPINESS!

 

 

EP. 16: Horror In The Aisles

We are rolling out Halloween goodness like no other! This episode was so fun to record. We literally walked through our local grocery store and found HORROR in the Aisles!

It's Alive! Horror Podcast

A chill in the midnight air begins to turn summer leaves into that familiar orange palette. Which could only mean one thing: Halloween approaches! On tonight’s show we learn that Halloween can be found even in the simplest location: Your local grocery store. We discuss candy, masks, monsters, and pumpkins all strung together by classic Halloween commercials to get you into that monster mood. So turn us up as you decorate your abode and plan your fearsome festivities. Just remember you bring the tricks and we’ll promise to bring the treats.

You can download this episode by right clicking here.

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Calvin and Hobbes for the Season

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson is the greatest comic strip ever created. It somehow captures all of our imaginations while balancing adult themes such as war, death and love. 

One of the most iconic things about Calvin and Hobbes is the absolutely beautiful artwork by Bill Watterson. He has this way of capturing the ideal fall experience through the strip that makes you remember your childhood.

 The funny thing is not a lot of us have experienced the watercolors of fall that Calvin and his buddy occupy. However, when we read the strips we feel like we’ve lived it. And that’s the beauty of Calvin and Hobbes.

With wit and familiar scenarios, Bill Watterson gave us the definition of the Fall season. Here are my favorite C&H Fall time strips!

1. Candy Haul


We all had “the talk” by our parents after bringing home our well deserved loot. This is why I started to eat every bit of candy before heading home. Trick R’ Treating was always so sweet. 

   2. Pumpkin Surgery


If you haven’t pretended kitchen surgery to your jack-o-lantern than I know you’re lying. We all became doctor Halloweens dolor a few gooey moments!
3. Legend of the Leaf Pile Monster


I remember dive bombing into piles of wet leaves just to disrupt the neatness of said pile. But when I read this strip all that changed. Suddenly the innocent pile of leaves turned into a mysterious monster. So my assault on the piles in my neighborhood increased in order to destroy this nefarious leafy beast.

4. Why did you say that?!


I ways always that kid (still am) that would bring up or keep poking at scary things when the lights go out. After nearly dying from fright while washing The Exorcist I realized I love being scared. So I would often ask questions at the most inappropriate times. 

Bae- “Goodnight, babe”

Me-” Do you believe in the devil?”

5. Simply hilarious. 


This is simply the sharp wit of Wattersons mind. A self aware Calvin nails adult humor. 

6. This is FALL.

This is the ultimate vision of Fall. I do get a bit emotional when soaking this in. We all have our childhood memories of the past. We all have long lost friends and family that we shared such innocence with. And that’s what it is dear reader.

 Innocence. 

Sad Dracula Finds Halloween Stuff!

What’s this? What’s this?! There’s something in the air! I beg thee do not fear. For Halloween is here!

And it is at this time that I would like to share, if you care, my finds so far of this most delightful season.

So as the Autumn clock slowly ticks, take a look at these Halloween pics!

99 cents for a new friend? Not bad!

Zombie hand gummy lollipop? Yes x100!!

I found this guy at Goodwill. It’s licensed from New Line Cinema. I think it was supposed to be a Freddy Krueger scarecrow!

Three 50 foot Bud Light cardboard banners and 4 Omega Virus board games. Life is good!

That horse mask is terrifying!

I found this across the street from my place. He wins Halloween

We all float at AMC Theater

The new Pennywise deserves this spot!

So happy to see that Leatherface is getting some shelf time.

My podcast partner and I found these awesome cardboard standees at an all night flea market!

The Munsters carriage was at the all night flea market as well. So freaking awesome

Well that sums up my brief Encounters with Halloween 2017. I’ll definitely be posting more pictures in the near future.

If you have the time I would love if you took a look at and followed me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I try to post a bunch of random stuff that hopefully will make you smile.

Also please check out the podcast I co-host, It’s Alive! A horror and nostalgia driven show where we discuss pretty much everything an anything spooky!

ITS ALIVE! Horror and Halloween Nostalgia show

Gremlins 2: Guess Who!?

A couple of weeks ago I bought Gremlins 2 on VHS. I haven’t seen this movie since I was a kid. So when I popped in the flick I barely remembered anything. Sad!

 

Not really. The movie was totally written on cocaine. The god damn thing is bat shit crazy. Some of it works. Most of it is too damn random to really appreciate it as a sequel to Gremlins 84′. Be honest. Gremlins 2 is one terrible sequel when it comes to sequels.

Now, before you strangle me in my sleep let me say this: The New Batch is absolutely full of sweetness. It has scenes and situations that demand repeat viewing. The monster effects are superb!

But the one thing that really stuck out to me was the insane casting. I mean this freaking movie is filled with faces that you have seen but can’t name! It’s so fucking awesome that I had to share the golden casting nuggets of Gremlins 2: The New Batch.

Let’s do it!

Don and Dan Stanton (Martin and Lewis)  is also …

 

THIS guy from Terminator 2!

 

“Must be my lucky day”

Dick Miller IS….

 

THIS guy from Terminator!

“Wrong.”

Keye Luke was… Kato?!

OH MY GOD John Glover aka Mr. Clamp IS…

 

Dr. Woodrue from Batman and Robin!!

 

Kathleen Freeman aka the super annoying Microwave Marge was….

Sister Stigmata aka “The Penguin” from The Blues Brothers!

Raymon Cruz was that guy in Breaking Bad!

John Astin aka Sean Astin’s father aka Gomez Addams aka The Riddler #2 was The Janitor that is basically responsible for the Gremlins running wild!

 

The list literally goes on forever! For example, Mark Dodson aka Salacious Crumb voiced some Gremlins. Hulk Hogan, Dick Butkus, and a slew of others made awesome appearances. It’s rather sickening how many hidden faces are in this movie.

Oh yeah, John Capodice was the Fire Chief in Gremlins 2 but he was also Sgt. Aguado from Ace Ventura!

All in all Gremlins 2 is as wacky as it’s hidden face challenge. I’m sure I missed tons more cameos. I guess that’s one of the many, many appealing layers that TG2 has to offer.

With that said, I guess I should watch it just one more time.

The Mystery of Stanley Avenue.

Last weekend I decided to call off work and visit my favorite person in the world – my Grandmother. What was supposed to be a normal day filled with our usual platter of tasty conversation, in which we can (and often do!) discuss everything from current affairs to history, turned into a day brimming with unexpected mystery!

The day started with coffee and eggs at this very quaint little restaurant cleverly named, The Egg Beater Cafe. We gobbled up the most delicious eggs that I have ever had while discussing the troubles of the world. Our conversation seemingly was directed by the televisions hanging on the wall that softly spewed the news. Conversating this way is always a fun exercise. My Grandma and I are both chatty-cathy’s; so keeping whatever topic is at hand

Conversating this way is always a fun exercise. My Grandma and I are both chatty-cathy’s; so keeping whatever topic is at hand short is near impossible. Anyways, our bellies were full and the coffee was drunk in abundance. It was time for us to move on.

Somehow we both knew that the day was going to be one of exploration. Perhaps it was something in the cool September air that started an awakening in our bones. Whatever it was wanted us to find and experience the mystery that we stumbled upon.

Before our adventure began I needed to go to the library to attend to some personal affairs that required a printer. As we drove I asked Grams about a library she took me to when I was ten. I couldn’t remember what library it had been but I remember it was where she rented the Lord of the Rings audio tapes for me. We both scratched our heads in an attempt to wipe away the fog of the past. It was a lost cause. But at the last minute, she suggested two libraries. And at the last possible minute, we both agreed to set course for the Riverside Public Library. Unbeknownst to us, our choice would bring us to the mystery of Stanley Avenue.

We both scratched our heads in an attempt to wipe away the fog of the past. It was a lost cause. But at the last minute, she suggested two libraries. And at the last possible minute, we both agreed to set course for the Riverside Public Library. Unbeknownst to us, our choice would bring us to the mystery of Stanley Avenue.

Standing in front of the Riverside Public Library, I discovered that Grams and I shared an affinity for historic architecture.  As I write this I wonder if our trip to ancient England popped into her mind. I know it did for me as my eyes gasped at the enchanting library that lay before us.

libOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHogwarts much? Why can’t all libraries be this awesome? The modern library, though good for the community, suck when it comes to design. I would have totally lived in a library as a kid if it looked like it could be a place for wizards and witches!

The unknown ghost of exploration was at play. For when we looked at the stone block that contained the date the building was erected, it had ties to Grams! Construction of the library started in 1930. That’s the same year Grams was born!

After the library, we explored the little town of Riverside.  The town itself is a picture perfect town that belongs in a Ray Bradbury book. It’s seriously so tidy and American it started to feel weird. We loved it! Grams wanted to take me to this swinging bridge that passed over the Des Plaines River. I have never been on an actual swinging bridge! I was pumped!

Grams wanted to take me to this swinging bridge that passed over the near by Des Plaines River. I have never been on an actual swinging bridge! Grams hyped the hell out of the bridge. I was pumped!

Expectations.

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George Lucas and Steven Spielberg on the Temple of Doom bridge

 

Reality.

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H. Wallace Caldwell Memorial Bridge in Riverside, IL

I guess a guy and his Grandmother can’t get everything in one single adventure! However, this bridge is not insignificant to this tale.  It is rather crucial to this story. It was this bridge that led to our very most unexpected discovery!

After crossing the bridge and surviving the insane amount of weirdo bugs, we entered an isolated section of the Cermak Woods. A single paved road was our only path. The road was Stanley Avenue.

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As we walked further down Stanley Ave. something caught my eye. Now, keep in mind that we thought we were entering a forest preserve path. We did not expect to encounter what I am about to mention. It was simply beyond the realm of reason to think beyond the usual sights of a Forest Preserve path. So, dear reader, what my Grams and I encountered was an entire community of houses left abandoned. It was as if the people of Stanely Avenue simply just vanished.

So, dear reader, what my Grams and I encountered was an entire community of houses left abandoned. Windows smashed or boarded up. Clothing, garbage, and other items strewn about. It was as if the people of Stanely Avenue simply just vanished.

The following pictures will reveal these homes to you as we found them. In some pictures, you will see toys, bikes, and other signs of life. These items were strangely left behind as if the owners fled over night. I can’t stress that enough. It was so freaking eerie.

A little research revealed that every single home pictured was built in 1899. The only other bit of information I found was a newspaper article from 1969. The article calls attention to a major flood crisis that the community was forced to endure.

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The town was edged by the always flooding Des Plaines river. However, modern life has lived on Stanley Avenue since. What happened to these people? Why did they up and leave? It could simply be the effects of the 07’/08′ housing bubble. Or did they leave out of fear? Fear of something evil within the Cermak woods.

Before you wave that away let me tell you this: Grams and I found the remnants of an actual Ouija board! I shit you not. Don’t believe me? Take a look!

But as the great Billy May’s once said, “But wait! That’s not all!”

I decided to look further into the town of Riverside and the Cermak Woods. What I discovered was absolutely freaking eerie. I discovered that the town roots consisted of 8% Czech. Yeah? So? Let me tell you why this is so creepy.

What’s creepy is that the word ‘CERMAK’ is a Czech word used as a nickname for the Devil. Yup.

With that in mind, I will let you peruse through the photos I took. I tried my best to capture what I saw. However, my phone did die faster than expected while taking the pictures. I shit you not. The battery somehow went from 70% to 0% in a matter of 30 minutes.

Shall we begin?

 

 

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The First House We Found

 

 

When Grams and I explored the ruination of the first house we were completely in awe! The experience and discovery will be something that I will never forget. It was the total synchronicity of our emotions. We were both in a state of wonder of what lay before us. Sharing such an experience with my favorite person is simply special. But let’s get back to the creepy stuff!

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Grams raises her arms to push past the brush!

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House 2

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This was the house where we found the Ouija board box!

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We almost missed this because of the brush. A staircase that led to a secret garden and pond!

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This sign was nailed to the garage. WTF?

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Found at a dead end road.

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Halloween deco found in the woods that surrounded the home.

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A monster of a house hiding at the end of the road.

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Garbage was littered everywhere.

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Grass took over the brick pavers.

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Smashed window. What secrets lay within?

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Inside we heard a shrill beep, beep. We deduced it was a dead smoke alarm.

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It was as if the kids simply…vanished.

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The Devil in yellow. Do you see it?

 

What my Grams and I found on Stanely Avenue will be one of those stories that we will talk about every time we see each other. It was a day that was meant to be. So many little things fell together for us to have this adventure. I am so damn lucky to have a Grams that loves to explore and go on adventures such as this one. One thing is for sure, we will always wonder what happened to the people of Stanely Avenue.