Friday, September 24, 2010

Walgreens Weekly Advertisement

When I was a kid, I really enjoyed thumbing through the newspaper in October to see Halloween candy and costumes advertised in weekly flyers for drug and grocery stores. Though these weekly ads would ordinarily be of no interest to me, it gave me great pleasure seeing how the usual, mundane printings were "dressed up" for the holiday.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Little Rascals: Spooky Hooky (1936)

As school lets out, Spanky and Alfalfa send Buckwheat and Porky back into the building to deposit a phony doctor's note on the teacher's desk, so that they can skip school the next day and go to the circus. As the teacher's leaving, she tells the boys that she's taking the whole class to the circus. When they run back to the building to retrieve the notes, the little kids are just closing the doors, which are now locked. They show up that night to break into the school and get the note back. Stormy weather, a power outage, and various other spooky happenings, send all four boys - and the janitor - running for their lives. (Synopsis from

Monday, September 6, 2010

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)

Originally aired October 27, 1966. The Peanuts gang celebrates by trick-or-treating and attending the big Halloween party, while Linus and Sally spend the evening in the pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive. "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" is, without a doubt, the most cherished Halloween special of all time. It was a special occasion to catch this on TV every year. While TV commercials tend to annoy me, I actually looked forward to those that accompanied this Halloween special: candy ads for Mounds and Almond Joy, Caramello, Peppermint Patties, and others. Enjoy watching the famous CBS spinning logo, a couple of 80s sponsor announcements, and then a link to the TV special itself.

CBS Special Presentation logo:

TV sponsors:

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966):

Saturday, September 4, 2010

B.J. and the Bear: A Coffin with a View (1979)

Originally aired March 10, 1979. B.J. is contracted to haul two coffins that will be in a vampire movie. (Synopsis from

Gilligan's Island: Up at Bat (1966)

Originally aired September 12, 1966. Gilligan is bitten in the neck by a bat and fears he will transform into a vampire as a result. Gilligan's troubled sleep is haunted by a dream that he is indeed a vampire living in a European castle in 1895 where unsuspecting travelers and a famous detective and his doctor assistant appear at his doorstep. (Synopsis from

Perfect Strangers: Fright Night (1991)

From Season 7, this episode originally aired October 25, 1991. Balki is excited when he finds out he has a ghost named Chester living in his room, but Larry is skeptical until the ghost makes its presence known!

Little House on the Prairie: The Halloween Dream (1979)

Originally aired October 29, 1979. Laura and Albert are very excited about dressing up as Indians for Nellie Oleson's Halloween party, but Caroline won't let them pull this late-nighter without taking a nap first. After falling asleep with a Native American book in his hands, Albert's imagination gets the better of him as he slips into quite an intense dream. All of a sudden, he and Laura have been captured by Indians, and with the tribe in possession of some threatening weapons, these two kids must become part of a very dangerous game. (Synopsis from

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Super Password Halloween Episode (1985)

Aired October 31, 1985. With celebrity guests Lauri Hendler and Fred Grandy.

Super Password Halloween Episode (1986)

Aired October 31, 1986. With celebrity guests Lindsay Bloom and Tom Poston.

Super Password Halloween Episode (1988)

Aired October 31, 1988. With celebrity guests Edie McClurg and Christopher Hewitt, and Halloween-themed passwords.

Bug (1975)

If you enjoy scary movies about killer insects, then you'll love Bug, from 1975. An earthquake releases a strain of mutant cockroaches with the ability to start fires. Eventually most of the bugs die because they cannot survive in the low air pressure on the Earth's surface, but a scientist keeps one alive in a pressure chamber. He successfully breeds the cockroach with a modern bug creating a breed of intelligent, flying super-bugs. This particular scene is interesting, because it was filmed using the living room and kitchen set from The Brady Bunch, which had ended its run the previous year.

Full movie:

Punky Brewster: Love Thy Neighbor (1985)

Originally aired November 17, 1985. On Halloween night, a woman named Isabelle Peavy behaves rudely to the children in Punky's building and refuses to give them candy. Punky and Cherie enter her apartment to play a joke on her, but their plans go awry when Brandon accidentally gets left behind. The next day, Henry goes over to retrieve the dog, and he ends up learning some interesting information about Isabelle. (Synopsis from

The Cosby Show: Cliff's Mistake (1987)

Originally aired October 15, 1987. Cliff's neighbor Jeffrey gets angry when Cliff can't find the drill that he borrowed. The Huxtable kids prepare for Halloween by building a haunted house in the basement. (Synopsis from

Friday, September 3, 2010

Happy Days: Fonsillectomy (1977)

Originally aired October 25, 1977. Fonzie is ill, and the doctor says he must go into hospital the next day to have his tonsils removed, meaning that he will miss the Cunningham's Halloween party. The Fonz does not take the news well. Worse still, the only spare place in the hospital is on the children's ward. (Synopsis from Wikipedia)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Happy Days: The Spirit is Willing (1984)

Originally aired April 24, 1984. While not a Halloween episode, it begins to feel like one halfway through. Fonzie gets more than he bargained for in the purchase of a junked 55 Chevy. A beautiful and mysterious woman appears. Fonzie's attraction to her intensifies, but so does his shocked reaction when he learns that she had died in a car accident a decade earlier.

Proud Pumpkin (1953), by Nora Spicer Unwin

One fall afternoon in the mid-1980s, I sat with my classmates on the floor in the school library and listened to our librarian read this book. She had a British accent, and though I don't recall her name I can vaguely remember her face. There were many books I heard her read during my years as an elementary student, but "Proud Pumpkin" is the only one that has stayed in my memory. It tells the story of a certain pumpkin in the patch that has a very high opinion of himself. While his brother pumpkins are content to be used for pies, Proud Pumpkin boasts in being selected for display as a jack-o-lantern. Reality sets in, however, when he is quickly discarded the day after Halloween. The effects of decay begin to set in, and the pumpkin is knocked over and nibbled by mice. He feels lonely and empty. Maybe he wasn't as needed or special as he thought. As the coldness of winter arrives and it seems like all hope of being useful is lost, a chipmunk discovers the pumpkin in a heap and makes it his home.