Halloween Spirit Restored!


A few years back, I you about the blog of one of my friends, Dan. Back then, being the faithful readers you are, I’m sure you all immediately clicked on the link and subscribed to Dan’s blog. So I’m sure that this is all old news to you. Still, allow me to tell you all how Dan, a special second set of hands, and a couple of pumpkins managed to bring a tear to my eye and restore my Halloween spirit, all at once.

You don’t have to read too many of my blog posts to discover how I continually feel cheated out of Halloween. Every year, I despise having to sit and wait to find out when the state of Ohio has decided what day (and what two-hour window) I am allowed to celebrate Halloween on. And of course, the “breaking news” for me this year was my decision to forego the vast majority of October appearances, book signings, etc., and instead focus on my family and try to recapture some of that good, old-fashioned Halloween spirit. Well, leave it to my friend Dan to help me do just that.

Dan has created what he is calling the Pumpkin Challenge. The idea is simple: In the eight weeks leading up to Halloween, carve up a jack-o-lantern every week. Eight weeks, eight pumpkins. The plan is to start with a basic carving and then get more and more elaborate as October 31st rolls around, when he promises to unleash an “unholy gourd of terror.”


Week #1: “The Classic Jack”

The best part of all? Dan’s doing the Pumpkin Challenge with his foster son. I can only imagine how exciting it must be for this young boy to be getting a taste of Halloween spirit…and pumpkin pulp. State laws forbid me from showing the boy’s face or even mentioning him by name. But in this case, it’s ok. His creativity and artistic flair does all the talking in the following photos, which showcase his talents:


Working on pumpkin for Week #3, “The Shaded Stencil”

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Week #4: Stencil loosely based on Halloween movie poster

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Dan Really IS The Man!


My friend, Dan Stout, has a blog. And if you like the weird stuff on my blog, you should go read Dan’s. There’s weird stuff there, too. That’s because Dan’s weird like me. For example:

  • Our last “Movie Night” consisted of nothing more than Chinese takeout, beer, and 3 hours of movie trailers
  • We once spent the better part of an hour bitching about how we sat in the 2nd row of the Splatter Zone for Evil Dead: The Musical and barely got any blood on us

  • Dan is convinced one of my neighbors is none other than Father Merrin from The Exorcist
  • He’s always trying to creep me out with tales involving spider goats

Beware the Spider Goats!
–snagged from Dan’s site, who got it from Ashley Burke/CDC

So go give Dan’s blog a read. And be sure to tell him Weird Willis sent you!

Dan Stout’s Website: An Amalgam of Random Doings