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Wednesday Whismy: Autumn of Terror Special.

Introduction By Hmsbeefnuts

Blog By Caelrona

Hello, and welcome to Wednesday Whimsy, Hmsbeefnuts here. Except, this isn’t any ordinary Wednesday Whimsy. I have spent many months writing blogs for Wednesday, and even longer writing blogs on other days, almost a year in fact, however, things are changing, and change is often a good thing. In this case, the change is good. I will no longer be writing a regular Wednesday blog, I simply don’t have the time in my week now to write 3 blogs a week, so Wednesday has to go. I have changed my job, and have a vastly different social life right now, and time is at a premium, and I dont want to half arse anything. Although I am sad to see my Wednesday slot go, it isn’t all bad news. Caelrona, our semi-regular contributor is stepping up to fill the empty Wednesday slot, and at the same time becoming a full time blogger here at All Geek To Me. I believe that she wants to keep the Wednesday Whimsy title, and she has it, with my blessing, if she so wishes. So I hope you will all join me in welcoming Caelrona to her Wednesday Slot, as we look forward to her future blogs, including the one below. I’ll still be around Monday and Thursday, so you’re not getting away that easy. Enough waffle, here is Caelrona, with her particular brand of stuff.


Hiya all! A few words before I begin, perhaps? You might have noticed I’ve not been posting much lately (more on that another day, perhaps?) but I’ve come back with a bit of a bang. Our dear HMS has given up his Wednesday slot here at All Geek To Me, and I’ve stepped in to fill it – we wouldn’t want you missing your Wednesday fill of geek, now would we? I’ll be doing my best to bring you my own brand of whimsy on Wednesdays from here on out, and I shan’t be keeping you reading any longer! Onto the article!

It’s October now and we are creeping steadily closer to Halloween. I know that the holiday isn’t nearly as big in some countries as it is in my home country of America, but it is my favorite holiday. Here in America people start gearing up for Halloween as early as September; and stores start getting ready for it as early as August! Not knowing much about traditions or activities of other countries myself I figured that people from other countries might not know about the huge commercialization, traditions and activities that America has for Halloween; and what better way to geek over my favorite holiday than with a blog post? So here I am, ready to tell you all about some traditional and not-so-traditional Halloween activities from America!

About Halloween

Halloween is known by many names in many places. Halloween, Hallowe’en, All Hallows Eve, and Samhain are all variants of the same holiday (although Samhain can also be considered a slightly different and separate holiday as well.) Whatever you call it, it generally elicits excitement and maybe even fear from most people. Halloween is typically associated with all sorts of supernatural and creepy things like vampires, ghosts and other monsters as well as various occults. Not to mention the various pranks often done by mischievous individuals during the holiday. While highly commercialized to the point of absolute ridiculousness now; the original holiday was for honoring the dead and celebrating the ending of the harvest season.


Jack o’Lantern Carving

Originally brought to America from Irish immigrants, Jack o’Lantern carving is a must-do for Halloween celebration all over America. While Jack o’Lanterns are typically carved in pumpkins or other gourds; early versions of the Jack o’Lantern were carved in turnips, beets and potatoes. This changed when Irish immigrants brought the practice to America and discovered that pumpkins make fantastic Jack o’Lanterns. Many different types of contests are held regarding pumpkins and Jack o’Lanterns; ranging from carving contests to see who can make the most scary/original/whatever face or design to pumpkin growing contests where pumpkins can reach absolutely gigantic proportions. The World Record for the largest Jack o’Lantern was carved from a pumpkin weighing in at a massive 1,469 lbs (666.33 kg); and the World Record for the most Jack o’Lanterns lit at one time is 30,919! That is a whole lot of pumpkins!

Pumpkins of all sizes and types for carving and decoration (with paint/stickers/whatever) can be found in almost any store that sells produce during the month of October. Many children grow up carving pumpkins into fanciful faces and designs; either in school or with their parents or guardians. I know I massacred more than my fair share of gourds in my lifetime, and will continue to do so as the years march on! Turning a pumpkin into a Jack o’Lantern is one Halloween tradition I will never forget. Plus when you’re done you can bake pumpkin seeds and pumpkin cookies or pie from the insides! Double win!


Costumes being worn for Halloween are a fairly recent development and have a short history. The earliest recording of costumes being worn for the holiday are from Scotland in 1895; other countries don’t have recordings of it until 1900. Early costumes emphasized the pagan and Gothic nature of the holiday, but by the 1930’s costumes based on characters in mass media became popular. Early Halloween costumes were aimed at children, however after the mid-20th century Halloween has increasingly been celebrated by adults. Now Halloween costumes are worn just as much by adults as children, and costumes are available for nearly anything you can think up!

I’ve been dressing up for Halloween since I was a baby. While now-a-days my costumes are only worn during Halloween parties, I spent plenty of time in my earlier years romping about town in my costume collecting candy. Costumes are a huge part of Halloween here in America, and as such have turned into a huge industry. Most stores start pushing costumes early in September, and some special stores even open up just for Halloween to sell costumes. Having worked at one such store, I can tell you from experience that people will drop hundreds of dollars (USD) on costumes and accessories! Most schools even allow children to wear their Halloween costumes on Halloween and have a special parade and party complete with a costume contest! Dedicated costumers will work on handmade costumes for months before Halloween – sometimes even years for highly detailed ones!

Trick or Treating

Trick or Treating (also known as Guising) is the customary practice of children on Halloween going about in costume to ask for candy. Children in costumes travel from house to house in order to ask for treats such as candy (sometimes money or small toys are also given) with the question“Trick or Treat?” The ‘trick’ is generally an idle threat to perform mischief upon the homeowner if no treat is given, however a great many rebellious children and teenagers pull pranks on Halloween even if treats are given. In America, trick or treat has been a customary Halloween tradition since at least the 1950’s. The rule of thumb for trick or treating in America is that a porch light turned on means the homeowner has candy and is participating. If a porch light is off then the homeowner is not participating in the candy giving.

I spent many hours walking along my neighborhood from house to house, usually followed by my mother in the car, dragging a pillowcase full of loot behind me trick-or-treating on Halloween. When I got a bit older, I often grouped with friends for the going often times bringing in bags and bags of candy. That used to be how it was done (at least when I was growing up); traditionally children would either go trick or treating on their own, walking from house to house in their own neighborhoods or parents would take them around from house to house in their cars. Recently, however, people have been participating in various modified versions of trick or treating in order to protect the children. Parents will form large groups where many children all go at once in a group with several parents supervising, or they do something called ‘Trunk or Treating’ where parents from various community groups or churches will gather together in a parking lot and have children trick or treat at the trunks of their parked cars. Cities will also organize events where children (and their parents) do their trick or treating on a set day a little before Halloween.

Haunted Houses

No, not those kind of Haunted Houses; no paranormal investigation here. I’m actually referring to Haunted Attractions of any kind. There are many types of Haunted Attractions, including (but not limited to); Haunted Houses, Haunted Hayrides, Haunted Trails/Forests, Haunted Theme Parks (Screamparks), Cornfield Mazes, and Ghost Runs. All have their own unique features that make them different; but all are designed to give visitors or customers a thrill and a fright. There is no real known history of when Haunted Attractions began and no known recording of their origins; although there is one that dates from 1915. It wasn’t really until the 1960’s and 1970’s that they began cropping up in towns and cities with regularity.

Haunted Houses now open up in nearly every single town all across America during the month of October and during Halloween. Most schools, churches and large community groups typically create their own Haunted Houses for people to walk through and receive a bit of a fright. There are also numerous attraction parks that host their own Haunted Houses and similar experiences (notably Knott’s Berry Farm’s “Halloween Haunt” or Sixflags’ “FrightFest”) that people can attend for a bit of spooky Halloween fun. I’ve both walked through and participated in my own fair share of Haunted Houses. Good houses can put a right bit of spook into you, along with a great deal of fun. Helping to build and participating in the haunting of the Haunted House is (in my opinion) even more fun. Scaring the pants off of random people, and having them laugh about it and tell you good job instead of yelling at you? Heck yeah!

Anyway; those are just a few Halloween activities from my area of the world. Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I celebrate it with friends who love it just as much as I do; so you can best we always have a frightful good time! It is fantastic fun, and I hope that you now have a better understanding of why my country puts so much emphasis on the night. If not, then maybe you’ll be wanting to celebrate it a bit more yourself then!

Until next time;

Caelrona, signing off! ❤

Autumn of Terror: Thing’s That Go Bump In The Night

By Geeky Gem

Horror movies come in many forms, slasher movies, monster movies and then there are ghost movies. These movies are about the things you can’t see, the things that go bump in the night. Here I am going to tell you about some of the ones that I really like. Yes folks its yet another list, you may see that I am a fan of a good list.

The Devils Backbone

The Devils Backbone is not a movie you would expect me to hae on this list but this Spanish movie made by Guillermo del Toro, was a movie I saw a few years ago when I wanted to watch all of del Toro’s back catalogue and it kind of stuck in my mind, yes it is a ghost movie. A young bot is taken to a orphange to stay for a bit and then strange things start to happen he starts to see ghost’s and what is the kindly Dr. Casares up to? If you haven’t seen this but like del Toro’s work it really is worth a watch.


Now I am not going to lie to you, I like this movie however there is one scene that really does bother me and that’s because the thing in the scene is the one thing that scares me more than anything. if you know outside of the blog you will know what this is. If you don’t tough because I am not going to tell you. However back to the movies, Tobe Hooper who was on one of my other lists earlier in the series directed this movie and did a fine job. Poltergeist is a really good movie and spawned a number of squeals.


Before the American remake in 2002, Ringu was made in Japan back in 1998 and soon became a cult classic. The tale is simple there is a cursed video that if you should watch it in 7 days you die a horrible death. The movie moves on from there really and is a brilliant bit of Japanese horror directed by Hideo Nakata based on the book by Kōji Suzuki, it tells the tale of a reporter trying to find out what ad how this has happened. It’s a race against time with twists and turns all over the place.

Paranormal Activity

Now I have had a hard time finding movies in modern horror that I have liked, Saw was brilliant but got a bit stupid by the time they got to 7. The 3D remake of My Bloody Valentine was the first 3D movie I saw which I enjoyed, since then I have found it hard to like modern horror. However this little chestnut crept up on me. At first I thought I am not going to like this it screams Blair Witch Project all over. However I found I did like it and I have watched them all, directed by  Oren Peli it follows the story of  Katie and Micah, who are trying to find out what is haunting their home, the movie is pieced together from footage that te coupe taped in order to see what was going on in their home. If you havent seen it then way not give it go.


Can you tell I was a child of the 1980’s? I love this movie, and still live in hope that the rumored third movie will still come out. Nw had the people the movies above has just called these guys they wouldn’t have had such a bad time now would they. The Ghostbusters was directed by Ivan Reitman and written by two of the movies stars Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis which I think adds something to the movie. Its one of those movies you can watch over and over again. Basically the Ghostbusters help people who have ghost problem by catching said ghost for a small fee,  it’s a funny movie and I had to have on this list.

I hope these things that go bump in the night didn’t scare you too much, and that some of these movies are best watched from behind your duvet or behind your hands. See you next time, I have to go and call some one as they’re here.

Autumn of Terror: My Favourite Monsters Part 1

By @hmsbeefnuts

You may have noticed that around All Geek To Me, we like our monsters, we like them quite a bit in fact. As this month is our celebration of all things that go bump in the night, I thought that I couldn’t really let it pass without a look at my favourite monsters, so I wrote something about that very thing. I have picked my favourite iteration of each of these monsters, and as they have been put on screen many times, I hope this adds variety, as I could just choose the Universal or Hammer film versions, but I will try my very best not too. These choices are based on the look alone, film quality does not enter into my choices here, just this is my prefered version of the different monsters mentioned. So with that out the way, lets get on with some monsters.


I know the remake of The Wolf Man was not well received, but I liked it, I liked it a whole lot. Now yes, there is some dodgy cgi, but the main Wolf Man suit is quite simply spectacular. I loved it. It takes the look of the Lon Chaney Jnr. version and ups it to new super fearsome and crazy levels. This for me, is the finest example of The Wolf Man, all claws, jaws and ripped clothing. I will always have a soft spot for the 1941 original, but I don’t think you can argue that this design is far more awesome.


Van Helsing is another movie that everyone thought sucked. Well for all the cheese and bad acting, I still liked it. The Wolfman from Van Helsing is supersized, really huge and powerful, but once again, I really dug the design, I would definitely not like to meet this beast on a dark night.


For me Bela Lugosi owned the voice, but Christopher Lee owned the physical manifestation of Dracula, and so, as the Lord of all Vampires, he has to be my top pick for best Vampire. Hammer vampires were much scarier than Universal ones, all blood shot eyes and dripping fangs. Christopher Lee was just such a badass as Dracula, the embodiment of evil, however, Hammer did also show a talent for other types of vampires too, as we shall see below…


Hammer ruled the roost in terms of Horror sexiness, and thus any female vampire, bride or victim of Dracula, instantly becomes very appealing, especially Ingrid Pitt. I know it’s shallow and a bit sexist, but fuck it, vampire chicks are hot, and lesbian Hammer vampires are the hottest.


The Monster, not Frankenstein, has never been bettered since 1931 and Boris Karloff’s portrayal. The make up is stunning, the acting is amazing, the Universal Monster is the greatest that has ever been, and ever will be. Can’t really say any more than that.


Yes it’s Van Helsing again, but I thought this design of the Monster was unique, I liked the steam punk legs and the glowing brain. He may be a bit theatrical, but then wouldn’t you be if you had been cobbled together from a few dozen other guys?


Ghost? Demon? Well it’s responsible for Paranormal Activity anyway, so I think it counts. I absolutely loved Paranormal Activity 3, and especially the bit from the picture above. I love how usually the invisible force is scary enough, but I couldn’t resist this sight gag, amazing. Paranormal Activity is so scary because it happens in normal houses to normal people. Those are my favourite kinds of spooky stories, the other being the classic Victorian ghost story.


The Woman in Black was a great return to form for the bleak and depressing Victorian Ghost Story, and is a great example of such a ghost. Vengeful, scary, and a bit of a dick.


Universal’s Creature From The Black Lagoon, or Gill Man, if you prefer, is the classic beastie from the depths. It’s a great look for a sea monster, webbed feet and claws, and slimy skin. Enough to make you think twice about swimming in that lake or river.


Maybe not a typical Gill Man, however, the Fluke Man is disgustingly scary. One of the most memorable monsters from the X – Files, Fluke Man was horrendous. Just look at him. That shit is fucked up.

Autumn of Terror: How I Failed To Make A Documentary About Ghosts And Legends

By @hmsbeefnuts

You may know from recent blogs that I’m quite fond of documentaries, well one summer, about 5 years ago, or maybe more now, the exact date is lost in memory, a few close friends and I decided to film our own documentary. We are all from Barry, a large town near Welsh Capital Cardiff, in South Wales, an area that seemed to be rich in folklore, ghosts, legends, and even a few cryptids here and there. Now we had never filmed more than a few Jackass style stunts before, we were inexperienced, totally unprepared, but were enthusiastic and ready to bullshit our way around The Vale of Glamorgan, in search of myths, monsters and spooky stories. The team was set up like this, me, my Brother Ollie (camera man), our friend Matty (presenter) and another friend Clare (team complainer ‘It’s cold. It’s rainy. I’m hungry!!’. Sorry Clare, we still love you!). My role was basically handling director duties and trying to get everyone’s arse into gear.

Why would anyone attempt this type of thing for no money, in ones spare time? Well it was Summer, at the time none of us had full time jobs, we were young and bored, and it sounded like a good idea at the time. I still think it sounds like a good idea, and it was definitely fun, if I ever had a chance again, I would totally try and do something again, but life gets in the way. Anyway. I’m getting ahead of myself, things are better started at the beginning, and so, we shall start there…

A rushed ‘production meeting’ allowed us to talk about what things we wanted to cover in this exciting (for us at least) project. The local area turned out to be quite the hotbed of mysterious goings on, from winged snakes, hitch-hiking ghosts, white ladies, black dogs and big cats. We had a lot of ground to cover if we wanted to see it all. Instead, we decided to concentrate on a few of the more likely and believable stories. So winged snakes were out, they hadn’t been seen for 200 years or so, and were most likely the invention of a drunken mind. Ghosts were decided on as being the most interesting and probably the most likely too, and so, our documentary crew went off to their computers and tried to look up any information they could about ghosts in our local area.

A local pub called The Captains Wife, (after the spirit of the wife of a Sea Captain who never returned home from a voyage, the wife so distraught that she hurled herself into the sea, to join her beloved), was thought to be our first port of call, and so, with no script, very little research and a whole lot of youthful endeavor, we loaded up my car and drove to the pub. As we were very early, there were few customers, and so we quickly found the manager, and camera in hand, asked permission to film and interview a few of the staff about their experiences of a ghostly nature. We came up with a genius excuse for doing all of this. Clearly we thought that just saying we were a bit bored and fancied filming something fun for a few weeks wasn’t going to cut the mustard. Instead we invented a whole back story for our group, we had met at university, where we were all doing film studies, and that we had chosen this documentary as our final project. Clever right? Well whether they believed us or not, and they must have thought we were very disorganised film students if they did, they allowed us to film and interview the staff. We were actually doing it.

We interviewed 4 members of staff, who each had tales of ghostly happenings that they had experienced, from chairs that moved on their own, to turning around in an empty bar and coming face to face with the Captain’s Wife herself. Spooky indeed. We filmed the interviews in front of the impressive fire-place, it all looked brilliant and atmospheric, our cover story was holding up, and our first location shoot was a massive success… until we got home to edit the footage. Of course our camera wasn’t a HD expensive piece of kit, so the image wasn’t excellent, but it was passable, in any case, we had already clocked that our film wasn’t going to look as a Louis Theroux or Michael Moore, the problem was the sound. Umm, we had forgotten that microphones are a good idea, and tend to pick up sounds that people say. So excited were we to start our amazing new project, we had forgotten the one of the two most important things about a film. A whole day wasted, and worse, we now had to invest in some sort of microphone if we were going to continue. Also, could we go back to The Captain’s Wife and reinterview everyone? It would be embarrassing, and to be honest, although the stories were very good, we decided the shame of  admitting we were inept was too great. It was a dark day for our nameless production, one we never really recovered from.

We decided we would try one more trip, this time to a local country park, reputedly haunted by a White Lady, a legend that has a few stories based around it, but one that people saw every few years. The usual story went as follows; a group of teenagers go camping in the Park, near the large viaduct. During the night, they are awoken by wailing and a ghostly white figure of a woman is seen approaching the tents. The kids leave sharpish, and never camp there again. We had our interest piqued by a girl I used to work with who swore this had happened to her, the investigation was on… But there was another place we wanted to try too. Somewhere that didn’t really have a haunted reputation, but looked spooky as hell. An old abandoned mill on the outskirts of Barry, now in ruins, looked like a perfect place for ghostly goings on. We decided to investigate both. We found nothing, unless you believe that orbs are the spirits of the dead, and not like dust or insects. We spent half a night down Porthkerry Country Park, and an afternoon at the mill. Nothing happened, we went home cold and tired, and a little disappointed, but we were not bored.

Our project had ended pretty much as soon as it had started. We were unprepared and disorganised, we didn’t think it through properly and we had no chance of doing anything of any worth. However, for a few weeks during a long, boring summer, we were entertained and we did some cool research. I would love to do something like that again, giving it a much better go, if I won the lottery, I would be all over it again. Documentaries are hard work, and although ours was a blatantly pathetic attempt it did show us a little of what it takes to make one, and if nothing else, we got to hear some really awesome spooky stories, and wasn’t that worthwhile enough?



By @hmsbeefnuts

Four years ago, I didn’t know what a podcast was. Or, if I did, I certainly had no interest in listening to them. Right now however, I’m listening to a podcast, I listen to podcasts when I walk my dog, when I chill out, whenever I can really. I only really listen to music now in my car, the rest of the time, I want to listen to like minded geeks, comedians, journalists and ex pro wrestlers talk about important stuff, or more likely, rubbish for an hour or so. I have found most of the podcasts I currently listen to on my own, for to my knowledge, few of my friends listen to them. I thought then, it was about time I wrote a little something about the shows I never miss, shows that offer free entertainment every week, and who can argue with free?


Eons ago now it seems, Gaming website had one of the greatest podcasts of all time, TalkRadar. Sadly this has gone, but the current crop of gaming goodfellas are back with a new podcast, RadioRadar. Only one episode old, RadioRadar is a serious gaming podcast, with a sense of fun, a great listen for all the relevant gaming news. Here is a link to, where you can find RadioRadar, as well as another podcast, and one of my favourites. GamesRadar UK Podcast is quite simply anarchic genius. All the regular hosts are funny, interesting and simply awesome. I always laugh at this, Cundy is a personal hero of mine, top bloke.

The other major video game podcast I listen to, well, it isn’t really about video games at all. Podtoid is a 2 hour glimpse into the mind of games industry hate figure Jim Sterling, as he talks a load of rubbish with his colleges Jonathan Holmes, and others. I can’t really explain what this podcast is about, but expect Willem Defoe movie pitches, Jim’s ideas for crazy schemes that Jonathan Holmes can get involved in, (past adventures have included grave robbery, a one man zoo, and a pirate adventure cove with a rotting corpse). Not for the easily offended, but this is genius, very different, but comfortably similar, every week is a sonic adventure to the dark reaches of the human mind, in a funny way, check it out here.


When TalkRadar died, the regular crew went out on their own and created Lasertime. Lasertime is a podcast obsessed with nostalgia. Great topics such as WWE, 80’s adverts, movies, food and drink mascots, TV shows, they cover something for everyone, always funny, always interesting, well worth a listen. An offshoot of Lasertime is Cape Crisis, a podcast dedicated to comics and comic related subjects. One again, I can’t talk highly enough about this one, and these guys are partly responsible for my comic obsession. The same guys do Lasertime, so if you like that, you are sure to like this too.

The Geek Box and Comic Conspiracy are both podcasts that are produced by the same people, slightly different casts. The Geek Box discusses all things of a geek nature, usually things in the news, Comic Conspiracy is obviously a comic based podcast, and deals with all the news of a comic bent. Check them out here.


King of Edinburgh, Richard Herring is always doing something podcast wise. He is one of my favourite comedians and is always worth a listen. Currently he is in Edinburgh and doing his daily podcasts from there, as he interviews fellow comedians. Another comedy podcast is The Comedy Button, from some of the same people who bring you The Geek Box. This is always funny, with stories from the cast and genuine tomfoolery.


A new one for me, RodPod is Rowdy Roddy Pipers podcast. Expect old school wrestling stories, with no holds barred. Some of the things I have heard on this have shocked and amused me greatly, Piper has met a whole lot of people and lived a life few others could even imagine. Amazing.

Mysterious Universe is a great podcast all about the weird and the strange. From Bigfoot, aliens, ghosts and every other strange thing you could imagine, this is a wry look at the world of science, science fiction and the paranormal. Always interesting.

Good Job Brain is a podcast from the people who brought you The Geek Box etc. Basically QI on the radio, Good Job Brain is a quiz/general knowledge podcast that takes different subjects every week. Very interesting and funny. It is thanks to this that I know what the juice from a Beaver’s anus is used for in food stuffs!!

That’s enough for the time being I think. Hope you like some of these suggestions. Catch you soon.

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