Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Old MacDonald’s Farm once a hot spot for UFO crashes

By Grover Mill
Contributor to the JLP

UFO SPRINGS -- At one time, Old MacDonald’s Farm was the No. 1 site for UFO landings in any world, if you want to call what they did “landings.”

Before that, corn, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, squash and other produce grew there for decades under the stewardship of longtime farmer Old MacDonald. The old man also had chicks, ducks, turkeys, pigs, cows, cats, mules, dogs and a turtle that actually went nerp, nerp until the late 1940s/early 1950s when UFOs began making contact with his property.

“The first encounter on that really starry night really scarred up my land, taking with it a lot of my crops,” MacDonald said. “I’ll admit I was more than t’ed off in the beginning, but then happily surprised with what I eventually discovered.”

Turns out, the saucers that were crash landing, hovering over and abducting the animals there were, in effect, mutating the farm life.

“You have no idea what them there space critters were doing for my business,” MacDonald said. “All of a sudden, monsters, gremlins, zombies and the like had appetites for my produce, which now glowed green. And my animals were fun to be around with their glowing personalities. No more was there a quack, quack here and chick, chick there. I don’t even know what sounds were comin’ out their faces, but they sure well scared away them werewolves and made them that much more fun at parties and monster get-togethers.”

UFOs continued to decimate MacDonald’s Farm over the years, and business kept booming. Alien crafts wiped out portions of the barn, scarred the ground permanently and contaminated the grounds with a menu of radioactive isotopes and toxic chemicals. But extraterrestrials stopped crashing and abducting animals there back in 2010, causing the worst radiation drought the area has seen.

“My crops and animals are dependent upon that toxic waste,” MacDonald said at the time. “If we don’t have some encounters here and but soon, we’ll cease to be a relevant source of terror around these parts.”

In early 2017, a wave of alien saucers flew off course and royally smacked down onto MacDonald’s farm, causing not only a fire in the sky, but one that torched MacDonald’s farm house. It was a welcome relief, to the point where MacDonald said he felt the drought was over.

“Seven years is a long time for no radiation,” said Jordy Verrill in response. Verrill, who’s an expert on the subject, added, “Heck, most of the crops and animals have gone back to being safe. I’d say MacDonald needs a lot more radiation on his farm from saucers before he can start feeling at ease.”

Regardless of the dangers at the site, Old MacDonald’s Farm continues to be a fun place to visit. While the “Caution: Radiation Area” tape has long since been removed, guests will still be able to take walking tours through the old barn, which could collapse at any time (if you’re lucky), play in ground scars made by downed UFOs (the ones with standing water where swimming is allowed may or may not continue to be bio-hazardous) and climb aboard crashed saucers with extraterrestrial bodies to dissect (if there’s anything left of them by the time you get there).

To plan your exciting visit, go to OldMacDonaldHadAnAlienFarm.mon.

Monday, October 16, 2017

UFO Springs sandwich shop erupts into Armageddon when demons take too long to order salad for Satan

By Tak Metoyorleedr
Staff Unidentifieds Writer

UFO SPRINGS -- Some demons on their way through town yesterday swung by the Crop Stop Sandwich and Salad Shop in Podtown and began flinging flames at the extraterrestrials behind the counter and in line when they didn’t receive the customer service they felt they deserved.

After a weekend of partying at a blues festival in the Black Lagoon, where the popular Spooks of Dixieland cancelled their act due to one of the members coming down with a cold, the demons reportedly came into the place with three-pronged forks to grind.

“They were mean right when they came through the door,” said a reptiloid eating in the restaurant at the time the demons arrived. “It wasn’t the normal meanness you’d expect from a demon. It was something else. They were just inconsiderate buttholes.”

According to a number of patrons, the evil beasts tracked soot into the establishment when they came in, they snatched up more than their fair share of napkins -- not leaving much left for anyone else -- they melted the condiment table, and they were rude to the humanoid taking their orders behind the counter.

“They came in all entitled or something, like we all owed them something because they paid to see the Spooks of Dixieland over the weekend and didn’t get to see them and didn’t get a refund either,” said the humanoid behind the counter, who wishes to remain the anonymous human she was replicating at the time this all went down. “They weren’t ready to order, they held up the line, and then they wanted all these special substitutions.”

One customer caught most of the ordeal in a recording on his phone.

In the video, the demons are seen coming into the sandwich shop in a hurry. Then they cut in line, only to stop to figure out what they’re going to order. The lead demon takes out his smartphone and speaks into it:

“Hey, Siri, call Satan . . . Yo, Sate, we’re picking up salads. Want anything? . . . Uh huh . . . Italian chopped . . . Fat-free dressing . . . OK. Extra onion . . . No garbanzo beans . . . Add sprouts instead . . . K. Anything to drink? . . . Diet Dr. Pepper with no ice . . . Got it. See you in ten . . . Huh? . . . Yeah, it kinda sucked. Spooks of Dixieland cancelled . . . No, we’re in line now . . . They can wait, we’re regular customers here, so we’re good for it . . . Ha ha. Yeah . . .”

The call goes on for another five minutes before the demon hangs up and finishes his order, which includes a bunch of complicated substitutions and ridiculous special “off-the-menu” requests. Then their salads come out and one of the demons notices that they don’t have deviled eggs in them. That’s when, in the video, all hell breaks loose.

The recording ended there. But eyewitnesses said the lead demon complained to the employee that took the order, claiming he specifically asked for deviled eggs, even though everyone else stated no such request was made. The demon demanded to speak to the employee’s supervisor, threatening to contact corporate about her horrible customer service, and kept repeating how he and his demon pals were regular customers “since forever” and deserved respect.

The employee’s supervisor came out and asked the demon clan what had happened.

“What happened is your employee is calling me a liar,” the lead demon reportedly said. “I asked for deviled eggs on all our salads, and none of us got a one. And your employee here is calling me a liar, saying I never asked for deviled eggs like I said I did. Hasn’t she ever heard of ‘The customer is always right’?”

“We don’t go in for that policy here,” the supervisor said. “What’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong. And just because you’re an idiot and forgot to order deviled eggs doesn’t mean you have to get all stupid.”

“We’re demons,” the demon said. “Of course we want deviled eggs.”

“And we’re aliens,” the supervisor said. “Just because we can read your minds, doesn’t mean we’re gonna give you what you’re thinking you want. We go by what you actually order.”

“You know what?” the lead demon said. “Now I want all these salads on the house. Take me to your leader.”

“That’s my line,” the supervisor replied. “I’m supposed to be the one asking to be taken to your leader.”

After a few more minutes of arguing, the supervisor decided to simply melt the demon’s mind with her thoughts.

The other demons got real defensive and began lighting the place on fire with their fingers. The small eatery went into flames, causing a s’mores eruption as the marshmallow-like aliens in the restaurant caught fire, proving once and for all that their skin does, in fact, consist of a soft sugary substance.

Before the demons could get away with their salads without paying, the store’s loss prevention employee, a xenomorph queen, caught them at the door and opened up a can of whoop ass on them.

The demons were later abducted by other aliens out front and detained for questioning in a UFO, only to be bailed out by Satan an hour later.

According to representative of Satan, the fallen angel is embarrassed for the way his underlings behaved and allegedly apologized for all demonkind. The representative then begged to let his boss pay for damages to the store and promised to punish the demon clan as only Satan can punish those who deserve it.

The Crop Stop Sandwich and Salad Shop will be back open for business in two weeks. Until then, you can satisfy your sandwich and salad needs over at Little Green Men’s Leafy Greens Stand down the street.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Jason adds Valley of Doom to Friday the 13th farewell tour

By Mac Hete
Staff Home Slice Writer

VALLEY OF DOOM -- It wouldn’t be a trip to the desert without a visit to the center of the desert.

Several uninhabited barren spots in the Valley of Doom are only a few Transyl-vein-ia landmarks that slasher psycho Jason will stop by during his Friday the 13th farewell tour.

“He’ll be talking to fans and signing autographs,” said his mother and agent, Pamela. “And then he’ll be done forever. The end, the final chapter, he goes to Hell for good . . . He will die! But don’t worry -- he’ll be back in another, even more final farewell tour next Friday the 13th for a new beginning. He will live again!”

Other spots on Jason’s tour include Quicksand Ranch, Motel 666 on Hell’s Highway, The Oasis in Tombtown and the Monster Mountain Mine on Monster Mesa. He’ll also stop by other landmarks outside of the Valley of Doom. For a detailed tour list of landmarks in Transyl-vein-ia, go to Jason’s official tour site at CutAboveTheRest.mon.

If you plan on seeing Jason, be advised: the famous slasher psycho will not be signing DVDs or hockey masks. He’ll be signing limbs only. And he’ll be signing them with his steel imported Gerber Gator machete wielding a 15-inch blade on one side and an 18-inch high performance saw blade on the other. Be prepared to run. He likes the chase.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Fat Jack wants to see you

By Skinny Ginny
Staff Fat & Skinny Things Writer

VALLEY OF DOOM -- The infamous slasher psycho Fat Jack doesn’t like to leave Fat Jack Manor off Hell’s Highway. He likes his food to come to him.

But motorists haven’t been breaking down in front of his place lately, needing his help with a tire iron or a landline because there’s no cell service in his parts of the Valley. Salesmonsters aren’t knocking on his door anymore and detectives have left the old place alone since it’s been quiet for quite some time. We didn’t even bother taking a trip out to the manor to interview him for this story.

“Please, someone just stop by for a bite,” the fat man told us over the phone. “I’ve got Twinkies, Little Debbie Cakes and an aged hunk of human cadaver I’ve been saving for just the right occasion.”

It’s times like these that force Jack to take to the streets in search of something different for his taste palette.

“There’s only so much cake and sugar a carnivore like me can stand,” the ballooning crazed killer said. “Last year, there was this group of punk kids meddling around in my house, breaking stuff, carving their names in my walls and such, and I was in one of my food comas, unable to get up. They found me, threw a bunch of trash at me, kicked my stomach, called me a fat ass. You know how much I hate being called fat. It does something to me. But I never was able to catch up with them. Maybe it’s time to don the ol’ warpath cloak, fire up the Fat Jack mobile, find those fools and carve me up some jackass wings.”

We spoke to FJ last week for this story and, as of last night, he still hadn’t made it out of his living room, according to some images from one of our satellites, which can actually spot his large body mass from space. We’re thinking he’s going to hold off on his mission to “Jack” up those vandals until after October 31.

“Halloween is my favorite holiday,” he said. “It’s when trick-or-treaters come right to my door. Except the trick every time is that the treat is always mine.”

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Chupacabra dish is for suckers

By Capa Chubra
Staff Strange Breeds Writer

VALLEY OF DOOM -- It’s more than a tasty meal. 

Chupacabra dishes in these parts are always desired, especially since some travel miles of the desert  with no food or water, and are in need of nourishment.

If you’re in the Valley of Doom, here’s all you need to prepare a chupacabra meal that you’ll scream for.

We’ll get to this shortly.

Go to an open area in Chupacabra Village.

You’ll need something to contain the catch. Dig a six-foot-deep bowl in the ground. Then coat the hole with barbecue sauce (blood works, too).

Gather as much dead wood and dry woody debris as possible, and stack it in a big pile near your hole. Light the pile on fire. (This will signal an army of those goatsuckers.)

Take off your clothes and climb into the hole.

You’re it!

Chupacabra will be there shortly to enjoy the dish. Didn't we tell you that you’d scream for it?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Hell Driver now making pick-ups at El Diablo Truck Stop

By Tulayne Blaktop
Staff Roads Writer

VALLEY OF DOOM -- Hell Driver used to pick off motorists on the highway. Now he’s picking them up.

His new ride-hail service is now available to those looking for sweet, sweet revenge, and you can climb aboard his death black ’55 Chevy at El Diablo Truck Stop along Hell’s Highway and go after those scumbags that did you wrong.

“Anyone who’s ever been run off the road by decrepit oil tanker trucks or murderous Lincoln Continentals knows there’s nothing you in your non-possessed Plymouth Valiant are gonna do about it,” said Holden Agrudge, a former motorist who lost a road rage battle with a crazed blood-red Plymouth Fury back in the 1980s. “Now I’m back from the grave, except this time I’m riding shotgun with Hell Driver.”

Those who can’t stay ahead of their evil pursuers in their souped-up set of wheels can now take comfort in knowing that, with Hell Driver in his flaming hot ride, you too can move at unearthly speeds.

“You too can be unstoppable,” Agrudge said. “No cop, no crash, no fire will leave you stranded on the side of the road. Instead, you can go after those bastards that took you out in life. Revenge is a dish best served under your tires.”

Slip into the upholstered seats colored diabolic red (yes, that’s an official, patented color), grab hold of the “Oh Crap!” handle and hang on. Before you know it, you’ll be running down those who have it coming to them, sending them careening into the flames whence they came for all of eternity.

“There’s always enough retribution to be dealt,” said Hell Driver, who sat down with Jack-o’-Lantern Press to discuss his new enterprise. The demon wheeler, bearing an uncanny resemblance to a decaying Charles Bronson, is more than thrilled to offer aid to those in their rise to vigilantism. “It’s time for some payback. Being a wheelman on these highways for as long as I’ve been, I know personally that there are some sons-o’-bitches out there that deserve to be punished. But there’s a price to be paid for my services.”

Ride with Hell Driver long enough, collect a good share of kill marks on the front fender (and bodies in the vehicle's bottomless trunk), and you’ll soon find yourself in the driver’s seat.

“That’s right,” Hell Driver said. “The doors lock on you for good, and there’s no need to own your own set of keys. The car never shuts off. You’re doomed to be on the road forever, releasing me from my curse, cursing and screwing you forever, a sweet, devilish revenge in and of itself.”

Already there’s a long, long line of those waiting for the privilege to take over the position. See El Diablo at El Diablo Truck Stop to add your name to the list.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Valley of Doom desert parking structure project in the works

By Red Iculous
Staff Stupidity Writer

VALLEY OF DOOM -- As those visiting and frequenting the desert continue to have trouble finding parking, Valley of Doom City Councilmonsters are finalizing plans to build a 13-story (not including the 13 stories below ground), 6,660-space parking structure and pedestrian bridge to the barren landscape.

The project, to be located in the center of the desert at the corner of desert and more desert, is said to be the answer to parking problems that have been going on for years.

“Monsters come here to the desolate, arid wasteland of the Valley of Doom to roam, get lost, run out of water and burn to a crisp,” said Valley of Doom Mayor Bo N’dry. “But so many of these adventure-seekers are arriving and finding that our little parking lot is completely full.”

For over 100 years, as the desert has become increasingly busier, the council has toiled with the idea of adding other parking lots.

“We kept running into the same problem,” said Valley of Doom City Councilmonster Desi O. Lett. “There was just no place to put another lot. No matter where we tried to build, we kept running into the desert. The only thing we could do was build up. So that’s how this project came into being.”

The parking structure has been in the works for the last three decades. According to Mayor N’dry, it’s the Valley of Doom sun that’s cooked city planners’ brains, so it’s taking a little longer than they’d hoped.

After last night’s Planning Commission meeting where commissioners approved the final design of the structure, the project is now set to go before the council in November for final approval, and it will finally be put on the fast track for completion.

“We already wrote up the contract for the company doing the work,” Mayor N’dry said. “We’ll officially approve the project in a few weeks, and we’ll begin construction on top of our current parking lot in the next six to 10 years.”

Residents sounded off about the plan during a public hearing last week. One individual was concerned that, since the new parking structure will be built on top of the current parking lot, which is the only lot in the land, there will literally be no parking at all in the Valley of Doom.

“What are we going to do, park right on top of the desert?” asked Noe Organs, a skeleton who commutes from Downtown Transyl-vein-ia to the Valley of Doom five nights a week for work.

According to the mayor, folks like Organs won’t have to worry. The Valley of Doom City Council is working with other Transyl-vein-ia districts to build parking lots in neighboring jurisdictions so that those going into the Valley will be able to park out there, and then pick up a shuttle into the desert.

“We’re beginning talks on that now,” N’dry said. “We should be able to come to an agreement within the next 15 to 20 years, assuming the sun doesn’t get any hotter, which it’s been doing, and assuming it doesn’t cook our planners’ brains any more, which has also been the case. We’re hopeful anyway.”

Friday, October 6, 2017

The Blues Lagoon offers the best blues and ooze in the bayou

By Crocodiles Davis
Staff Ragslime Music Writer

BLACK LAGOON -- If you’ve made it this far in Transyl-vein-ia -- into the heart of the Black Lagoon -- then chances are you’ve got flying monkeys on your tail and they’re gaining on you.

Take this opportunity to sit down at the Blues Lagoon blues lounge in the Stench Quarter and let your pursuers catch up.

“The terror is much more exciting when it’s in your face -- or faces, depending on your orientation,” said ragslime musician Louis Fangstrong. “Order yourself a poison sumac julep and listen to some of the best ragslime and blues bands the monster world has to offer.”

Star performers like Snarley Parker, Frizzy “The Werewolf” Gillespe, B.B. King Kong, Fret Baker, Sarah Vein, John “The Moleman” Moletrain, Billie Horrorday, Dexter Gore-don and Charles Fungus are some of the headliners at the bar. You can listen to disturbing music and enjoy Cajun-style insects and sludge gumbo. But it’s the atmosphere that matters most.

“It’s dusty, yet dank, dangerous and full of terror traps,” said loungekeeper Comin Forabite. “If the flying monkeys don’t catch up with you, the horrors in here will finish the job.”

The Blues Lagoon is best known for celebrating the deceased (usually after becoming deceased right there in the bar). On hand for these grand occasions, along with the enemies and families of the deceased, is a special, mobile jazz band that for such an occasion sounds uncomfortably haunting. And as a skeleton reverend says, “Ashes to ashes and dust to dust, we’re sure glad this poor soul couldn’t stay here with us,” the snare drum player takes the handkerchief out of his snare, which serves as a cue for all the congregation and the band to form into one line and march to the back of the hall and into the cemetery out back, and sing, “Oh, Didn’t He Ramble Into One Big Mess.”

Usually, upon arriving in the cemetery, folks figure that since the deceased is dead and gone, there just isn’t any sense in not celebrating the loss of the poor soul, so the band really gets into it and the congregation usually breaks into dance.

“It’s really quite something to experience, especially if you’re the one that’s deceased,” Forabite said. “Once in the graveyard, there are all kinds of other pitfalls to fall in, and before you know it, there are usually two or three more celebrations. Here at the Blues Lagoon, it’s not just a funeral. It’s a nightly tradition. And we just can’t get enough of it. As you’d imagine, we’re known for knocking off our guests.”

In fact, the Blues Lagoon was awarded Deadliest Bar in the Quarter 10 years in a row.

Speaking of deadly, here come those flying monkeys now. Better make a run for it. Don’t trip over any of the obstructions hiding under that fog bed that just came conveniently rolling in. But since the band is already here . . .

Thursday, October 5, 2017

This is the scariest story ever!

By Scary Mary
Staff Scariest Things Ever Writer


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Retired ghoul comes up with solution to save Halloween

By Calamity Janine
Staff Fun and Catastrophes Writer

BLACK LAGOON -- The retired ghoul who discovered why and how Halloween would be ruined this year is said to have come up with a solution to save it.

E. Vilspirit, who resides in a home on Haunted Mansion Row, was playing around with some electricity and a hobbyist’s spell book this morning in his attic, when he learned how he could keep the portals between the monster world and human world from closing, allowing monsters to return to the mother land after they’re done scaring the crap out of people on Halloween.

However, Vilspirit told reporters that he’s not going to administer the plan to save monsters, and he’s not going to share the plan with anyone, either.

When asked what he planned to do, then, he said, “Nothing. I’m retired.”

What a twisted, sinister fiend.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Retired ghoul discovers why Halloween will be ruined this year

By Calamity Janine
Staff Fun and Catastrophes Writer

BLACK LAGOON -- A ghoul living and haunting in a home on Haunted Mansion Row was busy doing nothing (because there are few to scare while most Things are in the human world preparing for the October scare-emonies) when he discovered that Halloween would, in fact, be ruined this year.

It all started when the ghoul, retiree E. Vilspirit, came across a news story in this publication regarding a time traveler who went into the future and saw the portals between the monster world and the human world closing up, leaving monsters trapped on the other side while scaring humans for Halloween.

“So I got to tinkering around with my DeLorean and some plutonium in the garage,” Vilspirit said, “and before I knew it, I was going 88 miles per hour and then lurking around in the future. Saw the whole thing. And it’s true. The portals close up. I decided to do some studies on the whole thing when I got back in time.”

Vilspirit conducted a series of experiments and, in a matter of weeks, found the cause for the permanent closing of the portals.

“You’d think it was some complicated wizard’s spell or witch’s curse put on the monster world and the portals,” Vilspirit said. “It’s not. President Count Dracula’s mandated blood misters throughout Transyl-vein-ia is the problem. The fake blood he’s using is polluting our smog and has -- pardon the technical jargon -- ‘messed’ with the witch magic that makes the portals possible.”

According to Witches Meadow portal officials, who are responsible for the portals opening and closing, Vilspirit did what no one else cared to do, which was to look into a cause of the suspected closing of the portals. Monsters are calling him a hero and a montseritarian for his discoveries.

When asked what he planned to do to fix the problem, Vilspirit said, “Nothing. I’m retired.”

What a ghoulish, evil monster.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Trains without drivers a thing of the future, a mess for today

BLACK LAGOON -- Humans are testing self-driving freight trains in the human world, and monsters are in a race to do it for reals, and to do it much better. They sent a train loaded with freight at full speed with no living thing on board.

It crashed into the Bayou Train Station early this morning.

“The problem is we forgot to put a robot in the train or make the train self driving,” said Ono Oops, a representative for the Transyl-vein-ia Railroad. “We just flipped the switch and let her go.”

Other trains were sent on their way before the accident. All 17 of them were without any sort of self-driving mechanisms as well. Sources expect more train destruction very soon.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Monster maker gives credit to monster cereals for being his maker

By Jack O. Lantern
‘Head’ Writer/Editor

MONSTER ISLAND -- Captain FrankenPirate, also known as Michael Hanna in the human world, is a monster maker/pirate/magician/card reader/fortune teller/ghost detector -- a sort of jack-o’-lantern of all trades, as he says. He’s a Frankenstein monster in his own right, a concoction of many parts . . . and talents, too.

His ship, the Blarney Hanna, pulled into Pirate Harbor late last night, and Jack-o’-Lantern Press got the opportunity to sit down with him at his favorite table in his favorite tavern for some of his favorite rum to talk about his work, how he got into what he’s into, and about how you can check out some of the spooky and kooky stuff he’s doing.

Jack-o’-Lantern Press: How was your voyage?

Captain FrankenPirate (Michael Hanna): Choppy.

JLP: So, we know you make monsters and we know some of the monsters you’ve made, but what kind of monster are you? Were you made in a lab, created from black magic, hatched from an egg or were you just born?

MH: The evolution of my many personalities comes from years of being exposed to glow-in-the dark toys from the 1960s, eating lots of Boo-Berry, Franken Berry and Count Chocula cereals, and being a loyal Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine subscriber.

JLP: How long have you made monsters, and what got you started?

MH: I started making monsters in my lab about 30 years ago . . . because I had all these ideas in my brain and I needed to share them with others like myself -- and there are plenty of other Halloween/Monster/things-that-go-bump-in-the-night enthusiasts like myself. The pirates are my first love. There’s something about that time period I just really enjoy. It just seems to click with me, and creating the characters is never ending while building them.

JLP: Tell us about some of the monsters you make. We know you’ve made skeleton pirates, werewolves and vampires. What else? And what’s your scariest creation?

MH: Yes, I’ve made skeleton pirates, werewolves and vampires . . . I’d probably say my scariest creation was a family of life-sized zombies, though. As I created each one -- there were five of them -- I had no place to put them, so I set them around my kitchen table. It looked like I had a family of five zombies sitting at my table for dinner every night.

JLP: As a captain and creator of your own pirates, does that mean you sail with a crew, or do you sail solo?

MH: I hang with a crew of the most amazing pirate characters that ever sailed the seven seas. They’re a very large group of pirate re-enactors, kind of like the Renaissance Fair folk, but a lot more rowdy and a lot more fun. This group of wonderful colorful pirates can be found all over the country. Believe it or not, there are hundreds and hundreds of pirates all over the world, and not just in the monster world. There are hundreds and hundreds in the human world, too. I sail with them all.

JLP: Have you ever harnessed energy from lightning to create any of your monsters?

MH: No, but I drink a lot of rum, which gives the same of effect.

JLP: What types of monsters, wizards, mad scientists, evil warlords or other haunters buy your work? Do plain old ordinary people buy your work, too?

MH: People and things who think outside the box . . . march to their own drum . . . have fun with creative, crazy, wild ideas . . . You get the idea. People who have a pirate room or bar in their homes buy my creations to decorate or enhance their dwellings. Then there are collectors of unusual things. Ordinary people? What is that?

JLP: Once you release your horrors into the world, do you have separation anxiety? If so, well, lucky you. Do you ever check in on your creations, see what kind of terror they’re up to?

MH: Do I have separation anxiety? What father wouldn’t?! Looking at your children after you’ve created them and then having to part with them, all you can hope for is that they go to a good home and that you raised them properly before they go to represent you elsewhere. Unfortunately, once they leave my lab, I have no way of checking on them since it’s against the monster code. Hopefully, one might pop up in the news or on the Internet doing what they do best . . . scaring people!

JLP: Can you tell us about your lab? I’ll bet it’s filled with body parts, bones, spell books, operating tables, flasks of colored liquid, levers and control panels, Tesla coils and large machinery, death rays, and dusty piles of failed experiments, right?

MH: Well, from your description, it sounds like big brother is watching, but aside from all the cliché things like the ones you mention, you’ll also find a refrigerator, a stove, the television, my terrible children’s stacks of vampire girls magazines . . . Oops, scratch that last comment.

JLP: What types of body parts for your work are most difficult to find?

MH: I would probably have to say dragon eyes. Hard to come by and the damn dragon always seems to want to keep them.

JLP: So tell us, honestly, have you ever concocted a plan to take over the world? 

MH: No, probably just Pittsburgh.

JLP: We understand you’re also a magician. What kind of magic do you do -- black magic, evil sorcery, voodoo or just the regular kind?

MH: Yes, I am a magician. I’ve performed magic since I was 7 years old. Still can’t seem to get the “sawing the woman in half” trick down to a science yet, though I’ve created lots of twins because of it.

JLP: Were you born with magic? If not, what evil magician taught you what you know now?

MH: No, birth is magic itself, but I was self-taught and learned from books in the library. There were no DVDs or videotapes back when I was learning.

JLP: What’s the evilest spell or act of magic you’ve ever performed? How’d it go and did kids take off screaming?

MH: The evilest spell is probably the one I cast on the woman I married. And do kids run out screaming? Only if I’m wearing shorts when I’m performing.

JLP: You also find ghosts. We’ve had many of our good friends in the ghost realm go missing. Can you find them? How? Can you call on ghosts to just appear? Did you know I’m part ghost? Can you call me? Whoa, here I am.

MH: (Laughs) Yes, I’ve been known to be sensitive enough to find spirits. But then again, I could find Waldo. I don’t use a Ouija board and I don’t do a ghost-to-ghost broadcast. I’m just able to sense the force around all of us, and I know how to tune in better than most people, but not as good as some.

JLP: Can you actually communicate with ghosts? I mean, other than me. Can you play in their world?

MH: Sometimes. I walk with them and talk with them, but when it comes to solid walls, they keep going and I stay where I am.

JLP: How long have you been reading others’ misfortunes? Do you go in for that more light-hearted “fortune” telling stuff, too?

MH: Reading others’ Miss-fortunes, Mr.-fortunes . . . it doesn't matter. It’s all good. But I'm not really a fortuneteller. I’m more of an advisor, so I connect with people and try to give them a good direction as to which way they’re supposed to go with their lives.

JLP: What is your biggest challenge in all that you do? Or is it all that you do that’s the challenge?

MH: I would have to say . . . walking. My feet hurt a lot, otherwise there’s no challenge too big and nothing I can’t create if I put my mind to it.

JLP: What do you do for evil in your spare time?

MH: I still eat Count Chocula.

JLP: Is there a special ghoul in your life? What type of monster is she?

MH: My main squeeze? Yep. And because I’m all-over-the-place crazy, she keeps a lid on my coffin when I get too out of control. I guess you could call her the Bride of FrankenPirate.

JLP: Any skeletons in your closet?

MH: Just the ones that are being made into pirates. Oh, and the ones that I feed the dog when I run out of milk bones.

JLP: What other things would you want monsters, ghosts, magicians, mad scientists, pirates, haunters and even people to know about you and what you do?

MH: We covered most of the stuff that makes up my crazy life. My dead -- I mean my dad -- was a stuntman in movie westerns. My mummy is a stay-at-home type of mum. But to expand a little more, Skullywags is a company I built from the ground up about 20 years ago. I create these pirates, I sew all the clothing on them, and I make all the boots, hats and all the accessories that are on them. As for my magic, I mainly do theme magic like Harry Potter and pirate magic, and I even did a “My Little Pony” show not that long ago. Regarding my tarot card/channeling abilities, I’ve been involved in connecting with the “spirit world” since I was very young. I do readings/channeling for people who are trying to find good direction in their life. I also work with two paranormal groups as their sensitive investigator, doing work in houses that are reputed to have spirit activity.

JLP: How can people find you or contact you?

MH: I’m on Facebook as “Skullywags” and as “Tarot Readings by Michael.”

JLP: OK, so, at the end of these interviews, we like to fire off some questions like James Lipton from “Inside the Actor’s Studio” does. So here we go: What’s your favorite shade of blood and guts?

MH: Purple. It’s my favorite color, too.

JLP: What’s your favorite type of victim?

MH: Probably victim of love.

JLP: If you could be any other monster, what would it be?

MH: An agent for the IRS.

JLP: What kind of scream or cry of terror do you love most?

MH: The one from my kids when they find out I ate all the donuts.

JLP: What kind of scream or cry of terror do you love least?

MH: The one from me when I find out my kids ate all the donuts.

JLP: What’s your favorite torture device?

MH: I think it’s a toss-up between the vacuum cleaner and the washing machine.

JLP: If The Elevator that goes down to The Fire Caves exists (and it does), what would you want the Red Devil to say to you when you arrive?

MH: I’ve got these two glasses here. Did you bring the rum?