Monday, October 31, 2016

It's almost time, kids . . .

The clock is ticking . . . 

Click here for the horrorthon . . .

And remember the big giveaway at 9. Don't miss it. And don't forget to wear your Silver Shamrock masks. The clock is ticking. It's almost time.

Happy Halloween from your friends at Jack-o'-Lantern Press! 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Goblin falls out of tree in human world, unknowingly taken to pet hospital

By Al “Things” Green
Staff Night Creatures Writer

A senior goblin who’s still hiding in trees and scaring kids for a living fell out of a large oak last night in a Northern California suburb and was taken to an animal hospital, unbeknownst to him, to be treated for a broken leg, a broken arm, a sprained wrist and neck troubles.

The Goblin, 171 years old, told hospital representatives that he’s never been treated so poorly in all his life.

“I get no respect in this hospital, no respect at all,” Goblin said. “When I got here, two men were wrestling me to the ground. I yelled for help. Someone ran in and put a muzzle on me. The two men told me, ‘Thanks for the call. We couldn’t have done that on our own.’

“Are you kidding me?” Goblin added. “I told the nurse I needed help going to the bathroom. She put me on a leash and walked me around the block three times.

“I said, ‘I just wanna be treated like the rest of the patients around here.’ They gave me a bone.

“What’s a guy gotta do to get a little respect around here? I’m the goblin that inspired Jack Prelutsky’s goblin poem in his popular ‘It’s Halloween’ book. So I tell the doctor I’m famous and ask if I can get a room I don’t have to share with a bunch dogs. They throw me in my own personal crate.

“And this doctor,” Goblin said. “This doctor was dumb. He asked why I was in that tree in the first place. I told him I still have to work for a living. Not just for the money, but for the benefits, too. He said, ‘What do you know? You also talk.’ He was a dumb doctor.

“He was so dumb, I told him I didn’t have a tail when he asked what happened to it, and then he laughed and said, ‘I didn’t think people still clipped Dobermans’ tails these days.’ This doctor was dumb.”

Yeah, we know -- so are these jokes.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Great Pumpkin to celebrate cartoon

The Great Pumpkin plans to watch “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” tonight with some friends in an undisclosed, very sincere pumpkin patch somewhere in the United States as a way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Halloween cartoon classic.

That’s right, on Oct. 27, 1966, the animated holiday special made its debut on national television, and the Great Pumpkin is thrilled that it’s still one of the most popular holiday traditions of all time.

“Not one of the most popular holiday traditions,” the Great Pumpkin corrected me. “It is the most popular holiday tradition. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say it’s the best thing ever made.”

Some of the monster world’s notables attending the event this evening include the Groovie Goolies, the dancing skeletons from Walt Disney’s “The Skeleton Dance” and presidential candidate Count Dracula.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the cartoon again,” said Dracula. “I love the part where Lucy is sleeping and gets up to find Linus in the pumpkin patch. I’m pretty sure the front door of the house is left unlocked. I could easily get in there without scaling walls or turning into a bat or green mist for a little blood when she goes back to sleep. It’s fantasy, but it’s escapism at its best.”


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Bed sheet ghost likes red sheets most

By The Lunchbox Ghost
Staff Out-To-Lunch Writer

A bed sheet ghost out haunting last night in the Stench Quarter of the Black Lagoon was caught in a red sheet, not a white one, and the ghost said it was his right to choose.

 According to recent studies, more and more bed sheet ghosts are opting for alternatives these days.

“Some bed sheet ghosts are haunting in plaid sheets,” said a representative of the GWDT (Ghosts With Different Tastes) community. “And there’s nothing wrong with bed sheet ghosts of color. They scare with the best of them.”

The Red Sheet Ghost told reporters that he feels more like himself in red.

“White is so bland,” Red said. “I feel like I’m pretending to be something else when I’m scaring in white. The fact that some ghosts are criticizing me for being red is so dephantomizing.”

Red recently sat down with a white sheet ghost who represents Frankenstein's Monster’s presidential campaign and discussed his dilemma.

“Red is exactly the kind of individual Frankenstein’s Monster represents,” the campaign official said. “I talked with Red for quite some time and let him know that Frankenstein's Monster had his own issues with being different when he was first created. Angry mobs were always trying to corner him in old mills to burn him down, and they succeeded on a number of occasions, too. Trust me, he knows what it’s like to be different, and he’s ready to fight for those like Red.”

Red said he trusts the Monster and added that he will certainly give him his vote on Tues., Nov. 8 when monsters go to the polls to vote for Transyl-vein-ia president.

“I should be allowed the freedom to be who I am,” Red said. “So, please, stop throwing stuff at me. Underneath, we’re all the same. We’re all just nothing -- literally. But none of us are free until we’re all protected.”

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Debate fight ends debate tonight

The Wolf Man didn’t attack Count Dracula’s policy on blood banks in Transyl-vein-ia. He just attacked Count Dracula.

Then Drac bit back. Frankenstein’s Monster got a claw to the face, hurled a fist for Wolf and it landed on Jason instead. Jason pulled his machete, swung for Monster and sliced Wolf. Sea Creature must’ve felt he was missing out, so he jumped in.

“Before we could even ask the first question, the five presidential candidates were in full ‘discussion,’” said the moderator of this evening’s town hall debate, which took place at the Ghoul School in Downtown Transyl-vein-ia. “Those who were undecided before tonight came away with a much better idea of who they want for Transyl-vein-ia President after witnessing the dispute.”

Several monsters said they have a much clearer view of the candidates’ policies after the rumble.

“I appreciate the more informal town hall debates,” said a goblin in the audience. “It’s not as stiff as the regular, more formal debates. And now I know who I want as our next president. I even got a sticker with my candidate of choice. Go Sea Creature!”

Monsters will go to the polls on Tues., Nov. 8 to choose who they want to rule this great monster land. No need to register. Just go vote.

-Werewolf Blitzer

Monday, October 24, 2016

Letters from the Lab: Cookies with Dr. Binary and a plot to take over world

By The Mad Scientist

I don’t typically enjoy visiting other mad scientists in their home labs because it’s often a pain in the gluteus maximus to get there (these places are usually out of the way, you have to go up against life-threatening forces, cross over deadly chasms and/or moats, and you’re always tested to use some unique talent or intellect to bypass gates or alarms), but I made an exception recently following one of my latest failures.

Now, I’ve blown up my lab hundreds of times before. But when you destroy your life’s work for the tenth time in a row, you tend to want to confirm that others are bigger failures than you. So I called up an old friend, Dr. Benjamin Binary, and asked what he was up to, and it turns out he’d been working on an experiment way out in Transyl-vein-ia’s Bigfoot National Park for some time and he wanted me to check it out.

“Hello,” said the mechanical voice on the other end of the line when I called. “Thank you for calling Dr. Benjamin Binary’s Lair, how may I assist you?”

After having a warm conversation with the voice (we talked about the weather and how to manipulate it, the latest robot uprising and, of course, the upcoming NBA season), I asked how to get to Binary’s domicile, and the voice told me.

Just as expected, it was going to be one big pain. The voice set up an appointment for me to meet with someone named Lorenzo at Footers Lodge at the foot of Bigfoot National Park.

I packed up my books and was on my way. Upon my arrival, some lady at the front desk tried convincing me to turn around and go home.

“You’ll never survive the journey,” she told me.

“Sounds like fun,” I said. “When do we start?”

She set me up with Lorenzo and he put me through a boot camp that would help me get through the park to Binary’s Lair. My trainers taught me how to survive on the land, start campfires without using computers or lasers . . . In fact, they made me relinquish all my technology.

“This is nature’s wonderland out here,” one of my trainers said. “Bigfoot catches you with any kind of electronics or robotics, he won’t eat you. He’ll just bat you around until you’re a bloody pulp. And that’s when he’ll really have some fun with you.”

“Sounds like fun,” I said. “When do we start?”

Unfortunately, it was my understanding that Bigfoot had already taken off for the human world for the Halloween season, so I had to come to grips with the fact that I might not have any run-ins with him.

When I finished boot camp, Lorenzo got me fully equipped to survive my lone hike out to Binary’s place. He got me the right clothing, some boots, a survival knife, a few flashlights, a selfie stick to take photos with Bigfoot in the event he was still in town, etc.

“If you wanna live,” Lorenzo told me before sending me on my way, “keep fires going all night, stay near the water’s edge and keep your food sealed. Bigfoot may not be here, but the bears are. And they’re not your typical household grizzly. They’re mean in these parts.”

My journey through Bigfoot National Park is a story in and of itself, but it’s for another time. It’s filled with twists and turns, creatures and lots and lots of bugs. I never did come across Bigfoot, but I was running for my life on more than one occasion.

I eventually made it to Binary’s lair. The entrance door was massive. I have to admit -- I was a little jealous. It had blinking lights, buttons and spinning gadgets that may or may not have had any purpose, but they sure looked cool.

I located a green button on a speaker box and pressed it. The same voice I spoke with about weather, robots and the NBA greeted me via the speaker.

“Hello, sir,” the voice said. “Welcome to Doctor Benjamin Binary’s Evil Lair, sponsored by Gore Gardens.”

How’d he get that sponsor? I’ve been trying to get them for years.

Anyway, the voice was as friendly as I remember from our phone call. And then it became angry.

“I’m going to take over your thoughts and end you,” it said. It was like it became a different person altogether. Then it became friendly again. “Come on in and have some cookies.”

The cookies were actually quite good. They were chocolate chip. Super soft. Had to have been fresh out of the oven.

“Oh, it’s nothing,” the voice said. “I bake in my spare time.”

I was standing in the middle of an empty, cement foyer. Then a large door in the wall opened, and beyond the doorway was a set of cement stairs that went down.

I took the stairs and found myself in a large round room. As I stepped off the last step, the wall closed up over the stairwell and I was trapped. Then, in the center of the room, a large, green holographic image of someone who called himself The Guardian appeared. I’ll tell you this: Binary did not get any of this stuff at Evil-More Shopping Mart back in the Mad Science District. It was impressive.

“I am The Guardian,” the green man said. “I’m a powerful virtual construct created by Dr. Benjamin Binary. I’m here to monitor all scientific experiments.”

I knew it. This is why I hate visiting other mad scientists. You can never just go hang out. It’s gotta be part of some elaborate plan.

“Am I an experiment?” I asked. “Because if I am, I don’t have time for this. I’ve got my own experiments to run.”

“Silence!” The Guardian yelled at me, only he changed from green to red as he said it. “I’m no guardian, but I will take over your mind and destroy the world.” Then he became green again. “Would you like some more cookies, first?”

A table came up out of the floor with some more of those awesome cookies. As I took a bite out of another one of those soft babies, the green man offered his apologies and said he was actually Dr. Benjamin Binary.

“Ben?” I asked. “Is that really you? Are you the one behind these cookies? Because they’re damn good.”

“Silence!” he said as he changed colors to red again.

“Sorry,” he said one more time as he turned back to green. “I’m stuck in my own creation and I can’t get out. This system has taken over my every thought and I’m trapped. Do you like the cookies?”

“Yeah,” I said. “They’re really good. And really soft.”

“Remind me to tell you about how I make them,” he said. “I actually made that batch three years ago. In any event, I need your help to get me out of here.”

I told him I’d help, provided he set me up with the cookie recipe, and then he flipped again. The red man screamed at me, told me to come closer. He complained that his other self wouldn’t let him do any of the things he wanted to do like take over the world.

“I’ve embedded myself into every system you can think of,” the red man said. “And now I have access to all of those systems. I’ve been devising a plan to shut down the grid and take over the world, but every time I go to do it, my pesky other self takes over and tries to end me.”

Just then, the red man became green. It was like a tug of war between these two entities to take over the holographic form in front of me.

“Don’t listen to me,” the green man said. “It’s not me. If it takes over the world, it won’t be me who is doing the taking over. And I can’t have that. I want to be the one taking it over. I want the glory.”

“Ben,” I said. “I can’t have either one of you taking over the world. As you know, I have my own plans.”

The green man said the red man’s plan was going to work, though. What a slap in the face.

“Look,” he said, “it’s nothing personal. But you know I was always the better mad scientist.”

“Yeah,” I said, “you’re so much better that you’re stuck in a hologram that changes colors more often than a traffic light.”

“Never mind that,” he said. “I’m working on getting through the firewall on this thing. If I can do that, I can end the red man’s attack. But if I can’t get through, he’ll continue taking over and I’ll be a goner in less than three hours and he’ll own you, too. So it’s good you got here when you did. How are you, by the way? How’s Ethel?”

We talked about the weather and how to manipulate it, the latest robot uprising and, of course, the upcoming NBA season, and then he told me how I could help end the red man.

“If we don’t do this,” he said, “he’s going to unpack this new technology he created called Packet Encapsulation. He embeds himself around network packets like a capsule of a pill, which allows him to see everything over the wire. He can encapsulate anything and everything. He can morph the packets, duplicate them or change them into anything he wants. It’s sorta complicated. But if he gets this technology around the world, he will take it over, there’s no doubt. And, as stated previously, we can’t have that. If anyone is gonna take over the world, it’s gonna be me, which was also stated previously.”

No, it’s gonna be me.

So I set out to help him end the red man. I’d deal with the green man and Binary later, I thought. I went to a circular panel on the floor near the hologram, opened it and pressed the green and red buttons simultaneously.

“How dare you tell this man our plans!” the red man said upon his return to the room. “How dare you get him involved! Now we must destroy him!”

The green man came back with more instructions and a warning to hurry.

“Hurry,” he said again. “He’s trying to get rid of me right now. Now push the yellow button five times and then punch in the code, ‘DESTRUCTION.’ It’s case sensitive, so use the cap locks, please.”

I don’t remember anything after I typed in the code. When I woke up in the hospital this morning, I asked how I got here and one of the nurses told me someone in a cloak dumped me off at the front door, then fled the scene in a rush.

I don’t know if the red man or the green man was victorious over poor Dr. Benjamin Binary. All I know is that there were reports of a huge explosion in Bigfoot National Park two days ago, which means, in my book, whoever won didn’t take over anything.

So the world is still up for grabs.

I’d say it’s time for me to get back to my own work.

The Mad Scientist is a mad man with evil on his mind always and plans to take over the world at any given time. He lives in a castle on Lab Lane in the Mad Science District of Transyl-vein-ia.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Skeleton flips house, everything new and nice underneath

Home flippers buy brand new homes, fix them up so they look old and dilapidated, and then they pass them off as real haunted houses on Halloween night.

A Monster Island skeleton, who goes by the name of The Haunter, went out to the human world (in a small Southern California suburb) this Halloween season in August and did just that. And while the home he flipped looks old and rotting on top, underneath it’s all shiny and sanitary.

“Most home flippers are doing that these days,” said Ben Thardunthat, a bed sheet ghost that’s been flipping houses for over 20 years. “That’s because it’s hard to find old, scary, incredibly dangerous houses today. Most flippers take shortcuts because they feel no one’s really going to find out.”

And so, if you’re planning on spending some time in a haunted house this season, think about whether you really want to go into a place that’s not truly a hazard, that’s not falling apart, that’s not disgusting and not a place that’s going to endanger the lives of everyone in it. That’s the type of place that ghouls like The Haunter are trying to pass off as a “haunted.” Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

-Wicked Witch

Thursday, October 20, 2016

National poll: Jason leads way in presidential race

By Werewolf Blitzer
Staff Pol-“IT”-ical Writer

According to a national poll, Jason, the hockey mask-wearing, machete-carrying slasher psycho, is leading the way in Transyl-vein-ia’s Presidential Election.

He’s the favorite among millennials, and there are more young folks voting in this election than ever before.

“These kids just can’t relate to the classic monsters,” said The Barber, a razor blade-wielding political analyst for CMN (Cable Monster News). “And, frankly, I don’t blame them. It’s time we finally get a slasher psycho the Red House. We’re all sick of the classics.”

But it’s the older voters who couldn’t be more against Jason.

“He would not represent us well at all,” said The Mummy. “He doesn’t even talk. How’s he going to conduct business around the world if he doesn’t talk? At least Frankenstein’s Monster grunts.”

In the recent poll conducted by the Transyl-vein-ia Institute of Monsters, several voters were turned off by Count Dracula’s bloodsucking ways. The Sea Creature is a one-issue candidate, some said, and the Wolf Man is two-faced.

“The Wolf Man is too hot and cold,” said one voter who told reporters that her vote was going to Jason. “Jason doesn’t discriminate. He goes after men and women equally.”

Count Dracula said he truly believed the poll was rigged and that Jason’s campaign brought in those kids from Camp Crystal Lake and Camp Slasher Psycho to throw off the vote.

“These toddlers don’t even care about pol-‘It’-ics,” the vampire said. “They’re too busy running around the lake being reckless and selfish and -- they shouldn’t even be allowed to vote in a monster election. They’re not even monsters. If I get in, I’ll have them removed from Transyl-vein-ia and sent back to where they came from.”

The town hall debate that was scheduled this week at the Ghoul School in Downtown Transyl-vein-ia where candidates could’ve talked about the results of the recent poll was postponed until next week due to the recent scandal involving Dracula on tape criticizing women for their ugly necks. The Count said he needed to address that matter first, which he called “wrong,” but told debate officials that he’d be available in a week’s time.

The other candidates agreed to postpone the debate and they all look forward to getting together then to discuss what’s right and wrong with the world and how they’re going to make it a badder place. We’ll have coverage following the event.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Evidence shows cottage in Carpathian Mountains may've belonged to Merlin

By Meddi Valtimes
Staff Dark Ages Writer

A cottage discovered in a valley of Transyl-vein-ia’s Carpathian Mountains is said to have once belonged to Merlin the Magician.

According to archeologists, the structure was mostly empty when they found it, but there were a few telling artifacts that could be traced back to the great sorcerer.

“We found a skull that we believe Merlin had on the right side of the second to top shelf of his aviation bookcase in the far left corner of the cottage,” said Cy Ence, one of the experts who made the recent discovery. “After careful examination of the indentations on the floor, we could see the make and model of the bookcase that rested there and we could see when it rested there, which was around the time Merlin was said to be in these parts. By going off the deeper divots in the floor on the left side, it suggests there were fewer books on the right side of the shelf -- and we know Merlin kept his bookshelves full and that he often had skulls in his dwellings for dramatic effect -- thus we believe he placed that skull on that shelf, but on the second to top shelf because Merlin had a lot of coffee table books that he picked up from the future that he couldn’t fit in the inside shelves of the case -- he never had any room on his coffee tables because he always had experiments and model kits on his coffee tables (he loved building classic muscle car models) -- so he would have had to put those coffee table books on top of the bookshelf, which means the skull was most likely on the second to top shelf.”

When asked how he knew the skull belonged to Merlin to begin with, Ence said he and his team found a crack in the forehead, which Merlin used to prefer in all his skulls for dramatic effect. According to Ence, the skull was also made from magic, which is where Merlin got his skulls.

“He didn’t like real skulls,” Ence said. “And the skull we found was not real. We also found owl droppings in the cottage, which we believe came from Merlin’s pet owl, Archimedes.”

When asked how they examined the droppings, Ence said, “Carefully.” He brought several droppings to a lab for extensive study. There are scientists in that lab who work specifically in poop, and they found that the droppings, even though they were ages old, had traces of tea in it.”

“We now know that Archimedes would regularly share tea with Merlin,” Ence said. “And the traces of tea we found in the owl droppings were of the Sleepy Time brand that Merlin allegedly got from the future and used to drink. Upon further investigation of the tea traces under our electron microscope, which is a microscope that has the ability to make images to a resolution of half the width of a hydrogen atom, we actually found remnants of chain from the water well out front, which we determined hasn’t had a chain on it since around the time Merlin was said to be in these parts, and we could establish that by examining the rust on the well’s wheel -- if you count the rust rings, you can figure out the exact last time the wheel turned, and that was around the time Merlin was said to be in these parts, and the last chain that would’ve been used at that time would’ve been the chain Merlin would’ve had and that’s the chain remnants we found in the traces of tea we discovered in the owl droppings, which means Merlin got water from the well, probably struggled with the chain, then made the tea that he and Archimedes drank, the owl went poop, the poop dropped to the cottage floor, it remained there for all these ages, we found it, we examined it, it’s what we think it is, and thus this was Merlin’s cottage and we know it is.”

Ence and his team also found a hole in the straw roof, which they feel is the one a young King Arthur made when he fell from a tree into the cottage where he first met Merlin. They also discovered shards of glass that they deemed to be test tube glass from experiments Merlin was conducting.

“I could tell you how we came to those conclusions as well,” Ence told reporters. “It won’t take that long and it's more proof that this was one of Merlin's cottages.”

Ence did go on, and he just kept going on and on, and we don’t have enough space to go on and on with him, but his report is available online and in the Mad Science District Museum if you’re into to self-inflicted pain.

Or you can just visit the cottage. You’ll find it in the Merlin Valley Woods. The cottage has a sign out front that reads, “Merlin the Magician,” and the address is 1963 Merlin Way, which is the address Merlin had at one time during his life.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Jack-o'-Lantern Press launches podcast

The ghouls and goblins at Jack-o'-Lantern Press launched a new podcast this week called "The Jack-o'-Lantern Press Podcast." 

JLP creators Michael Picarella, Tom Picarella and Robert Picarella talk about and review cool things for those obsessed with Halloween and monsters.

In Episode 1, the guys discuss some cool, fast-growing digital decorations you can use in your own home. They also give information about a website that will help you celebrate Halloween 365 days of the year. 

If you love Halloween and you love monsters, then check out this podcast. Listen to the first episode by clicking on the link below:

The Jack-o'-Lantern Press Podcast

"We're hoping to do at least one or two more episodes by Halloween night," said JLP Publisher Michael Picarella. "And we're planning to do a podcast where we'll discuss the results of the all-too-important Transyl-vein-ia Presidential Election, which we'll post on Nov. 9th or 10th."

Transyl-vein-ia will vote for a new president on Nov. 8, 2016. The five candidates running are Count Dracula, Sea Creature, Jason, Frankenstein's Monster and the Wolf Man.

"It's anyone's guess who will win," said JLP Head of Research and Development Tom Picarella. "I'm still looking over the news coverage our reporters from Jack-o'-Lantern Press are bringing in. I know that before I go into the booth, I'll be able to make a more informed decision. And I'll be able to discuss that decision on the show and know what I'm talking about."

"The Jack-o'-Lantern Podcast" is everything your ears have wanted to have in them next to bed bugs and cockroaches. Check it out tonight!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Letters from the Lab: Adaptive Reality a reality

By The Mad Scientist

He advertised it in many worlds as a way for individuals to go about their day without having to do anything. They wouldn’t have to think, move and, in the case of humans, experience pain, which people, strange enough, don’t particularly enjoy. Even those with missing body parts could have new ones, thanks to the brilliant science called Adaptive Reality.

Professor Malcolm Sawyer was a mad scientist in Transyl-vein-ia’s Mad Science District who, two years ago, created Adaptive Reality and introduced it to mad scientists and enthusiasts during last year’s New Inventions Convention at the Mad Science Convention Center on Jekyll Drive.

“Adaptive Reality is not an ordinary system like Virtual Reality,” Sawyer told a packed hall of convention-goers last October. “With Virtual Reality, you’re put into an entirely invented environment. Adaptive Reality isn’t even even like Augmented Reality, where the real world has artificial and computer-generated beings and objects in it. Adaptive Reality is robotics and machinery that tethers to a living organism and then adapts to that living organism.”

At the convention, Sawyer demonstrated his Adaptive Reality on a zombie who had previously lost her leg to another zombie that needed flesh. Sawyer tethered his system onto the zombie and let her roam the hall for all to see.

“At first, it felt like I had a prosthetic leg,” the zombie said. “It was heavy and cumbersome, and it felt like a machine for sure. After about five minutes, though, the leg began to learn my moves and it adapted to me, and all of a sudden I couldn’t feel it anymore. It was as if my leg was back. And right there in the hall, I walked up to an individual taking notes on the demonstration, and I ate her brain right out of her head. It was fantastic!”

Sawyer’s second demonstration at the convention was even more impressive. He brought a giant chicken heart onto the stage and asked it what it wanted most. It said it wanted to know what it was like to terrorize a small metropolis, if only it could move.

“I’ve had dreams of marching down busy streets, stomping on evading humans, knocking over telephone poles and devouring mid-size vehicles,” the giant chicken heart said. “With Adaptive Reality, it sounds like all my dreams can come true.”

Then, with some newly-fitted AR legs and arms, the chicken heart stood up from the folding chair it was sitting in, walked out of the building, and, from the video screen, everyone in the hall watched it stomp on groups of evading pedestrians on Jekyll Drive, knock over telephone poles and devour full-size vehicles.

Sawyer’s third and final demonstration at the convention was with a human specimen. This human was snatched up from the suburban sector. It was still wearing fresh pizza stains on its shirt, and it was still clutching a video game controller and wearing Virtual Reality goggles. It hadn’t moved from its bedroom in weeks. It was the perfect example of “lazy teenager.”

“When was the last time you left your bedroom?” Sawyer asked the specimen on stage.

“I don’t leave my bedroom, dude,” the specimen answered. “Dude, this is the coolest VR I’ve ever seen. It really feels like I’m in a convention hall.”

The specimen didn’t even know it had left its bedroom back in the human world. When Sawyer asked what the specimen wanted out of life, it said it wanted to do nothing but play video games.

“Don’t you have to go to school?” Sawyer asked.

“Yeah, dude,” the specimen said. “Eventually I’ll have to go back, but I’m gonna enjoy my time until they make me go, bro.”

Sawyer said there’s a whole generation of human beings that can’t deal with going to school or work or social gatherings because they fear they’ll have to deal with things like stress, letdown and situations where they’d have to think. So, with that in mind, Sawyer attached an Adaptive Reality Body Suit to the human specimen he had on stage.

“The Body Suit includes a headset that fits around the ears and taps into the brain of the individual wearing it,” Sawyer told his audience. “I designed it to pick up on the individual’s thoughts and questions, and based on the individual’s thoughts, the AR will answer those questions. Then, using the answers, the AR will take actions on behalf of the individual.”

Once Sawyer had the human specimen fitted in the suit, he transported the then-cybernetic being through a portal on stage to the human world.

“It was like a dream, dude,” the specimen told reporters at the end of his first day in the suit. “I was at school, actually listening to my teachers’ lectures and I was somehow learning from them. Every girl I asked to the Fall Dance turned me down. And I was even doing homework for the first time in years. Bro, the funny thing is, I wasn’t doing a dang thing. The Adaptive Reality was taking in all the information, dealing with all the failure and doing all the thinking. I was more like a bystander, bro, but in my own body. It was totally mindless. It was awesome, dude!”

Reports yesterday confirm that Professor Sawyer’s Adaptive Reality was, in fact, a major plan to control all those who purchased and used his systems. Sawyer successfully sold over 1.7 billion units to humans and monsters in various worlds over the last year. He even had doctors inserting microscopic AR units into human and monster newborns as part of their vaccinations. Then, last week, he began to manipulate all AR-controlled individuals in an effort for his own good. He had them bring him various leaders from all the worlds so he could take ultimate control of all life.

And he would’ve gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for those darned kids.

“That’s right,” said one brainless kid in a group of many who were tired of being operated by Sawyer and his AR. “We wanted our lives back, so a bunch of us took off our patented Body Suits, hacked into them -- that firewall was totally vulnerable -- and we turned them all against their creator.”

Late last night, AR pieces from all worlds turned toward Sawyer’s lab in the Mad Science District, and began their invasion.

As of this morning, the explosions could still be heard from all over the Mad Science District. They were big. They were loud. They were endless.

Professor Sawyer is most likely a goner. He will be missed.

The Mad Scientist is a mad man with evil on his mind always and plans to take over the world at any given time. He lives in a castle on Lab Lane in the Mad Science District of Transyl-vein-ia.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Presidential debate gets ugly, not in good way

By Werewolf Blitzer
Staff Pol-“IT”-ical Writer

They all shook hands and/or claws before the debate last night, and then the five remaining candidates running for Transyl-vein-ia President got to it. Transyl-vein-ians were disgusted.

As in previous debates and speeches, Count Dracula brought up the need for more blood banks, Sea Creature has a plan to resolve the pollution shortage in local waters, the hockey mask-wearing slasher psycho Jason talked about ways to bring more reckless teens to the area by building additional campgrounds, Frankenstein’s Monster spoke of energy and the Wolf Man howled about meat.

“The way they were so cordial and civil with each other was shameful,” said The Barber, a razor blade-wielding political analyst for CMN (Cable Monster News). “They let each other speak without interruption, no one dodged any questions, there was no bickering, no fighting . . . There was no bloodshed whatsoever.”

At one point during the debate, Dracula made a weak impersonation of the Frankenstein Monster with some stereotypical grunting, and the Monster didn’t even leave his podium and use his brute strength to wrap the vampire over the head. He stuck to the issues instead.

“Is this what it’s come down to?” asked Transyl-vein-ia Hills resident Bed Sheet Ghost. “Is this the best our political system have to offer? After what I saw last night, I’m ashamed to be a Transyl-vein-ian.”

Maybe the most shocking moment came when the Wolf Man told Jason that he agreed with his slaying policies.

“I hold what you do in the highest regard,” the lycanthrope said on live TV. “Whereas you use a machete, I use my claws and teeth. We both get the job done in the end.”

The audience at the debate was full of dropped jaws.

“They both get the job done?” asked The Barber. “That’s not what you say when you’re vying for the most powerful position in Transyl-vein-ia. In Fact, you don’t say anything at all. You go through your podium the way a speeding big rig would go through a stopped sports car on the interstate, and you use the hockey mask you just shattered with your fangs as a toothpick after you devour the guy like he was a short stack of buttermilk pancakes. Come on!”

By the end of the evening, even the moderators had given up. They stopped asking questions and began ridiculing the candidates. Jason walked off stage for what critics are calling hurt feelings.

“President Electrified Creature may not be the best president Transyl-vein-ia has ever had,” Bed Sheet Ghost said, “but at least when he was ridiculed during his debates with Wicked Witch in the last election, he went over to the moderator and sent 100,000 volts through the poor fool’s face as a comeback. That’s the kind of leadership we need in this world. We don’t need sportsman-like conduct.”

Jack-o’-Lantern Press will host a town hall debate next week at the Ghoul School in Downtown Transyl-vein-ia, and we’ll have coverage following the event. Campaign managers promised more action this time around. We’ll just have to see.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Fly offers to change trick-or-treaters into hybrid insect of choice

By Laye D. Bug
Staff Swarm Writer

The Fly is going into the human world this Halloween, and he’s bringing with him a set of telepods and a bagful of bugs to change trick-or-treaters into the hybrid insect of their choice.

The Brundlefly Project, as The Fly is calling it, will be the first of its kind since 1986 when Seth Brundle (The Fly’s previous identity) first developed a teleporting science that resulted in the mutation of two beings.

“Kids don’t have to be bats for bugs to try it out,” Fly said. “In fact, it’s more fun if they’re not. But I’ll be doing the transformations in places with lots of walls to climb and things to break so participants can try out their newly increased strength and stamina.”

Fly said there’s no going back once trick-or-treaters go into a telepod.

“All I can do to make things better is string up three telepods,” Fly said, “and fuse three beings together into one ultimate family. By the end of the night, we should have some real interesting messes for someone to try to destroy. Fat chance of that, though. That’s right -- I’m not going down so easy this time.”

The Fly will have many Brundlefly Project stations set up all over the human world beginning at 7 p.m. on Oct. 31. To find a location near you, check the Bartok Science Industries’ website or see the full-page ad in this month’s edition of Particle Magazine.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Gorgon Sisters to perform at Young Fronkensteen Theatre

By Ouwt Onthetown
Staff Night Life Writer

You’re in for some treatsssssssssss.

At 10 p.m. this Friday, the Gorgon Sisters will bring their high-demand singing act to the Young Fronkensteen Theatre in Downtown Transyl-vein-ia for what is said will be a weekly show.

“We’re thrilled to have the girls live at the Young Fronkensteen,” said theatre owner Mighty Joe Young. “We’re still working on an agreement, but we’re hoping to have their act every Friday night.”

Part of Young’s deal restricts the mythological creatures from turning theatre guests who are staring into stone.

“It’s against their nature,” Young said, “but we can’t have them making statues out of our audiences. It’s in their best interest. And, hey, we’re not saying all guests are off limits. We’re just asking them to save those who aren’t incessantly staring.”

The Gorgon Sisters’ music is from another time, and not even their own ancient time. After the oldest sister, Medusa, lost her head during a run-in with the Greek hero Perseus some time ago, she underwent surgery to get her head back on her shoulders. She developed a love for song and, in the late 1930s, decided life was too short -- she got her sisters together and they built up a singing act.

The Gorgon Sisters’ first performances were for some skeletons, ogres and giant scorpions in Monster Island’s Gorgon Gorge. After turning them into stone and then everyone else in the region, the sisters found they had no one else to entertain. So they took take their act on the road.

In 1942, they hired a manager who figured out that putting the sisters on radio and TV would preserve their fan base because the fans wouldn’t be sculptures by the end of each performance. That’s when the girls recorded “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree,” which went platinum.

“But music lovers wanted to see the Gorgon Sisters live,” Young said. “And they couldn’t do that until now. That’s the gift I’m giving those who’ve stood behind them all these years, although I recommend you actually ‘stand behind them’ and avoid eye contact when they perform. You’ve been warned.”

The cost to see the show is $15 a head (bring your own, Perseus) and maybe your life if you can’t stop staring. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Jack-o'-Lantern Press on Nightmare 365 podcast

For those of you who haven’t been following this second season of Jack-o’-Lantern Press, which began Aug. 1 and goes through Nov. 2 when we’ll be reporting the results of the Transyl-vein-ia Presidential Election, then be warned: Dracula is coming for you.

You can, however, go back and catch up on all of our amazing content before Halloween is here. Or you can click HERE to hear the founders of the world's greatest online monster news source as they discuss the second season of monster stories during an episode of the Nightmare365 podcast.

Still, Dracula is coming for you. We hope you make it to the end of the season.