Inspired by The Monster Squad, John Squires over at the must read horror blog “Freddy in Space”, asked the question: “If you had your very own Monster Squad style tree house horror hangout, what types of things would you put in it?”
Accepting John’s challenge, here for your consideration, are my 10 must have items.
1. A Stephen King Rules T-Shirt
First off, as this is a fantasy style tribute to The Monster Squad, anyone who entered my tree house hangout would have to own the Stephen King Rules shirt like the one that Sean wears in the movie. This would be the official “uniform” of the tree house. Because, even though (in my opinion) the master has slipped a bit in his later years, Stephen King indeed does RULE and all horror fans need to pay their respect.
2. Gonesh Halloween Themed Incense Selection
As a way to set the perfect ambiance in my tree house hangout, I’d be constantly burning these Halloween inspired incenses. I can speak from personal experience and say that the “Ghostly Glow” incense is really, really good. Hints of cinnamon, mixing with other warm spices make this the perfect Halloween/fall incense. The “Spooky Brew” incense is described as smelling like warm mulled cider and “Scary Night” brings to mind smells of a candy filled night of Trick or Treating.
3. The Halloween Official Motion Picture Soundtrack
Further establishing the perfect horror hangout vibe, I would have this disc playing on repeat in my tree house. Perhaps the most perfect horror movie soundtrack of all time. Even the most casual horror movie fan recognizes the Halloween Main Theme; easily John Carpenter’s most popular musical composition.
4. Friday the 13th part 3-D Poster
Adorning one of the walls of my tree house hang out would be one of my all-time favorite horror movie posters. Incredibly subtle yet still very sinister, this poster also announces that this installment of the Friday 13th franchise will literally be coming at you in 3D. Adding to the unprecedented 3D treatment, part 3 also marked the first time Jason Voorhees would don the iconic hockey mask he would come to be known for.
5. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad DVD
Timeless. This superbly animated feature showcases the amazing voice of Bing Crosby as he narrates and sings a faithful retelling of the legend of Sleepy Hollow. A staple around my house every Halloween, this classic would be required viewing in the tree house.
6. Cryptozoological Action Figures
These super rare cryptid figures were released in limited numbers by Mezco back in 2003. Consisting of highly detailed and articulated renditions of Bigfoot, The Jersey Devil and The Mothman (The Loch Ness Monster was never released for some reason) this series is tough to find. Mint in package pieces do turn up on eBay with prices ranging from $45 – $100+. A more affordable (and possibly superior) alternative will be available in the The Legendary Monsters line of action figures and cards.
7. A Ouija Board
Whether its the older “wood grain” version, the new glow in the dark version or even the pink one, a Ouija board is essential in the tree house horror hangout. Not only is it an awesome conversation piece with some timeless artwork, it’s fun to sit around with some friends on the night of a full moon and commune with the other side.
8. How to Survive a Horror Movie
In How to Survive a Horror Movie, Seth Grahame Smith (he of Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies fame) has crafted a love letter to all horror geeks. Laugh out loud funny and smartly written, Smith deconstructs all manner of horror movie situations and antagonists and teaches you everything you need to know to live long enough to see the end credits. I read through this book at least a couple times a year and it never gets old. It would find a permanent spot on the bookshelf in my tree house (Yeah, I’d have a bookshelf in my tree house).
9. “The Mask” from Don Post Studio
Originally released in 1985 “The Mask” was the first commercially available Michael Myers mask. While the mask didn’t bare that close of a resemblance to the mask used in Halloween, it was the best that was available for many years. It wasn’t until independent mask makes started plying their trade that a screen accurate Myers mask would become available. Nonetheless, this mask still holds a nostalgic place in my heart as I actually had one as a kid and used it for more than one season of Trick or Treating. The rest of the year it was proudly displayed on a shelf in my bedroom and would look great displayed in my virtual tree house as well.
10. A Collection of Classic Horror Video Games
Rounding out my list I’d have to have a small collection of classic Nintendo (NES), Super Nintendo (SNES) and Playstation (PSX) horror video games. Games such as Zombies Ate My Neighbors, Silent Hill, Resident Evil – Director’s Cut, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th and the NES Castlevania series would be must haves. While not all great games, (Elm Street and Friday, I’m looking at you) they do represent a large cross section of the horror and video game landscape. From zombies and slashes to side scrollers and survival horror, just about every taste would be satisfied.
As a bit of a bonus, I decided to add on 3 more items I’d have in the tree house, bringing the list to 13.
11, 12 and 13….
Marvel Zombies Comic Book Collection
Such a perfect set up: zombie super heroes. This is the series that got me back into reading Marvel comics.
Monster in My Pocket
A genuine classic toy amongst horror aficionados. Monster in My Pocket (MIMP) was a series of highly detailed rubber mini-figures that consisted of monsters from mythology, urban legend, literature and film. From Bigfoot, ghosts and vampires to more obscure entities such as Herne the Hunter and Spring Heeled Jack, all the monstrous bases were covered.
Classic Horror Movie Rifftrax
Finally, in the tree house we’d fire up some Rifftrax to add a fresh and seriously funny take on classic horror movies like Night of the Living Dead, Halloween, The House on Haunted Hill and Carnival of Souls. While I consider these movies all true classics of the genre and to otherwise make fun of them would be sacrilege, when Mike, Bill and Kevin do it, I can’t help but laugh.
So, there it is. My list of 10 things I would have in a Monster Squad style tree house horror hangout.
I’d love to hear what anyone else would put in their horror hangout. Either drop a list into the comments below or head over to “Freddy in Space” and post it there.