October 20, 2014

Ghosts Strike, Demand Higher Pay

Ghosts around the country are joining the picket line just before Halloween as they demand more pay for their hauntings. Although ghosts technically have no employers, spokesghosts for the striking phantasms are asking for haunted house owners to give the ghosts some form of remuneration for their services and improve working conditions.

"Ghosts have to eat too, you know," says famous ghost hunter and self-proclaimed "Detective In Specter" Don Monroe. "Well, technically they don't, but they have a whole economy on the other side and ghosts need money, since as everyone knows you can't take it with you when you die."

The fed-up phantoms aren't content with just an increase in pay, however. They also want better working conditions. The ghosts complain that 90% of haunted houses are run down and falling apart. A letter from the Ghostal Union board to the Haunted Home Owners Association (HHOA) detailed a list of desired improvements, including clearing out cobwebs, fixing old rusty hinges, and making sure that any old candles left burning on the table are scented.

It's unlikely that the HHOA board will give in to the ghosts' demands. A spokeswoman for the HHOA said that ghosts get to live in haunted houses rent free and get to keep 75% of all smartphones left behind by fleeing tourists, so any further demands are excessive. She also pointed out that the ghosts are unreliable and often don't show up for work at all. When they do show up, they often move and break furniture during the night.

Until ghosts show they can be relied on to haunt responsibly, the spokeswoman says her Association is unwilling to address their demands. Ghosts, she says, will just have to "grim and bear it."

October 17, 2014

Man Develops Trick-or-Treat App

Every year on Halloween night, millions of kids flood the streets in costume, going door to door asking for candy. This year, however, some kids might be staying home and trick-or-treating not by ringing on doorbells, but by tapping the screen on their smartphone.

Kevin Edwards of Birmingham, Alabama says that he was tired of following his kids around every Halloween, so he developed a new app to let his kids gather treats right from their couch. The new app, called iTrick-or-iTreat, is sure to change the way kids spend their Halloween nights.

"I just felt like the thing about going door to door was outdated," explained Mr. Edwards. "Kids these days interact with the world differently. They shouldn't have to talk to real people face to face. They don't have those skills. So I made it possible for them to find real meaning on Halloween through digital social interactions. They can still have all the fun of Halloween while doing something more important like staying at home playing Angry Birds or watching T.V."

The new app connects to a parent's Facebook account and identifies which friends the parent wants his or her child to be able to trick-or-treat. Once the parent has set up the account, the child can click on virtual doors that open to show the friend's face. Kids then click on the friend's profile to begin the trick-or-treat interaction. A "trick-or-treat" notification is sent to the friend. After the notification is sent, a friend has one hour to upload money (the treat) to the PayPal account of the kid's parents, or a virus will be uploaded to their digital device (the trick).

"So far, it's been a real hit with my kids," said Mr. Edwards. "For some reason my friends don't seem too happy with it, especially those who ended up with the trick. I don't know why though, all the virus does make their screen look like it's been digitally toilet-papered for a little while."

October 14, 2014

Retailers Decide To Combine Halloween and Christmas Displays

Retailers across the country this year have been putting Christmas decorations out earlier than ever. This has led to a crunch in space for other seasonal decorations, but some savvy retailers have figured out a way to address the decoration difficulties.

Many stores have decided to combine their Halloween and Christmas decorations into one display. Steve's Craft Supplies, in Dearborn, Michigan, was one of the first to utilize this strategy.

Customers walking into Steve's are met with a large display of artificial Christmas trees draped not only in the usual Christmas ornaments but also in zombie masks, miniature pumpkins, and black tinsel. The whole thing is topped with a black witch's hat rather than the customary star.

"It's really been a conversation starter," said Steve, who was decked out in an ugly Christmas sweater and holding a scythe. "People have been coming in from all around the area to see the display. It's really popular. Some of the displays I decided to sell as a set, but for some reason not many people are buying the sets."

Steve said plans to have children sit on the Grim Reaper's lap to tell their Christmas wishes had to be scrapped following protests by parents, but he has left the Frankenstein mask on the life-size Santa decoration in front of his store.

October 13, 2014

Halloween Survey Says Politicians Scary, People Prefer Zombies

A recent survey of politicians across the country found that people thought politicians should not dress up for Halloween this year. According to the results, 98% of survey respondents said that politicians were scary enough as it was and so no costume was needed.

"Those politicians, man, they are scary," said Gwendolyn Ferrerra, of Washington, D.C. "We have them here year round, and most people in D.C. are scared to go out at night because they're afraid some Senator might pop out from the shadows and ask for a donation."

When asked if they would prefer a zombie or a politician to show up at their door, those surveyed overwhelmingly picked the zombie. One respondent said, "Sure, them zombies will eat my brains, but the politicians will turn my brain to mush, then ask me for money and my vote. It's inhumane. At least the zombies are honest about their intentions."

In a related development, both parties today released guidance for politicians wishing to go trick-or-treating. Included in the guidance is the recommended door greeting, guaranteed to strike fear in the heart of anyone who answers the door: "Trick or treat. I'm ___________, and I approve this message."

October 8, 2014

Santa Claus Considering Halloween Deliveries

The North Pole today confirmed reports that Santa Claus is considering adding Halloween as at toy delivery day. The move comes as children around the world were trying to get their act together to qualify for the nice list ahead of the usual Christmas Eve delivery.

"We feel that by adding an extra day to the delivery schedule, we can more effectively service new and existing customers," explained a spokeself. "After careful consideration of all possible delivery days, we determined that Halloween deliveries would be the most cost-effective evening. Santa will be able to move freely without need for the usual secrecy. Most people will just assume he is someone in costume."

The costs of Christmas Eve deliveries had been skyrocketing in recent years. Toy making sub-contractors had realized that of Santa's toy demand occurred in December so many suppliers had started a practice of raising prices every year right when Santa needed his new toy supplies.

Plus, new regulations on flying reindeer had shortened the available delivery window on Christmas Eve. Those regulations meant that Santa had to delegate some of his delivery duties so he could finish on time. In recent years he had deployed additional sleighs with elves to deliver toys to the kids on the little-known "somewhat nice, but a little bit naughty" list.

The new Halloween deliveries should help address both of those issues. The North Pole, however, did not clarify whether Santa would deliver toys to good little zombie, goblin, ghoul or witch children.

October 7, 2014

Santa Claus "Just A Guy Who Likes Dressing Up For Halloween"

Santa Claus today admitted that he never intended to become the well-known Christmas icon with a jelly-jiggling belly. Instead, he says, he was a normal guy with a costume idea for a Halloween party centuries ago.

"Some of my friends wanted to have a costume party one Halloween," Mr. Claus explained to a group of reporters last Saturday, "and I had the red suit idea. I thought I looked like a giant strawberry, but everyone else liked the look. There was one girl named Moira that really liked it. I wanted to impress her so much that I started wearing the suit year-round. Turns out, wearing a Halloween costume every day doesn't exactly impress certain people."

Mr. Claus went on to say that he moved to the North Pole to escape the ridicule from people who didn't understand how much he liked his Halloween costume. The toy deliveries came later as a suggestion from his psychiatrist while Santa was trying to deal with major depression after realizing that his only friends were elves and reindeer.

Asked whether he goes trick-or-treating on Halloween still, Mr. Claus got a twinkle in his eye and said he does on occasion go out that night, though he usually takes off the Santa suit and uses an alternate costume. This year, he said he was thinking of going as Tim Allen or Richard Attenborough, both of whom played Santa on screen. Alternately, he said, he may expand his repertoire a bit and try going as Burl Ives.

In related news, Santa also noted that his recent spat with dentists has led him to the decision that any dentist that hands out a toothbrush or dental floss on Halloween will automatically be put on the naughty list.

October 1, 2014

Santa Depressed To Realize All His Friends Are Elves

Anonymous sources say that Santa Claus has fallen into a deep depression after signing up for various social networks and realizing as he added friends that all his friends are elves and reindeer.

According to the source, Mr. Claus was heard to say "Hundreds of years of delivering toys and what does it get me? Not a single invitation to a barbecue or a tailgate party. Just a whole bunch of toy-obsessed elf friends."

Experts were surprised that Mr. Claus had not realized his social situation before now.

"Most of us had assumed that Santa had realized he only had elf friends and was using the whole toy gifting thing as a way to try to get actual human beings to like him," said Horatio Gehry, a psychologist specializing in social disorders. "We really should have seen it though. He obviously has difficulties interacting with people. I mean, look at everything he does to avoid being seen by anyone. The guy delivers his toys at night, enters houses through the chimney instead of the front door, and lives in a desolate ice kingdom at the North Pole."

Spokeselves at the North Pole did not return phone calls asking for comment.