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You mess with the spirit world, and you're gonna get fucked.
Matt - 10/11/00

As we all know, October is a haunted month. Strange things can and will happen. If there's ever a time of year when it's probably not the greatest idea to infiltrate the spirit world and consequentially fuck with the spirit world, this is it. Especially with Friday the 13th on the horizon.

But you know...few shots of cheap liquor, and I decided to test the waters by dancing on top of Ichabod Crane's grave. We'll get to that in a minute.

I think I know what inspires people to say 'Bloody Mary' in front of mirrors and do little seances with black candles in the hopes to raise an evil spirit. It's not because we necessarily want the spirit to be evil, it just seems like all the good spirits never show their face. And we've got to get some kind of proof, so we'll just deal with that whole 'evil' side of things. It has nothing to do with any of us being innately satanic or anything like that, it's just common knowledge that bad, evil spirits are far more accessible than the nice, good ones.

That's where this Ichabod guy comes in. It's a really rare occasion when one has a chance to deal with spirits and ghosts who don't want to maim and kill, and once I found out that the real-life gravesite of Ichabod resided in my small town, I knew there was something to it. The only real attractions here are a giant dollar store and a deli with zero tolerance for expiration dates, so if Ichabod managed to find his way here - there was a reason.

I never really considered Burton's Sleepy Hollow that great of a movie. But, it had some pretty great things going for it. Firstly, the principal from Ferris Bueller, in a much heftier form, dies. Secondly, this is the only movie in history that would dare commit such a crime as to cast Christopher Walken and not give him anything cool to say. Sure, he cuts heads off and gets to wear contact lenses usually reserved for Goth night at the local moose lounge, but Walken-worshippers are going to have trouble trying to emulate him when all he can say is 'arrrr'. Thirdly, and most importantly, Christina Ricci's dress is really tight near the top. So, as long as we don't look past those three things, it was a great flick.

With that, we decided it'd be a good idea to seek out Ichabod's grave. see a good movie, you look for a related tombstone. While the story is fiction, there actually was a real Ichabod. How he met death isn't the issue...what's important is that the guy was buried here.

We decided to test out the hauntings-level of the gravesite. I figured, at best, we'd say something like 'haha you're dead' and hear a mysterious wolf howling in the background immediately following. I never thought what happened would happen. Folks, we messed with the spirit world...and we got fucked. It was the most accursed, haunted night of my life. If you exclude that time I had the flu, couldn't move, and was forced to watch an entire marathon of the old Star Trek series on the Sci-fi Network. But that was more of an Act of God...this? This was supernatural.

The gravesite resided somewhere in a cemetary adjacent to a born again church that had a giant disco cross in it's belfry. Obviously, we were in for trouble. This was just a warning sign we chose to ignore. If only we hadn't, I wouldn't be plagued by a elephant/stoneman toy who works without batteries as I write this. More on that later.

And there it was. The grave. Now, some previous visitor with misunderstood good intentions had defaced the stone with a unique special blend of spray paint and a totally incomprehensible tag name, but don't be fooled. This is Ichabod's grave.

For a guy who's been represented in all these movies, cartoons, and Johnny Depp action figures, poor Ichabod really got the shaft. This wasn't the graveyard to call home about. If the hedgestones weren't completely covered in grafitti, they were flat out broken. Some of them were hidden behind years of tree and plant growth. Others were made of polyresin. Definitely not the choice graveyard for a rock concert, but nonetheless, this is where poor Ichabod's skull lies.

Maybe it was a temporary lack of judgement. Maybe I was just sick of having to 'respect' all these dead people. I don't know what my guiding light was, but the demons posessed me and convinced me that I needed to crouch on top of Ichabod's grave for a picture. And this, friends, is where things started getting weird.

CURSED, I tell you...CURSED! For on this fateful night, I had done the unthinkable. I'm by no means an angel, but this was definitely going far and beyond any kind of trouble I had previously caused. I woke the dead.

The shivers sent down my spine clued me in immediately - I'd just done something terrible. People piss off others all the time. It's a natural thing. In our lives, we learn not to annoy others when they're in a particularly bad mood or when they've had a pretty bad day. We know it's just not worth their wrath. So you can imagine the end results of fucking with someone who has the supreme pent up frustrations of being dead for over a century. This isn't like eating the last piece of chicken before your father gets home after a hard day of work. This is much worse, and the wrath? BY GOD the wrath...was far more stupid and esoteric.

Thus began...The haunted night from Hell.

The first sign that things weren't quite right: the demon lawnmower. You know that old sea tale where the sailors hear the Sirens song and die about five minutes later or something? Well, the mythology of the haunted demon lawnmower might be lesser known, but it's altogether more true and hits a lot closer to home. It's sort of a spin on other supernatural legends. When you see the Grim Reaper, you die. When you see the Demon Lawnmower, you can only find shitty cereal.

I know what you're thinking. That's not a real curse. Listen, you can doubt the unearthly powers of Ichabod all you want, the proof is in the pictures, and I'm just the narrator. If you think this is all bullshit and see no problem dancing on top of Crane's all means, be my guest. Just don't come crying back to me when you can't find the Honey Comb.

Waldbaum's is a local grocer here, usually a pretty subdued one at best. Like some holy church, it's a place to go when the ghosts and ghouls are attacking and you need salvage. And after our experiences with Ichabod and the lawnmower, salvation was something we were after.

The Halloween candy selection was pretty normal. I was one of the kids who wouldn't stop trick-or-treating until the candy-givers themselves refused me. There really needs to be some sort of written age limitation law on that whole deal. When does a kid know when he's too old to get free candy? And what kid would want to admit that? I can understand enthusiasm over being too old to take baths with the door open or too old to watch Mr. Rogers, but nobody's going to want to think they're too old to get candy just by knocking on their neighbor's door.

In those years as a trickster and a treater, I have noticed somewhat of a candy phenomenon though. As people age, they completely lose their internal senses that tells them what tastes good. How else do you explain all these old people trying to throw Mary Janes and crushed caramel popcorn balls into your trick or treat bags? The world would be saved a whole lot of trouble if we just named Snickers the official Halloween candy. I don't think too many people would complain about getting bags full of free Snickers. Unless they're allergic to chocolate, and even then...who really cares what they think anyway?

We had some real winners in our neighborhood. The person right next door used to give us nickels. Nickels! The thing that was really bad about all this...the kind of candy one gave out really dictated their popularity in the neighborhood for the year to follow. If someone gave out, as an example, a pack of Bubble Yum, the kids in the neighborhood might be inclined to spare their cars the traditional egging. But nickels? That's an insult - and one these neighbors paid dearly for.

But we're getting off track.

As stated, the evil lawnmower was a sure sign of bad cereal to come. We cautiously walked down the cereal aisle, hoping and praying that we might've eluded Ichabod's wrath. We didn't. We were fucked.

Behold, the greatest assortment of shitty, bootleg cereals of all time! America's Choice, the nation's largest retailer of food that tastes like cardboard, supplies you with an endless array of cereal you should never, ever think about buying.

The cereals themselves are bad enough - the basic deal here is to take every popular cereal and strip it of whatever tastes good. If the end result doesn't make you sick, it certainly won't make you smile. But to cover for the fact that it tastes terrible, the company decided to give you something far worse to complain about - the cereal spokescharacters. A few examples: Frosted Flakes features a penguin in a yellow tanktop and pink sunglasses giving you the peace sign. Bite-Sized Shredded Wheat features a seal in snow gear with a hypnotic swirled background. And my personal fave - Krisp Krunch, starring a crab.

Ichabod's work? You be the judge.

Walking a little more through the aisles, I noticed something that told me, without a doubt, we were now cursed. I've been to enough 99 cent stores and shit, stupid toys really don't shock me the way they used to. But this was a grocery store. Grocery stores sell food, not giant, confusing toys. Grocery stores don't sell...these:



Never before have I encountered a toy this weird, this nonsensical, this utterly demonic. These Starriors figures are about 15" tall, each an animal/stone warrior hybrid with moveable arms, wheels on it's feet, and the ability to talk. The ability to talk is the clencher - once you turn it on, there's no way to turn it off - EVER. I purchased 'Ele-Man', the 'walking, talking Meteoroid'. It doesn't walk. But aside from that blatant false advertising - it certainly does talk. What does it say?


'I... (scream) ...General of the Armies of the Ele-World!!! ... (scream) ...Yes.'

As if that's not bad enough, check out Ele-Man's bio from the back of the box. This is a word-for-word exact replication of what's there: 'A legend goes that in 3000 B.C., Babylon, the oldest mysterious nation in the world, was originally ruled by the peace-loving ruler of earth - Kahame, the King of Ele, and ancestors of mankind and various kinds of spirit lived a happy and careless life. However, bewitched by the Devil Gila, the mankind began to learn how to invade and launch a war. As a result, the mankind and spirits could not coexist peacefully and the world has become more and more chaotic. Now, mankind had gradually suffered the consequences for what they have done. In order to re-create a peaceful nation and to eliminate the influence of the Devil Gila, King of Ele, who is living deep down in the earth will appear at any time....'

WHAT?! What the fuck is this thing? What does all that mean? 'The mankind began to learn how to invade and launch a war'? What the fuck is that supposed to mean? WHO IS ELE-MAN?! And why is he being sold in the fucking GOYA section?!?!

But hey, for 15 bucks? A steal, Ele-Man came home with me. I noticed that the thing was working as a result of the included batteries. It takes four AA batteries. I opened up the compartment and noticed that there were only two batteries in. While he was talking. I removed the two batteries...Ele-Man was *still* talking.

Exactly what otherworldly spirits had we risen when we went to that cemetary? Why was Ichabod torturing us? If we went through all this just for taking pictures of his hedgestone, I hate to imagine what happened to the person who spray-painted the grave.

Alas, the haunting continued. If it wasn't strange enough that Ele-Man and friends were in the grocery store, there was a crane game next to the register. All throughout this past summer, you've seen what cranes do to me. They turn me into a 5-year-old who likes Pokemon dolls.

So now with Squirtle at my side, my Pokemon collection was complete. But the question still remains: why was there a crane machine by the register? What about Ele-Man? And can you explain the store only selling cheap versions of good cereal? I came home last night, full of despair and drunk. The last thing I ever wanted to do was make Ichabod mad. I loved Ichabod. To me, the guy's a god. Unfortunately, a very very vengeful god.

I came back with nothing on my mind other than sleeping off the curse. I woke up around 9, and at first, things seemed normal. Ele-Man was still here, so it wasn't all a dream. But...he stopped talking. I checked the cabinet...oodles of Honey Nut Cheerios. All clear there. For a second - a split second - I thought maybe, just maybe, my imagination had been playing tricks on me. Maybe I wasn't being punished by Ichabod after all. That train of thought was sadly temporary, because after talking to our resident media guru, Dr. Rocket, I found out that Ichabod had gotten to him too. Posessed his soul, did Ichabod, and forced our usually on-the-mark multimedia wizard into uploading the most chilling, evil download...of all time.

Yes. Rick Moranis, in animated form, starring in Gravedale High. Awhile back, we featured the Madballs cartoon on the site, and I was then convinced that nothing could ever top it. It was that bad. A cartoon that not only featured the voiceovers of Rick Moranis, but also Ricki Lake and Jonathan Winters. A cartoon about a bunch of monsters in high school. A cartoon that had Moranis singing it's theme song.

Moranis plays Mr. Schriner, a human teacher sent to Gravedale High to teach. All the students are fashioned after Hollywood's greatest monsters, only with a twist. The only thing scary about these monsters were their jokes. Their endless jokes from Hell. It's quite possibly the most disturbing show we've ever featured on the site, and remember - we've done the Pac-Man Christmas Special and Lazer Tag Academy. If you need convincing - the first minute of the show featured a girl making a television powered by a pyramid and a Rodney Dangerfield impression. It doesn't get much worse than that.

To Download Gravedale High, (8 MB), Click Here!!!

Be prepared to end your life if you do decide to download it, though. As if the show's not bad enough on it's own...the commercials for Teddy Grams and Alpha-Bits are still left intact. There's even a commercial featuring the Kool-Aid Man.

On one hand, I was plagued by bad cereals, Gravedale High, lawnmowers, and Ele-Man. On the other hand...I got Squirtle. So it's really up to your personal the Ichabod Curse a good thing...or a bad thing? I'm undecided. I'm not particularly fond of the idea of being haunted by dead people. If by chance you are, maybe this whole taking pictures on top of graves thing could work to your benefit. Just don't say I didn't warn you.

- Matt