The best month of the year begins this weekend, but as a devotee of horror season, my partner and I have already got a head start on our annual October marathon of scary movies. We’re saving some of the classics, but over the past week or so we’ve revisited nostalgic films like The Craft and more thriller-leaning fare like What Lies Beneath. I also received screeners for the upcoming new Netflix series The Fall of the House of Usher, and I cannot wait to write more about it once it’s out.
We’re not the only ones ahead of the spooky season game though. Nearly a month ago, the fledgling Tuesday Morning next to our go-to Publix became haunted by everyone favorite seasonal chain store that loves to possess abandoned buildings this time of year: Spirit Halloween. I like to get my Spirit Halloween trips in early, as they seemingly run out of anything actually interesting/good in the first week of October. I also love to make an annual journey to the store just to check out the latest animatronics — Halloween decor with a price tag I could never justify and yet love to marvel at. I simple love those little fuckers that jump out at you when you walk by or say generically scary things about how they’re going to haunt me from their graves.
Also, yes, these are all available for purchase online!
16. Martian Warrior
Points for the honestly quite fire fit, but as far as gay aliens go, I’ve seen gayer.
It’s giving Butch Who Wears the Same Costume Every Year.
14. Bog Zombie
Bog Witches are more queer coded than Bog Zombies, but I’ll allow.
13. Jumping Spider
Giant arachnids do have a certain je ne sais queer about them. Also, for the record, this one legitimately scared me when it jumped out.
12. Poor George
I can imagine a lesbian named George wearing this exact striped shirt.
11. Dagger Mike
Dagger Mike absolutely sounds like a dyke’s nickname.
Bowling pins are her go-to juggling device, and imo bowling is gay.
From the official description of this animatronic: “The Grave Watcher is eternal. Keeping a tormented vigil over the dead is their punishment for past sins against the underworld that even the devil himself can’t speak of.” Okay, slay.
I can’t believe this undead creature has a JOB? Does she have to do TAXES? Do the undead have a UNION?
There’s a fingering joke in here somewhere.
Here is where my personal biases are showing a bit, but this BIG ASS CLOWN gets points specifically because my partner Kristen just sold a novel called CLOWN. I asked her if she could therefore pose with this animatronic, who is part of the “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” collection, based on the 1988 film, which I have not seen. The shoes look like clown-ified Doc Martens. What’s in the bag? According to the official description: popcorn. But I choose to believe it’s their sex toy bag.
“I yearned for her howling spirit” sounds like how an erotic werewolf fiction author might describe a Sapphic lupine sex scene.
“She had a sinister spirit” sounds like how an author would euphemistically describe a lesbian in the 17th century.
It is not difficult to do a queer reading of The Exorcist, as evidenced by the very first essay in the queer horror anthology It Came From the Closet. If you haven’t read the full book yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
Okay, I am VERY DISAPPOINTED that this animatronic wasn’t functioning when I went to my Spirit, because apparently it opens its cloak to reveal a WOMAN TRAPPED INSIDE named Ava who, according to the official lore, died a “spinster” at…age 25. The Black Heart is her UNDEAD PARTNER. And one of the few phrases The Black Heart utters when the motion detector is triggered is: “Soon, you will forget everything… your life, your past, you will stay with me for the rest of eternity!” TOXIC EX MUCH??????
Honestly, it’s worth reading the full product description for this one:
Ava should’ve been married. In her old-fashioned village, she was already considered a spinster by the age of 25. Her friends had all found love, and she ached to be next. As the sun set on another lonely evening, Ava succumbed to her last resort. According to local lure [sic], if she climbed into a freshly dug grave in the town cemetery at exactly midnight, her true love would show up at sunrise and revive her with a kiss. When Ava awoke the following morning with her lips pressed against a cold dead kiss of her undead master, she learned the true meaning of being careful about what you wish for.
Love is what brought Ava to her downfall and now her partner The Black Heart is ready to seduce any unsuspecting guests to be his next victim…
2. Rat Girl
My Spirit Halloween didn’t have a Rat Girl on display, which is a shame, because she’s clearly a lesbian legend.
Lesbian Icon!!!!! While not technically an animatronic but rather a large stationary prop, she is undoubtedly number one. Look at her!!! She looks like she has accidentally stumbled upon her worst ex proposing to a new woman via a flash mob. HAUNTING.
Here are some honorable mentions for smaller props/accessories I came across that still felt dykey.
Michael Myers Mini Backpack
I can’t find the link for this online so it might only be available in-stores, but I feel like it should be every Horror Dyke’s go-to bag this season.
It’s a literal slay. I’m realizing in the process of making this list that Michael Myers feels lesbian coded to me. Is it the jumpsuit uniform? The refusal to Give Up? The butch hairstyle that never changes? Should I rank iconic horror villains by lesbianism?
This looks like it could literally be Autostraddle merch?????