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Spirit Halloween Animatronics, Ranked By Lesbianism

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

an animatronic that looks like an alien holding a blaster with an oversized brain

Points for the honestly quite fire fit, but as far as gay aliens go, I’ve seen gayer.


15. Scary Sitting Scarecrow

a haunted looking scarecrow in a sitting position

It’s giving Butch Who Wears the Same Costume Every Year.


14. Bog Zombie

a zombie animatronic covered in seaweed/swampy stuff

Bog Witches are more queer coded than Bog Zombies, but I’ll allow.


13. Jumping Spider

a giant spider animatronic

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

a clown with orange hair and only a torso and arms

I can imagine a lesbian named George wearing this exact striped shirt.


11. Dagger Mike

an animatronic that looks like a scary clown holding two daggers

Dagger Mike absolutely sounds like a dyke’s nickname.


10. Stilts

a scary clown animatronic holding bloody bowling pins

Bowling pins are her go-to juggling device, and imo bowling is gay.


9. Grave Watcher

an animatronic wearing a shroud and holding a candle that lights up

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?


8. Darling Dolly

an animatronic named Darling Dolly that looks like a spooky woman hunched over with spindly witchy branch fingers

There’s a fingering joke in here somewhere.


7. Slim Animatronic – Killer Klowns from Outer Space

the author Kristen Arnett standing next to a giant scary clown animatronic

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.


6. Howling Spirit

an animatronic shaped like a floating ghost

“I yearned for her howling spirit” sounds like how an erotic werewolf fiction author might describe a Sapphic lupine sex scene.


5. Sinister Spirit

an animatronic that looks like a creepy girl with long black hair and a white tattered dress

“She had a sinister spirit” sounds like how an author would euphemistically describe a lesbian in the 17th century.


4. Regan from The Exorcist

Regan from The Exorcist in Animatronic form

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?


3. The Black Heart

a skeleton looking animatronic with a long black cloak

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

a girl in a pink dress on a swing

My Spirit Halloween didn’t have a Rat Girl on display, which is a shame, because she’s clearly a lesbian legend.


1. Empty Soul Girl on a Swing

a box labeled Empty Soul Girl Sitting on a Swing with a halloween prop of a creepy girl sitting on a swing

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.


Honorable Mentions

Here are some honorable mentions for smaller props/accessories I came across that still felt dykey.

Michael Myers Mini Backpack

a mini backpack shaped like Michael Myers

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.

Michael Myers Art

an image of Michael Myers that says TIME TO SLAY

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?

Scissor??? Necklace???

a necklace with a large scissor pendant

This looks like it could literally be Autostraddle merch?????

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 843 articles for us.

3 Comments

  1. Having seen killer klowns from outer space, viewing that movie to me would rank her lower than you did…however the Kristen behind the scenes lore really gives. Also the bag of sex toys!!! Anyway clomping down to my local spirit halloween to purchase grave watcher specifically.

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