Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Freak out with creepy suggestions from Doctor Who, Jaws, X-Files and more

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Dec 8, 2015

There is a slightly creepy, scary thread that is sewn throughout the holiday season. From snowmen who come alive to an all-seeing elf on a shelf, a magical home invader and visiting beings from the past, present and yet-to-come, there’s a hell of a lot to freak out over during December. The idea is so prevalent that -- even when talking about the “most wonderful time of the year" – “scary ghost stories” get a shout out.

So, instead of running away from it, why not embrace the creepiness of the holidays with your gift-giving? With that in mind, what follows are suggestions for the giftee in your life who embraces the darker side of things. A few good books, an awesome and subtle hoodie inspired by The Thing, a hands-down amazing Cthulhu bar set and some toys from beloved shows: None of these ideas are terribly terrifying, but they all share an element of horror – but the good fictional kind, and not the real scary stuff like, say, Black Friday shopping.


Horror In Clay Cthulu Barware Tiki Set
One of the ways I judge the quality of a gift for my nerdy giftees is how much I want to keep it for myself. By that measure, this assembly from Horror In Clay is at the top of my list this year, and should be for the fan on your list with an appreciation of old-school horror (not to mention a love of great tiki décor) -- and none of which can be found in a big box store. Jonathan and Allison Chaffin gained notoriety for their horror and sci-fi barware company Horror In Clay following the immense success of their Kickstarter campaign for the Cthulhu tiki mug. The gorgeously designed seamonster green mug ($40 each), inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s mythos, holds 16 oz. of a tasty beverage. The company touts that it is microwave, oven and dishwasher safe, and “possibly volcano-safe too.” Might as well pick up two of those. But don’t stop there to show love for the Lovecraftian in your life. Add the 14-inch counterweighted tentacled bar spoon ($30), which has a very satisfying weight and is “great for mixing all those flips, punches, fizzes and other products of the publican's black art.” Personally, I’d suggest throwing in a set of six Cthulhu tentacle swizzles as well, which fit a tall chimney glass ($4.02). Add in an antiquated brass Deep One Golden Coin ($10), reportedly found off the Devil Reef and “inscribed with a paen to Y'ha-nthlei and her aquatic denizens and featuring the mark of the Esoteric Order of Dagon.” Finally, to really create a cool bar set for your recipient, add in a vintage style Lovecraft Country map of New England ($10). The 12-inch by 12-inch map is printed on heavy watercolor paper and shows familiar locales such as Innsmouth, Arkham, the Deep One City of Y'ha-nthlei and other points of interest. Altogether, you have a set perfect for a trip to Pickman’s Cove. But ship it directly to your giftee or else, if you’re like me, you’ll be tempted to keep it all for yourself. (About $134 for what’s listed here, or available separately) – Aaron Sagers



Jaws/The Thing horror hoodies from Last Exit To Nowhere
Sure, you can sport a shirt or hoodie emblazoned with the logo of your favorite sci-fi film to show your love, but nothing beats going super-meta. These hoodies from Last Exit to Nowhere would make a great addition to the winter wardrobe for any Jaws or The Thing fans. The Jaws hoodie features the “Quint’s Shark Fishing” logo, while the Thing zip-up hoodie is a subtle staff shirt for the infamous “Outpost #31.” ($52.52) -Trent Moore



X-Files Pop! Vinyl Figures 
After too long of a hiatus, beloved paranormal-investigation-slash-alien-invasion drama The X-Files finally returns to screens on January 24. Mark the highly anticipated TV event by adding these high quality 3 ¾-inch vinyl figures to your loved one's collection. This year Funko released FBI agents Fox “I Want to Believe” Mulder and his perennially skeptical partner Dana Scully. Pair them with the shadowy Cigarette Smoking Man, along with an alien colonist (or three or four) to represent the antagonists operating behind closed doors. ($9.99) - Denny Watkins


The Twilight Zone Action Figures, Series 2
For some, New Year’s means formal wear, party noisemakers, and champagne. For the rest of us, the final change of the calendar always represents another sacred tradition: Syfy's The Twilight Zone marathon. The latest series of action figures from Bif Bang Pow! inspired by the 1960s TV series includes the hospital patient and (SPOILER ALERT) hideous nurse and doctor from “Eye of the Beholder;” the superpowered boy Anthony Freemont (with jack-in-the-box) from “It’s a Good Life;” the three-eyed Venusian from "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up;" and the unlikely quintet from “Five Characters in Search of an Exit” (sold in a full color set, or separately). The limited-edition figures are 3 ¾ inches tall and rendered in shades of grey, with individually numbered packaging. ($9.99) - Denny Watkins



Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children Boxed Set
Who doesn't want pictures of disturbing kids under their tree? For those that walk a little on the darker side of things, the Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children Boxed Set is the perfect mix of creepy and cool. All three hardcover books by Ransom Riggs are available in this slipcase with an envelope of 12 peculiar photographs (we're really hoping our favorite talking, pipe smoking, dog Addison MacHenry is included). The books are definitely binge-worthy so don't be surprised if they're all gobbled up by New Year's and, for Christmas next year, the well-chosen director Tim Burton is releasing the film version of the first book with Penny Dreadful's Eva Green in the title role. ($56.97) - Matt Dorville



DC Comics Justice League tarot cards
The perfect way to dabble in the mystical while still retaining your comic book fan roots, this gorgeous set of DC Comics tarot cards features reimagined versions of DC stalwarts, designed to take on the iconic roles of the tarot. A stocking stuffer they’ll almost certainly love, but not expect. ($22.46) -Trent Moore



Doctor Who Time Lord Fairy Tales
The bedtime stories told to little Time Lords are a lot like our fairy tales, it turns out, but with an intergalactic twist. From Justin Peters, the British author of 30-odd Doctor Who novels and reference books, comes this collection of reimagined classics with titles like “Snow White and the Seven Keys to Doomsday” and “The Three Little Sontarans.” Each story is also illustrated with all-new full-page engravings like you’d find in a genuine 19th-century hardcover. Far from the Disneyfied versions we’re now used to, these tales veer closer to the dark tone of the Brothers Grimm and the classic horror-themed episodes of Doctor Who. (e-book $9.99, hardcover about $14) - Denny Watkins



Creepy "Peach" horror doll (Original Sin Design)
Looking for a way to spice up the holidays with some scary shenanigans?  Prop up one of these petrifying horror dolls from Etsy seller Original Sin Design on your inlaws' bed and grin when you hear those visiting relatives shriek with delight from the upstairs guestroom. These one-of-a-kind dolls of dread make excellent gifts for those hard-to-please horror hounds on your present list. Poor Little Peach measures app. 11" tall and is hand-crafted with porcelain head, hands, and feet with a gorgeous pastel gown covered in faded flowers. The deliciously twisted Chicago-based artists also offer a variety of different gory horror dolls with names like Sugar Dead Fairy, Ghost Doll Carnation, My Rotting Valentine, and Nurse Eyelene. Sleep with the light on! ($40-80) - Jeff Spry




Doctor Who Weeping Angel nightlight
This is both the worst, and greatest, idea ever. The creepy Doctor Who baddies can only attack when you’re not looking at them, so what better way to send you into a terrifying sleep than by turning the monstrous statues into a nightlight? So, sleep well. Just don’t blink. ($19.98) -Trent Moore



Day of the Dead 30th Anniversary tees from Fright Rags
Here's a creepy collection of terrifying t-shirts celebrating the 30th anniversary of George Romero's Day of the Dead.  Five different styles feature Bub and his bad-breathed zombie brethren, with custom designs from artists Steve Holliday, Francis Minoza, Chris Lovell, Paul Shipper and Dave Moscati, each putting their distinctive stamp on the horror classic. Fright Rags is offering this new line of shriek-shirts in both unisex and girls styles, but snag one now for the holidays before they're all devoured. ($27) - Jeff Spry


The Walking Dead Terminus map shower curtain
All rail lines lead to the infamous cannibal camp from The Walking Dead, and you can clean up after a serious holiday season of gift-giving behind this awesome Terminus shower curtain.  Turn your bathroom into a sterile sanctuary free from zombie slaughter with this somber collectible based on the actual map followed in the TV series. Made of pre-apocalypse vinyl, this officially-licensed bath accessory measures 72" X 72" and lets you shower like a champion survivor. ($29.99) - Jeff Spry



The Art of Horror: An Illustrated History
Here's a lavish, 260-page coffee table tome dedicated to the elegant art and imagery of horror films, comics, advertisements, novels and pulp magazines through the decades. Confidently edited by award-winning historian and author Stephen Jones, The Art of Horror: An Illustrated History is stuffed with over 500 glossy images of macabre movie posters, ghoulish magazine covers, historic paintings, digital art, comic book illustrations and much more, all matched with informative passages and captions  It's a hardcore, celebration of the artful aspects of the horror genre, with an excellent forward by the esteemed Neil Gaiman. Santa, please don't pass me up on this one!  Nevermind, I just ordered it myself. ($40) - Jeff Spry

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