Halloween (Collector’s Edition)

If there are two people in the world to blame for my obsession with horror, it’s my dad and “The Horror Master” himself: John Carpenter.

One night, when I was about eight years old, I asked my dad if we could watch a scary movie. Mom had already gone to bed, and I remember Dad kind of looking over his shoulder to make sure she was gone, and saying, “I think I’ve got just the one!” That movie turned out to be John Carpenter’s The Thing.

That fateful viewing (The Thing is still my all-time favorite movie) kickstarted my love of all things horror, and set me on the path to Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Leatherface, and of course… Michael Myers. To this day, I still watch Halloween every October 31st.

When Spooky Pinball announced Halloween as their next title, my curiosity was piqued to say the very least. The art package by Jason Edmiston looked incredible, and the gameplay video they released looked cool, but I wasn’t going to commit to buying one until I had the opportunity to play it in person.

That finally happened in July of 2022, when a buddy of mine took me to Jesse James Comics – a local comic book shop with a large collection of pinball machines and arcade games. All it took was hearing that iconic John Carpenter score when I hit the start button, and I was pulled right in!

As soon as I got home, I started thinking about which games in my collection I was going to need to sell in order to raise the funds and create the necessary space in my game room. That wound up being Q*bert, Tron, Galaga, and Joust. I connected with a local collector on Pinside who was looking to sell his Halloween, and after checking it out, made arrangements to pick it up the following week.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting John Carpenter, and was planning to get the translite signed, but to my surprise, this game doesn’t actually have a translite: it’s a full-blown solid backglass, with the artwork screened directly to the glass. Awesome! Needless to say, it wasn’t going to fit in my checked bag, so I wasn’t able to get it signed (though Carpenter signed a bunch of other stuff for me). Here’s a photo of me and my podcast cohost with him, standing in front of the original car from the 1978 film.

Collector’s Edition #333 now currently resides upstairs in my Room 237 game room. I installed a Vimtoman Myers House mod, which sits in the back of the machine and adds some great atmosphere while you play. I also added a TinyCircuits TinyTV to the upper playfield, which plays clips from The Thing from Another World – the movie on TV in the Carpenter film, and John_C’s Sanitarium Getaway Car.

In October of 2022, I went to Son of Monsterpalooza in Burbank, CA, and got the backglass signed by Nick Castle (“The Shape”), PJ Soles (“Lynda”), Tommy Lee Wallace (“Michael Myers” in a couple of scenes – he also created the original mask), and Sandy Johnson (“Judith Myers”). In February of 2023, I attended Days of the Dead in Las Vegas, NV, and added Nancy Keyes (“Annie Brackett” – credited as Nancy Loomis) and Charles Cyphers (“Leigh Brackett”).

This is a dream theme for me, and a game I don’t see myself ever selling.

He came home.