One Gory Foot


At some point in the world, there seems to have been an emergence of severed limbs on store shelves. I’m not sure if they were always a part of Halloween sections, or if my awareness of them just happened one year, but I’m going to place the “boom” in the mid-nineties. 

I guess I remember this boom because I felt a certain bitterness about it all.  Around the mid-nineties was the time that I could no longer “acceptably” go trick or treating.  In the stores, I looked at all the new props and costume stuff on the shelves with envy and sadness.  Why didn’t they make this kind of stuff when I was a kid? 

Fortunately, because my sister is 2 years younger than me, I extended the life of trick-or-treating by a year or two, simply by accompanying her.  The last year I went, I went as Michael Jackson.  I even had a “Michael Jackson shirt”, which was actually an Adidas shirt made of shiny metallic-looking material.  Like I said, it was the mid-nineties.  I’m not sure why I even bought it.  To wear to the Olive Garden?  

But this tin-foil look worked perfectly as a part of an MJ costume.   With a fedora, a pair of Ray Bans, and some white tape wrapped around my index, ring, and pinky fingers, I went out to load my pillow case for the last time.  An old lady gasped and said I looked “just like him.”  Another old lady asked how old I was. 

 These were the lost Halloween years of being an awkward teenager, without parties to go to and without a reason to buy severed limbs.  I bought my Gory Foot as a way of coming to terms with my lost Halloween years. 

I believe they were expensive when they first hit the shelves.  These days however, it’s easy to find an affordable bloody foot.  Especially if you live in Baltimore.   (Alright, that’s my one bad Baltimore joke per countdown.  Though for real, they find a foot around here every couple days.)  Searching for a severed foot on Google Shopping, the most expensive is $25, but mid-priced is only $9, and the cheapest is $3. And get this–I found mine for a buck.


You gotta admit it’s not bad for a dollar store foot. Dollar Tree has been really impressive in recent years with their Halloween selections. It’s a durable, plastic foot.  While the exposed bone resembles gobs of marshmallow, the bulging veins add a degee of realism.

My only problem with these severed limbs has always been that there’s a certain uselessness to them. What are you going to do with a plastic limb that doesn’t look realistic at all? Who will you fool–besides no one–with the old yanking-your-foot-out-the-socket gag?

These things are great for a butcher scene in a Haunted Woods tour, but where does it go in your house? How do you take it to the next level, from “fake foot” to creepy Halloween decoration? The past few years, I’ve noticed a fad of packaging these limbs on styrofoam “meat” trays. It’s cute, but to me, the only place that would look halfway decent is inside the refrigerator. And really, what’s the point of the decorating the inside of the refrigerator–when what’s been sitting in that tupperware for the last 3 months is already disturbing enough?  (Help, I can’t get the Uncrustables images out of my head.)

Well, I had an “a-ha” moment with the foot, and we’ll see if it works. What if the foot wore my shoes? How would that look?

The Gory Foot Wears a Boat Shoe


I was pleasantly surprised to see the foot look so good in my shoe. I think it looks real. Gory Foot In a Shoe has earned a spot on my Halloween Horror Porch To Make Kids Cry.  That’s the semi-official name for it.

But I’m not sure that summer-house casual is the right look.

The Gory Foot Wears a Running Shoe


This is more like it. It evokes that “running from the murderer” look. Also the blood complements the red in the shoes nicely. I’m like a damn Martha Stewart over here. 

The Gory Foot Wears a Beatle Boot


Hey, that’s my college degree behind the foot in this picture. For the time being, the college degree lives in a beautiful wood frame, on the floor, behind the ottoman–a marbled leather ottoman, which I’m using to take photographs of a plastic dollar store foot, wearing an Italian leather shoe.  And just wait until you see what I do with my Master’s degree.

The Gory Foot Wears a Sandal


I’m liking this look too.  For sliding into after your gory foot has a workout.

So yeah, Gory Foot, one dollar, a solid investment.  Now, if only I had a pair of Michael Jackson patent leather penny loafers for the Gory Foot to wear.

EDIT – Also stay tuned, the girlfriend swears the Gory Foot will look awesome in her shoes.  Gory Foot: In Heels Edition coming soon.

11 thoughts on “One Gory Foot

  1. I’m not ashamed to say I went trick or treating until I was 22 years old. And actually got candy. (The trick is to have a REALLY good costume, and be in an area that doesn’t get a lot of children but still has all their lights on)

    1. AND I LIKE how you’re unashamed. Just like I’m unashamed to admit I owned a shirt made of tin foil and I wore it as Michael Jackson, at 15 years old. The Surfing Pizza is really about being unashamed.

      Also I know what you mean–I lived in an area where there weren’t children, and I was pretty desperate/thrilled to see any trick or treater, even if they were a twentysomething–or worse–an adult trick or treating for a not-present baby.

      “It’s for the baby.”

      Yeah right, babies don’t eat candy.

  2. Totally hear you. My first severed arm, while it looked very realistic, cost me an arm and a leg (pun? absolutely)

    I eventually upgraded to a pair of arms, but sadly they were both right-handed. Which meant they didn’t look natural side by side (a la, the double-pull-your-hand-out-your-socket prank), so I had to use them separately *sigh*

    Still, kids these days don’t know how good they have it :-) Excellent post!

  3. I used to be obsessed with the gory severed prop limbs as a kid. You’re right, they weren’t sold in most stores up until the mid-late 90s. Before that they were the things of legend int he back of magazines like Fangoira and Gorezone, and they cost a whole heck of a lot of dough.

    When I bought my highly affordable Don Post severed arm at a Spirit store a few years ago I was so making up for all those years of being deprived and a dumb broke kid. Very cathartic…

  4. I would have continued trick or treating until I left for college, but my freshman year in high school I went trick or treating as Billy the Kid from Young Guns and some rowdy teens tried to steal my bag and threw wet toilet paper at me. Needless to say, that was my last Halloween for going out. I’m still bitter about it cause I LOVE trick or treating.

    I totally remember the severed limbs in the back of Fangoria. They were like a Holy Grail for kids. There was no way I could convince my parents to fork over like 50-100 bucks for a fake severed limb. They just stared at me like I was crazy.

  5. Love the gory foot fashion show! Can’t wait to see how it looks in her shoes! :D

    I was kind of lucky to have a sibling a full 7 years younger than myself who also was not allowed to eat candy. She liked going out, and I got the booty (which I shared with the rents, of course. I ain’t greedy!). Added bonus was that she was on ritalin so her growth was stunted. I think our last year goin out was when she was 21 and about the size of a 12 year old. Awesome.

  6. Yes, my childhood was full of fun! Of course, I made sure to horde all the good chocolate for myself. ;) I ain’t stupid.
    Thankfully, the chocolate that mom liked was 3 musketeers and I wasn’t a fan of those.

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