Munch On Dead Man's Toes, A Sanderson Sisters Specialty

Severed appendages never looked so fine as they do in The Unofficial Hocus Pocus Cookbook.

Welcome, foolish mortals, to the home of cadaverous casseroles, exsanguinous eats, and snack-related sagas so strange and frightening they may well transport you to a realm unknown. Welcome, readers, to A Dark and Stormy Bite, a monthly column (weekly, through October!) that dives deep into a teeth-chattering culinary dimension of utterly ghoulish proportions. Basically, if it involves food and goes bump in the night, we'll cover it here. Do you have a favorite haunted restaurant or cursed recipe? Email—and beware.

Greetings, fellow hell hounds. What, pray, are we snacking on this week? Are we swooping vulture-like into darkened alleys and hauling carrion back to our tasteful apartments? Perhaps we're nibbling on immature femurs or garnishing our espresso martinis with a fistful of graveyard dirt. Either way, 'tis the season for menacing fare, as evidenced by our ongoing Halloween candy power rankings. Reese's Cups and Tootsie Pops are one thing, but if your succubus of a stomach is growling for a more substantial snack, I've got a cookbook for you: The Unofficial Hocus Pocus Cookbook, released by Ulysses Press just in time for All Hallow's Eve.

I know, I know: A Dark & Stormy Bite doesn't typically fall into recipe territory. Most of the time, I'd rather write about Scottish cannibals than Scotch eggs. But I'm attending a small, vaccinated Halloween gathering this year, and I'd like to bring a dish that's as simple, gross, and creepy as I am. Enter this cookbook, which, while not officially affiliated with Disney or the Hocus Pocus property, features lots of fun, squirmy recipes. Think "Flayed and Crispy Breast of Chicken" and "Burning Rain of Death Punch."

The recipes will strike a chord with fans of Hocus Pocus, the 1993 flick that follows three spirited youngsters who accidentally free a coven of witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and a positively showstopping Kathy Najimy). Much to the kiddies' dismay, these witches eat children, which falls perfectly in line with the cannibalistic witch trope we investigated earlier this year. Whether or not you're in the mood for a little child on toast, the cookbook is full of ghoulish delights.

Dead Man’s Toes, Dead Man’s Toes

Excerpted from The Unofficial Hocus Pocus Cookbook by Bridget Thoreson. Copyright © 2021 Ulysses Press. Reprinted with permission from Ulysses Press. New York, NY. All rights reserved.

Alas, it's so difficult to find a good dead man's toe these days, never mind keeping it fresh once you do. Though it certainly is easier than it was 300 years ago before the marvelous little invention called a refrigerator. Quick note: these appetizers are marvelously macabre, but if you're interested in a less revolting refreshment, keep the mustard on the side and the hot dogs uncut.



  • 8 hot dogs
  • 1 package Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut the hot dogs into equal halves, and open the crescent rolls container. Unroll the dough and cut it so that you have 16 similarly sized triangles.

    Roll each hot dog half with a crescent roll so that the cut half of the hot dog is wrapped in the dough and the uncut half is sticking out fully exposed. Then, using a sharp paring knife, make two or three thin shallow slits in the top of the hot dog toward the middle right at the edge of the crescent roll dough (this will be the knuckle).

    On the top of the hot dog at the uncut edge, use the paring knife to cut half of a long ellipse out of the top of the hot dog so that it looks like the shape of a fingernail bed.


    Place the hot dog rolls on a greased baking sheet and bake for approximately 12 minutes. When the hot dog rolls are done, use a pastry brush or small spoon to cover the nail bed of the hot dogs with the mustard or ketchup.

    Variation: For a fancier manicure, you can make a mustard glaze by heating ¼ cup Dijon mustard, ⅛ cup Worcestershire sauce, and ⅛ cup light brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until the ingredients melt together and thicken. Brush on the nail beds before the hot dog buns go in the oven.