Do you dream of traveling beyond everyday life to exotic locations? Would your ideal vacation include a time-travel option as well? If you are looking for a quirky and unusual destination, consider a visit to Scarfolk.
With the click of a mouse, you can access the strange and compelling village of Scarfolk, a small town located somewhere in the north-west of England which has become stuck in time, specially in the 1970’s.
Richard Littler is the self-appointed town mayor and, as designer and writer of the website, he presents the town’s artifacts for consideration. Through a spot-on series of public announcements and advertisements, the viewer becomes fully aware of the dangers that lurk seemingly everywhere in this quiet little hamlet. From the consequences of not learning to swim or speeding to the threat of imposter parents or thought-detector vans, these PSA’s succeed in capturing the low-level worry and daily trauma that pervaded the culture.
The fonts and graphics found in the Scarfolk documents are both cheery and eerily familiar, like those Earthshoes hidden in the back of your closet or that photo of your father in a leisure suit. The content shimmers with the haunting, dark humor we’ve come to expect from the British, reminiscent of the cringe-inducing bits of ”Monty Python’s Flying Circus” and the mock-educational series Look Around You.
After the publication of her short story“The Lottery” in 1948, Shirley Jackson noted that, in addition to hate mail, she received requests for more information, specifically on the location of towns that engaged in these practices. Some people wanted to visit those places and observe the local rites. The village of Scarfolk is frightening in a different way, and now that the archives are being made public, we can visit often and marvel at how far we have come– hopefully.
When the Doktor and I refer to our house as being “lightly haunted,” we are not referencing the fellow pictured above. (Click to view a larger image– I dare you!) His occasional appearance in our basement, or that his colleagues, could no longer be termed a “surprise.” During our years of inhabiting this house, we have witnessed only a handful of creatures from the spectral realm, but these creatures, the common house centipede or Scutigera coleoptrata , have had a larger presence.
When this fellow and I crossed paths in the other night, I steeled myself and attempted to analyze the sensation that threatened to overwhelm my reactions. Let’s just call it fear, for simplicity sake.
My first impulse was to run away, to hurry back upstairs where drier, warmer temperatures and brighter lights seem to discourage visitations from arthropods. However, I made myself stand still and observe the creature and my reactions, a decision made possible by the fact that the insect sat motionless on the basement wall. The cold column of discomfort that settled in my spine, the shivers of repulsion — oh my, what exciting sensations.
Having managed the inclination to flee, I then had to squash the impulse to murder the house centipede. Having attempted such crime in the past, I can assure you that it is usually less successful than one would like. These many-legged critters are swift and acquainted with defensive maneuvers, which can result in an embarrassing miss. At the best of times, it’s difficult to deliver the decisive hit needed to obliterate the entire insect. Leaving half a bug writhing on the floor is truly disgusting.
My final psychological move was to attempt to view the creature as friend. Indeed, this is most difficult step of all, one motivated by knowledge gained in a gardening seminar a few years ago. The house centipede is an insectivore, meaning it kills and eats other insects; his menu is made up of even less desirable household arthropods: bed bugs, termites, cockroaches, silverfish, ants and more. In other words, the household centipede is a good guy, in spite of appearances otherwise.
I held my fears in check long enough to take the picture and then I fled upstairs to a strong cup of tea and a snuggly blanket. I must admit that I was impressed with my own bravery, although I’m not sure the Doktor shared my sentiment.
What makes your spine tingle or your skin crawl? Some people think ghosts are creepy, but I think several creepier things exist, close at hand or under our feet, going about their existences, unaware of our intentions or our emotions.
– by Elsa L.
What makes for a memorable date experience? For me, the best dates are unique, perhaps extravagant and indulgent outings, where I get to experience new sensations while bathed in the attentions of my loved one and possibly attendants. The very best dates conclude with baubles or other memorabilia that recall the outing so I can savor it repeatedly.
Last Saturday, my Beloved Doktor took me to Studio FX 101 in Troy, MI where we spent the day in a spa for special effects. To remind me of the experience, I left with not only a plaster cast of my face but a silicone mold with which I can make many more. I will replay this date for a long time to come.
When my beloved Doktor asked me to participate in this experiment, I mean, date, I agreed without hesitation. We are both fans of the show Face Off, and I knew he’d extensively researched the processes involved. I prefer an experienced partner when seeking new experiences. We were greeted by Nick and Mark, the enthusiastic and personable owners of Studio FX 101, upon our arrival and welcomed with coffee and bagels before getting down to business. The shop is bright and tidy, and the team rigorously follows safety measures which made me relax thoroughly and enjoy the day. A skin test with the products assured me there’d be no adverse reactions, and a thorough presentation of the procedures let me know exactly what to expect.
My beloved Doktor could barely contain his enthusiasm. Grinning somewhat uncharacteristically with that newly shaven face, he was hardly recognizable– even to me. The Doktor volunteered to go first into the “hot seat,” or as I can verify from personal experience, the “cool-and-oozy-then-warm-and-heavy seat.” He was swathed in plastic, and his hair, eyebrows and eyelashes were covered with thick cream conditioner.
Then I got to pour mold compound down the sides of his head and over his face. Nick made sure the nostrils were kept free. Suffocation can so ruin the romantic mood, I find. Alga-Safe starts out only slightly thicker than milk but almost immediately, the liquid transforms into increasingly thicker versions of itself.
We used our hands to move it around my sweetheart’s face covering the entire surface and scooping the dripping substance from his chest back up to the top. Do note: the human nose is ingeniously designed for this activity. Drips naturally cascaded around the nostrils.
After the Alga-safe set up, we applied medical grade plaster-laced bandages over his now unrecognizable visage. Once the plaster cured — a mere 10 minutes at most– we gently freed him from his cocoon.
As he cleaned up, our instructor mixed up plaster and filled the mold. Soon enough we were admiring the resulting cast.
After a pizza lunch, it was my turn. My eyes were closed through the process which heightend my other senses. The alginate running down my face was the first bizarre sensation; it felt really cold!
I had wanted to maintain a slight, enigmatic smile for posterity but I lost track of that idea pretty quickly. For a few minutes, I was strangely occupied with keeping my eyes closed. Very soon, however, the weight of the alginate made it clear that opening my eyes accidently wasn’t possible.
In preparation, we’d learned a few hand signals which I used in response to questions, and I also had a pad and pen where I conveyed my concerns such as when my nose felt runny. I wanted to blow out hard but I didn’t want to puff crudely into an unseen face.
I also was concerned about my ear getting covered, but the instructor assured me that my orifices were safe. While my mold cured around my face, my beloved murmured reassuringly and the time passed fairly quickly.
When the mold was removed, it felt like getting a really intense facial treatment! My eyes felt somewhat sensitive to light for a few minutes, and my hair was, frankly, kind of disgusting. The heavy coat of conditioning cream that kept the alginate from sticking wasn’t all that difficult with soap and water in the utility sink.
Once the mold was complete, it was time to cast my plaster double. A handle was added to the curing plaster to made it easier to pull from the mold as well as to carry and display.
As an unexpected bonus, we were able to make silicone molds of our plaster faces. The Alga-safe used for the initial mold is somewhat fragile and capable of making only a couple casts. Silicone is far more durable and allows the opportunity for multiple casts in a wide variety of materials. Silicone is a two part material and we added a bit of color too, blue for the Doktor, red for me. Before we applied the first layer, the mixed silcone went into a vacuum that sucked out any air bubbles that would create pinholes in the cast. Then we poured on the first layer.
The first coat of silicone looked particularly cool over the plaster faces.
After the third layer of silicone and the hard plaster “mother” mold we made around it cured, we demolded our faces.
You might ask what a girl would do with a plaster cast of her face. The best date I had last year with the Good Doktor was to Theatre Bizarre. Though we were adequately costumed, we want to up our game for this year. A plaster cast of our faces will allow us to make form fitting masks and prosthetics that fit far better than any off the shelf false face. StudioFX101 offers sculpting sessions for just this kind of custom creature-making.
My plaster face sits on my dining room table, a memento of an unforgettable date, and every time I walk past it, I imagine the fantastic, personalized mask I’ll make using it. And sometimes, I think of the fun I’ll have with the Good Doktor this year at Theatre Bizarre and at numerous conventions where cosplay is encouraged. The VERY best dates are the ones that lead to MORE remarkable dates.
If you consider “maternal” and “scary” to be closely related concepts, you should check out fine artisanship of BeanShanine on her site The Twisted Bean Stalk Nursery.
BeanShanine takes the already creepy concept of reborn babies — life-like dolls that are popular with collectors– and customizes her dolls with sculpted fangs, baby teeth, altered skin tones, and new eye colors. The result is startlingly realistic baby vampires and baby zombies.
As with any successful idea that pops up on Ebay or Etsy, one can find other presentations of reborn baby dolls made creepy. For her surperior craftship, however, BeanShanine wins the disturbing dolls prize hands-down.
How exciting would it be to discover great grandfather was a grave robber?
Paul Koudounaris reveals this history and more in an interview in the Hairpin. Koudounaris is an author, photographer and art historian, with an interest in ossuaries, charnel houses, and sex ghosts.
He is the author of The Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses. He also runs a website dedicated to some of the more macabre themes, Empire de la Mort.
A local gal takes her love of taxidermy and jewelry making to new levels, as seen in this article from the Detroit News. Be sure to watch the charming video too.
Find her on Facebook as well: http://www.facebook.com/detroittaxidermy.
I know where I’m doing my Christmas shopping next year!
Gingerbread + Ghosts = this cool haunted gingerbread house!
These plans come from the Haunted Dimensions website which the Good Doktor has profiled before. They make fantastic papercraft models of the Haunted House Attractions at the various Disneyworldlands.
But here, the plans are deliciously transformed to gingerbread. Looking for a way to fuse horror and the holidays? Try buttercream frosting!
When the Doktor announced an upcoming party, I was excited at the prospect. I enjoy a social outing as much as the next consort, and the fact that this was a Christmas gathering of the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers meant some stops could be pulled in the creepy-creative snack department. I surveyed the possibilities on Pinterest to get some general ideas. We wanted to bring scary but not cringe-inducing hors d’oeuvres. Delicious snacks were just as important as a pleasing presentation.
Finger food caught my eye– specifically the mini hot dogs made to look like fingers. Some might feel the final products looked too much like digits, but to me they were a little less life-like than I’d hoped. I made several samples for the Doktor to test. Style A won the presentation contest, so a plateful accompanied us to the party.
Our other contribution was born whole from the Doktor’s mind. Upon his request, I did researched but could not find any instance where someone had previously made a Pinhead Cheese Ball. You might recognize Pinhead as one of the cenobites from the The Hellraiser Collection (III: Hell on Earth / IV: Bloodline / V: Inferno / VI: Hellseeker / VII: Deader / VIII: Hellworld) series; he’s a scary bad-ass character. The Doktor had a vision of a cheese block head with toothpicks replacing the afore-mentioned pins.
We set about rectifying this omission using a tried and true cheese ball recipe from our files. I purchased a Welch cheddar which I knew would provide a satisfying taste as well as the requisite pale complexion. Should you plan to make your own Pinhead cheese ball for an upcoming holiday gathering, be sure to do as I did and start the recipe early in the day; the cheeses need to come to room temperature to be combined easily and then well-chilled to give the cheese time to set up and the flavors a chance to mingle.
See the recipes below for preparation details. Feel free to comment or ask questions if they should arise.
Pinhead Cheese Ball
4 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces sharp white cheddar, shredded
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon salt
Have cheeses at room temperature at the start. Combine ingredients in a bowl. Mix well.
Form into a ball, then wrap in cling wrap. Place on a plate so that you get a flat stable surface for the back of the head. Begin to shape the ball into a face. I chilled our cheese ball head for an hour, and then shaped some more, and returned the cheese to the refrigerator for a couple more hours.
Before serving, I scored the cheese head with vertical and horizontal lines, like Pinhead has. I placed toothpicks at the junction of the lines. The effect was pleasing overall, and our cheese ball was immediately recognized as Pinhead by the party guests.
Baked Finger Food Hor d’oeuvres
Just a bit of fussing needed for satisfactory results
1 package of mini hot dogs (contains about 40)
1 package of Pillsbury seamless dough sheets (crescents would work fine, if need be)
1 white onion
Cut the onion into small pieces, about ½ x ½ and slightly wedge-shaped.
Cut a small slice off one end of each hot dog to serve as the “nail.” Make a little cut lengthwise into the hot dog to seat the end of the onion piece.
Make several small slices about half way down; that will be the knuckle.
Cut the dough sheets into a ¾ inch strip. Wrap the base of each mini dog with a layer of dough and place carefully on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350F for about 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
Oh, and it was a wonderful party, complete with good food and holiday-themed horror movies!
This picture comes to us via George Takei’s rather hilarious Facebook feed. George’s only attribution is “from a fan.” Well, thank you, anonymous fan. What an appropriate image for the upcoming festivities!
My internet search yielded the following variation on the Clarice theme.
You can get your own cards, t-shirts, stickers and iphone and ipod cases from Ted Dastick Jr at Red Bubble. Well played, sir!
If you love someone, give him a skull… to add to his skull collection.
This festive token came from Courage My Love, a great vintage and clothing store in Toronto.
A perfect way to say Feliz Dia de los Muertos!
It’s not often that we are moved to post recipes here on the Daily Nightmare, but this was one I couldn’t resist.
How gruesome, how fitting, how… delicious.
A mold was used to shape meatloaf into a hand. Cheese, ketchup, and onions add the extra touches which makes this dish outstanding.
Get the full instructions from the Not Martha blog here, and feed your family a Halloween dinner they’ll remember.
This style of shirt isn’t exactly my taste but there’s something oddly compelling about it. Deface the back of any boring T-shirt into a badass skull using these simple instructions. Made even simpler? Trace the pattern with a marker and cut it out! Added ventilation is an extra bonus!
This demented little goodie is made available by the mad geniuses at ThinkGeek.com. It’s perfect for folks who think that it’s not enough fun to come to a potluck with a jello shaped like a human brain. This one looks like the torso of a zombie.
The culinary possibilities are nearly endless. My next birthday cake had better be decorated like a graveyard complete with green colored coconut shavings (grass) with one of these little beauties erupting from a tomb with my name on it.