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.
This high-tech-ish coffin that serenades the corpse during that oh-so-boring after-life period — sparks a couple initial impressions:
• Can’t wait to see what kind of advertisements will be inserted between the tracks, given that advertising seeps into every crack;
• How will DRM handle this perpetual playlist? Given that listeners apparently “license” music instead of “purchase” it, would it be absurd to expect licensing fees to erode ones inheritance?
• The gleam and gloss of the casket is an intriguing aesthetic choice. It resembles a rocket ship more than a pine box IMHO. Are were really that freaked out by the notion of decay that we need to seal up our remains so thoroughly?
• The blond model cements the resemblance to a shiny automobile and of course, reminds me of the mind-blowing pin-up calendar I received as an Xmas gift from Polish coffin manufacturer Linder. Note that autoshow models rarely are depicted as DRIVING the vehicles they present… which makes me REALLY want to see a corpse inside the coffin, embalmed with a grin of satisfaction as it rocks out to the tunes.
I do love a good folktale, especially ones that mix in a bit of terror. That’s why I was pleased to read about the Japanese New Year’s monsters called the Namahage, who are portrayed by men wearing big masks and straw capes.
In olden times, the Namahage visited each house in the village, pounding on the doors and brandishing their (fake) deba knives. The Namahage would seek out the newcomers and children specifically and encourage them to work and study hard and to obey their parents or inlaws.
It’s a version of “Scared Straight” just in time for New Year’s!
And may yours be happy as well!
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!
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 are scrounging to find reasons to be happy, remember that at least there isn’t a centuries old vampire lurking in yur neighborhood… that is, unless you live in Bajina Bašta, Serbia. A mill that once belonged to a notorious vampire suffered damage due to renovations and now locals fear Sava Savanovic is loosed upon the populace. Sava is the first Serbian vampire, and some experts argue the first vampire. His feeding strategy was to attack those who came to grind grain at the mill, hence the concern that he is homeless now that the mill has collapsed.
I refrain from commenting about matters with which I have no direct experience, in this case, vampires. We Americans certainly find a fair number of things to be afraid of that folks in other cultures find silly, from serial killers to socialized medicine.
What I learned from this story is that the figure Sava Savanovic is the subject of Leptirica (1973), considered the first Serbian horror movie. A photo of the DVD cover appears above. I have to see if it’s available from Netflix.
In the articles, a rivalry emerges about whose vampire is considered “first” and though I can’t comment on that question, I am struck by the geography of monsters. Island nations seems particularly prone to ghosts (Ireland, England, Japan) while other seem susceptible to demonic possession (Poland, Italy) Certainly different regions of North America seem to favor different malefactors (British Columbia’s Ogopogo, Washington State’s Sasquatch, Texas’ Chupacabra, Pittsburgh’s zombies…) There is a weird cultural alchemy whereby a curse transmutes into a tourist trap. So though you might not have to stock up on garlic and holy crosses like the folks of Bajina Bašta, it’s possible you might want to take other, more regionally appropriate precautions… or explore other folklore to exploit.
We all know about tombstones used as markers as to the location of dead bodies, but the Smithsonian tells the tale of bodies themselves used as location markers. Several stories in fact. How does this make sense? In the rarefied conditions of Mt Everest, many climbers have died. Over 200 during the twentieth century, come to find out. The same conditions that made life difficult make decomposition difficult so some of these corpses have endured to become landmarks for further climbers. “Green Boots” is the name of one of these human way-markers. More interesting and poignant tales of the after life of frozen adventurers over here at the Smithsonian blog.
If ever there was a vampire whose death we should mourn, it is The Count from Sesame Street. Jerry Nelson, the talented muppeteer who portrayed numerous characters over the years, including the Count, is dead at age 78. For many, this character was the introduction to numeracy as well as to word play (The Count, get it? Get it?) I can’t help but think that this link between vampires and a near obsession with numeration is the subtext for the vampire on that episode of the X-Files that Mulder distracts by spilling a box of matches which the OCD blood-sucker must stop to count before attacking. A stretch? Perhaps. But ponder for a moment the poetic fittingness of numbers which go ever on and on with the notion of immortal life represented by the undead. The Count was a cuddly monster, a near contradiction in terms. Though Jerry Nelson be dead, let the Count live on.
One. One heart-felt tribute. Two…
As Elsa L was relaxing on the porch this weekend, she watched a police officer amble down the sidewalk while chatting on a phone. This was a real police officer, gun and all, not a rent-a-cop. We don’t have beat cops in our neighborhood so this was an unusual sight. A few minutes later the same police office walked by again. Elsa greeted him.
He asked “You didn’t happen to see someone run past here last night who was bleeding profusely, did you?”
Elsa answered “No.”
The officer mentioned that a window had been broken and whoever had done it didn’t get away unscathed. He thanked Elsa for her time and departed.
Ever curious, Elsa got up and followed the blood trail herself.
“Quite impressive, really” She told me. “It goes two blocks up this street and a half a block down past the corner. The person lost a bit of blood.”
By the time I made it by to to take photographs, the blood was dark brown. Oxidized I suppose. The spatter pattern looked like drops of very thin paint and there were quite a generous number of them. Some places looked like the person had stopped, perhaps to catch his or her breath. I walked the trail up to the broken window — now patched with a piece of plywood — and tracked it back past Elsa’s place where frankly I lost interest.
I did get a couple dramatic pics… well, dramatic only if you know the back story.
Bog bodies are cool as hell, in a morbid kind of way. Human remains sometimes ritually slain that become subject to nearly spontaneous preservation to become leathery “mummies” rate pretty high on the spooky-o-meter. But this one example appears to be a corpse not of one poor unfortunate someone but rather of several folks, meticulously assembled to a complete body.
The evidence makes it rather hard to assert that the guy died peacefully in his sleep.
For more on bog bodies, check out this article too.
And if you’re especially interested in ancient hair care check out this article here, too
The idea of pompadours stiffened with pine resin makes me think “Bog Bodies” would be a great name for a psychobilly band, wouldn’t it?
Remains — apparently human — were recently discovered with a metal stake through the chest suggesting a burial ritual to prevent vampires. Evidently, the practice wasn’t uncommon in Bulgaria some 700 years ago.
What makes this news? Soon these remains will be on display in a Bulgarian museum.
I suppose we file this one under art imitating life too closely. Or perhaps not bothering to “imitate” at all, just “cut and paste.” A tourist dungeon in London, UK discovered recently that some of the bones displayed proudly in their “Satan’s Grotto” — I gather it’s an annual, Mid-December feature, y’know, for the holidays — were actual human remains. I believe I’ve seen that situation in at least three separate TV shows. The most interesting part of the article to me is that the dungeon could have continued to display the remains if they paid an annual £ 2,000 “license fee” to the “Tissue Authority.” Now THAT’S a work-related sit-com I’d like to see on TV. Part tax-collectors / part CSI, they’re The Bone Guard.
THIS FRIDAY – November 18th, 2011 – is the red carpet world premiere of “The 13th Sign” downtown Detroit at the Filmore. The film stars members of Cleveland-based dark industrial musicians Mushroomhead. The band will also be playing at the premiere. Come on out and support Midwestern horror.
A couple things appeal to us about “The 13th Sign.” First of all, I can’t say that I’ve ever attended a movie premiere in Detroit before, let alone for a horror film. May their numbers increase. I wanna see fright flicks premiere everywhere across the Midwest, in decrepit movie palaces and sleazy bars, in run-down urban centers and suburban malls and even at classy places like the Filmore. Let there be MORE Midwestern horror.
Furthermore, “The 13th Sign” looks like a serious horror movie. Not to disrespect purveyors of comedy-horror or camp but we at the Dailynightmare just have to tip the top hat to folks trying to make sincerely scary material. It’s so hard to do. The story seems to be occult-flavored torture which isn’t everyone’s cup of brew, admittedly, but for crying out loud, at least it’s not another zombie movie.
Here’s the teaser trailer (and here are links to other video bits)
And one of my favorite Mushroomhead videos (“Solitaire Unraveling”)
Ah, the kind of heart warming tale you just don’t hear enough of any more. Sure the Golden Age of grave desecration was perhaps the pre-Victorian era where cadavers where harvested for medical purposes. The practice, I gather, has largely gone underground, so to speak if this little news bit is any indication.
The guy’s an historian. The lengths that some academics won’t go for research, I tells ya.
Polygonal dice as if assembled from tiny human skulls. 3-d printable at your command, of course.
You’ve heard this advice before but it bears repeating: double check before sending someone to the morgue. This goes for family members, “private undertakers” and heck, probably especially for the folks who work at the morgue.
The BBC reports (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-13522546)that up for auction this week is a human skull complete with hand-crafted display box. It likely came to the British Isles from Europe under the arm of some young landed gentry during a Grand Tour of the continent. “Grand Tour” was their loftier version of “Spring Break.”
There are rumors that it’s the head of a saint, perhaps Saint Vitalis of Assisi, the “Saint of Venereal Diseases” but that’s not the key part of the story, for me at least. I believe the auctioneer said it best himself “….it’s certainly the head of someone.” Indeed. It’s a HUMAN HEAD and it’s FOR SALE. Oh and the box looks cool as hell. It would look perfect atop the antique spinet I inherited from Aunt Gertrude.
I can’t bid on this item-a bit short on cash. But I take some comfort in a classic line from The Big Lebowski “You want a toe? I can get you a toe.” When I have the money, likely there’ll be a dessicated relic on the market somewhere in this wonderful, global economy.
When I was a kid, everyone I knew thought “The Exorcist” was the scariest movie they’d ever seen. Me? When I watched it, I had the overwhelmed sensation “Damn, that looks cool.” Forget fireman or doctor or lawyer, I wanted to be an EXORCIST!
Trouble was, the high school guidance counselor didn’t really have much advice for that career path. Things might be changing though, following this report:
The most recent guidelines appear to have been updated in 1999 – so they won’t be able to address any juicy new demons that the 21st century has spawned. And of course, they’re written in Latin, which wasn’t exactly one of my strongest classes. I suppose the most damning blow to my demon-evicting job search is that I’m not Catholic must less a priest nor am I likely to become one in the near future… like this life-time.
Maybe I’ll have to fall back on my other childhood dream job: astronaut who leaves earth never to return.
In 1941, a group of folks assembled to put a “hex” on Hitler. Life Magazine – the internet of those times – was on hand to record the event with some snappy photojournalism. Godwin’s Law be damned: this is a hoot, that is, using the “forces of Darkness” to combat “Evil incarnate.”
Your position on the utility of hexes or the authenticity of these particular would-be pagans is not the point. We humans need to feel as if we are doing something that is meaningful, that our actions have an effect especially during times of distress. During WWII, we had collections for scrap metal. We grew “victory gardens.” Contemporary reflection somewhat pessimistically notes that these activities didn’t really help the war effort as much as they bolstered the moral of those on the home front. So why not “hexes?”
There was great recent controversy when someone planned to burn multiple copies of the Qu’ran. It prompted folks across the Muslim world to burn effigies of just about everyone they didn’t like… even though, as I read it, it’s a cultural proscription, if not cardinal no-no to make graven images of humans. This emphasis on non-representative art is a contributing factor to the splendor of Islamic geometric mosaics, I’m told. Would there have been such an outrage if the American protest only burned – or put a hex – on representations of Bin Laden?
If you’re getting hung up on the whole black magic thing, perhaps because of christian baggage, then call it an “imprecatory prayer.” Lord knows there are enough bible-belters using such language as veiled threats against the president. You’ve maybe seen the bumper stickers that say “Pray for Obama – Psalm 108 8 & 9″ Look those lines up, will ya? They’re not the cuddly Loving Shepherd. They say “May the days of his reign be few; let his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.” Ah, explain to me how that’s NOT outright sedition?