The Art of Darkness

Twisted Ambience

September 16th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Dead Sea AquariumYou know those “virtual fireplace” videos? This is like that, only weirder.

Twisted Ambience offers DVDs that turn your TV into a “Dead Sea” aquarium (with skeletal fish), display strange specimens preserved in virtual formaldehyde, or feature possessed paintings, animated jack-o’-lanterns, and unquiet graves.

This would be a great background decoration for a party, or just to add a little atmosphere at any time. I’m terribly disappointed that there isn’t a computer screensaver version of the dead aquarium.

(Hat tip to Fiend4Halloween)

Posted in Bad Things | 1 Comment »

“Fresh Blood” Wanted

September 15th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Leisure Books/Dorchester Publishing is partnering with Rue Morgue magazine and horror fiction site ChiZine to present “Fresh Blood,” a new writing contest specifically for unpublished horror authors. If you’ve got a novel in you, now’s your chance.

Leisure is looking for finished horror novel manuscripts, either supernatural or non-supernatural, of 80,000 – 90,000 words. A panel of experts, including Leisure Executive Editor Don D’Auria and editors at ChiZine, will judge entries. The finalists will be announced in November 2009. From December 2009 through July 2010, monthly competitions in categories such as “Best Summary,” “Best First Line,” “Best Title,” and “Most Frightening Scene” will run on Readers will have the opportunity to vote for their favorites, and after each deadline, entries with the fewest votes will be eliminated. The winner will be announced in August 2010 at Rue Morgue’s Festival of Fear in Toronto, Canada, as well as on the Leisure and ChiZine web sites.

The winner will receive a contract for publication in Leisure’s 2011 lineup and a contract from ChiZine Publications for a limited-edition hardcover release, also in 2011. Send entries to by September 30, 2009. The subject line must include the phrase “Fresh Blood.”

For more details, see the ChiZine or Dorchester sites.

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Curious Goods

September 14th, 2009 by Cobwebs

McGonagall's BroochI referenced Curious Goods in a post the other day but wanted to feature the site a little more prominently. It’s a marvelous source of inspiration for all kinds of weird little tchotchkes.

As a lover of movies, Victoriana, magic, science, and fiction, I’ve endeavored to create objects I love. The purpose of Curious Goods is to both disseminate information on my personal projects as well as the projects of others.

Tiffany specializes in little detail bits like Chocolatl wrappers and wand boxes, and the execution on all of them is just lovely. She frequently works directly from screenshots of movies, so her replica props are wonderfully authentic-looking.

The site only has a couple of “true” tutorials, but many of her other project pages include notes about how they were created. She also makes many of her graphic files (like the Order of Merlin stationery) available for download.

She recently opened an Etsy store; there are only a couple of items in it right now, but they’re gorgeous and have wonderful descriptive text.

Check out the site for all kinds of intriguing possibilities.

Posted in Resources | 1 Comment »

The Little Link Dump That Could

September 11th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Chris’ Invincible Super-Blog – This made me giggle.

Twisted Princesses – Artist Jeffrey Thomas has given 10 Disney princesses an extremely warped makeover. (Hat tip to JoAsakura)

A Spooky Wedding Cake – Gorgeous NMBC-themed cake, including several photos of the build process.

Zombie Head Jewelry – Etsy seller specializing in gross-out jewelry made of polymer clay. I especially like the Skin Bangle.

Dry Bones – Cute salt and pepper shakers shaped like femurs.

Mini-Halloween Party – 365 Halloween has suggestions for off-season partying.

Grunge Photography – Roundup of photos exhibiting the “grunge” technique. (Hat tip to Kitten Herder)

Hitchhiking Ghosts Custom Embroidery – Etsy seller giddygirlie creates custom versions of the Haunted Mansion’s signature ghosts.

Posted in Link Dump | 1 Comment »

Campfire Songs for Monsters

September 10th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Book CoverOne nice thing about little kids is that gross things make them giggle. Sipping Spiders Through a Straw would be an absolute laff riot for the graham cracker set, since it adds creepy lyrics to popular campfire songs and pairs them with appropriate pictures. “My Delicious Frankenstein” (In a kitchen, in a castle/filled with mold and turpentine/lived a baker, monster maker/and her true love Frankenstein) features a monster with whipped cream and a cherry, and Zombie Midge (Zombie Midge is falling down, rolling round, all through town/Zombie Midge is falling down/My pale lady) has maggots dribbling off her edges.

The artist is the splendidly-named Gris Grimly, who’s illustrated similar works (such as Wicked Nursery Rhymes I and II and Where Madness Reigns). His stuff somehow manages to be macabre and whimsical at the same time.

This would be a great gift for a slightly-morbid child (in other words, all of them), or for an adult with a dark sense of humor. It’d be fun to bust out the alternate lyrics around the campfire and simultaneously amuse the kids and unsettle the adults. Fun for the whole family!

Posted in Bittens | 3 Comments »


September 9th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Lenny Todd

(From Para Abnormal)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | No Comments »

Halloween at

September 8th, 2009 by Cobwebs

TapestryReader DampViolets sent me links to a couple of hanging tapestries on (Hallows Panel, Halloween Scroll), which are absolutely lovely. I also clicked out to their main Halloween section, and they’ve got all kinds of pretty things to hang on your walls.

They’ve got some nice historical prints like this and this, vintage reproductions like this, and plenty of other posters, prints, and banners (I think this would be an attractive addition to a child’s bedroom).

Some of them are fine art-quality and commensurately expensive, but many are quite reasonable and would be just the thing to add a little gloom to your room. Go look!

Posted in Bad Things | 1 Comment »

Neat Vinyl Wall Decals

September 7th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Bat AttackPillboxdesigns is an Etsy seller that specializes in vinyl wall decals in all kinds of creepy designs: Bats, Nosferatu, quotes from Beetlejuice, and loads more. They even offer a custom monogrammed coffin which might make an interesting wedding gift.

These are a great way to spruce up your space without doing anything permanent, so they’re a good choice for apartment-dwellers. They’re also much cheaper and easier than stenciling the walls. (Plus they give you the opportunity to quickly peel them off and hide them if the in-laws drop by unexpectedly.)

The seller also offers faux hearse-style landau bars so you can turn your Volkswagen into something a little more sinister. Heh.

(via Haute Macabre)

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The Link Dump with Two Brains

September 4th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Monster Book Cover – Cute fanged book cover that looks pretty easy to reproduce. Just in time for back-to-school.

Killibinbin Wines – Australian wines with marvelously stylish noir labels.

Bonbons of Mortality – Food artist Stephen J. Shanabrook took castings of the death wounds of corpses and then used them as chocolate molds. This would certainly make an interesting gift box. (via Haunt Style)

Organic Armor – Amazing steampunk and fantasy costume pieces made of lightweight rubber.

Haunted Locations and Travel – Roundup of spooky places to visit.

How to Sew a RevoluzZzionary Monster – Tutorial for sewing an adorably winsome little plush monster.

Cupcakes and Cake Wraps – Lovely laser-cut paper wrappers. Spiderwebs and ghosts and such are toward the bottom of the page. (hat tip to Empress Pam)

Zombie Weatherman iPhone App – “Your source for the latest weather conditions… and a zombie!” (via Mr. Macabre)

Burial Ground – This comic by AmazingSuperPowers amused me.

Sheep Skull Mouse – Horrorpunk mouse made of brass and part of a sheep skull. I don’t know how functional it would be, but it’s lovely.

The Footnotes Collection – Letterpress greeting cards with snarky footnotes.

I Hate My Job – Make sure you read the whole thing. (via Cynical-C)

Posted in Link Dump | 1 Comment »

Faux Wax Seals

September 3rd, 2009 by Cobwebs

Faux Wax SealsHere’s one of those head-slappingly simple ideas that I wish had occurred to me. Curious Goods has a tutorial for making fake wax seals out of hot glue, and Carrie Mae has taken it one step further and is using them to decorate her wedding invitations. I know you can purchase fake seals that won’t shatter in the mail, but I never thought about making my own.

If you don’t want to mess around with spray paint, you can use colored hot glue for the “wax.” You can carve your own stamp design out of an eraser if you want (although if you’re turning out a lot of stamps it might not hold up), but wax stamps are fairly inexpensive and come in lots of attractive designs (spiders, spider webs, skulls, and bats among them). For one-time use a cheap ink stamp set like this one might work too.

This is a lovely way to add gothic elegance to wedding invitations, and instead of trying to find commercial faux wax seals in the color and design you want, you can create whatever you desire easily and cheaply. Brilliant!

Posted in Doom It Yourself, Terror in the Aisle | No Comments »

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