The Art of Darkness

Link Dump Fever

May 17th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Gummi Metal – A Metal cover of the Gummi Bears theme. (Hat tip to WitchArachne)

Dracula Trailer – Official trailer for the new series starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers. It looks fairly edgy for non-cable television.

Microorganism Named After Cthulhu – He’s…somewhat less terrifying than I’d always envisioned.

Halloween Manicures – A roundup of Halloween-themed nail treatments. The zombie/Frankenstein nails at the very bottom are simply hideous.

Dark Woods Chandelier – The shadows this chandelier casts turns the whole room into a forest. (Hat tip to Pensive Pumpkin)

Nightsong – Children’s book about an adorable little bat’s first solo flight.

Creepy Things Children Say – This Reddit thread is gold. There’s a similar one here. (Hat tip to Bonni)

Ultimate Deck – “Luxury” deck of playing cards which features a different piece of original artwork on each card. Lots of interesting, occasionally macabre, designs. (The gallery of images scrolls, which is not made obvious, so you can see more cards.)

The Alternative Limb Project – Prosthesis designers who offer unusual artificial limbs. The snake arm is especially interesting.

A Sublime Contagion – A discussion of the concept of “Gothic.” (Hat tip to Bruno)

Posted in Link Dump | 2 Comments »

Letters from Scarfolk

May 16th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Letters from ScarfolkScarfolk Council is an odd little site on which a “Dr. R. Littler” reports upon the mysterious town of Scarfolk.

Scarfolk is a town in North West England that did not progress beyond 1979. Instead, the entire decade of the 1970s loops ad infinitum. Here in Scarfolk, pagan rituals blend seamlessly with science; hauntology is a compulsory subject at school, and everyone must be in bed by 8pm because they are perpetually running a slight fever. “Visit Scarfolk today. Our number one priority is keeping rabies at bay.” For more information please reread.

It’s filled with perfect vintage images and strange anecdotes, all of which chronicle a twisted community full of horrifyingly banal evil.

Back in 1975 the children of Scarfolk primary school released their own 45rpm record to commemorate their music teacher Mrs Payne who disappeared in 1972, but whose body was found encased inside one of the thirteen ancient standing stones just outside Scarfolk.

A young girl was found wandering the streets of Scarfolk in 1976. She claimed that she had escaped from a secret school hidden beneath the town hospital.

She was sent to Scarfolk Hills mental facility where, in brief lucid states between medication regimes and electro-therapy, she created this image again and again.

Her claims were never investigated.

Scarfolk’s 1972 tourism campaign was as successful as the mayor had hoped. Seven tourists visited that summer. Oddly, they were all called Timothy, wore identical clothes and appeared to communicate with each other telepathically. Everyone in Scarfolk called them ‘The Tim Seven’.

Three days after they arrived in Scarfolk all the birds disappeared and for months after the Tims left whenever Scarfolk residents tried to use their telephones all they could hear on the other end was distant, frantic backward birdsong.

If the citizens of Midwich built a town on Summerisle, Scarfolk would be the result.

(via BoingBoing)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 1 Comment »

“Breaking Bad” Bath Salts

May 15th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Bathing Bad Bath SaltsNew Mexico company Great Face and Body peddles Bathing Bad, bath salts tinted to resemble the crystal meth in the cable series Breaking Bad (as ShortList Magazine put it, “Just Add Walter”).

It’s a cute idea, but an 8-oz bag goes for 16 bucks, which is a fairly ridiculous markup (in their defense, the label states that part of the proceeds go to charity). Bath salts are absurdly cheap easy to make at home.


1 C Epsom salts
1 C sea salt or kosher salt
1/2 C rock salt
1/2 C Borax (optional)
1/4 tsp glycerine (optional)
Essential oil of your choice (see note below)
Blue food coloring


Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the glycerine, a few drops of essential oil, and a few drops of food coloring. Stir or place in a container with a tight-fitting lid and shake until thoroughly blended (if you’re making a large batch, you can mix with a heavy-duty mixer too; a hand mixer isn’t powerful enough). Continue adding essential oil and food coloring a few drops at a time until you’re satisfied with the color and scent.

Package in a ziploc bag. If giving as a gift, attach a label with instructions to add about 1/2 C to a bath; if desired, use the graphics program of your choice to add additional images and text to the label. You can print out the labels on precut stickers to make it easy to prepare several bags at a time.

A note on essential oils: Not all essential oils are suitable for use in this project, since some can irritate skin. Also be sure to take allergies into account if giving the salts as a gift.

Try different combinations of these:

  • Refreshing – Sandalwood, cedarwood, lavender, vetiver, or jasmine
  • Romantic – Rose, geranium, jasmine, ylang-ylang, or clary sage
  • Invigorating – Cypress, fir, juniper, lemon, nutmeg, orange, grapefruit, spearmint, or peppermint
  • Relaxing – Chamomile, geranium, lavender, jasmine, or sandalwood

(via Blame It On the Voices)

Posted in Doom It Yourself | 2 Comments »

Incredible Steampunk Home

May 14th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Steampunk Home OfficeThis is pretty much the ultimate in “committing to the bit.”

Bruce and Melanie Rosenbaum own an old Victorian home near Boston, and a few years ago they decided to modernize their kitchen whilst retaining the original antique vibe: In other words, they steampunked it. And they liked the result so much that they: a) Went on to do the rest of the house in the same style; b) Bought a nearby house to steampunk and resell; c) Launched a business devoted to steampunk interior decorating.

Their stuff is simply gorgeous, and makes one long for enough cash to attempt something similar. Sadly, I seem to have a dearth of rich relatives who are likely to mention me in their will, so the best I can do is drool over the Rosenbaums’ house.

There are lots of photos of the house at Apartment Therapy, Steampunk Workshop, and Houzz, plus a short article about their renovation efforts here. There’s also a video tour:

The company they launched is ModVic, and the site’s gallery has photos of several of their commissions (including a tattoo station made out of an antique gas pump).

A couple of references on other sites are more puzzling: Trial by Steam reported that the Rosenbaums had signed a book deal with a working title of Steampunk Art, Fashion & Design, to be published in Summer/Fall of 2012. However, I can’t seem to find any other information about it, so I’m not sure if the book was scrapped or just delayed. Additionally, Wicked Local’s 2010 article about the Rosenbaums noted that they had launched a site called, “offering Steampunk appliances, gadgets and fixtures to online shoppers.” Unfortunately, that URL goes nowhere. (There’s a link for “Steampuffin Exhibitions” on the ModVic site, but that goes to a “Coming Soon” page, which I roundly loathe.)

Steampunk fits nicely into the Victorian milieu, but is somewhat less daunting to outsiders (and rather more landlord-friendly) than a Gorey-esque decorating scheme. If your sensibilities like in the Victorian direction, the Rosenbaums’ designs ought to give you all kinds of ideas.

(via EPBOT)

Posted in Bad Things | 2 Comments »

Cargo: A Touching Zombie Story

May 13th, 2013 by Cobwebs

In the midst of a zombie apocalpyse, an infected man struggles to save his infant daughter. This was one of the finalists in Tropfest Australia 2013.

In the comments on io9, there’s this note:

For those who don’t know, one of the conditions of entering a film in Tropfest is that is must contain ‘the signature item’, which is announced at the previous year’s festival. This year’s was ‘Balloon’.
When shown next to the other films, it was this use of the balloon that made the film all the more heart-wrenching.

Posted in Whatever | 3 Comments »

The Link Dump in White

May 10th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Victorian Vampire Society – Etsy store with a few interesting vampire-related items, the most impressive of which is the coffin-shaped vampire journal.

Illustrate the Date – Artist Devin Hunt creates “save the date” caricatures of you and your betrothed, and will draw you as your favorite superhero or other fictional character.

12 Coolest Tattoos Covering Scars – The spooky tree is especially awesome.

Bizarro – I’d watch a movie based on this comic.

Spine Heels – Boots with vertebrae heels by DSquared.

Drop Dead Gorgeous – Splendidly weird gallery of photographs depicting Death By Snackfood.

Tortoise Cozies – Just in case you’re worried about your cold-blooded friends getting chilly.

Weeping Angel Cookies – Technically Whovian, but they’re also fine as plain cemetery sculpture, plus the same granite-look cookie dough could be used to make more conventional tombstone cookies.

Medusa’s Gaze and Vampire’s Bite – An exploration into “the science of monsters,” and why we both fear and sorta love them.

The Gown of Fea the Soul Weaver – Really interesting mixed-media garment/costume/thing, featuring felted human faces.

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

Tragedy Series: A Tumblr of Awesomeness

May 9th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Tragedy Series

Artist Benjamin Dewey’s Tragedy Series consists of, quote, “Depictions drawn from regrettable accounts of the less fortunate for purposes of instruction; so that one may avoid similar missteps.” They are wonderful, unlikely, tragedies, all drawn in a vintage style that somehow make the surreal nature of their subject material seem plausible. A few of my favorites are 265, 255, 277, 290, and 48 (also Sassy Yaks is totally going to be the name of my next band).

Fortunately, lest the plight of these multiple tragedies become too overwhelming, he also presents occasional Sadness Reprieves such as this and this.

He sells prints of some of the tragedies on Etsy and you can see examples of his other art (he’s a professional comic book artist) here.

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 1 Comment »

DIY Vampire Hunting Kit

May 8th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Vampire Hunting KitA while back I stumbled upon this link, which details ten unusual eBay purchases. One of the items was what purported to be an 18th-century Vampire Killing Kit. It was more likely a Blomberg Kit (which have a murky and tangled past of their own), but I quite liked the idea of such a project so I decided to take a crack at making one myself. I gave this one to my Secret Pumpkin this year, but my notes are below if you’d like to make one of your own.

Although this project is somewhat on the involved side, no single piece is particularly difficult; there are just a lot of pieces and it takes a while to put everything together. However, I think the results are worth the effort. You can create a stripped-down version to carry around as a prop when you go clubbing, or display a full kit on a bookcase as an decorative object. Plus you can also use it to kill vampires, should you encounter any.

First I had to decide what items to include. A quick canvass of the Internet turned up a surprising number of sites devoted to “vintage” kits; I chose interesting equipment from a variety of sources, and came up with the following list: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Doom It Yourself | 6 Comments »

Trivia Tuesday

May 7th, 2013 by Cobwebs

(No prizes, but if you can answer them all without googling you get bragging rights.)

  1. Who was the Demon Barber of Fleet Street?
  2. The Hound of the Baskervilles stalked Baskerville Hall, which was located where?
    A) Cornwall
    B) Devon
    C) Somerset
    D) Bristol
    E) Kent
  3. Whose ghost appears to Macbeth at his royal feast?
  4. DNA analysis suggests that the Black Death was caused by what bacterium?
    A) Moraxella catarrhalis
    B) Klebsiella pneumoniae
    C) Pseudomonas anguilliseptica
    D) Yersinia pestis
    E) Escherichia vulneris
  5. What breed of dog is Scooby Doo?
  6. One common theory about the Loch Ness Monster is that it’s a relict population of what prehistoric reptile?
    A) Ichthyosaur
    B) Mesosaur
    C) Plesiosaur
    D) Elasmosaur
    E) Mosasaur
  7. Mexican legend tells of a woman who drowned her children in order to be with her lover. Regretting her decision, her ghost now wanders forever, weeping and kidnapping children. Name her.
  8. R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series consists of 62 books. What was the title of the first one?
    A) Welcome to Dead House
    B) The Girl Who Cried Monster
    C) Stay Out of the Basement
    D) The Werewolf of Fever Swamp
    E) My Best Friend Is Invisible
  9. The 1938 radio adaptation of what science fiction novel frightened many listeners into believing that aliens were invading?
  10. Julian Cope was a member of what post-punk band before embarking on a solo career?
    A) Echo & the Bunnymen
    B) Icicle Works
    C) Sonic Youth
    D) Gene Loves Jezebel
    E) The Teardrop Explodes

(Answers below the fold)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Trivia | 5 Comments »

Karen Gillan for z’Ombéal

May 6th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Karen Gillan (lately of Doctor Who fame) did an amusing series of fake ads for The Nerdist.

Posted in Funny Peculiar | No Comments »

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