The Art of Darkness

The Link Dump of Hill House

August 16th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Bug-Embroidered Coat – Part of Valentino’s 2013 Fall line. This looks eminently DIY-able.

8 Legs – (NSFW!!!) Reading back through the archives, I think this is still my favorite Oglaf of all time. (This one is probably second.)

Concave Oblivion – These denture bracelets and hair combs are just horrifying.

Kids Playing with Toy Guillotine – Unusual vintage photo.

Colour Me Good – Coloring book of scenes from classic horror movies.

Ouija Board Leggings – Cute leggings; possibly DIY-able with stencils and fabric paint.

Bearded Dragons Wearing Hats – And mighty jaunty they are, too.

Laboratory Shot Glasses – These would be adorable for a mad scientist-themed party.

Bag of Bones Playing Cards – Weird, creepy cards by John Littleboy. I also quite like his Dogs Playing Cards; you can see more photos of that set here.

This Charming Charlie – Peanuts cartoons paired with Smiths lyrics.

Posted in Link Dump | 5 Comments »

Sleepy Hollow TV Series Premieres This Fall

August 15th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Intrepid commenter Sisifo sent me a note about this recently, along with the comment, “Not sure whether to be excited or facepalm.” I am similarly torn.

The series premieres next month on Fox. They’re touting it as a “modern-day retelling” of Washington Irving’s short story, but their official synopsis is, quote, “Ichabod Crane wakes up from the throes of death 250 years in the future to find the world on the brink of destruction and learn he is humanity’s only hope…forcing him to team up with a contemporary police officer to unravel a mystery that dates back to the founding fathers.” I am having a spot of trouble reconciling that plotline with “Superstitious schoolmaster gets pranked by a guy with a pumpkin.”

Anyway, the trailer looks reasonably promising:

The series’ official site is here.

(Thanks, Sisifo!)

Posted in Whatever | 4 Comments »

Hanging Jellyfish Plant

August 14th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Jellyfish PlantThese lovely little “jellyfish” are made of airplants and sea urchin shells. I originally saw them at This is Why I’m Broke and assumed they came pre-assembled; however, the actual Etsy listing calls them a “kit” and specifies DIY assembly. If you’re gonna have to do that, you may as well just get the supplies yourself.

The plants appear to be one of the bajillion varieties of Tillandsia, which are widely available at nurseries and online (they even come in pretty colors.) If you want something a little more exotic, there are dozens of other varieties to choose from.

Sea urchin shells are similarly ubiquitous; you can find them at souvenir shops, craft supply stores, or online.

Stick the one into the other and you’ve got yourself a jellyfish. Hang with a bit of clear fishing line: You can drill holes in the shell if you’re feeling really ambitious, but it’s probably easiest to just thread the line through the hole and tie it around the base of the airplant. You can also hang several by repurposing a cheap photo mobile.

Plant care is minimal and easy. BHG has basic instructions.

These are a great decoration for an office or other area where there isn’t much natural light. They’d also make an interesting favor for an undersea-themed party or wedding.

Posted in Needful Things, Terror in the Aisle | 3 Comments »

1000 Shadows

August 13th, 2013 by Cobwebs

1000 ShadowsBrazilian street artist Herbert Baglione has a series called 1000 Shadows in which he paints weird, floating silhouettes on floors and walls. He recently continued the series in an abandoned psychiatric hospital in Italy. The result is haunting.

I unfortunately can’t seem to find a list of the entire series anywhere. His site and Facebook page include some project photos intermixed with his other work (some of which, incidentally, is NSFW), but there are no tags or categories. There’s a 1000 Shadows tag on Instagram, but it also picks up other users’ shares of the images, so there are lots of repeats.

Despite the difficulty in finding the images, they’re worth seeking out. Even the ones that aren’t done in an old insane asylum marvelously creepy and otherworldly, like the things you see out of the corner of your eye that are gone when you take another look.

Posted in Paint It Black | 2 Comments »

The Girl & the Siren

August 12th, 2013 by Cobwebs

This lovely little stop-motion piece was done by Jacob Petersson of Curiomira.

(Hat tip to Sisifo)

Posted in Whatever | 1 Comment »

A Link Dump for Ecclesiastes

August 9th, 2013 by Cobwebs

ROA – This street artist in Belgium does gorgeous “X-ray animal” paintings. (Speaking of X-ray animals, these are pretty awesome too.)

Events of The Labyrinth – A rather mind-blowing theory explaining the movie’s plot.

Never Ending Night – Art/science project (currently looking for funding) which aims to make a live feed of the starry night sky available online 24 hours a day.

strangeling – Jasmine Beckett-Griffith does unusual, surreal takes on fairy-tale princesses and other legendary figures. This is the most whimsical little version of Durga that you’ll ever see. (You can also purchase some originals if you’re feeling spendy.)

Dish Wish – Scrub brush shaped like a fairy’s wand.

Satanists to Adopt Highway – Proof that cleanliness is not necessarily next to godliness.

Hijinks Ensue Sketch Drive and Scholarship for Dollarship – For a mere pittance, Joel Watson will draw things for you and Benito Cereno will give you long answers to obscure questions.

Bela Lugosi’s Birthday – New Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi was lead singer in a punk rock band called Dreamboys (whose drummer was Craig Ferguson). Here’s one of their songs.

Octopus Chair – This is astonishingly gorgeous, and I don’t even want to guess what it would cost. (Hat tip to Sisifo)

Funeral Meat – Show this sculpture to your relatives at Thanksgiving and I guarantee they will all want tofu for dinner.

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

Creepy YouTube Mystery

August 8th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Pronunciation Book

Pronunciation Book is a strange and little-viewed YouTube channel which provides guidance on pronouncing words and phrases in American English. The channel has been running since April of 2010, and the words it chooses to highlight tend to be rather odd: “Zosia Mamet,” “one million dollar commercial,” “Yggdrasil,” “goodbye lyrics,” and “tsundere” amongst them.

It also occasionally features how-to guides with unusual example phrases: How to State an Unpleasant Fact in English teaches you how to pronounce, “I have no choice but to complete the mission.” How to Bargain in English has, “I’ll tell you where it is if you promise to leave this city.”

On July 9, the words suddenly stopped and a countdown took its place. A new video is posted daily, counting down from 77, which promises that “something is going to happen.” Each message is followed by a series of clicks which were originally thought to be Morse code. However, some users exploring the mystery have used spectography to convert the audio files into visual data, revealing an image file that seems to be the lower part of a man pointing toward the camera.

Video Image

CNet has more on the puzzle, and there’s a public Google Doc with a detailed analysis. The best guess is that this is the start of an alternate reality game by a company called Synydyne; if so, they have certainly committed to the bit: A three-year lead time is pretty impressive (CNet notes that phrases in some previous videos may have hinted at what was to come; How to Argue in English uses “I’m trying to tell you something, but you’re just not listening” as an example).

At its present rate, the countdown will end on September 24. I’ll be curious to see what comes next.

(via BoingBoing)

Posted in Whatever | 2 Comments »

New Music – Halloween Ambient

August 7th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Ambient Halloween Album CoverMusician Ken Elkinson specializes in “solo piano and ambient” music. He just dropped me a line about his newest project, an all-Halloween album called Halloween Ambient. He notes that he got the germ of the idea when one of his children said, “Daddy you should make Halloween music,” which made him think about how much he loved the holiday.

I then thought about the annual Halloween costume contest at my day job…about how I won so many times, that they actually cancelled the contest last year because they did not want me winning again. Then I realized how much I love Halloween, so much that even with the costume contest cancelled I still showed up at work dressed as Richard Simmons. I should add 100% accurately dressed as Richard Simmons down to the sheer pantyhose, even as no one else bothered to come in costume.

Awright, Ken! Way to represent!

He states that he tried to make the music “haunting and minimalistic without being overly cheesy.” The album has just dropped and is available for download at iTunes, Amazon, and other major digital music stores. If you want a physical CD, they can be purchased through his site.

He’s also kindly offered a free track for my readers to download. This track is called “Cauldron,” and it has a wonderfully ethereal quality. Download it here.

This is lovely stuff, and would be perfect as background music that’s thematic without being intrusive. It’d also make a nice gift, particularly for people who aren’t quite sure what to make of one’s Halloween obsession (and here I’m thinking of my mother-in-law) since it nicely fits the spirit of the holiday without being overly weird.

Incidentally, he’s got a number of other albums (including two other holiday-themed ones: Christmas and Chanukah), so if you like his Halloween stuff check out the rest of his music as well.

Posted in Needful Things | No Comments »

Trivia Tuesday

August 6th, 2013 by Cobwebs

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

  1. The Handbook for the Recently Deceased in Beetlejuice “reads” like what?
  2. A famous haunting known as the Dalby Spook involved a talking animal (variously interpreted as a poltergeist, a cryptid, or merely a hoax) named Gef. What kind of animal was Gef supposed to be?
    A) Badger
    B) Cobra
    C) Owl
    D) Mongoose
    E) Dog
  3. Although the title sounds like horror, Stephen King’s novella The Body is instead slice-of-life drama. It was adapted into a movie with what title?
  4. The comic play (and later movie) Blithe Spirit involves a séance gone awry, leaving the ghost of a man’s first wife trying to disrupt his marriage to his second wife. Who is the author of the play?
    A) George Bernard Shaw
    B) Oscar Wilde
    C) Eugene O’Neill
    D) Lillian Hellman
    E) Noël Coward
  5. In Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files, wizard Harry Dresden’s helper/adviser is a spirit who resides in a skull. What is the spirit’s name?
  6. The Cottingly Fairies were a series of photographs taken between 1917 and 1920 which purported to show fairies interacting with two young girls. The case gained the attention of what famous author and spiritualist?
    A) Charles Dickens
    B) Arthur Conan Doyle
    C) Jack London
    D) W. B. Yeats
    E) Harry Price
  7. The Tower of London is said to be haunted by (amongst many others) the ghosts of two little boys who were murdered by their uncle because they were heirs to the throne that he later claimed for himself. Who was their murderer?
  8. Alfred Hitchcock liked to make a cameo in each movie he directed. In a film which featured a limited cast, he snuck in an appearance as “Before” and “After” photos in a newspaper weight-loss advertisement. What was the film?
    A) Lifeboat
    B) Rope
    C) Dial M for Murder
    D) Rear Window
    E) Strangers on a Train
  9. This mythical Australian animal is said to be a large, vicious, arboreal marsupial related to the Koala which attacks its prey by pouncing on top of it. It is classified as Thylarctos plummetus in the Australian Museum’s catalogue of native fauna. (Yes, really.)
  10. In the TV series The Addams Family, Morticia’s mother was played by Margaret Hamilton. What was the character’s name?
    A) Ophelia
    B) Endora
    C) Hester
    D) Lydia
    E) Dorcas

(Answers below the fold)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Trivia | 4 Comments »

The Final Moments of Karl Brant

August 5th, 2013 by Cobwebs

In this poignant short film, a murder victim’s consciousness is uploaded to a computer and interrogated in a bid to catch his killer. (Yes, that is Paul Reubens.)

(via BoingBoing)

Posted in Whatever | 1 Comment »

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