The Art of Darkness

Happy Halloween!

October 31st, 2013 by Cobwebs

The Arrival by Rhode MontijoThe year has finally rolled around to my very favorite day. I usually turn the blog over to the commenters on Halloween, and this year I’m looking for true tales of the weird or creepy.

Here’s mine; it’s one of my favorite bits of family history and a great icebreaker at parties (if by “icebreaker” you mean, “make people smile nervously and edge slowly away”).

This story was related by my late paternal grandmother.* She was born in 1905 so these events would have taken place around 1911 or 1912, when medicine was on the crude side and rural folk didn’t bother with a doctor much anyway.

One of her great-aunts died, and in the tradition of the time the body was laid out at the house to let the relatives pay their respects. Normally you’d have to worry about the body beginning to decompose, but it was the middle of winter in Nebraska so they just put her in an unheated back room. She lay there for three days.

When they finally went to bury her, the body was still warm.

And…they buried her anyway.

At this point in the story I said, “Um, grandma…?” And she looked sort of embarrassed and said, “Well, apparently nobody liked her very much.”


Now it’s your turn. Share your favorite spooky anecdote in the comments. And…Happy Halloween!

*She was alive when she told the story. Just in case that wasn’t entirely clear.

Posted in Whatever | 8 Comments »

Creepy 3-D Wall Decor

October 30th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Wall Ghost

So this is kind of awesome.

I saw this photo online (unattributed, natch) and did a reverse image search in hopes of finding the source. Weirdly, I can’t seem to locate an original attribution; there are lots of instances of this particular image, plus a few sites which have what appears to be a whole set.

I thus can’t provide any insight on how this was done originally, so I did the next best thing and asked my dad, who is a home-repair ninja. Here are his thoughts:

Get the hands, etc. from a Halloween store. Cut them so that the back is semi-flat. Fasten them to the wall with hot glue.

1. Use spackle, plaster or paper mache to smooth over them and add the “wrinkles” at the side. Paint wall color paint over them.

2. Use wet paper towels or newspaper to form the wrinkles and fill in where you want. “Feather” the edges of the paper with sandpaper. Paint over the paper with Gesso to make it smooth. Paint with wall color paint.

3. Use plastic sheeting to cover them and heat soften/shrink to form. Spackle the edges to blend into the wall. Paint with wall color paint.

4. Use thin rubber (like that used in makeup bald caps). Blend in the edges. Paint with wall color paint.

The last two are the least durable.

So. This is clearly completely out of the question if you rent, but if you want to do something super-spooky with a room in your house, it would be hard to beat ghosts coming out of the walls. It sounds like this is one of those “more time than money” projects, and it would certainly be a conversation piece. Bonus points if you make over a guest room.

Posted in Bad Things | 5 Comments »

Make a Snap-O-Lantern

October 29th, 2013 by Cobwebs

(I would apologize for posting this so close to Halloween that nobody could make one in time, but they sold out of their kits and don’t expect to have them back in stock until November 8 or so. Let’s count this as “prep for next year.”)

A few years ago Evil Mad Scientist Labs posted a wonderful tutorial for turning a miniature pumpkin into a “Snap-O-Lantern” with light-up eyes and snapping jaws. Here it is in action:

They’ve recently made this even easier by offering a Snap-O-Kit which includes all of the electronics and instructions.

Since the project involves carving the pumpkin in a very particular way (big pointy teeth in front, hinge in back) that might be a little fiddly, I’m thinking that this might be better accomplished with a re-usable styrofoam pumpkin. There are miniature ones available in craft stores (especially now; they’re probably on clearance) or online plus, since the reason EMSL discourages the use of larger pumpkins because of their weight, you might be able to use a larger styrofoam version.

The kit uses a timer to make the eyes light up and jaws snap at set intervals. If you’re feeling extra geeky you could hook it up to a proximity sensor instead and have it snap when it detects movement.

Posted in Needful Things | 2 Comments »

Adult Wednesday Addams

October 28th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Writer and comedian Melissa Hunter is doing a series of videos depicting the life of Wednesday Addams after she grows up and moves out of the Addams Manor. The first one is below; the rest are on her YouTube channel.

(Hat tip to xJane)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 2 Comments »

A Week of Link Dumps: Day 5

October 25th, 2013 by Cobwebs

This concludes our Link Dump Extravaganza. We’ll return to our regular programming (and once-a-week dumps) on Monday.

Fake Hole in Wall – Easy way to make walls look damaged, for a spooky haunted-house feel. (Hat tip to xJane)

Stick Figure Costume – Great LED costume for a toddler.

Immortal Visions – Etsy shop full of lovely, spooky papercraft items.

Necromancer – This Medium Large strip amused me.

Squid Table – This doesn’t look tentacular so much as ectoplasmic.

Art of Mourning – “A resource for memorial, mourning, sentimental jewellery and art.”

21 Houses to Avoid on Halloween – I believe they mean, “21 houses to explore and maybe make friends with the occupants.”

Necronomicon Bikini – Well, that’s certainly…arresting.

Halloween Love – Whimsically weird artwork by deviantART member AlMaNeGrA. Check out the rest of his gallery as well.

Bat Drawer Pull – Attractive metal drawer handle.

Posted in Link Dump | 1 Comment »

A Week of Link Dumps: Day 4

October 24th, 2013 by Cobwebs

The 1900 Letter – Etsy store full of gorgeous, elegantly creepy, stationery. (Hat tip to xJane)

Bee Orchid – This xkcd cartoon is surprisingly touching.

Halloween Decor – Sin in Linen has several attractive items.

Sugar Skull Cameos – Cameo jewelry repainted to look like calaveras.

Brain Pincushion – Clever and unusual method of making a startlingly realistic fabric brain.

Creepy Doll Head Shakers – Salt and pepper shakers shaped like old-fashioned porcelain doll heads.

Multiverse Holiday Cards – These would be amusing to send to overly-religious relatives.

Trick-or-Treating – This sweet little drawing comes with a “sad and creepy feels” warning. (I’d like to link to the original, but the URL in the watermark appears to be dead.)

Nevermore – Kickstarter campaign for a movie adaptation of a successful play about Poe’s life.

Top 10 Creepiest Graves – “Creepy” is a definite misnomer, but some of these sites sound interesting.

Posted in Link Dump | 2 Comments »

A Week of Link Dumps: Day 3

October 23rd, 2013 by Cobwebs

Living Food – Art project which explores the concept of eating food which behaves like living organisms.

Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise – In an elaborately-staged promotion for the Carrie movie remake, hidden cameras capture the reactions of people confronted with a young woman’s apparent telekinesis.

The Druggist – Creepy short story; free for download today on Kindle.

Press’n’Seal Glad Wrap Decorating – Super-easy idea for adding spooky writing to walls and mirrors.

Mechanical Ribs Swimsuit – Attractive piece from Black Milk, pointed out by WitchArachne, who added that their order confirmation email included the starting paragraph of a Halloween story which concludes on their blog. That’s a nice touch.

Vampire Donuts – This is such a ridiculously simple idea, but it’s so cute.

Kevin Francis Gray – Sculptor of elegant, highly creepy, statues.

Bride of Frankenstein Makeup – Great-looking makeup that changes under black light. Includes a tutorial.

Cheshire Cat Makeup – This is both fantastic and rather horrifying. (via WitchArachne)

Vintage Vice – Playlist of old-time songs about drugs, sex, booze, and other myriad sins.

Posted in Link Dump | 2 Comments »

A Week of Link Dumps: Day 2

October 22nd, 2013 by Cobwebs

Ink-wash Alien – I just adore these serene xenomorphs.

Unknown Specimen – Hyperrealistic digital image of a mandrake-ish thing in a jar, plus impedimenta. This is splendid inspiration for a Halloween prop.

National Museum of Funeral History – Short article about the museum in Houston.

Shredders – Knitted sweaters that look like kitschy “Christmas sweaters” but feature Baphomet, Krampus, Bigfoot, and other creepy things.

Birth Announcements – This is a brilliant idea. (Hat tip to xJane)

Spiderweb Balloons – Easy idea for making unique party decorations.

Plastic Surgery for a Better Fortune – A plastic surgeon in Japan will burn “better” lines into your palm to improve your palm readings.

Feminist Yog-Sothoth – An excellent new meme. More here.

Bat Cage Prop – Great-looking, reasonably easy, decoration.

Vampire Hunter Kit – Leather pouch and stake from ThinkGeek. (Hat tip to WitchArachne)

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

A Week of Link Dumps

October 21st, 2013 by Cobwebs

My Link Dump folder is overflowing, and at the rate of one post a week I won’t get through it ’til Christmas. I am hereby declaring this a week of all link dumps, all the time. Whee!

Weird Vintage – “Ads, illustrations, and photographs of a vintage or antiquated nature that make you just a tad bit confused/alarmed/amused.” A Tumblr of greatness.

Skull in the Family – Amusing series of photos depicting everyday life with a pair of plastic prop skeletons.

Titanic Music-box Tune Identified – The tune from a pig-shaped music box which was played to comfort children in one of the Titanic lifeboats has been identified.

Baby Bat – “I am the adorably cuddly night!” (Hat tip to xJane, who also supplied the caption)

The Evil Dead – Recipe for a party-size quantity of a pretty lethal-sounding drink.

Horror Nesting Dolls – These custom-painted matryoshkas are marvelously spooky.

6 Haunted Homes (and How it Would be to Live in Them) – An amusing roundup.

Necrotic – Mary Jane-style heels adorned with a skull designed by Gris Grimly.

Day of the Dead Iron-On Transfers – Handy book of patterns for needlework, painting, or other crafting. There’s also a steampunk version.

Frank N. Furter Poppet – This is the most ridiculously adorable little doll I have ever seen.

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

The Link Dump of the Sierra Madre

October 18th, 2013 by Cobwebs

DIY Nightmare Before Christmas Props – Splendid blog devoted to NMBC props. There’s loads of really clever stuff.

Memories of a Fisherman – Interesting-sounding horror-themed computer game.

Creepy Message in a Bottle – A Redditor found somebody’s curse. (via Beth)

Shiro Cosmetics – “Makeup and Geekery.” Cosmetics with colors like Ever in Your Favor, Riddles in the Dark, and (my personal favorite) Nic Cage Raking Leaves on a Brisk October Afternoon. (Hat tip to Empress Pam)

What’s This? What’s This? – It would be fun to install a prop like this and see how many people had to change their underwear.

It’s a Snap! – This is an actual advertisement, for an actual organization (Central Institute of Technology), that does not go where you expect it to go.

Queen Mab – Romeo and Juliet retold from the viewpoint of the queen of the fairies.

The Arrival – Vintage-y illustration by Rhode Montijo. This is just how it feels when Halloween rolls in.

Snails – These photos are simply lovely. I didn’t know it was possible to make a snail look so noble.

Darkling – Great “bat wing” eyeshadow by hedwyg23 on deviantART. Her gallery has several more designs.

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

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