The Art of Darkness

Trivia Tuesday

October 7th, 2014 by Cobwebs

  1. This Slavic hag flies around in a mortar, carries a pestle, and lives in a cottage that stands on chicken legs.
  2. John Keats’ poem about a woman who keeps the head of her murdered lover in a pot of herbs is entitled, “Isabella, or the Pot of ______.”
    A) Rosemary
    B) Bay
    C) Lavender
    D) Mint
    E) Basil
  3. In this dark comedy starring a young Tom Hanks, the residents of a quiet cul-de-sac begin to suspect that their new neighbors might be serial killers.
  4. In 1981 Siouxsie Sioux began a percussion-heavy side project with Banshees’ drummer Budgie. What was the name of their act?
    A) Bella Morte
    B) This Ascension
    C) Temple of Rain
    D) The Creatures
    E) Mephisto Waltz
  5. What is the name of the sunken city where “dead” Cthulhu sleeps until the stars come right?
  6. The movie Monster Squad, in which the immortal line, “Wolfman’s got nards!” is uttered, features a group of horror movie-loving kids trying to defeat a team of classic movie monsters. Which of these is NOT amongst the monsters?
    A) Count Dracula
    B) Invisible Man
    C) Frankenstein’s Monster
    D) Gill-Man
    E) Mummy
  7. Which of the Brontë sisters wrote Wuthering Heights?
  8. In this seminal survival-horror video game, protagonist Harry Mason searches a monster-filled town for his daughter Cheryl.
    A) Corpse Party
    B) Haunting Ground
    C) Fatal Frame
    D) Parasite Eve
    E) Silent Hill
  9. In Ghostbusters Egon and Ray decide to look for the name Zuul in “the usual literature,” mentioning Spates Catalog and this other important guide.
  10. This 2010 horror comedy turns the “college kids killed by deranged hillbillies” trope on its ear, making the hillbillies the well-meaning good guys.
    A) 35 Miles from Normal
    B) Into the West
    C) Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
    D) Mountain Men
    E) Cottage Country

(Answers below the fold)

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Cólera

October 6th, 2014 by Cobwebs

This short horror movie was filmed in a single shot and features well-known Spanish actor Luis Tosar. The word “cólera” translates as both “fury” (as in the old word “choler”) and “serious infectious disease” (as in the disease Cholera), so this story of an angry mob chasing a resident with a zombie-like disease is particularly apt.

(via Laughing Squid)

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Not Another Week of Link Dumps: Day 5

October 3rd, 2014 by Cobwebs

This concludes the latest Link-Dump-o-Rama. Regular posting (and once-a-week link dumps) will return on Monday.

Move Under Ground – Entertaining “mythos” novel in which the main Beat writers (Kerouac, Burroughs, etc.) save the world from Lovecraftian horrors. There’s a review here.

Medusa – Click the red button under the main ‘toon for a popup extra.

7 Adorable Animals That Spawn Terrifying Babies – A roundup from Cracked.

Pulguinha, the Steampunk Guinea Pig – It’s a guinea pig. Wearing custom brass-and-leather steampunk wings. This is what the internet was created for.

Rejected Princesses – “Women too awesome, awful, or offbeat for kids’ movies.”

Skull Pop-Up Card – Free pattern and instructions for making a cute pop-up skull that would be perfect for greeting cards or party invitations.

Terreurs – Digital photo series of kids fighting scary monsters. The kids seem to be having a pretty good time.

The Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno – Nice virtual tour of an Italian cemetery with heaps of funerary monuments.

Bat Mug – Attractive ceramic mug. It’s lumped in with the Batman merchandise, but the bat wings are suitable for general gothiness. (Although it’s admittedly really hard to not go, “Nananananana Bat Mug!”)

Man Turns Mouth Into Pinhole Camera – This guy created a little pinhole camera that he can place at the back of his mouth and take tonsil-eye-view shots of things. Which is cute, but it seems to me that it would have been a heck of a lot less effort to attach some false teeth to a standard camera lens.

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Not Another Week of Link Dumps: Day 4

October 2nd, 2014 by Cobwebs

Wonderfully Horrific Crochet – Crochet cute li’l spiders, poisoned apples, bubbling cauldrons, and other spooky things.

Pumpkin Dance – This is a very silly video.

Girl Empowerment Halloween Costumes – A Mighty Girl has a great collection of costumes for girls (and women).

Glue Gun Potion Bottles – Great, easy method for turning empty vitamin bottles, spice canisters, and other discards into good-looking props.

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

Gentle Brain – Play with a wiggly brain.

‘Ween Dream – This charity donates new and gently-used Halloween costumes to kids in need. A very worthy idea, particularly if your kids have outgrown their favorite costume.

Family Labyrinth Costume – I love that they even got their dog involved.

Dead Philosophers in Heaven – A very odd little webcomic.

Salty Sweet Monster Bark – Easy recipe for Halloweeny candy bark. Icing “eyeballs” are available at cake-decorating supply shops and online, but if you can’t find them you could use a “food writer” pen to draw pupils on plain white candies.

Posted in Link Dump | 4 Comments »

Not Another Week of Link Dumps: Day 3

October 1st, 2014 by Cobwebs

Gashleycrumb Tinies Manicure – Adorable Gorey-esque nail art idea.

Stag Beetle Plush – Rather arrestingly lifelike giant stuffed beetle.

Papier Mache Pumpkin – Really well-done, detailed decoration. I love the, “Here, have my face!” pose.

Morbidní krása – “Morbid beauty” feature from Czech magazine Fler. Loads of interesting photos.

Halloween Hairdo – Cute, easy child’s hairdo made with dollar-store novelty rings.

Moonstruck Chocolate – Lots of yummy chocolates in spooky shapes. I especially like their Haunted House Collection.

The House That Halloween Built – Neat Pinterest board full of spooky home design ideas. (via Shellhawk)

Dementor Action Figure – This is nicely creepy-looking. Use it to menace your other action figures.

Mini Apothecary – This altered Altoids tin stuffed full of potions is just adorable.

Headbangers Banquet – Party with all of the foods named after heavy-metal songs like “War Pig” and “Painkiller.” The page is in Portuguese, but Google Translate does an adequate job. (Hat tip to Bruno)

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Not Another Week of Link Dumps: Day 2

September 30th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Bat-o-Lanterns – Cute and easy decorating idea for mini pumpkins. (And just as easy to use fake ones as the real thing.)

Krisztianna – Sculptor who’s created a series of “Muertitas,” which are sort of mounted-trophy calaveras. She sells art prints of the sculptures at Society6.

Vera Bradley Pumpkins – These elegant-looking decoupaged pumpkins are made with patterned napkins.

Look, Just Make Up Your Mind – I sort of love the idea of this kind of supernatural portal.

Skeleton Hands Necklace – Lovely “heart hands” pendant with a skeletal twist.

Octopus Products – Roundup of tentacle-heavy decor, accessories, and other items.

Lumos/Nox Switchplate – Cute light switch cover; it’d be easy enough to DIY. I also like this plate by the same manufacturer featuring a vintage funeral parlor ad.

When the Old Gods Return – Wonderful set of illustrations depicting the moment juuuust before the apocalypse kicks in.

Cicada Hairstyle – Shoko Nakagawa enhances her hairdo with shed cicada exoskeletons. Now I sort of wish I’d picked up a lot more of ‘em during the recent cicada hatch.

Final Fantasy Bookmark – This is such a simple idea, but it’s funny anyway.

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Not Another Week of Link Dumps

September 29th, 2014 by Cobwebs

As a pig is to truffles, so am I to random crap on the internet. This week will be a buffet of the finest hand-picked links.

Steampumkin – Cherie Priest’s Jack-o’-lantern. There’s a tutorial for steaming up plastic pumpkins here.

Stellaluna Costume – This is a rental costume used for promoting the children’s book. It’d be a heck of a cosplay outfit. Or just wear it to lounge around the house.

Anatomical Coat – Submitted by xJane with the comment, “Could be DIY’d…if you have a steady hand, artistic talent, patience, 62 hours of free time, and a thrifted light trench.” I could probably manage the “light trench” part.

A Map of the Introvert’s Heart – Yup.

Punk-kin – Instructions for making a leather-studded S&M pumpkin.

12 Stunningly Spooky Halloween Heels – Some of these would be reasonably DIY-able with decoupage. (Hat tip to Cat)

Dragon Backpack – By the ever-awesome Bob Basset workshop.

Frankenstein Exhibition – Upcoming exhibition at the British Library which sounds pretty neat, as does the BBC’s associated “Gothic Season” programming. I don’t know if the exhibit will tour or not, but hopefully some of the programming will be available to a non-UK audience.

Horror Star Chart – Interesting “star chart” which maps horror movies as constellations.

Human Remains Displayed in Strange Places – I’d sort of like to know who thought it’d be a good idea to store mummies in a public restroom. (Hat tip to pdq)

Posted in Link Dump | 5 Comments »

Switchblade Link Dump

September 26th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Super-Scary Crochet – Pattern book of cute li’l amigurumi monsters.

Ceramic Doll Head Night Light – This isn’t creepy at all.

Scooby Slasher – Iconic horror characters re-imagined as Scooby Doo villains. (via Burning Prairie)

10 of the Spookiest Scary Stories You’ll Ever Read – I don’t think Jezebel knows my audience very well. Still, these are some spooky anecdotes. There’s another installment here.

Fudge Mountain – An unpublished chapter from an early draft of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Medicantica – The site was a “virtual museum” of antique medical instruments. Citing personal reasons, the owner is now selling the entire collection. (Hat tip to Cat)

Coffin Outlet Plate – Electrical outlet cover shaped like a toe-pincher coffin. There’s a matching switchplate.

Jackalope/Deer Antlers – Tutorial for making surprisingly realistic-looking fake antlers. To, y’know, wear around the house.

DIY Potion Bottles – Jill at scrapbook.com has a whole bunch of Harry Potter-inspired potion bottles that look really good.

Skull Coffee Grinder – I guess this is some sort of artwork, but if it were an actual appliance I would buy the hell out of it. (Hat tip to pdq)

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Easy “Bloody” Party Favor

September 25th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Blood JamA couple of Halloweens ago One Charming Party threw a splendid Blood Bar party, serving Gin & Tourniquets out of “blood vessels” and decorating with surgical gauze. One particularly great touch was the choice of party favors: Homemade strawberry jam labeled as Clotted Blood.

This is such a great all-purpose Halloween party favor that I’m retroactively annoyed at all of the past parties where I could have used this idea.

Strawberry jam is easy to make–hit Google for more recipes than you can shake a stick at–but if you’re pressed for time or want to make up a large number of jars, buy good-quality jam in bulk and re-package it in smaller containers. There are plenty of interesting canning jars: Bail-top, tulip, round, square, and many others.

One Charming Party has the labels for free download (and also includes them if you buy a print package of all the party signage), but I have to admit that they’re a bit on the plain side. Fancier labels could be created in your favorite graphics program, using clipart and spooky fonts of your choice. You could also age the labels to make them a little spookier and vampire-ish; The Happy Heathen has an easy tutorial for that (if your printer’s ink won’t run when it gets wet, it’s way easier to faux-age the paper after printing).

The plain white paper covering on the lids could also be spooked up a bit: Use rough brown paper, cover the lids with scraps of Halloween fabric, or hot-glue a big novelty spider to the top.

You could also gift thinner “blood” in the form of strawberry syrup, or branch out with other monstrous jam flavors: Peach “Jack-o’-Lantern Guts” or mint “Radioactive Waste,” for example.

These would be a great, inexpensive favor for a Halloween wedding, too.

Posted in Paint It Black, Terror in the Aisle | 1 Comment »

A Plethora of Pumpkin Preparations

September 24th, 2014 by Cobwebs

PumpkinsAutumn is here (“here” being the northern hemisphere), which means an onslaught of Pumpkin Spice everything. Things that have no business being pumpkin-spice are tarted up; if there was a pumpkin spice dog food I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised. (Edit: See also this. Jesus wept.)

The noble pumpkin is better than sweet one-note dishes. It’s a nutritious vegetable and is wonderful in all kinds of savory dishes. Here’s a roundup. (Note: Some of the recipes labeled as “vegetarian” call for chicken stock; just substitute vegetable broth. But you knew that.)

Pumpkin is a great addition to chilis and stews; you can add it as a puree to thicken the liquid and add creaminess, or cut it into cubes for texture and flavor.

With meat:
Pork and Pumpkin Chili
Turkey Pumpkin Chili
Pumpkin & Beef Autumn Stew
Pork and Pumpkin Stew

Vegetarian:
Pumpkin Chili (The Kitchn)
Pumpkin Chili (Julia’s Album)
Moroccan Pumpkin Stew

Soups are a very popular non-sweet way to use pumpkin.

With meat:
Cheesy Pumpkin Soup with Bacon and Crispy Shallots
Pumpkin and Pancetta Soup
Pumpkin Soup with Sausage
Pumpkin and Lobster Bisque

Vegetarian:
Pumpkin Soup with Ginger Cream
Pumpkin and Yellow Split Pea Soup
Curry Pumpkin Soup
Roasted Pumpkin Soup
Kabocha Pumpkin Hot Pot
Pumpkin and Chestnut Soup

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