The Art of Darkness

Hour of the Link Dump

October 10th, 2014 by Cobwebs

The Haunting of Netflix House 2 – Roundup of spooky movies to stream. (Hat tip to hng23)

Ghostbusters 3 is Official – Paul Feig (director of Bridesmaids) and Katie Dippold (writer of The Heat) are teaming up to do a new sequel starring “hilarious women.” If Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig aren’t in it I will eat my hat. And not the hat made of lunchmeat that I keep around for such occasions. My real hat.

Gourdy – “The world’s first Jack-i-lantern.” Open-source code and instructions for creating an interactive “magic pumpkin.”

Dexter Tablecloth and Cocktail – Even if you aren’t a fan of the series, the blood-spattered tablecloth and toe-tag drink straws are great for other party themes.

Kraken Umbrella – Despite the big Kraken Rum logos on the outside of this umbrella, I want it just for the tentacle handle. (Hat tip to Kaitlin Michell)

Secret Lobster Claws – The wonderful Tragedy Series will have all tragedies collected in book form, plus a lot of other print-exclusive material.

Delightfully Twisted Porcelain Sculptures – Sculptures by Maria Rubinke combine cute little kids with creepy, surreal imagery.

Twin Peaks Returns – A nine-episode series is planned for 2016. It will continue where the original left off.

Lilith – Unsettling sculpture on display at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

Spooky “Monster High” Parties – More than a little too cutesy for my taste, but there are a few useful ideas for kid-friendly Halloween parties. (Here’s another witch-themed party.)

Posted in Link Dump | 2 Comments »

Monster Doors

October 9th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Monster DoorLast Halloween the lifestyle webzine goodtoknow had a “monster door” decorating contest using materials like party streamers and paper plates. The project is super-simple–it’d be a great activity for kids–and adds a little whimsy to your exterior.

Many of the design submissions were pretty similar: Crepe-paper streamers for hair, paper plate eyes, and the mouth, eyebrows, and other details made with tape (the type of tape isn’t specified, but you’d want to use painter’s tape or something else that’s easy to remove lest it peel the paint off your door). A couple of them were a little more creative: This polka-dotted critter with horns is cute, and I particularly liked this three-eyed monster; covering the whole door with brown paper and letting the red-painted wood represent the mouth is a great idea.

If you want to get a little more creative, there are plenty of other ideas floating around the ol’ intertubes. This crepe paper-mummified door is cute and could hardly be less expensive. I also like this fur-covered door with scowly eyes, with the caveat that it’d be more costly–faux fur ain’t cheap–and would take a bit more work to put up. On the plus side, it could be stored and reused.

For a somewhat more restrained decoration, I’m quite taken with this flock of bats scattered across the front of the house. The description says that they’re made of felt, but they could just as easily be made of construction paper.

If you live in a block-party sort of neighborhood, it’d be fun to challenge your neighbors to a door-decorating contest. Trick-or-treaters would certainly be impressed to come upon a whole street full of monstrous doors.

(via Janice)

Posted in Bad Things | 4 Comments »

Life-Size Ghost Decorations

October 8th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Human Ghost DisplayI found this Human Ghost Display by Grandin Road via Scary Jane, who was righteously outraged that: 1) Standing a mere 5 feet tall, they’re only suitable for scaring very short people, and 2) Despite all of the photos implying that they’re sold as a group of 3, they’re actually sold individually…for $129. Oh my stars and garters.

A foam wig head, bolt of cheesecloth, and some glue will run you about $15. You could make a whole army of these for less than a single pre-made one. The method could hardly be simpler: Tie long strips of cheesecloth around the neck of the dummy head, layering them to make the body. Paint white glue–liquid starch would probably work too–all over the dummy head, then press another big piece of cheesecloth into the glue; make sure the piece that covers the head is long enough to also cover the neck and hide the attachment point of the cheesecloth strips. Let dry. Boom. Done.

These would be really lightweight, so you could simply hang them from the ceiling using invisible monofilament fishing line. You could also drape them over hat racks, floor lamps, or other tall skinny furniture to loom over your guests.

If you want transparent ghosts instead, you can make good-looking ones using packing tape. The basic method involves wrapping transparent packing tape and/or plastic wrap around a human form (a wig head and dressmaker’s dummy if you have them, a willing assistant if you don’t), carefully cutting a slit up the back to release the mold/person, then taping back over the cut. With several layers of tape the resulting ghost is sturdy enough to stand on its own, and is also light enough to hang just about anywhere.

Googling “packing tape ghost” will turn up loads of tutorials; there are some good ones at The Crafty Geek, Bandit, John Rozum, and Tape Sculpture (which also has a gallery of examples). There are also a couple of Pinterest posts (with no instructions) for visual inspiration: I like these spooky ladies in dresses floating around a tree, and this great-looking ghost made from a combination of packing tape and cheesecloth.

Somewhat related is this Instructable for Ghost Shoes, which includes solar-powered lights so they glow at night. Their method involves hacking cheap solar-powered garden lights for components; you could also save yourself a couple of steps and just buy the solar circuit and LED (in whatever color you like) from someplace like Evil Mad Scientist (who also has a tutorial for making simple solar circuits).

A fun yard decoration would be to make individual packing-tape ghosts of each family member (and the pets, if they’ll hold still [they probably won't hold still]) and then pose them in a tableau. Whatever you do, I bet it’ll be cheaper than $129.

Posted in Doom It Yourself | 3 Comments »

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)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Whatever | 5 Comments »


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)

Posted in Whatever | 1 Comment »

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.

Posted in Link Dump | 3 Comments »

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)

Posted in Link Dump | 4 Comments »

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.

Posted in Link Dump | 2 Comments »

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 »

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