The Art of Darkness

Secret Santa Can Still Suck It

December 2nd, 2015 by Cobwebs

Wrapping PaperLong-time blog readers will remember the Secret Santa Can Suck It virtual fake gift swap from years past, and darned if we aren’t going to do it again.

It’s fun, easy, and completely free to participate: Between now and December 10, leave a comment on this post or email me saying that you want to be part of the swap. On the 11th I’ll tell you who your assigned “giftee” is, and some time before December 23 you post on your blog about what you would have gotten that person if you had money and, y’know, cared. Send me the link or, if you don’t have a blog, let me know and you can arrange to have your “gift” posted here.

On December 24 I’ll post a list of everybody’s entries so we can all marvel at each other’s good taste. It’s a silly, fun way to take a short break from holiday stress, plus we can all discover new blogs we might not otherwise find. The more people who participate the more entertaining the gift list will be, so put your inner Scrooge in a corner and join in!


(Image from now-defunct business Jingle Balls)

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Trivia Tuesday

December 1st, 2015 by Cobwebs

  1. The horror anthology series Tales from the Crypt featured a Christmas-themed episode in which a greedy woman makes the mistake of murdering her husband while an escaped mental patient dressed in a Santa Claus costume is on the loose. What was the episode’s title?
    A) “Silent Night, Deadly Night”
    B) “Scary Christmas”
    C) “Slay Bells Ring”
    D) “Christmas Evil”
    E) “And All Through the House”
  2. Jack Skellington sends the trick-or-treating trio Lock, Shock, and Barrel out to bring Santa Claus back to Halloween Town. Which other holiday icon do they accidentally kidnap first?
  3. Even The Addams Family had a Christmas episode. In “Christmas with the Addams Family,” a grouchy neighbor tells Wednesday and Pugsley that there is no Santa Claus, leading this family member to dress up as Santa but accidentally get stuck in the chimney.
    A) Gomez
    B) Cousin Itt
    C) Uncle Fester
    D) Lurch
    E) Grandpa Squint
  4. Who accuses a visiting ghost of being nothing more than an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, or a fragment of an underdone potato?
  5. Befana is a Santa-like character depicted as a broomstick-riding old lady who leaves candy and presents for good children and coal or garlic for naughty ones. Which country does she call home?
    A) Portugal
    B) Spain
    C) Bolivia
    D) Italy
    E) Mexico
  6. When the Grinch is sneaking around Whoville trying to steal Christmas, he is briefly interrupted by this little girl, who is no more than two.
  7. Since 2005, Doctor Who has had a special episode premiering on Christmas every year. The first one, “The Christmas Invasion,” saw the Doctor and Rose battling which scary alien race?
    A) Sycorax
    B) Cybermen
    C) Racnoss
    D) Judoon
    E) Raxacoricofallapatorians
  8. In Norse mythology, the goddess Frigg extracted a promise from everything in the nine worlds to cause no harm to her son Balder. She overlooked a single plant, which, of course, is what Loki used to kill him. What is this plant, which luckily for the sake of this trivia theme happens to have Christmas associations?
  9. The comedy Scrooged involves Bill Murray as a cynical TV programming executive who’s coordinating a live production of A Christmas Carol. Which famous Olympic gymnast portrays Tiny Tim?
    A) Mary Lou Retton
    B) Olga Korbut
    C) Nadia Comaneci
    D) Cathy Rigby
    E) Kerri Strug
  10. In Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather, the Auditors of Reality try to eliminate Discworld’s Santa Claus analogue because he doesn’t fit their view of the universe. Which cat-loving character takes over the Hogfather’s job in his absence?

(Answers below the fold)

Read the rest of this entry »

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Bowie’s Creepy New Music Video

November 30th, 2015 by Cobwebs

David Bowie’s new album Blackstar will be released in January and the promotional video of the title track is, dare I say it, a space oddity. It starts with a dead astronaut and ends with a bedazzled skull and there’s a whole lotta weirdness in between.

(via Pitchfork)

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Oh No! It’s Another Week of Link Dumps: Day 5

November 27th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Regular posting and once-a-week link dumps will return on Monday. But you already knew that.

Ghost Nail Art – Neat manicure idea featuring a 3D ghost face and hands.

Off to Battle – Michael Tapson and his daughter created Halloween costumes based on their “vision of a machine-animal hybrid and the little girl it protects.” The costumes are amazing and the implied backstory is tremendous. You can see an earlier video of the “Beast” costume on Tapson’s channel.

HorrorNaments – Christmas ornaments depicting things like bloody axes and vampire bats. (via Spooky Moon)

Mummy Cat – Sweet children’s book about a cat who was mummified with his queen, waking up once a century to see if she’s come back yet. io9 has some pages.

Angela Kirkpatrick – Profile of a jeweler who makes modern memento mori and other memorial keepsakes.

Gifts with Meaning – Suggestions for charities you can donate to in lieu of giving someone yet another necktie. Mentioned here because one of the options is sponsoring one of those giant rats that are trained to find land mines. Who wouldn’t want the gift of a giant land mine-sniffing rat?

Friday the 13th Wedding – This all-black wedding is gorgeous.

Selections From H.P. Lovecraft’s Brief Tenure as a Whitman’s Sampler Copywriter – “This eerie candy will test the sanity of all but those who possess the strongest of constitutions.” (via Burning Prairie)

Momentous – A PostSecret-like site which allows you to share “that day when everything changed” (for better or for worse) with the world.

Shirley Jackson’s House Hunters – I’d watch it.

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Oh No! It’s Another Week of Link Dumps: Day 4

November 26th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Where’s the Jump? – “Our aim is to provide a comprehensive database of all jump scares from major horror and thriller movies along with a short description of the scene and the time in the movie it occurs.”

Is This the Most Beautiful Dragon Penis Yet? – BoingBoing looks at a design by Bad Dragon. NSFW (although honestly if I have to tell you that a link with “dragon penis” in the title might be NSFW, the problem lies with you, not me).

A Day in the Life of a HeroRAT – The giant rats trained to sniff out land mines are impossibly cute.

Coffin Surprise Cookies – These take a bit of effort, but the result is great.

Krampus Candy Canes – I’m not really seeing the connection with Krampus, but they’re scarlet-and-black candy canes so they’re pleasantly gothy anyway. (via Cat)

@sadtopographies – Instagram feed of depressing place names, like Gloomy Lake and Heartache Rd.

Skull Shawl Pattern – Free crochet pattern for a lacy, skull-filled shawl.

Battle Axe Hair-Sticks – This is a 3D printable file rather than an existing product; I’m mentioning it as a potential DIY with regular hair sticks and thin plastic.

Hogwarts Textbooks Skirt – This skirt with appliqued textbooks could be adapted to the book titles of your choice.

Be a Doll – Company which creates customized action figures of real people based on photos you provide.

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Oh No! It’s Another Week of Link Dumps: Day 3

November 25th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Steampunk Mask and Hat – Nice tutorial with lots of photos.

The Teen Girls Who Talked to the Dead – Atlas Obscura takes a look at the Fox Sisters.

Silicone Mermaid Tail – This tutorial is fairly complicated and expensive, but if you hanker for a realistic-looking tail and can’t afford to buy one this may be an alternative.

Behind You – Artist Brian Coldrick has a delightfully creepy Tumblr of drawings inspired by horror stories. “Each page is simply a character with someone, or something, behind them and one line of text.”

Blockhead’s Revenge – John Carpenter does Charlie Brown. This is a couple of years old, but apparently has been revived via the recent Charlie Brown movie.

Reelscary – Site which lists movies by scariness, and invites public votes to help with rankings.

The Final Connection – Author John M. Ford once wrote a song about death to the tune of “The Rainbow Connection.”

Dia de los Daleks – This is sort of an unlikely mashup, but I don’t hate it.

Enigma Cafe – This steampunk-themed restaurant has some lovely decorating ideas.

Plush Tardigrades – Great googly moogly you guys; the same company that makes the giant isopod plush has adorable tardigrades, perfect for snorgling. (Hat tip to Bill)

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Oh No! It’s Another Week of Link Dumps: Day 2

November 24th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Die-O-Ramas – Artist Abigail Goldman uses model railroad miniatures to create teensy little crime scenes.

Monster Book Cover – Cute fanged book cover that looks pretty easy to reproduce.

Haunted Mansion Earrings – This particular item has sold, but since they’re made with rolled paper beads they’d be reasonably straightforward to DIY.

Vincent Price’s Pumpkin Pie – This isn’t scary, but hey; Vincent Price. There’s still time to make this for (American) Thanksgiving.

Lord of the Rings Party – Lots of great pictures, but worth a click for the Eye of Sauron piƱata alone.

Cartoon Closets – Series of fashion suggestions themed around various cartoon characters. There used to be a whole Tumblr devoted to these, which has apparently since gone to The Land Where Tumblrs Are Eternally Blessed, but lots of them turn up in a Google image search.

Cereal Killers – It’s an old, tired joke, but this series of illustrations (and marketing slogans) by Kate Willaert are pretty cute.

SheenasBellaBows – Hats, bows, and other hair accessories in goth, Lolita, and steampunk styles. I quite like the brain in a jar hat.

Glowing Ghosts – Fairly easy nail art featuring ghosts made with glow-in-the-dark polish.

Anthropodermic Bibliopegy – A look at the practice of binding books in human skin.

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Oh No! It’s Another Week of Link Dumps

November 23rd, 2015 by Cobwebs

I actually do things besides surf the web all day for links to drop on your heads. I swear.

Scary for Kids – This site claims that it’s geared toward kids, and it’s probably okay for the 10+ set, but a number of the images and stories strike me as too creepy for younger children.

Horror-Themed Bento Boxes – I could probably pull off the fingers-and-noodles one. The rest look decidedly like too much work. (via Rattus)

Spider Shoes – Gorgeous pair of arachnotastic customized shoes. You could probably do a lot of the detailing with Sugru and hot glue.

Tentacle Ear Cuff – This wrap-type earring and related ring are attractive and surprisingly inexpensive.

Ms. Purdy’s Hats – Large selection of goth-friendly hats and fascinators.

Book Ring Pillow – This would be an interesting wedding detail if you don’t mind murdering a book. There’s a similar project here, which makes the divot for the rings using a decorative punch.

Killhouettes – Victorian-style silhouettes depicting murders and other macabre goodness.

“Choose Your Own Adventure” Invitations – Creative wedding invitation.

Middle Earth Transit Posters – It’d be fun to hang something like this up around your local metro station and see how long it takes somebody to notice.

DIY Wrist Cuffs – Tutorial for easy ruffled cuffs.

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Bridge of Link Dumps

November 20th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Seakae – For Inktober, artist Chuck Knigge gave his wife a D&D Monster Manual and drew characters based solely on her descriptions. I think my favorite is the Rug of Smothering: “This is a magic carpet, but evil.” (via xJane)

Universal’s Monster Plan – Universal plans to revive its “golden age” monster franchise, with new movies featuring Dracula, the Mummy, the Bride of Frankenstein, and more.

Frivolous Forest – Etsy shop full of the most adorably weird needle-felted critters you’ve ever seen.

Blood Moon Tarot – Artist Sam Guay has begun work on a tarot series.

Alien Next Door – Picture book which depicts the xenomorph from the Alien franchise as being a helpful, friendly critter. Geyser of Awesome has several sample pages.

8 Things Nobody Tells You About Owning Your First Haunted House – An amusing roundup. (via Beth)

LED Potion Desk Lamp – Neat color-changing “potion bottle” lamp from ThinkGeek.

Calling the Quarters – A collection of four short role-playing games “based around the ideas of witchcraft, feminism, and telling stories together.”

Atelier Iwakiri – Artist who makes lovingly-detailed leather bags which resemble various animals. The site and Facebook page are both in Japanese, so I can’t tell you anything about pricing and shipping, but the photos are fun to browse.

Used Wax Strip Fortune-Telling – The strips left over after a bikini wax are not tea leaves, and this is why Rome fell. (Hat tip to pdq)

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Personalized Pin Boutonnieres

November 19th, 2015 by Cobwebs

BoutonniereA few years ago some unnamed marketing genius at the Walt Disney Company hatched the idea of pin trading: You get a lanyard and purchase little enamel pins depicting characters and attractions and other Disney-esque faff (there are roughly nine bazillion different designs). Then you can offer to trade pins with other guests you see wearing the lanyards, plus many employees wear them and are required to trade with you if you ask. It’s a hugely popular pastime, and there are pins for pretty much any Disney property you care to name.

Many of the pins are offered in themed sets, such as the much-sought-after princess mystery pins, the “pumpkin” villains from their 2015 Halloween collection, and the character silhouettes used in this neat project by Craftster “maleficent.” She made personalized boutonnieres for each of the groomsmen in her wedding, and the result is rather elegant.

There are lots of spooky sets which could be put to similar purposes–the Haunted Mansion alone has at least four (1, 2, 3, 4)–and then there are Nightmare Before Christmas, villains, Tower of Terror, and on and on and on. (It looks like Universal has also gotten into the pin-trading action: There are lots of Harry Potter-themed sets, like the Hogwarts crests.)

It’s apparently fairly popular to turn the pins into necklaces as well, so you could make a matching set for the bridesmaids.

Even if you don’t have any bridesmaids or groomsmen to attach these to, the pins would make lovely brooches or lapel pins to give as gifts.

Posted in Terror in the Aisle | 1 Comment »

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