The Art of Darkness

Write a Six-Word Horror Story

April 30th, 2014 by Cobwebs

There’s a (probably apocryphal) story that Ernest Hemingway was challenged to write a six-word novel, and he responded with, “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” Over at io9 they’ve been riffing on this extreme flash-fiction idea with a series of posts inviting commenters to write six-word science fiction stories: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

Science fiction and horror are kissing cousins at the very least, so a lot of the contributions skew in that direction. Some are outright creepy:

It was moving under my skin.
— Blalock

“The snow… it… it… got hungry.”
— fogelmatrix

“Try to relax,” my parasite said.
— Claire B.

They ate dreams. Only insomniacs survived.
— x84jdh

Some are really evocative:

The monsters cry in their sleep.
— JennyGirl

The outsiders killed us last night.
— spagornasm

Walls had ears. Eyes, too, now.
— Daryl

The Old Gods come in peace.
— Phos

Death machine works, but it weeps.
— Matt

And some are funny:

Zombies placated! They just wanted hugs.
— nootrac4571

“The badger revolution humbled us all.”
— interrogator-chaplain

Room for rent, cheap. NOT HAUNTED.
— Long Lost Albatross

“Chess?” scoffed Death, “no way. Candyland.”
— ColinGagnon

(Most of them seem to be less “complete story” and more “really intriguing first sentence.”)

Want to play along? Write your spookiest six-word story and leave it in the comments! Here are a few to get you started:

Believe in ghosts? I am one.”

The screaming isn’t real. Ignore it.

Tiny footsteps run into the closet.

“Mommy, why won’t it stop moving?”

Posted in Whatever | 12 Comments »

Seen Online

April 29th, 2014 by Cobwebs

There’s a really great article about you in tomorrow’s paper. Nice photo of you on the front page too. Wish you’d be able to see it.

I am rubber and you are glue. We used to be people, but we angered a witch.

If your grave doesn’t say “rest in peace” on it you are automatically drafted into the skeleton war

The most powerful man in the forest is the lumberjack who decides which trees become guitars and which trees become toilet paper.

Next time your roommate texts you to keep it down respond with “I’m not home right now…” just to give them some perspective.

Accidentally fell asleep smoking an e-cigarette and when I woke up my whole house was on the internet.

A big difference between childhood and adulthood is how much time you spend telling ladybugs their house is on fire.

For fun, you look through the wrong end of the binoculars. Very far away, it seems, there is a man reaching for something with gloved hands.

Willy Wonka is the best movie about cheering on child murder

I want to defend a penguin in court just so I can say, “Your Honor. My client is clearly not a flight risk.”

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 1 Comment »

Grindhouse Horrors

April 28th, 2014 by Cobwebs

NSFW! NSFW! NSFW! YouTuber Frank Dracman has put together nearly two hours of gore- and sex-filled grindhouse movie trailers. It is deeply mind-blowing.

Posted in Whatever | No Comments »

Link Dump of Darkness

April 25th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Afterlife with Archie – Comic series that plunks the Riverdale gang into a zombie apocalypse. Weirdly, this is more than a one-off gag; the stories are reported to be quite well-written.

All-Girl Frankenstein – Interesting-sounding production of Frankenstein in which all of the parts are played by women. The same group has an All-Girl Edgar Allan Poe scheduled for later this year. (Hat tip to Pixel Pixie)

My Daddy Stays Home – A stay-at-home dad draws a cute little cartoon to put in his daughter’s lunchbox each day. Then he posts them on his blog with more adult captions to amuse the grownups.

Schrödinger’s Cat Speaks – The thought experiment from the viewpoint of the cat. This is oddly touching. (via xJane)

Peeps Seance – It’s the portrait on the wall that really makes this.

Moon Raven Designs – Etsy shop full of intricate, creepy jewelry. (Hat tip to Sisifo)

The Coolest Tattoo Artists in the World – These pieces are just astonishing.

Foreverrr – MC Chris’ concept album about the romance between “a lonely ghost and a grandmotherly sexbot who’s taken up residence in a haunted house.”

Archaeologist Tired Of Unearthing Unspeakable Ancient Evils – An amusing article from The Onion. (via WitchArachne)

The Birds to be Remade – Hollywood has apparently run clear the hell out of original ideas.

Posted in Link Dump | 2 Comments »

Artist Andre Lassen

April 24th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Bat DeskYour mind had better give me cab fare, because I’m about to blow it.

Intrepid commenter Pixel Pixie pointed me at Raven Armoury, which sells all sorts of amazing hand-forged swords, knives, jewelry, and sculptures. Specifically, she mentioned the gorgeous (and, it pretty much goes without saying, insanely expensive), skeleton cutlery that they offer. Although made by Raven, the pieces were designed by Andre Lassen, so I checked out his site and whoa, Nelly; we have found a kindred spirit.

In his bio he describes growing up being fascinated by arms and weaponry; at ten years old, a movie about the French Revolution inspired him to make model (working) guillotines. He’s friends with H.R. Giger and has fabricated pieces that Giger designed. He now owns The Tribe Gallery in Amsterdam, and sells his work there (and possibly takes commissions online as well; the site is a little unclear).

The site, to engage in riotous understatement, is a little hard to navigate. It’s worth persevering, though, because he has some insanely gorgeous stuff: Sculptures, knives and swords, jewelry, guitars (one of which Blondie played), and furniture. His overall style, including the decorative detailing on his weapons, puts me in mind of Conan-era Frazetta, with overtones of Lovecraft.

In particular, check out the gallery for his hand-carved wooden bat desk and matching chair. It has shot to the very top of my list of things I’ll own if I ever win the lottery.

Also worth a look is the “Film” section of his portfolio, which has a bunch of in-progress pictures for props that he built. They’d be a great source of inspiration for props or crafting.

(Thanks, Pixel Pixie!)

Posted in Needful Things | 3 Comments »

Death is Not an Option

April 23rd, 2014 by Cobwebs

It’s time for another round of Death is Not an Option! The rules, as always, are simple: Given the choice of a pair of people, you have to decide which one you’d rather sleep with; choosing death instead is not an option. This time it’s science fiction villains.

The Terminator Matchup
The Terminator   T-1000
800 Series (Terminator) vs. T-1000 (Terminator 2)

The Evil Businessman Matchup
Sellars   Zorg
Raymond Sellars (Robocop) vs. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg (The Fifth Element)

The Femme Fatale (Really Really Fatale) Matchup
Sil   Space Girl
Sil (Species) vs. Space Girl (Lifeforce)

The Artificial Humans Matchup
The Gunslinger   Roy Batty
The Gunslinger (Westworld) vs. Roy Batty (Blade Runner)

The Whovian Matchup
Rassilon   The Master
Rassilon vs. The Master

The Khaaaaaaaan Matchup
Khan 1   Khan 2
Khan (Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan) vs. Khan (Star Trek Into Darkness)

The Wicked Women Matchup
Borg Queen   Cylon Six
The Borg Queen (Star Trek) vs. Number Six (Battlestar Galactica)

The Supervillain Matchup
Lex Luthor   Sylar
Lex Luthor (Smallville) vs. Sylar (Heroes)

The All Darth Matchup
Darth Vader   Darth Maul
Darth Vader (Star Wars 4-6) vs. Darth Maul (Star Wars 1)

The Scary Psychos Matchup
Alex DeLarge   Harkonnen
Alex DeLarge (A Clockwork Orange) vs. Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen (Dune)

Leave your choices in the comments. And remember…Death is not an option.

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 7 Comments »

Morbid Anatomy is Opening a Museum

April 22nd, 2014 by Cobwebs

Morbid Anatomy LibraryOne of the things I like best about running this silly blog is that frequently, rather than seeking out the weirdness, the weirdness comes to me.

Lisa Hix, a writer for Collectors Weekly, sent me this over the weekend:

Morbid Anatomy—a blog, library, curiosity gallery, and lecture series dedicated to the places where death and beauty intersect—often revels in the macabre, albeit in a thoughtful, intellectual way. Thanks to its swelling popularity, Morbid Anatomy is expanding into a three-story, 4,200-square-foot museum in Brooklyn this spring.

Learning to Love Death: New Museum Takes a Walk on the Shadow Side

I talked to founder Joanna Ebenstein about her strange fascinations with Santa Muetre, the holy saint of death; medical specimens; depictions of deformity and disease; superstition and paranormal research—and eccentric Victorian taxidermist Walter Potter. She explained why she thinks pondering mortality is good for all of us.

And then half a dozen of my friends sent me the same story, one with the suggestion that we all organize a field trip to New York for a visit.

So, yes; awesome blog Morbid Anatomy, which has maintained a small physical presence with limited hours for a while now, is expanding into a full-scale museum in Brooklyn. In addition to a café and gift shop, the space will include a lecture hall where “rogue scholars” can give talks on everything from ancient Egyptian funerary customs to jackalope taxidermy.

They’ve got a Kickstarter campaign to help build out the space, and some of the rewards look fantastic (one of them is the Halloweentown gates set piece from Nightmare Before Christmas).

The whole thing sounds very cool; if you’ve got a visit to New York planned, this would definitely be worth adding to your itinerary.

(Incidentally, be sure to check out some of the other articles that Hix has written; there’s some cool stuff about dark rides and creepy clowns and mourning jewelry.)

Posted in Whatever | 3 Comments »


April 21st, 2014 by Cobwebs

Filmmaker Ben Mallaby considered the way that advanced technology is abused as soon as it becomes available to the general public, and realized that time travel ain’t gonna be any different. (NSFW)

Posted in Funny Peculiar | No Comments »

The Amityville Link Dump

April 18th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Head in a Jar Prank – Instructions for creating a marvelously realistic-looking “head in a jar” for stashing in the fridge. (Hat tip to Jean-Robert)

Life-Size Filet Skeleton – Crochet pattern for a life-size skeleton afghan. The same design could be made smaller, and also looks suitable for cross-stitch.

Creepy Website Masterpost – A collection of “dark corners” of the internet. (Hat tip to Sisifo)

Metal Cats – “Hardcore Metal” musicians posing with their cats. (via Beth)

Winter’s Knight – Sony is making a gritty origin story for Santa Claus. I have nothing to add to this.

Fetish Wear in the 1920s – The look was surprisingly modern. (Slightly NSFW, but not nearly as much as you’d expect.)

Frozen Garden – Small collection of upscale jewelry featuring bugs (and occasionally flowers, but bugs are more interesting). I especially like the caterpillar brooch.

Sassy Pig Druscilla – I’m deeply curious about the thought process that led to a collectible figurine of a goth pig. There are also Bride of Frankenstein and Witch versions available for equally puzzling reasons. (via Cat)

The Book of Life – A first look at Guillermo del Toro’s Romeo and Juliet story set during the Day of the Dead.

Two-Headed Skeleton Sock Monkey – In argyle, no less. (Hat tip to pdq)

Posted in Link Dump | 5 Comments »

Taxidermy Art

April 17th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Bike SeatArtist Clem Chen altered a couple of reclaimed bicycle seats with taxidermy parts to create the marvelous sculptures Bite It and Pink Eye (despite the eye in question clearly being purple).

According to his description, the parts are held together with construction adhesive and 2-part epoxy glue, with additional detail sculpted using epoxy putty. The body was sprayed matte black, and the fine details were painted in acrylic. (I also like Chen’s Eye Robot, an additional sculpture that incorporates taxidermy parts.)

I’m sort of wondering how durable these could be made, because a real bike seat modified with fangs or eyeballs (or both) would look amazing. The eyes would also look great on shoes; they could be given an inset appearance using Sugru or, if you’re particularly ambitious, the shoes could be covered with faux fur.

Taxidermy eyes come in a wide variety of styles, including slit-pupil reptile eyes; there’s even a Nite Eyes kit which will make predator eyes light up. Jawsets are similarly varied, and if you prefer you can purchase plain jaws and tongues separately. And who wouldn’t want an individual tongue? (The tongues in particular are cheap enough that it’d be fun to get one and quietly leave it in the company breakroom.)

A selection of eyes or other bits would also look interesting individually framed and massed on a wall. They’re a unique, reasonably inexpensive, way to add a little creepiness to just about anything.

Posted in Paint It Black | 3 Comments »

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