The Art of Darkness

The Link Dump in the Rue Morgue

November 29th, 2019 by Cobwebs

Gahan Wilson: Born Dead, Now Dead Again – The great, macabre cartoonist passed away last week. Neil Gaiman wrote a lovely tribute to him.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires – This novel sounds intriguing. Sarah Gailey gushes about it here.

Wicked Girls Saving Ourselves – Lovely poem/song by Seanan McGuire.

Dragon Gloves – Free crochet pattern for fingerless scaled gloves.

Creepy Old Record – This recording of an antique record is rather unsettling.

Virus Dots Silk Scarf – Attractive scarf printed with smallpox, ebola, H1N1, rabies, measles, and several others.

#HagFact – Amusing short Twitter thread about the “hag” D&D monster.

Old Besties – Cute little ‘toon about middle-aged fantasy creatures.

Weird Tales from the 20th Century – A MeFi roundup of “weird” stories from the last century. (Hat tip to Bruno)

ADHD Gothic – “there is an object in your hand. it is extremely important you don’t lose it. you look down. there is nothing in your hand.”

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Seen Online

November 26th, 2019 by Cobwebs

absolutely hate it when im driving down a lonely highway late at night and pass a gaunt, elderly man hitchiking – only to, impossibly, see him again ten miles down the road…and again five miles later…then one mile…c’mon, man. take the hint….

Lovecraft writing horror atmosphere like
*lightning cracks*
*a raven caws*
*wind howls through an old rotten tree*
*a black guy is just kinda standing around smiling politely and waves*
*rats or something*

i was reading about the myth of prometheus today when the phrase “new liver, same eagles” popped into my mind, so i’m keeping that in mind for the next time someone asks me how it’s going

at some point you’ve got to STOP reading the entrails and go out and LIVE that which was portented by them, because you WILL run out of doves

My cask of amontillado brings all the boys to the catacombs
And they’re like, you’re entombing us alive
Damn right, I’m entombing you alive
I could free you
But I’m entombing you alive

poor old granny scorpion-shoes. no one ever saw her death coming

it was pneumonia.

yes, her pet scorpion pneumonia, who lived in her shoe. tragic.

he shot her point blank


I’ve been trying to leave Rome for a few weeks now, but all their roads have this weird design flaw

at some point you’ve got to STOP reading the entrails and go out and LIVE that which was portented by them, because you WILL run out of doves

Hwæt! There’s only one month left in the decade. How do the skalds sing of you, and how many grave goods have you amassed for your barrow?

Saying “it’s time to get ready for bed”

Saying “and now I must attend to my evening affairs”
-mysterious & debonair
-you sound like you know what brandy is


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The Link Dump of Zenda

November 22nd, 2019 by Cobwebs

SCP Foundation Legal Fund – The collaborative project is trying to shut down a copyright troll and needs to pay legal fees.

Renfield – They’re making a Renfield movie. “This take on the project is described as a comedic, lighthearted approach in the vein of Taika Waititi’s vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows, in which Renfield realizes he is in a bad, co-dependent relationship.”

Grave Hunter – New web series focusing on cemeteries and the forgotten stories they hold. (Hat tip to Pixel Pixie)

Armor Antics – YouTube channel full of dancing, makeup tutorials, and other shenanigans, all done in full plate armor.

ADVENTURERS: We’re here for your treasure! – I want to try ALL of these adventurer/dragon interactions in my next D&D campaign.

O Have You Seen the Devle with his Mikerscope and Scalpul? – A nicely creepy short story that takes on the Jack the Ripper mythology.

no one came – This little illustrated story about a dog meeting Death will rip out your heart and stomp that sucker flat.

The Dead Beneath London’s Streets – An interesting article about archaeological finds in London.

Freddy Krueger Cake – Video demo of creating an astonishingly realistic bust of Freddy.

Funeral Quest – Web-based multiplayer game which “simulates the world’s second oldest profession – the Undertaker.” (Hat tip to Pixel Pixie)

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Two Guys, a Girl, and a Link Dump

November 15th, 2019 by Cobwebs

Roommate Ghost – A creepily sweet little ‘toon. (Edit: Ooh; there’s a sequel.)

Poe Belongs to Baltimore, Baltimore to Poe – The Museums in Strange Places podcast explores Baltimore’s devotion to Edgar Allen Poe. (Hat tip to Bruno)

Edible Archaeology: Gingerbread Cuneiform Tablets – This would be a great holiday gift for the archaeologist on your list.

FeralWorks – This Etsy shop full of creepy lifelike jewelry is having a clearance sale, so grab a sutured-wound pendant while you can.

Away with the Wolves – Sweet short story about a werewolf, which the author describes as, “an extremely personal story about disability, chronic pain, and giving yourself permission to live in ways that don’t hurt.”

Labyrinth Christmas Party – Some great props and themeing ideas.

Small Town Cults – I would watch the HELL out of a TV show with this premise.

Bigfoot Bundt Cake – This really only works if you slice it just right, and I’m not sure if the inner layer would overbake, but it’s a neat effect. You could do it with other novelty-shaped cookie cutters too.

A Chicago Library Needs Help Transcribing 17th-Century Spellbooks – This is an interesting crowdsourcing exercise that almost certainly won’t result in loosing demons onto the internet. (Hat tip to xJane)

The Recycle Vulture – Kickstarter for cute vulture-themed merchandise.

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This Year’s Costumes

November 11th, 2019 by Cobwebs

DuoIt’s time for the annual costume recap! Every year I spend entirely too much time making costumes for Shadowboy and a friend’s nephew, then have professional photos taken. This is the year that made me question that decision.

The friend’s costume was easy. He wanted to be a vampire in the classic mold, and that’s just a hop, skip, and a frilly shirt away. I used Simplicity 4923 for the shirt, Simplicity 4762 for the vest, and McCall’s 4139 for the cape. He supplied the trousers and shoes.

Shadowboy’s was…it was a whole thing.

He wanted a costume that could double as an outfit for RenFaire, and since he has a strong interest in music–and despite playing D&D and supposedly knowing better–he decided that he wanted to be a bard. Rather than trying to put something together piecemeal from several patterns I decided to do the complete set using AlterYears Easy Renaissance Noblemen’s Outfit PAY-038, where “Easy” should be read in the most sarcastic air quotes imaginable.

Y’all. You all. You. Guys. I have been sewing for 40 years. I have made some complicated stuff–hell, I made my own wedding dress. I know my way around a pattern. This pattern sucked. It suuuuuucked. As I tried to work through it I honestly began to suspect some kind of Kinks/Oasis/Ramones situation where the person who drafted the pattern and the person who wrote the instructions absolutely fucking hated each other, to the point where they not only refused to collaborate, they were actively trying to undermine each other. It’s not that the pattern/instructions were unclear, it’s that they were literally wrong. Like, the notes on the pattern pieces might tell you to cut four pieces, but when you followed the instructions you only used two of them. The pattern has different cutting lines for fabric and lining, but the instructions make it clear that they actually should be the same size. The instructions for resizing the pattern for a custom fit very much do not result in a custom fit. Even the suggested width for pleats was wildly inaccurate. The entire exercise was infuriating. If you decide to tackle this pattern–and remember, this is the one labeled “easy”–my suggestions are as follows:

  • If you’re a beginner, stop here and find another pattern. No, really. This will end in tears.
  • Read the instructions very thoroughly. Make note of discrepancies, like the 4 1/2 yards of lining you need for the pantaloons that the materials list doesn’t mention. Compare the instructions to the notations on the pattern pieces and consider the differences.
  • Ignore any alternate cutting lines for fabric/lining on the pattern. They are scurrilous lies.
  • Make a mockup out of cheap muslin first. Being severely strapped for time I omitted this step and it was bad. There was much, much ripping of seams and re-cutting of “custom” pieces and planning of subtle vengeance. Work with the mockup until you get the fit you want and then use those measurements to cut your good fabric.

In summary, I paid 40 American dollars for the privilege of having my blood pressure spike and I do not recommend this.

I’m not entirely happy with the result so I’ll probably re-make the whole thing at some point using the lessons painfully learned from this exercise, but it’s good enough for Halloween. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.


I decided that he needed a hat, and since he had indicated that he wanted kind of a mismatched look I used some brocade left over from the vampire’s vest and knocked together a hat using McCall’s 4805. I also had enough fabric left over from the doublet and pantaloons to make a short cape, which I did freehand.

The photos turned out reasonably well, so I don’t have to commit Halloween seppuku. Here’s the rest of the set:

Vampire 1

Vampire 2

Bard 1

Bard 2

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Link Dumps in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand

November 8th, 2019 by Cobwebs

The Color Out of Space Trailer – Nicolas Cage is starring in an adaptation of Lovecraft’s story and I am intrigued and appalled.

Live-Tweeting Dracula – @xoDrVenture read the book for the first time and tweeted the experience. It is glorious. “‘My dear mina, why are men so noble when we women are so little worthy of them?’ Bram Stoker I will exhume your corpse and slap the shit out of it for making me read such foolishness”

Concept: a temping/job placement agency specifically founded to help people who are having trouble finding employment due to supernatural interference in their lives. – I’d read a novel based on these ideas.

The “Get Thee to a Nunnery” Scene – The only way I could I love this suggested stage direction for Hamlet more is if Hamlet and Ophelia were played by David Tennant and Catherine Tate.

Choosing a Perfume – This ‘toon makes some good points.

Vincent Price and Boris Karloff’s Guacamole Recipes – Karloff’s is marginally passable. Price’s demonstrates why his forte was Chinese food rather than Mexican.

Good Omens Perfume Oils – Back in 2007, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab worked with Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett to create an official perfume oil line for Good Omens, and they’ve updated it with more blends for the show. Proceeds go to Gaiman’s and Pratchett’s charities of choice.

TRANHUNG Couture 2018 – I want to see a dress like this, only with pumpkins (or skulls) instead of flowers.

Meet the 25 Divas of Horror Who Define Halloween – A somewhat idiosyncratic roundup.

Ghosts in the Machines – Neil Gaiman recently reblogged this, saying, “Thirteen years ago, I wrote a Hallowe’en op ed for the New York Times, and hid some ghost stories in it…”

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Seen Online

November 6th, 2019 by Cobwebs

All humor is gallows humor if you stop kidding yourself.

When older straight men refer to “The Wife” I like to imagine they’re all describing the same gigantic creature to whom they are all wed
BunchesOfBees (Note: Some of the replies to this thread are delightful.)

I want paranormal angel romance to be a thing again. But instead of the love interest being a male model with wings, it’s like an interdimensional cosmic horror nightmare with ninety-eight eyeballs.

Saying you’re single
• sobering
• gets you sad looks at parties
• invites relatives to murmur ‘you’ll find someone’ for ever

Saying ‘I stand alone’
• mysterious
• confident
• puts you on the same level as Théoden King


it goes like this, the fourth the fifth, the six the seventh the eighth the ninth, the baffled Count composing hallelujah ah ah ah,

Voldemort didn’t try to kill Harry Potter until he was 55
Darth Vader was nearly 40 when he built the Death Star
Hannibal was 52 when he escaped from captivity
Thanos was over 65 when he collected the infinity gems
Annie Wilkes was 44 when she found Paul
It’s never too late ❤️

People talk about caterpillars becoming a butterflies as though they just go into a cocoon, slap on wings, and are good to go.

Caterpillars have to dissolve into a disgusting pile of goo to become butterflies.

So if you’re a mess wrapped up in blankets right now, keep going.


sexy roleplay: i’m a muttering Innsmouth townie and you’re a busybody outsider sticking their nose in places they oughtn’t, but the heady scent of aqua velva on your neck is making me forget that i shouldn’t be telling you nothing about them missing archaeologists

Adults who have rules or opinions about the trick-or-treaters who come to their door can go to hell.

Got no costume? Here’s candy.

You’re 19? Candy.

Weird childless couple pushing a costumed dog in a stroller? Candy is dog poison but I think I have a string cheese.


I like saying things in ways that, while entirely true, make them sound far more worrisome than they actually are, i.e. “my human wife” and “I’m going to brush my teeth and also any other teeth I encounter.”

“I bought another book”
– transactional
– people will ask if you REALLY need more books
– reminds you of your bank balance

“I paid a terrible price for this knowledge”
– classy Faustian vibes
– intimidating
– implies all books are priceless treasures. which they are.


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The Link Dump Always Rings Twice

November 1st, 2019 by Cobwebs

Visigoths vs. Mall Goths – Kickstarter for a “tabletop roleplaying game and dating sim about the conflicts and romances among the warriors who sacked ancient Rome and 20th century spooky teens, set in a shopping mall in a Los Angeles suburb in 1996. There are a lot of bisexuals.” Buh? (Hat tip to Pixel Pixie)

For Ineffable Reasons – Amazingly detailed “Good Omens” cross-stitch pattern.

Vampire – This ‘toon made me giggle.

Wellington Paranormal – How did I not know there was a What We Do in the Shadows spinoff?!?

A Little Comic About Kisses and Curses – Sweet little comic about a girl with a family curse.

Baby and Dad Photoshoot – This zombie toddler chowing down on her dad is weirdly hilarious. (Hat tip to Empress Pam)

Glass Symphony – Etsy shop full of lovely blown-glass spiders.

Which Halloween Monster Would Be the Best at Sex? An Investigation – “An exhaustive taxonomy of monsters, ranked by freakiest lay.” (Hat tip to Pixel Pixie)

How to Make Kensington Gore – A recipe for the garish fake blood used in Hammer horror films.

(Translated) Weird Tales from the 19th Century – A MeFi thread of translated spooky stories. (Hat tip to Bruno)

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