Love Halloween? Then Enter Our Halloween Scream Time Pinterest Contest!

Halloween is our favorite holiday and we know we're not alone. If you're ready to celebrate then head over to our This is Halloween Pinterest group board and check out all the amazing content related to spooky foods, costumes, decor and more. Best of all, you can even join the board and add your own pins for other fans to enjoy -and by doing so, you can even win some amazing prizes.

To get added to the board, follow it with your Pinterest account and then send us a message through Pinterst, leave a comment on the board or leave a comment on this post with your Pinterest user name. We'll then send you an invite so you can go crazy.

We'll be choosing two top pins, one that gets the most repins and one voted on by our editors, the people who shared these with the board will win a messenger bag, a tee shirt and any other NeatoShop item valued at up to $25. All pins added to the This is Halloween board between September 15 and October 15 will be counted as an entry as long as they are posted by someone over 18, who lives in one of the countries that the NeatoShop ships to.

We'll notify all winners before October 20. Anyone who fails to respond within a week will be disqualified and we will have to choose an alternate winner -so check your Pinterest messages and any social media accounts connected to it so you will know if you win.


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Montreal Comic Con Cosplay

Finally, a comic convention came to the doorstep of our Canadian friend Kiltak at Geeks Are Sexy, and he got the pictures to prove it! See a gallery of some the best cosplayers from the three-day Comic Con Montreal/Le Comiccon de Montréal, which is just now wrapping up. There will be more pictures tomorrow. Glad you had so much fun, Kiltak!   

Update 9/15/14: Here's Part II


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26 Amazing Horse Costumes


(Photo: Simone Aumair)

(Photo: unknown)

If your horse is going to be well-dressed for the Halloween party, it's time to start making plans. Avery Clements of Distractify has 26 photos of costumed horses that may give you a few ideas. They include a John Deere tractor, Gary the Snail from SpongeBob SquarePants, Batman, and Gene Simmons from KISS.

-via Jonah Goldberg


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A Massive Dissection of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining

Image Via Warner Bros.

As we are sure many of you are aware, The Shining is a film that seems to have countless "fan theories" floating around about some deeper meaning buried in the film by director Stanley Kubrick. The kicker is, none of these theories can (or ever will) be confirmed or denied, because Mr. Kubrick is no longer with us. And to know anything about the secretive director is to know, even in life, he would have never confirmed or denied anything. As an artist, he seemed to genuinely enjoy the mystery and hushed rumors that seem to circle his films after they came out. From Eyes Wide Shut to The Shining, fans of film have gone over his work with a fine toothed comb, sometimes finding things where there are none (and sometimes, coming up with some solid theories that really seem to have some weight to them).

Among all the fan theories about Stanely Kubrick's work, few are quite as extensive as this dissection of the movie The Shining. If you are a fan of the film, you could easily lose hours on the site. Couple things to be aware of. The site is quite old (which you can tell in one glance). It is sometimes a little hard to read, but once you get into the flow of it, there are some really captivating ideas about what Kubrick may have been saying with certain shots in the film. If you can get past the WEB 2.0 appearance of the page, there is some substance to what is being said. The moon landing stuff is really interesting. Though some of this stuff is touched on in the documentary Room 237, even that film does not quite go into the detail that the website does.

Granted, some of it is just grasping at straws, but if you are a fan of the film or the legendary director, it is well worth checking out.


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"The Cat With Hands" by Robert Morgan

Every now and then you come across a short film on YouTube that just blows your mind. It often manages to make more of an impact in its short screen time than some major length movies. That is how I feel about The Cat with Hands. A short film written and directed by Robert Morgan. I wont sit here and ruin any of how this story plays out, and I feel the name may give a little too much away, but regardless. Take three and a half minutes out of your day to get a chill up your spine. Also, you may never look at cats the same way again. It may be a bit dated, but this never gets old and is worth re-introducing every couple years to make sure more people are traumatized by it.

(YouTube Link)

It's funny. There are writers and actors and directors who spend millions and months and man-hours on making epic films that hope the audience walks away from affected. This proves, it only takes three minutes and a really twisted story to accomplish that same thing.


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Top 10 Real Events That Inspired Horror Movies

Image Via Top Tenz

The fun part of going to a horror movie is repeating that phrase your parents taught you when you first saw one as a kid: it isn't real, it isn't real. But what about those rare occasions when the horror movie you are seeing is based on some aspect of a true story?

The reality is, there are far more horror movies out there based on some semblence of fact that any of us would like to openly admit. Top Tenz put together a nice little list of horror films that were partly inspired by true stories, as well as the stories that go along with those films. 

For example, did you know:

In 1950, four Philadelphia, Pennsylvania policemen reported the discovery of “a domed disk of quivering jelly, 6 feet in diameter and one foot thick at the center.”  When the men touched the substance it dissolved into an “odorless, sticky scum.”  In 1958, the story inspired a collection of filmmakers to develop an independent movie named The Blob.

Of all the horror films based on true stories, who would have thought The Blob was one of them? That is just one amazing example. But be forewarned before you read it. You may never look at that doll you keep in that rocking chair in the corner of your kid's room the same way again.


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Bizarre Fortune Telling Methods

For some people, consulting a crystal ball to tell the future is just too boring! Here are 12 strange ways to tell the future, from Uncle John’s Ahh-Inspiring Bathroom Reader:

Scarpomancy: Predict someone’s future by studying their old shoes.

Tiromancy: Study the shape, holes, mold, and other features on a piece of cheese.

Scatomancy: Predict your future by studying your own poop. (Not to be confused with spatulamancy, the study of “skin, bones, and excrement.”)

Bibliomancy: Open the Bible and read the first passage you see – that’s your fortune. (In some Christian denomination, this is grounds for excommunication.)

Stichomancy: Read the first passage of any book you see.

Pynchonomancy: Throw darts at a paperback copy of Gravity’s Rainbow, by Thomas Pynchon, then read the sentence on the deepest page penetrated by the dart.

Uromancy: Predict someone’s future by studying their urine.

Dilitiriomancy: Feed African benge poison to a chicken. Ask the gods a question, being careful to end the question with, “if the chicken dies, the answer is yes,” or “if the chicken dies, the answer is no.” Then wait to see if the chicken dies.

Haruspication: Study the guts of an animal, preferably a sacred one.

Hepatoscopy: Study only the animal’s liver; ignore the rest of the guts.

Alphitomancy: Feed a special cake to an alleged wrongdoer. An innocent person will be able to eat and digest the cake, a guilty person will gag on the cake or become ill.

Alepouomancy: Draw a grid in the dirt outside of your village. Each square represents a different question. Sprinkle the grid with peanuts, wait for a fox to eat them, then study the fox’s footprint to see how the questions are answered.


The article above is reprinted with permission from Uncle John's Ahh-Inspiring Bathroom Reader. Where else but in a Bathroom Reader could you learn how the banana peel changed history, how to predict the future by rolling the dice, how the Jivaro tribes shrunk heads, and the science behind love at first sight? Get ready to be thoroughly entertained while occupied on the throne. Uncle John rules the world of information and humor. It's simply Ahh-Inspiring! Since 1988, the Bathroom Reader Institute had published a series of popular books containing irresistible bits of trivia and obscure yet fascinating facts. If you like Neatorama, you'll love the Bathroom Reader Institute's books - go ahead and check 'em out!

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Mutant Giant Spider Dog

(YouTube link)

It’s bad enough when you open a door and see a spider. How much worse is it when you open a door at night and a three-foot-long hairy spider rushes at you? Relax, this is a dog in a really nice tarantula costume. Doesn’t make a bit of difference to strangers who are pranked by seeing him emerge in the dark. This prank was pulled off by SA WardÄ™ga. The fact that most of the prankees have their faces blurred tells me they have yet to forgive him. -via BroBible


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Pyro Pet Candle Melts Away To Metal Cat Skeleton

Image Via

Candles are slowly beginning to realize they can melt away and leave awesome (and in this case, kind of creepy) surprises for adults. Sort of like a flaming Cracker Jack box. The Pyro Pet Candle is just such a creation. Initially, the candle just sort of looks like a pink cat. But as the waxy facade starts to melt away, the real creature is revelealed!

Well, not so much the real creature as a thin, metal skeleton of a cat. It may sound morbid (and kind of is) but it is also an undeniably cool conversation starter. "Excuse me, but is your cat candle slowly turning into a metal skelton? Why yes, yes it is!". I didn't say it would start long conversations.

But hey, with Halloween just around the corner, seems a perfect time to get a pyro pet candle. Or just get one to show your cat who's boss.

Laughing Squid


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Colorful Animated Tribute To Dia De Los Muertos

Dia De Los Muertos is a celebration of life and contradictions- colorful skeletons symbolizing the beauty of death, freshly made food eaten graveside, and a party thrown in favor of those who can no longer celebrate with us- the dearly departed. 

Cemeteries are a big part of the celebration, and the vibrant colors of life are juxtaposed against the solemn, earthen tones of the graveyard forming the backbone of the Dia De Los Muertos folk art aesthetic. 

(Video Link)

Mexico City based animation studio Llamarada created this vibrant animated short, capturing that colorfully creepy Day of the Dead feel by projecting animated characters onto tombstones in Mexico’s largest cemetery, Panteon de Dolores

-Via Juxtapoz


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Horrifying Cosplay As Good As Anything In The Movies

(Image Via kashikosa)

Most online news sources use the term “cosplay” to mean simply the act of wearing a costume, meaning cosplayers, who craft their own costumes and accessories, are unfairly lumped in with models wearing professionally made costumes. 

(Image Via Ilja Hubalek)

It's just one of those things you have to accept when reading articles online, like the overuse of Steampunk or calling anything pixelated 8-Bit, and we cannot forget that the costumes are the point of these articles after all. 

This collection of creepy cosplay features a few professionally costumed models and a bunch of cosplayers, and it's a good source of inspiration for those who like their Halloween costumes horrifying, or a cosplayer trying to decide what to wear to the next convention.

(Image Via Judith Stevens)

See more Creepy Cosplay That's As Horrifying As Anything We See In The Movies at io9


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The Ice Bucket Challenge Is Now a Halloween Costume

Will the ALS's Ice Bucket Challenge still be popular by Halloween? The online store Brands on Sale is counting on it. It sells a costume that looks like you're constantly under the bucket--as long as you have the strength to hold it over your head.

The costume comes with a plastic bucket, an ice cube tray, and a plastic film that vaguely resembles water pouring over your body.

Brands on Sale says that it will donate $10 for every purchase of this $39.99 costume.

Bonus Item: Star Trek actor Patrick Stewart offers this elegant, dignified response to the ice bucket challenge.


(Video Link)

-via Huffington Post


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Guys Create Their Own Makeup Transformations With A Comedic Twist

Guys don’t usually wear makeup, although some are partial to wearing eyeliner or a bit of concealer, but the allure was simply too strong for these guys to resist, so they started their own makeup transformation movement on Instagram and Twitter using #makeuptransformation. 

The trick is to apply makeup to an ordinary face to make it look more like a famous face, like _rizzo_'s smoldering transformation into reality TV star Chris Jenner:

Sometimes the transformations are complete, like shaquiiii’s full coverage metamorphosis into singer/model Ciara:

Other times the photos are more like a walkthrough of what must be done to become the celeb, like bigfansofginuwine’s steps to becoming R&B singer Tyrese:

And then there are the simply hilarious, ridiculous, broad humor takes on movie characters like Mary Lee Johnson (mother of Precious) and Loc Dog from Don’t Be A Menace…, as portrayed by _tonid and @_taesteezy respectively:

Where will this hilarious trend go from here? Hopefully deeper down the internet rabbit hole, because some of these guys would make perfect LOLCats!

-Via Distractify


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27 Photos That Show The Transformative Power Of Makeup

(Image Via Imgur)

Using makeup seems like a ridiculous habit to some, a must before leaving the house to others, and although everyone can agree that Halloween/special effects style makeup is really cool looking, not everyone sees eye-to-eye on the idea of covering your true face with a bunch of cosmetics.

(Image Via Dailymail)

Makeup is a powerful tool for visually altering or enhancing facial features, and The San Francisco Globe's article 27 Photos That Demonstrate The Power Of Makeup clearly shows how makeup artists earn their artist title- by creating some rather incredible facial transformations.

(Image Via Tina Yong)

So, whether you think wearing makeup is fun and necessary, or a total waste of time and effort, these photos clearly demonstrate why so many people still wear makeup every day, and why some feel naked leaving home without it.


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Scooby-Doo Baddies Replaced With Famous Movie Slashers

Those creeps and ghouls who chased Scooby-Doo and the gang around weren’t all that scary, because the adventures had to stay kid friendly, but what if some of horror’s most infamous slashers had co-starred in those Scooby Doo mysteries?

Scenes from the show might have looked an awful lot like these ghoulishly great artworks by illustrator Travis Falligrant, aka IB Trav, and the little viewers at home would've had nightmares for the rest of their lives.

Trav clearly wasn't impressed by the original Scooby-Doo baddies, so he raised the stakes by adding actual slashers like Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees to the classic cartoon mystery, careful to keep that signature Hanna-Barbera style in each character design.

It's a good thing real horror movie slashers weren't included in the original show, or the gang probably wouldn't have made it past the first season!

-Via Bloody Disgusting


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The Monster - Frankenstein, You Are The Father!


The Monster by Marinasinger Designs

First he came alive in Doctor Frankenstein's laboratory, then he came to life on the big screen and filled audiences full of wonder and dread. Now The Monster has come alive on this classically styled t-shirt, will the masses be able to handle your monstrous fashion sense, or will they run screaming in terror as you walk around town showing Frankenstein's Monster some love?

You don't have to be a monster to appreciate a good monster movie, and it's a sure bet that your fellow fiends will love this The Monster t-shirt by Marinasinger Designs, bring one home and scare up some smiles!

Visit Marinasinger Designs's Facebook fan page and official website, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more scary good designs:

Don't Panic I Can't Keep Calm, I'm Italian Pocket Princess Not The Messiah

View more designs by Marinasinger Designs | More Funny T-shirts | New T-Shirts

Are you a professional illustrator or T-shirt designer? Let's chat! Sell your designs on the NeatoShop and get featured in front of tons of potential new fans on Neatorama!


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A Brief History of the Ouija Board

No matter what you’ve been told, the original ouija boards were not ancient, nor were they based on an ancient tradition. They were a fortunetelling trick that grew out of the American spiritualism movement. They were first marketed as a fad that was a simple do-it-yourself project.

In 1886, the New York Daily Tribune reported on a new talking board being used in Ohio. It was 18 by 20 inches and featured the alphabet, numbers, and the words yes, no, good evening, and goodnight; the only other necessary object was a “little table three or four inches high … with four legs” that the spirits could use to identify letters. The brilliance of the board was that anyone could make it—the tools suggested in the article are “a jack-knife and a marking brush."

But of course, it didn’t take too long for someone to think of patenting the ouija board as a game of sorts. Read the story of where the ouija board came from, and how it ended up on toy store shelves, at mental_floss. 


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More Comic Con 2014 Cosplay

(YouTube link)

You saw our massive gallery of photographs from Comic Con this morning. Do you want to see more awesome costumes from Comic Con? Check out this video from Sneaky Zebra, which features photographs by Nick Acott. Acott also took the pictures in Geeks Are Sexy’s 2014 Comic Con galleries. See lots of photographs from Friday in part one, Saturday in part two, and Sunday in part three. Oh, and there’s a contest attached to this video. Find out more at the YouTube page, where you’ll also get a list of the identified cosplayers in the video.


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Some Of The Strange Things You Can Find On Etsy

Etsy is the online marketplace for all things handmade, and they don’t have many restrictions on what you can sell on their site, meaning lots of strange things can be found for sale on Etsy.

Have you been looking for a necklace and morbid conversation piece in one? Maybe you need this Large Intestine Necklace with Guts.

How about a mask to wear that will both conceal your identity and cause a public disturbance? Sad Rooster Sack Mask to the rescue. This is actually one of the less creepy masks on Etsy...

Looking for a gift for a loved one who really hates the holidays? Merry Christmas, here’s your Alaskan Moose Nugget Christmas Ornament! Believe it or not, there are quite a few pieces of moose poop jewelry for sale on Etsy.

Check out the rest of the strange Etsy items that made it into The Soup's Whatsy? collection


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LEGO Boba Fett Costume

A member of The Dented Helmet forum made his 6-year-old son a Boba Fett LEGO minifig costume! He says,

I recently (semi) completed a Lego Boba Fett (Lego set 9496 - Desert Skiff) costume for my 6 year old son. We took the costume for a trial run at a local toycon this past Sunday. I still have to finish building the arms and blaster, as well as tweaking a few things such as the cape fabric. I approached the components of this project as if they were actual Lego elements. In doing so, I created the jetpack to be removable as it appears in the actual minifigure as well as the range finder stalk. The entire costume is built from scratch using photo references and scans I took myself. The costume is built primarily out of sintra with pink insulation foam used to carve the helmet dome and a small amount of plastazote foam used on the tips and base of the jetpack rockets. Torso and leg graphics are printed on adhesive vinyl while a custom green was used to colour match the helmet and jetpack. I would be happy to post progress photos of the build if anyone is interested in seeing the journey. Oh!, and there may soon be a certain someone, frozen in a certain something being pushed around by Lego Fett ; )

You can see plenty of pictures, including many taken during the build process at the forum thread. -via Laughing Squid


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Sixteen Hot New Eye Make-Up Looks

Looking to get potential love interests to actually look you in the eyes?

Then you should consult this handy illustrated chart featuring 16 Hot New Eye Make-Up Looks, created by Gemma Correll for the sake of those poor souls who keep leaving the house without some totally eye catching eye make-up slathered around their eyes.

With hot new looks like the Stormy Eye, Smoky Bacon eye, and (my personal fave) the Eye of Nietzsche you can knock ‘em dead with a wink, and the person you’ve got your eye on won’t be able to keep their eyes off of your eyes!

Grab some bacon, and a Sharpie, and a copy of the Necronomicon, and start applying your eye make-up the Gemma way today!

-Via Pleated Jeans


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Lowcost Cosplay Is Back, And Just As Budget Conscious As Ever

Anucha "Cha" Saengchart has created his own unique version of cosplay, which doesn't involve fancy costumes, super realistic accessories created out of Worbla, or incredibly detailed make-up. In fact, Cha's Lowcost Cosplay is created with supplies he typically finds around the house:

Cha's vision of cosplaying means turning anything and everything into a cosplay element, such as this fancy Jason Voorhees mask fashioned out of a plastic spoon, or this "amazingly realistic" Mystique cosplay created with some sort of blue tape and a shower cap:

Now that's the kind of cosplay people who are too broke to buy supplies, or unskilled in the ways of the sewing machine and friendly plastics, can get behind- cosplay for the sake of your own amusement!

And the best part is- nobody has to see your creation when you're done, unless you're brave enough to post your own version(s) of Lowcost Cosplay to the net, in which case please share it with us in the comment section!

-Via Fashionably Geek


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This Is A Really Crappy Look

It’s unclear whether the guy in this photo was trying to be ironic by wearing a necklace adorned with fake doggy doo to some (I’m guessing) fashionable event, or if he’s simply the proud owner of a novelty company that specializes in realistic looking dog mess.

Hopefully he’s just the proud owner of a gag gifts company, happily displaying his wares so the world can see how versatile rubber poop can be, but he's probably just some fashionable fop who thought he was being "edgy" by slinging rubber crap around his neck.

Well, if you see a new line of clothing called Crapay (or something equally odious) you’ll know who’s behind the label!

-Via Cheezburger


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Six Facts You Might Not Know About Bruce Campbell And The Evil Dead

Well before Ash worked at S-Mart, donned a chainsaw arm, and shared the value of owning a good Boomstick, he was just a guy hanging out with his friends in a cabin in the woods, trying to score with a girlfriend he was ultimately forced to decapitate with a shovel.

Sam Raimi’s seminal horror flick The Evil Dead changed the way many viewers saw the horror genre- it added a much needed dose of humor, successfully launched a franchise still wildly popular with fans to this day, and helped kickstart the career of Bruce Campbell, which is an amazing contribution in itself!

Celebrate Bruce’s belated birthday with 6 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Bruce Campbell And The Evil Dead, it's a fun way to say "Hail to the King!" as he turns 56 years young.


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Nosferatu Condensed Into Four Minutes

(YouTube link)

The 1922 German expressionist movie Nosferatu is a classic horror film, but it’s an hour and a half long. Of course, everyone should see it all the way through at least once, but if you’ve seen it before, you can relive the experience by watching this four-minute version. And, sadly, if your busy schedule and/or attention span is too short to ever get around to watching the original, this may be the closest you’ll ever get.

Mario Wienerroither condensed the whole movie using a few illustrative clips, and added some rather odd (and often comical) sound effects, which will be appealing to those folks, like my kids, who can hardly handle black-and-white, much less a silent film. Wienerroither calls this a “silentless film.” Don’t bother turning the lights off, as you’re more likely to laugh than to scream. -via Laughing Squid


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The Most Terrifying Teddy Bear Ever Created

(Video Link)

(WARNING- This video contains graphic imagery that may make it hard to sleep at night, especially if you're a fan of teddy bears! Viewer discretion is advised)

Toys are most definitely not just for kids anymore, haven’t been for quite some time really, but there’s a new teddy in town that has taken toys well into the realm of graphic horror and violence, a teddy more R-rated than the foulmouthed bear who starred in the movie Ted.

The Peek-A-Boo Bear is an animatronic teddy bear with a creepy voice and a dark secret, one which you can’t unsee, and if you invite this fuzzy little masochist to a party you’d better cover everything you own in plastic, 'cause things are about to get messy!

He was the 700th sinister teddy bear created bycustom horror toy company Undead Teds and hopefully the last one prone to committing acts of self mutilation, for the sake of the baby teddy bears out there who still have hope in their fluffy little hearts.

-Via io9


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Who's The Coolest Movie Monster Of All Time?

(Video Link)

Movie monsters started out huge, shrank down small enough to fit in your toilet then grew to massive proportions once again, yet no matter the size of the monster there are fans who will line up to see their latest on-screen appearance and continue to hail their choice for king of the monsters.

Screen Junkies host Hal Rudnick sat down with two guys who know a whole lot about movie monsters- Roger Barr, founder of I-Mockery, and horror filmmaker Eben McGarr, to discuss the coolest movie monsters of all time.

Check it out and see if any of your favorite big screen baddies made their list!

-Via Laughing Squid


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This Won't Hurt a Bit: A Painlessly Short (and Incomplete) Evolution of Execution.

As long as there have been criminals, there have been governments thinking up novel ways to execute 'em. We don't know which of the following gruesome methods the Founding Fathers had in mind with that whole ban on "cruel and unusual punishment," but we know they had plenty to choose from.

Method: Crushing by Elephant
Deadly Debut: India, 4,000 years ago. (It's probably older, but recorded history doesn't go back that far.)


A wood engraving of an execution by elephant published
in the 1868 issue of Le Tour Du Monde. (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Pachyderms aren't natural-born killers. However, with a little training (often involving practice coconuts), they'll gladly stomp on the head of a criminal. The ancient ritual, which spread nearly everywhere elephants were found, was still in use as recently as the early years of British colonization. Crushings were usually public spectacles administered by abnormally large elephants - just in case the audience didn't find the sight of an angry Dumbo squashing a human head scary enough.

Method: Crucifixion
Deadly Debut: Nobody knows for sure. Somewhere in the Middle East, probably in the 7th century B.C.E.


"Crux simplex", a simple wooden torture stake, according De Cruce Libri Tres by Justus Lipsius (1547-1606) (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Although forever associated with one particular execution, crucifixion was the capital punishment method of choice in much of the ancient world. Marcus Licinius Crassus probably set the all-time record for crucifixions when, after defeating Spartacus in 71 B.C.E., he had an estimated 6,000 of the gladiator's rebel slaves crucified along the Appian Way. Roman emperor Constantine the Great banned the practice in 337 C.E., but it cropped up again in the 16th century, in such places as Japan and Mexico. Today, Catholics in Iztapalapa, Mexico, crucify themselves annually as a devotional practice, removing the nails before the fatal damage is inflicted.

Method: The Brazen Bull
Deadly Debut: Siciliy, during the tryannical reign of Phalaris (570 - 554 B.C.E.)

An idea worthy of a Bond villain, the tactic involved shutting victims inside the belly of a hollow, life-size brass bull and lighting a fire below it, essentially turning the apparatus into an oven.

Legend has it that a reed-based acoustic mechanism made the victims' screams sound like a bull's bellow, while the smoke from inside blew out its nose. As for Phalaris, he eventually got an inside look at his own device when he was overthrown by Telemachus and became the bull's next meal. (Image Credit: Medievality)

Method: Ling Chi
Deadly Debut: China, around the beginning of the Song Dynasty (10th century C.E.)

Outlawed in 1905, the Chinese practice known as "death by a thousand cuts" involved binding a victim to a pole and carving into his or her arms, torso, and legs. Strangely enough, while "ling chi" translates to "degrading and slow," it's also the name of a fungus known as "the mushroom of immortality."

[Note: Image from a film by Taiwanese artist Chen Chiej-jen called Lingchi - Echoes of a Historical Photograph, interesting article in Taipei Times (warning: gruesome images)]

Method: Cave of Roses
Deadly Debut: Sweden, during the Middle Ages (circa the 13th century C.E.)

Snakes in a cave! Part execution, part nightmare, the Cave of Roses required locking victims in a dark cave filled with a smorgasbord of venomous creatures and other unpleasant creatures. With no way to escape and no way to see, the condemned knew it was only a matter of time before their movements provoked some creepy crawly to deliver a fatal bite. The Cave of Roses was finally abolished in 1772, and fortunately, Sweden grew a lot more enlightened with time. Exactly 200 years later, it became one of the first major European nations to ban the death penalty completely.

Method: Keelhauling
Deadly Debut: Holland, 1560 (when it became part of Dutch naval laws, though it was probably used earlier)


Keelhauling (Image Credit: Everyday Life in Tudor Times)

Man overboard! A punishment specific to sailors, keelhauling meant tying a man with rope, dropping him off the front of a ship, then dragging him "across the keel" from bow to stern. A long haul took several minutes, during which time the victim would drown (though being dragged along the barnacle-covered hull certainly facilitated things). Shorter hauls, conducted for less severe crimes, left sailors scarred but alive - a practice that became popular with pirates as well as government navies.

Method: Spanish Donkey (or Wooden Horse)
Deadly Debut: Spain, 17th century


Wooden horse (Image Credit: The Salacious Historian's Lair)

Used both for torture and execution, the donkey was a big hit in the Spanish military. A naked victim was forced to straddle the apparatus, which was basically a vertical wood board with a sharp V-shape wedge on top. Weights were attached to the offenders' ankles or feet, pulling them down onto the sturdy wedge until the victims split in two. Despite the name no (non-human) animals were harmed in the making of this device.

Method: Guillotine
Deadly Debut: France, 1792


Executioner assistants dismantling the guillotine inside the Santé prison after the execution of French mass-murderer Marcel Petiot in 1946 (Image Credit: The Guillotine Headquarters)

Believe it or not, this menacing machine was created as a way of making executions less painful.

Dr. Joseph Ignace Guillotin (who lent his name to, but didn't invent, the contraption) was actually an anti-death-penalty activist who suggested it as a more "humane" form of execution. And he was right - to a point. While it was France's last form of capital punishment, "last" didn't come until 1977.

The article above is reprinted with permission from mental_floss magazine (Jan-Feb 2007 issue).

Don't forget to feed your brain, subscribe to the magazine and visit mental_floss' extremely entertaining website and blog!


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