This is not a Halloween scary story or a new Stephen King novel, the hotel that inspired The Shining, The Stanley Hotel, has recently announced that they will be digging up a historical pet cemetery on their premesis. The plan is to dig up the 12-grave cemetery in order to make room for a wedding and corporate retreat pavilion, but as anyone familiar with Stephen King's work can attest, this plan will not go well and obviously people will end up dead and the plan will be cancelled long before the new construction can start. I just recommend you stay away from the hotel in the meanwhile.
British actors Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry have been working together for three decades. Their recent work is nice. But in my opinion, their best work as a comedic pair was in Jeeves and Wooster and Blackadder Goes Forth.
A Bit of Fry & Laurie was a sketch comedy show that the duo operated from 1987 to 1995. Here’s a clip from it. The two talk about the American Halloween custom of trick-or-treating. They helpfully explain to Britons how to interact with the children.
In the comments, share your favorite sketch or scene from the collected work of Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry.
-via 22 Words
That's a pretty great TARDIS dress, but I'm really impressed by the girl in the background -I've never seen a Cassandra costume like this one. These aren't the only amazing Doctor Who costumes out there. In fact, Geek Sugar has a collection of 25 great Doctor Who costumes that are probably from conventions but would make epic Halloween costumes too. While there are tons of David Tennant costumes, and even though he's my favorite, it's actually quite refreshing to see people dressed as Christopher Eccleston or Peter Davidson. Also, I've never seen someone dressed as Donna Noble, which is also great -even if she just looks like a bride when not next to The Doctor.
Sandy Cramer of Knot Just Rope tack shop has a jet black horse named Raven. Raven is very patient and stood for 2.5 hours for her Halloween paint job as a skeleton. The ten-year-old horse was first painted for Halloween last year, and was such a hit that people came from miles around to see her! Raven looks good whether she's carrying the Headless Horseman or little kids in their costumes.
The paint is acrylic and comes off so easily that it needs to be touched up before appearances. A bath and a brush will take it all off, because it stays on the surface of the fur instead of soaking to the skin like dye. Read Raven's story at Facebook, and see many more pictures of the skeleton horse in this gallery. -via Everlasting Blort
There's no mistaking who's face is glowing in the dark on this Jack-o-lantern, unless you've never heard of Breaking Bad. Heisenberg is an ominous sight on a dark night! This pumpkin by Ed Seymour is one of 25 Cool Halloween Pumpkins Inspired By TV And Pop Culture Characters at Uproxx. They pay tribute in vegetable form to everything from Spider-Man to Game of Thrones, from classic art to Angry Birds, from Steve Jobs to Troll face. They're not all Jack-o-lanterns, either; some are painted pumpkins or pumpkin sculptures, but any of them wold look good on your porch this week!
(Image credit: Flickr user Ed Seymour)
Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamun in Egypt in 1922. On March 24, 1923, novelist Marie Corelli warned him in the press that bad things happen to those who desecrate tombs. Within two weeks, Lord Carnarvon was dead from an infection brought on by a mosquito bite he suffered just two days after Corelli's warning was published. The mummy's curse caused it, of course.
The idea of the mummy’s curse was already a popular story, but Carnarvon’s demise (and Corelli’s apparent prediction of it) turned it into one of the great legends of the age. Rumours quickly spread that Carter had found warnings in the tomb itself. There were reports of a clay tablet, allegedly found over the tomb’s entrance, that read: ‘Death shall come on swift wings to whoever toucheth the tomb of Pharaoh.’ According to the stories, Carter buried it in the sand in case it scared his labourers into stopping their work. The whole situation was a gift for journalists who, four months after the tomb’s discovery, were desperate for more Tutankhamun-related news. Once the curse story took off, they began running daily updates, roping in scholars to debate whether evil spirits were to blame for Carnarvon’s demise.
In the next twelve years, six of the people who were present when the tomb was opened were dead. The mummy's curse? Not when you consider there were forty people there, and they weren't all young and healthy. Curses against grave-robbing had been around for a long time, and they were particularly attached to mummies when modern archaeologist began to exhume them. How many other mummies were unearthed with no dramatic deaths? But the power of a good story propelled the mummy's curse into popular consciousness. Read how it happened at Aeon magazine.
How did Halloween come into being? And when did we start dressing up and going trick and treating anyhow?
Today I Found Out's newest YouTube clip explains it all:
The practice of wearing costumes or masks during this sort of end of Autumn celebration probably comes from a Celtic New Year’s Samhain tradition.
During Samhain, young men impersonated evil spirits by dressing up in white costumes with blackened faces or masks. It was believed that during the transition from one year to the next, the realms of the living and the dead would overlap, allowing the dead as well as evil spirits to roam the Earth. By dressing up as spirits, hopefully the real evil spirits would leave you alone, rather than rip out your entrails or otherwise harass you.
Your Halloween costume may be cool, but it's not Nicholas Cage cool. Like the actor once said about his movie Face/Off, "Without tooting my own horn - I think it's a masterpiece." We wholeheartedly agree, Nick.
You can't put that bunny of awesomeness back in the box!
More Halloween Costumes over at our Halloween Blog
Rob Cockerham of Cockeyed goes all out for Halloween costumes, and his homemade creations tend to win contests left and right. This year, he is Disneyland! He constructed a miniature replica of the theme park, made to wear at an angle, so people could see it. That's his face sticking out of Sleeping Beauty's castle.
You can also see Space Mountain, Star Tours, Pirates of the Caribbean, Autopia, the Mark Twain steamboat, Fantasyland Theater, the Innoventions building, the Astro Orbiter, the Jungle Cruise, and the Dumbo ride, among smaller details. The structures of the Matterhorn, Splash Mountain, and Thunder Mountain have moving animations. Can he walk around in it? Yes, but he cannot lift his own drink. Doorways may be a problem, too.
Redditor Pontdepierre offered this Halloween costume idea, recreating the painting of Saint Sebastian by Peter Paul Rubens. A pretty decent likeness, huh? It's part of the list 17 Brilliant Art History-Inspired Halloween Costumes at Buzzfeed. See costumes by Warhol, Khalo, dali, and more. If you have to explain them, you know you're at the wrong party.
Collectors Weekly has an exclusive interview with Mad magazine illustrator Jack Davis. Davis drew for many of EC Comics' horror publications like Tales from the Crypt in the early 1950s. He talks about how EC publisher Bill Gaines gave him his start in comics in 1950.
“I wanted to be a cartoonist and get syndicated,” says Davis, who worked as an assistant to Ed Dodd, creator of the syndicated “Mark Trail” comic strip, while he was in college. “I figured I had to go to New York City because that was where everything in publishing was, including the comics syndicates. I took a year at the Art Students League in New York, and I’d look for work. I’d go up and down Madison Avenue, where I was rejected at the syndicates and at a lot of the publishers.”
But not all of them. “I saw a comic book one day and went down to the offices of Entertaining Comics, where I met the publisher, Bill Gaines. My work was bad, and they liked it,” he says, laughing. “They gave me some stuff to work on right away, and I was very excited about that.”
Soon, Davis, who was sick of being a starving artist, developed a reputation for speed, as an artist who could sketch and ink sometimes three pages in a day. “I’d have to be fast, because when you turned them in, that’s when you’d get your money,” Davis says. “The faster you drew, the faster the money came in.”
The interview coincides with the opening of an exhibit at Mondo Gallery in Austin entitled "It Didn't Rot Our Brains," featuring the Crypt Keeper and other art from EC horror comics. Davis created the illustration you see here just for the event. It shows publisher Bill Gaines with the Crypt Keeper himself. Read the rest of the interview at Collectors Weekly, and enjoy a gallery of Davis' magazine art.
TED Talks cover just about any subject you can imagine, with varying quality. And now they aren't just for humans! Zombie Tim Martin of Reawakening gives tips to other zombies about how to survive the humans who have the hare-brained idea they could survive the zombie apocalypse. Quite inspiring! -via Tastefully Offensive
What do you think of when you watch Texas Chainsaw Massacre? I'm no psychic, but I'm willing to be it has nothing to do with food. But if you go to the iconic house where the Leatherface resided in the film, you won't find a bunch of rotting body parts, but a dinner called the Grand Central Cafe. They do have Texas Chainsaw Massacre memorabilia on the second floor, so you can look at pictures of a family of cannibals enjoying their dinner before you enjoy yours.
Believe it or not, that's not the only weird transformation of past horror movie locations either. Cracked has four more you won't want to miss as well.
Image Via Austex [Wikipedia]
Visual Burrito (Royce Hutain) made a Halloween costume for his 22-month old daughter, using LED technology to make the child easy to see in the dark. I'm sure you'll agree that she shows up well in the dark -as a cartoon stick figure! I bet she can even draw herself. It's not the first LED stickmen that he's made: here is the adult version, made for nighttime snowboarding. -via reddit
Halloween greeting cards have been around for a long time, although it's not a holiday meant for sentiment. Not that it matters; people have always loved sharing funny pictures, even when those pictures had to be sent through the postal service. And funny cat pictures are universal.
Let's take a closer look at this odd piece of art. We have a cat playing a bass drum. The drum does not look happy about it. Another cat is carrying the drum, but he's got a bandage around his face. Did the other cat put his eye out with a drumstick? And their audience is made of mice! Who came up with this? The poem says Fee, fo, fi, fum. Am I remembering it wrong, or did the line from Jack and the Beanstalk actually say Fee FI, FO, fum?
This vintage Halloween greeting card is one of 13, all featuring black cats, that you'll find at Buzzfeed.
(Image source: VintageHolidayCrafts.com)
What's more romantic than a stroll in the country with your fiance? Well, if you're this couple who was photographed by Brandon Gray, apparently getting murdered by Jason is the epitome of romance. At least, I assume that's why they chose to include the serial killer striking down and killing them in their engagement photo series.
While I tease, I actually think this is pretty cool. Part of being a geek couple is celebrating your shared interests and I wholly support doing this during your wedding and all the preparation you put into your wedding and these kinds of photos are just this. Besides, you can always send the pre-murder photos to your grandma and other relatives that just "wouldn't get" the whole serial killer photo series thing.
The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research.
by Wadim Strielkowski (Charles University, Prague), Evgeny Lisin (MPEI, Moscow), and Emily Welkins (University of Strasbourg)
Our paper describes intertemporal interactions between vampires and humans based on several types of vampire behavior described in popular fiction, films, and television series. Our main research question is: If vampires were real and lived among us, would their existence be possible? We draw several scenarios of vampire–human equilibria and use models with differential equations to test under what provisions vampires could have existed amongst humans. Mathematical modeling reveals that several popular culture sources outline the models describing plausible and peaceful coexistence.
Recent Research About Vampires
Since the 1980s, such topics as behavior of vampires, economic significance of vampirism, and optimal bloodsucking strategies (e.g. preventing the depletion of renewable human resources) have found their way into the research literature, becoming an inspiration for several academic papers (Hart and Mehlmann, 1982, 1983; Hartl, Mehlmann and Novak, 1992; Neocleus, 2003; Efthimiou and Gandhi, 2007).
Vampires are often described in legends and folklore. The word "vampire" comes from the Hungarian language. The first myths and legends about vampires can be found in Mesopotamian texts dating back to 4000 B.C.E. (Campbell Thompson, 1904).
Consider introducing vampires into the model of population growth denoted by dx/dt = kx. The vampire population is denoted by the function y(t), y0=1. Vampires act as natural predators for humans. The human population dynamics can therefore be presented as the following function: dx/dt = kx-v(x)y, where v(x) is the rate at which humans are killed by vampires.
Assume that the number of any vampire's victims is growing proportionally. Thence, the function v(x) can be presented as the following: v(x)=ax, where a > 0 is the coefficient of the human's lethal interaction with a vampire (a human is either killed by a vampire or is turned into a vampire). As a result, the differential equation describing the growth rate of human population can be formulated as the following: dx/dt = x(k-ay). Assume the dynamics of vampire's population change to be y(t). The growth of vampire population will be determined by the quality and quantity of interactions with humans.
After selecting its victim, any vampire can kill it by draining its blood, turn it into a new vampire, or feed on it but leave it to live.
Let us also introduce vampire slayers into the model. The slayers regulate the population of vampires by periodically killing vampires. The equation will then be modified to be dy/dt = baxy-cy, where 0 < b ≤ 1 is the coefficient reflecting the rate with which humans are turned into vampires and c ≥ 0 is the coefficient of lethal outcome of the interaction between a vampire and vampire slayer.
In order to solve this, we need to consider a Lotka-Volterra system, or a "predator–prey" type model (Volterra, 1931). The system allows for the stationary solution, meaning that there is a pair of solutions for the system that creates a state when human and vampire populations can coexist in time without any change in numbers. The size of human population is determined by the effectiveness of slaying vampires by vampire hunters c and the number of cases when the humans are turned into vampires ba. The size of vampire population depends on the growth rate of human population k and vampires' thirst for human blood a. The stationary solution shows that when vampires are capable of restraining their blood thirst, the size of both populations can be rather high in mutual co-existence. The system is held in balance by the existence of vampire slayers.
The Stoker-King model
The Carrie remake is all about blood -fake blood, of course, but the modern movie audience expects it to be not only believable, but as scary as the 1976 version of the movie. Well, that scene cannot be as surprising as the original, but it may be more gory.
Movies have had bloody scenes as long as there have been movies, but back in the days of black and white film, it was easy to fake. Most filmmakers used chocolate syrup! After all, in black and white, the viewer was none the wiser. But when color came along, it had to be more realistic -and fake blood has been getting more realistic ever since. Movie makers often make their own, or they can buy it for $65 a pint -not as expensive as the real thing, but still pricy!
Often several different kinds of blood are used for the same movie. In addition to whether or not the blood is edible, each blood is selected according to the lighting, whether the blood should slowly dry or stay wet, whether it’s arterial (lighter) or venous (darker), and what kind of style the director is looking for. For one of his gorier plays, writer-director Martin McDonagh used nine distinct varieties of fake blood. And some filmmakers still want the old-fashioned stuff: For the nightclub massacre in Kill Bill, Vol. 1 (2003), Quentin Tarantino ordered more than 100 gallons of “samurai blood.” “I’m really particular about the blood, so we’re using a mixture depending on the scenes,” he explained. “I say, ‘I don’t want horror movie blood, all right? I want Samurai blood.’ ... You have to have this special kind of blood that you only see in Samurai movies.”
Jack the Ripper terrorized the Whitechapel district of London for a few months in the fall of 1888, exactly 125 years ago. No one has ever been officially identified as the murderer of at least five women that autumn, but many have been named as possibilities. As part of their 31 Days of Halloween series, Atlas Obscura looks at one of those suspects, an American named Francis Tumblety. Tumblety passed himself off as a doctor, although his education credentials were nonexistent. He'd been arrested several times, but never convicted for anything serious. He was also known to despise women.
Tumblety traveled frequently to London and often stayed in the posh West End hotels. However, despite his wealth, he was known to often “slum” in the unsavory East End. On November 7, 1888 he was arrested and charged with eight counts of gross indecency (homosexual activities) with four other men, and released on bail. Then on November 12 he was arrested on suspicion of the Whitechapel murders. He posted bail again on November 16 and fled under the alias Frank Townsend to France where he boarded a steamer ship and returned to New York City. An investigator from Scotland Yard was sent to New York and Tumblety was hounded by the American press, but no conclusive evidence against him was found regarding Whitechapel, and the gross indecency charges were insufficient cause for extradition back to England. Later, investigators scoffed at his being a likely suspect.
There were plenty of other suspects, but never enough evidence to tie any particular person to the murders. And just like the other suspects, there's a long list of clues that point to Tumblety as the Ripper. Read that list at Atlas Obscura.
As we've seen, groups of young people who take sensible precautions and make conservative decisions make for boring horror films. What we need to see is a lone, doomed, minor character take complete leave of his senses and volunteer to check out a suspicious noise. It happens all the time, as this supercut from Slackstory shows.
Along the same lines, if you want to find something in the dark, you need to split up your group -otherwise you'll all be killed at once and the movie would be too short! Although in a few of these clips, I can almost imagine the one suggesting that two people "split up" might really just want to get away from their annoying partner. -via Laughing Squid
One of the great things about being a new parent is getting to geek out with your youngsters who actually think you're pretty cool...at least until they hit about 12 and suddenly decide you are the lamest person on earth and that anything you enjoy must be the worst thing ever. That's why you've got to get in your family Halloween costumes while you can. If you still need some ideas for your family's costume, or if you just want to see what other clever parents have come up with, you won't want to miss this fun Oddee article with 12 fantastic families in matching costumes.
Josh Sundquist (previously at Neatorama) is a rapper, math nerd, and Paralympic champion. He lost his left leg due to cancer years ago, which gives him the ability to pull off some really clever Halloween costumes. His 2013 costume may take you a minute to figure out. Oh yes, he's a flamingo, but will he be up for doing this handstand for everyone who asks? Sure, he's an athlete, but that could get old when you're out trying to have Halloween fun. It might be better just to pull out the picture when someone asks him what's with the pink bodysuit and that goofy shoe. -via reddit
I'll be honest, I'm not a big fan of most haunted houses, and not because I don't like the idea, it's just that most are overwhelmingly cheesy with no story line, bad acting, half-assed sets and mediocre make up to boot. That's why I was so intrigued when I got an email asking me to attend the media preview of the Blumhouse Productions take on the horror event called The Purge: Fear Night.
The event was put together by Jason Blum, producer of some of the biggest horror flicks of the last decade including Sinister, Insidious, Paranormal Activity and The Purge. And, as the name implies, the house itself was based on the concept of The Purge. These facts alone peaked my interest, and I knew I had to go when I started to read more about the event, discovering that there were fewer bloody scenes with people jumping out at you and more of a cohesive story line that was actually interactive. Also, you go in a small group together and aren't sent in one after another like you are in most houses, so you don't see what happens to the person in front of you before you get to the supposed scary part. Oh, and did I mention that the house is spread out over six floors and 700,000 square feet?
After going through the event, I'm now hesitant to even call it a haunted house because there is no paranormal aspect to this story line. Regardless, or possibly because of that, I think it was was of the best "haunted houses" I've ever been to and I highly recommend that you visit The Purge: Fear Night if you get the chance. And don't worry if you've never seen The Purge, even Jason Blum himself promises, "it won't matter...The Purge is about a law that is in the United States that is 12 hours of the year all crime is legal and if you know just that little fact, you will enjoy it just as much as if you've seen the movie."
Now, I know that while we have a good number of Southern California readers, the rest of you probably won't be heading to LA to check out this attraction -especially before it closes November 2. That's why I'm going to include a walk through of some of the coolest parts to give you some idea of how fantastic this experience is. If you think there's any chance you might actually be able to make the event, do not read past the jump because there are all kinds of spoilers here and while some people might not mind spoilers in movies or TV shows, they really would make something like this less enjoyable.
It's hard to believe it's been 40 years since the release of the movie The Exorcist. The first horror film nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, it scared the pants of a generation to watch an innocent young girl succumb to a demon possessing her body. There are plenty of things you probably don't know about the movie, like the extra who was found to be a murderer.
17. Paul Bateson, who appeared briefly in film as an X-ray technician, is a suspected serial killer in real life.
Bateson was an X-ray technician at NYU Medical Center and served as an extra on the film.
In 1979, Bateson was convicted in the murder of film critic Addison Verrill. Authorities believe that he was also responsible for “the bag murders” of six other men — whose mutilated and dismembered body parts washed up in black plastic bags along the Hudson River.
That's just one of 19 Fascinating Facts About The Exorcist you can learn at Buzzfeed. There's plenty more.
ZDoggMD (Dr. Zubin Damania), the musical M.D., sent this video parody of Miley Cyrus' song "Wrecking Ball" that tell the story of a zombie invasion of his hospital. No, I don't think a tetanus shot is going to help in this case! From the website:
Sometimes you just have to put your reflex hammer where your mouth is.
At least, that’s the argument Dr. Harry made when he sent me the lyrics to Infect Me. Apparently, he was sitting through yet another one of his kid’s kung fu classes, thinking wistfully of Hannah Montana, when BAM. It hit him like a wrecking ball: zombies + medicine + Miley = ZDoggMD. Problem was, it wasn’t twerking for me.
I gotta be honest: for me, Miley Cyrus just doesn’t stack up to living legends like Debbie Gibson and Tiffany. So I resisted. “Why, Dr. Harry, should I waste my hard-earned time on yet another dead-end medical parody?”
So there you have it. See more of their medical musical masterpieces at ZDoggMD. -Thanks, Doc!
Rick, Daryl, Glenn, Andrea, and many other characters from The Walking Dead sing that Halloween classic "The Monster Mash" without even knowing it, because it's an edit. Who knows better about what monsters really do? I don't think this contains any spoilers, but it certainly has a lot of gore, just like the show itself. -via Tastefully Offensive
Always check for a toilet paper supply before you sit down.
This mummy in the webcomic Berkeley Mews didn’t, but he seems to be content with his pricey solution.
Nalini Asha Biggs, who made and modeled the Medusa costume that was featured on our Halloween blog, is a pumpkin artist! Her latest creation is this Indiana Jones pumpkin sculpture, capturing Indy as a young archaeologist in the Raiders of the Lost Ark era.
I've been doing them since I was a kid this way, and every Halloween one of these new, fancy, professional carving companies offers me a job, and I'm like, no thanks! That would take all the fun out of it. But it is the highlight of my year.
Continue reading to see more of her gorgeous gourds.
Oh snap! That's right, it's an Oregon Trail costume. Now that's something I'd be into wearing, but I don't have the technical skills needed to build the wagon that's critical to the costume.
No worries though, that's only one of the 8 great costumes on this list of creative cosplays by Fashionably Geek. The N67 cartridge is also pretty amazing, though you'll need some serious makeup skills to actually pull it off. The list also includes a few other great ones we've featured before, including Jayne's Hat, zombie Audrey Hepburn and 221B Baker's Street, but it's been a while since we put those posts up, so they'll still seem pretty new and exciting to most of you.
Neatoramanaut Nicole sent in a picture of a Halloween that traumatized her as a youngster.
this was at an annual school halloween party. i think i was around 8 in that picture, in 3rd grade. my mom, bless her heart, doesn't have much artistic talent so our face-paintings were rudimentary. obviously i was not pleased about this year's attempt :P
We've all had Halloweens that didn't turn out as we had hoped. It makes for a great story later on in life! Thanks, Nicole!
If there's a picture of you in a Halloween costume, or maybe one that you made for a family member, we'd love to feature it on our Halloween blog. Whether it's awesome, embarrassing, funny, or just plain memorable, whether it was last year or 50 years ago, send it to email@example.com and and then look for it on the Halloween blog. Remember, the the top pictures will win the submitters t-shirts from the NeatoShop!