Places You Can Visit to Relive Your Scariest Horror Film Experience

What's the scariest movie you ever saw? If a particular horror film keeps coming back to keep you awake at night, part of the reason may be its spooky setting. Many horror films rely on someone visiting a new and unknown place that turns out to be haunted or maybe occupied by a killer lunatic. And those places are out there, somewhere, because that's where they filmed the movie. You might even want to visit someday, maybe to relive the thrill, or maybe to reassure yourself that it's not like the movie. You can still go to the gas station featured in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (and eat barbecue), tour the lighthouse from The Fog, or climb the stairs where the priest and the demon battled it out in The Exorcist. Check out eleven iconic horror film locations and make your plans for a pilgrimage with the help of Atlas Obscura.

(Image credit: Rshao)

Abraham Lincoln's War for Hearts and Minds

The Civil War consumed all of President Lincoln's time in the White House. He presided over the battle campaigns, of course, but he also worked outside the military on several fronts to bolster the Union. These schemes ranged from boosting morale on the home front to enticing southern states to leave the Confederacy with a bit of a bribe. This came in the form of the Land Grant College Act, in which the federal government pledged help to establish higher education across the country- but only in states that stayed loyal to the Union.

There was also the continued construction of the US Capitol Building. There was the Emancipation Proclamation, telegraphing the stakes of the war to the enslaved people of the rebellious states. Then Lincoln resurrected the forgotten holiday of Thanksgiving, designed to build unity and a sense of purpose. In 1863, there were actually two days of Thanksgiving.

Another of Lincoln's non-battlefield accomplishments was the Lieber Code, written by Francis Lieber. This military code set the standard for how to run an army that became an inspiration worldwide, and no doubt contributed to the relative cohesiveness and sense of moral superiority of the Union army that helped to win the war. Read about all these programs that, along with the fighting, took up Abraham Lincoln's time and last full measure of devotion at Military History Now.

A Kayak with a Painter's Easel

What’s your style of kayaking? Do you like to tumble through rapids? Do you prefer the rigors of the open ocean? Or, like redditor /u/twitch119, do you enjoy quiet, still waters?

The water calls to him in more ways than one. Aside from kayaking, his favorite hobby is painting with watercolors. To combine them, he built an easel onto his boat. You can read a description of his build process here. The unit, which has a side table attached to the easel, fits around the rim of the cockpit. Paracord keeps it snugly secured. The top can be adjusted to different angles and will even fold flat.

Paranormal Cativity

Something really weird happens to Baxter the cat on RamsesThePigeon's security camera. Don't blame me if it gives you the willies. You'll need to watch this more than once to catch all the easter eggs, like the sampler on the wall.

Continue reading to see that scene again. You might learn a little more from this version.

Continue reading

The Weird Tale of Norway's Demon Wall

At the almost-900-year-old village church in Sauherad, Norway, you'll find murals that are hundreds of years old. But look closely at one wall, and you'll see that it is covered with tiny devils and demons, crowded together like doodles in a bored student's notebook. This is the demonveggen, or demon wall. The mystery of the demon wall is not in how old it is or who did it, because those things are known. The real question is why.

Experts in historical preservation and restoration are dedicated to bringing history to life accurately. But in 1940, Gerhard Gotaas, a renowned conservator of medieval church art, completely painted over an artwork on one wall of the church in Sauherad and left it with the demons. Locals who knew the church were confused, but bowed to Gotaas' authority and reputation. It was assumed that he found and revealed what had been there for hundreds of years. Then World War II came along and the demons on the wall were ignored due to other priorities. Gotaas continued his work elsewhere with no complaints, and his alterations in Sauherad were only recently discovered. Now, Norwegian cultural heritage laws say Gotaas' demons must remain as a historical artwork of their own, despite the fact that they cover a painting that is 300 years older. Read the story behind the demonveggen at Atlas Obscura.

The article is part of Atlas Obscura's Fright Club series for the month of October.

BMW Paint Robot Paints Patterns On A Car Without Masking

Meet the EcoPaintJetPro, a paint shop robot that can lay down finishes and designs on a vehicle without the need for covering the automobile. The machine was made by BMW and Duerr, a German engineering firm. According to BMW, “the EcoPaintJet Pro leaves no overspray, saving them time, money, water, and chemicals of cleanup. It's also more efficient, not requiring electrostatic paints, nor that the paints be physically separated as in a traditional paint shop, and it takes less energy to apply two paints at once.” 

Watch the arm in action in the video below! 

Image credit: via Autoblog

Never Before Seen Keith Haring Mural Unveiled In New York City

Art enthusiasts, rejoice! 

Keith Haring's "Fiorucci Walls" will be displayed at the New York City Center for a limited time. The mural was commissioned in 1983 by Milan-based designer Elio Fiorucci, who asked Haring to turn his store into a work of art. The artist turned the designer’s 5,000-square foot store into a canvas. A panel of the mural survived in Fiorucci’s storage after the installation came down in 1984. 

Image credit: New York City Center

Should We Pay Attention To Good Content By Horrible People?

Can we appreciate and marvel at beautiful photographs without considering the people who made them? Alternatively, can we separate the artist from their art? These two similar questions arose after different cases of horrible people (either with a long-running history of scandals, or they are just a terrible person in general) remaining popular for their artworks, making the populace forget about their ‘sins’ or past bad behaviors. 

Fstopper’s Illya Ovchar explores the topic of art and artist separation on prominent photographers in the field. Check the full piece here. 

Image credit: lllya Ovchar

Benjamin Von Wong’s Giant Floating Faucet Raises Awareness Of Plastic Pollution

This large artwork is a way for its creator to shed light on plastic pollution. According to Our World In Data, the world had produced 7.8 billion tonnes of plastic by 2015. This means that more than one tonne of plastic is allotted per person. That’s a lot of plastic.

Benjamin Von Wong’s Turn Off the Plastic Tap aims to raise the discussion of plastic pollution creatively. The photographer is known for tackling environmental issues in his work, and this new piece was done in collaboration with the Embassy of Canada in France. Wong, along with like-minded individuals, built a huge three-story-tall tap that looks like it releases plastic. 

Image credit: Von Wong Production

This Yucatan Forest Was Trapped In Time

A relic of Earth’s past can be found in a river ecosystem in the Yucatan Peninsula. Marine ecologist Octavio Aburto-Oropeza and his fellow researchers revealed the existence of a swampy riverbed full of red mangrove trees in a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The scientists state that the riverbed is a time capsule, and has been trapped in time for more than 100,000 years. The mangroves were able to survive and thrive even though it is far from the coastlines, appearing to have existed in isolation. “We hope our results convince the government of Tabasco and Mexico’s environmental administration of the need to protect this ecosystem,” the study team writes.

Image credit: Vanessa/Unsplash 

The Mysterious Writings of Easter Island

Rapa Nui, now known as Easter Island, was first populated by Polynesians somewhere between 690 AD and 1200 AD. But that appears to be a singular event, as the culture of the island developed in complete isolation afterward, due to the distance it lay from other populated islands of the Pacific. That is, until 1722, when Europeans found their way to the island. Along the way, the people of Rapa Nui developed a system of writing called rongorongo, consisting of around 600 hieroglyphs.

Rongorongo was mainly used by the elite, and was not accessible to most of the population. Europeans had no clue about rongorongo documents etched in wood until a missionary found them in 1864. Tragically, by then there was no one left on Rapa Nui who could read the written language. Peruvian raids had taken many islanders away into slavery, and when they returned, they brought diseases that wrecked the native Rapa Nui population.

Writings in rongorongo are rare, with only 23 known examples still in existance. A new study takes a look at a wooden tablet from Rapa Nui known as the Berlin tablet. The rongorongo symbols on it are barely decipherable thanks to erosion and woodlice, but a 3D scan reveals the tablet, which is the largest rongorongo tablet ever found, contains 387 legible glyphs, and may have contained up to 5000 symbols before the wood was damaged. That would make it the longest rongorongo document ever found, if it were still a full document. The research was aimed at determining the age of the Berlin tablet by the species of wood and the history of its deterioration. Read about rongorongo and the Berlin tablet at The History Blog. -via Strange Company

(Image credit: Rafał M. Wieczorek et al/CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Find the Cat

How well would you be able to spot a predator stalking you in the jungle? Or even an urban jungle? Redditor donibobes took this picture of his cat. You might assume he was taking picture of the front of the house, but the cat is there. You just can't see him because of his feline camouflage skills. I had to go to the comments for a spoiler.   

If you need to, and you probably will, you can enlarge the picture greatly here. Then imagine if this were a hungry tiger sitting in a tree you just walked by. You'd never know what hit you. 

The Great Whiskey Cocktail Drinking Competition of 1867

We all know someone of whom it has been said "could drink anyone under the table." However, pushing the limits can be dangerous, and binge drinking has led to many deaths. The problem with drinking alcohol in a hurry is that you can imbibe too much before the effects show at all, and then you are suddenly too drunk to understand your limits. A competition to see who can drink more than someone else may remind you of a certain scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, in which Marion Ravenwood not only survived the contest, but also an attempted murder and the fact that her bar burned down. Real life is not as exciting, nor as survivable.

That said, there was a drinking contest in which two young, large, and wealthy men felt compelled to outdrink each other. Lord Louth, age 34, was visiting from England, and made the acquaintance of 32-year-old Albert Haller Tracy, Jr., of Buffalo, New York. Tracy was showing Louth around Buffalo, as the two were of comparable social standing and had much in common. However, both prided themselves on the ability to drink copious amounts of whiskey, and Louth challenged Tracy to a public showdown. They engaged a bartender to prepare and keep count of how many whiskey cocktails each man drank. Word got around, and spectators came and placed their bets between the British lord and the American. The contest made the papers for years afterward. While the story grew in later years, even the immediate reports had the men drinking an astonishing number of cocktails. Read the entire story of the drinking contest, plus notes on how it was researched, at The Daily Beast. -via Digg

(Image credit: Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast)

Seek: the Rest Stop from Hell

A horror offering from Omeleto, the short film Seek follows two sisters on a road trip who stop at an apparently empty rest area. Spoiler- it's not empty. Seriously, if it were me, I would have turned around as soon as I saw the interior. I don't mind going on the side of the road if this is the alternative. The short film doesn't waste any time on special effects (or money, either), but focuses on the buildup of dread that makes a world of difference when creeping you out is the point. Seek was directed by Aaron Morgan and has won several awards. Contains NSFW language. Read more about the short at io9.

Can You Figure Out Why They Call This the Oreo Spider?

This is a spider made from an Oreo cookie. They are pretty easy to make with pretzel sticks and a dab of icing. But nature has its own Oreo spider. National Geographic wildlife photographer Joel Sartore explains.

Cyclocosmia has a pretty fancy trapdoor, if you know what I'm saying. Now we have to wonder if the cookie took its look from the spider. Nah, we know that Oreo cookies took their look (and everything else) from Sunshine Hydrox cookies. -via Fark

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