Spellcasting Music

A few more songs you possibly are not familiar with to add to your playlist for All Hallows.

1) Twink - Theme From Rosemary's Baby
Yes, I'm sure you are familiar with the theme from Rosemary's Baby, but if you haven't heard Twink before you will surely be delighted. This version couldn't be any creepier.

2) Paris Motel - Mr. Spiltfoot
A reference to the Fox Sisters. You can read more about them here:

3) The Fibonaccis - Leroy
I adore The Bad Seed and the exchanges between Rhoda and Leroy are the most delicious parts.

4) The Darklings - The Grave
I am a sucker for the theremin.

5) Sarah Jaroz - Shankill Butchers
I know, you know this one too, but Sarah's bluegrassy wail is worth another listen to this boogeyman story. "They're waiting 'til the dead of night..."

6) Kate Bush - Under Ice
Bush's Hounds Of Love is a treasure trove of scary songs. This one is f'ing terrifying. I shall say no more. Just listen...closely.

7) Nickel Creek - House Carpenter
Shirley jackson referred to him as James Harris and he makes an appearence in many of her unsettling tales. However, he is better known as The Daemon Lover who seduces women with passion, riches and adventure. The house carpenter's wife in this tale, rapidly dumps her dull life of caring for the needs of husband and babies to journey on a magnificent ship...things go downhill rapidly, especially when "She spied his cloven foot."

8) GreensKeepers - Lotion
"It puts the lotion on it's skin, or it gets the hose again." Oh dear.

9) Jamiroquai - Deeper Underground
Who knew Godzilla was so damn funky? Rawr. "I know I'm still better off standin' in the shadows far from humans with guns. But now, it's too late, there's no escape from what they have done."

10) Modest Mouse - Satin In A Coffin
"Are you dead or are you sleeping? God, I sure hope you are dead..."

11) Red Molly - Caleb Meyer
I was first exposed to the tale of Caleb Meyer by Sara and Sean Watkins who often played the song at their live shows. The song depicts every woman's fear.

Listen to all the songs here: http://8tracks.com/cabinetofcuriosities/spellcasting-on-all-hallows

Diagnosis: Ouija Madness

Inhabitants of California town, El Cerrito were diagnosed by numerous physicians as having a case of "Ouija Madness," in March of 1920.

What started in an Italian colony and involving four families in separate households using Ouija boards and spread to a case of mass hysteria of an entire town and resulting in, well...a lot of nakedness. A fifteen year old girl, who with three other women and three men were committed to an insane asylum after stripping naked to better communicate with the spirits. This was followed by a police officer, sans uniform or any other clothing for that matter, running through a local bank and numerous instances of town wide orgies - kind of like The Wicker Man, just without the singing.

This is when ministers and physicians "declare war" against Ouija boards with warnings to the public and government officials that "The Ouija produces hysteria and sometimes insanity," say the physicians and the psychologists. "It is an instrument of evil," say the ministers.

El Cerrito residents were forced to be examined by a team of physicians to determine if they were either insane or possessed, while lawmakers enacted a ban on Ouija Board use and possession in the town.

The reputation of Ouija boards opening portals, allowing demons and evil spirits a foothold on us and our world has perhaps been misinterpreted and a far more disturbing possibility has emerged. Consider that perhaps the door that you keep locked in the dark recesses of yourself can be opened. That the worst of yourself - all the dark and depraved things that evoke fear and hate and shame that lurk within are released and it is you that is unleashed on the world...

Creepy Cakes

Yes, I know, I know...I've been getting a bit carried away with the number of posts concerning sweets. I wouldn't show you if it wasn't worth it though. After all, candy and sweets are one of the best parts of halloween...

Most the the cakes you see on the plethora of cake design, competition-y type shows are not only ugly but cheesey. They look like they were both imagined and created by someone who collects Precious Moments figures or some similarly hideous knicknack. However, these cakes are beautifully executued and the subject matter is right down our dark and menacing alley.

You can see more of Debbie Goard's work at
or http://www.flickr.com/photos/debbiedoescakesnet/

Poltergeist chicken with maggots

"Marty won't be coming back..."

Eraserhead baby

Split dog from "Return Of The Living Dead"

Blanche's lunch. "But you are in that chair!"

A wedding cake

Everyone Is A Moon And Has A Dark Side

For some people Halloween is all about the costumes. Something either went very wrong...or very right in the following examples, depending on your pov.

So, that last one was doubtfully Halloween related, but it was awesome and therefore necessitated inclusion.

Apologies for not citing sources, but most of these are from multiple sites and I could not track down the proper "owner" - if it's yours or you know whose it is - please, do let me know so I can credit accordingly.

The title is a partial quote of Mark Twain's - "Everyone is a moon and has a dark side, which he never shows to anybody."

Dia De Los Muertos

The wind gently chills the air, which is redolent and heavy with things unique to this day...one for the dead. Autumn leaves, wild roses, smoke from the occasional cigar smoker or tequila drinker. A bouquet of bright chrysanthemums and marigolds and hovering above it all while the copalli burns, carrying prayers and messages through the veil.

All photographs by Merricat, from Dia De Los Muertos at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery - October 22, 2011

Creepy Cocktails

Music that is just right for your Halloween cocktail party - skeletons, ghosts and witches included. I brought the music, you supply the martinis.


Artwork by Mr. Blackwood. Yes, that's me - clearly, the perfect hostess.

School Pictures

Close encounters with violence, abnormal psychology and a lot of blood. It's just a normal day at school.

Studies in spatter which we get to create ourselves. Weapon of choice? We are given an option of baseball bat, hammer and crow bar. Let the blood fly.

Spatter and tire tread pattern analysis.

Crime scene lab. True crime scenes are often recreated. Most people got tripped up determining the murder weapon, which can be seen in this photo. It was originally left behind a door. Poor girl.

These models are especially helpful when discerning what a possible passerby/witness may have seen. We can look right through from "outside" to get their perspectives. Very helpful in cases like Lizzie Borden's. I did an earlier post on the "inventor" of this aspect of forensic science and the fantastic documentary Of Dolls And Murder.

Imprinting my Docs for an exercise in evidence retrieval.


Diet Coke is on the Most Wanted list.

Galvanic Reanimation - It's Alive!

Currently, I am obsessed with the history of galvanization experiments and research - which means you'll be reading about it here sooner or...sooner. For now, I'll let the following pictures speak their dark, macabre words...

The last two images come from the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections at Cornell University.

Apocalypse Cakes: Recipes for The End

...because The End should be delicious.

"Inexplicable" Blackbird Pie.

Raining Blood Red Velvet - perfect for your American Horror Story party.

The simple, yet elegant Fallen Angel Angel Food Cake.

The website - http://apocalypsecakes.wordpress.com/about/

The book - http://www.amazon.com/Apocalypse-Cakes-Recipes-Shannon-OMalley/dp/0762441062/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1284838276&sr=1-1

First State Asylum For The Insane

Opened in 1900, just outside of Minneapolis, MN. This facility was the first in the state created exclusively for the "care" and housing of "the insane."

Architect, Warren B. Dunnell, designed the gothic, brick "cottages" in light of the fires which claimed 18 lives at nearby St. Peter State Hospital. A vast system of underground tunnels connect the many cottages, used by the staff to conduct the day to day workings of the asylum. There are many stories of patients who tried to escape via the tunnel system. Finding themselves lost, confused and scared they would often commit suicide by hanging themselves from the pipes overhead.

It is no wonder that reports of unexplained noises, whispers and laughter have been reported in the tunnels. Footsteps are heard when there is no one there and cold spots are often felt.

The asylum is still in use today, although much of it is abandoned. A lush and idyllic spot with woods surrounding one area and a river running along the rear of the facility, the property also has it's own cemetery, to bury it's unclaimed and unwanted, which Mr. Blackwood and I searched in vain for. We did venture around the rear of a cottage near the outskirts of the facility and ran into a number of inmates sitting outside in a fully enclosed, cage-like patio. We rapidly turned back, unnoticed.

Stories like this one about a Lady In Red also pop up often from both ex-inmates and workers there: "I use to work at the state hospital, and let me tell you, the mystery of the women in red in the tunnels is so true. We use to walk pt's. thru the tunnels to get to the other buildings when the weather was bad, and lights would flicker and yes you could hear moaning at times, and in your peripheral vision, you would see some woman running and could only catch a glimpse of her. Ask anyone who ever worked there years ago..."

Pictured above is one of the many entrances to the underground tunnels.

Spotted on the 3rd floor of a cottage - not what you'd want to see in a patient's room.