Dead Badger + Theremin = The Badgermin

I'm going to assume you already know what a badger is and therefore, I shall forego a description of this impressively clawed creature. However, I am going to proceed with making the leap at guessing you don't know what a theremin is...not by name anyway. If you listen though, you will surely recognize the sound of one instantly - having been exposed to them in suspenseful, spooky horror shows throughout the years and let us not forget all those hours of Star Trek you watch, too.

Watch - Big Bang Theory - Sheldon and his theremin

Now that we are on the same page as it were, allow me to show you this, The Badgermin:

Watch The Badgermin in action:

A Victorian Ghost Story Puppet Film - The Narrative of Victor Karloch

Victorian. Ghost. Story. Puppet. = Favorite. Things. Ever.

I have been anxiously awaiting the completion of Kevin Turk's "Victorian ghost story puppet stage and short film experience," since sometime in 2011. I first heard about the project from a puppeteer friend and my puppeteering teacher/mentor at the time, who were both working on the film. More recently, I was lucky enough to catch the premiere of the trailer here in LA at one of Heather Henson's Handmade Puppet Dreams events. Mysterious, beautiful and creepy, Turk did not disappoint.

It is a "tale narrated by Victor Karloch, an alchemist, ghost hunter and scholar who has devoted his life to the exploration of the supernatural."

You can find more on The Spirit Cabinet

The Narrative of Victor Karloch [Official Trailer] from Kevin McTurk on Vimeo.

The Overlook Hotel - Stephen King and British Channel 4, Take Us Back

At the Savannah Book Festival, guests were treated to Stephen King's announcement of his next book, Dr. Sleep, a sequel to his beloved tome, The Shining. Bloody Disgusting breaks the story and the folks over at The Daily Dead even provide a video of King reading the first chapter of the book.

With this news I am even more excited to travel to The Stanley Hotel , the inspiration for The Shining, for the first time...and you know what? You're invited.

I will be screening my documentary about the history of the hotel which will of course, include all the para-creepiness you can handle. There will great paranormal themed lectures, entertainment and you can even go on a paranormal investigation. You can find all the details right here: Frontier Para Con 2012

While we're talking Shining, you really must watch this FANTASTIC promo created by British Channel 4 for their Stanley Kubrick Season! They've recreated the set of The Shining, complete with look-a-likes of the cast and crew members.

Isn't It Necromantic?

Just before valentine’s day in 1887 a man named Karl Tanzer was born in Germany.

He grew up to be an avid organist and tinkerer, coming up with many strange and unique inventions. He eventually moved to florida, married a woman named Doris and they had two daughters together.

In 1927 the Tanzer family vacationed in Germany. While there, Karl claimed to have visions and dreams of a long dead ancestor, Countess Anna Von Cosel, who revealed to Tanzer his soul mate – a raven haired, exotic beauty.

When the family returned to Florida, Karl abandoned his wife and children and reinvented himself in Key West. He renamed himself count Karl Von Cosel and claimed to have nine university degrees. He was somehow able to land a job as an x-ray techinician, mainly assisting doctors with tuberculosis patients.

Two years later, twenty one year old Elena Hoyos comes in for treatment – she is dying from tuberculosis. Von Cosel immediately recognizes her as the woman from his visions and his one true love.

Von Cosel passes himself off as a physician to Elena and her family, promising he can cure her. Desperate for help, they consent to a battery of treatments prescribed and administered by Von Cosel – shock therapy, radiation and potions he has invented contianing flecks of gold...all the while he is lavishing her with gifts of clothing and jewelry and persistent proposals of marriage, which in turn, are refused by Elena.

Alas, despite all Von Cosel’s hopes and efforts, Elena dies just a few days before Halloween in 1931.

Elena is buried traditionally, in a simple plot - but the thought of his beloved rotting in her grave is a torture to Von Cosel. He pleads to her family, who then allow him to fund the construction of an elaborate masoleum. Elena’s body is exhumed, placed in a metal coffin equipped with a formaldehyde spraying device he has concocted to halt the decay of the corpse.
It is also outfitted with a telephone which Von Cosel uses to speak to Elena on his nightly visits to her.

In his diary Von Cosel writes:
“I am so happy I am back with you, my darling. Very soon the hour approaches when I will take you home with me."

This night comes in 1933, when Von Cosel arrives at the masoleum with a wingless airplane he has invented – basically, a tube mounted on top of a toy wagon – to take Elena home where he can be reunited with is love, forever. However, to his horror, his home made formaldehyde device had failed and elena’s body was quite decayed. He took her home anyway.

There, he reconnects her bones using piano wire and after placing some old rags into her chest cavity, he begins a full reconstruction - using pieces of silk and morticians wax. He fashions a wig for her made from the remains of her hair that he collected and dresses her in a wedding gown.

His original plan was an attempt at resurrection, by sending Elena, in the wingless airplane which he has now christened “The Countess Elaine,” into space, where a powerful dose of radiation from the sun - he thinks - will surely bring her back to life.

That doesn’t happen.

For the next seven years Von Cosel vexes his neighbors with nightly organ jams, offends the nostrils of anyone who comes near him and spends a great deal of time and money procuring oils and perfumes to mask the stench of rotting corpse.

Word finally makes its way back to Elena’s sister, Nana, who decides to investigate the rumors herself. Poor Nana, discovers what remains of her beautiful, young sister lying in a wedding gown in Von Cosel’s bed.

The police are notified. Elena’s body is seized and moved to a funeral home and put on display where, for the next 3 days, approximately six thousand people came to view her.

Von Cosel is arrested for “illegally exhuming a body.” He is examined by a team of doctors who somehow deem him sane enough to stand trial – however, the statute of limitations has passed and the charge is dropped. Von Cosel suffers no penalties whatsoever. Well, no legal ones anyway.

Meanwhile, Elena’s family has taken possession of her corpse. Some reports say her remains were cut into small pieces and placed in an 18 inch box. She is buried in a secret location that only two of her relatives know of.

In 1952 police are called to a home. There, they discover Von Cosel lying on the ground with a life size effigy of Elena, wearing her death mask that he had created before she was initially buried, in his embrace. Von Cosel is dead.

His diary is also found there – the last lines reading “….forever and ever, she is with me.”

Be My Valentine - Songs Of Bones, Blood, Death and Murder

Songs for Valentine's Day. No sweet sentimentality here - just bones, blood, death and murder.

1) Furnace Room Lullaby - Neko Case

I can't seem to find my way up from the basement
A demon holds my place on earth 'till I die
All night, all I hear, all I hear's your heart
How come, how come?

2) Hunting My Dress - Jesca Hoop

I will give my flesh and my blood and my marrow
and you will wear my bones and my skin

3) Do you Want To Be Buried With My People? - Scott Niblett

Do you want to be buried with my people, Dear?
We can rest our bones side by side
In the dirt up yonder high
It's so fun to see me being me alongside you...

4) Belle's Palsy - Reverend Glasseye

I open my mouth and find little voice
I was meant to love you, I don't have much choice
And I thank you
And I love you
But I must make you understand
I have become less than a man
And the storm is coming in

5) Down By The Water - PJ Harvey

I had to lose her, to do her harm.

6) My Boy Builds Coffins - Florence + The Machine

My boy builds coffins he makes them all day
He's made one for himself
One for me too
One of these days he'll make one for you

7) Long Red hair - Vermillion Lies

The sisters lay there
blood, poured from the ends of their hair
Now they both looked fair

8) Hunter's Kiss - Rasputina

I could see the steaming, of his cloudy breath,
No, I was not dreaming, I was next to death.
As I lay there twitching, then my legs he tied.
There was nothing missing, on the day I died.

9) I Put A Sell On You - She and Him

I put a spell on you...'cause you're mine.

10) Skeletons - Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Love, don't cry
Skeleton me

11) My Lagan Love - Kate Bush

When rainy nights are soft with tears,
And Autumn leaves are falling,
I hear his voice on tumbling waves
And no one there to hold me.

12) I Will Follow You Into The Dark - Death Cab For Cutie

Love of mine, some day you will die
But I'll be close behind
I'll follow you into the dark
No blinding light or tunnels to gates of white
Just our hands clasped so tight

13) What's A Girl To Do? - Bat For Lashes

We walked arm in arm...but I didn't feel his touch.

14) Where The Wild Roses Grow - Nick Cave

On the third day he took me to the river
He showed me the roses and we kissed
And the last thing I heard was a muttered word
As he stood smiling above me with a rock in his fist

You can listen to all the songs here: Valentine's day - Songs of bones, blood, death and murder

For some reason - the playlist exempted "Do You Want To Be Buried With My People?" - you can listen here:

Fashion Kills

Fashion mags Elle and Vogue have done some amazing spreads in recent years, inspired by awesomeness like Alice's Adventures In Wonderland and Grey Gardens. Elle's most recent spread delivers cinematic creepy-beautiful goodness by joining forces with American Horror Story and Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy's Killer Fashion Shoot.

Photos by Carter Smith - see them all here:;slide=0;

Lullaby For Diane Arbus

On February 6, 1971 photographer Diane Arbus, ended her life by slitting her wrists and taking sleeping pills - it is rumored that she photographed the whole thing.

To date, she remains my favorite portrait photographer. She saw and captured beauty in dark places - in ones others look rapidly away from or mock or pretend not to see...

A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know. - Diane Arbus

Tag In A Haunted Parlor

The lovely Lady M, whose blog of macabre goodness, Lady M's Haunted Parlor, was kind enough to think of me when it came to playing a bit of tag. I always equate the game of tag with this scene from El Orfanto, so how could I possibly refuse?

First up, there are rules. Here they are:

1. Post these rules.
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post.
4. Create 3 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blog and tell them that you have tagged them.
6. No stuff in the tagging section about ‘you are tagged if you are reading this.’ blah blah blah, you legitimately have to tag 3 people!

Things of random pertaining to me. They may or may not be true. Here you go:

1. I know how to dispel most types of evil using common household kitchen implements. 

2. I am currently studying Parapsychology at the Rhine Research Center out of Duke University.

3. I watch Picnic At Hanging Rock each year, on Valentine's Day. 

4. I authored a book on modern music in primitive societies.

5. I am hoping to teach a puppetry workshop at Dragon Con this year.
6. In The Goonies, Corey Feldman's character is wearing a Purple Rain shirt because I happen to adore Prince.
7. I have more comic books than you.

8. Currently, my favorite shows on TV are Korean Dramas. How can you not love shows with titles like, "Pretty Lady ChitChat" or "Mom's Dead Upset?" Impossible.

9. At my last job, my colleagues were all convinced, (all unbeknownst to me), that I was a regular in an 80's TV show as a child and that I was, indeed, Punky Brewster.

10. They were partly right.

The following are Lady M's queries for me:

1. If you had only one day in your life you could live again, what would it be? Would you change anything?

If you had asked me this question a little over two weeks ago, I would have provided a very different answer. On Saturday, January 21st we arrived home to discover our beloved little dog had been killed, (which is why I haven't been updating). Someone entered our yard (we suspect the meter reader?), who did not lock the gate and she got out and was hit by a car. The driver did not stop.
The mailman heard it happen, grabbed a couple neighbors and went to inspect. Luckily, the neighbors took her to an animal hospital a block away from us where they assured us she was made as comfortable and pain free as possible but she only lasted an hour.

Right now, that is the day I want a do-over for. There are a number of things I could change and I think about it all the time….

2. Who are the five people you would most like to dine with - dead or alive?

Shirley Jackson, The Fox sisters, J.B Rhine, Stephen Sondheim

3. What is your favorite way to spend a totally free Saturday?

Living in LA there are always amazing events and things going on. Off the top of my head let's say brunch at The Raymond in South Pasadena with a quick visit to The Curio Emporium and Gold Bug. The afternoon is spent at The Museum Of Jurassic Technology with tea in the Tula Tea Room, (if I'm really lucky Tula the Borzoi will be there). Maybe a show at Largo after grabbing the best hot dog ever at Chili Addiction next door, and finally a midnight showing of The Room. 

Stuff for a Saturday -

The Raymond - originally the caretakers cottage of an opulent hotel which burned to the ground. The food is amazing and the patio, especially in Spring, is exceedingly beautiful.

Chili Addiction - Seriously, the best hot dogs ever and great service.

Gold Bug - an upscale cabinet of curiosities.

The Curio Emporium - Check out my earlier post about this wonderful oddities shop!

The Museum Of Jurassic Technology - my favorite place in all of Los Angeles.

Largo - I guess I would describe Largo like it's kinda my idea of "church." It isn't the same since they moved from the original location on Fairfax but, much of the magic still carries over to this legendary place. For a glimpse of the history making that has gone down in Largo's walls, check out the doc trailer

The Room - Most of you are probably already familiar with the adjective defying brainchild of Tommy Wiseu. In LA we do it up right every month in what can only be described as a new generation's version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. So much fun you'll want to go every month.

And...of course please visit Lady M's Haunted Parlor -