Umberto & Maiovvi - "Law Unit"







Available Tuesday, May 19 from Death Waltz Originals/Mondo. Law Unit is a repurposed and edited-down version of Umberto and Antoni Maiovvi’s previous Death Waltz Originals release,​ The Hook and Pull Gang, which was a modern rescore to the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Listen to the updated tracks now on the DWO Soundcloud page. Killer.


  

Help Resurrect The House of Shock


Last October, I had the fortunate luck to be in New Orleans and I was able to visit The House of Shock, consistently one of the country's best haunted houses, in it's final year. Without a doubt, it was the best haunted attraction that I have EVER been to. I was completely blown away by the show and walk-through that was presented (you can read my original write-up on The House of Shock here). I was glad that I was able to see it before they closed the doors for good...



But the story didn't end there. The owners have now decided to resurrect the House of Shock for 2015. And they need your help! After a loud public outcry, they have decided to start up a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the haunted attraction's reopening:



Visit their Kickstarter page and chip in to help support one of the best haunted houses in the country! #resurrecthouseofshock

And for some added fun, check out Goatwhore's killer video for "Baring Teeth For Revolt," which was filmed at The House of Shock!




A Lecture By Dr. Paul Koudounaris


Last night, I had the chance to hear a lecture by Dr. Paul Koudounaris, author of The Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses, Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints From The Catacombs, and his newest book, Memento Mori: The Dead Among Us, at Mac's Back Books In Cleveland.


"Dr. Paul Koudournaris" by Dragoionescu - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dr._Paul_Koudournaris.jpg#/media/File:Dr._Paul_Koudournaris.jpg


As someone who discovered Dr. Koudounaris' books by looking for photo references for Halloween prop display projects, I found the lecture remarkably fascinating. The historical and personal stories behind the photos gave substance to the art and gave me a deeper reference and connection to the Halloween projects themselves. And on a larger scale it gave me a new perspective, outside of our traditional Western custom, on death itself.




After the hour-long lecture, I was able to meet Dr. Koudounaris and discuss my pathway to discovering his work (his photos from the Santa Maria della Concezione in Rome, Italy were the inspiration for the talking skull cemetery greeter in my yard haunt). And after thanking him for the incredibly informative and interesting presentation, I geeked out a bit and had him sign my copy of The Empire of Death.



From the perspective of a Halloween prop builder, I cannot recommend Dr. Koudounaris' books enough. Each is filled with beautiful photography that is sure to inspire your next haunt project. But to seek out the books for photo reference only would be a disservice, as the rich amount of information supporting the photos is equally if not more interesting and inspiring.

Dr. Koudounaris' lecture tour continues and is highly recommended if it comes to your town. There are clips from his previous lectures on YouTube as well.

  

Goblin Rebirth


From the Relapse Records' Bandcamp page:

Relapse is beyond honored to present the debut album by Italy's Goblin Rebirth, the new band featuring the rhythm section from the original Goblin, Fabio Pignatelli and Agostino Marangolo! Goblin Rebirth mix the classic horror soundtrack sounds of their former band with a chillingly exciting drive that will thrill prog-heads and score-fiends alike. Goblin Rebirth is an instantly classic album that tells the tale of an imaginary film about the birth of an evil dwarf-like monster that sits confidently next to the classic Goblin scores like 'Suspiria', 'Profondo Rosso' and 'Tenebre'.

This sounds like it is going to be an incredible release, with one foot in the vein of Goblin's classic Italian horror scores and the other foot dipping into the current trend of synth-driven retro-horror scores. Their first release is available for pre-order now on Relapse Records!





Walpurgisnacht


We are half way to Halloween, group! And tonight (April 30th) also marks the European festival of Walpurgisnacht.

From Wikipedia:
Walpurgis Night is the English translation of Walpurgisnacht, one of the German names for the night of 30 April, so called because it is the eve of the feast day of Saint Walpurga, an 8th-century abbess in Germany. In German folklore Walpurgisnacht, also called Hexennacht (literally "Witches' Night"), is believed to be the night of a witches' meeting on the Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz Mountains, a range of wooded hills in central Germany between the rivers Weser and Elbe. The first known written occurrence of the English translation 'Walpurgis Night' is from the 19th century. Local variants of Walpurgis Night are observed across Europe in the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia, Finland and Estonia.

Walpurgis Night (in German folklore) "the night of 30 April (May Day's eve), when witches meet on the Brocken mountain and hold revels with their gods..."

The current festival is, in most countries that celebrate it, named after the English missionary Saint Walpurga (ca. 710–777/9). As Walpurga's feast was held on 1 May (ca. 870), she became associated with May Day, especially in the Finnish and Swedish calendars. The eve of May Day, traditionally celebrated with dancing, came to be known as Walpurgisnacht ("Walpurga's night"). The name of the holiday is Walpurgisnacht or Hexennacht ("Witches' Night") in German, Valborgsmässoafton in Swedish, "Vappen" in Finland Swedish, Vappu in Finnish, Volbriöö, (Walpurgi night) in Estonian, Valpurgijos naktis in Lithuanian, Valpurģu nakts or Valpurģi in Latvian, čarodějnice and Valpuržina noc in Czech. 









And thanks to Damian Michael for the reminder!

 

A Memorial Tombstone for ActionJax


Last October, fellow Akron haunter and friend Jack "ActionJax" Herman passed away, leaving a tone of sadness to the Halloween season. He had always complimented me on my tombstones, so I decided to pay tribute to him in a way that he might have wanted: make him a part of the display that he liked so much!

Jack was a huge fan of the Gothic stylings of the classic Universal Monster movies, so I decided to create a small, simple gothic-inspired tombstone. I also decided to do a stark, nearly total black and white color palette to mimic the films themselves.




In researching elements for the stone, I found two symbols that would work perfectly on this epitaph: ivy, which symbolizes friendship and the butterfly, which symbolizes a shortened life.

Once the epitaph had been designed and engraved, and the foam tombstone shaped and painted, the final piece was ready to go! I brought the stone outside at dusk for some rather atmospheric shots in my back yard.






As the light faded, I pulled out the LED spotlight for a few dramatic shots.





I'm really happy with the way this stone turned out. It is going to look great in my yard haunt display and will serve as a nice little reminder of a friend who left us way too soon. Rest in peace, Jack!