Cryo Chamber's FREE "Dark Ambient of 2017" Mix

One last goodie before 2017 calls it quits, thanks to Oregon dark ambient label, Cryo Chamber!

They just released a great, one-hour long mix from some of their 2017 releases. And it's free!

From the Cryo Chamber Bandcamp page:

This is our Christmas gift for 2017 to all who support us and is free for everyone!

Continuing our yearly tradition, we picked some interesting releases this year. Some that fall well within our dark ambient borders, and some that scratch at the surface extending it's inky tendrils all over neighboring genres.

With tracks from Flowers From Bodysnatchers, Apocryphos/Kammarheit/Atrium Carceri, Metatron Omega, Atrium Carceri/Cities Last Broadcast, and Wordclock, you'll have a great little mix perfect for an October haunt soundtrack! I think the dark ambient genre lends itself nicely to a haunt theme and have been using it as background sound in my haunt display for years. And I HIGHLY recommend this mix, as it's full of great tracks.

Go get this mix for free over at the Cryo Chamber Bandcamp page!

King Diamond - "No Presents For Christmas"

When I think "Christmas music," I instantly think "King Diamond"...

One more yuletide tune for the holidays. Enjoy!!

The Damned - "There Ain't No Sanity Clause"

A ripping punk "Christmas" classic from The Damned. From the There Ain't No Sanity Clause ep, originally released in 1980 on Chiswick Records.

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all of my fellow haunters, haunted house freaks, Halloween enthusiasts and fans of the macabre a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Highbury Cemetery!

But be warned. Santy Claus only brings presents to them thats been good all year. What about you, boy? You been good all year?

Lucas King - "Carol Of The Bells"

A darker twist to the holiday classic from composer Lucas King. Enjoy!

A Late Halloween Gift Becomes An Early Christmas Present

It all began with a ghost-story contest, a parlour-game, a serious young woman of eighteen years old who had run away with her boyfriend, and some very stimulating company—and a thunderstorm which kept them indoors...

Around the time of Thanksgiving, my wife and son presented me with a box. They said that it was originally supposed to be a surprise Halloween gift, but that it had only just arrived today.

Puzzled, I opened it. Inside was a face that I instantly recognized!

Frankenstein: The First Two Hundred Years by Christopher Frayling was hot off the Reel Art Press presses and delivered straight to my door. I was totally surprised, as I didn't even know about this new book! Over 200 stunningly beautiful pages detailing everything Frankenstein, from the original New Year's Day release of Mary Shelley's iconic 1818 novel (and its many interpretations), to Karloff's iconic Universal film monster portrayal, through the fascinating, wider metaphorical use of the storyline, and up to the firm hold of all things Frankenstein in modern day pop culture.

I haven't had a chance to fully dive into this monster yet (see what I did there??), but I can't wait to take it all in. I didn't realize that Shelley's Frankenstein story will turn 200 this January 1st. What a great time to celebrate my favorite horror character!

A huge thank you to my family for this gorgeous late Halloween/early Christmas gift! This is going to the top of my reading list immediately after the holidays.

Frankenstein: The First Two Hundred Years is available now at Reel Art Press and

Lull - "Whiteout"

Happy Winter Solstice. A perfect track to lead us into the bleak, dark cold of winter. From Lull's classic 2008 dark ambient release, Like A Slow River. Cold and eerie, yet oddly relaxing...

"Krampus" Soundtrack by Douglas Pipes

Okay, just one more Krampus-themed post for 2017. But first, a little story...

Back in the winter of 2015, I quickly decided that I wanted to see Michael Dougherty's new holiday horror film, Krampus. After his now cult classic, Trick 'r Treat, became a mainstay in my Halloween traditions, I figured I'd give this one a shot to see if it would be added to my Christmas traditions as well.

The day before Christmas Eve, I had a late afternoon physical therapy session. I was rehabbing from surgery on a badly broken finger, thanks to an awesome mountain bike crash earlier in the summer. The therapy session was an hour long and I was completely against heading back to work at 4:00 on the day before Christmas break, so I decided that I was going to the movie theater to see Krampus instead. Alone.

Truth be told, I had never gone to a theater to see a movie on my own (which is kind of weird, because I have done just about everything else on my own!). I walked up to the ticket  counter and waited in line to get my ticket. I got to the counter and said, "One ticket for Krampus, please." The young girl working the counter looked up at me with a startled look on her face. Smiling, she said, "Wow! Someone NOT here to see Star Wars!"

D'oh! As I looked over to the entrance into the theater, I could see the line. EVERYONE was in line, waiting to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. My palms got sweaty...

I grabbed my ticket, quickly walked past the line and found the theater number that was playing MY film. I walked in and looked around.

Not a single person in the theater. "Cool, I'm early so I get first pick at a seat." I of course picked a seat right in the middle of the theater for maximum sight and sound.

The previews started playing and I kicked back and relaxed a bit. Still nobody else in the theater.

After the endless parade of previews to films that I had absolutely no interest in seeing, the movie started. I could still hear the line of people outside the door, waiting for Star Wars. But still nobody else came into my theater.

Ten minutes into the movie, I made the joyous realization that nobody else WAS coming in. I had the whole damn theater to myself!! I kicked my feet up onto the seat in front of me, and with a relaxed grin, I sat back and enjoyed the hell out of Krampus. Alone in a theater, the night before Christmas Eve.

It was probably one of the best theater experiences I will ever have.

And because of that, Krampus will always hold a special place in my heart. But also because I really enjoyed the film, too.

One year later, Waxwork Records put out an incredible double-vinyl version of the film's amazing soundtrack, composed by Douglas Pipes (who also composed the soundtrack to Trick 'r Treat, another favorite of mine!).

I was able to score the limited double-picture disc version, featuring the amazing "evil elves" from the film. Pipes has done an amazing job of merging cheery holiday melodies and menacing, tense, dark rhythms to create a new Christmastime classic.

I absolutely love everything about this soundtrack and it has become a staple in my post-Halloween playlist...

"Krampus: An Austrian Folk Tale" Documentary

From the Austrian countryside, where ancient folktales are still told, comes the story of Krampus - Christmas demon of yore...

Krampus: An Austrian Folk Tale, is a feature-length documentary that takes the viewer deep into the heart of Austrian and German folklore, to explore the mystery and origins of this ancient custom. From the beginning of the legend itself, to the creation of the costumes and riotous parades, Krampus will be discovered in all his fearsome glory.

All photos courtesy of Hexe Productions

I have been trying to find more info on this 2015 Krampus documentary produced by Hexe Productions ever since I recently discovered the trailer on YouTube.

Amazing footage of traditional Austrian Krampuslaufs with historical information direct from the source. I have become very interested in the tales of Krampus and the European festivals that take place in his honor each winter, and this documentary looks like it would go a long way in satiating my curiosity.

Unfortunately, I have only been able to find the documentary's trailer and website. I'm not sure if the full documentary is available anywhere or if it was ever released. I would love to find out more info on this, but for now, I'll just go back and re-watch the amazing trailer for the 100th time...


Hand Carved Krampus Masks by Miguel Walch

Every winter I see stunningly beautiful, hand carved wooden Krampus masks from artists in and around Austria. And every winter I think that I need to save up a bunch of money and have a custom, one-of-a-kind hand carved mask created especially for me. Some day, I suppose.

This year, I discovered the amazing work of Austrian artist, Miguel Walch. His ability to take a hunk of wood and create a vibrant and hideous, lifelike creature completely blew me away. His final Krampus masks would fit in perfectly at any European Krampuslauf or displayed prominently on any art gallery wall...

All photos courtesy of

And while I don't have the funds available to get my own custom Krampus mask yet, I will seek out his gorgeously designed book. It's all in German, but the stunning photography and the beautiful graphic design still make this one a no-brainer for my personal library.

All photos courtesy of

Fröhlich Krampusnacht!

Merry Krampus Night!

It's December 5th, and that means that all of the bad children will be visited by Krampus tonight! Krampus, the Christmas Devil and evil counterpart of St. Nicholas, is a cloven-hooved, goat-demon that punishes bad children with a lash of his birch branched switch, then transports them to Hell inside the wicker basket upon his back.

Photo courtesy of National Geographic/Sean Gallup-Getty Images.

Photo courtesy of AP Photo/Matthias Schrader.

Photo courtesy of Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

Photo courtesy of Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

Both National Geographic and The German Way & More have great articles on the history and legend of Krampus. And while its origins are in Austria and the surrounding southern Bavarian regions, the legend and imagery are taking hold here in America, too. Krampus events seem to be popping up all over the country.

But nothing can compare to the traditional Austrian KrampusLauf (Krampus Run) parades in Europe. I've only been able to check them out via various YouTube videos, but I am definitely putting a wintertime KrampusLauf trip to Austria on my bucket list. This looks to be an absolutely incredible and unique experience that involves the whole town. What really makes me curious is how a meager home haunter from Akron, Ohio could somehow get connected with a Krampus performer in Austria and don a traditional costume and perform in one of these parades!?!?

Check out this video of the 2017 KrampusLauf from Schladming, Austria:

Fröhlich Krampusnacht!