Is It Time? (Yes, It Is!)

A little over a month ago, I made a post talking about how I didn't feel like it was time for all things Halloween (Sam Heimer actually had a succinct post that I quoted and was in full agreement with). We were still in the thick of August's sweltering summer heat, and the "Halloween creep" was starting earlier than it ever had before...

Fast forward to today with a look at the calendar, and my, how things have changed. Ready or not, tomorrow is October. It's orange alert, all hands on deck, 100% Halloween season. IT IS TIME!

Tomorrow starts the annual Countdown To Halloween, where I'll be dropping posts like mad all month long up until the big night. 

Since that post, I have been working like mad behind the scenes to get into the spirit and get things moving. It has been a quick flip from summer relaxation to the high-output energy of autumn. Things are happening.

Be sure to check back tomorrow as I kick off another black-and-orange blitz of Halloween fun and frivolity. This is it. IT IS TIME!


"Monsters In Therapy" Series by Iain Burke

Here's a cool little retro-inspired screenprint series that I found while perusing Etsy. Monsters In Therapy by Iain Burke of Mummy's Hand perfectly encapsulates that tiny dark corner of self doubt that sometimes boils up in each of us.

And yes, even spooky monsters aren't immune to it, as each character questions themselves in a unique and truly humorous way.

I really love the 60's old-school monster illustration style of the entire series, paired with bold blocks of color and cool typography. Simple, spooky fun! Enjoy!

Check out the full 13-print series over at the Mummy's Hand Etsy shop!


The Unseen - "The Goatman"

Boy, did I miss the boat on this one! I just recently discovered the incredible releases from Library Of The Occult Records out of the UK. The label describes itself as, “Esoteric Electronics, Dungeon Jazz and Wizard Psych sounds on limited vinyl releases." Sign me up!

Alongside the incredible sounds, each release is meticulously designed to mimic the iconic throwback look of 70's occult/folk horror. Wonderful, "Satanic" imagery perfectly paired with ornate typography and a bold palette of reds, blacks, and purples make each a true work of art.

I have been snapping up a few of their limited vinyl releases (not easy because they are released in very small numbers, sell out quickly, and their immediate collectibility makes the prices go up, up, up...). But it has been totally worth it.

My favorite of their releases thus far has to be The Unseen's "The Goatman."

LOTO's YouTube page:

"The Goatman, from what I can tell, would fall into the folk horror category. The Unseen’s score feels right at home there; a mixture of guitar, synths, mellotron, and paranoia to go around. “Eerie Meadow (Opening Titles)” is subtle and makes it known this is not a meadow to be in after dark. It’s reminiscent of Charles Bernstein’s work on Nightmare On Elm Street. “Newlywed Arrival” is subtle nightmare fuel. Eerie keys play a sort of cryptic lullaby that would feel right at home in an early 70s creature feature. “Footsteps Outside The Cottage” has early Romero vibes. Season of the Witch and Martin comes to mind. “Darkening Meadow” goes for broke with the mellotron, giving the song a melancholy Moody Blues feel. It’s quite lovely and eerie. 

This album tows the line between ambient and incidental, laying on both the creepy noises and psychedelic melodies that feel as if they were locked in a tomb for 71 years. “Passion in the Woods” gets a little randy with some funky guitar and electro squalls that may or may not be a couple becoming one with nature. And “Lullabies (End Titles)” closes our Goatman journey out with melancholy harpsichord and voice that feels like late-60s psych pop of the highest order.

Give this one a listen, and you too will be adding it to your "spooky season" playlist. Grab a copy of this, and all of the other incredible releases over at the Library Of The Occult Bandcamp page. Enjoy!


Historic Block Restrikes by The Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum

As we get closer to the spooky season, it's time to put up those decorations! And if you're like me, the standard off-the-shelf fare from the chain craft stores just doesn't cut it. If your exacting standards are in search of something a little more special (like mine), might I suggest these insanely cool historic wood block poster reprints from the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum?

Hand-printed from the original blocks, these posters recall a simpler time and just ooze with incredible Halloween nostalgia with wonderful, bold typography, color and illustration...

All these incredible, spooky posters (and tons more!) are available at the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum website. Enjoy!


The Salem Night Faire

Well, it would be a 10 hour drive from the Cemetery, but in seeing the video below I would definitely consider it!

Mark your calendars for October 20, 21, 27 & 28 for the 6th annual Salem Night Faire presented by The Black Veil in Salem, Massachusetts.

From the Salem Night Faire site:

Join us and tread beyond the darkened pines for a glimpse beyond the veil, an enchanting weekend of outdoors magick and wonder.

Featuring over 50+ local and distant artists, clothing, jewelry, and oddity vendors, live performances, fireside ghost stories, photo ops, hot cider, a Biergarten & more.

Extend a hand towards the mute fortune teller and have your fruitless fortune read, gaze upon the ghostly fashion installations of renowned designer Ashley Rose throughout the weekend, and lose yourself in a spellbinding daze. The time awaits, and magick fills the air this October Salem night.

Stay dreary.

I have seen videos and photos from previous years' events and it has always piqued my interest (I mean come on, Salem at Halloween time!?), but in seeing the incredible video below, I now will be taking the idea of attending more seriously. This entire event just looks SO GOOD. And spooky. And fun!

And don't forget, it's just a short drive from Salem to Lee, New Hampshire to see the haunted attraction that should be on everyone's mandatory bucket list, Haunted Overload! What a weekend that would be...


10 Years Ago: The Lorain County Zombie Walk

It's crazy how time flies, even in our haunt circles. Today, I had a few photos pop up in a "memories" timeline and I had to do a double-take on the original date.

TEN years ago today, I attended the Lorain County (Ohio) Zombie Walk. I was just starting to dabble further into self-made horror fx applications and makeup, and took the opportunity to show off my skills.

I took extra time to create this open flesh effect with rotten teeth, blood, and solid grey face tones that accentuated yellow-and-black colored contact lenses. I also put together a detailed "zombie outfit" complete with a rusty chain and lantern. (Not really sure what the lantern was actually for in regards to the character, but it made for a cool, eye-catching accessory that swung side to side as I walked down the street.)

And while I did not win "Best Zombie Costume," I was still chosen as a finalist and got to strut my stuff on the stage in front of the large event crowd. I had quite a few people taking my photo, and best of all, the closeup photo below was used on the front page of the local newspaper in an article recapping the event.

Looking back at these photos brings a smile to my face, as it was the starting point of really taking my love of haunting up to the next level. Enjoy!