Happy Halloween – October 31, 2019

halloween_2014_by_unidcolor_d84gnev-fullview
©UnidColor

 

restless spirits
pressing on the veil wall
all hallows eve

 

 

To see more artwork by Unid Color please go here.

 

1st Annual Halloween Haiku Challenge

Happy Halloween!

Share an original and scary Halloween or horror-related haiku from October 31st through November 2nd, using the hashtag #Halloweenhaikuchallenge for a chance to win an awesome $25 gift card from Dark Delicacies in Burbank, CA.

Here are the details:

Contest Locations

There are three ways to share your haiku:

  • Post your haiku on Twitter, using the hashtag #HalloweenHaikuChallenge and tag me @Halloweenkristy to ensure that I see your post
  • Post your haiku on Instagram, using the hashtag #HalloweenHaikuChallenge and tag me @Halloweenkristy9 to ensure that I see your post
  • Halloween Haiku Message Boards. Look for the board that says Halloween Haiku Challenge to post your original or scary halloween haiku.

Judging Criteria

1) Originality. (you must be the sole author of the haiku you post, no exceptions)

2) Scares. The scarier the better! It is Halloween after all.

3) Style. All haiku, senryu, zappai are eligible and fall within the usual standard 17 syllables (5-7-5). Sorry, Tanka or any other style of poetry is not acceptable for purposes of this contest. We’re not hating, just a matter of space and time.

4) Participants may post up to three haiku for consideration.

The Prize

The winner, chosen by November 4th, will be gifted a $25 gift card only to Dark Delicacies in Burbank, CA, an amazing specialty bookstore, dedicated to all things horror related, and recently named one of the top ten bookstores in Los Angeles by Travel.com website.

Disclaimer

All works are copyright of their respective owners. By participating in this contest, you agree that Halloween Kristy can use your haiku to further promote this contest and www.halloween-haiku.com on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) Unauthorized use, modification, reproduction or distribution of copyright poems entered into 2019 Halloween Haiku Challenge without express written permission from the copyright owner is strictly prohibited.

Halloween Kristy reserves the right to remove and discredit any haiku and/or images posted here or on social media containing plagiarized or copyrighted material, pornography, vulgarity, racist, sexist or bigoted views.

Happy-Halloween-October-31st-2013-01

 

 

Wicked Art Wednesdays – Gris Grimly

Author, illustrator, storyteller, and filmmaker Steven Soenksen a.k.a. Gris Grimly grew up inspired by classic horror films, comics, art, and all the great horror writers like Edgar Allan Poe, Edward Gorey, and H.P. Lovecraft. After college, he moved to Los Angeles and fell into illustrating children’s books and built a successful reputation for his dark yet whimsical characters. Grimly was hired to draw illustrations for retellings of classic stories, such as, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Halloween Tree, Wicked Nursery Rhymes, Pinocchio and Frankenstein, a story which holds personal meaning to him.

 

 

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In 2005, Grimly wrote, produced and directed a horror short called Cannibal Flesh Riot! with his good friends, which received good reviews and toured the festival circuit that year. The film’s success led to other opportunities, making other short films and music videos, including a video for Texas psychobilly fiends, Ghoultown, starring the Mistress of the Dark herself, Elvira.

halloweentree GG
© Gris Grimly

Artist: Gris Grimly
Where to Purchase Goods: horror conventions, specialty stores, special events, and  online store (although temporarily closed as of October 2019, while it’s being revamped, check back later)
Website: http://www.madcreator.com/ or http://grisgrimly.com/
Social Media: Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/grisgrimly/
Twitter- https://twitter.com/GrisGrimly

Why we love them: Handsome, rock-a-billy, tattoed and super talented, what’s not to love? I’ve met Gris Grimly a couple of times at horror conventions and he’s incredibly nice. He recently moved his family back to the home state of Nebraska and looks like, he’s already working on a new book. I can’t wait to read it.

 

procession_print GG
© Gris Grimly

 

 

Tuesday Terror – The Pit and the Pendulum

The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)
No one shall ever enter this room again.

pit-and-the-pendulum-1961-movie-barbara-steele-iron-maiden
© Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Pit and the Pendulum was a film of many seconds for director Roger Corman. It was the second film adapted from an Edgar Allan Poe story, written by author and screenwriter Richard Matheson, who penned such successful novels such as I am Legend and the Incredible Shrinking Man. It was second big hit for distributor American International Pictures, grossing over $2 million USD from a measly $300,000 budget. It was also the second time that Corman would work with Vincent Price and Barbara Steele, each of whom would go on to become horror icons based on their work in numerous horror films.

pitpaint
© Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

 

Loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe of the same name, the story revolves around a tenacious Englishman Francis Barnard who goes to foreboding castle in Spain, after hearing word that his sister Elizabeth has died. He confronts his brother-in-law Don Nicholas Medina, demanding to know how she died. While there, Barnard finds the grieving don is slowly losing his mind, convinced that his late wife is haunting the castle, a site once used in the Spanish Inquisition. The don’s sister and personal physician try to sooth Barnard’s suspicions that Nicholas had anything to do with the sister’s death by revealing the tragic childhood trauma (shown in color-tinted vignette style flashbacks) that inflicts the don, but as the dark night drags by, it becomes apparent that a more sinister plot is afoot.

pitbro
© Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Richard Matheson creates magic here by fleshing out the Poe’s torture chamber story bringing in the doomed Don Nicholas Medina, who already believes he’s cursed with same madness that drove his father to inflict unspeakable horror on the Spanish population, as well as his own family. In some ways, Matheson’s story is better than Poe’s gothic tale, giving audiences a backstory into understanding the horror the Poe wrote about.

 

The Merchant of Menace, Vincent Price, is at his best here, playing both a grieving man losing his sanity and his sinister father in flashbacks. His acting is somewhat melodramatic but entirely encouraged by dark dreamy orchestral score by Les Baxter. The always beautiful and haunting bright eyes of Barbara Steele turn in another wicked performance, cementing her legacy as a horror vixen, and John Kerr, Luana Anders and Antony Carbone also give strong memorable performances.

 

 

Despite the low-budget, Corman’s gothic adaption looked like million dollar film, with its vibrant color, gorgeous costuming,  intricate set design, and carefully planned wide-angle shots by  Floyd Crosby, the lusciously filmed Pit and the Pendulum only took 15 days to film. Shot entirely on a sound stages in California, Corman’s meticulous pre-production with his team, in particular, set designer, Daniel Haller, who created a real pendulum for the movie’s nightmarish ending sequence. The imposing pendulum was 18-feet long, weighed over 2,000 lbs and hoisted thirty-five feet in the air at the top of the sound stage above the actors. The blade was made of rubber, but a real metal blade covered in steel paint was switched out for the close shots, giving John Kerr some serious anxiety, which shows in his perspiring face during the final scenes.

pitmad
© Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

This is my favorite Roger Corman and Vincent Price collaboration. It’s the scariest and best overall production, an absolute epitome of gothic horror, inspiring dozens of other filmmakers, from Hollywood to the Italian gallo films of the 60s. Horror at that time was changing in a way that the scares were no longer implied.  Horror master Stephen King remembers the Pit and the Pendulum scene which Price’s don Medina finds the decayed corpse of his dead wife, as having changed the horror landscape, King says “the most important moment in the post-1960 horror film, signaling a return to an all-out effort to terrify the audience…and a willingness to sue any means at hand to do it.”

mgm pit pendulum
© Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Haiku of the Week

 

night howls
serve the master
children of the night

Poe Sundays

mourningwidow1873

For Annie
by Edgar Allan Poe
(1849)

Thank Heaven! the crisis,
The danger, is past,
And the lingering illness
Is over at last—
And the fever called “Living”
Is conquered at last.
Sadly, I know
I am shorn of my strength,
And no muscle I move
As I lie at full length—
But no matter!—I feel
I am better at length.
And I rest so composedly,
Now, in my bed,
That any beholder
Might fancy me dead—
Might start at beholding me,
Thinking me dead.
The moaning and groaning,
The sighing and sobbing,
Are quieted now,
With that horrible throbbing
At heart:—ah, that horrible,
Horrible throbbing!
The sickness—the nausea—
The pitiless pain—
Have ceased, with the fever
That maddened my brain—
With the fever called “Living”
That burned in my brain.
And oh! of all tortures
That torture the worst
Has abated—the terrible
Torture of thirst
For the naphthaline river
Of Passion accurst:—
I have drank of a water
That quenches all thirst:—
Of a water that flows,
With a lullaby sound,
From a spring but a very few
Feet under ground—
From a cavern not very far
Down under ground.
And ah! let it never
Be foolishly said
That my room it is gloomy
And narrow my bed;
For man never slept
In a different bed—
And, to sleep, you must slumber
In just such a bed.
My tantalized spirit
Here blandly reposes,
Forgetting, or never
Regretting, its roses—
Its old agitations
Of myrtles and roses:
For now, while so quietly
Lying, it fancies
A holier odor
About it, of pansies—
A rosemary odor,
Commingled with pansies—
With rue and the beautiful
Puritan pansies.
And so it lies happily,
Bathing in many
A dream of the truth
And the beauty of Annie—
Drowned in a bath
Of the tresses of Annie.
She tenderly kissed me,
She fondly caressed,
And then I fell gently
To sleep on her breast—
Deeply to sleep
From the heaven of her breast.
When the light was extinguished,
She covered me warm,
And she prayed to the angels
To keep me from harm—
To the queen of the angels
To shield me from harm.
And I lie so composedly,
Now, in my bed,
(Knowing her love)
That you fancy me dead—
And I rest so contentedly,
Now in my bed
(With her love at my breast).
That you fancy me dead—
That you shudder to look at me,
Thinking me dead:—
But my heart it is brighter
Than all of the many
Stars in the sky,
For it sparkles with Annie—
It glows with the light
Of the love of my Annie—
With the thought of the light
Of the eyes of my Annie.

Sinister Saturdays – Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars

Happy National Pumpkin Day!

Pumpkins are the most important element of the Halloween season. It is the symbol of Halloween itself. Pumpkin desserts have been getting a bad rap lately because of pricey, syrupy pumpkin spice drinks served at the coffee place that shall not be named, but pumpkins themselves are quite healthy, being high in potassium, vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants. So, remember to look up some creative ways to use leftover parts of your carved pumpkin this weekend.

Cooking Classy knows the perfect way to end the Halloween season with this fangtastic recipe for Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars.

pumpkin_pie_crumb_bars13.

Ingredients (12 servings)

  • 1 1/4 cups (176g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups (116g) quick oats (old fashioned works too)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (105g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (110g) packed light-brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Pumpkin Pie Filling

  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (55g) packed-light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups (296g) canned pureed pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup (85ml) evaporated milk or half and half
  • Sweetened whipped cream and cinnamon , for serving (optional)

For the full recipe and baking instructions, please go here: https://www.cookingclassy.com/pumpkin-pie-crumb-bars/

 

Spice up your Thanksgiving by serving these crumb bars instead of boring ole pumpkin pie. Your family will thank you.

Friday Fright Nightcaps – Frankenstein Cocktail

Today is the last Friday in October, which means it’s National Frankenstein Friday! Weary from the work week? Well, give your system a jolt with a spookalicious drink to kick off the last big weekend of the Halloween season.  Miss Information teaches us that science can be fun with this freaky good Frankenstein Cocktail.

halloween-frankenstein-cocktail-gummy-eyeballs

Ingredient List
  • gummy eyeballs
  • ice
  • black sanding sugar
  • 2 Shots Vodka
  • 1 Shot Triple Sec
  • 1 Shot Rose’s Lime Juice

For full mixing instructions, please go here:  https://www.missinformationblog.com/halloween-cocktails/

Hey all you scientists, if you prefer your monsters to be a little more green (or blue or purple or whatever), a dab of food coloring should help. 

A Brief History of the Jack-o’-Lantern

People have been carving vegetables into lanterns since the dawn of time. The Maori people used gourds for lights, over 700 years ago. It’s believed the making of jack-o’-lanterns began in Ireland in 1600s, when they used turnips and gourds to hollow out to use for lantern during Halloween in Ireland and Scotland, sometimes carving out grotesque faces to frighten people. 

 

The lanterns represented spirits and were used to ward off evil or lost spirits. Sometimes people put them on the windowsills to keep harmful spirits away from the home. Once Christianity took firm hold in the region and Halloween combined with the Christian observances of All Saints’ Day on November 1 and All Souls’ Day on November 2, jack-o’-lanterns were lit in remembrance of Christian souls in purgatory.

The term Jack-o’-Lantern began showing up in print in the early 1800s, when Irish newspapers began printing stories telling of carved gourd lanterns and information on local gourd carving competitions. But it wasn’t until 1866, that the first recorded association between a carved pumpkin and Halloween would show up in an edition of The Daily News in Kingston, Ontario.

turnip jol

Today’s jack-o’-lanterns have evolved into works of art.  No longer content with simple faces, pumpkin carving has become big business with the sale of tools and artistic guides to help amateurs and home haunters create their own elaborately designed pumpkins, to televised competitions and special appearances by professional carvers, who enjoy D-List celebrity status.

Will-o’-the-Wisp

Jack-o’-Lanterns were once associated with the term ‘will-o’-the-wisp’ or ‘ignis fatuus’, the Medieval Latin for “fool’s fire”. A will-o’-the-wisp was thought to be a ghostly light or orb seen by travelers during the night, particularly near bogs, swamps, or marshes. The phenomenon was said be supernatural, brought on by ghosts, fairies, or other elemental spirits.

330px-Will-o-the-wisp_and_snake_by_Hermann_Hendrich_1823
Will-o-the-wisp_and_snake_by_Hermann_Hendrich_1823

A tale behind the term refers to a wicked blacksmith who was turned away at the pearly gates by St. Peter. He was given a second chance to redeem himself but the blacksmith failed to change his evil ways and was then cursed to wander the earth for eternity. The Devil was impressed by the blacksmith’s antics and decided to give him a single burning coal to keep him warm, which he used to lure foolish travelers into the marshes instead.

The Story of Stingy Jack

In addition to the will-o’-the-wisp myth, no folklore associated with jack-o’-lanterns are quite as memorable as the story of Stingy Jack, a devilish man, so evil, the real Satan paid him a visit to see what all the hoopla was about. The witty Jack was a shrewd deceiver, a master manipulator and a nasty drunkard, who managed to trick Satan, not once but twice. The first time, he convinced the devil to go drinking with him. Afterward, being too stingy to pay, Jack told the Devil to turn into a coin so he can pay the bill. Once the Devil did so, Jack put the coin in his pocket along with a silver cross, trapping Satan until he agreed to spare Jack’s soul for ten years.  The Devil agree and off Jack went.

by surrounding the devil with crosses to trap him until he agreed to spare Jack’s soul. Once Jack finally died from drink, he was refused entrance into heaven for his lifetime of sin and denied entrance into hell per his previous agreement with Satan. Satan cast the doomed soul out to wander the world for eternity, with only a single ember, which Jack inserted into a hollowed turnip to light his way. He became known as Jack of the Lantern, and eventually, Jack-o’-Lantern.

stingy_jack_by_jovan_ukropina
stingy_jack_by_jovan_ukropina

Wicked Art Wednesdays – William Basso

New Jersey native William Basso grew up in a home, surrounded by art, courtesy of his parents, who were both artists. After graduating with a degree in illustration from Parsons School of Design, he moved to California to work on special effects in the movie industry, lending his talents to such blockbusters as Jurassic Park, Terminator 2, Edwards Scissorhands.

basso1Influenced by comics, horror and Renaissance and Eastern European art, his artwork is a combination of mixed media including drawing, sculpture, and photography, among others. Vivid in detail and heaving with emotion, Basso’s art tells stories though his character creations, not unlike something you’d find in a stage play.

Artist: William Basso
Where to Purchase Goods: Online store, gallery shows, specialty stores, and special events
Website: http://www.basso-art.com/
Social Media: https://www.instagram.com/williambasso_art/?hl=en and www.facebook.com/The-Art-of-William-Basso-207495642744549/

 

 

Why we love them: Basso’s ornate art usually incorporates light, pale or soft colors, which slowly draw viewers into his strange and creepy world, which is sometimes gruesome, but not jarring or in your face. It’s a subtle morbidness that allows our lingering curiosity to play out naturally.