Spooky Spring Photo Challenge

Celebrating May Day with a 25-day photo challenge. Head on over to Instagram and post your favorite photos representing Spooky Spring. Join in any day!

Don’t forget to tag your pics using #spookyspringphotochallenge

HH Spooky Spring Photo Challenge Redux

 

Happy Walpurgisnacht!

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cackles on the wind
long live the defiant ones
walpurgisnacht

Happy Caturday! November

Halloween may be officially over but we keep on celebrating here at Halloween Haiku!

This holiday season, I wanna get back to showcasing art from amateur, intermediate, or relatively unknown artists that I come across. Today, I’m sharing the cool digital art of JayGraphixx, titled Silk and Potions

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Silk and Potions ©JayGraphixx

Artist: JayGraphixx
Social Media: www.instagram.com/jaygraphixx/

To view more of his art, please go here:
https://www.deviantart.com/jaygraphixx

 

Tuesday Terror – Black Sunday

Black Sunday (1961)
Sometimes Satan, with his capacity for doing evil, even plays tricks with the dead.

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 Black Sunday ©Kino International

After following in his father’s footsteps, cinematographer Mario Bava made his directorial debut with 1960 gothic horror, Black Sunday, aka, The Mask of Satan, about a witch named Asa Vajda from Moldavia, who vows revenge after she and her apprentice are condemned to death by her brother, the crown prince. Two centuries later, on Black Sunday, the day Satan walks the earth, a traveling physician and his assistant unwittingly bring the witch back to life. After turning her apprentice into a vampire, Asa immediately sets out to fulfill her cursed prophecy, by terrorizing her brother’s descendants.

 

Production started in late March 1960 and took less than two months to film, releasing in Italy in August of 1960. The film was a modest success, bringing in $140 million lire, earning back its production costs, but performed much better in Europe and the US. Despite being low-budget, Black Sunday was praised for its originality and vivid imagery, however, the gore and gruesome violence shown in the film drew much criticism and was even banned in the UK until 1968, when a heavily censored version, retitled as Revenge of the Vampire, was finally released. The uncut version wouldn’t be shown until 1992!

 

In the US, Black Sunday was shown as a double feature with Roger Corman’s The Little Shop of Horrors in February 1961. In order to make the film less objectionable, American censors edited the movie down three minutes, excluding such violent scenes as, the burning and branding of flesh, eyeball impalement, and blood spewing out from the mask as it was hammered onto witch’s face in the opening sequence.

 

Unknown British actress Barbara Steele was cast in the lead duel role of the evil witch vampire Asa and her innocent descendant Katia. Even though her voice was dubbed by another actress, audiences swooned over Steele’s haunting beauty and loved her villainous portrayal of the vengeful Asa. Barbara Steele reportedly had a hard time on set and gained reputation for being difficult, mostly due in part to the lack of communication and language barrier.

BlackSundayposter
©Kino International

What was once shocking to audiences of the early sixties, holds the same magic to influence numerous artists and filmmakers over the years, including Francis Ford Coppola, who is said to have recreated several scenes in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, as a homage to Bava, and Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, which borrowed imagery, namely, the iconic death by iron maiden scene. The horrifying story of revenge and all its extreme violence and sexual suggestions actually helped Black Sunday become a cult classic.

Black Sunday
©Kino International

The Witch’s Tale, American Radio’s First Horror Show

The Witch’s Tale was the first horror-fantasy radio series, which aired from May 28, 1931, to June 13, 1938, on WOR, the Mutual Radio Network, and later in syndication. Creator Alonzo Deen Cole, a 34-year old Minnesota native, convinced the station to air the supernatural series that he wrote and directed himself. His goal was to draw audiences away from more conventional musical shows airing on rival stations.

Witchs_Tale_1The creepy 30-minute weekly anthology featured a cackling host named Old Nancy, a witch from Salem, who, along with her wise black cat named Satan, spun a new wicked “bedtime yarn” each week. The show terrified younger listeners and was a huge success with New York children, who adored Old Nancy, often imitating her cackles and quips, in efforts to scare younger siblings.

The shows were broadcast live, recorded for syndication, and then distributed to various national markets. It’s reported, that in 1961, Cole didn’t think the recordings held any value, so he destroyed nearly all of them (only about 30-50 recordings exist today).

Witchs Tale trio
Most scripts were original stories but there were a few literary adaptions as well. Cole played the cat Satan and enlisted the aid of his wife Marie O’Flynn to play lead female characters. Old Nancy, liked telling tales was created by stage actress Adelaide Fitz-Allen, who portrayed the spooky witch until her death in 1935.Auditions were held soon after to find a new Old Nancy and 13-year old Miriam Wolfe, a radio prodigy from Brooklyn, New York was chosen for the role after Cole heard the girl mimicking the character’s trademark cackling laugh. Wolfe would play the character for several years, in addition to other characters, before leaving to pursue other interests. Veteran radio and film actress Martha Wentworth (the famed Disney voice artist) then stepped in to lend her voice talents as Old Nancy. Top New York radio actors were often cast to fill roles of secondary characters respectively.

 

 

 

 

In 1936, a companion magazine called The Witch’s Tales was published by the small firm, Carwood Publishing Co., which reportedly failed to promote the radio show properly and completely mismanaged finances and distribution of the magazine. Only two issues (November and December) ever made it into print. Although Alonzo Deen Cole was named editor, real editorial work was believed to be done by Tom Chadburn. Cole did, however, write the lead story for the first issue and contributed the plot for the main story in the second issue. The magazine’s other stories were all reprints from the American version of Pearson’s Magazine. 

The spell cast by The Witch’s Tale came to an end in 1958, with talk of bringing the series to television. Cole was eyed as a consultant and story supervisor for the pilot, but the idea never came to fruition.

You can find many episodes over at Archive.org: https://archive.org/details/TheWitchsTale

The video shown below is titled Graveyard Mansion, originally aired in 1934, about two brothers who may have stumbled upon a New Orleans vampire. Take a listen.

Happy Caturday

The Halloween season is basically here, depending on who ask, and I love it!

CatHalloweenCupcakeHat CarolCavalaris
Cat in Halloween Cupcake Hat ©Carol Cavalaris

Artist: Carol Cavalaris

For more of Carol’s spooktacular art and much more, please visit her website: https://carol-cavalaris.pixels.com/

Haiku of the Week

lonely heart
evil has a master
spellbound

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Haiku of the Week

an evil hex
the spell cannot be broken
forever cursed

Happy Walpurgisnacht!

cackles on the wind
spirited celebration
walpurgisnacht

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Wicked Art Wednesdays – Lisa Parker

World-renowned artist Lisa Parker hails from the U.K. and specializes in magical, fantasy, witchcraft and wildlife art.  Lisa’s artwork possesses vibrant colors and her passion for animals shines through every masterful brushstroke. Officially licensed with over 27 companies, including The Bradford Exchange, The Mountain (apparel), Nemesis Now, and Prime 3D Ltd., Lisa’s artwork is featured on numerous products, home goods, jewelry, puzzle games, stationery, tarot cards, and witchcraft collectibles.

Continue reading “Wicked Art Wednesdays – Lisa Parker”