Macabre & Mysterious Music: Scissor by Liars

REMINDER: Click here, BY MIDNIGHT TONIGHT, to enter my first-ever give-away!

giveaway collage

Now back to your regularly scheduled blog post:

Did he do it? Did she do it? Was it an accident? And what the hell does the video have to do with anything?

www.liarsliarsliars.com

PS: Yes, this is two music posts in a row. I’ve decided Mondays are best for M&M Music after all. Let’s see if I can develop some blog discipline. (I have other day-of-the-week-plans in the the works too.)

NOTE: Because I’m a stickler for respecting copyright, anything posted here at the blog will be carefully vetted – I’ll only embed videos and sound clips posted to YouTube by the artist for sharing, or those being offered by the original artist from the artist’s home page. If you know of a cool, creepy, macabre or mysterious song, drop me a comment. I’m always looking for good stuff.


Macabre & Mysterious Music: John Wayne Gacy Jr. by Sufjan Stevens

This one is truly macabre. A folk-y take on John Wayne Gacy Jr.’s life story. Creeps me out, big time.

http://music.sufjan.com/

NOTE: Because I’m a stickler for respecting copyright, anything posted here at the blog will be carefully vetted – I’ll only embed videos and sound clips posted to YouTube by the artist for sharing, or those being offered by the original artist from the artist’s home page. If you know of a cool, creepy, macabre or mysterious song, drop me a comment. I’m always looking for good stuff.


Halloween Decor: easy, inexpensive haunts to make for the house and yard (plus some wow-projects.)

UPDATED FOR THE 2014 SEASON

halloween countfdown 5 updated

For many of us, October 1st is the official start of the Halloween season. (At least the part of the season that happens outside the broom closet.) Before I post the next countdown article, that magical date will have arrived. This, then, is the week for pulling out all the dusty boxes of decorations, shopping the seasonal aisle of discount stores, locating the nearest specialty shop, and making a new project or two to flesh out the theme of this year’s display.

NOTE: All photographs and images below are used for the sole purpose of referring readers to the original website that offers the pictured content, At posting, all links are current and active. If a link fails to direct properly, it is due to a change by the site-holder which is out of my control.

RANDOM PROJECTS, FROM RANDOM SITES

These just caught my eye as I prowled. They range from insanely cheap and easy to more elaborate but still doable. Click project name for instructions.

NEW RANDOM PROJECTS FOR 2014

This year, I found some great videos. I’ve shared a variety below — from “wow, that’s a crazy and potentially dangerous project” to “yeah, I could do that.” I’ll let you categorize them for your self.

Yard Ghosts from Tomato Cages

Frankenstein’s Lab Light Bulbs

Bloody Sheet with Masks (cool adaptable technique)

Body Bags (This is a 20 min. video, folks.)

Boarded-Up Windows (easy and cheap)

I might add more links to this section as I continue to wander. Anyone know of a good link? Leave a comment below 🙂

THRIFTY CRAFTY GIRL

The following link takes you a page showing 31 consecutive days crafty posts, by Priscilla, from Halloween 2012. (In reverse order.)

Go read her journey through the season – she’s charming and it doesn’t take long. Oh, and there’s some great classic projects.

31 Days of Halloween at Thrifty Crafty Girl

For some reason, The Boy will not agree to be my model for

the awesome mummy project Priscilla has up on Oct 25th.

decor mummy tape

FRUGAL FRIGHTS AND DELIGHTS

At Frugal Frights and Delights, Debbie shares her experiences related to constructing a fantastic front-yard haunt, peopled by some of my favorite characters. She uses material that we can all easily lay hands on and gives down-to-earth instructions.

Here’s what caught my eye:

decor ring girl with patch

The Ring Girl Samara Tutorial

old-broken-and-new-ring-girl-well-diy

The Well from the Movie The Ring, version 1 (heavy) AND new version 2 (light)

Recently, Debbie has expanded her amazing collection of characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas with new The Mayor:

mayor-made

click the pic to go to tutorial

decor sally complete

 

In 2013, she created Sally in FOUR detailed posts.

Photo courtesy of Marciniak Photography.

Photo courtesy of Marciniak Photography.

I admit, that’s pretty elaborate stuff. Here’s something quick & easy from Debbie’s place:

decor see no evil

See No Evil Jack O Lantern stack

DAVE LOWE DESIGN

This site is a treasure trove of brilliant how-tos by a professional prop master. Despite his credentials, he uses everyday objects and imagination, rather than expensive specialty items and power tools, to craft most of the projects he shares. (I find his blog to be generally entertaining too.)

Here’s what caught my eye:

Bloody, Dripping, Head Sack How-To

And here are some more of my favorite projects – but this is only a sampling.

Make a Moving Monster Eye – this is so cool that I called The Boy from the other room to come see. You’ve gotta read the article to really get it.

Morphing Ghost Picture with LCD Photo Frame – I have a fantastic old photograph of my grandmother as a young girl, flanked by her two brothers who are showing off their guns. (Perhaps you’ve seen a potion of the picture in my randomly displayed header images.) I also have a husband who is a Photoshop wiz.

I’ll post a little video of our results when we’ve finished.

HALLOWEENFORUM.COM

I’ll admit it – forums confuse and overwhelm me. Which is a shame, because I think Halloween Forum is a gold mine of serious cool. For you – despite my trepidation – I girded myself and explored a bit. I’ve returned from the forum wilds with these projects. They are well beyond my available time, energy and skill, but – OMG – they are fun to look at.

decor grim reaper

It seems Terra, from the forum, has a collection of video tutorials on this dedicated YouTube channel:

Scary Lady Videos

new This is the easiest, most appealing project I found among Terra’s treasures:

Black Light Ghillie Suit – Halloween Scare

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NOTE: If you’re going to have a Halloween party, you should set the date now.

HALLOWEEN COUNTDOWN QUICK LINKS:

2014’s Countdown-to-Halloween Ideas & Checklist

Join The Paranormalist’s 1st Annual Halloween Photo Scavenger Hunt from here

Print your 6-week planning calendar from here

 

FOR MORE HALLOWEEN COUNTDOWN ARTICLES VISIT THE MAIN INDEX

halloween countdown main fridays


Macabre & Mysterious Music: Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked by Cage the Elephant

I’m always looking for fresh songs that fit into the (admittedly ecclectic) category of Macabre & Mysterious Music. This one was brought to me by my son. Warning: the chorus Is insanely sticky.

comealittlecloser.cagetheelephant.com

NOTE: Because I’m a stickler for respecting copyright, anything posted here at the blog will be carefully vetted – I’ll only embed videos and sound clips posted to YouTube by the artist for sharing, or those being offered by the original artist from the artist’s home page. If you know of a cool, creepy, macabre or mysterious song, drop me a comment. I’m always looking for good stuff.


Finding Halloween events & celebrating autumn: haunted houses, apple orchards, ghost tours and more.

UPDATED FOR THE 2014 SEASON

halloween countdown 6 final

AUTUMN ARRIVES:

Friday marks six weeks until Halloween. I’m no longer (nearly) alone in my countdown to the big day – horror movies and creepy documentaries are cropping up on all the channels; fun-size candy bars and this year’s Halloween decorations are arriving in the stores; bloggers are writing about costumes and theme parties.

Monday the 22nd will be the autumnal equinox.

I’m not happy about the looming winter, but autumn is my favorite season and I intend to suck every possible bit of creepy, eerie, festive, color-saturated, pleasure from the next six weeks. I will be able to lose myself in my celebration of all things fall-ish and Halloween-y because (for those of you that don’t already know) I am lucky enough to live in Minnesota, not far from where I grew up, in and around Anoka – the Halloween Capital of the World. 

logo_national_geographic

Click for Proof

I realize not all of you live in or near a town so mad for Halloween, but that shouldn’t hamper your celebrations. This week’s Halloween Countdown post is meant to help all my readers – Minnesotans AND folks from farther afield – find great autumn and Halloween events no matter where they live in the US.

IT’S NOT TOO SOON TO PLAN HALLOWEEN:

Below, you will find a printable PDF calendar of the next six weeks.

2014-halloween-calendar,-general-pdf

 2014  6 weeks until halloween calendar pdf

  • print your calendar
  • look over the included checklist
  • browse the links below for inspiration
  • mark the check boxes of any activities that appeal
  • use the calendar and the links below to plan your season

FINDING & CHOOSING DAYTRIPS & OUTINGS:

Probably, the best tool for hunting down your community’s offerings is a local newspaper or the September / October issue of your city or state magazine. As a supplement to such resources, I’ve gathered a set of search engines and guides to assist in planning. THE most useful site I found was Explore Minnesota – our state’s official tourism site. You can find your state guide at www.50states.com.

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GO TO THE FARM:

ORCHARDS, PETTING ZOOS, CORN MAZES, HAYRIDES, ETC.

Start your search here:

In Minnesota:

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DO GOOD:

calendar dog walk cc by skirtpr         OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         calendar reading cc by US Embassy Canada

Start your search here:

  • Go to volunteermatch.org, enter your state or city, and type Halloween into the “I care about …” box.

No matter where you are:

  • check at the local shelter for dogs that would love a walk on a fall day
  • carve a Jack ‘O Lantern (or several) for the local retirement home
  • read spooky stories at the local elementary school
  • play ding-dong-ditch with a twist – leave a Happy Halloween note & a prize

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ENJOY FALL’S SPECTACULAR COLORS:

Start your search here:

In Minnesota:

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VISIT A HAUNTED ATTRACTION:

Start your search here:

In Minnesota:

GO TO A ZOMBIE PUB CRAWL:

Start your search here:

  • check local newspapers and city magazines
  • Google ‘zombie pub crawl in __________’ (where the blank is your town, nearest metropolitan area, or state.)

In Minnesota:

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GO ON SPECIAL HALLOWEEN TOURS OF HISTORICAL SITES:

Start your search here:

In Minnesota:

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GO TO A PARADE OR FESTIVAL:

Many years ago, I had a costume business with a friend.

We made the lion costumes you see at 0:45 – 0:48.

Start your search here:

In Minnesota:

SEE A HORROR OR CULT CLASSIC FILM OR A MIDNIGHT MATINEE:

Start your search here:

  • Check your local mega-plex for special showings of Halloween movies.
  • To find an independent theater for cult and horror classics, check PBS’s Independent Lens. (Zoom in on the map.)
  • Alternatively, Google ‘independent theater in __________’ (where the blank is your town, nearest metropolitan area, or state.)
  • Search for a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show near you at rockyhorror.com

In Minnesota:

OR MAKE A HORROR MOVIE IN 48 HOURS

The 48 Hour Film Horror Project is a creative contest where teams of filmmakers create a horror film in a single weekend. Teams will be given certain elements to incorporate into their short film and 48 hours – the rest is up to them.

The project weekend will kickoff on a Friday evening and all films are due back Sunday evening. Filmmakers and their friends/family will be able to help to celebrate their accomplishments via a screening soon to follow.

All creative work for the video must be done in the official 48 hour time frame. Films must be 4 – 7 minutes long with an additional minute allowed for credits.

In select cities in October & November, 2014:

  • Oct. 3rd: Minneapolis
  • Oct. 10th: Detroit, Pittsburgh, Seattle
  • Oct. 17th: Albuquerque, Atlanta, Cleveland, Louisville, Providence
  • Nov. 7th: Kansas City
  • Nov. 21st: Amsterdam

You must register at the site. The fee to compete is $175.

Visit the 48 hour film: horror project homepage.

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RESERVE TIME & ENERGY FOR ERRANDS, TASKS, AND HOME-CENTRIC ACTIVITIES:

Don’t forget to leave room for activities that don’t have to be done on any particular date. Outings are great, but things like decorating the house, stealing an hour to browse the local Halloween shop, and snuggling down with a scary book or movie are important too.

NOTE: If you’re going to have a Halloween party, you should set the date now.

HALLOWEEN COUNTDOWN QUICK LINKS:

2014: Countdown-to-Halloween Ideas & Checklist

2014: The Paranormalist’s 1st Annual Halloween Photo Scavenger Hunt

FOR MORE HALLOWEEN COUNTDOWN ARTICLES VISIT THE MAIN INDEX

halloween countdown main fridays


Frustration & Angst: You’ll get the 6 weeks ’til Halloween post soon.

I bought this pumpkin yesterday. And I’m going to carve it BEFORE October 1st. Because I am a child.

pumpkin

It’s been a rough week around here. There are elder-care issues and I just got news of a third impending divorce. (All three have been announced within the last six weeks.) I”ve been working on the Halloween Countdown post for three days, in between crises. It’s about:

FINDING YOUR LOCAL HALLOWEEN EVENTS & PLANNING YOUR AUTUMN CELEBRATIONS.

But, on top of everything else, my internet connection has gone wonky, so everything is taking four times as long as usual.

I expect to finish and post sometime tonight or tomorrow. But first I’m going to welcome my flowers-bearing husband home, and have a beer or three.

flowers


Halloween Give-Away: three generous Etsy artists, three spooky prizes. Drawing on October 1st, 2013.

And the winners are:

  • Entry #17 Marla T. = One digital download craft project from the Victorian Steampunk Halloween Parade Collection.
  • Entry #133 Sonya H. = FIVE favor-sized bars of handcrafted soap, in five different Halloween-themed scents.
  • Entry #62 TheAngryScholar = Two 1″ Halloween-appropriate buttons, in pinback or magnet form.

To claim your prize:

  • Marla & Scholar: please make your design choice by responding to the notification I sent to the email address you provided, or by leaving your preference here.
  • Sonya & Scholar: please provide your mailing address by responding to the notification I sent to the email address you provided, or by PMing me.

Thanks to everyone who entered. This has been fun and educational for me.

giveaway collage

Remember my post: Hunting a haunting Halloween on Etsy: artisanal, hand-crafted tricks and treats to order now?

Well, thanks to the generous impulses of some of the Etsy artists I featured in that post, I’m having my first give-away here at The Paranormalist.

On October 1st, THREE different winners will each win ONE of the following prizes:

From Rhonda’s Originals:

PRIZE: One digital download craft project from the Victorian Steampunk Halloween Parade Collection.
Winner will choose ONE from:

Pumpkin Lady & Girl Clown | Vampire Lady  | Witch with Cauldron and Cat

NOTE: Some designs show elements (wire, feathers) that you will need to purchase separately. You may take these downloads to a printing shop, such as Office Max, if your printer isn’t up to the task of color prints on cardstock.

From Rhonda: Win a collage set and I will email you the printouts plus full how-to instructions within 48 hours (usually next morning). Then simply print out in color, cut, assemble, and stain the cardstock character with coffee to make it look like an actual antique! All characters print two sides and stand on their own, so they can be used in the center of your holiday table and enjoyed from all sides. (Instructions to make hanging ornaments also included.) Collect them all!

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From Scum Soaps:

FIVE favor-sized bars of handcrafted soap, in five different Halloween-themed scents.

giveaway scum soaps

Haunted Woods (Vanilla, Oak)
Cauldron (Campfire, applewood)
Absinthe (Evergreen, mint, wintergreen)
Poison Apple (Apple)
Black Magic (Cinnamon, Patchouli, Cedarwood)

NOTE: THIS LINK GOES TO A LISTING THAT SHOWS 10 SOAPS FOR $20. WINNER WILL RECEIVE A HALF-ORDER OF FIVE SOAPS. NO SUBSTITUTIONS, PLEASE.

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From Pooka Creations:

PRIZE: Two 1″ Halloween-appropriate buttons, in pinback or magnet form.
Winner will choose TWO designs from:

Wordy Halloween | I Heart Halloween | Curio Vintage Pharmacy

 I Go Bump in the Night | Feed Me Seymour | Jack O Lantern

pooka halloween button pile

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This is my first give-away, so I’m figuring out how to do this as I go. Please be patient with my fumblings. I’ll get better at this once I have hosted a give-away start to finish.

I found a snazzy widget to help me out, but my beloved wordpress.com will not run it. In order to enter the drawing, please click below to be taken to my (newly reopened and revamped) Blogger page – The Paranormalist Portal.

Once there, you will find that the widget allows you to earn chances (think of them as raffle tickets) by completing simple actions like subscribing to The Paranormalist, registering at Etsy, liking an Etsy artist’s Facebook page, and/or leaving a comment here at the blog. (Comments are closed over at Blogger, so when the rafflecopter widget suggest leaving a comment, mark it completed and come back here to leave your thoughts below.)

Enter The Paranormalist Portal

Good luck to everyone. The deadline for entry is the stroke of midnight on October 1st. I’ll annouce the winners here later that day. (You will also be notified by email if you win.)

Then we’ll figure out how to get the prizes awarded.