This Week in Macabre & Mysterious Media: Sep 28 – Oct 4, 2015


Black-Eyed Dog by Nick Drake

This week, I’m most excited about:

martian & irongiant_250x375_r6



Agatha Christie’s Poirot – Season 12

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix Sep 3o
Not Available from Redbox.
I THINK this is going to make one of my recommended Halloween-themed films available to us all. Season 12, which is supposed to come to Netflix on the 30th, includes the episode Hallowe’en Party. Netflix is adding season 12 now, but there are many episodes of previous seasons available too.
On IMDb here.

Curse of Chucky (2013) NR

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
Yeah, I don’t care. I suppose I ought to see one of these, though, huh?
On IMDb here.

The Nightmare (2015) – Documentary

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
About sleep paralysis … otherwise known in some circles as visits from succubi or aliens. This has been on my DVD queue (which moves very slowly) so I’m pleased to see it coming to streaming. 
On IMDb here.


The Iron Giant (1999) PG


Available on DVD from Netflix.
Not Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
This movie is very special to my family, as both of my children loved it at the same time, even though they are 10 years apart. (We wore out the video tape at least once.) One of the finest “children’s movies” I’ve ever seen. This will be our Sunday family movie. (Sadly my daughter is too far away to join us, but she may be in a theater at the same time.)

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus: The endearing Iron Giant tackles ambitious topics and complex human relationships with a steady hand and beautifully animated direction from Brad Bird.
On IMDb here.

The Martian (2015) PG-13

In general release Oct 1

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Not yet Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
The previews for this look fantastic. Both the Ogre and I want to see it, so it’s likely to be our Saturday date movie. (Ogre is going to be so pleased … two theatrical movies in one weekend.) UPDATE: A very good movie while we were watching it, but I’m not sure it will be memorable in the long run. I want to read the book now. I get the sense that this started out as an intelligent and technical story that was softened a bit when it was translated to film. There’s something about the … gung-ho quirkiness(?) of the main character that didn’t ring true to me. Yet it was that exact attitude that made the movie more fun than it would have been otherwise.  (In other words, there are some great one-liners in there.)

From IMDb: During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.
On IMDb here.


A Christmas Horror Story (2015) 

In general release Oct 2

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Not yet Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
This looks like it’s going to be a GREAT Christmastime  rental. William Shatner!

From IMDb: Interwoven stories that take place on Christmas Eve, as told by one festive radio host: A family brings home more than a Christmas tree, a student documentary becomes a living nightmare, a Christmas spirit terrorizes, Santa slays evil.
On IMDb here.



For the latest on TV premieres, check out the special edition of M&M Media that went up recently:

Fall 2015 television schedule:
TV for lovers of horror, suspense, mystery, paranormal, super-normal, and the like.


Find links to all featured Macabre & Mysterious Media here.

The color of the title is keyed as follows:
Black = Have not yet experienced. I’m interested … or I think you’ll be interested.
Red = Have experienced. Not recommended. Worse than the reviews or buzz indicated.
Orange = Have experienced. Recommended, with reservations or cautions.
Green = Have experienced. Recommended. A good movie that lives up to its reputation.

Just FIVE weeks until Halloween, 2015!

2015 5 weeks til halloween

Here at the blog this week, I’ve been mostly working on expanding and repackaging some Halloween content:

Halloween Hobbies: Free Cross Stitch Patterns

Halloween Hobbies: Free Knitting Patterns

I also shared my thoughts about:

The Week in Macabre & Mysterious Media: September 21 – 27, 2015

The next edition will go up on Monday, as usual.

A few submissions are coming in for the:

The 2015 Halloween Photo Scavenger Hunt

And I need to get out there and take some more pictures for my own gallery.

Beyond that, my Halloween-y activities have included finding the shirt for my costume at Goodwill, and buying a package of expanding, honey-comb, tissue-paper pumpkins 🙂

So, what have you been up to?



Halloween Hobbies: Free Cross Stitch Patterns


I realize folks could arrive at this page at any time of year, but the majority of readers will visit in the late summer or early autumn, when their thoughts first turn to Halloween. Starting a cross stitch project at this time of year is the perfect way to get into the spirit of season without freaking out the neighbors by putting up premature decorations.

(What’s premature? I’m not a good judge. Some of my “Halloween Decorations” stay out all year round.)

The weather at this time of year is volatile. Depending on the date, and your location, it could be hot and thick, as summer has its last hurrah; or it could be cool and rainy, as autumn comes on. In either case, it seems there are more opportunities to settle in for an evening with some cross stitch … and, perhaps, a great scary movie. (Maybe an iconic old horror film, or one about Halloween or ghosts?) It’s also a busy time of year for many of us, as back-to-school demands fire up. Keeping all that in mind, I’ve featured projects that range from quick and easy, to elaborate and complicated. There should be something here you can finish in the time you have before Halloween.

Note: Yes, I used my Free Halloween Knitting Patterns post as a template for this one. The wording IS almost identical. You are not going crazy.



If you hover over the image in the gallery above, you’ll see that each featured piece is captioned with the name of one of the following source sites. The “hover-title” is the name of the pattern, and the designer. These images are just a sampling of what’s available … have fun browsing each site for just the right project.

Find the charts at the following links:

Two of the projects pictured in the gallery have specific links:

What will you make? What would you LOVE to make?

I’m going to do something really scary:

I plan to stitch a project from a a chart that I designed myself. I’ll share my plan, but I DON’T recommend that you choose my design, unless you can see from experience that it will work for you. I’ve never done this before, and I have no idea if it will turn out well.

Image of Cross Stitch Carpe Noctem by Renae Rude

As I was finishing this post, I decided to go looking for some kind of program that would allow me to create a chart for a project that’s been in the back of my mind for a while. I found I played with the tool to get an idea of what kind of image would work well as a base design. (I already knew I wanted the design to read ‘Carpe Noctem’.) I dug through my photo files to find a pic of the moon, against a pure black sky, that my Ogre took. I imported that photo into, which is a free online photo editor. There, I added the Carpe Noctem text, and a piece of owl clip art that Kizoa had, to my re-sized photo. THEN I imported the new image into the MyPhotoStitch chart maker tool. I had to play with the setting a fair bit, but I think I’ve come up with a workable chart.

My plan is to work on 18 X 12 piece of black, 14-count, Aida cloth. MyPhotoStitch says the finished design will be 7″ X 5.5″. I designed the project to be workable in ten colors or less. The chart ended up suggesting nine. I won’t know if the recommended floss colors will be right … I’ll check tomorrow, when I go shopping for the supplies. (I’d actually like the brighter edge of the moon to better match the brighter parts of the text.)

Here’s the link to the PDF chart (on 4 pages!) that MyPhotoStitch gave me:

CAUTION: (Edited the next day.)  If you print the following PDF, you will use A LOT of black ink! Thank goodness I went to Office Max to have it printed, so I didn’t kill my cartridge. Ogre will fix it this weekend, with his magic Photoshop, and a pattern with a WHITE background will be available too.  That said, I actually like being able to see the pattern against the black, because the fabric I’m working on is black. So, if you like that idea, be sure to take it somewhere where a color print doesn’t cost much.

cross stitch day 1

Cross Stitch Pattern Carpe Noctem by Renae Rude

Questions for experienced cross-stitchers:

  1. First off, and most importantly, does this seem like a viable project?
  2. Would you stitch in the owl and branch with black, or just leave the black Aida cloth showing there? (I’m leaning toward filling it in, but I don’t know how to blend the lower branch edge into the Aida cloth, or if it will look weird if I just end it at the edge of the moon.)

So that’s it for now. I will update as I progress with the project. Cross your fingers for me!

Halloween Index


NOTE: All above photographs and images of cross stitch projects were obtained from the site of the original source of the free pattern and are used for the purpose of referring readers to the website that offers the content.  At posting, all links are current and active. I have NOT made the projects, so I cannot guarantee that patterns are correct.

The photograph of box of embroidery floss, used on the main Halloween index page, is ready to stitch! by Claudia Marchán.