Update: I have officially lost my freakin’ mind.

This post is for my regular readers, who may be wondering what the hell is going on with me. It is, after all, less than nine weeks until Halloween, and –after a rather anemic start — my normal Halloween Countdown posts have stopped appearing on schedule.

Two things have happened:

Thing 1 (good):

I have been making excellent progress on my current novel project AND incorporating my brand-spanking-new copy of Scrivener into my process. (For those of you who don’t know, that’s a piece of software that simplifies the organizational aspects of a novel writing project.) I’m thrilled with the tool, but it’s got a steep learning curve. I’ve been refusing to let the time needed to familiarize myself with the program reduce my word count progress, thus, I am spending A LOT of time working on my fiction. The blog has suffered.

Thing 2 (insane):

I’ve realized that many of my original Halloween posts have grown unwieldy as I’ve updated them over the last couple of years. Getting some of them updated has made me realize that my system isn’t sustainable. The whole concept of my Halloween section needs an overhaul. I believe the countdown needs to be separated from the articles that have always accompanied them. Consequently, the countdown images themselves need to be redone. (I was getting tired of them anyway.) I expect to have a new series of images to share soon, but the countdown will be shorter than usual this year.

In the meantime, the Halloween-centric content that already exists needs to be repackaged.

Here’s a peek at the bones of the future Halloween index:

Halloween at The Paranormalist

So I’m gonna do as much as I can manage this week, in an attempt to salvage the season before we get much closer to The Big Day. It will actually be less time-consuming than forcing the current system into an even more Gordian state. (My alternative is to completely strip Halloween out of the blog this year, and we all know that would kill me.) The project is underway, but I’ve got a lot to do before I’ll feel like I’m managing things well. Posts may go up at wonky intervals and/or be backdated. They may not yet fit neatly into a framework. For short periods of time, photos may be placeholders for planned shots. In short, it’s gonna be a mess before it gets better.

Forgive me.


Halloween Treats: Adult Coloring Pages

Adult Coloring Pages

Recently, my husband and I went to the bookstore where we saw dozens of themed coloring books prominently displayed, all of them intended for adults.

I couldn’t help but think the retailer has a brilliant sense of timing.

In late August and early September, I am always struck by back-to-school nostalgia. For me, that nostalgia manifests as an almost primal urge to hunt for and gather fresh creative supplies.

In the early autumn, when I shop for things I actually need, I keep accidentally wandering into the office and school supply section, where I linger over new academic planners and fondle new journals. I am prone to searching for a familiar green and yellow box just so I can open it and breathe in that new Crayola smell. (Is it stealing if all you do is snort up all the scent your sinuses can handle?)

I don’t really need any new art  supplies. I’ve got plenty of crayons, markers and colors around the house. What I really need is a reason to use them. I am pretty sure there is a new coloring book in my near future, but I don’t yet know what theme I want to purchase. Until I figure it out, though, I can content myself with a few coloring pages.

I’ve offered a couple of links to free, printable coloring pages here at The Paranormalist in years past, as a sort of Halloween treat. This year, I’ve double-checked that those designs are still readily available AND I’ve found some new ones to share.

Instructions:

NOTE: I discovered that finding free coloring pages on the web is more complicated that one would think–there are A LOT of badly formatted sites out there.

All of the links I provide below will lead you to a PDF version of the image which will print on one standard size sheet of paper … you DO NOT have to download the document to special PDF viewers that so many of these pages aggressively advertise. (You do need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your PC — but you probably already do.) All of the following links have specific information about what to click. In general, clicking the correct link will open a new window with a larger version of the printable image. When the full-sized image opens, drop your cursor into the lower right corner of your window so the control panel opens.

TIP: Printing the designs on white card stock will give you an even better coloring experience, especially if you want to use colored pens or markers, rather than crayons or colored pencils.

Adult Coloring Pages for the Halloween Season:

NEW 5 Designs From Secret Garden:

Back in 2013, Johanna Basford published Secret Garden a vanguard title in the adult coloring book trend. Since then, she’s drawn at least two more books which can be ordered from Amazon, and found in many bookstores and gift shops. She is the rock star of adult coloring book artists. I’ve found five of her designs from Secret Garden available for free at The Guardian.

Please click this link to view the list of designs, then click each text link on that page to open each PDF. Forgive me for not posting thumbnails; the potential layers of copyright protection (between the book & the newspaper article) make me nervous about posting the images here. Here’s an image of the coloring book:

Secret-Garden-by-Johanna--008

For the lead-up to Halloween, I especially love:

  • #1 (a garden scene that could be colored to reflect late summer)
  • #2 (a Mandela-style owl that begs to be colored in autumnal tones)

~***~

NEW Seven Sugar Skulls:

6 sugar skulls at Coloring Castle.

Choose from 3 difficulty levels, or a blank skull on which you can make your own decorative design.

At the above page, click the text link directly beneath the design.

Sugar skull woman with flowers at Kidspress.

sugar-skull-coloring-page-9

At the above page, click the blue PRINT button beneath the design.

~***~

NEW Two Intricate Horror Designs from Coloring Life:

  • Slasher Movie – at print screen: change layout to landscape and change margins to minimum (Default margins will make it over-run a tiny bit onto a second page.)
  • Graveyard Celebration – at print screen: change layout to landscape and change margins to minimum, which makes it slightly larger

At the above links, look for the SMALL gray box that says “Print.” It’s above the random ad, which is above the image.

~***~

3 Halloween-themed coloring pages at Activity Village.

At the above links, click the text link directly above the design.

~***~

BlueBison.net has a Haunted House with Skeletons:

coloring haunted-house-with-skeletons-small

At the above link, follow for the instructions under the image.

Photo credit: the coloring link image is by Helen Penjam


Halloween Hobbies: Monster Models

I do NOT need a new hobby. That said, I am lusting after a monster model kit or two.  A fellow blogger hooked me on this idea a while back, with a post titled: Aurora Monster Models and Prehistoric Scenes Kits. Ever since I read his piece, I’ve been resisting the pull of these beauties. What saves me is the fact that I really just want to HAVE the models, not so much spend the time MAKING them. (I did ask Ogre last night if he missed model making. Perhaps there is a trip to a hobby store in my near future.)

NOTE: It appears that any given model might be available from any number of sources. I’ve linked to the ones I found, but if the suggested site goes out of stock, just google the proper name of the creature and see what comes up. Click around a little to find your favorite monster – many different designs are available. Be careful, though. Some listings are for reproduction boxes only. Others are for more expensive models in vinyl or resin. Some models might be available at your local hobby store. I’ve gathered a selection that shows a cross-section of the available plastic (styrene)  model kits.

Creature from the Black Lagoon w/Female
1/8 Scale | Moebius |Skill Level 2. |Ages 15 and up. |Approx. Price: $36.89
See more details about the kit at The Modeling News

Bela Lugosi as Dracula Deluxe Kit with Woman
1/8 | Moebius| Skill Level 2. |Ages 10 and up. |Approx. Price: $40.99
See more details about the kit at IPMS / USA Reviews

Dr. Jekyll as Mr. Hyde
1/8 | Moebius | Skill Level 3. | Ages 15 and up. |Approx Price: $21.99
See more details about the kit at IPMS / USA Reviews

Bride of Frankenstein
1/8 | Moebius | Skill level 3. | Ages 15 and up. | Approx. Price: $39.99
See more details about the kit at IPMS / USA Reviews

Psycho Bates Mansion
1/87 | Polar Lights | Skill Level 2. | Ages 10 and up. | Approx. Price:  $26.99
See more details about the kit at IPMS / USA Reviews

Munsters House 1313 Mockingbird Lane
1/87 | Moebius | Skill level 2. |Approx. Price: $36.89
See more details about the kit at IPMS / USA Review

MONSTER SCENES SNAP-TOGETHER MODELS

If even the level 2 kits I’ve spotlighted above are a little too intimidating, there is another option. Monster Scenes models are snap-together, rather than glue-dependent. The scale of these models is 1/13, and each kit is intended to work with all the other kits in the collection.

SEX & SADISM IN A KIT

Yes. That does mean “The Victim”  fits inside “The Hanging Cage” … and in every other torture and restraint device in the dungeon diorama pieces.

The Monster Scenes line was created by Aurora, who had enjoyed massive success in the 60s, with classic Universal Monsters models. In the early 70s, they introduced this set, which quickly attracted the ire of religious and feminist groups. (And probably most parents.) Remember, the suggested age on these “toys” was 10 and up.

There is a great articles about the backlash at RetroCrush. There is also an elaborate website dedicated to the Monster Scenes models and their scandalous history at monsterscenes.net.

You can see how the pieces can be used to create multiple scenes in the following video, and get a glimpse of some additional pieces that may be available if you’re good with a search engine.

Get The Victim, The Hanging Cage & Gruesome Goodies at Moebius Models. ($25 – $30 each.) Try MegaHobby for: The Feral Cat, Sabre Tooth RabbitThe Skeleton. Amazon is another resource which currently stocks  The Pendulum, and Dr. Deadly himself.

GETTING STARTED

Having never been a model builder, I had to do some poking around to even begin to understand what to do.

I found this:
A beginner’s guide to making plastic models. (This is a general site, that talks about model vehicles,)
and this:
How to Make (Plastic) Monster Models by Dex Robinson. Where Dex shows various stages in the process resulting in this masterpiece:
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
And this:
 — just to get an idea of how expensive (outside of the cost of the models themselves) this hobby is.
Megahobby Modelers Pack Set 4
“Great for getting started in Modeling”
You get the Testors Hobby Knife, Liquid cement with applicator, Special Value paint set and Testors sandpaper.
Approximate Price: $19.79

Or:
Megahobby Tool Pack
This set includes Testors liquid cement, a three-pack of fine sable paint brushes, a Model Expo sprue cutter, a Testors assorted sand paper pack with three different grits, and a Testors standard hobby knife.
Approximate price: $22.99 0r, if you want a Mega Hobby tee, $29.99.

I know, of course, that the actual supplies to complete a model would be far higher.

Especially because, of course, I want to do this:

model munsters living room

FOUR figures! Plus a bat, a rat and a rabbit(?)

Munsters Living Room
1/16 | Polar Lights | Skill Level 2. | Ages 10 and up. | Approx. Price:  $24.99
See more details about this kit at IPMS / USA Reviews

Photo credit: Wolfman link image by Parlor of Horror


You want creepy? My whole blog is creepy!

I’ve felt incredibly welcomed into the PostAWeek community from the very start, and now I’m half-convinced they are making prompts just for me. This week’s theme is, of course, ‘creepy’ and I’m all over that :)

Now seems like a good time to announce that I am in the process of creating a section of the blog which is dedicated entirely to photos and photo projects (like The Halloween Photo Scavenger Hunt, and The Haunting Photos Gallery.) The section can be accessed anytime by clicking on the ‘haunting photos’ link in the blog header area. (And by clicking HERE.)

I could post a number of photographs in response to this week’s prompt, but I’ll limit myself to one that I don’t think has ever appeared at the blog before:

haunted house extra creepy w

THE CREEPY HAUNTED HOUSE

The above photo was taken when we walked the Ghosts of Anoka Tour, in Anoka, Minnesota.

This particular house’s ghost manifests as a prankster who likes to turn lights on and off and ring the doorbell. This activity is more impressive than you might image, because the doorbell in question is not electrical. Instead, it rings mechanically, when it is twisted. It looks something like this:

After our group had moved past the house, we actually heard the bell ring. I’m sure someone (living) inside the house was deliberately making the tour more exciting for us, but when we looked back there was no one visible in the well-lit porch. Creepy.

PS: I have no idea WHAT the two dark, straight, lines in the yard are. I don’t remember seeing any pipes or signs or trellises there when I took the shot, and they don’t look natural to me. I did not add them to the photograph.

I'm part of Post A Week 2015

Click here to visit the Post a Week home.

Here are some of my favorite entries for the ‘creepy’ prompt  from others:

(I’ll add more as I have time to browse, so feel free to check back. For this prompt, I plan to go through ALL the submissions.)

PS: If I’ve linked to you below, I would love to include one or more of your shots in my Haunting Photo Gallery. Check it out, and drop me a line in the comments or at hauntingphotos@gmail.com if you’re interested :)

| tarantula | jackdaws dining | special indeed | Her Majesty | Backyard Buddy | 4 for 4 (perfectly creepy shots) | Cedlec Ossuary | Frosty in AugustWE’RE WATCHING YOU! | Pointy Hoods and Long CloaksMummies of Guanajuato | What Waits in the Fog? | broken bone | Comic-Con little piggieTrinity Churchyard, New York City | Afraid of the Dark | 18 shots, all good, bit I love the cave and the blood fountainBuddhist hell | a Lovecraftian story, inspired by random creepy pictures |


This Week in Macabre & Mysterious Media: Aug. 17 – 23, 2015.

Got a late start on this because my husband is the devil. I posted while it was still under construction, but I think it’s really done now.

~YOUR MUSICAL INTERLUDE~

Neko Case – Dirty Knife (crazy / werewolf song)

Case did an interesting interview over at avclub.com in which she says, about Dirty Knife:

“It’s a story my grandmother told me about a bunch of people in our family who all went crazy at the same time. People didn’t realize it ’til they went and found them in their house. They had just stopped leaving the house, and they were burning the furniture for heat. They were pretty nuts. I made the story on the record about one person, because I couldn’t quite figure out how to make the story work about several.”

My Ogre is home on a week’s vacation, so I expect I’m going to watch A LOT of movies.

I’m most eagerly looking forward to:

every secret thing

~THE MOVIES~

NEW ON NETFLIX & IN REDBOX:

Scooby-Doo Meets Kiss (2015) G?

Not Available on DVD from Netflix.
Not Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
This is NOT the Halloween episode from 2003, but a direct-to-video release from this year.  Don’t know if I can justify the cost in time and money, but I’m not ruling out an impulse rental.
Not On IMDb.

Strangerland (2015) R

Not Available on DVD from Netflix.
Not Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
A Sundance selection starring Nicole Kidman. Looks suspenseful.

A family finds their dull life in a rural outback town rocked after their two teenage children disappear into the desert, sparking disturbing rumors of their past. (From IMDb.)
On IMDb here.

Previously featured and available in Redbox this week:

IN THEATERS:

Z for Zachariah (2015) PG-13

I’m getting two different release dates for this: 21st & 28th.
My problem with this comes from the ridiculous idea that there would be “love triangles” in a post-apocalyptic world. Also, I fear it’s going to be hard to find in theaters.

In the wake of a disaster that wipes out most of civilization, two men and a young woman find themselves in an emotionally charged love triangle as the last known survivors.
On IMDb here. (linked)

~ON TV~

Steampunk’d | GSNTV | Wednesdays | 10/9c | August 19th.

Series premiere.
From the homepage:
Inspired by 19th century industrial steam-powered machinery, “Steampunk” is a retro-futuristic design movement seen in everything from fashion, to technology, to pop culture. In STEAMPUNK’D, the contestants (also known as “Makers”) work in teams and compete in a series of pressure-filled challenges designed to test their unique abilities to transform ordinary objects and fashion into creative masterpieces. Each week, one of the 10 Makers will be eliminated and the last one standing will take home the $100,000 grand prize.

Not one of my usual channels or topics, but I love my children very much, and they might find this to be of particular interest.

Ghost Adventures | Travel Channel | Saturdays | 9/8c | Aug. 22nd

11th Season.
From the homepage:
Join Zak Bagans and Aaron Goodwin as they investigate the scariest, most notorious, haunted places in the world.

I don’t watch it, though I’ve been known to leave an episode on if I stumble across one. I find the team’s approach to be too reckless, rude and confrontational too often.

~***~

Recent Macabre & Mysterious Media links 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.

11 Weeks ’til Halloween: Love, Learn & Dance in the Graveyards

With eleven weeks still left until Halloween, we’re in the early part of the journey. I’ve shared a list of Halloween-themed movies to rent, and I’ve provided you with a printable checklist of season-appropriate activities to remind you to enjoy the time between now and then. This week, I’m encouraging you to explore your local graveyard(s).

halloween countdown 11 final

 

August 15th ~ 21st  UPDATED

With 11 weeks to go, I’ve assembled some information that will give you a reason to have an outing (or several) to your local burial grounds.

Read: Graveyards, churchyards and cemeteries ~ spending an afternoon with the dead.

To see more Halloween Countdown content, visit the homepage:

Countdown Main Saturdays


This Week in Macabre & Mysterious Media: Aug. 10 – 16, 2015

(sorry I’m a day late ~ technical difficulties)

~YOUR MUSICAL INTERLUDE~

Delta Rae – Scared

If you only watch one thing from this list, it should probably be:

ex machina

~THE MOVIES~

NEW ON NETFLIX & IN REDBOX:

Very quiet on the Netflix / Redbox front this week. You could try:

The Skeleton Twins (2014) R

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Might be Available from Redbox.
Just saw this one by accident :) Ogre was watching it behind me while I worked. It caught my attention, then drew me in. I watched with him to the end, then started it over so I could catch the beginning. It’s a drama with some great touches of comedy. Nothing supernatural about it at all. Good movie. It turns out the whole story is set right around Halloween, so now it’s an alternate on the 13 Movies set on or around Halloween list.

Having both coincidentally cheated death on the same day, estranged twins reunite with the possibility of mending their relationship. (From IMDb.)
On IMDb here.

Area 51 (2015) R

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Not yet Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
Two reasons why I’m not going to bother with this unless someone tells me it’s surprisingly great: 1) Found footage-style. 2) Teen conspiracy theorists. 

Three young conspiracy theorists attempt to uncover the mysteries of Area 51, the government’s secret location rumored to have hosted encounters with alien beings. What they find at this hidden facility exposes unimaginable secrets. (From IMDb.)
On IMDb here.

Previously featured & coming to Netflix streaming this week:

Previously featured and available in Redbox this week:

IN THEATERS:

Amnesiac (2015) R

In general release Aug. 14.
I don’t see it coming to any local theaters yet, but I’ll be keeping an eye out. I do love a good amnesia story.

The story of a man who wakes up in bed suffering from memory loss after being in an accident, only to begin to suspect that his wife may not be his real wife and that a web of lies and deceit deepen inside the house where he soon finds himself a prisoner. (From IMDb.)
On IMDb here.

Final Girl (2015) R

In general release Aug. 14
Huh. Well, the trailer puts me in the same state of mind I was in when I recently lost. my. mind. after watching Kingsman. (That’s a whole-nother story though, and I haven’t yet calmed down enough to write it.) So. Here’s what I will say about the trailer for Final Girl: It looks stylish. It looks cool. And it looks completely heartless. That can work … but I doubt this movie will pull it off. (Damn you, Tarantino, for spawning this genre.)

A man teaches a young woman how to become a complete weapon. 13 years later, at 18 she will approach a group of sadistic teens who killed blonde women for unknown reasons. The hunting season begins. (From IMDb.)
On IMDb here.

Phoenix (2015) PG-13

I’m assuming this is art house fare, supposedly in release now.
Certainly not paranormal, but the reviews and descriptions say it’s a great noir-ish mystery with touches of sci-fi. That, and the fact that it’s a period piece, intrigue me. (In German and English, with subtitles.)

A disfigured concentration-camp survivor (Nina Hoss), unrecognizable after facial reconstruction surgery, searches ravaged postwar Berlin for the husband (Ronald Zehrfeld) who might have betrayed her to the Nazis. (From IMDb.)
On IMDb here.

The Falling (2014) NR

Released to streaming services on Aug 7th.
From BBC Films. I’m betting I won’t get to see this until it comes to Netflix. I gotta say, it looks like a (slightly) updated Picnic at Hanging Rock. (Which IS one of my favorite films.)

It’s 1969 at a strict English girls’ school where charismatic Abbie and intense and troubled Lydia are best friends. After a tragedy occurs at the school, a mysterious fainting epidemic breaks out threatening the stability of all involved. (From IMDb.)
On IMDb here.

Harbinger Down (2015) R

Released to streaming services on Aug. 7th.
Another one I’ll have to wait for. Normally I don’t bother featuring these straight-to-streaming films, but both The Falling (above) and Harbinger Down are especially interesting to me. This one is a film funded via Kickstarter … and its intention is to take a stand for practical effects in a world of CGI. Starring Lance Hendricks, which is good for me too. 

Thawed from ice after three decades, mutated creatures terrorize a group of graduate students on a fishing trawler in the Bering Sea. (From MovieFone.)
On IMDb here.

~ON TV~

It’s summer. There are reality shows.

~***~

That does it for this week. Not a lot on offer, but recent weeks have been more productive. Most of those previous features are still around, so check out:

Recent Macabre & Mysterious Media links 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.

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