Thursday, May 30, 2013

Have scary movies changed the way you live?

Buzzfeed posted an interesting article about the 14 Ways Horror Movies Ruined Your Life. I wouldn't go so far as saying "ruined" but maybe made you question certain behaviors. A steady diet of scary movies will inevitably supercharge the imagination, but the following adapted list holds the undeniable truths:

1. Checking behind the bathroom curtain will expose the serial killer hiding there.
2. Looking at the bathroom cabinet mirror as it closes will result in someone standing behind you.
3. Waking between 3:00–3:33am means your house is absolutely haunted.
4. Playing with ouija boards is the easiest way to get possessed.
5. Whining from a fidgety dog confirms a ghostly presence, home invasion, or looming natural disaster.
6. Stepping down into a dark basement ensures you are entering a portal to hell.
7. Looking in a rearview mirror at night ensures that something evil will be in the backseat.
8. Dangling limbs off the bed is tempting the monster under the bed to get you.
9. Staring into a dark closet is a direct challenge to the boogeyman within.
10. Staying in a hotel built before 1960 is guaranteed to result in paranormal activity.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lemax SpookyTown 2013

Halloween Village enthusiasts can now pre-order from the Lemax SpookyTown 2013 collection. My favorite retailer is, who offers $7 shipping and 10% off most items. You can wait until September and buy these from Michaels, but last year's selection was dreadfully limited. You can also visit the official Lemax Spookytown site for more information.

Here are some of my favorite pieces from this year's offerings:

Blood Of The Vine #35500
Creepy's Bed & Breakfast #35550

Spookytown Cemetery Tours #25327

Lighted Pumpkin Tree #34624
Masquerade Ball #32106

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The ABCs of Death: Review

The ABCs of Death is a high concept film that assigns 26 directors a word associated with death, resulting is an anthology film like no other. The directors come from 15 different countries and each short film has its own unique flavor and aesthetic – some will definitely push the boundaries for American audiences. This experiment results in wildly uneven results. Some shorts are mesmerizing, others gory, some bizarre or hilarious, and then there's really tasteless and vile ones. Almost every facet of modern horror is explored in both film and animated mediums. Standouts for me were A, D, H, K, O, T, U and X but I won't reveal much more since it's a fun game to guess the word associated with the short. This movie is the ultimate midnight movie for fans of offbeat, independent horror and while it might not be completely successful, it's mostly entertaining. I'm definitely interested in the sequel (which is currently filming) and can only hope the producers will have more involvement in it's overall development.

(Fans of the movie should note that there is a special limited edition ABCs of Death Hardcover Book and Blu-ray available directly from Drafthouse Films.)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Haunted Mansion Hotel Rooms

Disney is considering attraction-themed rooms in its resorts according to Dread Central. One of the possible rooms would be styled in the spirit of the Haunted Mansion, with Doom Buggy beds, a sliding bookcase that hides the bathroom, and even glow-in-the-dark "special effects" like footsteps appearing on the ceiling. (Also being considered is a Pirates of the Caribbean room.) YES – I would totally pay for the overpriced accommodations!

I can see why some families would not want to stay in those rooms, but there is an audience out there for this kind of ghostly thing. Imagine a gothic hotel with a ballroom, dining room, library, rooms that feature interactive effects, staff that participates in the fun, and scary events throughout the year. How fun would that be?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Neatorama's Shop

One of my all-time favorite blogs is the Neatorama blog. It's filled with irreverent news, geek developments, weird anomalies, cool photos, videos, movie info, and more. There's only one common thread: everything is sort of neat, weird or wonderful. They also have one of the best gift shops on the internet with sections dedicated to topics like Zombies, Nightmare Before Christmas, Cthulhu, and of course, Halloween. If you haven't visited Neatoshop, it's the perfect place to shop for that person who has everything, plus shopping here supports the blog, independent artists and illustrators.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

My Haunted House

The Biography Channel's new paranormal show, My Haunted House premiered two weeks ago without much fanfare. Like its fellow shows, Paranormal Witness and A Haunting, it features reenactments and first person testimonials of people touched by the supernatural. Each show features two stories and so far its been spooky, well produced, and left the viewer wanting more. I always wonder how much of the story is real, but there's true weariness in those eyes. And would anyone choose that  kind of unflattering notoriety? Catch the show on Saturday nights at 10/9C.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Demonologist: Review

Andrew Pyper is a bestselling author in Canada and has even been compared to Stephen King. His highly acclaimed new novel "The Demonologist" was published here this past March, and reportedly,  Universal immediately bought the film rights and put it into development.

The book is the journey of a college professor who goes on a wild demon chase after a tragic accident. It cleverly interweaves John Milton's Paradise Lost and pits the declared agnostic scholar against demons that are either real or possibly imagined by a grief-stricken mind.

There are some wildly frighting moments (the farm basement scene rattled me), but overall the book is better in concept that execution. I had a problem with the narrative flow, the fits and starts, the overly cinematic action scenes, and a general superficiality that never delves deeper at the best moments in the book. Great horror takes you over the edge and into darkness. This one only hints at it from across the street and moves on. Then there's that whole last part. Journeys like these need to have some sort of catharsis. So I have to use my imagination for the beginning, and most of the middle, AND the end?  Exactly when should the author step in and put some meat on those bones?

The right director with a sinister vision, and screenwriter who can flesh out the missing soul of the book, could make this a truly chilling movie. As it stands, the book is a light read for a summer night.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

David Bowie's Next Day is a Bloody "Mess"

David Bowie is no stranger to controversy and his latest video seems to have offended many Catholics. The Catholic League called the video "a mess" and went on to call Bowie "the switch-hitting, bisexual, senior citizen from London". In the star-studded 3-minute video we see priests gathered in a seedy club when suddenly a bloody miracle erupts. The imagery is startling, ghastly, and full of religious iconography. See the video below:

Vevo link

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Pumpkin on a Stick

Every Autumn, our local Trader Joes carries bunches of flowers which include a stick of miniature pumpkins. As it turns out, they aren't pumpkins at all, but rather eggplant! It's called Pumpkin on a Stick (but goes by many names: Hmong Eggplant, Red China Eggplant, Mock Tomato, Pumpkin Tree, Pumpkin Bush) and grows 3-4 feet tall on upright purple-throned stalks. The bitter, spicy fruit is edible and used in many Asian cuisines, but it's grown mainly as an ornamental here. The reddish fruit can be dried on the stalk which then take on the familiar orange hue. Learn how to grow it on and buy seeds at or Botanical Interests. I've planted some in my garden and will post some pictures this fall – IF all goes well. (Note: I'm known as The Green Reaper at my local nursery.)

The color of the fruit goes from green to yellow to bright red. Only after it's cut and dried does the orange color become more pronounced.

Here's a couple of arrangements using the Pumpkin on a Stick.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Time to Plant Pumpkins

Growing pumpkins is relatively easy as long as you have rich soil, full sun, and lots of water. I've successfully grown pumpkins of smaller varieties in large containers, which is especially helpful in taming the wild vines. Now is a good time to get started!

General Tips for Growing Pumpkins:
  1. For best results, plant good quality seeds rather than the seedlings you see at the gardening centers (they don't transplant very well).
  2. Plant after there is no chance for frost and the days average at least 70º. Most varieties take about 4-5 months to fully mature.
  3. The area to plant must have full sun, rich soil, good water drainage and be big enough for the large vines. Also, note that it's not the most attractive plant after the pumpkins begin to grow.
  4. Water deeply but only as needed, and never get the leaves wet.
  5. Watch for pests like aphids and powdery mildew which can kill a whole vine. 
For more information about growing pumpkins, the different varieties and more visit fantastic the Jack Creek Farms website:

Pumpkin Varieties

You should also consider what kind of pumpkin you'd like to grow. There are countless varieties but they generally fall in four general categories:
  1. Sugar pumpkins - thinner skins, sweeter, dryer flesh perfect for baking a pie
  2. Carving pumpkins - thicker, more stable rinds perfect for jack-o-lanterns
  3. Miniature pumpkins - smaller versions with longer shelf life usually used for decorating
  4. Ornamentals - warty, unusual colors, inedible, and typically much harder to carve
Here's a visual guide to some of the many pumpkins (and squashes) available. My favorites are the greenish Jarrahdale, the fairytale Musque de Provence, the white-skinned Lumina (similar to the Casper White pictured here), and of course, the cute as button Jack-Be-Little.

Pumpkin Chart from

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Stitches: Review

Stitches is a clown who leaves with world with an eyeful of knife and comes back to from the dead to take his revenge. With a nod to early 80s slasher films and a touch of Freddy Krueger, this clown leaves a gleeful, over-the-top mess in his wake. It's a fun film for a group of rowdy, ale-swilling friends who like dark comedies, gory-schlocky indies, and don't mind foreign aesthetics (this film hails from Ireland). It never quite hits the mark to be a true cult classic but it's entertaining enough in a trashy sort of way.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Iron Man Cosplay

Kids who have birthdays close to, or on, a premiere night sometimes use that theme for their birthday party and make a night of it. Recently people have been starting to celebrate the opening night of the world famous Marvel Movies such as The Avengers, Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man. 2013 is set to release a variety of superhero movies that will be sure to bring out enthusiastic fans in costumes normally only seen on Halloween. The first of Marvel’s prime cosplay films this year, Iron Man 3, is set to be released in theaters this weekend. Whether you or your children are huge fans of Iron Man, a theme night would be the most fun you could have dressing up outside of Halloween. The great thing about these heroes is that even if you miss a particular character franchise, you could always dress up when they come together again for Avengers 2.

Here are 7 ideas to really get into the superhero spirit and enjoy a night in Iron Man’s shoes:

  1. In addition to the regular Iron Man suit, try and shave the classic Tony Stark facial hair patterns on your face. 
  2. If you have one of the classic Red and Gold costumes, paint it to your favorite sports team colors or go with the new red, white, and blue armor color. 
  3. Girls can don Iron Man garb as well with either a custom female Iron Man suit or just a red Under Armour tank top, red arm warmers, and red or gold sweats. 
  4. If you’re going as Agent Romanoff (Black Widow) or Pepper use color hairspray to paint your hair the appropriate color and style it as such. 
  5. The adults can partake in a few Iron Man cocktails (except the one who’s driving) while having a big dinner beforehand. 
  6. If your child has a birthday during the time Iron Man is in theaters, use that theme for choosing the cake and décor. 
  7. A cool idea to add to your Iron Man suit is those LED head lights people wear while exploring trails or doing construction. I must say this is better to do for a Halloween party or after party as this probably wouldn’t be allowed in the movie theater. 

Photo Credit
Photo Credit

MyScaryBlog's Costume Consultant Marie Sumner is an avid cosplayer and passionate writer who owns more superhero movies and comic books than anyone should be allowed to. To fuel her hobbies and childhood addictions she writes for which gives her an excuse to talk about comics, movies, and different types of outfits all day.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

What is Cosplay?

For those of you who are unfamiliar with cosplaying, it is the art of dressing the part of a certain character, people, or culture for recreational and celebratory purposes. The most notable celebrations with this practice are Renaissance Faires, comic conventions, and possibly every Star Wars premiere night since The Empire Strikes Back. Star Wars fans were known to have premiere night gatherings at their house before going to the movie where they would dress up as characters of the franchise and do a little celebratory pre-gaming. Some people’s kids will even go dressed as a matching character to their parents. It would be common to have parents show up as Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia with the kids dressed as Ewoks when the latest three movies were released.

Photo Credit

MyScaryBlog's Costume Consultant Marie Sumner is an avid cosplayer and passionate writer who owns more superhero movies and comic books than anyone should be allowed to. To fuel her hobbies and childhood addictions she writes for which gives her an excuse to talk about comics, movies, and different types of outfits all day.

Nature Gone Awry

Sometimes scary stuff is real. Here are some images I've come across lately. Yes, these are nature's nightmares. They are real and ready to cause you nightmares.