Category Archives: macabre
Here it is again. Winter. I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan. Where others see beauty in a fluffy white glazing of snow, I see only three months of hibernation. Because I hate the stuff.
It’s no mystery why my mind tends to wander to the grim topic of death. I’m in the dead of Winter here in Missouri, after all. I’ve been thinking about the dead – more specifically, how different cultures remember the dead – and decided to share what I know.
Winter takes my mind to dark places. Perhaps its icy clutches haunt me…
Over the years, humans have honored their dead in peculiar and sometimes macabre ways.
Ever heard of post-mortem photography? Straight from Wikipedia: “Post-mortem photography (also known as memorial portraiture or a mourning portrait) is the practice of photographing the recently deceased. These photographs of deceased loved ones were a normal part of American and European culture in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Commissioned by grieving families, postmortem photographs not only helped in grieving, but often represented the only visual remembrance of the deceased and were among a family’s most precious possessions.”
No disrespect intended, but having grown up in a different century, some of these photos seem a bit disturbing now…
Look closely. The youngest child on the far left is deceased, propped up with a wooden stand. You can see the discomfort and sadness in her brother’s face.
The story goes that the photographer drew pupils on her closed eyelids to make her more life-like.
Sometimes even a man’s best friend wanted to say goodbye.
Then there’s the following photograph, which has become somewhat of an urban legend, because no one can prove or disprove the story behind it. People say the reason all the children seem to be frowning, or even grimacing, is that they are being forced to pose with a classmate who died the day before.
They say the deceased student was propped up with a wooden board and her head was tied to the board by means of a head scarf. Do you see her? Look closer…
Urban legend or not, that’s pretty creepy.
And then there are cultures like the Toraja people of Indonesia who keep their post-mortem loved ones around for weeks, months, or even years after death, until enough money is raised for a fitting and proper funeral. During this time, the deceased relative is symbolically fed, dressed, cared for and taken out, and is very much a part of their family’s lives.
But if you think post-mortem photography and mummification is strange, the thought of drinking from a human skull might push you over the edge, right? That’s probably why the Aghori tribe of India are considered taboo among their neighboring communities. They ritualistically smear themselves with cremated ashes, consume human flesh, and drink from skulls to become closer to the spiritual world of the dead.
To each his own, but that’s not quite my cup of tea.
So there you have it. THIS is what Winter does to me, people. The dead of Winter… when the deceased whisper to us on the icy breeze, telling us to cherish our precious days, albeit bitterly cold. Winter will pass, just as humans pass, and the world will continue to spin.
Well, as usual, this has been a bit of uplifting cheer from your admin here at Dirty Little Horror. Happy Winter, folks.
A collection of dark poetry just hit the market, written by friend and talented author, Rick Powell. You may remember Rick from his guest appearance on April 3rd, 2015, when he shared a few poems from his book, My Soul Stained, My Seed Sour. A little over a year later, Rick is back with his new book, More Regrets Than Glories, and another poem to share. If you enjoy what you read, consider picking up a copy of the book, please.
The dark coachman stopped at my house this Autumn night,
I was hesitant as I stepped up to the cold seat to sit at his side,
His countenance was in shadow from the hood of his aged cloak,
We started on without a word as through the forest we did ride.
I then wrapped the thick wool blanket around my thin, pale form,
Ma said I have had the chills for days and nothing could cure my ill,
Pa had no money since this year the crops were bad all around,
I asked “Where are we going?” but the coachman’s voice was silent still.
I looked back to my home and at the windows dark as the blackest pitch,
The forest beyond my house was even more dark and silent in the night,
My memories of the last days were muddled and I hope to be well soon,
I hope that this fever will pass and I will be better by the morning light.
I remember my parents talking about the Doc at the edge of the other town,
They were most frantic as my Ma kept a cool rag on my burning head,
I passed in and out of the blackness as I heard them arguing about what to do,
I felt my skin was braised by the fires of Hell, even though cold sweat filled my bed.
Why would they send me with this coachman, when my health was most dire?
Why did they not come with me, my only family that I have ever known?
Why does this dark horse that pulls us seem to be a beast out of a nightmare?
Why do I see a deathly grin of the coachman, when the Autumn moon is shown?
The hardcore horror junkie can be hard to shop for, so I’ve put together a list, chock full of ideas, sure to please any fans of the macabre. I only wish I had posted it sooner, on Day 1 or 2 of the countdown. But there’s still time to order some of these before X-mas, and all of these items would make great BIRTHDAY gifts as well, just right for the horror fan in your life.
Luna Moon Gothic Jewelry: https://www.etsy.com/shop/lunamoonsvintage
Box Of Dread:
Box of Dread is a really cool subscription that arrives at your doorstep monthly in the form of a package filled with surprise horror swag. I’ve heard good things from people who signed up. Apparently. you get a decent amount of swag (posters, DVDs, action figures, etc) for the cost.
Mogwais and Gizmos!
There are TONS of places online to purchase a mogwai for that special Gremlins lover in your life. Just remember the rules! No bright light, no baths, no munchies after the witching hour. 🙂
Long Gone Dolls.
This shop is amazing. I’ve linked the Facebook and Etsy page, but I should warn you, they go extremely fast. One minute the newest doll is for sale, the next minute it’s long gone. No lie!
And check this out! Handmade cthulhu statues! I totally need this for my writing desk!
Well, that’s all I’ve got for you today, but the world wide web has SO MANY great gifts for the horror fan, if you’re willing to search. 🙂 See you tomorrow, for Day Nine of our X-mas celebration.
It’s Day 5 of our 12 Days of X-mas bash!
I can’t afford five golden rings, but I’ve got lots more horror to spread! I do love dark photography, don’t you? Please welcome special guest Death March Studio. If you like their work, check out their Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/Death-March-Studio-893543987368494
I’d also like to credit the models (and I hope I snagged their names correctly from the page): Tara Tarpey, Christina Marie, and Nick Schultz appear in these photos. Enjoy.
Death March Studio. If you like their work, check out their Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/Death-March-Studio-893543987368494
As promised, this blog will focus on a variety of entertainment, so long as it’s plenty horrific! Today, I bring you poetry.
Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies. By the age of 8, he began writing his own stories. Fast forward to 2012 – that’s when his first novel was published by Damnation Books, and he’s been busy cranking out dark tales and poetry for his readers ever since.
Alistair hosts a live radio show, Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE, and you can find his website at: AlistairCross.com. The two poems we’ve chosen to share with you are dark and clever and evocatively disturbing. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
The Beautiful Girl
I woke up with a girl
Who was dead as could be
This a most macabre scenario
That made no sense to me
I couldn’t recollect her
From the night before
But there she was with cold blue flesh
In a dress made of velour
Her sightless eyes were watching me
Her mouth agape in fear
And down her cheek a tell-tale streak
Of a single dried up tear
And for weeks now I have wondered
How she came to be
This beautiful, decaying girl
Who keeps me company
A Book of Morbid Methods
I met her in the pages
Of an old dust-covered book
A book of misadventure
And the sad wife of a crook
She married into money
That was her belief
But she recently discovered
She’d been married to a thief
She was written to be pretty
She had diamond rings and furs
And she said it was all mine
If I’d trade my world for hers
She was angry at her writer
For her husband’s cons and lies
For her life of sins and secrets
And her pseudo-human guise
But I told her it was dull
Here on the other side
That over here, life’s dismal
And ruled by greed and pride
I declined her proposition
But she said, “Just look at me…
I have everything I want
I am glamorous and free…”
For a moment, I considered
What did I have to lose?
The world might have more meaning
If viewed from in her shoes
She watched me as I pondered
But she sensed my hesitation
Then a tear fell from her eye
And she said in desperation…
“My husband is suspicious
That I know what’s going on
He’s a man of morbid methods
I’ll be sorry before long.”
And this I did consider
What was I to do?
Maybe if I tried
I could rewrite a page or two
And so I traded places
With my newfound fiction friend
But what I didn’t realize
Was the book was at its end
For, just moments after stepping
Into the pages of this book
By way of strangulation
I was murdered by the crook
Visit the author: