Boing Boing 

Faded, clown-themed motel that backs onto a plague pit


Tonopoah, NV's Clown Motel is a relic of the Gold Rush town's faded glory years, and it is filled with clowns. Hundreds of clowns stare from every corner, the walls are hung with clown-portraits, and there is a "historic miners' cemetery" out the motel's back door, wherein rest the mouldering corpses of the victims of a mysterious epidemic that is only known as "Tonopah plague." Redditors who've stayed at the Clown Motel have taken to this thread to one-up one-another with tales of the establishment's freaky weirdness. Norwegiancoconut dropped a link to this gallery of photos from a previous stay.

America's scariest motel is haunted... by hundreds of clowns

Haunted organist automata with Pepper's ghost effect

Thomas Kuntz made this clever, Haunted Mansion-inspired organist automata with its own tiny Pepper's ghost illusion, as well as a music-box and multiple animated figures. (Thanks, Dan!)

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Animatronic face-ripping Undead Ted horror-toy

The 700th Undead Ted horror-toy was a face-removing, talking animatronic that sold for £420 on Ebay. I love that it can do more than one line; I like to think of it as the reincarnation of good ole Teddy Ruxpin. (via IO9)

Tetrix 13: CD/slasher film with fold-open hockey mask cover & sawblade disc


Tetrix writes, "Tetrix 13 is our 13th release in as many years, so we made a slasher film based parody album and called it 'Tetrix the 13th'. The album is more like a radio play, with songs and storyline alternating on successive tracks. And, like any good musical, the songs also advance the storyline."

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Frozen horror-movie trailer

Horror movie trailer mashups have become something of a fine art these days, but even by the high standards of our time, Bobby Burns's Frozen horror trailer is awfully good. It's scary, and I'd go see that movie. (via Crazy Abalone)

Haunted Mansion merch preview


The Disney Parks blog has a preview of the reference art being used to develop merchandise for the 45th anniversary of the Haunted Mansion. There's 100 new items coming, and based on this reference material, they're going to be great.

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Chrome skull knife-block


Monica Tsang's 2011 Skull Knife Stand sculpture appears to be a one-off, and not an object of commerce, and that is a silvery, skull-shaped shame. (via Kadrey)

Scooby Doo's masterful, spooky background paintings


The background paintings on Scooby Doo were far and away the best thing on the show, as this 2007 post from Secret Fun Blog ably demonstrates. The mediocre dialog and plotting and indifferent animation were totally mismatched with this spooky masterpieces.

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Really Creepy Bundle: name your price for amazing, transmedia horror


Jamie from Vodo writes, "We've launched the Really Creepy Bundle, a brand new collection of terrifying, chilling and downright disturbing indie creativity that includes four highly-rated games (Oknytt, Finding Teddy, The Path and Sang Froid), award winning fiction (Nebula nominee Stranger In Olondria, and a month subscription to Nightmare magazine), four spooky short films, an 8 track compilation from LA's Not Not Fun Records, laden with doom plus the definitely disturbing and massively entertaining graphic novel (The Furry Trap) -- which Boing Boing rated one of the best damn comics of the year in 2013. Check out the whole bundle and choose your own price. 5% of earnings are going to the Electronic Frontier Foundation!"


The Really Creepy Bundle

1969 was a good year for horror-clowns

Redditor CptQuestionMark posted this photo of a birthday clown from 1969. The clown is so frankly terrifying, it suggests some kind of profound aesthetic/cognitive shift in human perception in a scant 45 years.

Afterlife With Archie: Archie Andrews, zombie hunter!


Back in March, I blogged the Afterlife with Archie comics, and suggested that you wait until the first collection of the series came out before digging into it (the singles were going for silly money). Today, Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale hits stores, collecting the first series of the comic in one paperback edition. Afterlife With Archie is more than a silly gag -- the creators really do play out a grim, tense, serious zombie story here, albeit leavened with some comeuppances for Riverdale's most annoying recurring characters.

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Humanoid wasps' nest built over an abandoned sculpture


Redditor Countbubs posted this photo of a wasps' nest built over a wooden humanoid sculpture, with the wasps' paper following the contours of the underlying form. It's a genuinely nightmarish image. (via Crazy Abalone)

Spooky music made by abusing turntables and cutting up and reforming vinyl records

Knitmeapony sez, "This is the raddest, most atmospheric thing ever. All kinds of delightful, spooky distortions, creepy static, half-heard voices and mashed-up music, created by physically altering vinyl records and record players and manipulating them as they go. A serious delight."

Edgar Allan Poe bronze coming to Boston


This beautiful life-sized bronze of Edgar Allan Poe with an enormous raven is Stefanie Rocknak's competition-winning entry for the Edgar Allan Poe Foundation of Boston's Edgar Allan Poe Square Public Art Project. It beat out 265 other pieces in the competition. Rocknak is also a professor of philosophy at New York's Hartwick College, and describes her work as depicting Poe "just off the train, the figure would be walking south towards his place of birth, where his mother and father once lived. Poe, with a trunk full of ideas -- and worldwide success -- is finally coming home."

Today's jam is Closed on Account of Rabies: Poems and Tales of Edgar Allan Poe , which features Christopher Walken's reading of "The Raven," Iggy Pop performing " The Tell-Tale Heart," Debbie Harry doing "The City And The Sea," Marianne Faithfull's rendition of "Alone" and "Annabel Lee," and loads more improbably fantastic stuff.

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Cover and summary for Lauren Beukes's next horror novel

Here's some good news: the next Lauren Beukes novel, Broken Monsters, is up for pre-order, and we've got a taste of the cover and the synopsis: "Detective Gabriella Versado has seen a lot of bodies. But this one is unique even by Detroit's standards: half boy, half deer, somehow fused together. As stranger and more disturbing bodies are discovered, how can the city hold on to a reality that is already tearing at its seams? If you're Detective Versado's geeky teenage daughter, Layla, you commence a dangerous flirtation with a potential predator online. If you're desperate freelance journalist Jonno, you do whatever it takes to get the exclusive on a horrific story. If you're Thomas Keen, known on the street as TK, you'll do what you can to keep your homeless family safe--and find the monster who is possessed by the dream of violently remaking the world."

I loved Beukes's earlier work -- see my reviews of The Shining Girls and Zoo City.

Broken Monsters (via Super Punch)

Crowdfunding a science fiction short film adapted from Poe's Tell-Tale Heart

Nicholas sends us, "A crowd funding campaign to create a short film adaptation of Poe's 'The Tell Tale Heart' set on space station orbiting a mysterious planet. The short, ORBIT, has an emphasis on practical special effects and old in-camera techniques as a celebration of some of the classic sci-fi films it was directly inspired by."

The production team is very accomplished and this looks very beautiful, and they've brought down their reward pricing: $13 gets you a digital DRM-free download of the movie.

ORBIT - A Sci-Fi Thriller from the Mind of Edgar Allan Poe (Thanks, Nicholas!)

Afterlife with Archie: Archie comics go zombie


Afterlife with Archie is exactly what it sounds like: a series of comics in which Archie Andrews, Jughead, and the lovable gang are trapped in a horrific zombie apocalypse. It's more than a gag, too: it's got tight, tense storylines, genuine horror and real pathos. I just read issue four and was surprised by how moving and scary it is, and I also appreciated the EC-style horror mini-story at the end.

The singles are already selling at a frustrating markup on Amazon, so I think you're better off pre-ordering the $13 collection that comes out on May 13.

Texas Chain Saw Massacre, 40 years old and newly restored

Leatherface

On its 40th anniversary, iconic splatterpunk film The Texas Chain Saw Massacre has been restored with a new 4K transfer from the original 16mm film shot by director Tobe Hooper in 1974. A production of Dark Sky Films, the new print premieres at SXSW on Monday, March 10 with wide theatrical release over the summer.

"I haven't seen The Texas Chain Saw Massacre on the big screen for many, many years," Hooper says. "This 40th anniversary restoration is absolutely the best the film has ever looked. The color and clarity is spectacular, displaying visual details in the film that were never before perceptible. The newly remastered 7.1 soundtrack breathes new life and energy into the film. I am very much looking forward to audiences experiencing this film as they never have before".

Leatherface had no comment.

MC Chris's "Foreverrr" - porny, Ghostbusters-y nerdcore

MC Chris, creator of such immortal nerdcore classics as Fett's Vette and Aqua Teen Hunger Force, has a new double album out: Foreverrr.

Foreverrr is an insane, lewd, lacivious, profane and obscene delight of a concept album about the romance between a lonely ghost and a grandmotherly sexbot who's taken up residence in a haunted house. It features songs about all five Ghostbusters (including Tully), as well as nods to Wednesday Addams and The Shining (it's also got a ton of silliness about Luigi, french fries, and dating woes).

Ultimately, though, as the liner notes say, "it's also about letting go of the past, letting go of your anger, letting go of people you love." Amid all the supernatural sex-jokes and fat beats, MC Chris slides a lot of poignant, autobiographical material about coming to grips with his alcoholic father, and learning how to cope with his anger rather than taking it out on hecklers at his shows.

One of the Ghostbusters tracks, 58.9, was released early as a memorial to Harold Ramis, and a fan made a rather good video for it.

The album ships on Tuesday: $25 gets you two CDs in sleeves; $45 gets you a tri-fold CD case and a t-shirt; and $65 gets you the tri-fold case, a hoodie, stickers, a poster, a tote and a button.

"Foreverrr" - MC Chris

Vincent Price performs The Raven

Here's a late 1970s Vincent Price performance of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," featuring the dean of horror at his scenery-chewing best. Compare with Lord Buckley's 50s jazz hipster version.

Vincent Price's The Raven (via Seanan McGuire)

Scowler, Daniel Kraus's masterpiece of psychological horror, as a DRM-free audiobook

Daniel Kraus's 2013 horror novel Scowler was pure nightmare fuel, a book that literally made me shriek aloud on the bus one afternoon. Now, the novel has been released as an audiobook by Random House audio, read by Kirby Heywood.

The unabridged audiobook is available as a DRM-free MP3 CD, and as a DRM-free MP3 download from BN.com.

The reader on the adaptation of Scowler is the very talented Kirby Heyborne, who also read the audio adaptation of my novel Little Brother.

Listening to Scowler read aloud can only heighten the terror to a masterpiece of psychological horror. Here's my original review:

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Edgar Allan Poe's interior design proscriptions


In The Philosophy of Furniture," an essay in the May 1840 issue of Burton's Gentlemen's Magazine, Edgar Allan Poe decries the interior design sense of the world (the Italians have "have but little sentiment beyond marbles" and the Americans worship an "aristocracy of dollars"). He ultimately describes his ideal room, and sets out the exact characteristics that Poe-compliant designers should hew to in order to make for harmonious interiors:

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Great 8-bit gamer tees


8-Bitty does some extremely great pixel-art tees inspired by classic video-games. I like the two-sided, full-shirt screens the best, like the mummy wrappings and the skeleton (this one reminds me of the classic Skeletees and makes me wish it was as detailed as Leslie Arwin's original).

8-Bitty (Thanks, Luke!)

Chestburster Onesie

This Alien chestburster onesie was drawn by comics creator Mike Dougherty for a baby-shower. (via Geeks Are Sexy)

The Haunted Mansion, the Haunting, and "Boo" vs "Brr" in spook-house design


Long Forgotten, the very best Haunted Mansion blog on the net, has a stellar piece on the influences that went into the Haunted Mansion's scary corridor of doors, and the delicate balance the corridor strikes between two different kinds of scariness, called "Boo" and "Brr." The piece starts from the premise that the Imagineers who designed the Haunted Mansion were heavily influenced by the 1963 classic horror film The Haunting (the film adaptation of Shirley Jackson's horror novel The Haunted of Hill House, later remade as a 1999 film with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Liam Neeson). This isn't a very controversial idea, as there are many parallels between the Mansion and The Haunting, though Long Forgotten finds some particularly subtle and fascinating lifts I'd never seen mentioned before.

More interesting, though, is the way the corridor -- and the Mansion itself -- slides from "Boo" to "Brr" as you pass through it, and the ways that subsequent fine-tunings and renovations have changed this calculus. As with all of Long Forgotten's pieces, it's a very well-argued and illuminating piece of design criticism that made me rethink something with which I'm very familiar in a totally new light.

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Haunted Mansion Valentines

From the wonderful mind of Yeah-Disneygeek, a fine selection of Haunted Mansion Valentine's Day cards!

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Printable Haunted Mansion tombstone templates


Spoonful's Haunted Mansion Cupcake recipe comes with a set of printable tombstone templates that you can print to cardstock and use to garnish your carb-delivery-vehicles. But they'd also be great for other projects: graveyard dioramae, lapel badges, etc and so forth.

Haunted Mansion Cupcake Tombstones

(via The Haunted Mansion Disney)

Locus recommended reading list for best science fiction and fantasy of 2013

Locus Magazine has published its annual Recommended Reading list, which is my favorite annual guide to the best that science fiction and fantasy have to offer. The 2013 roundup includes several of the books I've reviewed here this year, including Paolo Bacigalupi's Zombie Baseball Beatdown, Charlie Stross's Neptune's Brood, Lauren Beukes's The Shining Girls, Richard Kadrey's Dead Set, Terry Pratchett's Raising Steam, Ian Tregillis's Necessary Evil, Holly Black's The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and Nathan Ballingrud's North American Lake Monsters.

I'm also delighted to see that my novel Homeland (the sequel to Little Brother) made the list!

The whole list is just a fantastic signposting of the best the field has to offer.

2013 Locus Recommended Reading List (via Tor.com)

Wonderful trompe l'oeil horror makeup


Stephanie Fernandez is a spectacular makeup artist whose trompe l'oeil horror effects demonstrate a bottomless creativity, artistic talent, and a genuine flair for the macabre.

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Spooky forest light-fixture

Hildendiaz's Forms in Nature light fixture is a Haeckel-inspired, gnarled, treelike furnishing that casts gloriously spooky haunted-forest shadows on the walls. This isn't for sale, but they've promised a crowdfunded production at some point.

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