Creepy Mall Santas

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Distractify has thirty mall santas to be on the lookout for. There's plenty of listicle filler here, but would you just look at those vintage masked bastards. There's even a website dedicated to creepy santas. [via MeFi, which has even more]

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The lore of haunted television sets

We've posted previously about Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP), the weird sounds in electronic recordings that some paranormal researchers insist are actually voices of spirits. But I didn't realize that EVP is part of a larger genre of ghostly phenomena called Instrumental Transcommunication "said to occur on devices as varied as television sets, radios, computers, handheld devices such as ipods or iphones, and even fax machines," according to Mysterious Universe. In the 1970s and 1980s, one popular medium for these ghosts in the machine were television sets. (Remember Tobe Hooper's excellent 1982 film Poltergeist?) From Mysterious Universe:

Throughout the 1970s and 80s the ITC phenomenon as it relates to TV really got its roots, becoming quite popular with researchers of the weird, and there were numerous supposed video and audio recordings of these TV bound ghosts at the time. The investigators in these cases claimed that this phenomenon had even been documented with TVs that were turned off or completely unplugged.

One of the pioneers of using televisions to try and pick up signals from the dead was a German ITC researcher named Klaus Schreiber, who used an apparatus that he called the “Vidicomin,” which used a video camera aimed at a TV set that was switched on but not attached to an aerial, and the signal looped the output from the camera back into the TV. This loop was said to produce dramatic results, with various faces apparently blooming out from the white noise on sets, and on one occasion an actress from Austria named Romy Schneider supposedly clearly appeared on a TV in one such session years after her death.

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Own your own two-headed calf taxidermy

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Start your own odditorium by spending $15,000 on "Mike & Ike - they look alike," a purportedly real two-headed calf taxidermy mount that was previously part of the the Museum of Lost Arts – International Historical Exhibition. Only available for local pick up in New Castle, Pennsylvania. From the eBay auction description:

This is a real life-size two headed black and white calf mount cow in great condition with some light fur around the heads and body due to age and exposure to sun and light. The mount measures 40” long from the tip of the nose on the longer head to the back tail and 35” high from bottom of hoofs to top of ears and 39” high from bottom of wheels on the base to top of ears. A superior mount by a professional taxidermist. Genuine oddity taxidermy mounts like “Mike & Ike – they look alike” are exceptionally rare. This unique mount is a full size black and white calf with fully developed heads and complete facial characteristics along with it’s long necks is an extreme rarity in two headed calves. The mount was purchased by “The Museum of Lost Arts” at a farm estate auction many years ago in Ellwood City, PA where the calf was born. The provenance (history and origin) and physical attributes to support the fact that it is entirely genuine and this coupled with the strong market for well executed oddities in taxidermy, makes it especially desirable and rare.

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Peter Sellers recites the Beatles (in funny voices)

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Robbo writes, "Peter Sellers recorded a series of performances, in a variety of voices, reciting the lyrics of popular Beatles songs. It is demented weirdness - and perfect in all its madness." Read the rest

Bubble porn aficionados keep refining their NSFW art

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Bubble porn is where a non-nude photo or video gets a swiss-cheese-like opaque overlay that gives the illusion of nudity. Since its meme heyday, the practice, known as bubbling, now uses translucent overlays that make the effect even more striking. Read the rest

Was Jesus an extraterrestrial?

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In 1954, a London taxi driver named George King received an extraterrestrial mental telegram informing him that he's been deemed the voice of the Interplanetary Parliament. Motivated by his new cosmic position, he launched the Aetherius Society to spread the spiritual teachings of extraterrestrial gurus like Buddha, Sri Krishna, Confucius, and Jesus. Sure, why not. King died in 1997 but the Aetherius Society lives on. MEL Magazine's Jonathan Parks-Ramage paid them a visit:

“The biggest reason why the Aetherius Society is here, why the Cosmic Masters came to earth, is because the Mother Earth has to change,” Keneipp says. “She’d held herself back for hundreds of thousands of years because she’s providing mankind a home to evolve. She’s been told by the karmic lords that she can no longer hold herself back. And so the big push by the Cosmic Masters is to raise as many people up so that they will be able to get to a point where they will enter a new age here on earth.”

Essentially, the Society’s goal is to lift Mother Earth’s burden with love and prayer, a task helped by descended Cosmic Masters like Jesus and Buddha.

Inspired by his new religion, Keneipp soon abandoned the pre-med program at SIU, deciding instead to moved to Los Angeles in 1978. Keneipp devoted his life to the church, working directly with George King as he expanded his religion. I ask Keneipp what it was like to work for King during those formative years.

His response surprises me.

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Man attempts illegal soak in Yellowstone acidic hot pool, is reduced to wallet and flip-flops

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Via a Freedom of Information Act request, Yellowstone National Park recently reported the tragic details of an accident last summer, where a 23 year old man dissolved after an illegal attempt to bathe in Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park. He had gone 200 yards past the legal tourism area with his sister, who was recording on her cell phone when the incident happened. Luckily, that video has not been released.

Though search and rescue was attempted, Deputy Chief Ranger Lorant Veress remarked, "in a very short order, there was a significant amount of dissolving" due to the churning, acidic water. The man was reaching down to test the temperature, with the intent to "hot pot," aka bathe in the steaming water, when he slipped and fell in.

Reports Wyoming's KURL news:

Search and rescue rangers who arrived later did find the victim's body in the pool, along with his wallet, and flip flops.  But, a lightning storm stopped the recovery efforts.  The next day, workers could not find any remains.  Veress says the water was churning, and acidic.

He remarked, "In a very short order, there  was a significant amount of dissolving"

Veress said the park posts warning signs for important reasons,  "… because it is wild and it hasn't been overly altered by people to make things a whole lot safer,  it's got dangers.  And a place like Yellowstone which is set aside because of the incredible geothermal resources that are here, all the more so."

Yellowstone is meant to be wild and preserved as such, so the park posts warning signs for this very reason. Read the rest

The Bee Movie trailer, but slowed down more every time someone says "Bee"

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By the end, a nightmare of growls and weird echoing sound effects. Read the rest

Trump fans melting down online for some reason

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Trump's fans are having a tough time so far today. First, the realization struck many that one must be registered before election day to vote in all but 14 states. Second, the Trumpernet seems to be context-collapsing: they might yet win the night, but backstabbing and chaos is already upon it. A subreddit, r/the_meltdown, is collecting the most spectacular ragequits. Most are from /pol/, though, which is as much a performance venue as anything else. Read the rest

Cute two-faced calf is oldest of its kind to survive

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Meet Lucky, a two-faced calf who lives in Campbellsville, Kentucky. Lucky is just over a month old but may be the oldest animal of its kind to survive with the genetic abnormality, called diprosopus. From National Geographic:

The calf was named Lucky by the McCubbins' five-year-old daughter, Henley, after her parents told her the rare animal was lucky to be alive. Most such genetic or developmental defects are aborted in the womb, although a few make it to birth. Most of those die within a few days.

For a two-faced or two-headed animal to make it to adulthood is extremely rare. It's considered ultrarare in the wild, although two-faced cat "Frank and Louie" lived to at least 12 years old, thanks to the care of its owners.

So far, Lucky has been doing well, the McCubbins said, although the middle two of her eyes don't work. She can only walk in circles and falls down a lot.

Lucky needs some help eating, and both mouths move at the same time.

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Woman with skull on stick leads police to corpse

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A woman walking around Sacramento with a skull on a stick led police to a homeless encampment where she found the cranium. Apparently someone spotted the woman marching around with the skull and called police. After police found the woman at an abandoned house, she took them to the area where they located the body.

"A call like this is not something that happens every day," Sacramento police Sgt. Bryce Heinlein told Fox 40. "We hope we can get down to the bottom of what caused this person to become deceased." Read the rest

A Surreal Vic Berger Edit of Melania Trump's Charm Offensive with Anderson Cooper on CNN

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Here's Vic Berger’s hilarious and disturbing edit of Melania Trump’s interview with Anderson Cooper on the Trump tapes. Read the rest

The weird history of dog-headed men

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Men with the heads of dogs appear in stories going all the way back to ancient Egypt and Greece. Over at Mysterious Universe, Brent Swancer introduces us to this common character found in weird tales from around the world:

Stories of purported dog-headed men go back well into history. Mostly referred to as the Cynocephali, which derives from the ancient Greek words “cyno,” meaning dog, and “cephaly,” meaning a disease of the head, these were typically described as essentially humans with the head of a dog, and they feature heavily in stories going across cultures throughout the world, from ancient Egypt, to ancient Greek, to medieval Europe and Africa, as well as in Christian mythology....

Travelers often wrote of these mysterious dog-headed people. One Italian monk by the name of Odoric of Pordenone, who traveled about converting people between 1317 and 1330, claimed to have come across the Cynocephali at the island of Nicoveran. They were described as being somewhat brutish, but displaying a form of organized religion, worshipping oxen and wearing various gold and silver religious charms. French inquisitor Cardinal Pierre d’Ailley claimed in 1410 that there existed a race of dog-headed humans in India, as well as a one eyed variation of the creatures referred to as the Carismaspi. Explorer Giovanni da Pian del Carpine also mentions a race of dog-heads which he claimed inhabited the lands north of the Dalai-Nor (Northern Ocean), and Lake Baikal. Indeed, depictions of the Cynocephali appeared on maps of the time, similar to the dragons and other wondrous beasts that mapmakers liked to adorn their maps with.

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America's War on Creepy Clowns leads to 12 arrests in various states

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“They just kept coming, and coming, and coming, across multiple states. Clowns in vans. Clowns in the woods. Clowns lurking in the shadows. Clowns chasing people or doing crimes.”

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Lawn Jawas with solar-charged light-up eyes

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Thinkgeek's $80 Lawn Jawas are a weird mix of kitsch, bad taste, technology, and fandom. Read the rest

Giant moon rolls through Chinese city streets

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A giant model moon, part of the Mid-Autumn Festival decorations in Fuzhou, China was blown from its display by Super Typhoon Meranti winds and rolled through traffic today.

(Shanghaiist) Read the rest

Welcome to Night Vale: scripts and notes from podcasting's eeriest drama

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First, the amazing, creepy, weird and lovable podcast Welcome to Night Vale spawned a wonderful, improbable novel, and now, for book lovers who love Night Vale, there's two books of scripts and notes from the production team: Mostly Void, Partially Stars: Welcome to Night Vale Episodes, Volume 1 and The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe: Welcome to Night Vale Episodes, Volume 2 (I wrote the introduction to volume 1!).

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