Archive for ghosts

Book of the Week: Yurei Attack! The Japanese Ghost Survival Guide

Posted in Books, Media with tags , , , , , , on October 9, 2019 by ranranami

yurei

You probably knew this was coming on some level. Maddy goes to Japan for 2 weeks, we’re either going to have to put up with a slideshow of pictures she took, a bunch of stories about the food she ate, or something that we really don’t care about. Well, you were wrong! I actually picked up several books on the trip, and I’d like to recommend a couple. Yes–all of them were about monsters, ghosts, or demons.

Japanese mythology is probably one that I’ve always sort of been lacking in. Not because I’m not interested, but because there’s just so many different types of creatures in them. From old clothes and furniture to the embodiment of a really good or really bad feeling, everything seems to be able to become some kind of monster. Ghost movies always seem to follow the same thread, where some angry lady has long hair that gets everywhere, and regardless of a person’s guilt in her death she is going to haunt the crap out of them. Well, I discovered through this awesome book that isn’t just a film trope. It’s part of their actual belief in ghosts, which is wildly different from our own. I can’t recommend this enough if you really want to explore anything and everything about Japanese ghosts.

Horror Flick of the Week: The Ritual

Posted in Media, Movies and shows, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2019 by ranranami

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Yet again Netflix brought another unexpected excellent horror film to the table that I sat down and watched on pain of death. That means my mom made me watch it, but I was pleasantly surprised. A young man is traumatized after his friend is murdered and goes on a vacation about a year later with their remaining group, haunted by more than just bad memories. What I loved about this film is that at the end there were so many things to discuss and figure out, scenes to reflect on. My favorite type of movie, horror or otherwise.

Short Story Recommendations

Posted in Books, Media with tags , , , , , , on October 3, 2019 by ranranami

So a couple of these might have been mentioned in previous posts, but I really can’t stress enough how great they are. Today I’d like to give you guys a few recommendations for some simple, fun short stories to pass the haunting hours this month. Attached will be pictures of the books I’ve found them in for easy reference. So, without further ado, let’s get into it!

W. S. by L. P. Hartley

Though that may be a mouthful of single letters, this short story was what inspired today’s post. I think all of us who read, or who have grown up reading, are victims of our own need to buy more books even when we’ve got a shelf or two of the ones we still haven’t managed to get around to. ’11 Great Horror Stories’ was one of the many, because I was familiar with more than half of the works in it (The Dunwich Horror, The Judge’s House, The Shed, etc.) W.S. however, seems to be the ancestor of a very familiar trope (one especially popular with Stephen King) of a writer having a mental battle with one of his own creations. Sadly, this story was published posthumously, and I can only hope it wasn’t autobiographical.

Fish Night by Joe R. Lansdale

Did you honestly think you’d get through an entry of mine about short stories without at least one Lansdale story sneaking in here? Fish Night is one of his more peculiar (though they’ve all sort of got that title) works about the phantoms of long dead sea creatures float about in the desert that used to be the ocean they lived in. It’s such an interesting concept, I couldn’t pass it up.

Drink My Blood by Richard Matheson

Throughout middle school, junior high, and high school – – this story was my white whale. I had read about it once in a small encyclopedia entry, and was obsessed with finding it. Now I may not be ancient, but it was a lot harder in the early to mid-2000s to find out of print books unless you dealt with certain vendors or were old enough to have a card and drop some cash online (which I was not). So when I finally stumbled on this book at a garage sale several years ago, and at long last got to read the story by Richard Matheson about a young boy obsessed with becoming a vampire, it was the best feeling in the world. Yes, it didn’t live up to the hype, but I still highly recommend this story (if you can find it. It’ll be a lot easier now than it was then…)

Sabrina by Don Wulffson

This one is not so much terrifying as a little upsetting (especially if you’re an adult). A young boy falls in love with a beautiful performer, and things work out in the most twisted way possible thanks to a few nasty adults. For those of you who have somehow read this, I’m sure you’ll understand why I had to keep it vague for that bizarre little twist.

A Grave Misunderstanding by Leon Garfield

There’s no deep message behind this one, nothing beyond the whole ‘man’s best friend’ concept wherein a dog keeps his master safe from a pretty ghost–and, well, a pretty living woman too. It’s worth a read for the humor and the oddly poetic nature of a dog’s point of view.

Podcast, Episode 19 – Horror Down South

Posted in Media, Movies and shows, podcast with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 18, 2018 by ranranami

In this episode, we discuss Southern and Hillbilly horror, including Dark Night of the Scarecrow and the 2000 Maniacs films. We also touch on a little horror news and bring back the ‘guess that movie kill’ game from the Friday the 13th episode.

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Podcast, Episode 17 – Mostly Ghostly

Posted in Media, Movies and shows, podcast with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2018 by ranranami

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What was that, over your shoulder? Oh, it was nothing. I could swear I saw a person in the mirror earlier, but I’m sure it was just my imagination. I wish you’d get the plumbing fixed here, it always seems like babies are screaming in the walls at night. It’s always easy to run away from a haunted house when you don’t live in it, but for the rest of us, not so much. So why don’t we talk about it? This episode we feature We are Still Here, Poltergeist, and Legend of Hell House.

Vintage Halloween Postcards

Posted in Halloween Junk, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2017 by ranranami

Do you smell the pumpkin spice? The perfumes of the melting wax? The crisp, clean folds of fresh envelopes? No? Well, it’s no wonder. Most of these pumpkins are far too old to smell, and whoever heard of putting a postcard in an envelope? Nevertheless, tis the season, and just in case you’d like to send a love one some carefully penned spells for ‘All Hallows Eve’, here are some fantastic old postcards to scrawl them on. Note that a vast majority of this art is by the very talented (late) Ellen Clapsaddle, one of the most magnificent postcard and greeting card artists of all time.

 

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Vintage Comics – Baffling Mysteries, Issue 5 : The Lady Was a TIGER, Baffling Mystery 1, Underwater Mystery, Baffling Mystery 2, Terror in the Coal Pits (15-End)

Posted in Comics, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2017 by ranranami

Bringing you the second half of Baffling Mysteries, Issue 5, I realized this was actually a fairly short issue compared to some of the other comics I’ve shared. It was one story too short to split into three entries, but a couple too long to really be an average length post. Still, ’tis the season, so here’s a few extra pages for your enjoyment.

What I liked most in this issue was the coloring. A lot of wonderful vibrancy. Most of the stories fell short of being satisfyingly dark. To tell you the truth, it felt like reading a diet version of Hand of Fate, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

 

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More Superstitions, Bad Omens, and Old Wives Tales for Halloween

Posted in Halloween Junk, Media with tags , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2016 by ranranami

Halfway through the spook month already, and my how time flies. Let’s get a bit more into the spirit with some superstitious safety tips to keep you safe from ghosts, umbrellas, witches, vampires, and moths.

moth

C’mon, bra! Lemme in!

– Close a dead man or woman’s eyes immediately, or they’ll find someone to take with them.

– Keep moths out of the house if it looks like they want in, and keep them in if they want out…they’re looking for a soul to steal.

– Never take a photo with only 3 people, and if you do…make sure you’re not the one in the middle, because you may di-…uh-oh…

– Poirot probably would have known this little tidbit, but keep an eye on all umbrellas in the house. If one of them falls, there very well may be a murder!

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Don’t let those innocent smiles fool you. Nose-eaters, every last one of them!

– Ancient Romans believed witches and vampires liked to come into dead people’s homes to do funny things with their bodies (like robbing, mutilating, and especially nose-eating.)

– A rooster crowing during the day, and not the appointed ‘too early for any normal human being to wake up’ time, is a sign of terrible luck. Maybe even approaching death.

– Numbers really piss ghosts off. Walk around one of them 9 times to get rid of the jerks.

Netflix/Hulu Instant Horror Watch 2016

Posted in Media, Movies and shows, Uncategorized, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2016 by ranranami

It’s that time of year again. The Fog rolls in on your dvd shelf, eery Carpenter tunes playing as it awaits Halloween, while the echoes of ‘Trick ‘R Treat‘ can almost be heard outside your front door, and The Thing becomes Ravenous for Popcorn…yet, at the same time you wonder why these film references I just made seem to be disproportionately John Carpenter titles and a few other random titles thrown in. It’s like this game is Child’s Play, a veritable Witches of Eastwick

Okay, that last one didn’t make sense at all, even as a play on words. Anyway, this October I decided to not only post the instant watch list on time (for once), but mix it with some Hulu for variety. Alas and alack, it’s mainly because Netflix really didn’t roll out with much for horror this October…and the proportion of films I actually wanted to watch that I hadn’t seen…well, this just seemed to be a little bit less painful. So, without further ado, the list begins…

1st. – The Rite

 

2nd. – The Silence of the Lambs

 

3rd. Most Likely toDie

 

4th. Hollows Grove

 

5th. Dead Set (this one is actually a show, but it’s 5 episodes, boiling it down to the length of one film. Plus, it’s awesome.)

 

6th. The Lodge

 

7th. Para Elisa

 

8th. 2001 Maniacs

 

9th. The Babadook

 

10th. Cujo

 

11th. Would You Rather

 

12th. All Hallows Eve: October 30th

 

13th. Stung

 

14th. Offpsring

 

15th. Curve

 

16th. Poor Pretty Eddie

 

17th. The Damned

 

18th. Beneath (2007)

 

19th. The Veil

 

20th. Occupant

 

21st. Final Girl

 

22nd. Stranded

 

23rd. Deformed Monsters

 

24th. Comforting Skin

 

25th. The House at the End of Time

 

26th. Witching & Bitching

 

27th. Out of the Dark

 

28th. Castle Freak

 

29th. The Host

 

30th. The Fury

 

31st. Jaws

Horror Flick of the Week: Nightmare Castle (1965)

Posted in Media, Movies and shows, Trailers, Uncategorized, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2016 by ranranami

It is no secret that a disgustingly high number of classic films, and especially Italian ones, found themselves butchered terribly in their transitions to the American screen. I’ve heard Nightmare Castle is no exception, but if you’re looking for the full version, you can find it under the title of ‘The Faceless Monster’. The discrepancy is 11 minutes. Pacing and I believe a bit of violence being the key missing bits…

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However, I am not necesarilly a purist about these things. Because I can still enjoy it on its own if I haven’t seen the original first, and that’s why I’d recommend Nightmare Castle to any fan of B movies, Italian Gothic horror, Bava-esque settings, and of course…Barbara Steele. The one and only.

Throughout this film, I found myself mostly appreciating the set…the house…the costumes…and the fact that it really wasn’t as slow as some people would have you believe. Especially if you’re used to the sort of dragging elements Italian cinema is especially known for, the general classic philosophy of their filmmaking being that ‘cinema is about the art and the experience, not the plot or the philosophy of being concise.’ Taking that into consideration, there’s quite a bit of plot in this that you wouldn’t otherwise expect. A mad scientist tortures his adulterous wife to death, uses her blood to youthen their maid (who is obviously his dish on the side), then marries her step (or half) sister to get the family property and fortune…did I mention Barbara Steele is in dual roles? Barbara Steele is in dual roles.

A great film for the approaching holiday season. Check it out as soon as possible, and especially if it’s dark and stormy in your neck of the woods. You won’t regret it.