Sunday, April 30, 2023


Walpurgis Night was when, according to the belief of millions of people, the devil was abroad–when the graves were opened and the dead came forth and walked. When all evil things of earth and air and water held revel. This very place the driver had specially shunned. This was the depopulated village of centuries ago. This was where the suicide lay; and this was the place where I was alone–unmanned, shivering with cold in a shroud of snow with a wild storm gathering again upon me! It took all my philosophy, all the religion I had been taught, all my courage, not to collapse in a paroxysm of fright.

- Bram Stoker, Dracula's Guest

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Mummy Mouse Update

Way back in 2009, I blogged about a little mummified mouse that was resting above an electrical panel at the end of a hallway where I worked.  You can read the entry here.

At that point in time, the mouse had been there for as long as some old timers in the building could remember.  The mummy mouse had survived multiple refurbishings and repaintings.  And grossed-out spectators.

I no longer work in that building, but a friend of mine who does texted me the below photo a few days ago.  Covered in dust, and looking like he/she is sleeping, the mummy mouse's remains remain.  And hopefully they'll remain as long as that building is standing.  

Wednesday, April 26, 2023


Cider made with bittersweet apples:

Our take on England’s west country cider. It’s mild with a rich apple finish. The key is drinkability. Balanced, not too much acid, and it can be drunk day long and night late. Roger Wilkins told us ‘the greatest cider drinkers are in the churchyard pushing up daisies.’ Cheers to these great drinkers.

Click the great logo below to see other offerings from the Ploughman Farm Cidery...

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Now Playing: Castle Music

By Raydar.

Click below...

Monday, April 24, 2023


The word tiki comes from Māori mythology, where it refers to the first man. The Māori and other Polynesian cultures carved images of their gods into wood and stone, known as tiki statues. The term “tiki” was then used in American culture in the mid 20th century to describe style and decor from Polynesia and the South Pacific.

- KegWorks

Admittedly, I didn't know very much about Tiki.  I didn't realize the Tiki "bar" culture that I had seen on TV or in the form of strange ceramic monster-faced mugs originated in the United States back in the 30's.  I knew there was a connection to the past and to the South Pacific (as I recall being spooked by the massive carvings on Easter Island (Thanks, Leonard Nimoy and In Search Of...).  Adding to the creep factor in my brain was a particular episode of The Brady Bunch, of all things.  

Vincent Price guest-starred and was something of a lunatic.  He kidnapped the Brady boys.  There were tiki carvings and a cursed tiki idol necklace.  Greg Brady nearly died whilst surfing.  

Tiki designs are spooky, and to this sheltered guy - they were mysterious.  And tiki mugs, oddly enough, always seemed to be where Halloween stuff was.  There were mugs and similar tiki designs at horror conventions.  They'd always pop up in my searches for Halloween and horror merchandise.  You'd see tiki designs at the shore in the summer, on the boardwalk and in shops.

Strangely, I never owned a tiki mug, despite being into weird designs and odd stuff.  And despite always wanting one.  That changed this past weekend when we went to a cool Tiki event at a local brewing company.  Vendors were selling food, beer, bottled spirits, and mixed cocktails (I had my first Zombie).  There were tables with small shop owners offering tiki-designed mugs, clothing, and jewelry (at really great prices).

And the music.  Being extremely new to psychobilly and all the related forms of the rockabilly/punk genre offshoots, I was thrilled to hear similar-sounding tunes as we approached the venue and started to see people wearing Hawaiian shirts and colorful leis.  There was a record label there called Hi-Tide Recordings and the music they were playing was absolutely perfect (apparently, there's a genre called Surfabilly [apparently, I'm a square]).

We walked out of there with two tiki mugs, a sugar cane liqueur called Falernum (made with lime, ginger, and cloves), and a pair of coffin skull earrings from a cool shop called Retro-Verte.

This will definitely be an annual tradition (and my quest for a haunted tiki idol necklace has officially begun).

Below are some photos and music links...

Click below for Surfin' Spooks:

Click below to hear Cha Cha Challoween:

Click below to hear Cemetery Beach:

Some more Tiki information at the always-awesome KegWorks blog.


So many layers in this Haunt.  Great lighting too.

More images and videos here.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Glenlore Trails

A mile long illuminated trail in Michigan.  

Click below for Glenlore's site...

Friday, April 21, 2023

April 20th: Fog Day's Eve

Fitting that we spent 4/20 charring rosemary and filling the house with an earthy herbal smoke.  

We wanted to do something fun for the upcoming anniversary of the sinking of the Elizabeth Dane (and Antonio Bay's birthday).  As the new owner of a cocktail smoker, I wanted to come up with something that was appropriate for Fog Day and I think I did it.  Behold Blake's Revenge.  A smoking rum-based cocktail that even has its own piece of seaweed.

Blake's Revenge:
2 oz aged rum (we used an 8 year Barbancourt)
1/2 oz sweet red vermouth
1 Teaspoon lemon & charred rosemary simple syrup
Garnish with a sprig of charred rosemary

After you combine the ingredients above, smoke the cocktail excessively to obtain a miniature fog bank.

Our Fog Day's Eve happy hour needed a dip.  

Mrs. Kobritz' Famous Smoky Clam Dip:
1 Tin smoked clams, oil drained
4 oz cream cheese
4 oz sour cream
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Teaspoon paprika 
1 Teaspoon minced onion 
Salt and pepper 

Mix by hand or blitz in a food processor for a smoother texture. Enjoy with Blake’s Revenge on the 21st of April.

Happy hour came to a perfect close with a viewing of The Fog - perhaps the finest horror film ghost story of all time (definitely up there with The Legend of Hell House and The Haunting [in its own way]).

Long live Blake and his ghostly comrades.  And Happy Fog Day, everyone - the twenty-first of April.

Happy Birthday, Antonio Bay

The six of us met tonight. From midnight until one o'clock, we planned the death of Blake and his comrades.  I tell myself that Blake's gold will allow the church to be built, and our small settlement to become a township, but it does not soothe the horror that I feel being an accomplice to murder.

- The Journal of Father Patrick Malone, 1880

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Ancient Sorceries

The wind whistled at the skirts of his coat as the
air round him darkened with many flying forms
crowding upwards out of the valley. The crying of
hoarse voices smote upon his ears, coming closer.
Strokes of wind buffeted him, tearing him this way
and that along the crumbling top of the stone wall;
and Ilse clung to him with her long shining arms,
smooth and bare, holding him fast about the neck.
But not Ilse alone, for a dozen of them surrounded
him, dropping out of the air. The pungent odour of
the anointed bodies stifled him, exciting him to
the old madness of the Sabbath, the dance of the
witches and sorcerers doing honour to the 
personified Evil of the world.

- Algernon Blackwood

Spooky Advertisements

Man, these are wonderful things.  

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Dead End Cemetery: Halloween 2013

It'd be an honor to be buried in this cemetery.  I'd want it both ways and request that half of me be buried in a plot and the other half incinerated in the crematorium...  I'd prefer it if my ashes were to settle on the surrounding homes and cars.

Haunts like Mr. Macabre's below were what it was all about when I was trick-or-treating.  You'd see a display like this one and see the amount of work that went into it, and the vastness of the operation, and you'd be scared to even go up for candy (at least that's how I was as a kid).  You'd see multiple creatures roaming the grounds (those were always extra unnerving to me [and I think I always assumed they were evil teens waiting to steal my candy {or worse}]).  I came from a house where anyone past the age of 15 never wore a costume in any shape or form.  But here were adults manning a Haunt and using real fire, and running a crematorium no less - with a smoking chimney.

When you went up there and got your candy, you felt really proud of yourself.  And you definitely felt safer once you reached the sidewalk.  This'll be hard to articulate, but it almost felt like those times where you're lost and suddenly see a landmark or a street name that you recognize, and all is well again.  Haunters create this entire mini world where an ordinary suburban home becomes something peculiar and out-of-place, and unsafe.  Your logic and experience tells you it's just Halloween, but your senses are whispering something else entirely.

Here's to those folks who didn't just hand out candy on a pumpkin-less porch.  Here's to those folks who blared Alice Cooper or a sound effects cassette.  Who sometimes used a real casket from God-knows-where.  Who followed you around dressed as an ugly rubber-faced Witch.  Who made Halloween something better than Christmas.