The Green Fairy & the Heebie Geebies

When absinthe — also known as the Green Fairy — was banned in France, Switzerland, the Un­ited States and many other countries in the early 1900s, it had become associated with illicit behavior. In fact, it was accused of turning children into criminals, encouraging loose morals and inspiring murders. That regular old alcohol received similar […]

The Brothers Grimm & their dark early fairytales.

A postcard from the 1800s shows the seven dwarfs finding Snow White asleep in their bedroom. Hulton Archive/Getty Images The Original Folk & Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm by Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm, Jack Zipes and Andrea Dezso It’s well-known that our favorite fairy tales started out darker than the ones Disney animators brought […]

‘The Weeping Devil’ by McNair.

American illustrator and artist Jon MacNair has a unique style that is grounded in surrealism and Gothic whimsy. Sticking with a mostly black and white palette, his creations are crammed with so many ghoulish delights: woodland spirits resurrecting the dead, battles with mythical monsters, and trees growing out of the back of mysterious animals. See […]

Illustrations from ‘Dante’s Divine Comedy’ by Martini.

In 1901, Vittorio Alinari, head of Fratelli Alinari, the world’s oldest photographic firm, decided to publish a new illustrated edition of Dante’s Divine Comedy. To do so, Alinari announced a competition for Italian artists: each competitor had to send illustrations of at least two cantos of the epic poem, which would result in one winner […]

Sydney’s Mortuary Station, end of the Line 1869-1938.

When ­Sydney’s cemetery reached capacity in the late 1860s, Mortuary Station was built to provide access to a new site. Image Credit: courtesy of the Australian Railway Heritage Society Funeral trains no longer steam through Sydney, but Mortuary Station remains a haunting reminder of times past. 19th century, mourners would congregate at Mortuary Station, in […]

The Story of the Universal Classic Monsters.

The Inner Sanctum Mysteries of radio were adapted to film in the 1940s The Inner Sanctum was a popular radio program which portrayed mysteries, often in a camp production, and was often hosted by a horror movie star. Many of the actors famous for portraying Universal’s Classic Monsters appeared on the program, as hosts and […]

The First Edition of Fahrenheit 451 was a Killer.

The Special Edition of Fahrenheit 451 was bound in fire-proof asbestos (the slow and silent killer). Ray Bradbury’s iconic dystopian novel focused on a future American society where books are outlawed and firemen hunt down and burn books rather than put out house fires. Shortly after the book was published in 1953, a run of […]

‘Death and the Eternal Forever’ by Ron English.

Ron English has bombed the global landscape with countless unforgettable images: on the street, in museums, in movies, in books and on television. Coining the term ‘POPaganda’ to describe his signature mash-up of high and low cultural touchstones; from superhero mythology to totems of art history, his work is populated with a vast and constantly […]

Something you may not Know about Halloween.

Halloween. Odds are, you think of it as one of the best days of the year. If you really stop to think about Halloween and all the bizarre traditions that go along with this day, you may start to actually wonder… where in the world did all these crazy traditions come from? Costumes, monsters, trick […]

The Raven in Literature.

The symbolism of ravens can be divided into three main categories: that of the evil spirit or harbinger of death, that of the trickster or thief, and that of the prophetic or wise spirit. The traditional English poem “One for bad news, Two for mirth” incorporates all three of these, reflecting the way that both […]