‘Impasse’ Creating Beauty out of Trauma.

Impasse, photo by Susan Burnstine A ghostly figure is seen advancing – or departing – in Susan Burnstine’s photograph, taken on her uniquely customised camera. She suffers from night terrors, and uses her photography to tackle them. “My mother, who was a musician and artist, suggested I draw, paint or sculpt my dreams to understand […]

The Horror that was Bethlem Hospital, London.

It was not until 1890 that the status of lunatics was changed, in Britain by Parliamentary legislation, from prisoners to patients. Asylums were prisons disguised as hospitals, where the poor and incurable could be swept out of sight, It was a far cry from the charitable intentions of Simon FitzMary, who founded Bethlem in Bishopsgate […]

‘The Raven’ by Edgar Allan Poe.

In this poem, one of the most famous American poems ever, Poe uses several symbols to take the poem to a higher level. The most obvious symbol is, of course, the raven itself. When Poe had decided to use a refrain that repeated the word “nevermore,” he found that it would be most effective if […]

The Red Dragon by William Blake, 1757-1827.

Cinema made us fearful of William Blake’s formidable watercolor series, depicting the Great Red Dragon in various scenes from the Book of Revelation. But Blake’s works and the biblical tale are terrifying enough on their own: Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, […]

Scary Vintage Dolls from Yesteryear.

There’s nothing quite like a possessed doll to give you nightmares. Let’s face it, dolls are creepy as hell, especially old, raggedy dolls that smell like lighter fluid. Their glassy eyes reflect images and memories of unspeakable horror, yet their faces remain expressionless, content. These vintage dolls below are the stuff that nightmares are made […]

Happy Birthday Kitty.

Pictured: Seamus and Kitty Parham. My Daughter Candace turns 33 years old today. Good one kiddo. You have gone from being a screaming little baby brat to being a crazy young metalled punk rocker mummy. But what a great mother you have been to young Seamus who is such a beautiful boy who loves his […]

Birth of the Vampire.

Detail from F.G. Gainsford’s portrait of John Polidori, ca. 1816, the year he would accompany Lord Byron to his Lake Geneva villa. From that famed night of ghost-stories in a Lake Geneva villa in 1816, as well as Frankenstein’s monster, there arose that other great figure of 19th-century gothic fiction – the vampire – a […]

Pearl Curran, Ghostwriter for The Deceased.

Artistic Rendition of Pearl Curran. Many moons ago I lived. Again I come. Patience Worth my name. Wait, I would speak with thee. If thou shalt live, then so shall I… Good friends, let us be merrie. On July 8th 1913, after months of experimentation, a St. Louis housewife named Pearl Curran finally had a breakthrough […]

The Life of William Mortensen.

The book, published by Feral House, explores an art historical hero not well known to the masses. So here’s a primer: Mortensen began as a Hollywood artist; a contemporary of Cecil B. DeMille who worked in everything from set decoration to costumery. He was a photographer too, and as the jack-of-all-trades grew more popular in […]

The Strange Death of Edgar Allan Poe.

It was raining in Baltimore on October 3, 1849, but that didn’t stop Joseph W. Walker, a compositor for the Baltimore Sun, from heading out to Gunner’s Hall, a public house bustling with activity. It was Election Day, and Gunner’s Hall served as a pop-up polling location for the 4th Ward polls. When Walker arrived […]