I have a LIMITED number of SIGNED copies of my horror books The Associated Villainies, Hopeful Monsters, and The Five Poisons available directly from my website. They are even a dollar off their regular Amazon sale price FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY!!! If you’re nice, I might even throw in a free bookmark. Get ’em before they’re all gone!
It’s finally here, my dark minions! My dear friend the Vegan Black Metal Chef has unleashed his cookbook upon the world, written and photographed by himself and graphically designed by myself. Buy a beautiful hardback print copy, either plain or autographed! Buy an ebook, which is not quite as pretty but kills a few fewer trees I guess! Just buy one and summon up some evil vegan vittles of your very own! GET THE THING RIGHT HERE.
Farting around with some photos today, considering doing some new promo postcards. For what, who knows. But I like how they came out, anyways, so now you have to look at them too.
Ahhh, the Seventies. What a time to be a kid! I realize this is ever-so-slightly off the subjects I usually discuss on here, but this Pictorial post about rad toys from bygone days got me feeling all nostalgic, and since I’ve already written a post about scary books I loved as a child, I thought, why not expand on that a little? Because as much as I adored my ghost stories and Alfred Hitchcock anthologies, the creepy-ass toys I played with as a little goth nugget were probably just as pivotal in turning me into the horror behemoth you behold before you today. So here we are: the Goddess’s list of her favorite horror-related toys from her formative years!
Weeble Haunted House
This was probably my very favorite toy growing up. I still have a picture of four-year-old me playing with it, along with my toddler brother, in our painfully 70’s-looking living room (complete with mustard-hued beanbag chair). The haunted house opened up like a dollhouse! The front door creaked when you opened it! There were secret passages! There was a little Weeble ghost that glowed in the dark and a Weeble witch with a teeny plastic witch hat! There were two frightened little Weeble people who JUST COULDN’T EVEN. If loving this toy is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
Mystery Mansion Game
I don’t remember the exact rules of this game, but basically, it came with all these little boxlike “rooms,” and you assembled the mansion as you played. There were rules to the mansion assembly, of course, like the rooms had to line up by their doorways, and you couldn’t have a room with a window facing into another room (so the above picture, with the rooms all willy-nilly and the music room’s window facing the boiler room’s wall, WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED, YOU GUYS, GET IT RIGHT).* I think you had to be the first to capture three of the little treasure chests and get back out of the house. The artwork of the rooms was really nice and very realistic, perspective-wise, and I seem to recall that most of the time we didn’t even bother playing the game, because obviously the funnest part was assembling the mansion in lots of different configurations. I totally wanted this to be my real house when I was a kid. Look how spacious and tastefully decorated it is!
Play Doh Haunted House
I would occasionally get all fancy with this and attempt to make multi-colored witches and mummies with the Play-Doh, though I can’t remember how well all of that worked out. And while I did have this exact Play-Doh set with this particular haunted house plastic mat, it’s really bugging me because I’m sure I also had a plastic mat that looked like a mad scientist’s lab that either came with this set or that I used with these particular Play-Doh molds. But I can’t find a picture of it on Google and it’s kinda driving me crazy.
A monstery variation on Stretch Armstrong, with a healthy helping of the Creature from the Black Lagoon. I actually recall the monster being a darker green than this and having a smoother head, but that must be just my faulty memory. One thing I do remember, though, is that if you and your little brother played with it enough, eventually it would get a hole in it and the stretchy stuff inside would begin to seep out, and that stuff had the same consistency and smell as maple syrup. Hmm.
Goes without saying, really. Who didn’t love this thing? You could make creepy bugs and worms with it, and there was always the alluring possibility that you might burn yourself (which is the same reason I also loved the Flower Thingmaker, and that smelting plant-type thing where you could melt down your crayons and make swirly, multicolored Hot Wheels cars).
Shogun Warriors Godzilla
Clunky and not that exciting by today’s standards, but nevertheless, kid-me was entranced that you could roll your ‘zilla around on the floor and flick out his fire-tongue while shooting at your siblings with the monster’s detachable action fist!
Mad Scientist Dissect-An-Alien (1980’s)
A bit of a cheat, as I was slightly older when this came out, but you can bet your ass I played with it when my little brother got one. You filled the alien’s body cavity up with glowing slime and tried to cram all his little innards in there before “stitching” him back up. I don’t recall that we EVER got all of his plastic guts to fit in there with the slime inside. Maybe we just got overzealous with the goop, which totally sounds like something we would do.
Mighty Men & Monster Maker
A more “boy-centric” version of Fashion Plates (which I also had and enjoyed), this one used plastic grave-rubbing technology to let you make cool hybrid superheroes and creatures, even if you couldn’t draw a lick. Then you could color them with the included colored pencils! Fuck yeah, I’m drawing a green, muscle-bound superhero with werewolf legs, AND YOU CAN’T STOP ME, GODDAMMIT.
Crossbows and Catapults
More fantasy-based than horror-based, but I’m including it because it was kinda medieval, and also fun as fuck. Me and my younger brother usually set up our citadels a few feet apart on our grandmother’s kitchen floor, and then went to town trying to take down each other’s settlements. The only downside was having to track down all the tiny projectiles after the carnage was complete. Most of them are probably STILL under a refrigerator somewhere.
I had totally forgotten about this game until I was researching this post and came across a photo of it. Holy CRAP, all the nostalgia feels came flooding back. I LOVED THIS THING. I can’t remember how you played exactly, but I think you just had to get through the haunted mansion on the little footsteps, and bad shit happened to you if you got stuck on one of the red DANGER spots. Some of the cardboard pieces were movable, I remember that, and there was something about a clock? I also love that the game pieces were wee little different-colored mice. I specifically had the version of the game pictured, which came out in 1970 (I was born in 1972, so maybe my parents got this second-hand), but in 1971, basically the same game was released in a different box under the name Haunted House.
And that’s all the fun for today, minions. Go play with your Aurora model kits and your Monster Machines, and remember to keep it creepy, my friends. Goddess out.
*ETA: Okay, I see now that I was a little too hasty in my OCD condemnation of the Mystery Mansion layout. The music room is a two-story room, and there is indeed a plastic set of stairs leading from its door down to the door of the room beside it, making this room placement totally legit. My apologies, mysterious Mystery Mansion layer-outer.
YES, I’m still alive, minions, I have just been so busy that my blog posts have temporarily fallen by the wayside. I’m hoping to at least get a Scary Silents squeezed in the next day or two, so please be patient. While you wait, right here is the thing that’s been taking up all my time: Remember in one of my last posts I mentioned my friend The Vegan Black Metal Chef and how I am designing his cookbook (which will be titled The Seitanic Spellbook and will contain dozens and dozens of easy, yummy, vegan recipes)? Well, the deadline to send this tome to the printer is less than a month away, so I have been working my little Goddess fingers off, trying to get it just as evil and perfect as it can be. As I also mentioned before, there is a Kickstarter campaign to fund the printing, and even though it has already been fully funded (and then some!), any extra funds go toward printing even more copies for all of his eager fans! Seriously, the VBMC is an awesome guy and this cookbook is gonna be totally epic, so if you’d like to help him out, I would really appreciate it. Thank you, and keep it creepy, my friends! \m/
The cause of evil never rests, as all of you know, and as a card-carrying emissary of said evil, I work tirelessly to bring you, my minions, the most enjoyable nastiness that my fevered brain can vomit up. Yes, I bestow upon you small nuggets of nefariousness in the form of these here blog posts (and I will have a new Scary Silents up by the beginning of next week, I promise; it will either be about The Sealed Room from 1909 or Dante’s Inferno from 1911, so sit tight), but there is so much more, darklings, and perhaps you don’t realize the extent of my iniquitous empire. If you’ve read any of my previous ramblings, you’ll know that I often piss and moan about how busy I am, so for your edification, I’m gonna outline exactly what I’m doing with all my malevolent hours. So here, in handy-dandy list form with pictures and links and everything, are the ten projects the Goddess has going on right now:
1. Something Old, Something New
Like any writer, I have a fuckton of unpublished bullshit lying around on the sofa, not helping out with the rent and just generally being useless wastes of space. In order to make these shiftless little word-bums earn their keep, I’ve decided to put out a NEW print book containing a veritable gumbo of goodness: New short stories! Older short stories that appeared in anthologies years ago that you probably didn’t read! Unpublished screenplays! Even modified versions of some of my favorite posts on this very site! At the moment, the book’s working title is Salmagundi, but I might change it if I think of something better, which I probably will. It’s gonna be an epic compilation of my various brain leavings and obsessions, and you’ll all need to buy copies for everyone you know for the upcoming holiday season, or else Jesus won’t bring you any presents and Santa Claus will let his reindeer shit in your rain gutters. I will, of course, be posting the link when this literary milestone drops, so keep your eyeballs peeled.
2. Mammoth Mountain Mischief
By now you all know that the book I co-authored with the God of Hellfire, The Mammoth Mountain Poltergeist, is the best poltergeist book ever penned and will bring about world peace in our lifetimes. In my frazzled, half-assed way, I try to promote the thing, mostly through paranormal-type radio shows and podcasts (such as here, here, and here). The GoH and I will soon be appearing on yet another one of these, the UK-based Keeping the Paranormal Friendly show! Tune in on Sunday, August 9th at 4:00pm Eastern Time and watch our sexy, Skype-enabled mugs flapping our jaws about the book. Then buy a copy in print or Kindle, goddammit.
3. More Paranormal Hijinks
As I believe I’ve mentioned a few times before, my above-mentioned foray into paranormal nonfiction drew the attention of British parapsychologist Steve Mera of MAPIT, and I am working with him on a book about the Rochdale poltergeist case from 1996. I’ve written the bulk of the narrative, and now the first draft of it is in Steve’s hands so that he can correct details and add his own insights. I’m not sure when this will be done, but it will definitely be soon, so again, keep watching this space.
4. Dirty, Filthy Sex
Since some of my horror stories veer into erotica territory, I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a series of straight-up erotica tales (which, since it’s me, will likely have horror elements, because I just can’t seem to help myself). These will be longer short stories, published as ebook exclusives and sold for about 99 cents each. I will also probably write them under a pseudonym, just to keep everything kinda separate, but I’m not gonna make a big secret about what the pseudonym is (when I decide on one, that is), so I’m not trying to be sneaky or nothin’. I’ve written part of an erotic short story so far, and hopefully I’d like to get to the point where I’m cranking out at least one a week. Keep the lube and tissues handy for the first moist installment!
5. Ambition, Thy Name is Goddess
Christ on a cream cracker, I’m already worn out and I’m only on number five. But this here is a project I’ve been mulling over for years, and I hope to have it come to fruition fully in 2016. It’s going to be a serialized novel/interactive mystery that spans several mediums. I don’t want to go into too many details, because I’m still working everything out, but I’m very excited about this and hope I can do it without fucking it all up. I’ve already got gobs and gobs of notes, layouts, designs, video scripts, and so forth; the logistics of it are complicated, but I think it’ll either turn out super cool and make me a beloved horror sensation, or flop spectacularly into a wet diarrhea fart of insignificance. Either way, it’ll be fun for me to do, so, y’know. *shrug*
6. Cooking With Satan
Here’s something you might not know: In addition to being a writer, I am also a graphic designer. Here’s another thing you might not know: I have cool-as-shit friends. One of these friends is the motherfuckin’ Vegan Black Metal Chef, who is rad and metal as fuck and has an awesome YouTube show where he cooks delicious vegan vittles whilst he serenades you with ear-bleeding death-metal tunes that describe the recipe so that you may follow along in your own kitchen/dungeon. Subscribe to him, he rules. Anyway, I have been working with him for the past several months to design a cookbook as epic as his show is, and we’ll be coming down the home stretch in the next couple months. By the way, he has a Patreon, so throw some filthy lucre in his direction. The book is gonna be badass, and seriously, you don’t have to be a vegan to want to cook some of this shit in here, because all of it is devilishly delectable. *horned hand salute*
7. All About the Club Life
Speaking of cool-as-shit friends, I have another one known as DJ Lavidicus, and he hosts the best monthly goth-industrial night in central Florida, Memento Mori at Independent Bar in downtown Orlando. Great music, great crowd, great vibe, and if you’re in the area, you need to check it out as soon as you can. The GoH and I always make an appearance, and we also have a hand in promoting the night and the scene in general! I design all the posters and promo materials! The next one is going to be on Monday, August 17th, but go to the Facebook page to keep up with dates and make requests! (Might as well check out the Facebook page I run with the GoH too, Our Gothic Orlando, while you’re at it, and also check out Cold Therapy, the band featuring the beautiful wife of DJ Lavidicus, Jen Draven.)
Oh, and I can’t mention Memento Mori without mentioning our other beloved monthly scene night, Escape at Southern Nights! Hosted by some talented and batshit insane friends of ours, it tends more toward fetish, with outrageous costumes, monthly themes, sexy dancers, crazy game shows, and general debauchery, so kindly stop by, say hello to the GoH and myself, and maybe have a chance to go up on stage and get playfully molested by a giant bunny! Here are a few videos to whet your appetite!
8. I Know People in Bands Too, You Guys
Speaking of that graphic design work I do, a large percentage of it comes from my amazing friend Imani and her company, Valkyrie Management. She manages tons of (largely) death metal bands in the area, and she’s always got shows going all over the place, for which I design several posters, tickets and T-shirts every month. Check out her page, check out her bands, go see some of them play! Live music, motherfucker!
9. Looking for a Handout
If you have a few meager pennies left after tossing money at everything else on this list, won’t you consider dropping a few into the coffers over at my Patreon page? You can get free books and other cool shit, and I promise it’ll be a couple bucks well spent. COUGH IT UP, PEONS. Ahem. I mean, thank you in advance.
10. Oh Yeah, That Nine to Five Thing
Did I mention I also have a full-time job doing graphic design at a printing company? I’m not gonna tell y’all where it is, though, because you might stalk me. 🙂
And now, back into the fray. Until next time, keep it creepy, my friends. Goddess out.