Since Bram Stoker wrote his novel in 1897, Dracula has become one of the most famous and reproduced stories in our culture. These days, Dracula seems a little quaint. The narrative is not that scary, not that shocking or sensational, compared to what has come along since. We've got richly art-directed cannibalism on network TV now. We’re post-Poltergeist and "they're heeeere," post-Antichrist, where testicles are crushed and blood is ejaculate. There’s a thing called torture porn and people shrug their shoulders about it. I hate to invoke The Human Centipede, but it did mark a grim psychosexual apotheosis in popular entertainment. Where do you go from these advancements? Surely [...]
The girls’ bathroom of Jefferson Elementary School was a creepy place: bodies of dead bugs dimmed the fluorescent lights, cracks exposed darkness beneath the floor tile, and the radiator sputtered and shrieked irregularly. But it was exponentially creepier as a second-grader, cowering in the corner, while a classmate I’d only just met stared into the mirror and chanted: “Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary…”—a pause, during which I looked up at the mirror and saw her eyes fill with fear, then she finished in one breath: “BloodyMary!”
I heard screaming and only realized it was mine as the two of us tore out of the bathroom and careened into the hall, [...]
I now know: when I die, I want to be buried naturally. I want my body to be wrapped in a shroud and placed in the earth, without the physical and financial burdens of embalming or cremation. But thinking about my own mortality has not always been easy for me: as a child, I kept myself awake at night with my fears about death. I decided to take control of this fear, and started educating myself on death: I wrote a paper on the economics of Ghanaian funeral rituals, I filmed a documentary with my father in a cemetery, and I started watching Caitlin Doughty's ‘Ask a [...]
The sexy Halloween costume is tyranny; it is irony without attendance. Sexy Halloween costume, I decry you. This Halloween, I humbly submit that we take our costume cues from a simpler, less brazenly sexy time: Arden Holt’s Fancy Dresses Described; or, What to Wear at Fancy Balls, already through five editions in 1887. This volume has suggestions for everybody: “brunes,” fair women, history enthusiasts, elderly ladies, and even gentlemen. Here are some selections of fancy dresses:
I’m mesmerized by the photo on the Soska sisters’ “About” page. It’s compelling in a gory, expected way; Jen and Sylvia Soska take up the left half of my screen; their shiny, stick-straight hair and pale skin are both completely splattered with blood. They’re identical twins, so it’s a mind trip of sorts, their piercing eyes stare at the camera-— one sister gives that vampy look while the other sister looks like she's thinking “All in a day’s work.” The Soska sisters are gorgeous and tropey, everything you’d want in horror film stars—or in their case, horror film directors.
For the past decade, the Soska sisters have [...]
Happy Horrors, my sisterwitches of The Mystical Menorrhea! How’s everyone’s ovaries doing? Me and mine are preparing for All Hallow’s Eve celebrations. I’m thinking about finally dressing up in the costume I’ve wanted to since the late 1990s–a box of tampons, like Kelly Macdonald’s character did in the movie Splendor–but alas, that might be too obvious. Still, I just want to pay Halloween homage to our cherished Female Curse!
Which brings me to this month’s Goddess feast, which is a quick and easy one. Being born and raised in Southern California, I’ve eaten my share of delicious authentic Mexican tacos. But sometimes, just sometimes, I get [...]
Cordelia: Here's a chocolate…Oh. I don't think I need the loony-fringe vote.
Buffy: Well, I-I don't even *like* chocolates…
Drusilla: Miss Edith speaks out of turn. She's a bad example, and will have no cakes today.
Xander: Yeah. It's a delicious, spongy, golden cake stuffed with a delightful creamy, white substance of goodness. And here's how you eat it.
Admit it: you barely learned how to multiply fractions because you were up too late every school night reading Fear Street books. Yes, it's absolutely shameful, but at least nobody can see how you just nodded solemnly at your screen.
While not targeted at a so-called female readership in the same way that, say, pulpy contemporaries like Sweet Valley High, R.L. Stine's YA thrillers were mini-backpack-sized estrogen magnets in the Midwestern bubble of my '90s youth. It's not too hard to guess why. The protagonists were almost always female, for one. But more than that, Fear Street's blend of teen melodrama and uncomfortable yet way-titillating PG-13 sexy bits [...]
At Halloween, I bought a bunch of decorative gourds and tiny little pumpkins. These things are practically indestructible so I have had them strewn about my kitchen and dining room ever since. One of them started looking a tiny bit suspicious, so I checked them all.
One on my wooden dining room table that looked perfect from the top was totally stuck on with gross pumpkin mold and goo and stuff. So far I've thrown away the rest of the pumpkins and gently scraped off of the worst of the gunk, but there's still some gross stuff on there and a dark stain underneath. It is solid wood [...]