Tag Archives | Horror
The fictional vampire may have made his debut at the Algonquin Round Table, but he flourished alongside the cave-dwelling cannibals and homicidal maniacs who introduced the British working class to the magic of reading. The 1845-1847 penny dreadful Varney the Vampire was penned by none other than James Malcolm Rymer, who created the character Sweeney Todd. Victorian Gothic writes:
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James Malcolm Rymer’s Varney the Vampire has been described as the worst book of the 19th century. Introduced in 1845, the completed serial consists of over 600,000 words of tedious dialog, aimlessly meandering storylines, maddening repetition, and enough kernels of genius to consistently inspire horror fiction into the present day. Bram Stoker, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Russell T. Davies and Freidrich Wilhelm Murnau are just some of the writers and filmmakers who have been indebted to concepts originated in the pages of Varney, making it easily the most influential vampire story that nobody reads.
The first full-length work of vampire fiction, Varney appeared in the penny press some 36 years after the original short story sketches by Lord Byron and John William Polidori, and decades before J.
And this is a text that people use to teach their children morality? Via Cracked, eight bible stories that compete with the worst horror novels and slasher movies in terms of grotesque, over-the-top violence, including the impaling of Haman on a 75-foot spike, the serving of John the Baptist’s head on a platter at a banquet, Herod being eaten alive by worms as Godly punishment, a lake of blood filled by crushing masses of people inside a giant wine press, and the dismembering of a prostitute:
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“When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. He said to her, ‘Get up; let’s go.’ But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.
Singapore Paranormal Investigators has everything you need to know about the Haw Par Villa amusement park. Built in 1937, it is dotted with lush gardens and life-size depictions of scenes including the ten levels of hell described in ancient Chinese mythology, torture and dismemberment, humans with the heads of animals, and a women breastfeeding her father-in-law. It has been described as “if Heironymus Bosch built a putt-putt course”. Book your tickets and take your kids for a vacation that will change their lives.
When someone miraculously returns to life at their own funeral, but then dies of shock at what’s taking place, is it perhaps best to continue on with the service as if nothing happened? The Daily Mail reports:
A woman died from a heart attack caused by shock after waking up to discover she had been declared dead – and was being prepared for burial. As mourning relatives filed past her open coffin she suddenly woke up and started screaming as she realized where she was.
Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov, 49, of Kazan, Russia, had been wrongly declared deceased [the first time] by doctors. Her eyes fluttered and [she was] immediately rushed back to the hospital but she only lived for another 12 minutes in intensive care before she died again, this time for good.
A chilling urban legend from New York City comes terribly true on the opposite side of the globe, as three-foot rats run amok, feasting on human babies. The Daily Mail writes:
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Giant rats as big as cats have killed and eaten two babies in separate attacks in South Africa’s squalid townships this week.
Lunathi Dwadwa, three, was killed as she slept in her parent’s shack outside Cape Town and another girl was killed in Soweto township near Johannesburg the same day. Bukiswa Dwadwa, 27, said: ‘I can’t forget how ugly my child looked after her eyes were ripped out. ‘She was eaten from her eyebrows to her cheeks, her other eye was hanging by a piece of flesh.’
Residents of South Africa’s impoverished townships say the giant rats grow up to three-foot long, including their tails, and have front teeth over an inch long. The suspects in the baby attacks are believed to be African Giant Pouched Rats, the biggest in the world.
Hard to believe that this is a real communication from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, but it is! From the official CDC blog:
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There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.
A Brief History of Zombies
We’ve all seen at least one movie about flesh-eating zombies taking over (my personal favorite is Resident Evil), but where do zombies come from and why do they love eating brains so much? The word zombie comes from Haitian and New Orleans voodoo origins. Although its meaning has changed slightly over the years, it refers to a human corpse mysteriously reanimated to serve the undead.
Interested in investing in demonic real estate? The home was built in 1763 by Stephen Harris, a wealthy merchant. Subsequently his children died and his wife descended into madness — in real life, not the Lovecraft story. Additionally, there likely are colonial-era corpses buried in the backyard. The Lovecraftian notes ominously:
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The home at 135 Benefit Street in Providence, Rhode Island, that’s featured in H.P. Lovecraft’s story “The Shunned House” is for sale. And if you’re looking for “a particular house on the eastern side of the street; a dingy, antiquated structure perched on the abruptly rising side-hill, with a great unkempt yard dating from a time when the region was partly open country” and you’ve got $925,000, it could be yours.
The house had a colorful history even before Lovecraft wrote about it, none of which is mentioned in the real estate listing however. Aside from a giant monster buried in the basement (which can, admittedly, be killed with acid), it has four bedrooms, a koi pond and a library.