Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas 2010, Part 3: Ghost pics

Above: Jane asks Zombie Santa about returning a severed head, while watching out for the grabby hands of Hermie the Horny Undead Elf.

I have a few last photos and stories to share about Christmas for the Voodoo Queen and I.

You may wonder if we have any traditions we faithfully observe in our home during the season, other than the usual tree-trimming and gift exchange. Well, one new tradition (an oxymoron, yeah, but I just started this tradition) is the Christmas Melting of Objects. Jane and I worked on a craft project that involved melting bits of colored plastic to make a sun-catcher.

My family has always been "crafty. I still have the ceramic dessert plates my 2nd-cousin-once-removed-from-society Edie Gein made from the ashes of her grandfather-- I use them to serve ladyfingers. But I digress. Jane and I had fun trying to liquidate old Halloween candy.

See, I had this plate of leftover circus peanuts and candy corn stuck up on a bookshelf and forgotten:

No, I don't eat that crap--it was around at Halloween time just because it's the scariest candy I know of and added to the "spooky" atmosphere. (Hey, it's a gas to have a bowl of this out when trick-or-treaters come just to see their reactions when they think that's what they are getting--but we were kind and gave out Snickers.) Anyway, having once discovered that nuking marshmallow Peeps was a blast, I decided to do it to these crappy confections. So transferring it all to a plain paper plate, I blasted it with radiation:

And it came out looking like a "Harvest moon" with giant orange volcanic ridges on its surface. (Man, you can't easily destroy circus peanuts!) The candy became so hard I tried using it as a hammer:

After that, gifts were exchanged as part of our Christmas morning, before we went out to visit friends.

What is more appropriate for a severed head than a severed leg lamp?

It's fra-gee-lay!

And what more could Jane want than a crocheted conjoined rat?

One early gift I gave myself was a "ghost camera," which guaranteed that spirits would be revealed on each film frame every time I took a photo with it. (I don't think specters and shades can be revealed on digital cameras-- too modern for the tastes of the old-fashioned dead.) So for the week of Christmas I took pictures at several places, hoping to capture shots of the invisible citizens of Eternity.

Except for my cropping and resizing some of them, the following images came back from the film lab just as you see them.

Here's outside my home:

Inside famous Allegheny Cemetery:

At St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery:

At Union Dale Cemetery a ghostly piper played for a flying girl...

More from other parts of Union Dale:

And on Christmas Day I used my ghost camera inside the home of friends Bill and Ariann. (I blogged about our horrorday celebrations with them here and here.)

Midget dancers once lived in their house, apparently--

And it seems there was an awful apparition in the dining room:

A phantom was trying to interfere with Bill's carving the ham:

And to think we were all oblivious to the these ethereal, ectoplasmic holiday guests.

Here's to a haunted-yet-fun 2011!

Our Christmas in 2010, Part 2

Zombie Claus came over for Christmas.

Well, kids, you may remember that last time I posted some pics of the spooky/kooky/altogether ooky friends' home I visited on Christmas. Let's continue the tour! (Click on the photos and enlarge them--there's so much "cool ghoul" detail.)

Here's the front parlor (I use this old term on purpose--as in "funeral parlor") as you look to the right:

Our gracious and ghoulish (g)hosts, Bill and Ariann.

I said to Bill and Ariann, "The Christmas decor in most people's homes today says 'Believe.' Yours says 'Beware!'"

Skulls make for a striking kitchen decor. These were placed near the bottles of poisons and acids.

There was an exchange of gifts. I got some skull-and-crossbones bling and monster books; Jane got some horror-related books, too. We gave them a "witch's garden" (a spookily-decorated terrarium) to grow plants mentioned in spell books, and the latest issue of Famous Monsters magazine.

Now let's look into the dining room--

We had a bountiful feast, although I noticed the joint of ham served looked a lot like a thigh from a "long pig" instead of a real oinker. It tasted like ham and looked like ham, but perhaps it was a roast. Chuck, perhaps.

The ale that we drank to keep us hale:

We talked about a lot of things during dinner, like the recent solar eclipse that occurred on the same day as the winter equinox. I was the only one among us who'd managed to see it, and said the moon that night looked to me like a pink pearl in the night sky.The fast-moving, very thin clouds high up in the sky that night made the pale orb appear to pulse.

Other odd things recently seen were a man who was a deep gray blue, a skin condition that comes from ingesting too much colloidial silver. (It results in argyria, whose only benefit is warding off werewolves and vampires.) We also talked about forgotten old Christmas traditions, such as telling ghost stories, or playing the game snapdragon, where raisins are placed in a wide shallow bowl and covered with brandy, which is set on fire. The object is to reach into the fire and grab the raisins, the winner was whoever got the most or was able to look like a dragon by blowing the burning vapor out after tossing the raisins into one's mouth.

Bill, Ariann, Jane and I gathered around the tv later to watch The Bells, a classic silent about murder, a ghost, a hypnotist and a nagging conscience, loosely based on an Edgar Allan Poe poem. It was heartwarming.

Then we said our thanks and goodbyes to our generous friends, and went home. We felt the need to watch a religious film before the holiday was done, so of course we popped in The Exorcist. The perfect end to a perfect day.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Our Christmas in 2010, Part 1

On Christmas Day, Jane the Voodoo Queen and I went to visit friends Bill and Ariann. Their home looks something like a cross between the house in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the house on The Addams Family.

Just the sort of place to put us in a festive mood!

For example, this is the sight that greets you on the left as you enter the house:

Of course, above you see how things look with the flash on. The room really looks more like this:

But don't think the house wasn't Christmas-y. There was a beautifully decorated Christmas tree right next to the sarcophagous:

There were even some normal, non-horror-lovin' relatives of Bill's there to help balance the celebrational situation. (It truly takes all kinds to make a world.) Of course, I didn't take their pictures for this blog. But here's a pic of our host and hostess being attacked by Zombie Claus, who made a brief appearance to make the evening more cheerful:

Jane was fearless in approaching the the undead old elf:

More on the gory gaiety and dark decor tomorrow...


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