Lola Tarantula Earrings

I’ll admit it, I’m not above a little shameless self promotion. I just started my Etsy account, and I’ve been making a wide variety of earrings. I’ve pulled inspiration from many different places to create some cool stuff. I make all of these by myself and every pair is unique. I’ll be adding things frequently. Enjoy!

Lola’s Etsy

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White/Turquoise Day of the Dead Earrings

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Green Man Earrings

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Pumpkin Earrings

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Blue and Pink Coffin Earrings

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Yellow Day of the Dead Earrings

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Orange and White Coffin Earrings

Thanks guys. If you liked this be sure to follow the blog and on Twitter @allhallowshaunts.

Lola’s Favorite Finds From ScareLA and Midsummer Scream

I haven’t talked much about fashion on this site. I used to write about it more on my Buzzfeed account. When I started doing AHH, I just sort of stopped. Fashion is a big part of my life, and it’s probably the thing that gets me noticed more than anything else. On that note, many of my coworkers have been asking me where I get a lot of my stuff. Therefore I’m dedicating this article to all my friends at work, and all my fellow goth girls. I’ve indicated which convention I purchased each item at, but most of these vendors were at both events.

(From ScareLA) As much as I don’t need another black t-shirt, I couldn’t resist. This cute little black tee by Akumu Ink reminds me of The Conjuring by way of Tim Burton. I’m a sucker for illustrations of pale girls with big eyes. Akumu Ink has a wide range of designs to choose from. The designs are printed on hoodies, men’s and women’s tees, and even backpacks. If you like creepy cute, then Akumu Ink is definitely a brand you should look in to. http://akumuink.com/

cz3JKSz6SquiHnMRRrO7_8TW04b_1024x1024(From ScareLA) By far and away my favorite find from both conventions, is this amazing Jack o’ lantern purse by Dulce Calaveritas. I tried to get one at Midsummer Scream, but by the time I’d made up my mind, they were sold out. My purse is a little different than the one in the picture. My pumpkin is lime green with purple features and a black strap. They come in all colors. I like this bag, because it’s big, so there’s plenty of room. I also like the way the vinyl glitters in the sunlight. If you’re looking to score one of these, you’ll have to be patient. They sell out super fast, so it’s kind of hit and miss. https://www.etsy.com/shop/Dulcecalaveritas

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(Midsummer Scream) I picked up not one, but three items from Madame Whiskers. I got an eyeball ring, a Morticia Addams ring, and a Mulder and Scully pendant. You can get almost any image on you’re jewelry. They’re also inexpensive, which is great for goth girls on a budget! https://www.etsy.com/shop/MadameWhiskers#items

(Midsummer Scream) I love a nice sweater, and what hoodie could be better for Lola Tarantula than this spiderweb zip up from Kreepsville 666? Kreepsville 666 is a staple at horror conventions. They offer everything from Elvira dresses to skull shaped handbags. There’s something for every creepy girl! http://store.kreepsville666.com/

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(ScareLA) I absolutely adore these Halloween/horror skirts, designed by Brittnee Braun. My skirt is actually a different pattern than the one in the picture, but they’re quite similar. She sells a huge variety of prints, so there are many options to choose from. The classic high waisted shape will look good on most girls. I like this skirt because it creates the illusion of an hourglass figure. If I were to get another one I’d probably go for one of the zombie prints. https://www.etsy.com/shop/SkirtyBirt?ref=condensed_trust_header_title_items http://www.brittneebraun.com/

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The last vendor I’m going to mention is Sweet Midnight. I didn’t buy anything from her this time, but I’ve invested in some wicked cool stuff in the past. Sweet Midnight’s most popular item is the coffin shaped purse. These purses can be bought with or without bat wings. Word of warning, don’t ever put your coffin in the washing machine. Let’s just say mine is no longer coffin shaped. http://www.sweetmidnight.com/

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The Winchester Mystery House Had A Few Surprises At Midsummer Scream 

Front of House SunsetHistory has shown that the world is full of mysteries and wonder. There are places that can mystify, terrify, and captivate the mind in ways that one might not have ever imagined. One of those places lies in San Jose, California- The Winchester Mystery House. At the first annual Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival, The Winchester Mystery House shared what makes it one of the most haunted places on Earth, and what it has in store for its visitors!

For those who are unfamiliar with the Winchester Mystery House, it’s construction began in 1884. Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester Repeating Arm Company, fearing for her life and believing her family to be cursed, built the mansion in a way to give a home to the spirits who were killed by Winchester rifles. The house was under constant construction for 38 years, until Sarah Winchester passed away in 1922. Given the history and rumors surrounding the mansion, folks travel to the estate hoping to see spirits. Eventually the mansion was turned into a museum of sorts for visitors. Today, the house is a California landmark and hotbed for spiritual activity!

Leading the panel at Midsummer Scream were Winchester Mystery House staff members Walter Magnuson and Tim O’Day. They discussed the histories of both Sarah Winchester and the Winchester Mystery House. They discussed its current status as a travel destination for tourists, history buffs, and paranormal fans and investigators. They admitted that to this very day they are still finding new secrets and rooms. There are no actual blueprints to the property.

Towards the end of the panel, they were joined on stage by Peter Overstreet, the manager of special events at the Winchester Mystery House. The three together revealed the big plan for the Winchester’s Halloween season as they will be introducing the brand new Halloween Candle Light Tours. This new experience will allow visitors to go on a haunted guided tour of the mansion where the only light is candle light. Overstreet said that visitors will actually feel that “They are going through a real haunted house.”

They ended the panel by introducing the brand new “Skeleton Key” annual pass that grants members access to parts of the mansion that have never been open to the public before. As a treat, all those attending their panel at Midsummer Scream were made honorary Skeleton Key members.

I can honestly say that I’m extremely excited for everything that the Winchester Mystery House has to offer this upcoming Halloween season and year. The Halloween Candlelight Tour sounds absolutely amazing. To go through a haunted house only by candle light is a once in a life time experience. As for the Skelton Key, who wouldn’t want the chance to explore new sections of the mansion? I for one can’t wait to visit the Winchester Mystery House!

The Halloween Candlelight Tours will take place on 10 nights only! October 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 28th, 29th, 30th and 31st! Tickets range from $35 to $49, and go on sale September 2nd.

For more information on The Winchester Mystery House, the Halloween Candlelight Tours, and more, visit http://www.winchestermysteryhouse.com and follow them on Twitter- @WinchesterHouse . The Winchester Mystery House is located at 525 S. Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128.

The Witch DVD Review- The Woods Hold Dark Secrets

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In the past few years, several quiet understated visions of terror have exceeded the expectations of both audiences and filmmakers. Films like The Babadook and It Follows have revolutionized the state of modern horror. Following in their footsteps, is possibly the most subdued and unnerving film of the bunch, The Witch.

The Witch follows a family of settlers from the 1600s, who are banished to a mysterious forest. Within the confines of the never-ending trees, they begin to turn on one another. Accusations of witchcraft arise from deep rooted family secrets and visions of evil. As the family descends into madness, the audience is left to wonder if it’s just hysteria or if something sinister is lurking in the woods.

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The best thing about The Witch is that it’s so unobtrusive. The film presents the events as they occur, and allows the audience to just drift along with it. Too many films today, seem to feel the need to verbally explain every detail of the plot, as if viewers are too simple to figure it out without help. The Witch requires horror fans to bring themselves up to the film’s level. The Witch stands up there with the likes of The Innocents and the early works of Polanski. These are deeply psychological movies that hide their most shocking concepts in plain sight.

To go along with the tense plot, there is the gorgeous cinematography. To highlight the oppressive world of Puritanical New England, the film is composed of moody blues, stark whites, and velvety blacks. Amid all this darkness is the occasional flicker of candlelight or dying rays of sun. The camera movement is elegant and restrained. Dramatic movements are used exclusively to showcase crucial scenes. The combined result is a heavy gothic spectacle reminiscent of a Rembrandt painting.

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Now all of this would be incomplete without the commanding performances of this tiny cast. At the center of the film is Anya Taylor-Joy who plays the unfortunate protagonist, Thomasin. Taylor-Joy is able to capture the many facets of her character. On one hand she is a proper, reserved young woman plagued by the anxieties of early colonial life. On the other hand she is consumed by rage and perhaps unspeakable evil lurking in her soul.

In addition to Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson and Katie Dickie are outstanding as the matriarch and patriarch of this dysfunctional family. Dickie as the mother portrays a woman broken by her grief over a missing child and a horrible secret. Dickie is able to make her character sympathetic, if not relatable. Even when she is on the brink of sheer madness, one can’t help but feel for her. Ineson as the father is terrifying. His demeanor and vice grip command over his family is goosebump inducing. He is particularly creepy in his scenes with Taylor-Joy. My stomach was in knots every time he appeared on screen. Add in some of the creepiest children since Let the Right One in, and The Witch is a goldmine of performances.

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I can’t stress this enough, The Witch is a film that any self respecting horror fan must see. It may in fact be my favorite horror movie of the year, so far. The evocative setting coupled with tight suspense makes The Witch an unparalleled film. I’d rank The Witch up there with other great witch hunt films like Witchfinder General and The Crucible.

 

 

In The Night- A Poem

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Maiden White coiled in moonlight,

Death is always waiting,

By candle in the witching hour,

For her breath abating,

 

Hushed whispers down the corridor,

The ghosts just passing through,

Tears glitter in the dark,

Oh, turn another screw,

 

She calls the devils with her spell,

“Bring them onto me”,

Painted by shades of afterlife,

Screaming like a banshee,

 

Fingers move up the bed sheets,

This is silent revelation,

Feeding from the bone,

Whatʼs another violation?

 

They take it all,

Drank the milk straight from her breast,

And she prays to fall,

Against the safety of Abrahamʼs chest,

 

Breathe in, breathe out,

Dawn is just within her reach,

Unfathomable fathoms,

Slither back to the breach,

 

Closing the gates behind them,

Limbs rising from the bed,

Another night sheʼs lived through,

And many more to dread.

 

Florence + The Machine’s 5 Creepiest Songs

Anyone that knows me knows that Florence + The Machine is my all time favorite musician. One of the things I like best about Flo is her ability to integrate dark imagery into her songs. That being said, I’m counting down her top 5 creepiest songs, for your listening pleasure! I based my list not off of which songs I like best, but which I think are the darkest lyrically and musically.

1. Seven Devils- If ever there was a song that sounded like an audible exorcism, this is it. This is a song packed full of fury! Florence’s wailing could be that of the devils or that of someone trying to cast them out. There are a few different ways to look at this song. I think it is without a doubt an internal struggle with herself, rather than with another individual. Some have interpreted it as being related to the seven deadly sins. On that same note, it’s worth noting that Jesus supposedly cast seven devils out of Mary Magdalene. In an interview Florence states that she took the the term “seven devils” from a book called If He Hollers, Let Him Go. The book follows an African American man and his experiences with racism during WWII. Regardless of the meaning of the song, there is no denying the feeling of sheer power it evokes.

2. Howl- Howl is my favorite of all Florence’s songs. It’s a tale of love turned into obsession, couched in a werewolf metaphor. Florence describes with the painful accuracy of a needle prick how love can consume the best of us and turn anyone into a monster. She even borrows the most famous line from The Wolfman and reworks it to fit the track. When she sings the word “howl” she actually sounds like a wolf crying out to the moon.

3. Blinding- Blinding is a surreal vision of soul shattering despair. It’s hard to say what exactly is the cause of this despair, but it certainly seems like Flo had some of her hopes and dreams destroyed by some sort of unfathomable truth. When she sings “No more calling like a crow, for a boy, for a body in the garden.”, I think she may be referring to the Garden of Eden. I like all of the sound effects in this song. At the beginning of the song you can hear her laughter, then you hear a distorted crow’s caw. Then the drums pick up and it’s like hearing her awakening to this world she doesn’t want to exist in. Later you hear a series of whispers, followed by Florence sucking in a heavy breath. The sound effects alone tell the story.

4. Girl With One Eye- Ok, so Florence didn’t actually write this one, but she adopted it and it’s her baby now. I’ve heard a lot of interpretations about this song. Some see it as one girl warning another girl to stay away from her man, others see it as a song about a relationship between two women. I haven’t quite decided what I think it means. I just know it’s menacing as hell! This song is more stripped down than the average Florence + The Machine song. The melody of the guitar evokes a feeling of Nancy Sinatra’s My Baby Shot me Down. Florence’s bellowing at the end of the song sounds like someone having the ultimate of mental breakdowns. It’s safe to say that I wouldn’t want to be the titular “girl” she sings of.

5. – This song reminds me of Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart. Both revolve around narrators who are consumed by guilt that manifests itself as a pulsing beat. Ultimately, both seem to cave under the pressure. It’s also possible that like the man in The Tell-Tale Heart, Flo may have murdered someone. In the chorus, she sings of moving towards a body, of course this body could be a living one, rather than a corpse. Throughout the song she attempts to find release through spiritual means, like running to a church, and undergoing some sort of baptism. However, nothing eases her conscience. It’s possible that she ends up drowning herself. It’s all open for interpretation.

Classic Film Review of the Week- The Hunger

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Contributed by Lola Tarantula

With both David Bowie and Tony Scott gone, now seems like the perfect time to reexamine The Hunger. Although the film is without a doubt a cult classic, it isn’t anywhere near as renowned as other vampire films, such as Interview with a Vampire or The Lost Boys. Despite its low standing on the cinema totem pole, The Hunger is a film with bite. Featuring meticulous attention to detail, stellar performances, and music to die for the movie offers a unique perspective that sets it apart from the standard genre fare.

The Hunger is based off of the novel of the same name by Whitley Strieber. The story follows the vampire Miriam and all those caught in her tangled web. Miriam possesses the ability to live forever, and she’s able to pull her chosen paramours along for the ride. Unfortunately for them, the deal isn’t quite as sweet. Her lovers do age after a prolonged period of time, however they do not die. When her lover, John begins to age at a rapid rate, he turns to Dr. Sarah Roberts, who specializes in anti-aging science. Sarah is soon pulled into the madness. She finds herself under Miriam’s spell. Miriam makes Sarah into her new vampire companion, but Sarah isn’t willing to accept her fate, and neither are Miriam’s old chosen ones.

In many ways, The Hunger is another take on Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla. Like Carmilla, The Hunger is the story of a vampire that seems to love her chosen victims, but can’t help stealing their life force. Miriam loves Sarah, John, and all of the others. However, it’s a flawed selfish kind of love. She is more concerned with her loneliness than their well being. When they grow old, she stashes them away like unwanted items of clothing. In one heartbreaking scene, John requests that Miriam kiss him. By this point he’s become more or less a walking corpse. She indulges him for a moment, but then she turns away. He then begs for her to kill him, but she tells him she can’t.

Although The Hunger may have been spawned from a classic vampire story, it offers up original ideas in spades. One of the most interesting things about the film is the way Miriam kills her victims. Miriam’s backstory is that she was some sort of Egyptian queen. Therefore she wears an ankh shaped dagger around her neck. She has another ankh dagger that she gives to her partner. Together they use the daggers to slit the throats of their prey. Then they drink the blood. This is one of the most creative methods of vampirism in the entire horror genre.

In addition to the clever story, The Hunger contains some beautiful performances from Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie. Deneuve as Miriam manages to be seductive, tragic, and violent all at the same time. No matter how cruel her acts are, she always manages to make the audience feel for her. Bowie as John is perhaps the most fascinating character of the film. He starts out as a man blinded by love, but as he ages he becomes bitter and resentful towards Miriam. Bowie is able to express the double edged sword of loving and hating someone at the same time with precision. Susan Sarandon offers a comfortable performance as the level headed protagonist Sarah. Her role doesn’t have as much scope as Bowie’s or Deneuve’s, but she gives dimension to the part she was given.

Finally, The Hunger wouldn’t be The Hunger without the gorgeous visuals. Noir-ish shadows accompanied by billowy curtains is the theme of the film. A filter of deep blue gives rise to the melancholy mood of the film. Miriam’s house is full of classical art and smooth marble floors, that complement the gritty city streets of the outside world. The constant presence of curtains, pigeons, and veils conveys a romantic, timeless feel. When combined with 80s Duran Duran haircuts and outfits, The Hunger gives off a vibe that is all its own.

The only place the movie falls down is a somewhat ambiguous and confusing ending. Apparently, the ending was not Tony Scott’s idea, but rather a decision made by MGM. The studio wanted to leave room for a sequel, so they put in a little epilogue scene that just doesn’t fit. One could argue that this is why filmmaking by committee is a bad idea.

Today, The Hunger is regarded as a favorite by many in the horror scene. It is remembered as the film that introduced the band Bauhaus to the world, and also for its famous sex scene between Sarandon and Deneuve. The film produced a spin off series of episodic erotic horror stories. The movie would launch Tony Scott’s career. However, he never again made anything as profound or artistic as The Hunger.

Profiles in Horror: Emilie Autumn

Contributed by Lola Tarantula

February is “Women in Horror Month” to celebrate we’re rounding up our favorite ladies of the darkside!

Goth musician Emilie Autumn has made a name for herself by creating a genre of music she calls “Victorian Industrial”. Her music is  defined by her operatic vocals, rock and roll violin, and girl power lyrics. She was raised amongst the bright lights of the theatre. Her upbringing guided her towards classical violin. She would later put her training to use by performing with Billy Corgan and Courtney Love.

As for Emilie Autumn’s solo work. Her first album, On a Day… is an all instrumental album showcasing her traditional violin technique. Her next album, Enchant, blends together celtic violin melodies, funky beats, and mystical fairy lyrics. EA is best known for her 2006 album, Opheliac. Opheliac is a darker vision than any of her previous work. The record is inspired by a suicide attempt and her experiences with Bipolar Disorder. Opheliac exploded like the plague in the goth subculture, turning Autumn into an icon.

Four years later, she’d go on to write The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls. Part novel, part autobiography, the book deals with her traumatic stay in a mental hospital and an imagined stay in a Victorian institution. Since then, She has tried her hand at acting in Darren Lynn Bousman’s films The Devil’s Carnival and Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival. Her most recent album Fight Like a Girl was released in 2012. The album is based off of her book. She hopes to turn it into a stage production.

Personal Story:

Meeting EA

My love of Emilie Autumn began in high school. I had a friend who kept insisting that I’d love Opheliac. I gave it a listen and found that I was soon obsessed. I went out and bought every album I could get my hands on. I struggled a lot when I was a teen. Mental illness had me on the verge of dropping out of school. When I listened to Emilie Autumn it was like I’d found my spirit animal. When I wanted to dream of mysterious places far away I’d listen to Enchant. When I needed to scream, and kick, and cry I’d listen to Opheliac. When I moved to LA, I finally got to attend one of her concerts. It was such a surreal feeling to be surrounded by girls who were just like me. It felt like a community. I was lucky enough to meet EA at this year’s Screamfest Horror Film Festival. I was there promoting a short film I’d made. I was feeling a bit out of place. She was sweet enough to tell me that I could hang out with her if I didn’t have anyone to hang out with. My friends arrived soon after and I didn’t want to interfere with her group, but I’ll always appreciate the offer.