Elsewhere: Evi Numen, Death Doula

evinumen_veilAt Haute Macabre this week I talk with Evi Numen about her role as a Death Doula. We discuss the need for this type of service in a society that lost the vital connection it once had with its dying and the dead, and the training involved in both bearing witness to the process of dying as well as easing the passage from this world to the next.

For the interview, Evi shared some of her exquisite Victorian tintypes, and noted “I’ve been collecting portraits of local Victorians for a while now, mostly in the form of albumen prints (cartes de visite) and tintypes. Most of the people in my collections are anonymous, and forgotten by history. Their portraits have made their way to flea markets and antique shops, no longer in the family album. I wanted to honor them by giving them a new narrative through painting… I think of them as small tributes to the individuals depicted.”



For The Dead Travel Fast

An eerie new playlist, “For The Dead Travel Fast” is up at playmoss today & brimming with strange and beautiful music from my/your favorite horror films. 💀

There are 62 disquieting melodies here, so this is definitely long enough for your Halloween friends & fiends & guests & ghosts to enjoy through the witching hour and beyond. 💀

{image: Simon Marsden}

this, that, and the other thing {xxix}

winchester770The New Room Found At Winchester Mystery House In San Jose

How to Incorporate Human Remains Into Your Dinner Party

Shunsho_The-Actors-Ichikawa-Danjuro-as-Skeleton-Spirit-of-Renegade-Monk-Seigen-965x1024Goblins, Ghosts, and Ghouls in Japanese Prints

1200Elvira on her date with Elvis and the fish recipe she got from Vincent Price

The Best 13 Witch House Artists For Your Halloween Party Playlist

11 Hidden Spots to Enter the Underworld

31 Days Of Feminist Horror Films: So, You’re a Woman Who Loves Horror Films

Fear You Can Hear: 31 of the Scariest Old Time Radio Episodes

We Salted Nannie: A True Southern Ghost Story

A Belief in Ghosts: Poetry And The Shared Imagination

40 Scariest Books Of The Past 200 Years

Wicked Witches Of The Left: A Brief History

8 Horror Movie Characters Who Could Teach You A Thing Or Two About Style

† Halloween from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: A Mini Review

The Spooky Vegan: Spirit Halloween 2016 Costumes I Would Actually Wear

The Feminist Power of Female Ghosts

The 31 Best Electronic Horror Movie Soundtracks of All Time

Links of the Dead {October 2016}

Full circle by Kristy Patterson

Full circle by Kristy Patterson

A gathering of death related links that I have encountered in the past month or so. From somber to hilarious, from informative to creepy, here’s a snippet of things that have been reported on or journaled about related to matters of death & dying & mortality.

💀 Canada legalized assisted suicide, but there aren’t enough doctors to keep up with demand
💀 Saving Skin: The public lives of posthumous bodies.
💀 The Art of Condolence
💀 Dying woman picks road trip over chemotherapy
💀 The Privilege of a Good Death
💀 A Letter to the Doctors and Nurses Who Cared for My Wife
💀 24 Photos Of Skulls and Skeletons From Different Death Rituals
💀 Aid in Dying Movement Advances
💀 The 10 Iconic Cemeteries That Made Death Beautiful
💀 Lessons on Dying From David Bowie and My Friends
💀 Fetus Funerals: The Dystopian New Turn in the Fight Against Abortion Rights
💀 Metro Arts Presents DEATHFEST
💀 This Explorer’s Corpse Has Been Trapped in Ice for More Than a Century
💀 A Performance Where Victorian Mourning Braiding Meets Neuroscience
💀 A History of the Infinite: Death & Immortality
💀 Strengthen Your Sense of Smell While Contemplating Your Doom

Spooky Stitches: interview & giveaway with Rachel Dreimiller of YourGothicGranny

unnamed (3)Remember Ello? The social media site that, back in 2014, was predicted to be the next Facebook type thing? Or maybe people were hoping it would be, as it seemed to be a virtual utopia, built on promises of  “no ads, no data-mining, no algorithms that make decisions about what you should see, no turning users into products” — and perhaps the hype and the hope were helped along due to the fact that it came into being just as people were falling prey to Facebook’s ridiculous “real name” policy business.

Well, I remember it. If not only for the reason that if there’s somewhere on the internet to have an account and post your crap there, I want in on it. Unfortunately, it never really took off (at least as far as I can tell), and everyone still on Facebook. I think it’s a little bit like those those folks who are forever threatening that if this, that, or the other thing happens or doesn’t happen, they’re moving to Canada! No you’re not. You’re still on Facebook, just like the rest of us.

However, I do have a summer home on Ello, and I do peek in quite frequently because there are some amazing creators to be found over there. As a matter of fact, friends on facebook may recall that in March of this past year, I posted over on facebook of one such find: Rachel Dreimiller of YourGothicGranny.

I was immediately taken with Rachel’s work–embroidery is something I’d always wanted to “get around to”–and her spooky and subversive stitches totally captivated me. Her creations, a mixture of memento mori, sweet flowers + salty language, and general creepy weirdness, is an an aesthetic that is near and dear to my heart; it’s almost like she picked through the landscape of my ridiculous brain and stitched up what she found!

Actually, here is a great example of this: a dear friend of mine had, unbeknownst to me, commissioned a piece of Rachel’s work for my birthday this past year! If this isn’t totally me, I just don’t know what is…

“Get to the point, you long-winded weirdo!” is no doubt what you’re saying at this point. I get it. I know I ramble. It takes me a very long time to tell a story, and sometimes I never even get to the point. Thanks for putting up with me.

Below is an a bit of a Q&A with Rachel, who has not only graciously endured my intrusive questions but who has also agreed to do a giveaway at Unquiet Things for one of her pieces of embroidery! If Rachel were to pick through your brains, what story would her needle and thread tell from what she found? Leave a comment if you wish and let us know, and for giveaway details, check out Rachel’s Instagram!

unnamed (5) https://www.instagram.com/p/BL1GEAEj_WW/?taken-by=yourgothicgranny&hl=en%5B/caption%5D

I initially saw your work via Ello, if I recall. Sometimes I feel like you and I might be the only two people over there, but I’m sticking it out. How do you feel the site has been for exposure and sales? Also, do you find interesting artists and inspiration over there, in the same way, I suppose, that I found you?

I really enjoy Ello. The creators are very active and super supportive of the artist community. They’re always adding more categories for artists to share their work, which makes it easier to discover new artists and pieces. I have been featured a few times which has totally helped with getting views and also some sales. Because they are so supportive I find a lot of artists, especially photographers that I had not come across on instagram.

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I’ve read that after a few years of experimenting with the medium, you fell into the style in which you create and design now. How would you, personally, describe your style?

I would have to say that my style is still developing, to be honest. Or that I am still working on it. I have a more set style for drawing and sketching, which I’ve been doing for years, but it never made the transition into the embroideries I’ve been making. I’m very inspired by line-work and pen and ink illustrations and engravings, like John Mortensen and Fritz Eichenberg. I would like to experiment more with working some of that style into my embroidered pieces. I love some of my more recent spooky ones that have very thin line work, I would like to stick to that style while still exploring more macabre subjects.


What do you get up to when you’re not creating spoopy stitches?

I really like going for bike rides or walking the trails in the woods by my house, especially with my pup. Recently I have been focused on organizing and tidying up my work space. My husband and I bought a house a few months ago, and now I have my very own room for arts stuffs. It’s so exciting, but time consuming. I’m looking forward to the cooler months and boarding myself up and getting a lot of work done while watching all the classic Spoopy movies.

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What are your current inspirations and how do they work their way into a new piece of embroidery? What imagery would you like to stitch that you have not so far?

I have been going through all the spooky movies and shows on Netflix to get inspired for Halloween season. I’ve watched Stranger Things twice now and keep scrolling through the B Horror flicks while I draw up ideas. Currently I’m working on the Inktober challenge to try and force myself into creating new ideas. Even doodling out simple sketches help, but it’s hard for me to make time to do them, so Inktober is really helping me set aside a little time every day to practice and draw. I would like to do larger pieces and try to get out of the confines of the embroidery hoop. I’m planning on doing some larger wall hangings over the winter months.

What’s your creative space like? What is your ideal environment like for this sort of craft? What sort of music or background noise do you like to have? Candles, incense? Night/day? 

I usually love to have movies on, the kind that you have seen a million times and can play in your head, or Buffy. I have a part time job so when I get home and if I have the energy to work on projects I will usually put on a movie and sit and work for a while. My actual work space is a bit cluttered while I ready myself and my work for a spooky market at Gypsy Warrior a few towns over.

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I understand that you live in NJ–I lived up there for 6-7 years! I moved back to FL in 2010. The autumns and springs are gorgeous there; I’m wondering if seasonal motifs end up amongst your stitches?

I love springs and autumns and the noticeable changes in the seasons. I wouldn’t say that my work reflects them though, but my mood and willpower totally does. I am much lazier in the summer months. I find it harder to focus and accomplish things, since all I want to do is swim, ride bikes and lay around. This will be my first winter out of the city (I lived in and around Brooklyn for a few years) and I am very excited for the peace and quiet that’s to come.

I know you also do commissions, as I was the recipient of something beautiful that you created for me at someone’s request. What’s the weirdest, most interesting thing that anyone’s asked you to create?

A family friend just asked me to try cross stitching for a gift for her mother. Something like, “I wish I was a guppy, because guppies eat their young.” That’s pretty strange, I’d have to say, but she had a smile while she was explaining it to me, so it seems like a fun thing to do. Besides that, the Nine Inch Nails lyrics I did, “God is dead and no one cares” was pretty great, but I got a few messages and emails from followers that did not care for that message. It seems it’s best for them to figure out what I am about sooner than later though.

Thanks so much, Rachel, for sharing with us and for the giveaway!
Find Rachel/YourGothic Granny: Etsy // Ello // Instagram

Wyrd Words Giveaway Winner!

14677358_174821876306693_119842425215647744_n (1)

Thanks to everyone who entered our giveaway for copies of Katie Metcalfe’s Dying Is Forbidden in Longyearbyen and In The Hours Of Darkness.

Death, magick, love and lunacy are carved open and carefully explored in these books of poetry, along with poems that touch on the hardships and beauty of the far north. And Jaimie, you are going to have the chance to read both of them! Please contact me with your address and I will mail them out to you next week.

Currently {October 2016}


Alice Sweet Alice (1976) officially licensed poster by Nikita Kaun

This has been a strange month so far. After the excitement and panic of the hurricane, while things have calmed down a bit, they still don’t feel “normal”. I haven’t had the energy or motivation I need to finish (or, ahem, start) many of the things I would have hoped to have done now that the month is almost over, and as melodramatic as it sounds, I feel as if I am languishing under the threat of some unnameable doom.

In the meantime, here are some movies I have seen recently, and my one word assessments of them.

Phantasm, remastered (in the theatre)— yes
Jupiter Ascending — nope
Alice Sweet Alice — yes
The Night of the Hunter — absolutely
The Legend of Hell House* — yes
The Haunted Palace — no
The Conjuring 2 — no
The Uninvited* — no
Housebound — YES
Dead Silence* — no. But maybe yes.
Ava’s Possessions* — yes (it is worth mentioning that the main character was watching the above listed Alice Sweet Alice on her tiny tv set at one point during the film!)

We also watched season one of Ash Vs. Evil Dead which was a lot of fun, although a great deal…saltier than I expected? Maybe I am getting old. Gosh.

*these titles can be found on netflix



RE: Books/reading…

I was loathe to delve into any book at all after finishing the very excellent Southern Reach Trilogy, but as it happens, everything since I’ve read since then has been wonderful. The Night of the Hunter was unexpectedly, profoundly beautiful, and come to think of it, I might use those same words to describe Michael Schmeltzer’s book of poetry, Blood Songs. Monstress boasted exquisite, intricate art, complex characters, really fantastic world building, and a thrillingly mysterious story; I cannot wait to read more. Giant Days (Volume 3), Wicked + The Divine (Volume 4), and Over the Garden Wall were all just as much fun as I would have expected, and I think I also read every gorgeous, weird thing that Tin Can Forest ever published. Oh, and also–The Girl With All The Gifts, which was an uncomplicated, but still pretty engaging read (I wasn’t even going to pick it up, but the film was receiving such great reviews, and if I am going to see the movie, my general rule is that I must read the book first!)

BPAL Salon Halloweenies

Over at Haute Macabre today I review some of the Salon scents from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab; I did not purchase any of the pumpkin or apple scents or anything candy related because they’re not really my thing, but I guess that probably translates to “I’m a pretentious git who hates fun”. So be it! .


At the beginning of October, my hair dresser was supposed to give me purple hair. Somehow I came out of the salon looking exactly as I had when I walked in. I guess it’s been that kind of month.

What are you up to this month? Has it been all weirdness and strange times for you, as well?

Secret Spaces

Secret Spaces from ghoulnextdoor on 8tracks Radio.

A new 8tracks mix, inspired by sunlight dimming in autumn’s shadows.
{Image credit: Matthias Lueger}

Track list:
Our Love Will Carry On by King Dude | Wound Of The Warden by SUBROSA | What finds me by True Widow | Marked For Death by Emma Ruth Rundle | Stranger by Miserable | from mound to mound by stroszek | Lovesick by Mayflower Madame | Whispers by Ayla Nereo | Margo by Haroula Rose | Gold by The Handsome Family | Familiar by Agnes Obel

Wyrd Words with Katie Metcalfe (& a giveaway!)

13181413_1102462983151489_833798661_nFunny thing. Every time I stumble across a new morbid artist or designer of dark goods and want to do a bit of research on them, and especially if I happen to think “A-ha! Here is something really awesome that no one else knows about yet!”, 9 times out of 10  it is a “Curses, foiled again!” scenario because someone else, smarter and and quicker than me, has discovered and blogged about these macabre luminaries first. And I’ll be damned if it isn’t always the same someone!

One’s first instinct is to be a little irritated. Especially if one is sometimes weirdly competitive about these things. How dare they, right? But then one may smarten up and start to think “…hmm…this individual has an extraordinarily keen eye, utterly exquisite taste, and obviously a wonderfully engaging, compelling manner in writing about all of these things that we both seem to love. Don’t be annoyed, be curious! Who is this fascinating person? Get to know them! You guys are no doubt kindred spirits!”

And of course it was so. Katie Metcalfe celebrates the strange and unusual, the damned and unseen over at her blog, Wyrd Words & Effigies. It is “a path through the dark to wild, forbidden places”, and functions as a space for dark fashion, alternative lifestyles, dark literature, black metal, experimental and ritualistic music, offbeat films, in-depth interviews, relevant articles and links and unsettling visual art and photography.

In getting to know Katie, I discovered she also has a wonderfully enchanting personal blog, or Livslogga (Swedish for “life log”), The Girl With Cold Hands, where she beautifully documents her Nordic journey in her beloved new home. In devouring her daily chronicles, I was reminded very much of how I felt when I read Johanna Spyri’s HeidiHeidi was a favorite book and character of mine while growing up, and Katie is a little bit like a black metal Heidi. Well, except Heidi was in Switzerland, and Katie is in Sweden. But when reading about Katie’s beloved forests and daily rituals, I am brought right back to how I felt when I read Johanna Spyri’s description of the Alpine flowers, the friendly goats and the bright stars seen through a hayloft window at night. The similarity being, I suppose … that there are pure and beautiful and wonderful things in the world–many of them just small moments, little details even–but we must pay attention and open our hearts to these things!

Also–did I mention that Katie is a photographer herself, as well as a poet? Today I talk with her about all of these fascinating things and more–as well as offer you all a chance to win copies of two of Katie’s books, Dying is Forbidden in Longyearbyen and In The Hours Of Darkness. Read below for my interview with Katie Metcalfe and be certain to leave a comment to be entered in our giveaway. One week from today–October 21, 2016–one winner will be chosen at random to receive both of these books.


Mlle Ghoul: I’ve been following Wyrd Words & Effigies for a long while and love how you consistently and thoughtfully share art and music with the world. Can you tell me a little bit about the things you choose to share? The imagery, aesthetics, and sounds that ensnare and obsess you?

Katie Metcalfe: Wyrd Words & Effigies embodies my lifelong obsession for the strange and macabre, and works as an archive for all of my shadowy finds. I want to offer my readers a path through the dark, a journey across boundaries which separate this world from others.

Everything featured on the blog, ever since the very first post back in 2013 (a review of the gloriously horrifying book The Ritual by Adam Nevil), has been very carefully considered. Whatever it is that I’m presenting, it needs to be able to raise the hairs on the back of my neck. If it keeps me awake at night, even better.

I’m devoted to unearthing art which honours the eerie and untamed, and strengthens the blog’s ‘wyrd’ vibe. Creatives such as Bill Crisafi, Darby Lahger (Old Hag) and Valin Mattheis have been ensnaring me with their work for years. More recently I’ve become infatuated with the freehand, worlds-away-from-anything-else tattoo art of Noel’le Longhaul (Laughing Loone), the gorgeously grim embroidery of Carrie Violet and the moody photography of Anna Ådén.

I’m also a curious bugger. I like to creep underneath the skin of those who inspire me and find out what makes them tick. I’ve interviewed dozens of inspirational souls over the years, including Ragnar Bragason the director of the Icelandic cult film Metalhead, Dayal Patterson author of Black Metal : Evolution of the Cult and Sara Larocca-Ramm co-founder of Sisters of the Black Moon.

Black Metal is an essential part of my everyday life, and is very much at the core of Wyrd Words & Effigies. It offers what other music is unable to, and grants me passage to a deeper understanding of myself. Whilst Black Metal is the leader of the pack over at the blog, anything that snags my heart strings, and introduces me to a new kind of darkness is always introduced and celebrated. Recently I’ve been obsessing over the sounds of Anna Von Hausswolf, Graveyard Train and Phosphorescent.

Side Note : A few years back I created a magazine to accompany the blog. It was my intention to release this publication several times a year, but complications with the second issue saw production grind to a halt. For the first issue I decided to tackle death because, despite my fascination for everything surrounding the subject, it was something I greatly feared. By creating the magazine I was able to confront this fear, and learn to embrace the coming end. You’re able to find a promo video and download link for the magazine here. It’s entirely free to download and read.


With regard to inspirations and obsessions, do you find that they seek a place in the poetry that you write, or are your poems a space for say, emotions, or other bits of internal flotsam that you are working through?

My devotion to the Far North sees me returning to it time and again in my work. It’s through this devotion that I managed to find my voice as a writer. I’ve spent many years researching into the Inuit and their culture, as well as the folklore of North America and Scandinavia.

Living in Sweden gives me the opportunity to embrace the North tight, and become even more curious about its cold secrets.

Death is an extremely valuable resource for my writing. I’ve used my own experiences with death in my work on many occasions, and have gained from the therapeutic benefits. Through writing poetry about loss, I’ve found the capability to grieve for those who have passed, to heal myself and move forward.

The occult has a powerful influence over what I’m creating, and I’m always looking for the next strange thing to investigate and write about. I write poetry with the hope that it will unsettle the reader, and slip them a chill which is practically impossible to shrug off.

I’m also greatly inspired by the everyday. Spiderwebs embellished with dew, sunlight bleeding through the trees late in the afternoon, or the rise and fall of my boyfriend’s shoulders as he sleeps. By being shackled to our phones we miss so much. I’m making an effort to spend less time in front of a screen, and more time being present and noticing the life I can touch.

I burn to perform, and relish bringing my visualization of the North and its dark wonders to the stage. I tend to don furs and bones when I’m performing. They assist in empowering me, and enable me to better embody the characters in my poems.

As someone who has spent more than half of her life living with mental illness, I often look for new ways to explore the effects of depression, anxiety and eating disorders. Nothing repairs my soul better than creating a poem I can feel proud of. Poetry is an extremely effective way to reach out to people who are struggling, so I always share what I write with the hope that it will cross the path of a person who needs it.


Have you always written poetry, or is this a more recent creative outlet? What other kinds of writing do you engage in?

I was four years old when I decided that I was going to be a writer, and penned my first poem when I was under double figures after being inspired by a National Geographic documentary about wolves in Yellowstone National Park. My Grandmother used to video tape hours of wolf documentaries for me, and I would spend whole weekends drinking tea, eating beans on toast and sitting wide eyed in front of the TV.

All through my childhood I wrote stories and poems inspired by the supernatural and nature. I would write longhand in books I’d stolen from school, and on a typewriter which my Grandfather found at a carboot sale for a couple of quid. I can remember my Mum complaining about the noise of my typing coming through the kitchen ceiling.

When I was fourteen years old I developed anorexia nervosa, and at fifteen was admitted into a psychiatric ward where I stayed for nine months. It was during this time that I started to write furiously. I would write shitty children’s stories, and poems about my experience with ‘The Voice.’ I kept two diaries, one for the nurses – full of lies, and one for myself – full of self-hate. I spent several hours a day writing my diaries using an elaborate gothic font. If I wrote a word wrong, I’d tear out the page and start again. I’d also write lengthy letters to another anorexic who had a room down the hallway, and the nurses would be our posties, bringing out letters back and forth. Both of us were on bedrest, and walking down the hall to each other’s rooms was forbidden.

Five months after I was admitted into hospital, I felt an urge to recover, to abandon my anorexia. It was then that I decided to write a book about my experiences, and started what was to become my first published book Anorexia : A Stranger In The Family. Writing about my experiences with an eating disorder though poetry and non-fiction, combined with years of CBT and continual support from my family enabled me to eventually make a full recovery.

Writing about my life continues to be a valuable creative outlet for me. I established my first blog in 2004 and have been blogging almost continuously since.

I have completed several (fucking terrible) novels over the past twenty years, but thankfully they never made it to any bookshelves.

13285365_1159277707468966_257380726_nI’ve immensely enjoyed reading your Livslogga, or life log, chronicling your experiences in Sweden. What are some of the things you love most about this beautiful country that you’ve found yourself in? What’s been the most difficult adjustment? And tell me all about the concept of Fika, because I am completely obsessed.

My biggest love is for the man I wake up next to every morning, my True North, and his beautiful daughter. I love his family and friends who’ve welcomed me into their lives with every blessing. I love the forests that surround us, and how I can still, after nearly a year, find secret places to explore. My man is originally from a small town in the middle of Sweden called Hagfors, a place which has cast a spell on me. The town is surrounded by dense forests populated by moose, bears and wolves. We currently live on the outskirts of a city, and when we start the four hour journey to visit his family, I become giddy with happiness, anticipating the roads becoming quieter, the forests thicker and the night sky darker.

The most difficult adjustment I would say has been the language. I love the Swedish tongue and can happily listen to it for hours. However learning it has been more difficult that I imagined. But, my confidence is growing small bit by small bit. The Swedes are also quiet. Very, very quiet, and as a Brit who is used to almost constant chatter, this has taken some getting used to.

Fika is one of my favourite aspects of Swedish culture. To non-Swedes Fika may appear to as simply ‘having coffee,’ but it’s so much more than that. Fika is all about taking a moment to slow down and truly appreciate the moment. If you’re with friends, you enjoy their company. If you’re alone, you can sit quietly and contemplate with your coffee and cinnamon bun. I take a Fika by myself every afternoon or on the rare occasion with a friend, but when we visit my man’s family, it’s a big family affair. We sit around the table with freshly brewed coffee and something delicious made by his mother.


John Bauer, Elsa Beskow– I see these artists referred to lovingly on your blog quite often. Talk to me a bit about what they mean to you.

I went to a Rudolf Steiner School from the age of 7 – 14 and it was here that I first encountered the worlds of Beskow and Bauer. I grew up surrounded by Germans, Dutch, Swedes, Norwegians and the odd Dane. Scandinavian culture played a pivotal role in our education, from the food we ate, to the decor we crafted at Yuletide, and, of course, the books we read. Nature was an invaluable part of my schooling, and the attitude that everyone around me had towards nature was greatly influenced by the Scandinavian mind-set.

I can remember sitting on the couch at my best friend’s house, working my way through her collection of Beskow books. I would stare for hours at the richly detailed illustrations, imagining that one day I would live amongst similar trees and lakes. My obsession with Bauer’s art was rekindled in 2001 when I listened to the music of Mortiis for the first time. (The video for Parasite God was featured on a video tape I received free with an issue of Kerrang!) I noticed that his logo was in fact a Bauer art work from a popular Swedish Christmas annual Bland Tomtar Och Troll (Among Gnomes and Trolls). Since then I’ve written widely about Bauer and have made numerous pilgrimages to his hometown of Jönköping and Jönköpings Läns Museum which holds the world’s largest collection of Bauer’s work.


I know that you are an avid thrifter, I’d love it if you could impart of bit of thrift wisdom to us…what’s your secret for finding such amazing things? Do you go shopping with something in mind, or do you go with an open mind and let the shelves and racks of goodies speak to you? Do you have a holy grail item that you’re always on the lookout for?

I’ve been thrifting since I was under double figures, as my family could rarely afford new clothes. My wardrobe has always been 90% second hand. I always go thrifting with an open mind and think that the best pieces of advice that I can provide are to go with plenty of time to spare and go through everything. Don’t leave one rail untouched. If you find something really special and it’s too large, consider getting it altered. I’ve recently started to explore colour, and this has opened up a whole new world for me. Don’t be afraid to step outside your box.

img_6023You spend a great deal of time, it would seem, in your beloved forests, both ambling leisurely and taking it all in, as well as running. I’m not a runner by any means, but I do like a brisk walk, and I am always looking for the perfect sound to accompany my exercise. Do you listen to music when you run? I can imagine you listening to the blackest medal as you traverse through the icy winter trees, but I am totally ok with being wrong! Tell me about some of your favorite music to listen to while running and stretching your limbs in the cold.

Sadly, I don’t have access to music when I’m running! The wind through the trees is my soundtrack. But if I were to choose, I would have my boyfriend’s band Rimfrost blasting in my ears. It has the energy that a lot of black metal lacks.


I understand that you are also fan of horror films! Is there anything excellent that you’re watching right now and would recommend? And does your choice of reading material fall into the same category? What’s on your bookstand right now?

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t infatuated with horror. As a child I would regularly stay with my auntie who was a horror fanatic. I always pillaged her bookshelves before bed,and would lose myself in The World’s Scariest Ghost Stories and Misty annuals from the late 70’s.

While I could read her books, her extensive horror VHS collection was off bounds. I’d hang around it, studying the tape covers obsessively, willing the years away. Having already encountered Anne Rice on her bookshelf, I was particularly taken with Interview With The Vampire, and made the decision that when the day came to choose a video to watch, that would be the one. The day arrived when I was twelve. Needless to say, life was never the same afterwards.

My boyfriend and I have been looking to the past and its offerings in recent months, and have been binging on Stephen King – Thinner, Needful Things and Cujo. The TV series Rose Red and The Langoliers have also made for immensely satisfying binge watching.

I’ve been disappointed with much of the horror released in recent years. Less tits and more atmosphere please. One of the best new(ish) horror films that I’ve seen recently is The Babadook. After twenty years of a diet consisting almost strictly of horror, it takes a lot to unnerve me. But that film…it had all the right ingredients. I was left feeling deeply disturbed and content. Shit, several months after I still get chills when I think of it.

My choice of reading material is generally pretty dark, but at the moment I’m struggling to state my appetite for horror as the library in town has limited English stock! I’m close to finishing Tracks, a haunting tale by Louise Erdrich. I’m looking forward to going to England soon and bringing back some of my favourites, including Dark Matter by Michelle Paver. One of the most unsettling stories that I’ve read in a long while.

12627948_970241439733000_1070742583_n You’ve touched briefly on your blog and elsewhere on issues you’ve struggled with– depression and appearance related insecurities/anxieties, for example–and how you are taking steps to overcome these things. Can you talk about these things, how they’ve affected you, and how you are slowly conquering them? 

I was first diagnosed with depression when I was fourteen, the same time as I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. Mental health issues run in my family on both sides, and I can remember displaying OCD tendencies when I was a small child. My ill mental health meant my teenage years were spent being lonely, thin and terrified. I was teetering on the brink between this world and nowhere for such a long time that I still get surprised that I’m here at all. A good part of my twenties were spent building myself back up from the husk I had become.

Being open about what’s going on in my head is extremely important to me. I spent many years trapped, unable to talk about how I was really feeling. I used to feel ashamed and broken. But I’m no longer afraid to reveal the workings of my head. The stigma that is attached to mental health sickens me, and I want to do my part in pulling down the barrier that separates and alienates people with mental health problems.

I was advised to start taking medication when I was fifteen, but refused. It was only several years later in my mid-twenties when I agreed to start taking meds. They changed my life and helped me to have a quieter head. I came off my medication which helped with anxiety and depression several months ago. But it was a mistake and I went to a bloody dark place for an awfully long time. I’m back on my medication now, and am slowly recovering my true self. My concentration and creativity is still on the weak side but I’m trying to be kind to myself, and accept that it takes a while to get back to full strength. I believe that if we can access help to be the best versions of ourselves, be it medication or talking therapy, we need to fully embrace it.

Thanks very much Katie, for your candor and your openness and for sharing of your life and loves and inspirations with us!

Follow Katie Metalfe for more dark discoveries at Wyrd Words & Effigies and livslogga magic at The Girl With Cold Hands, and don’t forget to leave a comment to win both books of her poetry–Dying is Forbidden in Longyearbyen and In The Hours Of Darkness!

All photography courtesy Katie Metcalfe

Needful things


A Love That Casts No Shadow by EC Steiner

There must be something exceptionally splendid and special in the air right now (or could it simply be that we are now in the month of October– the most wonderful time of the year?) My beloved friends are really outdoing themselves with regard to their current creative ventures and artistic endeavors, and I wanted to take a moment to spotlight, (for all of my twelve readers, haha) some of the remarkable things that are available right now from these dazzlingly brilliant visionaries.  See below for an array of outstanding projects and collaborations resulting in needful things of the most enticing and uncanny sort.


Whispering Death by Becky Munich

Munich Art Studio and Casketglass Art have teamed up to celebrate a month of haunted days by releasing an extremely limited set of art prints inspired by the mystery and magic of Halloween. An intimate experience, only 20 print sets are available for purchase and will not be re-released, and in honor of the joyously macabre traditions of the Halloween season, each order is shipped with additional ghoulish treats for you to keep or share with others.

Order the 2016 limited edition Halloween art print set here



For the scented tapophile: in what will be an on-going collection, the new Haute Macabre + Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab collaboration is launching with two new fragrances, Burying Point and St. Louis #1. Made exclusively for Haute Macabre by master perfumer Elizabeth Barrial, the collection is based on favorite cemeteries around the world; the first installment features St. Louis #1 (drooping Spanish moss and crumbling marble, sweet olive blossom, 13-year aged black patchouli, and offerings of Bay Rum, Florida water, and tobacco), located in New Orleans, and Burying Point (damp clusters of brown patchouli, dried maple leaves, black sage, spikenard, and curled, misshapen mandrake roots), the oldest cemetery in Salem.

Purchase Burying Point and St. Louis #1 here.



Two beautiful new pins are available for pre-order from our friends at Wormwood & Rue!

DAWN: Our hard enamel pin featuring a white hare wreathed in morning glories is 49mm (1.9″) tall and finished in gold plating.

DUSK: Our hard enamel pin featuring a black hare wreathed in glow-in-the-dark moonflowers is 49mm (1.9″) tall and finished in nickel plating.

If you choose to pre-order them individually they are $10 a piece, or you can get the set for $20.



Friends who have visited our house and wondered at the ghostly chamber music and dark, dreamy sounds we sometimes haunt you with? It’s Meredith Yayanos‘ eerily beautiful music from The Parlour Trick’s Blessed Unrest album …and right now you can get the digital version on bandcamp for a mere $6.66–OR!–you can pre-order the vinyl repress (which you should do, because it will sell out in the blink of an eye!)

Purchase both digital and physical copies of A Blessed Unrest here.



Visit Haute Macabre to read the introduction to the bloodmilk Book Club for this season, with Sonya Vatomsky’s “Salt Is For Curing” as the current selection. Also included in the post are two special giveaways: one, a chance to win a copy of Sonya’s book, and a second, a chance to win a jewel from the bloodmilk shop. The giveaway runs until November 1st, so there is still plenty of time.


As you know, we sold out of the Occult Activity Book Volume Two even faster than anticipated! Neither this volume or the previous will ever be re-printed or re-created, so if you missed out on the opportunity to purchase this rare tome full of fantastical arts and word witchery, you will never again have another chance. HOWEVER! Don’t summon the demons to do your freaky time travel bidding just yet! Our friends at Haute Macabre are giving away one deluxe edition of The Occult Activity Book Volume Two, which includes the book and all the goodies. If you missed out on this exceedingly special project and are hovering at cusp of committing dire and dangerous magical crimes to acquire one for yourself, why not enter the giveaway instead?


AND, a few upcoming things that you need to keep an eye out for!



Artist: Dana Glover

Morbid Fantasies is a richly illustrated reader’s guide to Gothic literature, guiding fans both old and new over the ever-changing face of this most ghoulish of genres. In its pages, scholar Jack Shear covers the history, key themes, and major books in the Gothic movement from its inception through the current day. It’s a love letter to this often misunderstood and under-appreciated form of entertainment, hand-bound and designed by Tenebrous Kate with featured illustrations by Dana Glover, Becky Munich, and Carisa Swenson.  I hear this may be available as soon as next weekend, so be sure to check over at hereticalsexts.com to grab a copy for yourself!


California sprawls across a multitude of landscapes and has amassed a history full of the strange and unusual. There are secrets in the desert. Secrets in the cities. Strange and unusual happenings in the odd, dark places of the coastal state.

Strange California is 26 tales of strangeness, lavishly illustrated, that will pull you into another world, a world where migrant girls stand up to witches who live in orange groves, where trickster magpies try to steal souls from Russian sisters in the early days of Fort Bragg, where water is both currency and predator, and Gold Rush-era ghosts wander the streets of San Francisco alongside panther ladies.

I am particularly excited about this book because writer friend and fellow blogger Patricia Lundy of Something Eldritch will have a story in it! Back the book over on kickstarter here.


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