2017 Weenie Collection From BPAL


YOU GUYS. It’s that time again! The most weenderful time of the year! At Haute Macabre today I share my thoughts on Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s 2017 Weenie collection…take a peek to find out which scent made me weepy, thinking of my dead mom; which scent is precisely perfect to wear with your next gothic romance novel ensemble, and which one made me throw up in my mouth a little (I love you forever BPAL, but there’s always that one in every collection!)

Stroll on over to Haute Macabreto take a peek, and make sure you share your favorites from this years collection–I want to hear all about the ones I didn’t get a chance to try!

Links of the Dead {October 2017}

October Shadows by William Basso

October Shadows by William Basso

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 in or related to the Death Industry recently.

This time last year: Links of the Dead {October 2016}

💀 A 1903 Proposal to Preserve the Dead in Glass Cubes
💀 In the U.S. market for human bodies, almost anyone can dissect and sell the dead
💀 Assited Suicide – When Dying A Dignified Death Is Better Than Living, And Why
💀 The woman who cleans up after ‘lonely deaths’ in Japan
💀 Iris Schieferstein’s Death and The Maiden
💀 What to Wear at the End of Someone Else’s Life
💀 If You Love Marie Kondo, Swedish Death Cleaning May Be for You
💀 The Movement to Bury Pets Alongside People
💀 Caitlin Doughty Recommends Coffee Table Corpses
💀 12 of the Most Beautiful Cemeteries Around the World
💀 Video: see inside the Museum of London’s secret bone archive
💀 Kyrgyzstan’s bread that feeds the dead
💀 Grave concerns: Haunting tales from the ancient burial sites of Tayside and Fife
💀 The Saintliness of Undecayed Corpses

this, that, and the other thing {xl}

print-milne-600-have-you-met-my-friendBrandi Milne, “Have You Met My Friend?” at Corey Helford Gallery

mkeaslerhaunt1The Lovingly Crafted Horror of American Haunted Houses

costumeguide8Elaborate Halloween Costume Tips from a 19th-Century Guide to Fancy Dress

The Witch Wave by Pam Grossman is a podcast about magic, creativity, and culture

Spooky Miniature Scenes In Shadow Box Dioramas

The 20 Best Horror Stories Available Online for Free

A Tiny Ritual to Talk to Your Past Self

Why Chinese Art Is Swarming with Colonies of Tiny Bats

Peek Inside a Trove of Witchcraft Artifacts at This Rare Exhibit

Supernatural fiction’s ‘best kept secret’ celebrated at the British Library

Human Flesh Looks Like Beef, But the Taste Is More Elusive

10 Free Stories About Spirits, Ghouls, Mysteries & Monsters

Lana Winters Is The Queer “Final Girl” We Need Right Now

6 Women Reveal Why They Became Satanists

‘I Saw a Cow Chained to a Fence’: Surprisingly Grim Yelp Reviews of Pumpkin Patches

Five short, spooky games to play this Halloween

Friday Fripperies: Her Kind Edition

Friday Frips

I have gone out, a possessed witch,
haunting the black air, braver at night;
dreaming evil, I have done my hitch
over the plain houses, light by light:
lonely thing, twelve-fingered, out of mind.
A woman like that is not a woman, quite.
I have been her kind.
–Anne Sexton

Bat cardigan from Sophie Reaptress $210 // Forest Blessings notebook from Katie Metcalfe $11.50 // Vampira tee from Local Boogeyman $36 // Witching Hour necklace from bloodmilk $250 // Witchcraft leggings from Camille Chew $39.99 // Wizardry & Witchcraft Eyeshadow Palette from Storybook Cosmetics $55 // Halloween Scents from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab $23 // Fashion Vulture hat from Evercrumbly & Witch $179* // Bill Crisafi witch art coffee mug at The Satanic Temple $25 // Spider mule loafers from Zara $35.90

*In between the time I started putting these fripperies together this morning and when I actually posted the whole list, this beautiful “fashion vulture” hat sold out! I had to keep it on here though, because seriously, have you ever seen anything so amazing? In the meantime, check out all of their other gorgeous hats, they are awfully magnificent. (I bet I knew who bought this, hee hee! Was it you? Let me know!)

Autumn Earworms and Bookstacks

Over at Haute Macabre today you will find a media extravaganza! Take a peek at Stacked to grow your autumn reading list and afterward, head on over to Aural Fixation to learn more about our current earworms and sonic obsessions!

Bonus: my pick for most dangerously, painfully haunted melodies of all time: The Parlour Trick’s A Blessed Unrest 

Bonus no. 2:  My pick for otherworldly sonic explorations: Jill Tracy’s Immortal Collection



What have you all been reading and/or listening to this October?


Friday Fripperies, Resistance Edition: Olfactory Activism From Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab


On this week’s Fripperies For The Resistance…!

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab are purveyors of fine esoteric goods, perfumes, and potions–and if you’ve spent any amount of time with me, or reading my blog here, then no doubt you already know all about them. But for those who may be unfamiliar with this marvelous perfumery, here’s the gist: Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has mastered the art of encapsulating allegorical ideas into singular olfactory experiences, and they specialize in eliciting emotional responses through perfume and creating unique, masterfully molded scent environments that capture legends and folklore, poetry, and the stuff of dreams and nightmares. TLDR; they make you stink real pretty in the most amazingly creative ways.

And not only do these singular scent slingers work long hours, toiling away to create compelling fragrances inspired by your favorite ghost stories/mythologies/comic books/horror movies/holidays (that would be Halloween, obviously,) for which to make your olfactive aura beautiful! The do-gooders at Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab also put in a great deal of time and personal attention in the attempt at making our world a better, more beautiful place, with many years of activism, community involvement, humanitarian work, and ongoing fundraising efforts and events under their belts.

About these efforts, my dear friend Elizabeth Barrial, owner of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, shares:

“Since the day we first opened our doors, helping support and strengthen marginalized communities has been of paramount importance to me. At Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, we have never shied away from our civic duty, and since the inception of the company, we have made it a point to do everything within our power to support organizations that provide emergency aid and disaster relief, support environmental and conservation causes, help the homeless, protect civil liberties and reproductive rights, and offer succor to the LGBTQ community and marginalized ethnic, racial, and minority religious groups. It is our way of helping to protect and provide for our communities, and we feel it is our obligation as human beings to help those who may not be empowered to help themselves.”

Jeanne d’Arc, Albert Lynch

Jeanne d’Arc, Albert Lynch

BPAL currently offers a line up of scents inspired by Nasty Women and those who would persist; by courageous federal employees who risk their careers to ensure that the public is kept informed on issues of climate change; by those ceaselessly fighting injustice and hatred and bigotry. Scents to bolster courage as you refute ignorance and insincerity; scents to encourage kindness and compassion; scents to provide relief and recovery to those imperiled by disastrous circumstances. The proceeds from all of these scents go to such organizations as the ACLU, NCTE, Planned Parenthood, Emily’s List, NAACP, the National Parks Conservation Association and the National Park Foundation, as well as hurricane disaster relief efforts, and below you will find the descriptions and links to all of their current philanthropic, fundraising fragrances.

Alternative Facts: The truth hurts — so why tell it? Muffle the blow with Alternative Facts. If you truly want to obfuscate what you really smell like, this is the scent for you! Sugar-crusted vanilla, a firecracker-blast of cherry and sour lemon, a hint of scuttling spiders, encroaching fog, and trumpets of bombast, bluff, and bluster. Proceeds benefit the American Civil Liberties Union.

Fake News: A scent of misdirection, of 140 frantic characters typed out in spite at 3am, and paranoia-clouded churlish accusations hurled at perceived enemies: crushed pink pepper pod, bitter white tobacco, gnarled patchouli, all covered in glinting, garish slashes of gold. Wear it in vigilance as you sift through the memes, trolls, clickbait, hate-speech, and outright propaganda that continually threaten to overwhelm all the world’s kindness, wisdom, and informed expertise. Wear it in courage as you refute ignorance and insincerity at every turn — even from our nation’s highest-ranking figures — with indisputable facts from well-researched sources. Proceeds benefit the American Civil Liberties Union.

COVEFE: Is it abstract nonsense poetry? Surrealist performance art? Cryptography so subtle and devious that it would make an Enigma machine blush? This perfume makes no fucking sense: orange marshmallow cream, bitter lemon, black pepper, orange carnation, and gin.
Proceeds benefit the American Civil Liberties Union.

Nevertheless, She Persisted: A rallying call: golden oudh, frankincense, iris, and steel. Proceeds from this scent benefit EMILY’s List, an organization that supports electing pro-choice Democratic women to office.

Nasty Woman: “Such a nasty woman.” black fig and patchouli, filthy bourbon vanilla, honeyed amber oud, and loukhoum. Proceeds will be split between Planned Parenthood and EMILY’s list.

Irish Coffee Buttercream: Irish whiskey, granulated sugar, brown sugar, whipped cream, buttercream and coffee, and Spiced Rum Buttercream Coffee: Coffee and rum laced with allspice, nutmeg, clove, star anise, cardamom, and cinnamon gently whipped into buttercream. Two cheery, uplifting scents slated for a future, 2018 coffee-theme release which instead became emergency fundraiser scents in order to take an immediate stand to fight  the reinstatement of the unconstitutional, immoral, and unnecessarily cruel US military ban on transgender people. Proceeds benefit the National Center for Transgender Equality and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Take a KneeThis is the scent of apple pie, as American as it gets, and a smudged grass stain. Taking a knee…this isn’t a protest of America itself, its flag, or anything that this country stands for. It isn’t disrespectful of the US military. On the contrary, it is the acknowledgement that we as a country can do better, that we must do better, and that we must renew our commitment to fight for equality and justice for all. Proceeds benefit the NAACP.

Theoi Nomioi: The National Park Service refuses to be muzzled. On January 24th, South Dakota’s Badlands National Park social media team defiantly posted a series of climate change facts from the National Wildlife Federation before being shut down. The Theoi Nomioi are the gods and spirits of the wild: the countryside, the pastures, the forests. Under their auspices, untamed nature thrives, the beasts of the wild feast and multiply, the mountains reach to the heavens with their stony, snow-capped fingers, and the forests grow thick and dark with mystery. Proceeds to the benefit National Parks Conservation Association and the National Park Foundation.

Single Note: Flor de Maga The national flower of Puerto Rico. The proceeds of this scent support the Hispanic Federation’s Hurricane Maria relief fund.

And last but certainly not least, The Collected Poetic Works of Antonin Scalia, the “federal court’s beat poet of indignation and right-wing rage.” We’ve had myriad political figures throughout US history that have possessed acid tongues, but few in the modern era have provided such a constant stream of colorfully vitriolic superlatives as the Sick Burn Champion, the cranky, flamboyant, inimitable Antonin Gregory Scalia.

Proceeds from Ask The Nearest Hippie (patchouli, hemp, smoky vanilla bean, and cannabis accord), Jiggery Pokery (pink pepper cotton candy with a sliver of orange peel and a hint of vanilla cream), Looming Spectre Of Unutterable Horror (raw frankincense and tobacco absolute with Russian leather, blackened champaca, bitter clove, red patchouli, bourbon vanilla and petitgrain), Mummeries and Straining-to-be Memorable Passages (rosemary water with lavender, blackberry, Italian bergamot, and white musk), Mystical Aphorisms of the Fortune Cookie (almond fortune cookies and a bit of roadside palm reader-inspired incense), and Pure Applesauce (mashed apples with sugar and honey, slivered with tobacco tar and black tea) are donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Trevor Project, and the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Find Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: website // facebook // instagram // twitter

I haven’t sampled all of these scents, and more importantly, I don’t want my opinions on them to overshadow the fact that these scents exist in the world, doing good in the first place, so you won’t find reviews here today… but feel free to ask questions in the comments if you wanted my thoughts on any of them, and I will do my best to fill you in!

Are you a creator who gives a damn? Are you aware of artisans or indie businesses speaking up, reaching out, and creating art or goods to express outrage with injustice, promote anti-hatred, or which encourage safe spaces in their communities? Please let me know about them for future Friday Fripperies!

Previous frips for the resistance:
⚔ Resistance Insignia Pin From The Creeping Museum
⚔ “Neo-Nazis Not Welcome” From Cat Coven
⚔ The Watchful Eye Amulet From Chase And Scout

Literary Witches


Today over at Haute Macabre: a magical celebration of visionary female writers, Taisia Kitaiskaia and Katy Horan‘s Literary Witches! I can’t believe that I’ve been excited about this book for over a year now, and it was finally released yesterday!

Katy graciously indulged my questions about this curious compendium in our illuminating Q&A, (and I like to think that Taisia was there in spirit, too.) Thanks to them both, for conjuring these connections, channeling these women, creating this wonderfully special, utterly splendid book.

A Celebration Of Magical Woman Writers With Literary Witches

31 Days Of Horror


Every year, right around Halloween, I have grand plans to fill the whole month–every single day in October, in fact–with horror viewing. The sad news is, I usually crap out about a week in, having only seen two or three movies. This year it’ll be different, I swear!

I was so excited to begin, I couldn’t even wait until October 1st! The movie I began with was Shelley (2016); a story which revolves around a childless couple, and the young woman they’ve hired to help around the house, who then later agrees to carry their baby. Though the pregnancy is weird(er) and gross(er) than normal, the film was quite beautiful, with that somber, isolated property and the eerie woods surrounding it, and that gorgeous darkened lake. I have a tough time with pregnancy horror, though (no offense to my mommy friends and their little ones, but) I don’t believe pregnancy is the most natural thing in the world. To me, it seems anything but. So this movie really was not one of my favorites.
Shelley is on Netflix now.

Day One. Body (2015) is described thusly: “A night out turns deadly when three girls break into a seemingly empty mansion.” Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. Also, there’s Larry Fessenden in another scene-stealing role. Don’t you love it when he shows up? Also: when doesn’t he show up? He’s in everything! I quite enjoying the beginning scenes where we got a sense of the friendship between the young women, and see how dumb and ridiculous people act when they are hanging out with friends and family. It reminded me of my sisters and I when we get together for Thanksgiving.
I watched Body on Shudder.

22157900_292820391201541_7833063223032020992_nDay Two: Transfiguration (2016). Milo is a weird kid utterly obsessed with vampires, and driven to violence by his obsessive urges. I would have had a huge and unfortunate crush on him when I was the same age. We even have the same book! I’d have preferred a different ending, but that, as Milo is wont to say, wouldn’t have been very “realistic”.
Transfiguration is on Netflix now.

High TensionDay Three: High Tension (2003). So, I guess this film is about two friends, one of whom is bringing the other to visit her family on a break from school? And then a psychotic trucker breaks into their secluded house and starts brutally murdering everyone and then kidnaps one of the friends and the other friend tries to save her? I guess? That’s all I will say. Except this: considering the how the film plays out–how does this opening sequence make any bit of sense? I am still mad about this.
High Tension is on Hulu right now.

JuliaDay Four: I paid $3.99 (!!) to watch The Haunting of Julia (1977) on Amazon, and in addition to being lovely (as much as a film about a woman grieving the death, of her daughter, and the ghosts allowed entry by grief can be considered lovely, one supposes), the bleak autumn scenery managed to profoundly scratch all of my current, moody seasonal itches.  Extra credit: The film is based on Julia by Peter Straub

Dark SignalDay Five: Dark Signal (2016). The voice of a murdered woman cuts through the static of a radio interview and tries to implicate her murderer. There’s some other stuff going on too, but it’s all really dumb and not even worth going into. The highlight of this film was when, I realized halfway through who this woman was, and felt a profound peal of delight, clanging like a demented bell, trembling through my very soul. I’ve only seen her in one other film (though she’s been in a few) and it was one of the most memorable performances I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, Dark Signal, despite her casting, remains really stupid and pointless. Do you recognize her, too? Let’s squee together. (I’ve given you a huge hint with the side-by-side imagery!)
Dark Signal is on Netflix right now.

Day Six: Jacob’s Ladder (1990). It’s difficult to talk about films like this because reasons I can’t even share without ruining the story for someone. What can you say? This guy came back from the war all fucked up? I’ll sum up with a question. What’s the word for both heartbreaking terror and brb I’ll be in my bunk thinking about chubby-cheeked Tim Robbins? Sorry, I’m gross.
I watched Jacob’s Ladder on dvd at a friend’s house, but you can get it on Amazon, too.

Pet SemataryDay Seven: Pet Sematary (1989). Though Pet Sematary is one of my favorite Stephen King novels (a huge thank you to Mrs. Haney for letting me borrow this book my second week into your sixth grade class!) I’d never before seen the film. And… I could have waited a longer never. I was warned, but okay, you were all right, it was pretty hokey. And the actor playing Louis Creed was so bland and awful and just….blah. It was nice to see Tasha Yar and Herman Munster, though. I started this on day 7 and finished this the next day, but I think it still counts.
Pet Sematary is on Amazon Prime right now.

AsphyxDay 8: The Asphyx (1972) Sir Hugo Cunningham is an arrogant idiot and keeps killing the ones he loves with his incredibly scientific experiments in his quest for immortality. Forgive the sarcasm. But. It was actually kind of fun! And you can watch the whole thing on youtube.

last shiftDay 8, no. 2: Last Shift (2014).This was was a genuinely creepy film about a rookie cop whose first day on the job is the last shift at the Sanford police station before it closes. And, of course, the supernatural shenanigans that ensue. Parts of this were actually filmed in Sanford FL *and* I’m pretty sure there’s a real-life Sanford police uniform and cruiser in the movie. Apparently there was a big kerfuffle on this point; the Sanford police chief launched an investigation to figure out how the department’s police uniforms and a cruiser ended up as props in this film (Although the department did sign off on it! Le whoopsie.) Another interesting surprise is that my horror-averse partner actually sat through this one with me!
Last Shift is available on Netflix right now.

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