Saturday, June 30, 2012

Old Scratch

Tom lifted up his eyes and beheld a great black man, seated directly opposite him on the stump of a tree. He was exceedingly surprised, having neither seen nor heard any one approach, and he was still more perplexed on observing, as well as the gathering gloom would permit, that the stranger was neither negro nor Indian. It is true, he was dressed in a rude, half Indian garb, and had a red belt or sash swathed round his body, but his face was neither black nor copper colour, but swarthy and dingy and begrimed with soot, as if he had been accustomed to toil among fires and forges. He had a shock of coarse black hair, that stood out from his head in all directions; and bore an axe on his shoulder.

He scowled for a moment at Tom with a pair of great red eyes. "What are you doing in my grounds?" said the black man, with a hoarse growling voice. "Your grounds?" said Tom, with a sneer; "no more your grounds than mine: they belong to Deacon Peabody." "Deacon Peabody be d——d," said the stranger, "as I flatter myself he will be, if he does not look more to his own sins and less to his neighbour's. Look yonder, and see how Deacon Peabody is faring."

Tom looked in the direction that the stranger pointed, and beheld one of the great trees, fair and flourishing without, but rotten at the core, and saw that it had been nearly hewn through, so that the first high wind was likely to below it down. On the bark of the tree was scored the name of Deacon Peabody. He now looked round and found most of the tall trees marked with the name of some great men of the colony, and all more or less scored by the axe. The one on which he had been seated, and which had evidently just been hewn down, bore the name of Crowninshield; and he recollected a mighty rich man of that name, who made a vulgar display of wealth, which it was whispered he had acquired by buccaneering.

"He's just ready for burning!" said the black man, with a growl of triumph. "You see I am likely to have a good stock of firewood for winter."

"But what right have you," said Tom, "to cut down Deacon Peabody's timber?"

"The right of prior claim," said the other. "This woodland belonged to me long before one of your white faced race put foot upon the soil."

"And pray, who are you, if I may be so bold?" said Tom.

"Oh, I go by various names. I am the Wild Huntsman in some countries; the Black Miner in others. In this neighbourhood I am known by the name of the Black Woodsman. I am he to whom the red men devoted this spot, and now and then roasted a white man by way of sweet smelling sacrifice. Since the red men have been exterminated by you white savages, I amuse myself by presiding at the persecutions of quakers and Anabaptists; I am the great patron and prompter of slave dealers, and the grand master of the Salem witches."

"The upshot of all which is, that, if I mistake not," said Tom, sturdily, "you are he commonly called Old Scratch."

excerpt from

by Washington Irving

Friday, June 29, 2012

Secret Tape

Spooky Santa Monica pier at night
Originally uploaded by Scrunchleface

CALVIN: I got to get home and get to bed or get some nerve pills or see the doctor or something. I can't stand it. I'm about to go half crazy.

CHARLIE: I tell you, when we're through, I'll get you something to settle you down so you can get some damn sleep.

CALVIN: I can't sleep yet like it is. I'm just damn near crazy.

CHARLIE: Well, Calvin, when they brought you out-when they brought me out of that thing, goddamn it I like to never in hell got you straightened out.

CALVIN: (voice rising) My damn arms, my arms, I remember they just froze up and I couldn't move. Just like I stepped on a damn rattlesnake."

CHARLIE: (sighing) They didn't do me that way.

Now both men were talking as if to themselves.

CALVIN: I passed out. I expect I never passed out in my whole life.

CHARLIE: I've never seen nothin' like that before in my life. You can't make people believe-

CALVIN: I don't want to keep sittin' here. I want to see a doctor-

CHARLIE: They better wake up and start believin'... they better start believin'.

CALVIN: You see how that damn door come right up?

CHARLIE: I don't know how it opened, son. I don't know.

CALVIN: It just laid up and just like that those son' bitches-just like that they come out.

CHARLIE: I know. You can't believe it. You can't make people believe it-

CALVIN: I paralyzed right then. I couldn't move-

CHARLIE: They won't believe it. They gonna believe it one of these days. Might be too late. I knew all along they was people from other worlds up there. I knew all along. I never thought it would happen to me.

CALVIN: You know yourself I don't drink

CHARLIE: I know that, son. When I get to the house I'm gonna get me another drink, make me sleep. Look, what we sittin' around for. I gotta go tell Blanche... what we waitin' for?

CALVIN (panicky): I gotta go to the house. I'm gettin' sick. I gotta get out of here.

Then Charlie got up and left the room, and Calvin was alone.

CALVIN: It's hard to believe... Oh God, it's awful... I know there's a God up there...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Haunt Panel

This is very cool and worth checking out if you're a home haunter like me or just dig those houses on Halloween night that go 'all out.' The latest episode of the Big Scary Show features a panel interview with Midnight Syndicate's Edward Douglas and fellow haunt music composers Virgil Franklin and Jerry "Haunt Rocker" Vayne. They talk about how they got their start in the biz, haunt music as art form, and various experiences over the years. (Panel interview starts at 34 minutes.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Blazing Jack

Jack on fire
Originally uploaded by Kellie Megnin

This year, after the trick-or-treaters are gone and the props are stored away, I'm remembering to blaze a few jack-'o-lanterns.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Terror Vortex

Here's the teaser trailer for the upcoming film from our good friend, Christian Ackerman. We loved his first effort, WISCONSIN PROJECT X, and TERROR VORTEX is looking like it has upped the horror ante with its sleek production values!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Production and Post-Production for Destini Beard's 'A Time Forgotten,' the full-length followup CD to 'The Dark Masquerade' is complete. According to our friends at Midnight Syndicate, the new disc promises an immersive blend of Destini's haunting vocals and classic Midnight Syndicate tracks that together form an entirely new listening experience.

After the 2010 mini collaboration between malevolent music maestros Midnight Syndicate and the positively enchanting Destini Beard, I had high hopes that a full length pairing of these great talents would result in a full length release. Well, looks like I’m getting my wish, as Destini Beard, Gavin Goszka, and Edward Douglas have recently announced ‘A Time Forgotten,’ tentatively scheduled for release at the end of this month. To celebrate the occasion, we sat down with Destini to talk about the recording process of ‘A Time Forgotten,’ fan conventions and life on the road, and what it’s like being Destini Beard.

HALLOWZING: Hi Destini! Thanks for taking the time to chat – it’s such a privilege to talk with you again. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you today?

DESTINI BEARD: "Hello! Thank you so much for interviewing me. It’s an honor and I am so excited to be talking to you again! I think the best thing that has happened today is realizing that soon I will be releasing my full length album! Every day I get more and more excited for the release!"

HZ: After the success of ‘The Dark Masquerade,’ did you instantly know a full length collaboration with Midnight Syndicate would happen, or was this something that evolved over time?

DB: "The initial response for ‘The Dark Masquerade’ was more than I could have ever imagined! It was amazing to hear how people enjoyed it and started to ask about a follow up! We talked back in January of 2011 and both Ed and Gavin were very happy with the response to the first Cd and agreed to sign up for a full length album, so from that point I immediately started creating a storyline and writing lyrics."

HZ: Tell us about the recording process for ‘A Time Forgotten.’ How was it different from ‘The Dark Masquerade?’

DB: "The recording process definitely took more time for ‘A Time Forgotten’. The idea for this Cd is to be reminiscent to a short musical. Each song has at least three layers of harmony and counter melodies, so it’s almost like each song has its own adventure that goes along with the overall storyline. The vocal arrangements are much more involved than ‘The Dark Masquerade’, and with ‘A Time Forgotten’, you get a range of everything from opera to new age and it even touches upon a soundtrack movie type feeling."

HZ: What’s it like collaborating with Ed Douglas and Gavin Goszka? Do you work with them directly, or is your teaming more long distance – sharing your files digitally?

DB: "It’s such a wonderful experience being able to work with Ed and Gavin! It’s so neat putting a new twist on their music. I enjoy being able to take their original idea and combine it with my own lyrics to give the song a whole new meaning! We do work over email and phone. Basically I’ll go into my local recording studio, Green Valley Recording, and then I’ll send the tracks to Ed and Gavin for the final mastering and mixing."

HZ: Will we be hearing familiar compositions from Midnight Syndicate’s past on the new album? Did you have a say in what tracks were selected?

DB: "Yes, all the songs on this album are from their classic albums like: ‘13th Hour’ ‘Vampyre’ and ‘Gates of Delirium’. I chose all the songs, which took a long time to decide because I love all of them!"

HZ: You have an incredibly dedicated fan-base. Tell us a little about life on the convention circuit – and what it’s like meeting your fans face to face.

DB: "It’s such a blessing to have obtained such an amazing fan base! I am extremely fortunate to be working with my dad in the convention circuit, as well as the renaissance faire circuit. I have been able to meet and make new fans at every show! My dad will always play my music in his booth and will tell everyone that comes in to check out my work, which I am so fortunate for. Life on the convention and faire circuit is absolutely fantastic I get to go to different places and meet new people every year. I had a lot of people this past year approach me saying how much they loved the Cd and can’t wait for the next one, and it’s the best feeling in the world. I’m able to connect with fans on a personal level, so I make friendships and get such wonderful support for my career!"

HZ: Will fans be able to see you perform live this year?

DB: "I will be performing songs from the new album at ‘Con on the Cob’ in Hudson Ohio this October. They can find out more about the convention at: I will also be looking into different performance venues as I travel, which I will update on my website"

HZ: Thanks for taking the time to chat, Destini – you have an amazing gift that deserves sharing. It’s always a pleasure to help share your magic.

DB: "Thank you again so much for taking the time to interview me again! Its great knowing there are people out there that are so excited to support and promote artists and musicians! Thank you so much again for supporting my music!"

To all home haunters and lovers of Halloween - I encourage you to check out Destini's work, and that of Midnight Syndicate! To learn more about 'A Time Forgotten' and stay up to date on its release, visit:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

Campfire Tale

STATE: Florida

COUNTY: Columbia County

LOCATION DETAILS: A major two-lane heading south probably southwest of Live Oak, FL.


NEAREST ROAD: Sorry, I do not remember

OBSERVED: About twelve years ago we were on a very remote and desolate stretch of highway, southeast of Live Oak, Florida, headed south. It was about 1:15 AM. There were four of us in an older model Monte Carlo pulling a Coleman travel trailer loaded with cave diving gear, (probably weighing in around eight-hundred pounds gross). A Tennessee State Trooper was driving and I was shotgun. The two men in the back were asleep. Suddenly, right out of nowhere, (with only our headlights for illumination), a tall, huge “black form” rushed from the right edge of the roadway and came toward us, (in a perpendicular path as if to cross the highway). It was so quick that the driver had no reaction time whatsoever!

While the car missed this erect, but stooped, huge black form the trailer obviously got it. The trailer sounded as if it had exploded and I saw, in the glow of our brake lights, that the entire trailer became airborne and went about as high as the roof of the car! “What did we hit?” was the question yelled by the sleepy owner. The other sleepy passenger yelled, “What the hell?” The trooper calmly looked over at me and in an astounded voice asked, “What the hell was that? Did you see that?” I replied quietly, “I saw that and I have no idea what that was!” The owner asked from the back seat, “Was it a bear? I’ll bet it was a bear!” The trooper, in total agreement with me replied, “I don’t think so. It was too big!”

Well, all the while we had been braking to a stop. We all got out, checked out the trailer, checked the passenger side of the car, looked for a corpse, looked for blood, looked for hair, but found nothing at all! The best I remember we even turned around and drove back past the point of impact but saw nothing!

It will be passed off as a bear, (I am certain), but I do not believe a bear could possibly be that big, move that fast, or suffer that kind of impact without being injured. (Just my opinion) I have never thought about this being a bigfoot until a year or so ago and then it all sort of began coming together for me. (Whatever it was, it was huge, black, fast and one tough son-of-a-gun!)

Read more:

Friday, June 15, 2012

Bedtime Story

Came across this on deviantart. Click to see more.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Corril Slayer

Do you remember those awesome classic, side-scrolling, shoot-em-up arcade games of the 90s? Love Castlevania? Game designer, Eric Ruth has made a career of developing games made in that same fun, retro style. His latest, Corril Slayer follows the adventures of a dual magnum-toting, “I see dead people” hero Sam Asherton as he battles legions of the dead to the sounds of Midnight Syndicate!


Eric Ruth Presents CORRIL SLAYER, an Original PC Horror Game

March 6, 2012, Baltimore, MD -- Pure Bang Games is excited to announce the release of Corril Slayer, a downloadable PC game created by demake expert and Team Fortress Arcade creator Eric Ruth. Corril Slayer is a 2D platformer video game inspired by classic retro action games such as Mega Man and Castlevania.

A botched lobotomy leaves Sam Asherton with the ability to see ghosts and he soon realizes that not all of the ghosts are friendly. Armed with dual Magnums, players take control of Sam as he adventures through creepy landscapes, battles the undead, and hunts down the Internet's most infamous monsters.

Set in a mysterious and haunting world crafted by expert pixel artist and game designer, Eric Ruth, Corril Slayer's moody and creepy scenes turn even darker and more eerie with an imaginative soundtrack from the renowned horror music outfit, Midnight Syndicate. Players can switch between the real world and the ghost world to uncover power-ups and clues to defeat bosses such as the mysterious Slender Man, a creature who stalks children. Corril Slayer takes players back to the 8-bit golden age of fun and excitement.

Corril Slayer is currently available for download for $2.99 at

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Blood Rites

Just wanted to give a shout-out to an indie production company that has its severed head on straight: UNFILTERED ENTERTAINMENT. These folks are serious about making quality independent features (you may recall they joined Drive-In of the Dead's ZombiNation after their excellent WAKE THE WITCH), and their latest, BLOOD RITES, is no exception. Look for a review of the film at the Drive-In in the coming weeks - and while you wait, check them out on Facebook:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Shriek, Skull!

Another discard treasure from the local library. Found this beauty sitting alone and dejected on the freebie rack, cast aside from all the other reject tomes nearby. I have no idea what the story is about - other than a skull that shrieks - and can not attest to the quality of the writing, but the cover art by Dick Smolinski is creepily cool.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Head Shop

This past winter I picked up a foam pumpkin from Michael's at 90% off and decided the time had come to give our scarecrow, Jack, a new head. He's switched between two different heads for the past ten years, but this third version is by far the creepiest and most extreme. While work on the head is not quite finished, here's a little sneak preview of what you can expect to see come October...

Friday, June 8, 2012

Chair Crow

Cropped corn field
Originally uploaded by OakHead

Imagine driving down a lonely country road and seeing this...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Time Forgotten

An update from our friends at Midnight Syndicate:

"Production and Post-Production for Destini Beard's A Time Forgotten, the full-length followup CD to Dark Masquerade is complete. The new disc promises an immersive blend of Destini's haunting vocals and classic Midnight Syndicate tracks that together form an entirely new listening experience. A late June release date is anticipated. More details coming soon."

Really looking forward to this one. Can't wait to hear what Midnight Syndicate and the incredibly talented Ms. Beard have come up with for this full-length release! If you haven't heard their first collaboration, I urge you to check it out here:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

In Memorium

Sad beyond measure. Fair thee well, Mr. B.

Something wonderful this way comes...

1920 - 2012

Pinning Practice

ARCHAEOLOGISTS in Bulgaria unearthed two skeletons from the Middle Ages pierced through the chest with iron rods to keep them from turning into vampires, the head of the history museum said today.

According to pagan beliefs, people who were considered bad during their lifetimes might turn into vampires after death unless stabbed in the chest with an iron or wooden rod before being buried.

"These two skeletons stabbed with rods illustrate a practice which was common in some Bulgarian villages up until the first decade of the 20th century," national history museum chief Bozhidar Dimitrov said after the recent find in the Black Sea town of Sozopol.

People believed the rod also would pin the dead into their graves to prevent them from leaving at midnight and terrorizing the living, the historian explained.

Read more:

Monday, June 4, 2012

Discard Delight

Picked this very cool book up at a book sale at our local library for a quarter. From the early '80's, this book is filled with old-school make-up hints and home-haunting tips (and a little inaccurate information regarding the history of Samhain), and tons of great black and white photos. I would recommend picking this one up - you can easily find copies for mere pennies at Amazon and other online retailers.