Fuschia Phlox Embraces a Darker Sound in Her New Album ‘Aspro A.S.B.O’

Musician Emma Russell, aka Fuschia Phlox
Musician Emma Russell, aka Fuschia Phlox

If you rage against the patriarchy and champion women’s independence, then Aspro A.S.B.O. is an album you’d enjoy. It is the latest release from musician Fuschia Phlox and possesses a darker mood compared to her other works. The tracks explore themes of female suppression, objectification and empowerment, beckoning listeners to heed their message in a magical way.

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Macabre Holiday Gift Guide 2022

Photo credit: Robin Mikalsen
Photo credit: Robin Mikalsen

What’s on everyone’s wish list to Sandy Claws this year? There are many new things that debut annually, so I’m mainly highlighting goodies that unleashed in 2022. Plus, what I mention might ignite inspiration and more ideas for you. Whether you or the person you’re shopping for have been naughty or nice, I’ve included a little something to appease many tastes and desires. This gift list is full of treats to brighten up dark souls, and I hope it makes the holiday season, or shall I say the holi-ween season, a bit spookier.

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Celebrating El Día de los Muertos at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Vamp Jenn at the Dia de los Muertos event at Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Vamp Jenn at the Día de los Muertos event at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Since 2000, Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles has been home to the largest Día de los Muertos celebration outside of Mexico, and I attended for the first time this year. For 2022, the festivities centered on Mayahuel, the Aztec goddess of fertility and the agave plant. There were separate daytime and nighttime events happening, and I went to the latter, Noche de los Muertos. It was an evening filled with beautiful performances, rituals, altars, and so much more.

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House of Spirits: The Legend of Vaughan Hall

Vamp Jenn at House of Spirits: A Haunted Cocktail Soiree hosted at Casa Vertigo in Los Angeles
Vamp Jenn at House of Spirits: A Haunted Cocktail Soiree hosted at Casa Vertigo in Los Angeles

For the Halloween season, I returned to the House of Spirits, and this time to explore the legend of Vaughan Hall. I attended on October 15th, its first evening being open to the public. For 2022, the event took place at an entirely different venue in Los Angeles called Casa Vertigo. It offered up new live acts, performances, characters, cocktails and dark secrets.

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Beetle House LA’s Third Reincarnation Is the Best Yet

Vamp Jenn at the new Beetle House LA
Vamp Jenn at the new Beetle House LA

They say the third time’s a charm and I believe it’s true when it comes to Beetle House LA. The Halloween-inspired establishment has moved a total of three times since first opening in Hollywood in 2017. Its newest home is definitely bigger and better, and I have details and photos to share.

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Spotlight On A Time of Shadows: A Journey Into Gothic Horror Music

Ravenson Mansion Dark Secrets: Volume I album cover by A Time of Shadows
Ravenson Mansion Dark Secrets: Volume I album cover by A Time of Shadows

For your listening pleasure, we’re going to step into the world of A Time of Shadows whose music embodies elements of gothic horror and fantasy. Paul is the mastermind behind the project, and although the first album released in 2021, he’s already produced five full-length recordings. Of course, I’ve heard each one, and they’re the perfect backdrop for a haunting atmosphere. The newest LP, Ravenson Mansion Dark Secrets: Volume I, is accompanied by a novella that tells a sinister tale.

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In Memoriam: A Victorian Mourning Exhibit Presented by Haunted Orange County

Victorian mourning fashion
Victorian mourning fashion

Haunted Orange County kicked off October in a very fitting way. They hosted In Memoriam: A Victorian Mourning Exhibit during the first weekend of the month. The event was held at the historic Howe-Waffle Mansion in Santa Ana, Calif., which is known to have a few spirits of its own. I am absolutely fascinated with the Victorian period and made it a focus of my studies when I was working toward my MA in English, so I had to attend this exhibition, and it did not disappoint.

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Spotlight on In Isolation: Uniting 80s New Wave & Dark Alternative Beats

Albums | Singles| Soundtracks by In Isolation
Albums | Singles| Soundtracks by In Isolation

How the band, In Isolation, has gone under my radar for so many years, is beyond me, but I’m thrilled to have been able to experience their music recently. It’s a fascinating blend of ‘80s New Wave and dark alternative sounds. They debuted their first single, “The Wrong Girl,” in 2007 and have gone on to produce a wealth of songs. This past June, the group released their latest project, Albums | Singles| Soundtracks, which delivers a retrospective of their past 15 years creating music.

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Inside Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights
Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights

Universal Studios Hollywood has been in full-blown Halloween mode since launching Horror Nights on September 8th, and I attended during its second weekend of being open. Now, normally I wait to do this event closer to my birthday, but prices during October for the express pass increased like crazy, so to save some money, I decided to go earlier. Was it any less exciting attending in September? Not at all! Here’s a recap of this year’s festivities and what you can look forward to if you’re planning to check it out.

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12 Unusual Facts About Mary Shelley

Portrait of Mary Shelley by Richard Rothwell
Portrait of Mary Shelley by Richard Rothwell

In 1818, Mary Shelley published her first major work, Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus. More than 200 years later, the novel is still popular among gothic horror fans. Not only has it sparked numerous movie adaptations, but the monster of the narrative has been the inspiration behind Halloween costumes, haunts and a Frankenstein-themed bar in the UK. The author also continues to be a prominent literary figure today, inspiring countless contemporary horror writers. There’s even an annual holiday commemorating her birthday and notorious book, Frankenstein Day on August 30th. To pay homage to the author, here are 12 interesting facts about Mary Shelley that may surprise you.

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