The Undead Way to Celebrate Dracula Day

From left to right: Bram Stoker, Vlad Tepes and Bela Lugosi as Dracula
From left to right: Bram Stoker, Vlad Tepes and Bela Lugosi as Dracula

On May 26th, 1897, Bram Stoker’s notorious novel Dracula was published. More than a century later, the vampire tale has indeed proven to be as immortal as its protagonist. There have been films, TV shows, music, books, art and entertainment events inspired by the Count. Stoker’s work has left such an indelible mark on, not just the literary world, but the creative world in general that there is a day dedicated to it—Dracula Day. There are many ways to celebrate and following you will find ideas for how to throw a fangtastic vampire soiree, whether alone or with others! Continue reading “The Undead Way to Celebrate Dracula Day”

Growing Up Goth: Finding My Self Within the Subculture

Vamp Jenn's Corner

How does one know they’re goth? I can’t recall a specific incident that brought me to this realization. There wasn’t some grand transformation that happened, although it would be more exciting to say I underwent a dramatic change similar to Anne Rice’s vampires. These characters shed their mortal shell in a painful process; even their bowels are emptied of all human waste. No, nothing of the sort happened when I began identifying with the goth subculture. The shift for me was subtle, but my family noticed my all-black apparel, heavy use of black eyeliner and polish, and unusual taste in music.

Here’s my coming of “dark age” story of how I found my place within this alternative group and discovered my true colors—black, black and black. Continue reading “Growing Up Goth: Finding My Self Within the Subculture”

7 Films to Watch on Goth Day

Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (© Columbia Pictures & Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (© Columbia Pictures & Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

Wondering how you can celebrate Goth Day on May 22nd? Set the mood with a list of binge-worthy, macabre films. Following are a few of my favorite flicks that either feature goth characters or exude a dark vibe. By no means an exhaustive compilation, this should at least give you a good start. So, drape yourself in black, dim the lights and enjoy the feature presentation. Continue reading “7 Films to Watch on Goth Day”

Do You Know Your Goth ABCs?

Photo by Matheus Farias
Photo by Matheus Farias

You’ve seen us lurking in the shadows, clad in black, listening to dark tunes and exuding a sense of mystery. We’re goths and there’s more to us than meets the eye. The goth subculture is multifaceted and not a teenage phase. In an ode to Goth Day that is on the 22nd of this month, I wanted to offer an introductory course on this dark and beautiful community. Let’s call it Goth 101. I’ve combed through the alphabet selecting words that are related to the subculture to provide deeper insight.

Ready to begin your lesson? Class is now in session. Continue reading “Do You Know Your Goth ABCs?”

Creepy Concoctions From the Beetle House Cookbook

Zach Neil's The Nightmare Before Dinner Beetle House Cookbook

I’ll be the first to admit that cooking is not my forte and I don’t do it often, but while brainstorming blog post ideas, I remembered I have a copy of The Nightmare Before Dinner: Recipes to Die For. It’s the official cookbook of Zach Neil’s Tim Burton and Halloween-inspired Beetle House! The book features dishes and cocktails straight from the restaurant’s menu so that anyone can introduce a bit of spooky spirit into their kitchen. I figured if I’m going to whip up something, it might as well be food that feeds my dark soul. It was also a great way for me to recreate the macabre atmosphere at home since the establishment is closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. For the main entree, I tried my hand at the Alice in Wonderland themed Cheshire Mac and Cheese. And, because there’s nothing like a good apéritif to accompany a meal, I crafted The Beetle’s Juice cocktail.

Now, I must mention that since I’m not a food blogger, this post isn’t presented in the traditional format of a culinary blog post. I am going to include some details of the process, but this is more of a casual retelling of my macabre cooking experience. Enjoy! Continue reading “Creepy Concoctions From the Beetle House Cookbook”

How Quarantine Is Affecting This Introverted Goth Blogger

Solitude

Those of you who read my post for World Introvert Day know that I’m as introverted as they come. Given the current lockdown situation many of us are experiencing due to COVID-19, I thought I’d take a moment to share some thoughts with you all about how I’m handling it as an introvert. You’ve probably seen funny memes proclaiming how it’s our time to shine now that social distancing and staying home are the new norm.

Yes, I’ll admit it’s nice having a legitimate excuse to not see people, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t miss some social interaction or visiting favorite spots. Much of my blog content centers around events and places, so when the mandate came for businesses to go dark and for folks to keep indoors, my calendar was wiped clean and future blog post ideas went out the door. What’s a goth introvert blogger to do? Continue reading “How Quarantine Is Affecting This Introverted Goth Blogger”

History’s Most Formidable Occult Figures

Pentacle

“To know, to dare, to will, to keep silence—such are the four words of the magus…”

The Doctrine and the Ritual of Magic, Eliphas Levi

The earliest use of the term “occult” emerged in the 16th century when studies such as astrology and natural magic were catalogued under the occult sciences. Fast forward to the 19th century and the word picked up momentum with the French associating it with esoteric groups. It’s believed that the phrase “occult” finally made its debut in the English language circa 1875 when esoterist Helena Blavatsky (more on her later) began using it in her works. Although the mention of the occult seems quite recent, I believe traces of it have existed for much longer, into the far reaches of centuries past.

The dark arts, black magic, Satanism, witchcraft, paganism, mysticism—these are just a few of the practices commonly connected to occultism. All the greater are the number of individuals throughout the ages to have been linked to the practice of it. In his book “The Black Arts,” Richard Cavendish says, “The magician sets out to conquer the universe. To succeed he must make himself master of everything in it—evil as well as good, cruelty as well as mercy, pain as well as pleasure.” Perhaps this is the mission to unite the souls I’m about to mention here; a common purpose propelling them throughout their lifetimes. Presented in chronological order, let’s have a look at some of history’s most formidable occult figures. Continue reading “History’s Most Formidable Occult Figures”

Top 10 Must-Read Dark Books

book-light

With the current Coronavirus pandemic, life seems to have become its own horror story. A novel illness is running rampant across the globe, streets have become eerily quiet, citizens have been ordered to self-isolate and panic has turned as contagious as COVID-19. But not all is as dire as it seems.

Since we’ve suddenly had to adjust to a new way of existing, I think everyone needs a break from reality and nothing provides that more readily than a good book! I’ve created a list of Top 10 Dark Reads with varying levels of darkness. Some embody gallows humor, while others are just plain morbid. They are presented in no particular order, but I do believe I saved the most sinister for last. Continue reading “Top 10 Must-Read Dark Books”

The Dark Art Emporium Debuts Meimaro Solo Exhibition “Devotion Bound”

Meimaro "Devotion Bound" Exhibiton

Japanese artist Meimaro returns to The Dark Art Emporium, this time for her first U.S. solo exhibition “Devotion Bound.” I had the opportunity to see her work in the group art show “Dakuato” in 2019 and was completely taken in by her creations. What you’ll find is plenty of blood, horror and grotesque flesh. Continue reading “The Dark Art Emporium Debuts Meimaro Solo Exhibition “Devotion Bound””

Best Macabre Dining Experiences in Los Angeles

Photo by Aphiwat Chuangchoem

Options for wining and dining in Los Angeles are abundant, but what if you like your main entrée served with a side of horror and a dash of devilish spice? From frightful feasts and witchy lounges to haunted bars, there are plenty of spots that will satisfy cravings for ghoulish delights. To aid you on your quest, I’ve rounded up a list of some of the best macabre dining experiences in Los Angeles. Bon(e) Appetit! Continue reading “Best Macabre Dining Experiences in Los Angeles”