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”

7 Gifts for the Spooky Soul in Your Life

7 Gifts for the Spooky Soul in Your Life

It’s that most wonderful time of year when the weather gets chilly, colorful lights adorn homes, Christmas trees go up, carols play on the radio and the smell of cinnamon practically permeates the air. And, let’s not forget the holidays are synonymous with gift-giving. Even a dark soul like myself enjoys the season. But, having said that, my macabre factor doesn’t tone down.

I like to compare myself to Jack Skellington from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” who had an appreciation for the holiday, but also injected it with his Halloween spirit. He proves that us morbid folk can strike a nice balance between Christmas cheer and ghostly boos. So, what do you buy someone who basks in the darker side of life? To get you started, following is a list of 7 Gifts for Spooky Souls that will work with any spending budget. Continue reading “7 Gifts for the Spooky Soul in Your Life”

LA Opera’s Hitchcock Halloween with “Psycho” & Live Orchestra

Inside The Theatre at Ace Hotel
Inside The Theatre at Ace Hotel

The notorious shower scene—a pivotal moment in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” where Marion Crane is stabbed to death by a shadowed figure. The only thing more terrifying than the blood-splattered bathtub and close-up of the victim’s lifeless stare is the screeching of the strings as the knife repeatedly pierces her flesh. It’s “The Murder” by composer Bernard Herrmann and one of the most unforgettable instrumental scores to grace a horror film.

For 2019, as part of its annual Halloween tradition, LA Opera’s Off Grand presents “Psycho” at The Theatre at Ace Hotel. Off Grand is an extension of the opera company that showcases more experimental performances across the city. Making this event extra special is the live orchestra, conducted by Louis Lohraseb, that provides the soundtrack as the film plays on the silver screen. Continue reading “LA Opera’s Hitchcock Halloween with “Psycho” & Live Orchestra”

Celebrating Halloween Around the World

Halloween Aound the World

Although these days Halloween has become known for costumes, trick-or-treating and haunts, the history behind the holiday stretches far back in time, nearly 2,000 years ago with the Celts who celebrated Samhain between October 31st and November 1st. Eventually with the spread of Christianity, the Celtic tradition would be absorbed into All Saints’ Day (November 1st) and All Souls’ Day (November 2nd).

Interestingly, the Christian Church celebrated All Souls’ Day in a similar way to Samhain, maintaining customs such as building bonfires and donning costumes. The origin of the term “Halloween” is the Middle English word meaning All Saints’ Day, “Alholowmesse.” In time, the night before November 1st would be referred to as All Hallows’ Eve and then as Halloween.

From America to Asia, celebrations of this holiday have spread worldwide with countries commemorating the day in diverse and fascinating ways. Following is just a small fraction of what Halloween festivities take place. Continue reading “Celebrating Halloween Around the World”

Sinister Pointe’s Spooky Spirit Lounge

Sinister Pointe Spirit Lounge reserved seating
Sinister Pointe Spirit Lounge reserved seating

Sinister Pointe is renowned for bringing terrifying haunts to Orange County, and for the first time this year, the production company has introduced a horror-themed pop-up bar that is absolutely chilling in all the right ways. Welcome to the Spirit Lounge! Continue reading “Sinister Pointe’s Spooky Spirit Lounge”

Beetle House LA Revamps Its Look & Location

Beetle House LA
Beetle House LA

Any soul with a penchant for the strange and unusual has heard of Beetle House. Founder Zach Neil opened the first location in New York and brought it to the City of Angels in 2017. The restaurant and bar pay homage to the macabre and keep the spooky spirit alive year-round. All, from the ambience and décor to the menu and cocktails, is inspired by figures such as Tim Burton, Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker and Alfred Hitchcock. Horror, the goth aesthetic and the bizarre are exuded at each corner. Here, every day is Halloween. Continue reading “Beetle House LA Revamps Its Look & Location”

A Spooky-Filled Birthday Weekend: Inside Horror Made Here & More

Sitting upon my throne at the Fangtasia Bar inside Warner Bros. Studios: Horror Made Here
Sitting upon my throne at the Fangtasia Bar inside Warner Bros. Studios: Horror Made Here

I’m an October baby, so every year for my birthday, I like to celebrate by hitting up a few Halloween haunts. I just had a weekend full of spooky fun and want to share it with you all! Continue reading “A Spooky-Filled Birthday Weekend: Inside Horror Made Here & More”

Top 10 2018 Los Angeles Halloween Haunts

Neonbrand Unsplash
Top 10 2018 Los Angeles Halloween Haunts (Photo by Neonbrand)

The spooky season is upon us and many Halloween haunts are already in full swing! Do you relish in a good scare? Enjoy being made to scream? Seek out dark and frightful experiences? Well, I do, so I’ve compiled a list of a few of this year’s most talked about haunted attractions happening in and around the LA area. I’ve included not only big-name theme parks, but also a few interactive and more intimate haunts. Some I’ve done in the past and others I’m hoping to do for the first time this year. Here are my picks of the Top 10 Los Angeles Halloween Haunts for 2018. Continue reading “Top 10 2018 Los Angeles Halloween Haunts”

The City of Angels Goes Dark at Scare LA

Welcome to Scare LA
Welcome to Scare LA

Scare LA was the first weekend-long horror convention of its kind, debuting back in 2013. It inspired others, such as Midsummer Scream, another event dedicated to resurrecting the Halloween spirit during summer. This was my first time attending the festival, which took place in mid-August.  If you haven’t experienced it for yourself, here’s a look at what happened this year. Continue reading “The City of Angels Goes Dark at Scare LA”

How to Throw a Frankenstein Day Bash

Frankenstein- and Halloween-Inspired Art
Frankenstein- and Halloween-Inspired Art

August 30th is Frankenstein Day, a date that honors the classic novel by Mary Shelley as well as her birthday. To commemorate this annual event, I thought it would be fun to share some ways we can all pay tribute. There may not be a time machine to transport us to 1818 (the year the book was released) to chat with the author, but why not use the imagination to bring to life our own monstrous creations! Here’s how you can celebrate Frankenstein Day. Continue reading “How to Throw a Frankenstein Day Bash”