Thursday, February 25, 2010

Halloween Art 1

this is some of the great Halloween art I have found throughout the net. mostly on a site called Deviant art. the rights to them belong to their respective artists.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

spooky review: Top 5 halloween movies for kids

because I didn't get a chance to grab the book I wanted to review I decided to make a top five list. this is my favorite Halloween kid movies

1. the Halloween tree
this is THE Halloween movie. I hold this to be Halloween incarnate and I'm sure I'm not alone.

2. The Nightmare Before Christmas
this gave us one of the most basic Halloween songs known to man. and for being a Christmas movie it's full of hallowinne goodness

3.spirited away
one of Miyazaki's best works and stuffed full of ghosts and goblins this is one of the best non Halloween films for October.

4.Halloween town
Disney last decent attempt at Halloween lead to this uber cheesy and supremely corny movie. it lacks the dazzle and haunting feel of tim's halloweentown non the less one gets lost in the story and can just let loose and be a kid again

5. scary godmother
this is cartoon networks attempt at halloween. it hits closer to Tim's halloweentown feel and the pun humor is surprisingly witty at times. I think this one got largely ignored because it was a bit cheesy. but how many of us Halloween nuts could deny wishing for a scary godmother?

feel free to tell me what you guys think of the movies I chose or what ones you would like to see on the list. (remember KIDS movies leave the horror shows for the next top 5 list)

shellhawk's nest giveaway

In light of her 100th follower, the wonderful shellhawk has decided to give away one of her adorable little jack o lanterns. luckily for me it seems no one has tried to win. so If you all want keep being lazy, that's good with me! I could always use another pumpkin for the house.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

creepy myths: jiang shi

Jiang Shi are reanimated corpses that hop around, killing living creatures to absorb life essence from their victims. Jiāngshī is pronounced gœngsi in Cantonese, or kyonshi in Japanese. They are said to be created when a person's soul fails to leave the deceased's body, due to improper death, suicide, or just wanting to cause trouble.

Generally their appearance can range from plain ordinary (as in the case of a recently deceased person) to downright horrifying (i.e. rotting flesh, stiffness, rigor mortis, the like commonly associated with corpses that have been in a state of decay over a period of time). A peculiar feature is their greenish-white furry skin; one theory is this is derived from fungus or mold growing on corpses. They are said to have long white hair all over their heads. The influence of Western vampire stories brought the blood-sucking aspect to the Chinese myth in modern times.

A supposed source of the jiang shi stories came from the folk practice of "Traveling a Corpse over a Thousand Li", where traveling companions or family members who could not afford wagons or had very little money would hire Taoist priests to transport corpses of their friends/family members who died far away from home over long distances by teaching them to hop on their own feet back to their hometown for proper burial. Taoist priests would transport the corpses only at night and would ring bells to notify other pedestrians of their presence because it was considered bad luck for a living person to set eyes upon a jiang shi. This practice was popular in Xiangxi where many people left their hometown to work elsewhere. After they died, their corpses were transported back to their rural hometown using long bamboo rods, believing they would be homesick if buried somewhere unfamiliar. When the bamboo flexed up and down, the corpses appeared to be hopping in unison from a distance. Once it was a myth. Some people speculate that the stories about jiang shi was originally made up by smugglers who disguised their illegal activities as corpse transportation and wanted to scare off law enforcement officers.

They are sometimes called Chinese vampires by Westerners, despite the fact that unlike vampires, most jiang shi usually have no self-awareness, consciousness or independent thought.

jiang shi can be put to sleep by putting a piece of yellow paper with a spell written on it on their foreheads. Generally the jiang shi are dressed in imperial Qing Dynasty clothes, their arms permanently outstretched due to rigor mortis. Like those depicted in Western movies, they tend to appear with outrageously long tongues and long razor sharp black fingernails. They can be evaded by holding one's breath, as they track living creatures by detecting their breathing. They are blind, and lack knowledge.

Because it usually takes decades for a unattended resentful corpse to become a Jiang Shi, they are usually depicted wearing attire identified with the previous dynasty. Their modern visual depiction as horrific Qing Dynasty imperial officials may have been derived by the anti-Manchu sentiment of the Han majority during the Qing Dynasty period, who were viewed as bloodthirsty creatures with little regard for humanity.

It is also the conventional wisdom of feng shui in Chinese architecture that at a threshold , a piece of wood approximately 15 cm (6 in) high, be installed along the width of the door at the bottom to prevent a jiang shi from entering the household. When grains or rice, seeds, anything small thrown in the path of a jiang shi, the jiang shi will stop and count the grains of rice. Sticky rice is believed to draw the evil spirit of the jiang shi out. only sticky rice works, and mixing it with regular rice diminishes its effectiveness. Furthermore, the glutinous rice must be in its uncooked form for it to be effective. Other items used to repel jiang shi in films include chicken's eggs (whereas duck's eggs are ineffective), and the blood of a black dog.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Jack o' lantern rescue

my girlfriend (from now on will be nicknamed fox) often jokes how I run a "Home for abandoned books and Halloween things" because I am always searching the thrift stores and garage sales for both. needles to say I have good amount of Halloween things of all shapes and sizes. as of today its not so much a joke as I pulled this little pumpkin to safety out of the gutter.

as you can see it's a cute little jack o' lantern pal someone had left sitting in the gutter. I couldn't help but stop and pick it up. I got it home and snapped some pictures of it. then got it all cleaned up. he looks so nice and clean now.

he looks so happy in the last one. he's practically glowing.