Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’

Build Your Own Electric God!

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Not many people read Frankenstein and think “Hey, what a swell idea! I should try that!”

But John Murray Spear was not an ordinary man. Nor did he think so small as to merely attempt to create a living creature with electricity. No, Spear thought much bigger than that.

He wanted to use electricity to build his own God.

Spear was a former Unitarian minister who had been driven out of more than one church for his strange ideas (oh those straight-laced Unitarians and their rigid dogmas!) who took a turn toward spiritualism right after the Fox sisters started toe-tapping shenanigans. In 1853, supposedly following the instructions of a cadre of spirit guides (including Benjamin Franklin) he called the “Electricizers,” Spear and his followers began construction of his his electrical messiah, dubbed “New Motive Power,” on a hilltop in Lynn, Massachusetts.

“From the center of the table rose two metallic uprights connected at the top by a revolving steel shaft. The shaft supported a transverse steel arm from whose extremities were suspended two large steel spheres enclosing magnets. Beneath the spheres there appeared [..] a very curiously constructed fixture, a sort of oval platform, formed of a peculiar combination of magnets and metals. Directly above this were suspended a number of zinc and copper plates, alternately arranged, and said to correspond with the brain as an electric reservoir. These were supplied with lofty metallic conductors, or attractors, reaching upward to an elevated stratum of atmosphere said to draw power directly from the atmosphere. In combination with these principal parts were adjusted various metallic bars, plates, wires, magnets, insulating substances, peculiar chemical compounds, etc… At certain points around the circumference of these structures, and connected with the center, small steel balls enclosing magnets were suspended. A metallic connection with the earth, both positive and negative, corresponding with the two lower limbs, right and left, of the body, was also provided.

Once it was given life, New Motive Power was supposed to usher in a new era of heaven on earth.

After 9 months, they tried to give it life. Let me spoil the suspense for you: Didn’t work, though Spear claimed it did twitch feebly for a few minutes. Later it was supposedly torn apart by a mob of enraged townspeople.

Spear spent the rest of his life promoting spiritualism, free love, and socialism. (Speaking of gods that failed…)

I wonder if anyone has written the steampunk horror story where Spear succeeded, only to discover that building an electrical god based on instructions received from spirits turns out to be a really bad idea

Scary Post-It Notes

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Pat Cadigan posted this to her Facebook page and I instantly filed it away for a Halloween season post. It’s about a guy who does horror illustrations on Post-It notes.

Like this:

Or this:

He’s got a Hayao Miyazaki by way of Edward Gorey and Gahan Wilson thing going on there…

I Would Totally Buy This Halloween Prop…

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

…if it weren’t $5,100.

Also, this is nicely creepy:

Fark Annual Scary Story Thread

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

It’s Halloween, which means its time for the annual Fark Scary Story Thread.

Here are the links to threads from previous years:

  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • 2006
  • 2005
  • 2004
  • Giant Pentagram in Kazakhstan

    Monday, October 28th, 2013

    Well, here’s something you don’t see every day. A giant pentagram in the former Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan.

    Looks to be about 1,300 feet across.

    I’m sure it’s in no way a summoning grid for unspeakable eldritch horrors…

    Halloween Horrors: Flying Death

    Friday, October 25th, 2013


    Creepy Online GIFs and Their Origins: Ballface

    Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

    Here’s a GIF that’s a wee bit unnerving:

    It’s vaguely reminiscent of the creepy moon in Georges Méliès’s The Astronomer’s Dream.

    Turns out it’s from a “tracking & compositing experiment” video:

    I know that I always use subjects that are super-creepy for my tracking and compositing experiments…

    Creepy Online GIFs and Their Origins: The Thing In the Bed

    Friday, October 18th, 2013

    Another post for the Halloween season.

    I’ve always thought this was one of your creepier online GIFs:

    And actually, it’s from a very short horror film called “Bedfellows,” available online:

    The guy’s evidently done a whole series of them.

    Sweet dreams…

    Maybe You Shouldn’t Read This Post If You’re Depressed

    Monday, October 7th, 2013

    Ever now and then you come across something interesting, but you wonder “What the hell do I say about this?”

    I was looking for some scary gifs when I came across this. There are a few in the, but it seems to be mostly depressing black and white gifs for suicidal teenage girls.

    Like this:

    Or this:

    Interestingly enough, more than half seem to be of stunningly beautiful actresses from popular culture. And, naturally, there’s a lot of Nine Inch Nails references.

    And this is pretty striking:

    Anyway, if you find yourself making or posting these gifs, maybe you should read this.

    Consider this more an act of reportage than commentary…

    Guillermo Del Toro Simpsons‘ Couch Gag is Awesome

    Saturday, October 5th, 2013

    This came out two days ago, and already has over 6 million hits, but I still thought Guillermo Del Toro opening couch gag for The Simpsons forthcoming “Treehouse of Horror” episode was too awesome (and too full of SF/F/H references) not to share.

    Hat tip: Hank Wagner’s Facebook feed.