Friday, 26 August 2011

Fright-day Foods: White Chocolate & Strawberry Ghosts

This week's frightening foods come from the great beyond and onto your plate. White Chocolate & Strawberry Ghosts! They are super easy to make, really tasty and they look gorgeous too.

White Chocolate
Silver Spoon Black Designer Icing

You will also need cocktail sticks.


1. Fill a bowl with hot water. Take another bowl of a similar size and put the white chocolate, broken into squares, in it. Place the second bowl on top of the first, so that the heat from the water can melt the chocolate. Make sure none of the water spills over into the melting cubes.

2. Whilst the chocolate is melting, you can prepare the strawberries. First, chop off the tops.

3. Turn the strawberries upside down and skewer them with the cocktail sticks. This gives you the base for your ghosts.

 4. Cover a tray or plate with grease-proof paper and place the upside down, skewered strawberries on it.

5. Spoon the white chocolate over the strawberries, making sure you use enough to cover them. The chocolate will naturally drip into the ghost shapes. Put in the fridge to set.

6. When the chocolate is fully set, pipe the icing onto the ghosts to make the faces, and you're done!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Monster Monday: Alien

"In space, no one can hear you scream", but on a spaceship, everyone can
Partly to make up for the lack of a Science (Fiction) Sunday post yesterday (thank you internet connection! -.-) and partly because it's a fantastic monster, today's Monster Monday scarer is The Alien from the, er...'Alien' franchise. I'm just going to focus on The Alien (or Xenomorph as it's sometimes referred to) from the original 1979 movie, because they develop and change over the course of the series, taking on the traits of their various host species. So, that said, on we go...

After the crew of a freighter spaceship answer a distress call eminating from an unknown moon, following which a member of the crew, Kane, is then attacked by a parasitic alien that attaches itself to his face (hence the name 'Facehugger') via a tube the it inserts into his mouth. Following this, he goes into a coma for hours, but then, seemingly of its own accord, the Facehugger releases him, dies and Kane then seems perfectly fine.

However, the Facehugger had not, in fact, released him as the crew had previously thought, but had instead implanted a different parasite into his lungs. During a rather gory, and extremely memorable dinner table scene, this new invader, the Chestburster, explodes out of Kane's chest and scuttles away.

The Chestburster
This Chestburster then goes onto become the gorgeously disgusting and overtly sexual androgynous adult Alien. Dripping in copious amounts of goop, bleeding acid and sporting razor sharp teeth, it does huge amounts of damage to both the ship and any crew members caught in its path. The Alien is both scary and awesome and the same time; a "perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility" (Ash, 'Alien').  

A less dripping, but still fascinating, lifesize
Alien suit that I saw at Torquay Museum
Credit for the design goes to surrealist artist H.R. Giger, who came up with the initial Alien design based on his 'Necronomicon IV' work, as well as the Facehugger, Chestburster, Space Jockey and alien ships. (If you've never seen Giger's work before, you need to. It's amazing! He also did the designs for the extraterrestrial in 'Species' too). However, some the praise for the long-limbed, phallic-headed alien also needs to go to director Ridley Scott and the effects team that helped to realise Giger's artistic visions of the creature on film, as well as 7'2" tall Bolaji Bodejo, who was the eponymous 'Alien' for the movie.

Super reviling, but somewhat alluring, The Alien is an aesthetically stunning, bizarre and merciless monster. Excellent!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Fright-day Foods: Witches Brooms

Today's Fright-day Food is really quick and simple to make, because you don't actually have to cook or prepare anything! For Witches Brooms, you will need:

  • Twiglets or straight pretzels (for the broom part)
  • Pocky/Mikado or bread sticks (for the broomsticks)
  • String or florist's ribbon (to hold it together)
I used Twiglets and Mikado because that's what I found in the store, but Pocky and pretzels would work wonderfully well too.

1. Take approximately 5-6 Twiglets/pretzels and put them in a bundle. 
2. Cut a length of florist ribbon/string and place the bottom of the Twiglets in the middle of it.
3. Wrap the ribbon around the Twiglets and make a single knot to hold them in place. Then, holding each end of the ribbon, continue to wrap it around, making a single knot each time. 
4. When you have about an inch of both ends remaining, tie a double knot.
5. Arrange the Twiglets so that they fan out at the top slightly. This will create a small hole at the bottom.
6. Gently put the Mikado/Pocky into the hole. Make sure you do this quite slowly, as it can easily break otherwise. The Twiglets will then hold it in place.

I had originally tried to make these using sewing thread, but that isn't thick enough and makes the whole process much more fiddly than it needs to be. I then changed to florists' ribbon, cut into thin strips and that worked perfectly.

These are really easy and add a spooky touch to a horror or Halloween dinner!

TV & Animation: Ugly Americans

Ugly Americans is a horror & twisted cartoon created in 2010 by Devin Clark. The show premiered on march 17th 2010, with just 7 episodes. Due to it's popularity, 7 more episodes were added to season 1. And now, well, around a month ago season 2 began, which I cannot be more thankful for! I think the best way to explain what exaclty Ugly Americans is about, read the following quote from IMDb:

"Take New York City, add every horrifying beast, science-fiction freak, and fantasy faerie, shake thoroughly, and you've got Ugly Americans."

The cartoon's main character is about a social worker called Mark Lilly, who works at the New York's Department of Integration. His bosses are demons, and his immediate superior Callie (half human half succubus) is his on and off girlfriend. Callie is one of those she-devils who get turned on by the sight of physical injury, so she is seen with Mark having their BDSM sessions. Moving along from Callie to Leonard, Mark's best buddy at work. Leonard is a wizard who is one damn heavy drinker, really doesn't do anything at work, just relies on Mark all the time.

He shares an apartment with a flesh-eating zombie who he found on craigslist. Who wouldn't want to live with a zombie? I mean c'mon now! Randall, the zombie that is, became a zombie because the girl he was into at the time had a thing going on for zombie guys. Turned out she wasn't into zombies anymore after Randall turned in to one though!

I really don't think it is that fair if I just will go on writing and babbling about the characters in the cartoon, because you really have to watch this show. Especially if you love horror (which of course you do.) and sick and twisted humour. This show luckily aimed towards adults, so there isn't really any dry and lame humour in this. You need to watch it!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Books & Events: All Hallows Read

Spooky. Eerie. Creepy. Riveting. Scary. Spine-chilling. Frightening. Disturbing. Terrifying. 

Be it fiction or non-fiction, blood-soaked slashing or children's ghost stories, the above words are just some of the many ways to describe a good piece of horror literature.  So if you want to celebrate the best time of the year with and extra little something, why not participate in the 'All Hallows Read' this year! 

'All Hallows Eve' began, after Neil Gaiman urged people to give each other scary books on Halloween, in this blog post. That really is all there is to it. You can give a book - new or old, second-hand or specially bought, well-known or obscure etc. - to someone as a gift on Halloween. The only condition is that it must be a creepy read. Who knows, you might even get a book or two in return!

For more information, visit:

Places: Highgate Cemetery, London

Highgate Cemetery is a Victorian graveyard situated in London, England. It is divided into two parts - East and West – that, although very near to one another are, in fact, separate spaces. All but one of the photos feature Highgate (East) because Madame Luciel and I had the pleasure of visiting it not too long ago.

Highgate Cemetery (East)
Built in 1839, Highgate (West) is the older portion of the cemetery and, although we only visited the east on this occasion, it is an extremely beautiful and elegant place as well. When it was initially designed by Stephen Geary, only this part of the cemetery existed and, as it increased in popularity, it became an extremely sought after place in which to have a plot. 

Highgate Cemetery (West) entrance
As the Victorians' macabre obsession with death and the afterlife even diffused into having 'fashionable' places to be buried, Lavish Gothic revival-style tombs and gateways were built, situated alongside leafy trees and wildflowers. The site continues to be a highly desirable location and some notable names laid to rest in there include poet Christina Rossetti, scientist Michael Faraday, and author Beryl Bainbridge. 

Highgate Cemetery (East)

Highgate Cemetery (East)
Although the western side still remains open to the public, it is now only accessible by way of supervised guided tours, in attempt to protect the Victorian mausoleums and tombs from further vandalism. Those with a deceased loved one buried in this half are given special passes, which enable them to visit unaccompanied. Had it not been for our time constraints, we would have ventured there as well, albeit with a tour guide.

Moving 1854, the "newer" Highgate (East) section was constructed and, although it doesn't contain grand structures like the 'Circle of Lebanon' and 'Egyptian Avenue' as the west does, it is still a stunning location! However, unlike Highgate (West), after you pay the entrance fee (cash only!), you're then free to roam and explore, unsupervised, as much as you like.

Highgate Cemetery (East)
Tall trees, ivy and many other varieties of flowers and plants sprawl and weave between the gravestones, with numerous paths winding their way around the grounds. There are a huge amount of decorative, visually striking and easy to find  tombstones, and it's worth visiting Highgate (East) for those alone. As with Highgate (West), there are also some well-known occupants, such as philosopher Karl Marx, Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, author Douglas Adams, television presenter Jeremy Beadle and the screenwriter for 'The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari', Carl Mayer. There is also a memorial grave to those who died whilst working for the London Fire Brigade.
Highgate Cemetery (East)

However, there are also some less visible graves that have unusual/interesting features, or intriguing epitaphs. For example, there are carvings of pet dogs sitting on some, Masonic symbols, Chinese characters, and photographs of those who have passed away on others and even the word "DEAD" carved out of another. Therefore we would recommend spending a few hours in the eastern part at least in order to fully appreciate all the treasures it contains.

Highgate Cemetery (East)
Tours of Highgate (West) cost £7 for adults, £5 for students, whilst unaccompanied entrance to Highgate (East) costs £3 for adults and £2 for students. Children are also admitted, but I'm unsure of the price. For more information about opening times, directions, cemetery occupants and anything else you want to know about Highgate, please visit the official website:

More photos of our visit after the cut below↓

Monday, 15 August 2011

Monster Monday: The Pale Man

The Pale Man from 'Pan's Labyrinth' (Image from Bits of News)
Get ready to draw eyes on your hands, put them up to your faces and uh...devour children! Alright, maybe not the devouring children part, but for Monster Monday this week, the spotlight falls on the gloriously ghoulish Pale Man, from Guillermo del Toro's Spanish-language masterpiece 'Pan's Labyrinth' ('Laberinto del Fauno' 2006). 

Ofelia and the Pale Man (image from Movie Connoisseurs)
The Pale Man sits motionless, in his underground lair, at the head of a table laden with delicious-looking food. He lies in wait for any hungry children that may find their way into his chamber, with his eyes on the plate in front of him. If the child should give into temptation, and dare to eat from the platters of nourishment before them, they'd better get out of there quickly, the pallid monster will be awakened from his stasis. 

The Pale Man (from
Against the warnings of her fairy friends Ofelia, the main protagonist of the story, makes the mistake of tasting some grapes on the table, causing the Pale Man to become animate. After killing two of the fairies, he then chases Ofelia, who is forced to run for her life and climb to safety through a magic door she outlines in chalk on the ceiling. 

Even those who don't like the movie surely have to admit that the Pale Man is a fantastic monster. Definitely the stuff of future childhood nightmares!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Science Sunday: Lobotomies

Lobotomy was a misguided and now largely obsolete psychiatric treatment, in which the prefrontal cortex of the brain would be intentionally damaged by inserting a long pointed rod, called an orbitoclast, through the eye socket. The orbitoclast was then thrust into the brain with a small hammer, in an attempt to bring about a change in the patient's behaviour. 

The medical technique originally began as a neurological practice in 1935, and lasted well to the 1950's. The practice cost the lives of many patients that went through it, due to severing the connecting tissues in the brain that allegedly cause us to worry, in the hope of curing mental illnesses such as Alzheimer's and schizophrenia.

Rather than being cured, those that survived the quick and allegedly painless operation, often had negative repercussions, such as greatly reduced cognitive functioning or severe pain. There were, however, very occasionally some patients, such as 1940's French Canadian singer Alys Robi, who claimed that the lobotomy she was forced to undergo had actually been beneficial to her.

A still from the lobotomy scene in 'Sucker Punch'
Though highly traumatizing in reality, the procedure has inspired many intriguing cinematic scenes in film and television, such as those featured in Stephen King's 'Kingdom Hospital', William Butler's 'Madhouse', and more recently, Zack Snyder's 'Sucker Punch'.

Art & How-to Guides: Jim McGee's Monster Drawings

Y is for Ygor
Originally hailing from the UK and now residing in Tokyo, Jim McGee draws familiar (and some not so familiar) faces from popular culture, in his own distinctive style. In 2010 he created a pictorial A-Z of monsters, featuring a plethora of characters from horror and science fiction, such as Vampira, Godzilla, Sadako, Ygor and  many more.

N is for Neko Musume and Nurikabe
V is for Vampira
Though the drawings don't always look like exact copies of the characters/actors, they aren't necessarily supposed to and it's obvious who they are. Every monster personality is represented wonderfully well, often with a dash of humor, which will make the drawings very endearing to fans of the genre. Another nice touch is the cameos and background extras that often crop up in McGee's work. For example, The Monster, The Wolfman and Una O'Connor are all in the background of the Ygor portrait.

G is for Godzilla
In addition to the monster art, there are also a multitude of tutorial and speed drawing videos on McGee's YouTube channel. It's not all spooky, with subjects ranging from Zombina (of Zombina and the Skeletones) to Tinkerbell, Frankenstein's Monster to Totoro, but it is certainly worth a look as he updates often, and is willing to take requests as well!

A still from 'How to Draw Zombina. Horror High School. Prof Fearstone'
Each video drawing is completed in 10 minutes, with extra characters/details being added if there's spare time and space. The above still features Zombina, with Professor Fearstone (a character McGee plays in 'Horror High School') coming to life in the background. Video tutorials on how to draw Zombina, Beetlejuice and Frankenstein's Monster are included after the cut below.

To see more of Jim McGee's work, you can visit the following sites:
Jim's very own A-Z of "Movie Monsters" on Facebook

Thank you to Jim for permission to use the images!

Science Sunday!

There's been Monster Monday and Fright-day Foods but today, my little horrors, we bring you Science Sunday! Every Sunday we'll be updating about things related to the world of real science-related horrors and oddities, as well as mad scientists, radioactive ghouls and everything else in the science fiction horror genre.
As with Monster Monday and Fright-day Foods, we'd also love to see submissions from everyone else as well, so if you want to take part in Science Sunday, let us know and we'll link to your post or feature your contribution on HSL! Posts can be about any kind of horror-themed science fiction or real science-related horror. All we ask is that submissions are in by the preceding Saturday so that we have time to compile the list. To submit a link or ask a question, please post a comment on this entry, or e-mail us at:

If you want to be kind and link back to Science Sunday, please use the banner below:

Friday, 12 August 2011

Fright-day Foods: Infected Cupakes

Another post for Fright-day Foods!

Many horror-themed cakes are made in the creepy cute style, largely because it looks much more appealing to eat than say, green slime and guts. However, if you want to have horror-themed eats that truly reflect the nature of the subject matter, then try these thoroughly disgusting looking (but delicious tasting) 'Infected Cupcakes'! The green cake represents the infected flesh, whilst the red fruit and white cream denote the oozing blood and pus respectively. Mmm...yummy! :D

To make these cupcakes: 

  • I used an amalgamation of a meringue (ignore the clotted cream, just make the meringue) and a cupcake recipe, and added a dash of green food colouring to the mix (you don't need much). I also added some cream of tartar to make the mixture thicker, but it isn't really necessary. Cook them as you would cook the cupcakes, as they are more like cakes than meringues. The meringue part gave it a fruity tang, whilst the cupcake part gave a cake-like texture. 

  • For the filling, I whisked up some low-fat double cream and put some icing sugar into the a portion of the 'Blood Shake' mixture and put it in the fridge overnight. This then gave it the consistency of a thin jam/thick sauce. I then took off the cupcake lids (muffin tops) and placed them upside down. Then the cream and 'Blood Shake' sauce went on, followed by the bottom of the cupcakes.

Fright-day Foods: Blood Shakes in Syringes

The inspiration for this came from a recipe for 'Dracula's Blood Shakes' from Tesco, which was sent to me by Kei from Unfortunately Oh!. It's really simple and quick to make and can contain almost any kind of fruit and non-carbonated drink you like. They're perfect for a little extra ambiance on any spooky table!

This post is for today's Fright-day Foods...

Ingredients and how-to guide after the cut below↓:

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