Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Buckley Family Murder

This post originally appeared on Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State

This is the Buckley Family. The children’s names were Susan & John. As a Halloween joke, the kids in the neighborhood were going to get a dummy & pretend to chop its head off. The Buckley children thought it would be hilarious to actually kill their mum, so when the kids walked up the door they got an axe and slaughtered her. Once everyone figured out what they had done, they called the police, but the kids were long gone by then. The only picture of them was this photo, taken by a trick or treater. The mother's body was found half eaten.

Unaltered Original
Well, not exactly.  The above narrative is the one that is accompanying this photograph and floating around the web in force.  It is a popular Halloween subject, yet it is leaving behind a trail of confused individuals who want to know if this image is real or not.  The truth is...its KINDA real, lol.

This image is the artwork of Eddie Allen, who creates changing portraits for the Haunted Memories site.  You've probably seen similar works on the shelves lately...portraits of old-timey subjects that take on a horrifying twist when looked at from a slightly different angle.  This particular image is titled Midwestern Matricide, and the inspiration behind the creepy image can be found at the link provided below.  As for the actual story...I'm not sure if its the brainchild of the artist himself, or simply someone trying to create their
own viral internet sensation!

Friday, February 27, 2015

World's Best SandWITCH

It's Friday again, and that means its time to feature another yummy Halloween recipe that you can serve any time of year!  Last week the focus was more on a quick, family this week let's look at a cute and clever option for lunch time.

This sand'witch' comes from the Food Chics blog.  The complete recipe can be found at the link provided, but this one is SUPER simple!  Fill the sandwich with your favorite protein and you've got a pretty well-balanced, nutritional, and cute lunch.  But, if you need a coordinating side dish, these witch brooms made from mozzarella cheese and pretzel sticks would be perfect!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Vintage Skeletons

Last week's Throwback Thursday featured a collection of Halloween postcards from 1909.  This week, we've got something slightly different.  Many of these photos are actually postcard images, and most date from around the same time period, but instead of the whimsical artwork of the Tuck cards, this week's feature is a tad darker...

For whatever reason, people in the early 1900s LOVED their skeletons, and they loved to pose with them! I couldn't find any information on this first photo, but I personally find it rather amusing.  I'm not sure which is more visually interest--the jaunty skeleton wearing a top hat astride a bicycle, the look of perplexity on the face of the seated gentleman...or the LACK of perplexity from the other cyclist!

From Pinterest
  Unfortunately, I can't find anything substantial about this next photo!

 This next photo comes from the website, Vintage Everyday, and comes from the collection of Stanley B. Burns, M.D. The accompanying caption for this photo reads "Dear Mary, What Do You Think of My Chum? Postcard mailed to Mary Miller, Mifflinburg, PA, 1908."  This photo, as well as several others featured on the Vintage Everyday website are included in Burns' new book, Stiffs, Skulls and Skeletons: Medical Photography and Symbolism.

This next guy appears to have a real love for his skeleton chum as well. The full image of this 1913 postcard can be found on the Tear Drop Memories website.

If you loved these photos, keep watching Theresa's Halloween Wonderland...there are a lot more skeletons coming in the next few months!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Very Witchy Illustration

Happy Witchy Wednesday! The focus of today's post is this beautiful illustration from artist Ida Rentoul Outhwaite, who was an Australian illustrator of children's book.  This particular work, which is untitled, comes from her 1916 book, Elves and Fairies, published by Lothian. Outhwaite provided the wonderful illustrations that were accompanied by poems written by her sister, Annie Rentoul.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

AHS Gods and Monsters

It's time for another Tuesday Tunes!

I am a huge American Horror Story fan and really enjoyed Season 4: Freak Show, especially the music!  Hands down my favorite performance was Jessica Lange as Elsa Mars singing a version of Lana Del Ray's Gods and Monsters.  

Green fog begins rolling in as the haunting chords are sung, ushering in the Halloween episode's beloved character, Edward Mordrake.  The stage is literally set with glowing jack-o-lanterns as Elsa sings her heart out about innocence lost.  Definitely check out the original by Lana Del Ray, as it is awesome in its own right, but thanks to the fabulous performance by Lange, I'll always associated this song with Halloween!

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Shatner Masks

Today's Movie Monday is a little bit of trivia for you!  By now it's pretty common knowledge that the mask Michael Myers wears in Halloween is a William Shatner mask, chosen because it was the cheapest one available.  

According to the article from Daily Dawdle, the mask was then spray painted white, creating the visual that has haunted us all since 1978.  But, have you ever seen the unaltered version of the mask?  The Daily Chive has provided that little gem for us and it is HORRIFYING!

The mask was produced by Don Post Studios and is actually not JUST Shatner, but is a Captain Kirk mask from a 1966 Star Trek costume. This little fun-fact was discovered in 1981 when Rich Sternbach was working on HALLOWEEN 2 and it was discovered that only one of the original Michael Myers masks remained.  He was the one who discovered the model number of maker's name on the neck and made the call to the company, ordering a whole box of the now iconic face.  In an article and accompanying video posted on a Star Trek website, William Shatner admits to taking his daughter trick-or-treating one year donning his own face! 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

AHS Ma Petite

Today's post is for my boyfriend, Aaron.  He really isn't a fan of American Horror Story, but like a good boyfriend, he stuck out the entire fourth season with me.  I'm pretty sure his favorite part of the whole show was little Jyoti Amge, the actress who plays Ma Petite.  He thinks she's the sweetest, most adorable thing ever and was pretty devastated at her fate in the show.  So Aaron, these beautiful stills from the Halloween episode are for you!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sexy Costume Fails

Halloween gives us the opportunity to be anything or anyone we want to be...for at LEAST one night.  Many of us wear things on Halloween that we wouldn't be caught *dead* in any other time of year.  And, unfortunately, that has led to this huge rise in the 'sexy' costume---any costume you can think of probably has a low-cut, tight, spandex version.  Of course we're all familiar with the sexy nurse, the sexy maid and the sexy female cop, but there's also options such as the sexy Scooby Doo, the sexy Sponge Bob, and the sexy Minion.  There's even a sexy Hitler.

Let that sink in.

Justin Meyers has curated a collection of these sexy costumes...but with a twist.  The article below is a list of ten sexy costumes that just totally missed their mark, or if you prefer, "Sexy Costume Fails."  I've posted one example that I'm sure horror fans in particular can appreciate!

Human Centipede Costume

Friday, February 20, 2015

What's for Dinner?

Welcome to Foodie Friday!  I love finding little ways to keep Halloween in our lives year 'round and these adorable jack-o-lantern cheeseburgers are a perfect way to do just that. They're the perfect Halloween food...that's not an actual Halloween food.  (I'm gonna let you in on a little secret--I actually am not a fan of pumpkin-flavored ANYTHING.)  But, if you're a little more on the traditional side, these would be great for a Halloween party, a quick dinner before trick-or-treat, or as a showpiece in a Halloween-themed cookout.

From Red Ted Art

Serve 'em up with a side of ghost and jack-o-lantern sweet potato fries and you've got the perfect family friendly meal!  Recipe and instructions from Guava Rose

Thursday, February 19, 2015

1909 Tuck Halloween Postcards

While a LOT of this blog is going to be devoted to vintage and antique Halloween items and imagery, Thursdays are especially designated to showcase some of the awesome spooky goodness from a bygone era.  In today's Throwback Thursday we'll take a look at some rather...interesting...vintage post cards.

I'm almost positive that ALL of these postcard images come from the Raphael Tuck and Sons' Halloween series 160, dating back to 1909.  These seriously crack me up, especially the first one.  Look at the devil in the background pitchforking that strange fruit guy.  Apparently they made amends because by the 'end' of the series, they've all sat down to a homecooked meal, lol.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pinup Witches, Volume I

Welcome to the very first Witchy Wednesday!  This beautiful enchantress may seem a little out of place sitting on a stool in what looks like an artist's workshop.  There's a good reason for her surroundings, but first...

This model is Marilyn Hanold.  She was born in New York in 1938 into a rather large family of six children.  Cashing in on her hauntingly good looks, Marilyn starred in a number of film productions in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including the B-level favorite, The Brain That Wouldn't Die.  She was even named Playboy Magazine's Playmate of the Month for June 1959.  And as we can see below, she was also the model for pinup artist, Gil Elvgren!

Photo study for Gil Elvgren

The painting below was painted from the photograph of Marilyn in 1958 and entitled Riding High. Elvgren was a prolific pinup artist throughout the 1940s into the 1960s.  This is a wonderful piece of American culture and an excellent salute to the sexy witch!

Riding High (1958) by Gil Elvgren

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Gloomy Sunday, The Hungarian Suicide Song

It's time for some Tuesday Tunes!  While this really isn't a Halloween song, and it really isn't even that spooky in and of itself, the story behind it definitely is!  Take a listen...if you dare!

Gloomy Sunday with a hundred white flowers
I was waiting for you my dearest with a prayer
A Sunday morning, chasing after my dreams
The carriage of my sorrow returned to me without you
It is since then that my Sundays have been forever sad
Tears my only drink, the sorrow my bread...

Gloomy Sunday

This last Sunday, my darling please come to me
There'll be a priest, a coffin, a catafalque and a winding-sheet
There'll be flowers for you, flowers and a coffin
Under the blossoming trees it will be my last journey
My eyes will be open, so that I could see you for a last time
Don't be afraid of my eyes, I'm blessing you even in my death...

The last Sunday

 Depressing, huh?  No less than seventeen people agreed!

The song Gloomy Sunday  was a collaboration between the poet Laszlo Javor and Hungarian composer, Rezso Seress.  The song, written in 1932, was allegedly written while Seress was living in Paris, broke, and depressed.  After a fight with his girlfriend, he penned the hauntingly beautiful Gloomy Sunday based on the poem by Javor.  Javor is said to have written the above lyrics, which chronicle someone contemplating suicide after his  lover's death, for an ex-girlfriend.

After being rejected over and over, the song was finally released in 1933.  Gloomy Sunday didn't actually receive much acclaim until 1936, when a rash of suicides took place throughout Hungary.  Hungary, which has always had an inordinately high suicide rate, tipped off a definite "weird history" moment that would live on for generations.

No less than seventeen suicides were reported in connection with the song.  Several people quoted lyrics from the song in their suicide notes, and many others were found with copies of the record lying near them, or recently listened to.  A few allegedly went home and killed themselves immediately following live performances of the song.  This rumor was so prolific, that the song was actually 'temporarily' banned from Hungarian airwaves.

While it can be substantiated that there were a number of suicides that were in connection with the song, its not entirely surprising, especially in a country with an already high suicide rate.  Depressed people listen to depressing music, and its not uncommon to quote passages from favorite books, poems, or songs in one's suicide letter.  What isn't substantiated is just how many suicides were in fact, connected.  Some say that Javor's current girlfriend committed suicide shortly after the song was released, and some say that it was Seress's girlfriend who was the one to commit suicide.

Around the same time as this rash of suicides in Hungary, American artists were falling in love with the song, and racing to churn out instrumental versions and English translation versions.  The most popular  translation was by Billie Holliday in 1941.  Fueling the rumors, this version was also banned by the BBC during the outbreak of WW2 due to the depressing subject matter.

In 1968, Seress himself committed suicide by jumping out of the window of his apartment.  His obituary alluded to the idea that the suicide was a result of the depression Seress faced over the song and its infamy.  He was never able to produce another hit, and many still blamed the song for the rash of suicides.

In the 1970s, the "Hungarian Suicide Song" as it was now being dubbed was featured in several supernatural articles and books, confirming Gloomy Sunday's place in "Weird History."

Originally posted at Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State

Monday, February 16, 2015

Why We Love Hocus Pocus

It's Movie Monday and probably the best Halloween ever is Hocus Pocus.  I saw this in the theater with my best friend, Christy, when we were in 4th grade---and its remained not only a favorite Halloween movie of mine, but one of my all-time favorites overall.  

This delightful little infographic apparently comes from Buzz Feed.  I saw it sometime last year and never made the connection that Thackery Binx grew up to be on NCIS, a show my mom watches religiously!  I was also pleased that this poster also mentions that 'Mary Sanderson' and Peggy Hill are voiced by the same actress since I'm also a huge King of the Hill fan!

(Just a quick note---this will not be the only post on this blog that either mentions or is dedicated to this modern classic!)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Brand New Blog!

Hey everyone!  It's Theresa, from Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State!  I want to welcome you to my new blog project, Theresa's Halloween Wonderland!

Ever since I can remember, Halloween has been my favorite time of the year.  All year long I look forward to October, and to tell the truth, Halloween is kinda celebrated year 'round here, lol.  It's perfectly normal for me to wear Halloween pajamas at Christmas, or create Halloween-themed art in the Spring.  The Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror can be found playing at any given time, and my china cabinet is full of ghosts and pumpkins.

I know there are a LOT of other Halloween enthusiasts out there to share my interest, and I've joined at least a dozen Facebook pages dedicated to 365 days worth of Halloween.  But, I wanted to carve out my own little spot in the internet and chose to use this blog format as a way to not only share my love of everything related to Halloween, but to kind of organize all the wonderful craft and food ideas, decorating tips, costumes, and beautiful vintage photos that I find online.  Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State will still be regularly updated, but I've taken a slight break to get this blog going...I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do!