Friday, August 31, 2012

Norman's Ghost Show

This fascinating photo has been reblogged left and right on the internet, with virtually zero information attached to it... I have also seen it titled as "Norman's Ghost Hole", it is attributed to 1900, and called a traveling show. Can you imagine taking apart this ornate facade and rebuilding it over and over? Surely it is too intricate to be a traveling show. Is there a space behind it, like a walk-through funhouse? Or is it just a very elaborate stage... where perhaps the lady or gentleman pictured performed psychic readings, fell into trances, and pulled fluffy cotton ectoplasm out of their ears for an astonished Victorian crowd?

Thankfully a clever girl named Mlle Ghoul did some sleuthing and shared links to the manufacturers in the comment section of a blog that reposted the photo. They were an English company named George Orton Sons & Spooner Ltd-- "Orton and Spooner were major ride-builders and decorators based at Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire. Their work spanned early carving through to construction of 19th Century Shows, classic Scenic Railways, up to the design and building of 1930s thrill rides such as the Ark and Dodgem." --via the National Fairground Archive on the University of Sheffield's website.

Here is a link with a brief look at their company history, and another photo collection of their beautiful show fronts and facades. Googling "Orton and Spooner" also yields pages of delightful images, and it's nice to see that many of their creations have been preserved and restored. A paperback book called "Men at Work: The fairground artists and artisans of Orton & Spooner" by Alan S. Howell was published in 2003 and is now out of print.

I really wish I could make out what the signs say on Norman's Ghost Show.

And... who were you, Norman?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Resin Deer Head

What a stunning piece of nature sculpture. Clever, elegant even... all the fun of taxidermy without the ick of little dead bugs piling up on the floor undernearth it. Available in custom colors, but I am enamored with simple white. I found this on Etsy in a shop called White Faux Taxidermy-- they have a zoo of resin taxidermy sculptures available!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Muppet / Wicker Man Comic!

Muppet Wicker Man-- This is charming and disturbing at the same time! The full online comic can be viewed on the artist's page at ... he's taken some very amusing liberties with the Wicker Man storyline (Miss Piggy plays Willow, but her name is changed to "Wallow")!  Below is the YouTube trailer, complete with a folk song from the film.

I slightly disapprove of casting Gonzo as Lord Summerisle. What must the esteemed Christopher Lee think of this choice?  :)

The artist has many interesting pieces for viewing and for sale at

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Photo Tour of a Crumbling Leper Colony, and Quarantine Home of Typhoid Mary.

I'm posting this article so I can keep it handy to enjoy again... I'm a wistful fan of "Urban Exploration".... but not so much a fan of risking a trespassing arrest anymore. This reminds me fondly of the day I gave myself an illicit tour of an abandoned TB hospital near Annapolis, MD.

"...In a series of extraordinarily eerie pictures, the lost world of North Brother - quarantine zone, leper colony and centre for drug addicts - has been brought back to life.

It is hard to believe that these echoing corridors and abandoned halls were home to hundreds of patients - or that a criss-cross of tree-lined avenues were once roads. 

But the haunting quality of these pictures makes it easy to imagine that it was a place of indescribable misery, which one inmate compared to the notorious black hole of Calcutta."

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lovecraft-themed Horror Short Film

Since I'm on a Lovecraft bender... this 6 minute story is: "The new short film from writer/director Joseph Nanni (The Necronomicon, Elder Sign)." 

"Jacques Cowan is what the French call "a runner of the woods." He may be a foreigner in the new world but Jacques quickly learned the ways of the native people, their language, their routes, and their skills. But he didn't leave his life in another land for adventure, freedom, and wealth - he had much more in mind than trading pelts and cheating death. Jacques had listened intently to the stories that had crossed the ocean, extraordinary tales of mystical creatures and unknown forces. Black Goat finds Jacques mid hunt, as he closes in on what others thought was a legend. What he doesn't realize is that the legend is on a hunt of its own." --IMDB

Monday, January 2, 2012

Accessories for Living in Perpetual Autumn

Accessories for Living in Perpetual Autumn-- this is a mental category I file things in when I come across items that evoke the magic and mystery of Autumn.

"Real (or resin option) antler hairband, custom made to order" from Etsy shop MySweetDelerium. The item info text says they are "ideal for wiccan ceremonies, weddings, stage and event wear." It's a delightful idea that appears to be well executed, and I love the presentation!

This UK seller has a shop full of wondrous neo-victorian jewelry/fashion creations that walk the line between beautiful and morbid.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

...Meanwhile, THIS Four-Poster Bed is Totally Do-able.

Unlike the other four-poster bed in my previous post, this one can be put together in a few hours. And it would only take THAT long because you'd have the enjoyable task of having to drive out to some woods and take a long, relaxing stroll to find these branches, sling them over your shoulder like rustic fishing poles, and whistle all the way back to the car.

This image is courtesy of my favorite eccentric home decor photo blog, Canty Shanty. Picture copywrite credit to whomever they nicked it from first.