The Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters

Posted in Art with tags , , on May 26, 2012 by elgrayso

Gojin Ishihara (1972)

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Easter Bunnies

Posted in Photography with tags , , , , on April 8, 2012 by elgrayso

Happy Easter!

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for more creepy Easter bunnies, visit sketchy bunnies.

Kamila Mlynarczyk

Posted in Art, Dolls with tags , , on April 3, 2012 by elgrayso

To see more art by Kamila Mlynarczyk, visit her photostream.

Mound

Posted in Animation, Art, Video with tags , , , , , on March 22, 2012 by elgrayso


“Mound” by Allison Schulnik

LSD: A Case Study

Posted in Science, Video with tags , , , , , on March 8, 2012 by elgrayso

Aokigahara: Suicide Forest

Posted in Death, Video with tags , , , , , , on February 15, 2012 by elgrayso

Aokigahara is a forest that lies at the north west base of Mount Fuji in Japan. It is the second most popular suicide destination in the world (San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge being the first) and over 100 bodies are discovered in the forest each year. VICE made an incredibly interesting short documentary on the forest which follows a park worker on suicide patrol. The documentary is only 20 minutes long and is well produced and fascinating. I couldn’t get the the video to embed, but I highly recommend clicking the link and watching it:

Watch “Aokigahara: Suicide Forest” on VICE.com

Alien Autopsy

Posted in Science with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2012 by elgrayso

Perhaps the most famous alien autopsy is supposed to have been performed on the body of an alien recovered from the crash of a “flying disk” near Roswell, New Mexico on June 2, 1947.


A 17-minute, black-and-white film of poor quality, purporting to be footage of the autopsy, surfaced in the 1990s, promoted by Ray Santilli, a London-based entrepreneur, who claimed he had received it from an unidentified, former military cameraman. The film was exposed as a hoax in 2006, when Santilli admitted the film was not in fact authentic, but a staged “reconstruction” of footage he claimed he had viewed in 1992, which had deteriorated and become unusable by the time he made his film. Santilli claimed that a few frames from the original were embedded in his film, but he never specified which ones. In 1995, before being exposed as a hoax, the film was sold to television networks and broadcast in more than 32 countries. [from Wikipedia]

Fragonard Museum

Posted in Death, Museums, Science with tags , , , , , on February 5, 2012 by elgrayso

The Musée Fragonard d’Alfort is a museum of anatomical oddities located within the École Nationale Vétérinaire de Maisons-Alfort in Maisons-Alfort, a suburb of Paris. The museum’s most astonishing items are the famous “écorchés” (flayed figures) prepared by Honoré Fragonard, the school’s first professor of anatomy, appointed in 1766 and in 1771 dismissed from the school as a madman. His speciality was the preparation and preservation of skinned cadavers, of which he prepared some 700 examples. Only 21 remain; all are on display in the museum’s final room. [from Wikipedia]

Daisuke Ichiba

Posted in Art, Death with tags , , on January 28, 2012 by elgrayso

Jacques Gautier d’Agoty

Posted in Art, Science with tags , , , , on January 20, 2012 by elgrayso

Jacques Gautier d’Agoty was a French painter and engraver in the 18th century.

Issei Sagawa, Cannibal

Posted in Death, Serial Killers, Video with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2012 by elgrayso

Sorry for the delay, guys! I try to post at least once a week, but was on vacation for the last month. Here is a story I’d planned on posting for a long time, but only recently found this short documentary on it. – elgrayso

On the afternoon of June 13, 1981, a Japanese man named Issei Sagawa walked to the Bois de Boulogne, a park on the outskirts of Paris, carrying two suitcases. The contents of those suitcases, to the lament of a nearby jogger, was the dismembered body of a fellow student – a Dutch woman named Renée Hartevelt, whom Sagawa had shot three days prior and had spent the days since eating various parts of her body.

He was soon arrested. According to reports, Issei uttered, “I killed her to eat her flesh,” when they raided his home, whereupon they found bits of Renne still in his fridge.

Sagawa was declared insane and unfit for trial and was institutionalized in Paris. His incarceration was to be short, however, as the French public soon grew weary of their hard-earned francs going to support this evil woman-eater, and Issei was promptly deported. Herein followed a bizarre and seemingly too convenient set of legal loopholes and psychiatric reports that led doctors in Japan declaring him “sane, but evil.”

On August 12, 1986, Sagawa checked himself out of Tokyo’s Matsuzawa Psychiatric hospital, and has been a free man ever since.

This is where the real story begins. VBS met up with him to find out what he’s been up to in the 30 years since. [from VICE]

VICE has made a great, short little documentary on Sagawa which you can view here.

(also if you know how to embed the video please tell me how!)

Spontaneous Human Combustion

Posted in Death, Photography, Science with tags , , , , on December 16, 2011 by elgrayso

Spontaneous human combustion (SHC) describes reported cases of the burning of a living human body without an apparent external source of ignition. There have been about 200 cited cases worldwide over a period of around 300 years. [from Wikipedia]

Mondo Cinema

Posted in Death, Video with tags , , , , , , on December 4, 2011 by elgrayso

A mondo film (from the Italian word for ‘world’) is an exploitation documentary film, sometimes resembling a pseudo-documentary, usually depicting sensational topics, scenes, and situations. Common traits of mondo films include emphasis on taboo subjects such as death and sex, portrayals of foreign cultures that have received accusations of racism and staged sequences presented as genuine documentary footage. Over time, the films placed more and more emphasis on footage of the dead and dying, both real and fake. The term “shockumentary” has also been used to describe the genre. [from Wikipedia]

I was first introduced to the genre as a youngster hearing my friends talk about “Faces of Death” and occasionally seeing the VHS copies on videostore racks. The “Faces” film series began in the late 70s and promised audiences footage of real death. However most of it was fake, but this didn’t prevent the traumatization of many a pre-teen. When I was older I rented “Death Scenes” (1989) with my girlfriend and witnessed the apex of mondo cinema. By this time the genre had focused exclusively on death and no longer tried to fool the audience with fake footage; “Death Scenes” only used the real stuff.

The original mondo films were, as the wikipedia excerpt explains, rooted in taboo footage of the “primitive” world. Early mondo films often had a few different names and were re-cut and passed on by a variety of people and theaters.

There is a fascinating (and relatively dense) book that covers mondo films called Killing For Culture. It contains a thorough history of mondo cinema and the myth of the underground snuff film. I highly recommend it if you are interested in the subject.

Thanksgiving

Posted in Movies, Video with tags , , on December 1, 2011 by elgrayso

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

The Feejee Mermaid

Posted in Animals with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2011 by elgrayso

The Fiji mermaid (also Feejee mermaid) was an object comprising the torso and head of a juvenile monkey sewn to the back half of a fish, covered in paper-mâché. It was a common feature of sideshows, which was presented as the mummified body of a creature that was supposedly half mammal and half fish, a version of traditional mermaid stories. [from Wikipedia]

Island of the Dolls

Posted in Death, Dolls, Video with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2011 by elgrayso

The Island of the Dolls (Isla de las Munecas) sits in the canals south of Mexico City and is the current home of hundreds of terrifying, mutilated dolls. Their severed limbs, decapitated heads, and blank eyes adorn trees, fences and nearly every available surface. The dolls appear menacing even in the bright light of midday, but in the dark they are particularly haunting.

Not surprisingly, the island’s origins lie in tragedy. The story goes that the island’s only inhabitant, Don Julian Santana, found the body of a drowned child in the canal some 50 years ago. He was haunted by her death, so when he saw a doll floating by in the canal soon after, he hung it in a tree to please the girl. He hoped to both appease her tortured soul and protect the island from further evil. The story took a particularly sinister turn in 2001 when Don Julian drowned in the canal just like the little girl.

Getting to the island is a long and difficult task, but walking among the creepy dolls is an experience like no other. Most, if not all, of these dolls were rejected by their previous owners for various reasons. Severed limbs and body-less heads hang side-by-side with whole, sun-bleached dolls. Mold covers some, while others are missing nearly all of their artificial hair. Spiders and insects have taken up residence in the hollow parts of most of the dolls.

[text and photos taken from WebUrbanist.com, click here for the full article]

There is also a SyFy channel show called Destination Truth that features the island (however the video is not available in my region).

Joe Coleman

Posted in Art, Death, Serial Killers with tags , , , on November 11, 2011 by elgrayso

 

Altar Demon

 

Albert Fish

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer


Divine Comedy

 

Sexual Fantasy

For more on this artist, read my review of the Joe Coleman documentary, Rest In Pieces: A Portrait of Joe Coleman.

 

 

 

Pickled Punks

Posted in Science with tags , , , , , , on November 11, 2011 by elgrayso

“Pickled punks” is the carny term for human fetuses preserved in jars of formaldehyde and used as sideshow attractions. Most pickled punks display some sort of anatomical abnormality, such as conjoined twins or polycephaly; however, the deformities present are as varied as the nature of human inflictions. Faked pickled punks, made from rubber or wax, are known as “bouncers” for their tendency to bounce when dropped on the floor. [from Wikipedia]

Many of these were preserved by master anatomist Frederik Ruysch. I have a separate entry on him here.

Jim Thorell

Posted in Art with tags , on November 6, 2011 by elgrayso

Haunted Air: Halloween Photos 1875-1955

Posted in Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2011 by elgrayso

Happy Halloween! I thought I would celebrate by showing you some really awesome photography. Haunted Air is a brand new book (released in the last few days) of Halloween photos taken between 1875 and 1955. I don’t own this (yet!), so I can’t say too much about it, but I will say the photos I have seen immediately reminded me of the old school creepy masks found in some of Diane Arbus’ work. The book is appropriately introduced by none other than David Lynch.