Top Ten Halloween Songs

Hosting a Halloween party and need to find the perfect tunes, or maybe you just want to get into the festive mood? Whatever your reason, the music world has lots to offer in regards to scary songs. So use this playlist as a guide to help you infuse your nights with some major creep factor.

I Put A Spell On You – Marilyn Manson

The shock-rocker gave this cult classic his own creepy vibe to it with his unique Mansonesque ways (dark vocals, death drums).

Welcome To My Nightmare – Alice Cooper

There no way that a Halloween playlist could be complete without the master of shock rock himself, Alice Cooper, named after the ghost of a woman he spoke to through the ouija board, it can’t possibly get creepier than that.

Astro Zombies – The Misfits

The Misfits are those goth friends of yours that wished they could celebrate Halloween everyday, and with their undead looks and spooky lyrics, these fellows are living the goth dream.

Pet Sematary – Ramones

After being inspired by Stephen King’s novel by the same name, about using an ancient Indian burial ground to bring loved ones back (always a mistake!), they explored why sometimes dead is better.

Nightmare On My Street – DJ Jazzy – Fresh Prince

As a HUGE Freddy Krueger fan, I just had to choose a song that was written inspired by the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. Too bad that Wes Craven wasn’t too keen on the rappers using references to the movies, suing them for copyright infringement.

(Don’t Fear) The Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult

This strangely seductive song has been a staple of the horror culture and suicidal teen goths of all ages. It’s been used in Halloween and Scream, and although the band’s leadsinger assures that the song isn’t about a romantic suicide pact, it’s hard to decipher the lyrics, “Romeo and Juliet are together in eternity, we can be like they are,” as anything else.

Red Right Hand – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Nick Cave is one creepy dude, and his whole Murder Ballads album could pretty much be the defacto go to album for Halloween. This song was inspired by John Milton’s Paradise Lost and the vengeful hand of God. This song is considered so creepy that it’s been used in all three Scream movies, so you know you can’t go wrong with Cave when it comes to dark and twisted.

Helena – My Chemical Romance

In the early aughts, Gerard Way had perfected the living dead boy look to a T. The song is inspired by the death of his grandmother, whilst the video shows the band during a funeral and at the song’s climax, the lady of the hour, Helena, herself gets up from the coffin and shows that the after life can be as much of a dance party as the living.

The Devil’s Rejects – Rob Zombie

Named after the movie he directed of the same name, Rob Zombie has been creeping kids out since 1995. He’s a huge horror fan and nothing goes better with rock than dark lyrics.

Thriller – Michael Jackson

No proper Halloween playlist is complete without Michael’s iconic single that catapulted him to stardom. Bonus perks to this track: The king of horror himself, Vincent Price recorded the spoken word section. You can’t get any more horror-infused than that!

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No More Acne Detox Tea!

 

Who doesn’t want clear skin? For many people hormones, stress, and lack of sleep can do a number on your skin. So what can one do when you’ve tried all sorts of over the counter acne medications but still don’t see the clear skin you covet? Clear skin, unfortunately, is something that isn’t linked to the surface, and goes deeper, meaning that what you put into your body can certainly affect the health of your skin. This detox tea is amazingly easy to make AND it works in combating acne!

SKIN CLEARING TEA DETOX

Ingredients:

1 cup green tea (such as Twinings green tea)

Lemon Juice

1 teaspoon Ginger Honey (such as Greenbow Organic Honey with Ginger)

Drink this tea first thing in the morning for best results OR right before you go to sleep. This tea helps skin to release toxins and keep any inflammations at bay.

Let me know if you try this and how it works for you!

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Beauty: Spooky Spiders Manicure

I was at Shriekfest last weekend and since October always prove to be an incredibly busy month for me due to work and events, I knew that I needed to find both fast and cost-effective way to have awesome nails stat! So when I came upon these nail stickers in September I just KNEW that I needed to grab two. I’ve used this company before and my previous experience with these kinds of stickers at that time wasn’t so positive, but I decided to give it another go a second time.

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I LOVE how these stickers provide an easy no-dry time solution for some of us that have problems with sitting still for a full hour (cause no matter what the nail polish bottles claim, it still takes a FULL HOUR for any of them to truly dry and not get indentations).

Plus, how can you go wrong when your nails look this fabulous? Nail art like this could easily cost over $40 or $50 at a salon, not to mention the time required to sit there for it. I stuck these babies on in less than ten minutes and literally went on a date afterward! Yes, it’s THAT EASY AND QUICK! Plus, who doesn’t want amazing nails under $10?

So grab yourself a pair or two, and don’t worry if you mess up, the Halloween packs come with six extra stickers in case you do or need to replace one later on if it comes off. (So far it has been over a week and it hasn’t popped off, which was a major issue with the ones I had tried earlier this year, so maybe that pack was just faulty).

You check out more options on their website.

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Poetry: Mourning Glorie

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Photo courtesy of parisapartment.wordpress.com

These frigid sheets mourn your soul.

This barren bed cries your name.

There’s nothing left of you in me.

You tore every particle that belonged

To you away.

This pale white pillow misses the weight of your head.

These useless rose petals wait to fall upon you.

Loneliness wraps its icy claws around me.

Devouring me without mercy.

You’re no longer here to cling to.

You’re no longer here to move closer to.

This bed never seemed so vast—so endless—

Without you—it’s infinite.

I hide beneath the covers but still no warmth I feel.

This room is in eternal winter

Ever since you left.

These fragile sheets yearn for your body.

This immense bed bleeds your essence.

I’m waiting here for you.

I shall always remain here—

Waiting for your return.

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Shriekfest 2018 Horror Film Festival

Shriekfest is a bi-annual horror film festival that takes place in both Los Angeles and Orlando. The event is organized by actress Denise Gossett (best known for appearing in Tom Hiddeleston’s movie I Saw The Light and Mel’s Gibson’s Get The Gringo). She founded Shriekfest 2001 and it’s been the 18th year for Los Angeles. It’s one of the most influential horror film festivals and definitely one with the best horror film screenings.

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Red Carpet at Shriekfest 2018 Photo taken by David Hanger – Dress by Dolls Kill

I was graciously given a Press Pass for the event by Denise and was able to attend the third day of the festival (it’s a four-day fest). I opted to go on Saturday because it was screening the most films that day and had several shorts listed that I was thrilled to check out.

The films were screened at the Raleigh Studios on Melrose Avenue, at the Chaplin Theatre. The inside of the theatre had that old Hollywood glamour to it with comfy velvet cushioned seats that made viewing a marathon of movies (we stayed nine hours with short fifteen interruptions between each session) fairly easy.

Out of the shorts I viewed, one of my absolute favourites was “Snaggletooth,” which was about an unconventional dentist visit. The film had a good mixture of humor and creepiness to it that I enjoyed. Another really excellent short was a British one entitled “The Moor,” that centered around a father and daughter who go the moor to celebrate May Day but find out that sometimes the pagan gods may take something from us that we’re not ready to give up. “A Doll Distorted,” explored mental illness and how obsessive love can lead to dire consequences. “Avulsion,” was another of my favourites as it followed a blue collar worker who visits an escort that is capable of fulfilling her clients unusual and twisted fetish desires.

I really enjoyed the music video for Medicine from Peter Bibby. It had a bunch of kid doctors performing an autopsy on Peter Bibby’s body who’s begging for pills, hallucinogens, or some other form of medication rather than being told to get some sun or some sleep.

The first feature film I saw was Ashes by director Barry Jay. Ashes was about a family who begins to be haunted by their dead aunt once her ashes arrive at their home. What I truly loved about this movie was that there was the perfect blend of humor and horror. Plus, the performances by the actors were truly top-notch, I particularly loved Elaine Partnow in the role of the sassy grandmother, Caroline, who livened the movie up anytime she was in a scene. The first half of the movie delivered more laughs (in a good comedic way), but the second half of the movie focused on the horror elements (I’ll never be able to look at an egg slicer in the same way again!). It was also my first time watching a movie whilst being seated next to the cast and crew that worked on the film, so that added a bit of a surreal feeling to the experience.

The second feature film I saw was Chimera by Maurice Haeems. This movie was less horror and far more sci-fi. The movie centered around a brilliant scientist who chooses to freeze his children alive whilst he tries to find a cure for the deadly genetic disease that seems to have befallen them. The movie was good and full of surprises and twists (some that I had anticipated and others I hadn’t). But the gut-wrenching end left one with the belief that maybe trying to uncover immortality is far more dangerous than death.

Overall, the film festival was a complete success and I loved the fact that food and snacks were provided on location for sale if you needed to grab something quick to eat in between your viewing sessions. I truly enjoyed watching all the movies I had the opportunity to see and would totally recommend this festival to horror film buffs, you won’t be disappointed!

Thanks again to the fabulous Denise who gave the Inkblotters the opportunity to be there! I had a blast!

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Entrace to Raleigh Studios

Photos taken by David Hanger

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6 Feminist Horror Movies

Horror movies aren’t always generous to women. Usually, women in horror movies are depicted as the victims, and if they aren’t such, they’re usually the final girls who survived (only barely) to a number of acts of violence. But there are some horror movies that turn the tables and have the women be in charge. These women aren’t weak. These women aren’t victims. These women are dangerous and make the men in the movies quake in their shoes.

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Dawn goes from cursed to strong in Teeth

Teeth (2007)

Dawn O’Keefe (Jess Weixler) looks like your typical teenager on the outside. She’s a spokesperson for a Christian abstinence group and is an all around good girl. But when one of the boy’s from her abstinence group tries to assault her, she soon finds out that she’s not like all the other girls. In fact, her vagina has teeth, the infamous “vagina dentata.” At first, Dawn sees her teethed vagina as a curse, but before the movie ends, she realizes that her curse is actually her strength and how no man will ever take advantage of her again.

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Sometimes being a teen girl can be a bloodbath as Ginger soon finds out.

Ginger Snaps (2000)

In Bailey Downs, a rash of dog killings have been occurring. Two teenage sisters, Brigitte (Emily Perkins) and Ginger Fitzgerald (Katharine Isabelle) are obsessed with death and take macabre photos depicting various deaths. On the night of Ginger’s first period, she is attacked by seems to be a rapid oversized dog. The creature wounds and bites Ginger, and her sister rescues her. In the days that follow, Ginger’s wounds heal quickly. But the fast healing wounds isn’t the only change that takes place in her. Soon she undergoes both physical and mental transformations. Ginger begins to act aggressively, as hair grows from her wounds, heavily menstruates, and eventually grows a tail. This film juxtaposes the act of becoming a woman with becoming a werewolf.

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Jennifer shows her rapists that they messed with the wrong girl.

I Spit On Your Grave (1978)

Despite the movie being controversial for depicting a 30-minute gang rape, but the fact that the protagonist Jennifer Hills (Camille Keaton) decides to execute revenge towards her rapists is what makes this movie, not your usual horror film. Jennifer kills her rapists in the most savage ways, allowing any rape victim to feel somewhat vindicated in seeing a victim rise above her abuse and take charge.

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The Girl shows no mercy to abusive men. 

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (2014)

A young girl (Sheila Vand) wearing a chador stalks the streets at night. She seduces men who were known to be abusive towards women and brutally kills them. This progressive Iranian movie directed by Ana Lily Amirpour gave the world a feminist vampire that was much needed in the horror genre.

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Eli isn’t your typical little girl. She can kick your ass or kill you. 

Let The Right One In (2008)

In this chilling snow infested film, Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) is a young Scandinavian boy who is constantly bullied at school. But when he befriends Eli (Lina Leandersson) he begins to feel uplifted by this new friend. But Eli isn’t like all the other girls. She doesn’t suffer the cold (as she’s able to walk barefoot in the snow) and tells Oskar to stand up to his bullies and if he can’t do it, she will. Oskar soon finds out that Eli is actually quite strong because she’s a vampire. And when the bullies decide to attack Oskar once again, he soon finds out just how ruthless his friend and crush can really be.

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Asami looks disarming but she’s brutal to the men she encounters.

Audition (1999)

“Where are all the good girls?” Aoyama’s friend asks him. Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi) is a widow who is planning on remarrying, but he doesn’t know how to meet young women. So Aoyama and his friend devise a plan where they decide to pretend that they’re auditioning young women for a movie when in reality it’s just a way for Aoyama to meet women in a safe environment. He is quickly enchanted by the delicate beauty of Asami Yamazaki (Eihi Shiina). But Asami harbors a dark secret, a former abused child, she has grown up to take revenge on men by maiming and dismembering them through hideous forms of torture. This movie will make men think twice about lying to a woman.

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Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Parfait

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Photo courtesy of weelicious.com

October is the month where we all put our summer clothes away and eagerly take out our sweaters, boots, and apply earth-toned lipstick to our lips, holding an infamous pumpkin spice latte in our hands. Nothing says Autumn like pumpkin and pumpkin spice. To celebrate Autumn’s arrival why not try out this super easy no-bake dessert? It’s one of my favourites and a total crowd pleaser.

Makes 6-cups

Ingredients:

1 ¾ Cups Cold Milk (you can substitute it with lactose-free milk or coconut milk if you prefer)

1 Box (4-serving size) Vanilla Instant Pudding

1 Cup Canned Pumpkin

½ teaspoon Pumpkin Spice

1 Package (8-oz.) cream cheese, softened

¾ Cup Powdered Sugar

1 ½ Cups Whipping Cream

1 Box of Keebler’s Sandies

½/ stick of butter (melted)

Directions:

In a medium bowl, stir milk and pudding mix with whisk for 2 minutes. Stir in pumpkin and pumpkin spice. Refrigerate until ready to assemble parfaits.

In a blender put in the Sandies till they’re blended to crumbs. Then take a medium bowl and mix the crumbs with the melted butter. Once the two ingredients are assembled, place these at the bottom of the cups.

Now take another medium bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on low speed until blended smooth. In a chilled large bowl, beat heavy cream on high till the whipping cream stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.

In each of the 6 parfait glasses, spoon ¼ cup pumpkin pudding, top each with 6 tablespoons cream cheese mousse mixture. Repeat layers. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until serving time. Just before serving, top each parfait with a Sandies’ cookie.

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Travel Post – Fort Point, San Francisco

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I had a chance to visit San Francisco this past July with my boyfriend. I had been there before in 2016 and it was the sort of city where I had fantasized about it so much in my head that ultimately it didn’t live p to my own hype. Back then I had gone in August and it was so cold and windy that I had to wear a winter jacket to be remotely comfortable (and finally understood why Frank Sinatra had once said, “The coldest winter of my life was a summer in San Francisco,”).

Despite that, the city still houses one of my most favourite bridges of all time, The Golden Gate Bridge. So when I went there in July, I had to revisit the bridge. In doing so, we discovered Fort Point.

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View from inside Fort Point

Fort Point is a military port located on the southern side of The Golden Gate Bridge at the entrance to the San Francisco Bay. To say that it was cold and windy is an understatement. However, getting a chance to explore this fort was extremely interesting for the history buff in me. This fort was completed right before the Civil War as a way to defend San Francisco from any outside invaders.

A Brief History

Spain occupied San Francisco in 1769, and by 1776 had settled the area. To help protect the area from the Russians or British invaders, the Spanish first built a fort where Fort Point stands today and it housed around thirteen cannons. When Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1821, it gained control of that region, including the fort. Only the Mexicans didn’t upkeep the fort, allowing it to crumble amidst the rain and wind. During the Mexican-American War in 1846, the Americans captured the fort and disabled the cannons, gaining control of the fort. But it wasn’t until 1853 that the American Army began working on rebuilding the fort. This took the effort of 200 men in an 8-year span. During the Civil War, it was thought that the Confederate raider would attack, but this never occurred.

Throughout the years the fort has been used for barracks, training, and storage. And although the fort today holds no real value to the military, it has been chosen to be preserved as a national monument.

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Typical Officer Quarters

In Pop-Culture

Recently, Fort Point was featured in 2014’s film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, where the humans use Fort Point’s armory to increase their weaponry against the apes. And British indie band Editors used a photo of Fort Point as their album cover in 2005, for The Back Room.

If you’re in San Francisco, I highly recommend visiting Fort Point as it’s interesting to see how soldiers (and many times even their wives and children) were living during the 1800’s. It’s a little piece of California history that I didn’t know about, and the plus side is that admission is free! So check it out, maybe you’ll learn a thing or two. It’s the perfect place for a family outing or school field trips.

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For more details on hours check here.

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Review: Pixi Overnight Glow Serum (Concentrated Exfoliating Gel)

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This is the third skin product that I’ve tested by Pixi and I’m truly loving it! (You can check out one of my Pixi reviews here). I know that you may think that I’ve been reviewing a ton of skin serums lately, but alas skincare means more to me than cosmetics. If you have an amazing skin you won’t need that much makeup, so that’s why I’m so obsessed with keeping my skin looking top notch (which I know is usually easier said than done!). But that’s why I wish to share with you any skincare product that can help you achieve that amazing skin that we all crave!

Packaging: Like most serums, this comes with a drop dispenser, and in keeping with the Pixi brand it’s a light shade of mint.

What It Does: Gently exfoliates to reveal a healthier and more even skintone. Helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and fade superficial sun damage over time.

Active Ingredients: Glycolic acid, aloe vera, and cucumber

Verdict: What I love about this serum is that it’s thick and feels extra emollient. The glycolic acid stimulates cell turnover, while the aloe vera helps to heal and soothe skin, and cucumber calms and relieves puffy skin. After using this serum for two weeks my skin became instantly smoother and softer. I initially purchased this serum because of the glycolic acid and the promise of it helping fade sun damage (especially since I’m so deathly pale and I live in So-Cal). In two weeks I can’t really tell whether it has helped with any possible sun damage, but it has helped in fading any past acne scars. The serum feels ultra luxurious, as though you were applying an insanely expensive serum, but in reality you’re just splurging the same amount that you would for a MAC lipstick. I recommend this serum, and if you’re acne-prone and oily, this serum keeps the zits away and doesn’t cause one to breakout or increase the oiliness either.

Price: $24

Where To Buy It: Target or https://www.pixibeauty.com/

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7 Ways To Overcome Writer’s Block

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Photo courtesy of http://araugustyn.com

It happens to the best of us. If you’re a writer, you’ve at some point dealt with the dreaded Writer’s Block. Every writer has struggled with this at some time in their lives, but there are methods of overcoming this dreaded obstacle rather than wallowing in self-pity and allowing months turn into years and finding yourself even more in the tunnel of no return than before. So don’t be that writer. Below are some suggestions on how to push through the block and be one with the muses once again.

  1. Read poetry. – This can put you in a certain mood and allows the creative juices to flow.
  2. Go for a walk. – Even if you’re just going around the block with your dog, sometimes the movement and being out in the open air allows our brain to refocus.
  3. Play a game. – Not a video game that can suck up eight hours of your life without noticing, but a true hands on game, whether it’s a round of cards with friends, a board game, or chess, sometimes doing a different activity other than writing will help your thoughts regenerate.
  4. Paint or draw. – I personally love to draw using charcoals. Sometimes when your brain is doing something creative in a fun setting (you’re not agonizing to be the next Picasso) you find that it opens up the doors of your writing brain too.
  5. Listen to music. – If you wish to be in a certain mood to help create the setting and atmosphere of a story, then I listen to music and many times just listening gives me ideas for prose. Jot those ideas down.
  6. Keep a dream journal. – I know this seems so cliché, but it works! When I first started writing my YA novel CUT HERE, I began with Lena’s backstory of how she had lost her mum. That backstory was inspired by a nightmare I had in the summer of 2008 when I dreamt of seeing a fur coat splattered with blood and later seeing a book entitled CUT HERE. I wrote that odd dream down and didn’t use that idea till the winter of 2011 when I began writing the novel, so what may seem like an irrelevant dream or idea now, could be useful later on! You never know!
  7. Write pitch ideas down. – You may end up not using them at all, but thinking up plot pitches for a book may just get you out of the writing funk and excited about a new project!
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Photo courtesy of www.bang2write.com

Whatever you do, just remember that NOT WRITING isn’t a solution to overcoming Writer’s Block! You need to be proactive and willing to put the effort to get out of the tunnel rather than wait for the muses to come and rescue you from writer’s hell. So after doing any of the suggestions above, just write. Whether it’s about the activity, your day, or writing ideas, just write. Because the only way to truly overcome Writer’s Block is to start writing. You can do it!

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