Halloween (or maybe you call it All Hallows Eve, All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day, Hallowed End, Samhain, All Hallowtide, or even Hop-Tu-Naa) . What comes to mind when you think of the night of October 31? Gruesome urban legends? The horror film that still sends chills down your spine if someone just mentions the title? Co-eds dressed up as naughty nurses? Spells and curses? Werewolves? The witches that are said to haunt Salem? Or do you go old-school nostalgic and carve pumpkins and watch “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown?”
However you celebrate on Halloween (or even throughout the whole month of October, for those of you who REALLY get into it), there’s no denying that it’s one of the “holidays” that offers the most potential for everything from revelry to terror. And we’re giving you a little taste of it all…
By Jennifer Russo
“It was a dark and stormy night…”
We’ve all heard it, whether it be huddled around the campfire in the middle of the woods as a boy/girl scout or at a sleepover with someone shining a flashlight under his chin for extra spook-value. Regardless of where or when it was, we all know about the poor sap who lost his hand in an accident and now has an unsightly hook in its place. We also know that he uses said hook to maul innocent teenagers making out in cars in the middle of the night…I mean, what else would he do with it?
There are legends that have been passed down throughout time ~ like the 1950s cliché legend of the Hookman, or dolls that murder homeowners in the night, or the headless horseman riding around Sleepy Hollow lopping people’s heads off ~ capable of making your arm-hair stand on end and giving you a chill that resonates down your spine and makes even the most sensible of us a little wary of the dark. Here’s just a sampling of some of the tall tales that we’re almost sure are completely made up…
One legend involves a teenager (big surprise!) who steps out of a car at night to relieve himself and doesn’t return; his girlfriend becomes worried. She suddenly hears a faint squeaking on the roof of the car. Terrified, she hits the gas and drives away only to look in her rearview mirror and see her boyfriend hanging from a tree. The squeaks on the roof had been his sneakers as he struggled to prop himself up.
How about the old woman who was buried alive? Her husband begs to have her exhumed after having nightmares of her trying to claw her way out of her grave. When they dig her up, her nails are bent back and there are scratch marks on the inside of the coffin.
Would you dare to look into a mirror and chant “Bloody Mary” ten times, knowing it will call the horribly disfigured Mary Worth who will jump through the mirror The Ring style and disfigure you as well? As ridiculous as the idea seems, I can’t say I would take the chance.
The US doesn’t have the market on gruesome tales cornered. In Italy, there is a legend of the black ambulance, driven by a gang of gypsies who kidnap children and cut out their organs so they can sell them on the black market. In England, there were tales of the Button Boy whom a little girl kept saying she played with in the attic…a boy they later found murdered by his parents and walled up in the fireplace of the house.
Japan may be known for having some of the strangest and scariest legends of all time…no wonder since some of the most bone-chilling horror flicks originated there. Kuchisake-onna translates to the “slit mouthed woman,” a woman who had been so beautiful that a jealous lover sliced her face from the corners of her mouth to each ear so no other man would look upon her. She is said to go around murdering children who hesitate to answer when she asks them if she is beautiful. Do you suppose that the Joker would be upset to know his trademark fashion statement is actually centuries old?
Perhaps you prefer your eerie legends a bit more…local. Care to take a stroll through what has become known as the Spider Gates Cemetery in Leicester, MA? It is rumored that many people have fainted in fear after seeing ghosts or after spirits have brushed up against them as they’ve walked through the squeaky webbed gate. Another local legend claims that the ghosts of mistreated patients have been seen and their screams can still be heard at the site of the old Worcester State Hospital ~ once called Bloomingdale Asylum for the Mentally Insane ~ where several patients committed suicide.
To learn more about these and other urban legends, check out the Encyclopedia of Urban Legends by Jan Brunvand. To plan a freaky tour of one of the most haunted states in the nation (lucky us), do your research here first: theshadowlands.net/places.
What Gives You Nightmares?
By Katey Khaos
Maybe you’re no longer scared of the monster under the bed, or the boogeyman in the closet, but that doesn’t make you fearless! In fact, the most popular fears are things and situations people experience frequently! The top five fears in America are (drum roll please):
What makes Pulse readers’ skin crawl? We surveyed fifty people, males and females ranging in age from 18-30. Of the fifty people, we found out that…
The majority of fears held by those surveyed cannot be explained ~ the person never had a bad experience which evoked the fear. “I’m afraid of so many things, most of them are completely irrational. A good chunk of the irrational fears are things that would probably never happen in a million years,” says Corey St.Jean (age 22). “For example, my completely ridiculous fear that while at a restaurant, I’ll be enjoying my food and all of a sudden a car will smash through the wall.”
More than half of people had arachnophobia. As Kitty Hansen (age 21) recalled, “I’ve always been terrified of spiders. I’ve gone into pet stores determined to take a spider out and hold it. When I get to the cage, I’m in tears.”
Some feared inanimate objects over living things. “I’m afraid of balloons popping,” Casey Oar (age 24) admitted, ” and just hearing a balloon pop gives me an anxiety attack every time.”
One of the most common fears was not tangible, but instead an abstract idea. “Honestly, I’m most afraid of disappointment,” Conor Cara (age 26) said, “It’s been a life long fear of not being good enough for people.”
Nearly everyone surveyed mentioned death as both a fear and something they’ve come across in nightmares. Nick Konstantino (age 20) and Jenny Grady (age 21) agreed that they fear losing someone close to them. As Nick points out, “[Fears] are taken to extremes in nightmares.” Dave Denton (age 21) recalled multiple nightmares where he lost close friends in graphic, horrifying manners. “[The nightmares] are extremely detailed, and it’s not something I can stop from happening.”
What can be done to overcome these fears and avoid waking up in a cold sweat? Believe it or not, confronting the fear, or educating yourself on what gives you the creeps may be the solution!
By Kristie Bartlett
Doctors define a phobia as “a constant, extreme or irrational fear of an animal, object, place or situation” that would not normally worry most people. Katey has told you what the Top 5 phobias in America are ~ but there are some even more bizarre ones out there ~ see if you’ve heard of (or experienced!) any of these:
1. Ablutophobia ~ Fear of bathing
2. Pteronophobia ~ Fear of being tickled by feathers (I say don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it…it’s not like using the whole chicken!!)
3. Gephyrophobia ~ Fear of bridges (This one I kind of understand, although I’m less afraid of the bridge and more afraid of the driving/falling off the bridge.)
4. Gynophobia ~ Fear of women (Now that’s just wrong!)
5. Arachibutyrophobia ~ Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of one’s mouth (My poodle suffers from this fear.)
6. Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia ~ Fear of long words (I wish my Editor suffered from this fear!)
7. Koumpounophobia ~ Fear of buttons (Hey, if I were a guy, I think I’d be more afraid of zippers!)
8. Nomophobia ~ Fear of being disconnected from the rest of the world if you don’t have contact through mobile phone (I live for being disconnected ~ technologically speaking ~ from the rest of the world…the peace, the quiet…so nope, this phobia doesn’t make sense to me.)
9. Papaphobia ~ Fear of the Pope (At the risk of putting my foot in my mouth, I shall not comment.)
10. Lutraphobia ~ Fear of otters (Uh, seriously? How do you even discover that you have an otter phobia???)
11. Peladophobia ~ Fear of bald people (If you’re bald, and you have this phobia…whaddya do?)
12. Scopophobia ~ Fear of being looked at (Well duh, if I’m having a bad hair day…)
13. Trichophobia ~ Fear of loose hairs (I’m not really afraid of loose hairs, but I wouldn’t mind if the boyfriend occasionally cleaned out the shower drain ~ the joy of dating a long-haired musician!!!)
14. Zemmiphobia ~ Fear of the great mole rat (I think mall rats are pretty scary, are they related? And again, how the hell do you find out that you’re afraid of these things????)
15. Globophobia ~ Fear of balloons (There’s a Pam Anderson joke in there somewhere, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.)
When the Pen Is… Scarier……Than the Sword
Three Authors Who Define the Horror Genre
Stephen King and Charlaine Harris ~ Peeling Back the Masks We Wear
By Jillian Locke
In honor of Halloween and the masks we don in celebration, I offer two very different, very talented story tellers, both of whom have explored the theme of peeling back our everyday masks to expose the gruesomeness beneath.
First, the time-tested master: Stephen King. The 1989 psychological thriller The Dark Half walks the fine line between what the human mind can perceive as reality and the ghastly reality the book’s characters must embrace to survive. Thad Beaumont, writer and college professor, has come face to face with his worst fear ~ writer’s block. To overcome this debilitating obstacle, he creates his own mask by way of a pen name: George Stark. Behind the guise of Stark, Beaumont reinvents his writing career, transforming his cerebral fiction into a bloody horror show of homicidal torture. But his success comes with a price, and Beaumont is confronted with the other side of his “borrowed” mask…the real George Stark. A life-threatening tug-of-war ensues, each man grappling to maintain his own separate identity by clawing fiercely to exist on the light side of the veil ~ while literally keeping his mask from melting away…
Another character who is all too familiar with the concept of wearing a mask is Sookie Stackhouse, Charlaine Harris’s famed femme fatale from the novel (and HBO series of the same name) True Blood. The mask that Sookie bears is that of a stiff, nervous smile, her way of attempting to cloak from the world the bombardment of thoughts she receives by way of her telepathic gift…or curse, depending on the day. She acts as a selfless guide, almost a sage, to the supernatural community, heroically lending her psychic abilities in the midst of magical warfare. The beings at war ritually walk the fine line between the living and the dead in Bon Temps, Louisiana, showing their publically accepted countenances during the day, revealing their true faces when the sun has set and the moon is full…
Perhaps this year, we should considering shedding our masks and dropping the disguises. Let the world see who we really are…but first, consider carefully: which would be more frightening ~ the façade or our true faces?!
Barker’s Best: A Servant Reviews His Master
By Craig Lindberg
I would be willing to bet my collection of signed hardcover first editions that if asked to name the most brilliant horror/fiction writers ever, Clive Barker would be near the top ~ if not at the top ~ of your list.
Most are familiar with Mr. Barker from his breakthrough horror movie, the 1986 classic Hellraiser.
But how many of you are aware that Hellraiser is an adaptation of his brilliant novella The Hellbound Heart?
Clive Barker has written some of the most fearsome, truly gruesome stories to ever have been transferred from mind to paper ~ and he’s been doing it for over 30 years. Subjecting his loyal readers to some of the most horrific visions ever conceived, he simultaneously shows the exquisite beauty of these fantasies, creating a gorgeous nightmare, a world where you cover your eyes from the atrocities but always have your fingers slightly spread, peering from the safety of your hands to take them all in.
Below is a “must-read” list of some of his most heinous, ghastly and downright scary literary works. Each, be it a short story, novella or full length novel, requires three things for maximum enjoyment…A night light, a strong constitution, and a perverse need to be scared senseless.
5. Hell’s Event (Books of Blood Volume 2): Hell is poised to take over the world if its champion can defeat the unknowing human rabble in, of all things, a road race. What makes this story terrifying is the realization by Hell’s unknowing nemesis along the race route of what exactly is at stake ~ as he watches his race mates gruesomely slain by an unknown force, knowing he must make a choice as the finish line approaches.
4. Dread (Books of Blood Volume 2): A college thesis involving the human condition is taken to extremes by a student obsessed with terror and how far people can be pushed by their fears. An experiment in sensory deprivation ends with maddening consequences for both the subject and the antagonist, who will unwittingly be brought face to face with his own interminable dread.
3. The Body Politic (Books of Blood 4/The Inhuman Condition): Charlie is experiencing strange dreams and visions, then awakens one night and witnesses his hands communicating with one another. Shortly after this disturbing revelation, a revolution ensues. “Right” frees “Left” (I’ll leave you to guess/find out how), and scurries away to raise support for their cause. This is one of the more fantastic/far-fetched stories from the master, but it does beg the question, “What if?”
2. The Hellbound Heart (novella): As groundbreaking as the Hellraiser film(s) it spawned, The Hellbound Heart is, quite simply, a nightmare put to paper and bound for all those brave enough to read it. The inevitable connection between pleasure and pain that most, and I stress most, ignore is brought to life in vivid detail. A gut-wrenching journey into a world of exotic pleasures and exquisite pain, the line between the two is blurred to torturous, delicious perfection by none other than Pinhead himself.
1. Rawhead Rex (Books of Blood Volume 3): This story has haunted me from the very first time I read it (I have read it many times since the first). An ancient beast, a king, is awakened from a forced hibernation, an imprisonment by lowly humans…and he is pissed off. The shear brutality of the main character ~ Rawhead ~ is what makes this story terrifying. His need for meat, especially “child meat,” is insatiable. No one is safe from his hunger or his vengeance. Women, children, all fall beneath the power…and teeth…of the mighty Rawhead Rex!
Photo: The Master himself, Clive Barker
Meet Heather Langenkamp, A Nightmare on Elm Street‘s Nancy Thompson
One of the First Girls to Kick Evil’s Ass
By Jillian Locke
At this year’s Rock and Shock, horror fans of all ages will have a chance to meet Heather Langenkamp, who played one of the most kick-ass, trail-blazing heroines in horror history ~ Nancy Thompson, Freddy Krueger’s arch nemesis.
In 1984, the world came to know A Nightmare on Elm Street. We came to know the burned monster who terrorized teenagers in their sleep, we came to fear the clicking of the knifed-fingered gloves and the sound of the haunting lullaby, “One two, Freddy’s coming for you…” But behind the menacing gloves and striped sweater, there was a fierce, determined, fearless girl who stood up to the ruthless killer when no one else would.
Heather Langenkamp starred as Nancy Thompson, the bold teenager to whom fell the harrowing responsibility of fighting one of the most devastating slasher antagonists of all time. “Nancy is a very heroic figure in the history of film. She’s got a reputation of being a very special woman in the history of horror movies,” says Lankencamp. Eager to further explore Nancy’s legacy in the realm of horror, the ANOES star used her appearances at six horror conventions to ask fans what they thought of Nancy’s character, and how the courageous heroine had impacted their lives.
“What we came to was a touching realization ~ Nancy’s character had been a touch stone for a lot of people who had difficulty in their lives as teenagers, and that they had always viewed her as a heroic person they could model themselves after.” Langenkamp turned these testimonials, as well as her own search for Nancy in the midst of Freddy mania, into the documentary I Am Nancy. “It was unexpected, but it ended up being a central point of the documentary ~ fans were really open about some incredibly painful struggles in their childhood. One fan even said that this movie helped him more than his psychiatrist.”
Horror films provide a general escape from the ~ ironically ~ horrors of everyday life, and they also create a platform through which the audience can witness ~ and draw strength from ~ people facing their fears in order to survive. A Nightmare on Elm Street broke the slasher film mold by incorporating the unflinchingly gutsy Nancy, a young female protagonist who never backed down, who never succumbed to her fears and allowed Evil to triumph over her. She represented the remaining strength of her fallen friends, finally overcoming their collective fears that had been Freddy’s main life force: “I take back every bit of energy I ever gave you. You’re nothing. You’re sh*t.” Finally, a female triumphed, a female did not fall prey to the monster, a female became the heroine, not one of the body count.
Although tremendously fun to watch ~ even decades after its release ~ with all its campy cult humor and gore ~ ANOES does carry a message: by taking back our power, we can overcome anything. Langenkamp shares that “We would ask people, ‘What’s your Freddy?’ Cancer, life traumas, terrible things that are happening; over and over again, people related to how Nancy has to battle Freddy in her dream world. It moved us a great deal, and we were really grateful to our fans to come forward with these really personal stories.”
So with all of life’s pressures and seemingly insurmountable odds, maybe we should all take a cue from the teenage girl who grabbed her nightmare by the balls and brought her terrifying demon to his knees…and in the process, became part of horror film history.
Crank Those SCARY BANDS!!!!
By Jillian Locke
Horror movies, demons, witches, vampires, werewolves, ghosts and ghouls…Jason, Michael, and Freddie impersonators roaming the streets…pranksters, diabolical trick-or-treaters, maybe even a few spirits roaming the earth in search of revenge…but who is providing the soundtrack to the most epically metal night of the year!?!?!??!???! Why, Pulse’s SCARIEST BANDS, of course!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
First off, what makes a band scary? Is it the costumes or masks they wear, like Mushroomhead’s or Slipknot’s? Or how about the make-up and theatrics, like King Diamond, Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, Immortal, or Behemoth? Break out the gauntlets, the corpse paint, inverted crosses, pleather, platform boots, and epic metal ~ these bands provide an underworld-inspired fright-fest for the eyes and ears!
Maybe you’re more into the hands-on horror show. If so, Bad Luck 13 would be at the top of the scariest bands list: fireballs, demolition, and destruction are their calling card. And then there’s always Gwar, the mutants from outer space who have a penchant for defiling the likes of George W. Bush, Michael Jackson, and Paris Hilton, all while spraying crazed audiences with their sticky-icky green space juice. When spending an evening with these bands, come equipped with riot gear and ponchos, in that order.
If you’re into the dark realms and the purest of pure evil, let’s take a hop, skip and a jump over to Norway and sling a few back with Mayhem. Hell, let’s invite Burzum into the mix and warm ourselves by a HUGE bonfire…imagine if Mayhem and Burzum had a metal baby? THAT would be the scariest band on earth!
And of course, let’s not forget the grand daddies of taking music and personas to the edge and challenging the status quo ~ Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper. One of the founding fathers of metal, the boys from Birmingham brought themes of horror and the occult to the main stage while modern day metalheads were learning how to walk and scream. Alice Cooper took the occult imagery to the next level, crafting terrifically bizarre and horror-inspired stage shows, taking the shock-factor and showmanship of metal to heights that would transform the arena of rock n’ roll.
Whatever your favorite scariest band may be, CRANK IT with pride this Halloween!
Horror Films ~
To Produce or Not To Produce, That Is the Question!
By Tim Branch
Here’s a rundown of some horror films ~ or at least the concepts thereof ~ currently languishing in that suspended state of animation called Development Hell. There’s a good chance that eventually some of these films/flicks will make it to the theaters ~ and that others will be completely buried and forgotten. Any bets on which will be given the breath of life?
Based on a tale by H.P. Lovecraft, the film would detail a gruesome discovery made during the 1930s by a scientific expedition to the South Pole, which hints at the true origin of mankind having come from elder gods…They soon realize that during this discover they may have also accidentally awakened prehistoric creatures.
No official plot yet, but the original was set in Japan, where violence among the youth have sky-rocketed, leaving the government to create a program dubbed “Battle Royale”, in which a class of 40 + jr. high students are sent to a remote island to battle each other, with only one expected to survive.
Set in New England in an all-girls college where a professor is the descendant of Candyman, yet she doesn’t know who or what he is.
Pvt. Laurence Cooper (survivor of first film) is picked up by a team of American soldiers who are on maneuvers. Cooper’s story of werewolves in the woods is met with skepticism until the soldiers return to the now-destroyed farmhouse and discover evidence that something strange indeed went on. They discover a soldier from Capt. Ryan’s special ops team (who were mentioned in the first film, but never seen), who explains that his company was also slaughtered by werewolves and have become werewolves in this film.
No official plot yet, but the game followed a girl, armed with an antique camera that’s able to capture and damage ghosts, who travels to a haunted mansion in search of her missing brother.
Friday the 13th 2
No official plot yet, but it will likely take place sometime after the events of the first film.
House of Re-Animator
Director: Stuart Gordon
Ignoring the previous three films, the story focuses on a “Bush-like president” who dies in office and his staff covertly brings in Dr. Herbert West to reanimate him.
No official plot yet, but the original followed the problematic staff at a rundown and isolated hospital, where a mysterious infection among the patients is revealed to have a supernatural origin.
The original followed a farmer who would kidnap and bury unsuspecting travelers up to their necks in his garden and keep them alive until they’re ready to be picked and made into his famous beef jerky.
Director: Don Coscarelli
It’s said that the plot will continue with the Tall Man still traveling from town to town turning the dead into his own army and using his deadly spheres against anyone who opposes him. Mike, who is developing psychic powers, and his brother try to stop him.
Race With the Devil
Director: Chris Moore
No official plot yet, but the original told the story of a group of vacationers as they stumble across a cult of satanist. Once they report them to the authorities all the evidence vanishes and the vacationers are forced to return to their business, but now they’ve got the cult following them.
No official plot yet, but the original told the story of a young couple who move into a New York apartment ~ where the woman becomes mysteriously pregnant and soon discovers that her neighbors are a part of a coven of witches and her husband has allowed her to be impregnated by the devil in exchange for a successful career.
The Bad Seed
Director: Eli Roth
No official plot yet, but the original was about a seemingly perfect daughter, who turns to killing.
No official plot yet, but the original was about a man, who tries to solve the mystery behind the mysterious happenings in his new home.
Worst Case Scenario
Director: Richard Raaphorst
The story tells of a fictional FIFA World Cup Finale between Germany and Netherlands. When the team from Germany loses, they send out a zombie invasion as revenge. A small group of friends flees from the nationwide madness to a North Sea island where a horde of Wehrmacht zombies wait.
For more details on each of these projects, head to www.upcominghorrormovies.com/tags/movie-tags/dead-projects.
Dress Up as One of Your Favorite Bands for Halloween!
By Steph Moore
Check out these costumes from Warner Bros. Records and then head to store.warnerbrosrecordsstore.com to purchase!
The Official DEVO Yellow Suit: $49.99
It’s the yellow full body jump suit featuring DEVO in black print on the lapel. Protect yourself from dangerous human elements and stay cool during meltdowns in this official DEVO Yellow Suit, a classic in formal attire. Same exact quality as worn by DEVO onstage! Includes jacket with DEVO label, pants, and adjustable elastic belt.
Available in three sizes: Large (The smallest size offered ~ Fits most spuds!), X-Large (Gives the common spud a little room to wiggle), and Jumbo (Our largest size offered, it’s for spuds who believe bigger is better! Can be worn by average-sized spuds to cover additional protective gear.).
Energy Dome Blue or Red: $32
Dress up like DEVO this Halloween with this special red or blue vacu-form plastic hat designed and worn by DEVO. High-Quality Custom Plastic. Sturdy Construction. This is the exact style of Energy Dome now worn by DEVO in concert and in airports.
The Flaming Lips
March of 1000 Flaming Skeletons. Sure, Halloween is only one day a year but that’s no reason why you can’t still celebrate The LIPS’ favorite holiday in style all year round. (It certainly hasn’t stopped them!) For this low price, you’ll get an exclusive T-shirt designed by Wayne Coyne, a stylish Skeleton Costume (never out of season or fashion), and your very own Torch. That’s right, A TORCH!! Light up the darkness for your favorite Ghoul friend.
The Black Keys
Dress-Up Kit: $20
This dress-up kit includes one pair of glasses kinda like Pat’s and one false beard vaguely suggestive of Dan’s real one.
Ice Cream Tattoo/Bandana Pack: $20
Be Gucci Mane! The “ensemble” comes with a two-inch temporary Ice Cream Tattoo and Red Brick Squad Bandana featuring an all-over print of black Brick Squad Eagle with the 1017 logo.
My Chemical Romance
Danger Days Jackets: $89.99-$99.99
Get four individual custom band jackets inspired by the world of Danger Days: True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. These jackets were worn by MCR in their latest music video, “Sing.”
Rock And Shock Announces “Service Sunday” For Those Who Serve America
MassConcerts and Rock-n-Shock are honored to announce that this year they will be following in the footsteps of their friends Days Of The Dead by offering free admission to all police, firemen, EMT and military personnel who would like to attend the convention on Sunday, October 16th. In their honor, that day will be known as “Service Sunday;” all they have to do is show their service ID at the doors and they can receive up to four free tickets to this year’s Rock-n-Shock convention. Doors at the DCU Convention Center in Worcester, MA open at 11:00am.
The Rock & Shock convention, MassConcerts and their staff are proud to join the rest of the country in showing appreciation to those men and women ~ as well as their families ~ who daily put their lives on the line in service and sacrifice. They have created Service Sunday in hopes that these men and women can simply relax and have a wonderful day with their families and friends.
Rock and Shock is an annual event ~ the first of its kind to blend a horror convention with music ~ centered at Worcester’s DCU Convention Center. While fans are able to meet their favorite horror films stars, directors, writers and bands during the day and browse through the many merch tables of horror-related jewelry, clothing, posters and more, at night they have the opportunity to check out some hard-edge national bands performing each evening at The Palladium right next door. This event averages about 3,000 to 6,000 fans a day and will be held on October 14-16th.
To learn more about Rock and Shock, please visit www.rockandshock.com.
No Comments »
No comments yet.
Leave a comment