We started getting into the Halloween spirit yesterday, with Halloween craft and costume blogs and a look at some of the real-life witches on WordPress.com.
Today we continue the Halloween Spooktacular with some less Halloween-y but no less creepy content: horror film buffs, zombie aficionados, and cemetery guides, oh my!
Frightening film and fiction
If you prefer that ghouls stay safely in movies and books, there are plenty of WordPress.com authors ready to guide you to the scariest of scary movies, like the team of eleven bloggers behind Mutant Reviewers.
Led by Head Mutant Justin, the Mutant Reviewers team is dedicated to cult classics, watching the worst so you don’t have to. Visitors looking for recommendations can check out their movie of the week, helpfully highlighted with an image widget in the left sidebar. This week’s offering is 1979’s The Prophecy. (Conclusion: “Simply, if you are looking for a fast, body count slasher film, this isn’t for you.”)
The Mutants also review contemporary films and television shows like Battlestar Galactica and Babylon 5, making it a great stop for a wide range of geeks.
Another collaborative effort, the three main contributors at Anti-Film School created a site that:
reviews both new and old films while also heavily focusing on grindhouse cinema, exploitation flicks, cult cinema, B-movies, and classic horror… It is all tied together by a retro drive-in aesthetic. We apologize in advance for any missing reels, the sticky floors, shady audience members, stale popcorn, and broken seats.
In the run-up to Halloween they’ve invited some guest posters to share their five favorite movie monsters, creating a perfect filmography for those still searching for what to show at their Halloween party. Evil clowns? Check. Zombies? Check. Creepy kids? Check.
Do you prefer to read your horror, quaking under the covers with a flashlight and a book? There are plenty of recommendations at Mika Reads Horror Fiction and Diaries of the Demented, which also reviews video games. If you’re looking for undiscovered sources of terror, there’s no shortage of authors happy to freak you out with original fiction. We particularly love Freaky Folk Tales for its skillful resurrection of the lore that’s been scaring us for centuries.
Real life can be just as macabre as the movies — just ask our resident bioarchaeologists, who study skeletal remains to unlock the mysteries of the past.
On Bones Don’t Lie, Katy — a doctoral student specializing in mortuary archaeology — writes about her own research while exploring all the facets of her chosen field.
Recent posts covered everything from sexism in Etruscan burial rituals to kinship in medieval necropolises to ritual Mayan dismemberment. Her posts are a fascinating glimpse into a little known field that reveal as much about us as the remains she studies.
Katy isn’t the only blogger intrigued by the knowledge locked up in bones; forensic archaeologist Dolly documents her own fascination with our remains’ afterlife on Strange Remains:
Strange Remains explores how and why human remains are revered, feared, made sacred, or worshiped after death… A reminder that after death, the journey of human remains can be more interesting than the life of the person they belonged to.
If you’d rather the bones stay underground, try a cemetery tour instead with Loren, the tour guide behind Cemetery Travel: Adventures in Graveyards Around the World. Dedicated to raising awareness of the rich history and surprising fragility of cemeteries, she highlights a different burial ground each week, interspersing them with posts on famous figures with notable tombs and highlighting other groups committed to cemetery preservation.
There’s more to Halloween than witches, and there’s more to monster lore than scary movies. Delve into the background of your favorite ghost story with our resident horrifying historians.
One look at its tagline — “If monsters aren’t real, why are they out to get me?” — and you get a feel for EsoterX, an erudite monster blog described by its author as:
an anthropological investigation of the ontological status of things that go bump in the night. The fact that monsters may or may not be corporeal is of no consequence… I’m convinced the universe is a far weirder place than we like to admit.
If you’ve ever wondered whether the first extraterrestrials we encounter will be reptiles instead of mammals or wanted to know more about the turtle that carries the world on its back, your answers are one click away.
On Strange Flowers, blogger James is more interested in human oddities, the ignominious, unlikely, and just plain bizarre people that didn’t make it into the history books but are great for cocktail party conversation. Have you ever heard of Baron Corvo, Alfred Flechtheim, or Diane de Rougy? You have now.
Finally, we’d be remiss to do a roundup of spooky subjects without including a site that features everyone’s favorite undead brain-eaters: zombies.
Tragically, World Zombie Day 2013 — celebrated around the globe with gatherings of zombie fans, often also raising money or collecting food donations for charity — was earlier in October, but it’s never too early to start planning for ’14. Read up on your Zombie Walk etiquette; there’s nothing more gauche than a rude zombie. Always remember: “May I eat your brains, please.”
These blogs provide everything you need for a truly terrifying Halloween, and then some.