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Mutterings of a Mad Woman

Meeting Alton Brown

on September 11, 2008 - 8:58pm

Earlier this year, Alton Brown was promoting his recent book for his "Feasting on Asphalt" series. An event was held in Atlanta where the cost of admission basically equalled the cost of the book (of which you got one copy), plus an hour Q & A session with Alton, and draws for door prizes.

I'm a big fan of Alton Brown (not so much of the American version of "Iron Chef" - the original Japanese show is superior), and was even more impressed when he signed the zombie cartoon of him I'd found online by Cheyenne Wright. Alton has a dark sarcasm that I instantly felt at ease with, and he was amused when presented with my print out.

I also walked away with a crazy Kershaw utility knife that I won (was a bit concerned about bringing that back across the border - for all my American readers, it's easy to bring knives/weapons into the States but not so much into Canada) and a "Good Eats" bandage dispenser (with G.E. bandages). All in all, a great time.

And now this image hangs on my office wall, framed.

Ghoul Friday in Slow Motion

on September 10, 2008 - 1:27pm

You may have noticed recently that the website has been sloooooow to load (beyond a zombie pace at times). Turns out our server is picking up the slack for a greedy, neighbouring server. We're currently dealing with our service provider and hope to have this rectified as soon as possible.

Please be patient if you are experiencing trouble. We apologize for the agonizing frustration this can cause (I'm ready to poke my eyes out over it), and hope everything will be back to normal soon.

In the meantime, keep creepin.

Ghoul Friday

Call for Canadian Creepers!

on September 8, 2008 - 5:31pm

Canadian FlagOk all you fellow Canadian Haunters. Consider this a call to action. Since we only tend to find each other accidentally, I'm making an effort to create a master directory of Haunts, Haunters, Bloggers, and Events across Canada.

I've just started building it, and will spend time this week (with the help of looking for all of you. If you think you have a website or know of a website that's worth listing, let me know. Read more about this by clicking on the Canadian Hauntings Pumpkin Image in the navigation menu on the right, or by following this link.

By the way, someone in Nova Scotia has already won top spot in my blogging section. The earlier you get your submission in and reviewed, the higher it will appear in the listing.

The Dark Minions of a Puppet Master

on September 7, 2008 - 11:04am

ChunkZombie puppet
There is a YouTube clip that is currently making the rounds on forums. It features zombie puppets singing "Dust in the Wind" made famous by the band Kansas.

But before you go straight to the clip (posted at the end of this blog), let me tell you a bit more about the man behind it. As explorers of the World Wide Web, we are often impatient and click-happy which means we miss the treasures behind the initial finds. Matt Ficner is one of those treasures.

screaming zombieMatt is an artist of many mediums including (but not limited to) digital art, sculpting, painting, and puppetry. He formed MF Productions and has worked with Jim Henson Associates, Warner Brothers, Disney and the BBC. I always love to learn of artistic Canadians finding international success (Matt is actually from Ottawa, Ontario).

Eyeball Krispie Treats

on September 6, 2008 - 9:28pm

Rice Krispies Treats
I picked this recipe up from Freddie and Cindy's Halloween website. For some reason, the link to their homepage wasn't working so I couldn't verify whether or not they allow other people to use their information. So Freddie and Cindy, if you're out there, I hope you don't mind that I have posted your idea.

  1. Make Rice Krispies treats as directed on the box.
  2. When cool enough to handle, roll into balls the size of a...well, an eyeball.
  3. Melt some white chocolate and coat the balls.
  4. Place an M&M in the center of the eyeball and press lightly.
  5. Place eyeball on wax paper to set up. Putting the tray in the fridge helps speed up the process.
  6. Store in a container.

Want to get fancy with the treats? There are oodles of recipe ideas on the official Rice Krispies website.

Clive E. Cleavers: Where a Ghoul can be a Ghoul

on September 4, 2008 - 12:14pm

The theme for this year's Halloween party will be a children's restaurant/game centre like Chuck E. Cheeses. It will have games, a souvenir shop, and a dining area; all the amenities you'd expect to find at such an establishment (with a few, small changes).

The place is called Clive E. Cleavers and it has fallen into disrepair, though there are still some hints of what it was like in its hay-day...and on its last day.

My first prop is a simple acrylic painting on canvas. The idea was to create a birthday poster advertisement, encouraging patrons to book their next bash with Clive E. Cleavers. I wanted it to walk a fine line between normal and horror; make it believable (that something like this would be hanging in a children's theme restaurant) yet creepy and with a slight edge.

Clowns are a classic scare, and will always remain a top fright-sight in any haunt. For me, I am kind of 'clowned out' and will be trying to limit the amount of clown characters/images I'll be using.

Gothic Portal

on September 3, 2008 - 11:53pm

Gothic Portal Logo
I was recently sent a link for a site that acts as a handbook for Goths. At first I didn't know what to make of it, but after a little exploring (it can be a little overwhelming to navigate the site through the labyrinth of links and google ads) I found myself curious.

Gothic Portal is described as "A deep and varied portal dedicated to the dark life of the gothic subculture, fashion, music, dating, tourism, culture and poems". Gothic dating, you say? I must see more.

Where are my Curds and Whey?

on September 2, 2008 - 8:07pm

When I arrived home the other night, I stepped up to my front door with my head down, looking for my keys. I unlocked the door and stepped up again (favouring the left side of the doorway as I always do) to enter the enclosed porch. It wasn't until I turned around to close the door that I noticed what suddenly seemed impossible to miss.

A spider, the size of a Canadian loonie, had spun a masterpiece that blocked over a third of my doorway. Being shorter, and having a tendency to step up to the left, I was spared a face-full of cobweb.

Dave O'Neill and his "Horror Hills" Children

on August 31, 2008 - 8:47pm

Artist and two zombie drawings
As an artist, I always feel like I've breathed life into something when I create it. If this is true of all artists, then Dave O'Neill has some wonderfully dark children.

Dave is a young man in his twenties from Burlington Ontario whom I met at, yes, the Festival of Fear (by the way, I only have one or two more posts left regarding my adventure there). I was most interested in his zombie comic book art (or was it a graphic novel? I need to remember to bring a pen with me next time) called Horror Hills.

As it turns out, Dave is also a musician, actor, singer and writer:

I prefer writing on a typewriter; I find the clicking of it to be quite soothing and inspirational. I watch the stars. I dread the deep. I like robots, aliens, dinosaurs, zombies, vampires, monsters and anything else that nestles quietly within my brain, waiting to be put to paper.

My Lil' Zombie: Puppetry of the Undead

on August 30, 2008 - 3:27pm

zombie dolls
While cruising the aisles of the Festival of Fear, I came across these wonderful Zombie puppets and plush toys by a local artist.

The puppets were a little on the pricey side, but they are one of a kind, hand made, and really, where else have you seen this product?

The artist's website,, is currently under construction but if you would like to contact her with questions, her email is

You gotta love the picture of George Romero (below) with a puppet in his likeness.