Having the Devil of a Wicked Christmas in Whitby!

The last few Christmases have seen the Krampus making his presence felt far beyond his snowy Alpine homelands. For the benefit of the uninitiated, the Krampus is a hairy, horned devil who carries a sack and a switch. He accompanies Saint Nicholas on his Yuletide rounds in early December, and while Nicholas gives gifts to good children, Krampus whips the naughty ones, and pops the really bad little boys and girls in his sack to take away. Continue reading

Horror in the Valleys

Every November, our resident horror fanatic Gavin Baddeley makes an annual pilgrimage to Aberystwyth on the Welsh coast to attend the Abertoir Festival. While not the biggest or longest established of the UK’s horror festivals, Gavin assures us that it’s among the best. It features theatre performances, themed club nights, site visits, talks, live music and more. But the backbone of the six day event remains the film screenings, with 26 horror movies shown in 2017, including vintage classics and exclusive premiers of the best forthcoming features. We asked Gavin to pick out a few of the most bizarre, scary and entertaining upcoming horror films he’d seen there, for horror fans to look out for on cinema screens, in the DVD racks, and on streaming services in the coming months… Continue reading

Winter Goth

As the icy touch of Jack Frost begins to make the mornings glisten and the nights draw in fighting with the daylight for time, this is the moment where goth truly comes into its own. Winter not only echoes the gothic ethos in its darker days and longer nights, bleak and seemingly devoid of life – but also in the fact that its desolate beauty is merely a cloak, a time of hibernation for regeneration to occur, the darkness before the light, a time of magic, a time which is sometimes misunderstood and ignored by many. Continue reading

Halloween Masquerade

‘The definition of the word “Masquerade” is: a party, a dance or other festive gathering of persons wearing masks and other disguises; a costume or disguise worn at such a gathering; façade, pretense; existence under false pretenses. False pretenses? Tell me, what is more falsely than the human nature? They hide behind their fleshy masks every day. They cover their frustrations with a polite smile. They lie so often that they believe in their own stories. A masquerade, false? What nonsense!’ Continue reading

Changing the Stars

A friend recently shared with me a surprisingly beautiful Romanian tradition that takes place in the Maramures region. This tradition gave me inspiration to do a little more research on the subject and to write this article. The tradition or the ritual as some might say was performed in order to save a severely sick child from death. Continue reading

Killer Instinct

Warning: Some of the information below is based on facts others are merely fiction…for the time being.

1835. England, the Parliament outlawed bull-baiting and bear-baiting sports in which dogs fought to death against other animals. Gamblers turned their interest to dog fighting, a popular and profitable sport. British dog-fighters created crosses between the English Bulldog and various types of Terriers. This led to the best fighting dogs: Bull Terriers. They had the size, strength, aggression and ferocity to fight to the death. Continue reading