The White City’s Murder Castle

If someone was to tell you that a man in the late 1800s built a three-story castle dedicated to kidnapping and killing people, would you believe it?

You should, because that’s what we’re talking about today.

Herman Webster Mudgett, more commonly known as Dr Henry Howard Holmes, was one of America’s first documented serial killers. Before he was known as a serial killer, though, he was a conman that specialized in swindling people out of their money. Nothing too violent, mainly just shady business transactions.

With a mustache that villainous, there’s no wonder he became a serial killer.

Herman graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School. However, Herman stole bodies from the school’s laboratory, mutilated them, then claimed that the people were accidentally killed, which allowed him to collect insurance money. Gruesome yes but nothing on the scale of mass murder. Not yet, anyway.

So let’s dig into Herman’s past and see what happened:

Herman traveled to Chicago in 1886. It was there that he found Dr E.S. Holton’s drugstore. Holton was suffering from cancer, so Holton’s wife ran the drugstore. Herman received a job at the store and proved to be an outstanding employee. With Holton’s wife grieving for her husband’s pain, Herman charmed her into selling him the store; however, Herman did not have enough money to purchase the store, so he used his outstanding previous record to convince Holton’s wife to loan him money. She agreed.

Oddly, though, when Holton died of cancer, Holton’s wife disappeared. Herman told inquisitors that she was visiting relatives in California. If people continued to ask, Herman said that she loved California so much that she decided to stay out there.

Herman then built his three-story castle on a lot of land across from the drugstore. The castle’s first floor housed Herman’s relocated drugstore, while the other floors were rented out as hotel rooms.

Here’s where it gets really, really strange:

The upper floors contained over one hundred windowless rooms. A large number of doorways opened to brick walls, stairways to nowhere, or impossibly angled hallways. Some doors only opened from the outside of a room. Nearly every room had a secret entrance. Herman repeatedly fired builders and hired new ones, so only he knew the castle’s layout. (Reminds me of the Winchester Mansion.)

When the hotel was finished, Herman selected mainly female guests to stay within the rooms, some of which were his past lovers or employees. He then tortured and killed them. According to Wikipedia, Some were locked in soundproof bedrooms fitted with gas lines that let him asphyxiate them at any time. Some victims were locked in a huge soundproof bank vault near [Herman's] office where they were left to suffocate.

Truly horrifying things, but it doesn’t end there.

The deceased bodies were dropped down a chute to the basement. It was in that basement that Herman stripped flesh from bone, dissected body parts, and crafted skeletal models. Those skeletal models were then sold to medical schools. Herman’s previously connections with medical schools made it very easy for him to sell his crafted skeletal models. Herman also owned two large furnaces for cremating bodies, along with a pit of acid, bottles of poisons, and a stretching rack. These aren’t Halloween props – this guy really owned a pit of acid.

So, next time someone tells you about a three-story murder castle, tell them to back off, you already know about it.

Top Halloween Parties for 2011

Feel the bass ricochet off your bones. Let the music swim through your veins. Succumb to the energy of a costumed mob bearing down upon you in waves of movement and dancing.

Halloween parties are less than two months away, and now is the time to start planning which ones to attend. You take care of your local neighborhood parties; we’ve collected the international sensations that make people scream until late in the morning.

Great Halloween Grave Dig

Place: Pennsylvania
Date: October 15, 2011
Known as The Worlds Only Vampire Hunt, the Great Halloween Grave Dig is an adult competitive event that will have you howling with joy. Attending guests must venture through graveyards, woods, and other areas to find the events host, who is dressed as a vampire. According to the official site, the event is an adventurous mental and physical romp. The event is invite-only, with two teams winning the hunt and earning $350 per team. The Grave Diggers Ball is held after the event.

top halloween parties

One of the invited teams.

New Yorks Village Halloween Parade

Place: New York City 6th Avenue from Spring Street to 21st Street
Date: October 31, 2011
Started in 1973, the parade began as a neighborhood walk from house to house, inviting adults and children to join. The second year saw the Theater of the New City step in, bringing the parade to a larger scale. The parades eighth annual event saw the size of the celebration reach 100,000. Now, 30 years later, the parade draws roughly 60,000 costumed participants and 2 million spectators, making it one of the largest parades in the world. Proceed to the site to find out how to watch, volunteer, or participate in the parade.

Festival of the Dead

Place: Salem, Massachusetts
Date: October 1 31, 2011
Salem, Massachusetts, infamously known for its brutal witch trials, transforms its streets every year to become one of the largest annual Halloween events. The event spans the whole month of October, with events taking place on every single day. The events range from a Vampires Masquerade Ball to the Annual Psychic Fair and Witchcraft Expo. The place is also littered with haunted houses, more than enough to scare you stiff!

Parade of Lost Souls

Place: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Date: October 29, 2011
Ditching the traditional horror and fear aspect of Halloween, the Parade of Lost Souls celebrates the burning of fear with fire. Participants have been known to bring lanterns, dress in costume, and build shrines in Grandview Park. There are loads of individuals firedancing and burning symbolic items that represent fear. If you want to celebrate Halloween with a more traditional, less horrifying party environment, this is the event for you.

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Firedancing.

Playboy Mansion

Place: Location Unknown
Date: October 28 & 29, 2011
Models painted up in body paint, mandatory sexy Halloween costumes, and completely open bars and buffets, what more could you want from a Halloween party? The Playboy Mansion has been known to throw some of the wildest, most risqu© parties ever to exist. Of course, the party better be amazing, since the tickets cost anywhere from $600 to $1,000+. You have to really, really love some sensational skin to attend these parties, or be a loaded celebrity.

2011 Gory Halloween Props

2011 Gory Halloween Props

Bust out your bloody, gory Halloween props and go wild for a whole night. Let loose those morbid thoughts of creativity that scream and ache for the burning agony of torn flesh. Broken teeth, charred flesh, torn ligaments, and so much more, all right here, are waiting for your discovery. If you want to show off your sick love for horror, these gory Halloween props make it possible.

Axe Attacked Male Prop: Every teenager horror movie has to include an appropriate amount of axed men. It is as necessary as the main female character being blonde, brave, and dumb. Thankfully, rather than create your own axed male model, we can supply you with an intensely gory prop substitute.

gory halloween props

Chained Corpse Skulls Set: After complimenting the shade of your drapes and how they accent the yellow hue of your wallpaper, people will be smitten with these hanging corpse skulls. My, my, they’ll say excitedly, will you look at those gorgeous skulls? Hanging on real metal chains that measure approximately two feet, these skulls are sure to win over any guests taste for the morbid.

gory halloween props

Screaming Clown Prop: Clowns are the perfect combination of horror and humor, and now this clown perfectly epitomizes the gory image of Halloween. Mount the severed clown head wherever you need a screamingly good laugh. Covered in blood, eyes bulging, this clown is ready for the spotlight!

gory halloween props

Barry Brains: Barry always was an intellectual snob. He told everyone that he was the smartest person alive, had the largest amount of smarts per square inch. Then someone wanted to prove just how much brains Barry had, which left Barry mounted upon that someones wall, head torn open. Now you can appreciate the brains of Barry!

gory halloween props

Mark of the Beast Head: This individual didn’t listen to the Do not feed the tigers sign. Highly realistic and detailed to replicate the effects of a tiger mauling, this head is perfect for showing off the carnage of nature. Display it wherever you need a bit of gory spice.

gory halloween props

The Ultimate Trick

Kids are always getting into trouble.

Their young, rambunctious energy leaves them vulnerable to the effects of boredom. While television and video games have helped alleviate these dull, uneventful fits of youthful boredom, they have not completely done away with them. There are still kids out there that find themselves pulling pranks or, in today’s case, trying to perform the “ultimate trick.”

And I’ve got to say, they definitely have the drive and determination to pull off this trick. Even after failing three times, these kids still return for another try. No Halloween props are involved, but it is still too astonishing for words.

Let’s watch:

Attempt #1

Ah, so the “ultimate trick” is pulling the cloth off the table while leaving the items still on the table. Easy enough, right? I’ve seen this in movies, even tried to do it myself. I never got it right, of course, but let’s see if they can pull it off.

Attempt #2

Bigger items, that’s definitely an improvement. The larger the item, the more likely it would be to stay on the table, I guess. Unfortunately, it also makes it more difficult to pull out the cloth. Nice try, though, kids. Let’s see what they do next time.

Attempt #3

So close! Man, they were so close that time. Only a little more force and they are sure to pull off the “ultimate trick.” Keep trying, kids, I believe in you!

Attempt #4

What the hell – what the hell just happened!

Top 6 Funniest Halloween Prank Videos

Mischief and Halloween go together like summer and bikinis. This mischief is often created by bored children, specifically teenagers, but countless adults are also swept away with Halloween’s torrents of trouble. The fake blood, the Halloween decorations, and the costumes just make it too easy to play pranks on people. And we are more than happy to observe the outcome.

So buckle up and sit back – let’s get this roller coaster started.

#6 – Epic Halloween Prank:

Some say this video’s fake. Sure, it might be, but it’s still hilarious.

#5 – Math Teacher:

Prank is putting this video heavily. No one was injured, and no one was shocked or appalled. If anything, these students just realized that their teacher is a total badass.

#4 – Trick or Treat with Timmy:

This video taught me that the older someone is, the longer it takes them to realize its a prank. The best reaction is the party debating who should touch the prop. Joe, you’re the biggest guy here, so you have to touch him.

#3 – Japanese Show:

I don’t understand what’s going on here, nor do I understand why everyone looks so nauseous. But damn it, its hilarious.

#2 – Halloween Punch:

Kid gets wrecked. Nuff said.

#1 – Motorcycle Skeleton:

The motorcycle-riding skeleton sets the prank up, but that screaming mans voice brings it home.

Affordable Animated Halloween Props

Top Outdoor Halloween Decorations

As one of the largest suppliers of Halloween props, we have a huge selection of animatronics, animated decorations, and moving props. Most of these animated Halloween props are expensive, some going far into the thousands. Rather than break the bank, we gathered up the economical animatronics, so your shopping experience is easy, more pleasurable. Look over the list, find the ones that work with your decorations, and then enjoy the ensuing screams.

Cocoon Peeper Mummy: This mummy has been consumed, wrapped in spider webbing, and now lives its life within the sticky confines. The prop measures 60 wide, 17 wide, and 10 thick. The prop requires 3 AAA batteries, which are not included with the purchase. The prop is sound activated. Activation causes the eyes to move side to side.

halloween props1

Spinning Head Possessed Baby: Babies are among the most horrifying of creations, especially when they are birthed from Hell. This possessed little demon is approximately 16 tall. The prop is made of latex. Inside the baby is a concealed motion detector. Activation causes the babys head to spin around, while playing baby sounds. The prop requires 2 AA batteries, which are not included with purchase. LED eyes light up.

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Fresh Cut Heart with Pump: Designed to replicate the imagery of a heart pumping blood, even after removal from the chest cavity, this animatronic prop is perfect for gory Halloween scenes. The prop features a pumping heart on a cutting board. The heart pumps liquid across the cutting board. Prop is intended to run for only four (4) to six (6) hours per day.

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Dark Magic Book: The Dark Magic Book is designed to open slowly whenever someone passes by. Book requires 3 AA batteries, which are not included with purchase. When the book is open, it says one of three sayings: Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble!; Round about the cauldron go, in the poisoned entrails throw! Sweltered venom, sleeping got, boil though first in the charmed pot! Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!; Ah, I see my next ingredient has arrived! With you, my spell no longer deprived! Just a morsel I will take, in the cauldron boil and bake, your youth and flesh, the only price – to ensure me of eternal life! Ah-hah-ha-ha-ha-ha!; Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-hah! Another foolish child dares to trespass on this wicked place? Here now a spell to remove that smile from your pretty face! Hoggles and haggerdash, and eyes of a crow – all powers are mine now, and all that you know! Ha-ha-ha!

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Top Outdoor Halloween Decorations

Top Outdoor Halloween Decorations

Halloween is one of the only holidays spent primarily outside. Parents and children walk the streets, searching for candy, treats, and other goodies. Teenagers prowl the evening for mischief. College students hop from bar to bar, party to party, or hand out candy. Countless adults and elderly individuals, hoping to hand out treats to smiling children, decorate their lawn with outdoor Halloween decorations.

Since so many individuals are out and about, outdoor Halloween decorations are essential. They are the tools to attract, to lure individuals inward. These are the best outdoor Halloween decorations for seducing individuals closer, then striking upon them with primal fear.

RIP Light-up Skull Tombstone: This 22 tall tombstone is the perfect lawn ornament. Both the eyes and the RIP saying light up. The tombstone is perfect for both indoor and outdoor use. Purchase includes two stakes for installing the tombstone into the earth. While other tombstones merely sit, exist, and do nothing, this light-up tombstone sheds some ambiance on the evening.

halloween decorations1

Ghostly Lawn Group: If there is one place that ghosts love to hang out on, it would be the lawn. They are attracted to these areas like moths to the flame. Instead of hanging your head out the window all night, this ghastly decoration brings ghosts crashing down upon your lawn. The prop features three ghosts, which attach to the earth with stakes, who can be easily moved. Add in some extra decorations to really spook out the area.

halloween decorations2

9 Pumpkin Stack: Inflatable products have always been a huge hit during Halloween, and now this inflatable pumpkin stack is yours to enjoy. Fully inflated, stack measures approximately 9 tall. Individuals will stop and stare up at the smiling pumpkins. Thats when you hit them with some fear.

halloween decorations3

Zombie Zone: Whoa, slow down there, cowboy. You’re wandering into zombie territory, the worst kind of territory to wander into, you know. Now your guests can realize when the territory turns into something wicked. The sign utilizes the usual warning sign symbolism yellow with black figures so individuals will attract to the odd spectacle.

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These outdoor Halloween decorations combine the eccentric nature of Halloween with the spooky ambiance of horror. They can be used alone or with other Halloween decorations. Do not stop until you have achieved the ideal image of scariness.

Capgras Delusion: Someone stole my loved one!

Taking a quick break from the candy and Halloween decorations, let’s look at something more deliciously creepy: Capgras Delusion.

Discovered in 1923, Capgras Delusion is described as a disorder in which a person holds a delusion that a friend, spouse, parent, or other close family member has been replaced by an identical-looking impostor.

That’s right the individual suffering from Capgras Delusion will fully believe that someone stole/kidnapped/murdered their loved one, then replaced them.

Here’s an example from NPR:

A 37-year-old woman came into the office of Carol Berman, a psychiatrist at New York University Medical Center, with a strange complaint. She had returned to her house recently to find a man sitting on her couch. He was familiar, sort of, and he was wearing her husband’s clothes. But something didn’t feel right to this woman. She felt a strange kind of emptiness when she looked at him. She was struck by the very deep sense that her husband had somehow been replaced by this strange man.

Here’s another one:

A student at the University of California, San Diego was severely injured in a car accident. After several weeks in a coma, he regained consciousness and seemed to be doing fine. But according to V.S. Ramachandran, a neuroscientist at the university, when the patient’s mother came to see him, he exclaimed, ‘Who is this woman? She looks just like my mother, but she’s an impostor! She’s some other woman pretending to be my mother.’

capgras delusion

Here’s how the Dinosaur Comics explained it.

When looking at the cause for Capgras Delusion, one must first look at prosopagnosia. Individuals with prosopagnosia are unable to consciously recognize faces, but they can still recognize other visual objects. (They can tell cat from cup, but not an anonymous woman from their mother.) In a 1984 study on prosopagnosia, it was shown that individuals with prosopagnosia had unconscious emotional reactions to the faces of their loved ones. Consciously, they could not visually recognize their loved ones. Unconsciously, they still held emotions to their loved one’s faces.

It has been hypothesized that Capgras Delusion mirrors the effects of prosopagnosia. Consciously, individuals with Capgras Delusion will visually recognize their loved one’s face – I know this face! Unconsciously, they hold no emotional connection to the face – But something feels not quite right! Thus, we have individuals recognizing their loved ones, without the emotional memories of why they recognize them – “I know this man, but he is not the man I know!”

But let’s go one step further:

Let’s say that a mother calls her son. The son suffers from Capgras Delusion. Hearing his mother’s voice on the telephone, the son recognizes that it is his mother – he fully believes that his mother is on the phone. They end their conversation, then the mother walks into the same room as the son. Even though he just heard her voice fully believed it was her the son cannot visually understand that the woman standing in front of him is his mother.

His mind literally cannot comprehend this fact.

That’s Capgras Delusion, and it’s one of the creepiest psychological phenomena that I’ve ever heard about.

Top 4 Tips for Spooking Out Halloween Props

Top 4 Tips for Spooking Out Halloween Props

Imagine stumbling across a lawn littered with random Halloween props. There are clowns in the bushes. There’s a werewolf hanging from a tree. There are pumpkins on the roof of the house. You may stop, stare, and say, Yup, those are Halloween props, then continue walking.

Now, let’s say you were walking along and stumbled across a lawn covered in fog. The sight of the rolling fog takes you by surprise. There’s no fog anywhere else, you say. I wonder where it’s coming from. Then you walk closer, trying to find the origin of the fog. That’s when you hear music playing softly somewhere closer to the house. You stumble over a bunch of bones sticking out of the ground. A silhouette of a hanging corpse is in the window of the house. Lights flicker on the porch. Your heart pounds, and your head tells you to turn around run away, back to the street.

That’s how you use Halloween props. Fear stems from ambiance, not from cluttered Halloween props. And we’re here to help give you the top 5 tips for spooking out your Halloween prop. By the end you will have some tools to take scenario one and turn it into scenario two.

Smoke Machines: The fog in the second scenario was generated by smoke machines. While the use of a smoke machine may seem intimidating, they are very easy to use and very easy to maintain. Smoke machines come in varying sizes and wattage, with each machine producing different smoke results. Some blanket the ground with a thin sheet of fog, while others create rolling, puffy cloud coverage. Research your smoke machines before you finalize any purchase.

fog machine

Cobweb Effects: There is so much potential hidden within cobweb effects. Sure, you could stretch them out, stick them to a corner of your room, and leave them. But that’s rather simple and boring. Instead, place a red light behind the cobweb, thus giving the white web a blood-red hue. Even better, put the cobwebs in a pitch-black area, then place a flickering light behind them. The random pattern will surely spook out some people.

cobweb effects

Lights: Visual stimulation plays a vital role in creeping out your victims. Walking into a bright room is much different than walking into a darkened room, especially if there are shadows dancing on the wall. Utilize lights to create an intense image of insanity. Flickering lights work really well, but you are the only one who can determine which works the best.

halloween lights

Lawn Decorations: If you do not mind tearing up your lawn a bit, you can definitely heighten the Halloween experience with some torn earth. Bury some of your Halloween props in dirt, giving them an image of breaking out of a grave. Turn a section of your lawn into a graveyard. The smoke machine will definitely help give it some spook ambiance. Grass grows back, but Halloween only comes once per year.

outdoor halloween props

Top 4 Places to Put Halloween Decorations

Top 4 Places to Put Halloween Decorations

Even if you bought the best, most expensive, most detailed of Halloween decorations, poor placement can ruin their spooky potential. You cannot simply stick a corpse in a tree and call it scary, nor can you scatter bones about your living room and assume its creepy. It takes proper planning, diligently placing each of your Halloween decorations so as to create a complex web of sights, sounds, and ambiance.

If you want to create an exciting, memorable Halloween experience, here’s the locations to make it happen:

Kitchen: The morbid potential of your kitchen is nearly limitless. Normally, you want your cutlery, cooking area, and food to be sterile acceptable for consumption. Instead, turn that notion upside down through the use of Halloween decorations. Dump blood in the sink. Scatter organs and fingers and other fleshy bits across the cooking area. Purchase synthetic food that looks rotten, moldy. All of this imagery will overload your guests, hopefully causing stomachs to turn, kick, and lurch.

creepy kitchenware

Lawn: Unless you’re throwing a party or running a haunted house, your lawn is going to be the most viewed area. No matter the size of your lawn, all of that grass- or stone-covered earth holds great potential for your Halloween decorations. If you care to dig up your lawn a bit, half-bury some bones or zombie props. Turn your lawn into a thriving graveyard of undead monstrosities. To complete the ambiance, purchase a smoke machine and Gothic fencing.

halloween decorations

Porch: While still within the vicinity of your lawn, the porch is quite a different decorative demon to tackle. It gives you the outdoor atmosphere, without the outdoor earth. From hanging out candy to welcoming guests, countless individuals will be venturing up to your porch. Use this predetermine pathway to guide your guests into a spooky ensemble of Halloween decorations. Create a path of flickering lights. Welcome your guests with an animatronic prop. Just keep people coming forward, then hit them with the scariest prop when they have reached the actual porch.

halloween lights

Living Room: As the room that most individuals will be walking through or hanging out in, the living room must be carefully decorated. You do not want to clutter the room with large, obscure props, which get in the way of moving and socializing. However, you also want props that break the ice between strangers something for people to talk about. Decorate the walls, then focus on a central piece within the room. Purchase a large, detailed central piece and you will be all set.

indoor halloween decorations