The Aokigahara Forest: Suicide Capital of the World

The Aokigahara forest, also known as the Sea of Trees, is a 14 square mile forest that rests at the base of Mt. Fuji. It is known for being extremely quiet due to the density of the trees and absence of wildlife, and has an historic association with demons in Japanese mythology. It is also a popular place for suicides. There have been so many suicides in the forest, that there are signs up both in Japanese and English urging people to get help.

In 1998 74 people killed themselves in the forest; in 2002, 78. By 2003, the rate had climbed and exceeded the 100 mark. In 2004, 108 people killed themselves in the Sea of Trees and in 2010, 247 people at least attempted suicide, but only 54 completed the act. It is said that suicides increase in Japan toward the end of the fiscal year, which is in the month of March.

 

In recent years, the local government has quit publicizing the numbers of suicides in order to downplay the forest’s association with suicide. Every year since 1970 there has been an annual body search consisting of police, volunteers, and journalists.

The exact reason this forest is so popular for suicides remains a creepy mystery.

Small Iowa Town holds Bloody Mystery

At first glance Villisca, Iowa seems like any other middle class Midwestern town. But Villisca has a macabre history that many townsfolk would just as soon forget. If you go to Villisca and you know where to look, you will find an old white house nestled along a residential street. This house is different than other houses in that it was the site of a horrific murder that remains unsolved to this very day.

On the night of June 10th, 1912 this white house would turn to blood red. On this night, the Murder House as it is known today, witnessed the Villisca Axe Murders, in which the entire family of Josiah Moore and two other guests, a total of eight people, were savagely murdered.

Here are the facts:

-Eight people were murdered with an axe that was left at the crime scene.

-All of the victims appeared to have been sleeping at the time of the attacks.

-All of the victims faces were covered with bedclothes after they were killed.

-The ceiling of the parents bedroom and the childrens room showed gouge marks believed to be caused by the upswing of an axe.

-A pan of bloody water was discovered on the kitchen table along with a plate of uneaten food.

-A slab of bacon was on the floor in the downstairs bedroom lying near the axe and a second slab of bacon was found in the icebox.

In the immediate aftermath of the slayings there were a few suspects, including a priest, however, no one was ever convicted of the crime. Today, you can go to the small town and take a tour of the house, which was featured on a recent episode of Ghost Adventures. Some locals believe that the ghost of one or more of the victims of this murder still haunt the house. A documentary was made about the incident; titled, Villisca: Living With a Mystery, the film provides some of the most thorough information on the case. There was even a book written by Roy Marshall called, Villisca, which also details the events. As the 100 year anniversary has already come and gone, it seems unlikely that this mystery will ever be solved.

It’s Never too Early to Start Planning for Halloween!

For those of us who live in the world of Halloween 365 days a year, the summer season is the hardest. Fall is on the horizon and that means Halloween! But it’s not quite here, yet. You can bring the creeps to the summer heat by planning your Halloween haunts and parties now, before it’s too late!

Here’s how to get the party started in five easy steps:

 

  • Pick a theme Zombies and vampires are popular Halloween themes this year. No matter what you choose, make sure you go all out!
  • Find inspiration Search the web for costumes, d©cor, and Halloween props. Pinterest is a great site to find ideas and inspiration. You can create your own pin board to organize all your ideas online. And don’t forget to follow FrightCatalog.com when you’re there.
  • Buy or build props This is where all your ideas come to life. Props and decorations are an essential part of every home haunt. To add drama, don’t forget lighting, fog, music, and other scene setters.
  • Make the guest list Who do you want at the party? Are you hosting a haunted house for the neighborhood? Will it be a quiet party for a close group of friends or a monster bash that lasts through the night? Get a guest list down on paper and decide on invitations. The possibilities are endless!
  • Decorate & bake When October 1st rolls around, it is officially time to start decorating. We recommend starting on the inside of the house and working your way out as it gets closer to Halloween. Have as much of the food ready the night before as possible, you can always freeze and reheat!

So how soon is too soon to start your Halloween plans? There’s no such thing as too soon!

Ray Bradbury 1920-2012

Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451, Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Martian ChroniclesDandelion Wine, and over 500 other short stories, novels, poems, plays, and screenplays, passed away on June 5th at the age of 91.

Bradbury was a science fiction pioneer, often credited with bringing the genre into the mainstream. Few managed to escape high school without reading at least one of his works. His works often delved into fantasy, horror, mystery, and gothic topics that were able to capture the imagination of readers young and old, and has inspired generations of artists and dreamers. He began his legendary career writing for pulp magazines, though he is probably best known for his collections of short stories.

Ray Bradbury has received numerous awards for his writing including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, an Emmy Award, a Pulitzer Prize, a National Medal of Arts Award, and he made an impact in space with an asteroid named after him and a crater on the moon named in honor of Dandelion Wine. Bradbury was a prolific writer whose works will continue to inspire and change the way his readers view the world.

Brazilian Man Used Industrial Paint to Become The Incredible Hulk, But Paint Wouldn’t Come Off

Dressing up to celebrate the theatrical release of a film has become common practice. People cosplay as their favorite characters, showing off their fandom and appreciation for a specific story. But for Paulo Henrique dos Santos, a Brazilian pool attendant, using Hulk costumes or makeup to recreate his favorite superhero’s image was not enough.

Paulo Henrique dos Santos used industrial strength green paint, the kind typically used for ballistic missiles and nuclear submarines, to recreate the image of The Incredible Hulk. Later, when he tried to scrub the pain off, he realized that no matter how hard he scrubbed, the paint remained on his skin.

According to Brazilian site Globo Extra, dos Santos covered himself in the paint for a running event. He originally planned to use regular paint, but local shops were all sold out of the brand he wanted to use. This led him to discover the industrial strength paint.

After dos Santos realized the paint would not come off, pictures of his painted body hit the Internet, turning him into an overnight celebrity in the Vila Cruzeiro favela of Rio Janeiro. The most infamous, and hilarious, of the photos involve him and his mother double-teaming the paint.

To avoid potentially ruining bed sheets or mattresses, dos Santos slept in a room full of plastic bags. He also feared that the industrial paint would cause lead poisoning.

Thankfully, after a team of family members and friends scrubbed dos Santos for 24 hours, the paint finally came off and dos Santos is back to his normal self. It seems that dos Santos’s attempt to recreate the Incredible Hulk made him an incredible individual in the process.

Elvis Presley’s Crypt Up For Auction

Own an Elvis costume? Consider yourself the biggest fan of The King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley? Well, you fanatic fan, now is your chance to own a huge part of Elvis’s history: the first crypt where Elvis was laid to rest.

On June 23, 2012, Darren Julien, a celebrity auctioneer, is expected to auction off Elvis Presley’s original crypt. The auction is part of the Sports Legends and Music Icons auction, which is expected to have 1,000 other items sold along with The King’s crypt, including Yoko Ono’s sunglasses and costumes worn by the Jackson 5.

elvis crypt1

The crypt.

After Elvis passed away on August 16, 1977, he was buried alongside his mother, Gladys, at the Forest Hill Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee. Two months later, Elvis’s body was removed from that first crypt and transported to his Graceland home, where he was buried again. The first crypt has remained empty since Elvis’s body was moved.

Bidding for the crypt is scheduled to begin at $100,000, and, according to Juliens website, This lot includes: the crypt where Elvis was once entombed; opening and closing of the vault and crypt for burial; memorialization inscription; and use of a small chapel for a committal service.

elvis crypt2

The King.

Whether you have an unhealthy obsession with The King, or have a relative ready to kick the bucket in the next few months, this crypt is ideal for anyone looking to own a piece of history. Better start saving up the pennies, though, because this auction is sure to skyrocket well past the starting big of $100,000.

An Interview with Kane Hodder

Back in December of 2010 the Haunt Club interviewed Kane Hodder, the actor who portrayed Jason Voorhees in four of the Friday the 13th films. Rather than let the interview be buried in history, we decided to show it off for everyone to enjoy. So, without further discussions, here is the interview:


Calvin: First off, how was your Halloween this year? Do you ever don the Jason Voorhees outfit and scare the neighborhood kids?

Jason: Halloween was great. I was in New York City on Halloween Day for a couple big TV interviews for Fox and Friends and Good Day NY. I also did several radio interviews for Sirius and then got to watch all the people in Times Square in their costumes. There was even a Jason walking around! Ahhh memories.

Calvin: You’re the only actor to play three of the most iconic horror icons in the history of film: Leatherface, Jason Voorhees, and Victor Crowley. Is there something that attracted you to these characters?

Kane: I have often said that my actual personality is closer to that of a maniacal murderer than most people’s personalities, so the trip to that state of mind is a quick one for me. Sounds like a joke, but I’m serious. Most actors will tell you it’s more fun being the bad guy. I absolutely love it. Some people say I enjoy it too much.

Calvin: Of the three characters, do you have a favorite?

Kane: Jason put me on the map, so that character will always be very close to my heart, but I also love the Victor Crowley character as well. It’s always nice to originate a character and continue with his story.

Calvin: Your body language behind these characters, it’s horrifying, and really lends to the character’s personality. How difficult was it to immerse yourself into the mind of a sociopath?

Kane: It was easy. Very easy. What does that tell you?

Calvin: Does this sociopathic body language help when you play poker?

Kane: The body language doesn’t necessarily help while playing poker, but the history of my antics on and off the set, while playing the character help somewhat. My image of being unpredictable and crazy on the set makes poker foes worry about that stuff happening instead of concentrating on just poker. Anything to distract them is good for me.

Calvin: In Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, the script called for Jason to kick the main character’s dog, but you refused, claiming that Jason was not that bad. Can you share your thoughts on Jasons morality?

Kane: I didn’t necessarily think it was a moral choice. I just always thought that if anything, Jason would identify with an animal. Not hurt it. Humans were responsible for what happened to Jason. Not animals.

Calvin: Alright enough morality, do you have a favorite kill scene?

Kane: Favorite Jason kill is the sleeping bag and favorite all-time kill is ripping the woman’s head apart by her jaw in Hatchet. Both are pure genius. Does that sound weird?

Calvin: In your autobiography, Unmasked: The True Life Story of the World’s Most Prolific, Cinematic Killer, you thank all of your fans for their love and admiration. That is, except for the guy who sent you a bottle of freshly squeezed semen. Care to talk about your reaction?

Kane: Utter shock, when I realized what it was. I guess he thought I would be flattered. Uhhh, nope. And I thought I was fucked up in the head.

Calvin: There’s a rumor going around that you’re a Juggalo and huge fan of the Insane Clown Posse. What attracted you to this crowd – music, style, maybe some lyrical message?

Kane: I just love the music and the attitude. Best concerts I have ever been to.

Calvin: Has your ghost hunting group, Hollywood Ghost Hunters, found anything recently?

Kane: Because of Mike Aloisi and I being on our book tour for the last 3 months, we haven’t had much chance to go ghost hunting. We were able to investigate Rolling Hills Asylum in the summer and we just spent a few days at the Stanley Hotel, which was very cool.

Calvin: Do you have any upcoming projects we should keep an eye out for?

Kane: We will be shooting Hatchet 3 in the next few months. I play an abused husband in a movie called The Afflicted. Chillerama comes out next week. I did a 3D horror version of Robin Hood in Germany where I play Little John. I’m a bisexual sadist in a film called Tag. I did an untitled comedy with Adam Rifkin and a prison movie with Tony Todd called Cut. Lots of fun stuff.

Calvin: As a parting question, do you have any advice for individuals looking to score horror roles?

Kane: Be natural with your violence Or I’ll kill you.

World Goth Day

Today, May 22, marks the celebration known as World Goth Day, a day in which people across the world celebrate all things pertaining to the Goth culture. The celebration began, according to the day’s unofficial website, back in 2009, when the BBC6 Music weekend was celebrating various genres of music. May 22, as it so happened, focused on the Gothic genre. The rest is history.

Since the first day in 2009, World Goth Day has gone on to expand from its British roots to the rest of the world. As stated on the Huffington Post, Club nights across the UK and USA are set to take part in Goth night. Events in Cape Town, California, Maine will draw in hundreds of leather-clad, makeup-laden party-goers, while in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, there will be a fundraiser for the Sophie Lancaster Trust.

(Sophie Lancaster was bullied and killed because of her Gothic image. Sophie’s mother, along with numerous subcultures, created the charitable trust to combat prejudice and hate.)

Since May 22 often falls on a Wednesday, the World Goth Day unofficial website says, “It’s understood that May 22nd might not be a convenient date for everyone to celebrate Goth Day (let’s face it; Wednesdays are a ghost-ship for any event at the best of times), so it’s more of a guideline than a hard & fast rule. Most good events happen on a weekend, but we’ll cross that bridge as the years go by.”

Maybe you could be crossing that very bridge this weekend.

If there was every a time when wearing intense makeup and dying your hair was appropriate, today is that day. Gather up your friends, throw on your darkest clothing, and party until the sun descends and rises again.

Bullockornis: The Demon Duck of Doom

Approximately 15 million years ago, in what is now known as Australia, there lived the bird Bullockornis, which stood approximately 2.5 meters (8ft 2in) tall. The flightless bird, now extinct, is believed to have weighed up to 250kg (550 lbs). The bird featured a skull with a large beak, ideal for shearing, which indicates the bird may have been carnivorous. According to Wikipedia, The birds skull is larger than that of many small horses.

Bullockornis statues, Kings Park, Western Australia.

Many paleontologists believe that Bullockornis was related to geese and ducks. This generic relationship, in addition to the birds tremendous size and skull beak, is why Bullockornis eventually received the nickname The Demon Duck of Doom.

Skull.

Imagine one of these primordial creatures chasing you down a block, or using their massive beak to tear open your chest. After all, they were carnivorous, and standing approximately eight feet tall, there are a few creatures who would have taken on a flock of these birds.

That’s a fear you don’t see featured prominently in Halloween props: avian. More haunted houses needed to follow in Alfred Hitchcock’s footsteps. That man understood what it meant to use birds to scare audiences. If anyone uses birds in their haunt, let me know, because I demand more avian!

Evil Dead The Musical

While searching around for recent information regarding the still-in-production Evil Dead remake, I stumbled upon something that absolutely blew my mind: Evil Dead The Musical.

That’s right a musical based off the classic cult horror film series The Evil Dead. The musical features plotlines from the whole Evil Dead series, but it primarily features the characters and storyline of the original Evil Dead film. The comedy and writing is more comedic than horrifying, like that of Army of Darkness.

The musical is also rather messy, featuring explosive blood and gore. In fact, the three rows of seats closest to the stage is called the splatter zone, because the musical includes explosive blood and gore. According to the website, Blood flies. Limbs are dismembered. Audience members sitting in the splatter zone are encouraged to wear trashy clothing, because they will get covered with gory props and fake blood.

For those individuals who dislike either Evil Dead or musicals, the website has something to say: You don’t need to be a fan of Evil Dead to love this show. You don’t need to be a fan of horror to love this show. You don’t even need to be a fan of musicals to love this show. As long as you like having fun this show is for you.

Although the musical began back in 2003, in Toronto, Ontario, it has since spread all about the world, from Tokyo to Kalamazoo, becoming a cult classic of its own. Current and future productions are listed here:

  • Vancouver, BC Opens May 3, 2012
  • Las Vegas, NV Opens June 22, 2012
  • Fredericton, NB Opens July 7, 2012
  • Wilmington, DE Opens July 28, 2012
  • Calgary, AB Opens August 14, 2012
  • Manitowoc, WI Opens October 31, 2012 (Halloween!)
  • Fort Collins, CO Opens April 11, 2013

 

If you find yourself close to any one of the current or upcoming shows, definitely check it out. We’re expecting to hit one of them won’t say which one but you may see the Fright team in the splatter zone.