Nov 26 2015

Toxic Turtle

Tomorrow will mark Gamera’s 50th anniversary since the release of his first film in 1965. It would be tempting to celebrate by sharing the trailer for the upcoming Gamera movie, but I want to discuss something truly special about the character in honor of this occasion. More specifically, Gamera’s early appearances in American pop culture. Gamera movies had very little impact for a surprisingly long period of time despite Gamera having been released in US theaters as Gammera the Invincible in 1966 and having the other Showa films play on television. If you had never seen any of the films, you might find a reference to Gamera in monster magazines and reference books. Gamera seems to have been the inspiration for Triax from Marvel’s Godzilla, King of the Monsters comic book, but this has never been confirmed. The first definite reference in an American work comes from Blue Oyster Cult’s Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser, who released a song called “Gamera is Missing” as part of the 1989 album Guitar’s Practicing Musicians. Not being confined to an instructional album, the Gamera reference in Elvira’s 1994 “Monsta’ Rap” did get more exposure but still failed to create wider knowledge of the character among the general public.

1994 turned out to be a big year for Gamera in the states, as he made an appearance in Bubba Ho-Tep scribe Joe R. Lansdale’s short story “Godzilla’s Twelve Step Program” and made his first visual appearance in the video game Gex. Well, sort of. The flying turtle depicted in the game was a mechanical monster referred to as “Toxic Turtle” but the game’s protagonist sometimes references Gamera by name during the encounter. Presumably this was done in order to keep the developer from getting sued. But it was a big shock for Gamera fans who either played the game or caught brief glimpses of it during the publicity campaign for Gex. I remember searching out the game’s strategy guide to get a better look at the character (and to see if it was referred to as “Gamera”). Thanks to Varuna Kozuka, you can see this historic moment for yourself:

While the sequel Gex : Enter The Gecko had a level called “Gexzilla vs Mecharez,” Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko surprisingly did not feature any tokusatsu references. The Gamera reference in Gex was very appropriate. Not the part about a Japanese movie monster appearing in level based on Chinese martial arts movies, mind you. That was just stupid. But using him in a video game based around a character being pulled into worlds based on television programming is perfect because that’s where the bulk of Gamera movies appeared in America. American International Pictures released the bulk of the Showa films to television in edited form, with Gamera vs. Monster X (which is more commonly referred to as Gamera vs. Jiger these days) being the only one to mention Gamera in the title. Everything else had generic titles like Attack of the Monsters and Return of the Giant Monsters. So if you had seen Gammera the Invincible, you weren’t likely to figure out it had sequels. Unlike the case with Godzilla movies, there weren’t a flood of posters, trailers and radio spots to promote the Gamera films. So there was no chance of people who had never seen the films being even vaguely aware of the character and he rarely showed up in trailer compilations. The films often appeared as fodder for local horror hosts or as random time filler on independent stations.

Things changed in the 80’s. That’s when Sandy Frank Productions obtained the license for most of the old films. In addition to often having new dubs and extra footage, these prints had titles which actually let you know they involved Gamera. Gamera vs. Viras and Gamera vs. Jiger were mysteriously absent, but Gamera vs. Zigra made its US debut. However, AIP successor Filmways Pictures released Gamera, Super Monster directly to television rather than Sandy Frank. But Sandy Frank’s Gamera movies had home video releases unlike the Filmways release. But good luck finding them at rental stores. I’ve visited countless establishments in several states and only saw Gamera tapes twice (and one of those times was just a sealed copy in a “For Sale” bin). Once again the films were treated as filler and horror host fodder, but they started appearing on cable stations as well. Gamera, Super Monster appeared on the syndicated series Movie Macabre and clips from the Sandy Frank catalog appeared on the “Accidental Playhouse” episode of Pee-wee’s Playhouse in 1990. But their most famous appearance has its origins in an independent station called KTMA picking up the Sandy Frank package of films. This led to their being mocked on the original version of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and the staff had so much fun they decided to revisit the movies when Comedy Central picked up the series in the 90’s. The popularity of the show and its numerous reruns on a major cable station did more for Gamera than most kaiju fans would care to admit. ADV’s release of the Heisei Gamera trilogy also helped boost his popularity both among critics and the public, but I suspect Joel and the bots had more to do with Gamera references being made on shows like The Simpsons, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy and Justice League Unlimited. I also suspect these references will breed further references to the titanic turtle in future works of American pop culture.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy (Early) Birthday Gamera!

Nov 19 2015

Sudden Chillers

One of my most promising new sources of audio horror is Eric D. Cota’s Sudden Chillers. In his role as “The Chiller,” he both knows how to write and tell great original horror fiction. He also knows the importance of mood and instructs his listeners to turn down the lights and turn up the volume in order to maximize the sense of fear. The interludes of scary music and sound effects also add to the overall feel.


Sudden Chillers: Audio Exposure Volume 1 effectively starts out with “The Chiller’s Encounter.” As the name suggests, we get to meet our host against a spooky sonic backdrop. His first story is “Lewiston Avenue” and you can practically see the street thanks to the detailed and evocative narration. Walking by a graveyard may be safe to do by day, but one unfortunate man learns that isn’t the case at night. The short “Whispers of Reality” is appropriately told in a whisper. Do you think you’re alone in the dark? Think again. “Room for One More” acts as a short introduction into the final story. “Final Grade” brings us to a funeral home, where a woman is wondering how one is judged in afterlife. Finally the Chiller releases us in his own gruesome manner in “Undead and Buried.”


Sudden Chillers: Audio Exposure Volume 2 opens with the Chiller’s welcome in “Exhumed.” “Reflections of a Corpse” brings us to another funeral home. This time, a new employee loads corpses into storage and wonders just what happens when we die. The crematorium scene is especially gripping thanks to its use of sound effects. “Dog” deals with a beloved family pet and a robbery gone wrong. Telling you more would only spoil the fun. I don’t know what the eeriest part of “Deterioration of Age” is. It’s either the Chiller pontificating on the nature of death or the eerie kid laughing. A man is haunted by faces he sees everywhere in “Faces in Madness.” I just love the final line. “Soup” starts with a man making soup. And the ending? As if you don’t know what a horror tale about soup would be like. “Interment” closes things out as the Chiller takes us out as he makes the listener imagine themselves as a corpse in the earth.

As you can see, the Sudden Chillers series offers original tales of terror paired with excellent music and effects. The audio is crystal clear and my only complaint is that I wish there were more (and longer) stories. I was reminded of online creepypasta readings, but this albums will definitely still appeal to those who don’t care for such things. As long as you can handle mature language and descriptions of violence, you should be fine! In the age of digipacks, it’s nice to have discs still being offered in jewel cases. So if you want to order your own copies (or listen to some samples), just head on over to the Sudden Chillers website. But that’s not all! In addition to the upcoming third release, he also has plans for the book Sudden Chillers – Dark Tales from Haunted Woods and is currently trying to get a short film adaptation of “Soup” off the ground. You can keep up with all the developments at the official Sudden Chillers Facebook page.

Special thanks to Eric D. Cota for use of the images!

Nov 03 2015

John Cougar Concentration Camp- Armageddon Party EP

JCCCcover_400w  Oh glorious day. We have seen the return of John Cougar Concentration Camp. A legendary band who has seen multiple members playing in up to 3 bands at any one time. A band who started in the mid 90’s, released a few albums and EPs and called it quits and reunite every now and again.

Now, in 2015, Rad Girlfriend Records brings us this 4 song 7″ slab of punk from the band with arguably the greatest name of all time.

Armageddon Party brings a musicianship not heard in bands of recent times. And the 4 tracks on here are strong and each have their own identity so the songs don’t all sound the same song run together like some bands do. And while all songs are good and the final track even has Joe King featured on it, it is side A of this wax that is the barn burner. Holy shit!!

The title track has such a great structure and melody along with awesome guitar work, that it instantly makes your toes tap and your head nod. A song that makes you feel wonderful as the lyrics discuss the eagerness for the end of the world. Armageddon Party indeed.

The second song, “Not That Dumb” also gets stuck in your head quite quickly and has your heart bouncing in all the right ways.

Here is to hoping, fingers crossed, of a future full length. An album full of songs like these would definitely be in the running for album of the year.

So head on over to Rad Girlfriend Records at and pick up a copy. It’ll be the best $5 you’ve spent all year.

And while you’re there, grab that Raging Nathans record you’ve been eyeballing.

Nov 03 2015

Godzilla 1985’s 30th Anniversary

Today is not the day Godzilla 1985 was released in America, but it really has been 30 years. Any potential confusion is appropriate considering how the film was mistakenly marketed here as being released for Godzilla’s 30th anniversary. While this was true for the original Japanese version’s release in 1984, the US version was a year too early to tie into the first film’s American release in 1956. But somebody got confused along the way and part of the film’s massive American publicity campaign included a special tribute. Other parts of the campaign include:

That last one deserves a special note. The music video was actually linked to Dr. Pepper and apparently the song is about being afraid to love that particular soft drink!

Happy Birthday Godzilla!

Oct 31 2015

6’+ Episode 162 (The 2015 Halloween Special) is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“Happy Halloween! Strange Jason is spending the holiday with a special guest: EK THE GHOUL from PHANTOM CREEP THEATRE! These two will have plenty of time to party, as it seems Jason is cursed to live the same Halloween over and over again! Will MONSTERMATT PATTERSON and IGOR be able to help? What will the GDL16 INTERN do? Will the selection of Halloween music break this spell? Get your costumes on because it’s time to go trick or treating!”

Remember to email 6′+ (contact at or leave a comment below about the show, whether you liked it or not. Tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, but above all – enjoy.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud.

Oct 31 2015

Halloween, Kava Kon Style

Some might frown at people carving anything other than a pumpkin to make a Jack O’Lanterns, but I think it’s perfectly acceptable. There are some amazing watermelon carvings out there and the whole carving tradition originally involved turnips. So pineapple Tiki O’Lanterns are fine in my book. Especially when they are accompanied by creepy music from their creator, Nels Truesdell:

You might remember Mr. Truesdell from his work in Kava Kon. He also provided the original graveyard lounge backing music for our podcast. Considering how music used in this particular video does not appear on said podcast or any previous albums, hopefully this means it will appear in full on a future album. Perhaps on the upcoming Maritime Mysteries album? Only time will tell.

Happy Halloween!

Oct 30 2015

Sounds to Scare By: Sinister Sounds

Sinister Sounds
Official Site
Gothic Nightmares, Sinister Sounds Records 2015


Scott Karan has been very busy since he released Dark Ride back in 2012. 2014 saw the release of his spooky single Happily Ever After, which made excellent use of soft music to create feelings of dread and mystery. That year was also when he won a Frightee Award. This was soon followed by reissued version of his past Prelude to a Nightmare albums with new cover art on ReverbNation. Gothic Nightmares is the first release from his new side project, Sinister Sounds. In addition to creating high definition soundscapes and sound effects, the project will also feature a vast collection of royalty free sound effects and instructional videos on making your own. Mr. Karan also informed me that Sinister Sounds will be open to collaborations and how this is part of the reason Prelude to a Nightmare is being kept separate from it.

“Hey, Hey We’re the Monkeys” is a misleading title. It makes me think of a jungle or maybe a warped parody of the so-called “Faux Four.” But instead it consists of chanting monks, distant tolling bells and wind effects! This is a perfect match for a cult sacrifice scene or a hallway lined with robed figures. Just how many are really costumed performers ready to leap into action is entirely up to you. “Subterranean Terror” uses unnerving noises and dripping sounds to transport the listener into an underground realm where strange creatures cry and skitter about in the darkness. Haunted caves, dungeons and mine shaft scenes could all benefit from having this playing from a hidden speaker. This originally appeared as a bonus track on Carpe Noctum but was left off of the reissued version. However, this version is much longer than it was in its original presentation. Tolling bells and creepy whispers are the stars of “Demonic Confessions,” but there are other effective little touches as well.

I just love the name “Gravedigger’s Alarm Clock (Ambient Mix).” Tolling bells make another appearance here and the heavy musical tones are downright chilling. The wailing winds which close the track out are also a great touch. “Tales From the Crypt” is the longest track of the album, which is impressive given how only a handful are more than a few minutes in length. It’s a disturbing audio tour through a dank and pest-ridden crypt which absolutely needs to be heard in order to be appreciated. “Zombie Brunch” features just what the name implies: a soundscape of groaning zombies messily chewing human flesh. “Smoldering Sanctum (Ambient Mix)” takes us back the underground places promised by “Subterranean Terror” and “Tales From the Crypt,” but does offer a few new touches of its own. Finally, the digging and heavy breathing of “Graveyard Shift” close things out. But is it the gravedigger or something else that’s doing the breathing? Only one thing is certain: it’s a must for any haunted cemetery setup. You don’t need an animatronic gravedigger, but it admittedly does go well with the digging sounds. If your cemetery is big enough, you can get away with not showing a gravedigger of any kind and let visitors assume they are working somewhere out of sight.

Gothic Nightmares is an absolute must have for any haunt owner or Halloween lover. Its versatility allows for use in countless types of haunt scenes and the length of the tracks make them ideal for looping. All you need to make this perfect for repeatedly playing in full on All Hallow’s Eve is have a few tombstones and prop zombie in your yard. Or you could really give people a good scare by using a helper pretending to be an inanimate zombie. It’s all about what works best for you. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what other material Sinister Sounds will bring us in the future.

Special thanks to Sinister Sounds for use of the image!

Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for the content on or anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of visiting any links on the above sites (or constructing a project that’s detailed on them). This also applies to the suggestions made here. Attempt at your own discretion.

Oct 29 2015

Music to Haunt By: The Dark Rift

Music For Haunts
Official Site
The Dark Rift, Music For Haunts Recordings 2015


Another year has passed and the time has come for a new collection of Chris Thomas’ themes from various haunted attractions around the country. The Dark Rift brings us selections from Evermore Adventure Park, the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride and Albany Haunt (among many others) made especially for the 2014 haunt season. Just like last time, Mr. Thomas made sure to get a little help from his friends. He was joined in the vocal work by Sophie Spencer, Flora Spencer, Charles McDonald, Coralee Choules, Josh Bedlion, Justin Meyer and Sam Weller. Sam Templeman has once again hit it out of the park with his cover art and the lyricists from A Child’s Nightmare (Justin Meyer and Nikki Muller) are back as well. But the rest is all Chris. Before I get into my review proper, I also want to note how the following tracks featuring a woman singing “La la la” at some point: “The Dark Rift,” “Gate of Hades,” “Demon of Hades,” “The Dark One Rises,” “Golgotha” and “Flight of the Crows.” I mention this not only to save myself time, but to also let those who want to establish a running musical theme in their haunted attraction know what to use.

“The Dark Rift” kicks things off with a heavy buildup, haunting piano work and ghostly wails. The lull before the loud chorus sudden bursts in will surely mislead any listener. The organ and strings go nicely with the unisex voices singing in Latin, too. Did I also mention there’s a rock section as well? A loud horn implies heavy footsteps in “Clown Castle,” which are soon joined by clowns laughing and merry-go-round music. The sense of menace lurking just underneath the cheery stuff is simply perfect. Sometimes it even bubbles to the surface thanks to the wordless vocals. The eerie opening of “Gate of Hades” calls back to the first track. I just love the ghostly effects and piano work in this. Its melancholy nature and music box segment allow for its use in several types of haunt areas. When in doubt, just hit guests with a Pepper’s Ghost effect. “Demon of Hades” is a brief rock version of the preceding track and it is amazing. The distortions and twisted vocals really sell this one. String work opens “The Witch’s Woods,” aided by female vocals and piano work. The music makes it very clear the woods are a place of mystery and danger. But despite the name, I can see this working in any witch-themed area in your haunt. “Little Devils” is sometimes known as “Wicked Little Devils” and it is quite the interesting surprise. It’s a song designed to remind you of something from an old children’s Halloween album. The addition of scratches adds to the feel of an old record playing and the method how the sounds of doorbells are integrated into the music is a delight. Here’s how I see you using this for a haunted house: people enter a room set up to look like the inside of a typical house on Halloween. There are a few decorations set up and there’s a bowl full of candy on a small table by the door. A record player turns on by itself and this track plays. If the song’s message and candy bowl don’t lure people towards the door, the sudden knocking will. But when they approach, a head suddenly bursts up from the candy bowl! Your hidden helper is disguised by a helmet covered in candy, a plastic bowl with a hole cut in it and a variation of the old “head without a body” trick. You could get away with using a tablecloth, but people might suspect something is up that way. You don’t just want to scare them; you want them to wonder how you pulled it off.

“Hydra’s Lair” is not what you would expect. There’s no hissing monster or cave ambiance. Instead we get male voices chanting in Latin, soon followed by unnervingly eerie tones. Strings are the thing in “The Dark One Rises!” and they get quite the workout. The sudden transition to subdued guitars and wordless vocal vocals is very effective. “Osiris’s Underworld” effortlessly combines tribal drums, sneaky strings and male chanting voices to create fear and dread. Don’t let its name trick you into thinking this can only work in a mummy’s tomb. It yearns to be paired with dark ceremonies and other scary settings. “Hillbilly Stalkers” is the album’s shortest track thanks to it being well under a minute long. Its beautiful and folksy feel defies expectations of some reject from Deliverance. Its use of violins and ethereal vocals bring in the horror aspect. Have this play when people first enter your haunted swamp or spooky redneck shack rather than trying to loop it. Using it with a motion sensor is highly recommended. “Storming Vampire Castle” feels like something from a lost Hammer horror film. Those sweeping and epic horns, the creepy strings and bells and the pounding percussion which sounds like the clash of swords! This would be spectacular even without the vocals and organ work. You simply have to use this in a haunted throne room or Dracula’s lair. “The Witch’s Curse” is filled with exotic, yet folksy music. It also has a creepy woman chanting, whispers and wordless unisex vocals. Haunting vocals are also a major part of “Golgotha,” along with piano work, organs and violins. It also has lighter moments which allow its use in a nursery scene. “Flight of the Crows” is fast and intense, with plenty of cello work and female chanting. Mr. Thomas told me this was used for a scene involving crow people hanging from swaying poles. Somehow I get the feeling nobody reading this will be trying to recreate that particular setup. “Bobo the Clown’s Porcelain Nightmares” starts with the distant sounds of people at circus. The crackling effects layered over the carousel music remind me of an old loudspeaker. Evil clown laughter cuts in and out and the music deteriorates into unevenness. “Freakshow” offers a new take on the folksy exoticness I noted earlier. It’s good for general listening as well as haunting. “Halloween Comes Tonight” is another wonderful kids’ record throwback, only without scratches or pops. The dreamy percussion and pianos of “Only In Dreams” are far too beautiful and leaves one wondering if this was included by mistake. It’s not. In fact, it foreshadows something much spookier later on. It could also be used in a funeral scene. Spooky strings and the overall feel from other folksy exotic tracks make up “The Bard’s Tale,” which is also home to an incredible string duet. “Ghosts of the Great War Triage” is a much more supernatural take on “Only In Dreams” and the sound effect used at the beginning let you use it in a room where an audio player turns on by itself. Let the patrons focus on the music so they’ll never suspect the performer sneaking up on them. Having someone pop in through the curtains of what appeared to be an outside window is even better. While it has many of the touches I noted from previous tracks using this concept, the addition of storm effects and ghostly wailing add an extra sense of fear to “Haunted Backwoods.” Its restraint in parts is also an interesting change of pace.

This is just the album you need if you think you’ve experienced everything the world of spooky ambient music has to offer. The inclusion of several tracks which double as regular listening music are also a nifty bonus. They really make me want to seek out his soundtrack to the film Grow Up, Tony Phillips. Especially since it involves Halloween! With only one exception, all the tracks are easily looped for individual use. I don’t know how Chris Thomas will top himself next year, but I am absolutely certain he’ll do it.

Special thanks to Music For Haunts for use of the image!

Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for the content on or anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of visiting any links on the above sites (or constructing a project that’s detailed on them). This also applies to the suggestions made here. Attempt at your own discretion.

Oct 28 2015

Music to Haunt By: Nightmare Chronicles

Michael Hedstrom
Official Site
Nightmare Chronicles, Hedstorm Productions 2014


I think it’s safe to say I have been waiting for Nightmare Chronicles almost as long as Michael Hedstrom has. It was in the works for years and premise of was just too good to miss out on. An album which explores several different horror concepts while uniting them under the theme of a nightmare? Brilliant! Who hasn’t had a dream which changed and jumped around at some point in their lives?

The unnerving noises which open “Enter Dreamland” remind me of sirens and are a constant over the dark string work. The combination of percussion and loudly chanting wordless unisex vocals near the end are also a great touch. “Lost Wandering” also uses a “siren,” albeit one which goes in and out of the track. The dreamlike (yet moody) guitar work has a somewhat medieval feel and the crunching noises leave you wondering whether they are leaves or bones. Organ work, soft vocals and other spooky touches are layered in as well and it all comes to a close with tolling bells. I suggest using this in either a haunted forest or castle setting. “Ballerina Vallassa” alternates between a relaxing and dangerous tone. Dramatic strings enhance the slow, steady piano work and flute while the chimes add dreamy touches. Even at its most beautiful, there is always a sense of darkness. If your haunted house has a area set up to look like a woman’s room, use this track with a ballerina music box which starts on its own. “Creepers” features wailing wind and bursts of piano, along with a constant background sensation of things creeping and crawling around. The occasional percussion and strange cries nicely contrast with the uneasy woodwinds. If you have a bug room or scene involving a giant spider, this is an absolute must. “Mother” has a loud and effective opening sure to remind you of a horror movie. You’ll know what I mean when you hear it. Soft screeching bats (or whispers), touches of bells and gong bursts further aid the mood. Even the lighter moments brought on by the chimes and strings are eerie. The same can be said for the wordless female vocals. This could work in a vampire’s lair or even a haunted nursery. That last room idea is also a good match for “Living Dolls,” whose plinking tones and bursts of loud music will give any listener the sense of music boxes and running cartoon characters. It alternates between “peppy” and “danger,” while marching drums and parts which remind me of a calliope also mean circus potential. Dramatic strings and low horns bring the horror by the end of track, along with bursts of vocals.

The eerie opening of “Stranded” leads to soft chirping and sci-fi musical tones. There’s plenty of otherworldly “high tech” sound effects which are a great match for any laboratory or alien room. “Frozen” offers spooky strings and light touches of piano. Are those gusts of wind? You’d better believe it! The gongs and “siren” are nice touches as well. The industrial-style opening and catchy beat of “Nano” make its dance potential very clear. There’s moody synths, creepy effects, dramatic moments and more sci-fi musical touches. It’s a must for parties, waiting areas or haunted club scenes. It could maybe even fit in a lab due to its storm, bubbling and crackling electricity effects. “The Pit” is the longest track and its dark, moody opening makes wonderful use of strings and wordless vocals. In other words it’s extremely atmospheric. The horror musical stingers and light piano contrast nicely. The spooky fluting goes surprisingly well with the wordless male vocals and dripping effects. It works with any haunted cave, dungeon, sewer, bottomless pit and various other spooky scenes. There is so much to love about “The House on the Hill.” The wind and mournful string work, the spooky organ music and the constant storm effects are fantastic. Said effects are as varied as the organ, which makes things seem more realistic. Any haunted room or phantom organist scene would benefit from your playing this. “Recital” is filled with low, slow piano work. But what would you expect given its name? The ethereal tones and woodwinds make it especially ghostly and offer great potential for a séance room. The clanking metal of “Solitary” gives it an industrial feel. There are other eerie touches as well, such as the warbling music which sounds like an old phonograph. What chain maze, boiler room or haunted storage room wouldn’t need this? Things close out with the dance track “Nefertiti.” Like the name implies, it has an “Egyptian” vibe to it and its catchy electro beat gives Sam Haynes a run for his money. If you run a “Haunted House of Rock,” be sure to make this the theme to your mummy scene!

Michael Hedstrom has really outdone himself with Nightmare Chronicles. Its variety of themes give him a chance to spread his wings and show off his talents in other types of music. The lengths of the tracks make looping a breeze and you have plenty of to pick and choose from. On top of that, you also get some tracks for your next Halloween party playlist! So head on over to his Bandcamp page and pick up your copy. You won’t ever regret it. while you’re there, you can also learn about some details I missed back when I first reviewed his work.

Special thanks to Hedstorm Productions for use of the image!

Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for the content on or anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of visiting any links on the above sites (or constructing a project that’s detailed on them). This also applies to the suggestions made here. Attempt at your own discretion.

Oct 28 2015

Costume Crazyness 2015

The only thing cooler than this zombie werewolf costume is the actual concept of a zombie werewolf. Can you imagine a movie that starts off as a standard zombie apocalypse film, only for one of the zombies to turn into a werewolf when the moon is full? Come to think of it, it might even be cooler if the zombie turns back into a human after the moon goes back down since only silver bullets can truly kill a werewolf.

I can’t figure out if “Ex Talk Show Host” is incredibly mean or incredibly frightening.

A “Zombie Sock Monkey.” Because why not?

This is not a werewolf mask, it’s a vampire Mr. T mask if I ever saw one.

It’s not too often that you see underwear featuring a Freddy Kreuger knock-off.

How is this shirt in any way related to creepypasta?

Look, it’s “Nail Head Man” and totally not Pinhead. No sir!

Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 27 2015

Music to Haunt By: The Incredible Dark Carnival

Sam Haynes
Official Site
The Incredible Dark Carnival, Haunt Music 2015


If you’re like me, the idea of a haunted circus leaves you cold. I’ve had to review albums based on the concept so many times that I am completely out of ideas. But at the same time I can’t blame any artist for choosing it as an album theme. It would be foolish for any haunted ambiance artist to pass up on guaranteed sales by composing something for this wildly popular theme. But my hesitation was cast aside upon hearing how Sam Haynes was going to tackle the concept. Spooky carnival tunes with an 80’s horror dance twist? Count me in!

In “Carnival of the devil,” a crackling and creepy sample from One Step Beyond about strange happenings at a carnival really sets the mood. Soft electro beats and synth stabs create a feeling of danger and suspense. The wordless female vocals add an extra layer of terror to the mix. There are also some lighter touches which work nicely with the carnival theme, one segment even reminds me of a carousel. Using tracks with dialogue samples is tricky, but the carnival theme does allow one to play this through a loudspeaker and pass it off as an announcer talking. The opening build of the lengthy “At Midnight” reminds me of violins. Its general eerie tone eventually transforms into an 80’s horror movie feel. Militaristic drums make their first of many appearances in this album, as do dance segments. This can be used in the waiting area or just about any haunt scene you can think of. The same can be said for “Electric Freakshow.” Its opening may have freaky merry-go-round feel to it, but the pounding synth beats kick up the scare factor. I’m also quite fond of the piano solo and ethereal female vocals. If you want something a little different for your haunted nursery, this is the track for you! “Here come the clowns” has a sample about clowns take us to an off-kilter circus march. The wordless vocals and synth work add to the overall effect. “Switchblade sideshow” busts out another sample, along with a frantic and rockin’ carousel beat. The catchy electro touches give this a dance feel as well. I envision it playing while your guests walk down a hallway designed to look like a sideshow. The attractions seem like static displays at first, until they all spring to life and chase the patrons into the next area. A werewolf costume can be used for “Jo-Jo The Dog Faced Boy” and a gorilla costume is always handy. “Death’s Minstrel” is spooky and soft with plenty of great piano work and an imposing drum beat. The term “eerie” doesn’t even begin to describe “Parade” thanks to its soft lurking tone and wordless female vocals. Somewhat mournful string work comes in later, as does a relatively restrained dance beat and chimes.

“Behind the mask” also starts with a soft, lurking feel and gradually builds up like a Jack-in-the-box. I think you can guess how to take advantage of such a track for your haunt. “Boneyard” offers a soft (but heavy) horror ambiance with a spooky sample. The use of a moody buildup rather than being in your face is very appreciated. “Nightfall” is an extremely creepy and very 80’s which is good for any spooky scene. “Screamtime (remix)” is a new take on Sam’s contribution to the free Fresh from the Morgue Vol: 2 album from Graveyard Calling Horror Records. This version is somewhat faster paced and could make for an unnerving experience when paired with a dark hallway or dark maze. Musical moans form the beat of “Ringmaster” and are soon joined by lighter touches and a circus march you can dance to. Militaristic drums which often appear in this album show up as well. “Funland” has a very soft and slow opening build, but drums kick things up. Some parts could be passed off as rattling bones, so you can use with a scene involving a skeleton band. “Curtain Call” combines a sample with quiet piano music to conjure up an air of sadness. If you turn down the volume low enough, you can couple it with your graveyard’s “Angel of Grief” tombstone without people hearing the sample. Having faint music seem to suddenly appear when they get close to that particular grave will also enhance the atmosphere. “Supernatural” is the word which comes to mind when you hear “Lost Souls.” There’s a heavy feeling of dread in the opening, but it gets somewhat lighter as the dance music enters. The appearance of chimes also allows for use in scenes involving music box. “Behind the mask (Eefsbeatz remix)” injects a little extra life into the mix while “Here come the clowns (Guyschur remix)” has a slower and scarier opening. It also includes some freaky distortion effects and amazing beats.

Sam Haynes does it again with this collection of music whose tracks can work in a haunted carnival or general haunt theme alike. Many tracks are fairly lengthy and all can be looped without issue in haunted attractions or for your front door on Halloween. There’s also plenty of great music for general listening, parties or playing in the waiting area of your attraction. Even a haunted circus theme cynic like myself can’t help but love it. My only complaint is how he doesn’t include any alternate versions of tracks with the samples removed. Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing what sort of material Sam digs up each year. I just feel having versions without dialogue allows for easier use in haunted attractions.

Special thanks to Sam Haynes for the review copy!

Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for the content on or anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of visiting any links on the above sites (or constructing a project that’s detailed on them). This also applies to the suggestions made here. Attempt at your own discretion.

Oct 26 2015

Music to Haunt By: Jeannie Novak

Jeannie Novak
Official Site
Horrorshow: The Complete Collection, Self-release 2013


Jeannie Novak is a woman of many talents. She native writes books, develops video games and is a photographer in addition to her talents as a composer and performer. In fact, she’s been playing since age five and composing since she was twelve years old! She’s also the first woman to compose several complete albums of spooky music for haunting. Said albums are available in three basic styles: synth, ambient and piano. All releases under the “Horrorshow” banner can be purchased separately in each style or as a complete collection. They can also be obtained in the subject of today’s review. That’s right, Horrorshow: The Complete Collection combines all versions of Horrorshow: Mad House, Horrorshow: Big Top and Horrorshow: Ghost Town into one handy album.

Things start off with the Horrorshow: Mad House albums. “Descent (synth)” is made up of somewhat nervous and uneasy light tones, which get more frantic as time goes on. There’s a definite feel of descending and I can easily see this playing while visitors have to go down a dark and lengthy stairway. “Requiem (synth)” is appropriately mournful and slow (with a touch of moaning tones). Since it plays out like a funeral march, why not use it in your haunted attraction’s funeral parlor? “Ghostly confusion with a dash of whimsy” is my best description of of the lengthy “Nightmare (synth)” and it must be heard to be truly appreciated. “Lament (synth)” creates a sense of sadness with its beautiful slow tones while the wordless female vocals and wandering synth work of “Visitation (synth)” create the feel of a visitor from beyond. Both tracks would work well in a séance chamber. The piano work of “Phantom (synth)” reminds me of an elegant harp, but things get much more frantic later on. “Fugue (synth)” is especially creepy and ethereal while the short “Solitary (synth)” reminds me of a music box in a haunted nursery. Before moving on to the piano and ambient versions, I want to stress how not all versions of each track are the same length. Piano music might seem like an unusual choice for a haunt, but the plinking tones of “Descent (piano)” are still quite spooky. Similarly, the piano work in “Requiem (piano)” adds to the funeral feel. “Nightmare (piano)” would be perfect in a room featuring a piano which plays by itself. The remaining tracks seem more beautiful than scary to me, but still have their uses in haunts. Imagine your guests entering a room set up to look like a gruesome restaurant filled with monsters devouring human flesh. Having calm piano music like one would expect in a normal dining establishment would be a great contrast. “Descent (ambient)” really cranks of the sense of unbalance and would work wonders when paired with a room where people have to cross a bridge over a seemingly bottomless pit. Ghostly wailing wind forms the bulk of “Requiem (ambient)” and I found “Nightmare (ambient)” to be much more chilling than the synth version. Similarly, “Lament (ambient)” is now less mournful and more chilling. The otherworldly “Visitation (ambient)” could work with a vortex tunnel and the mournful unisex chorus of “Phantom (ambient)” makes it perfect for any spooky scene. But if I have to pick something, why not a hallway lined with spooky paintings? A drop panel is also a nice effort to use with that kind of setup. The of dark buildup “Fugue (ambient)” goes well with the menacing beats of “Solitary (ambient).”

Horrorshow: Big Top starts off with the (mostly) cheery calliope-sounding music of “Fanfare (synth).” “Clowncar (synth)” is peppy while Grinder (synth)” is comparatively subdued and slightly mysterious. “Menagerie (synth)” offers a softer and slower kind of peppy and “Coulrophobia (synth)” is surprisingly elegant. Want something loud and happy? “Odditorium (synth)” is what you need. “Labyrinth (synth)” has jolly, almost sneaky tones and “Carousel (synth)” musically transports the listener to a merry-go-round. If you decide to go with the theme suggested by the first album, this fits in with any clown patients in your asylum. “Fanfare (piano)” is plodding, yet still happy. It’s like something from a silent comedy. That description also applies for the rest of the piano tracks. Both the synth and piano tracks are neutral enough to work in either scary or normal circus scenarios, while the decidedly scary ambient tracks have almost no musical connection to the circus. The distant ringing effect of “Fanfare (ambient)” is rather unnerving, as is the intriguing combination of creepy and peppy in “Clowncar (ambient).” The evil clown laughter is a perfect touch. “Grinder (ambient)” is eerie enough to work in a scene involving ghosts, “Menagerie (ambient)” is very disturbing and “Coulrophobia (ambient)” is otherworldly and somewhat spacey. The eerie and soft “Odditorium (ambient)” would be perfect for a graveyard and countless other spooky scenes. “Labyrinth (ambient)” offers soft, pounding beats and there is nothing “merry” about “Carousel (ambient).”

Horrorshow: Ghost Town begins the end of our journey with the spooky western piano work of “Badlands (synth).” The great thing about haunted old west towns is how most haunt scares can be used in them with little or no modifications. Giant spiders and rats feasting on body parts fit in, as do werewolves and ghosts. Adding a cowboy hat to a pneumatic pop-up scare is easy. A little creativity can turn scares from a car crash into a crashed stagecoach and a cannibal butcher works just as long as you ditch the chainsaw. If your weird west haunt has a skeleton playing a banjo, then “Rotgut (synth)” is the perfect twangy tune! “Goner (synth)” is bouncy western music with just a touch of creepy synth tones and “Venom (synth)” is a wobbly western jaunt. “Tumbleweed (synth)” offers a light and happy tone which is very different from the somewhat darker “Boneyard (synth).” “Headless (synth)” is soft and sneaky while “Deadend (synth)” really picks things up in terms of volume. It’s wonderfully slow and spooky and I simply love the ending. The piano tracks are fairly neutral and sound like something from a silent movie (just like the circus piano tracks). That said, they do fit the feel of a saloon and could work in a haunted attraction aimed at the very young. The only exception is the darkness that is “Deadend (piano).” “Badlands (ambient)” is soft and spooky while “Rotgut (ambient)” is made up of winds and distant noises and “Goner (ambient)” is incredibly unearthly. Why not use all three in a graveyard? Best of all, the old west theme lets you use inexpensive grave markers made from sticks and twine. A prop vulture and cow skull are also great touches. “Venom” has a heavy and appropriately slithering feel. Play it in an area with large amounts of fake snakeskin lying around and scare people using a giant prop rattlesnake head which pops out at them. “Tumbleweed (ambient)” offers winds and weirdness which can work for a haunted mine shaft. I love the creeping feel of “Boneyard (ambient).” Why not use it with a scene involving scorpions or spiders? Said creeping also reminds me of rattling bones, so this can also be paired with a skeleton hanging from the gallows. The eerie tones of “Headless (ambient)” cast a haunting, wandering spell. The winds and creaking effects in “Deadend (ambient)” make it a must, as does the distant harmonica. It’s the perfect close to the album.

Horrorshow: The Complete Collection offers unparalleled variety for haunter and Halloween enthusiast alike. Most tracks are suitable for looping and you can cycle through versions of each individual album over several years without things seeming repetitive. It also helps how many tracks can be used in themes other than what the albums’ titles suggest. In addition to how buying this version is far less costly than buying all the albums individually, purchasing it also entitles you to a special bonus: detuned versions of all the Horrorshow: Ghost Town piano tracks! Did I mention how buying any of her horror albums (and only her horror albums) lets you use her work in your haunted attraction royalty free? You can visit her special website to get all the details. I spoke with Jeannie about the idea of nonprofit organizations using the neutral synth and ambient circus music in fun houses royalty free in order to raise donations and she approved. Not only that, she also suggested they could do the same with tracks from Horrorshow: Ghost Town for wild west towns! This is wonderful news considering how food banks have trouble getting donations in the summer. Organizations can cheaply and easily reuse props from circus and western haunt scenes in such events, so budget issues should not be a problem at all. I have also learned the “Horrorshow” line of releases will eventually lead to several short stories and maybe even a movie. Here’s hoping we see those (and other spooky albums) in the near future.

Special thanks to Jeannie Novak for the review copy!

Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for the content on or anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of visiting any links on the above sites (or constructing a project that’s detailed on them). This also applies to the suggestions made here. Attempt at your own discretion.

Oct 25 2015

Music to Haunt By and Sounds to Scare By: The Return

There’s so much going on in the world of spooky ambient music. Nox Arcana just unleashed Gothic and Darkmood is currently hard at work on When Time Ends (which will feature a more “cinematic” feel). Midnight Syndciate is preparing to release a Christmas album while Grave Tone Productions is also hard at work on new material and have recently released “Jack the Jack O’ Lantern.” While not scary, its overall “children’s record” feel is rather charming. Dulcet Jones is also working on a new album and his single “Psychotica Fraidicus” is an interesting promise of things to come. Virgil Franklin is also back with his new release Halloween. I would also like to announce my upcoming change of style in my haunt music reviews! Longtime readers will remember how I make sure to include plenty of tips and suggestions for using certain tracks in haunted attractions, along with plenty of links illustrating what I mean. But after sharing a few brief tips on using music from Midnight Syndicate’s Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan soundtrack in haunted houses, I noticed it got far more hits than any “Music to Haunt By” article. In fact, people were spending more time reading it than they did for those articles! So now my reviews will focusing more on the music and have less links. I’m also trying to apply this method to my regular articles as well. So while you wait for the next crop of reviews, check out what last year had to offer:

Music to Haunt By: The Return
Music to Haunt By: Music For Haunts
Music to Haunt By: Dulcet Jones
Music to Haunt By: Atrium Carceri
Music to Haunt By: Spine Chillers
Music to Haunt By: Halloween Music Collection
Music to Haunt By: Virgil Franklin
Music to Haunt By: The Dead of Fall
Music to Haunt By: The Dead Matter: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

But that’s not all! Scary Visions and Sinful Audio have teamed up to provide some tips on using sounds in haunted attractions and the Textiles are offering a special download of one of the tracks they put together for a college haunted house. It’s a bit unconventional, but I can easily see it working in a boiler room scene or steampunk haunt. If you want something really unconventional you can snag Jack Hertz’s “Halloween Drones.” I recommend turning the volume down low enough so people can hear it, but can’t make out exactly what it is. Especially if you play it in a dark room or hallway.

Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for the content on or anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of visiting or downloading from any links given here. Attempt at your own discretion.

Oct 24 2015

6’+ Episode 161 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“Who’s that behind that mask? It’s 6ftplus! On an all-covers episode, we play cuts from CREEPSVILLE ’13, a tribute to FORBIDDEN DIMENSION. There’s also music from ZOMBIE GHOST TRAIN, HAUNTED GEORGE, THE NEBULAS, THE YOUNG WEREWOLVES. One of the dangers of trick or treating reveals itself in another MONSTERMATT MINUTE – or does it?”

Remember to email 6′+ (contact at or leave a comment below about the show, whether you liked it or not. Tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, but above all – enjoy.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud.

Oct 24 2015

The Pumpkin Dance

You might have already seen the famous video of a man in a pumpkin mask dancing to the theme from Ghostbusters. Perhaps you saw one of the remixes or parodies. If you have not and are wondering just what in the world I am talking about, here’s the infamous video courtesy of KXVO 10:00 News:

In any case, you probably know nothing else about the video other than how it’s downright hilarious. It’s the sort of inexpensive time filler local news shows can’t get enough of and has the perfect amount of seasonal weirdness. You simply won’t find this sort of thing on twenty four hour cable news networks, that’s for sure! But who is the mysterious pumpkin man and just why did a CW affiliate in Omaha, Nebraska unleash him upon the world? Know Your Meme and Studio 360 have the answers.

Oct 23 2015

It Came From Wikipedia VIII

Have you ever wondered why Chris Sarandon’s vampire character in Fright Night is sometimes seen eating apples? It’s because he decided his character liked to cleanse his palate and had some fruit bat DNA!

The history of glow sticks is very fascinating. I am surprised how they neglected to mention how unused glow sticks have a longer shelf life if you don’t remove them from their foil wrapper.

I don’t know what is more surprising: the fact “Thriller” wasn’t written by Michael Jackson or how it originally had very little to do with horror movies! For more Jackson horror goodies, there’s the entry on the famous Thriller jacket and his work on the theme for Ben.

TerrorVision isn’t just an 80’s horror movie about an alien trapped in a television. It’s also the name of the shortest and cheapest television horror anthology series to date! Given how each episode was only 10 minutes long, it’s incredible how they didn’t try releasing it as a movie edit under a new name.

The twisted tale of how (and why) Lisa and the Devil eventually became The House of Exorcism for its American release is only slightly less bizarre than the plot of the film.

In addition to appearing in John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness as a homeless man, Alice Cooper also provided a song and one of the devices from his stage shows for use in the movie.

At one point during the creation of House of 1000 Corpses, the character of Dr. Satan was going to be revealed as an urban legend made up by the Firefly family to bring new victims to them. Similarly, it is believed Paul Naschy’s supposedly lost film Las Noches del Hombre Lobo is something he made up to pad out his résumé. Speaking of urban legends, let’s read up on the Devil’s Chair. You just might have one in your area!

The chronology of the original Omen film series is very…troubled. Either that or Damien Thorn had some major growth spurts.

According to the article on the podcast No Such Thing as a Fish, the version of Godzilla seen in Legendary pictures’ movie would urinate 12.9 million gallons each day if it actually existed. We can also read up on Bambi Meets Godzilla, Godzilla in pop culture and learn about all of the fictional locations in the Godzilla franchise.

Finally, you can have fun wasting time by reading the massive list of natural horror films, the only slightly less massive list of Cthulhu Mythos anthologies and learn all about chainsaws in popular culture.

Older posts «

Fetch more items

Bad Behavior has blocked 1151 access attempts in the last 7 days.