real horror

TRAILER THOUGHTS: HBO’s Slender Man Documentary Looks SCARIER Than Most Horror Films

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Remember back in March of 2016 when I wrote about how we’re getting a Slender Man documentary? [full post here] For those that don’t remember, “Beware The Slender Man” is an HBO film that follows two twelve year old girls who stabbed their friend in 2014. The catch here is, they didn’t stab her once, but 19 times. Their reasoning? Slender Man made them do it. The stories and the interviews caught my attention so much, that I even shared my thoughts, talking about how it’s insane that he has gained such a fan base that actual attempted murders are happening in “His name.” I mean, this is truly evil stuff.. I want to talk about that documentary again today, and how Irene Taylor Brodsky uses this real life event – which I’ll get more into in a minute – and the [fictional] disturbing creepypasta character in order to explore the effect that Internet lore has on real-life actions. Sit and get comfortable, cause this won’t be pretty.

I’m sure we’ve all been made aware in our lives on several different occasions that the Internet can be an extremely scary place when it wants to be. Between things like “The Dark Web” and “The SCP Foundation,” the most notorious – and probably the most well known – of all fictional online entities is the distorted and featureless “Boogyman” known only as “The Slender Man,” who happens to be the star of the upcoming documentary; at least by name.

But let’s get into some back story, just what the hell happened back in 2014? It all started in May, in the town of Waukesha, Wisconsin when a bloodied teenage girl was found; with 19 stab wounds. The ones responsible were two schoolmates, one of which was her best friend, and the motivation behind this heinous attempt at murder was their shared belief that killing this younger girl would please The Slender Man. I won’t get too much into it, as doing so might dull the effect of the documentary itself, but the basic concept – where an online myth inspires [two] misled children to stab another child – is actually quite scary all on its own; add in those interrogation scenes and you’ve got a chilling [yet compelling] story.

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Beware The Slender Man made its debut at South by Southwest earlier this year, with HBO Documentary Films stepping in to distribute over its network, HBO Go and HBO Now, with critical response being largely positive. This is a good thing, as it more or less forces viewers to put a lot more consideration into how often they [and their kids] are tapped into the online virtual world of the Internet. Beware The Slender Man will make its debut on HBO on Tuesday, January 17 2017. Now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the actual trailer. I will warn however, that due to it’s true story content, it can be very difficult to watch/hear what the two girls say. Otherwise, enjoy!

What are Your thoughts on Beware The Slender Man? Are You planning on watching this documentary, or would you rather stick to another movie? [let me know which one in the comments!] Be sure to also go and follow me over on my Facebook page! [we’re at over 170+ likes – let’s get to 200!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been “gone live” online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. So go follow over there too!

Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! I’ve also been writing way more reviews on my Letterboxd account, this is because I’m trying to review every single movie I watch  – with each review [usually] posted the very next day after viewing! Are you interested yet? Check me out over there and click that “follow” button! I’m just bound to follow you back because I like reading other people’s thoughts on film, as well as writing reviews myself!

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THANKS FOR READING.

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REAL HORROR: Training Police Officers on “Satanic Sacrifice” and “Occult Crimes” Video

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Being a guy who was born in the 1990s, I don’t really think about it if I see a badly spelt gang name or a pentagram spray-painted on a high school wall, but would you believe me if I said that there was a time when suburban American families were absolutely terrified of satanic cults? It’s true; Occult rituals were, at a time, prime-time topics because as news stations then broadcasted – there were high reports of stolen babies, threats of ritual sacrifice, and even sexual abuse were all being committed.. under the guise of evil cults who claimed to be worshiping the devil himself.

Call it what you will, but “Satanic Panic” was a big business in the late 80s and early 90s. Naturally, this went on to spawn hundreds of books, videos, and television specials aimed at pushing the fear of the occult into soccer moms and stay at home dads across the country, and it guess what? It worked. In fact, it worked so well that Police and other Law Enforcement agencies across North America began to look into typical graffiti – like the kinds I mentioned above – and investigate the ideology behind the pentagram; stating that it was evidence of what they called “a satanic presence.”

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The face of a true expert.

The Law Enforcement Guide to Satanic Cults is a instructional video that Police were required to watch as part of their “training,” and it’s quite the experience.. On this educational tape, we see “occult experts” with mullets [I mean, it was the 80s] and for those still not convinced, there’s even interviews with alleged victims of satanic rituals! The VHS tape is only 73-minutes long, but it is a glimpse into the “Satanic Panic” era that’s as frightening as it is hilarious.

I’ve always been a huge fan of weird toys, old instructional videos, and other such obscurities. The Law Enforcement Guide to Satanic Cults is no different. It’s a lot of fun to watch, even if you can’t take it seriously. If you feel like you can handle “Satanic content,” [and the mullets!] You can watch the whole video below, and if you manage to watch it until the end, you’ll be treated my favorite part! A clip of a woman [in a bikini] being “prepared” by some older man who seems to be demonstrating “a ritual sacrifice.” Of course, as expected, this final clip is complete with the dotted lines to show where to slice and dice your “victims.”

All laughs aside, I know it’s easy to laugh at the awkward acting, over-the-top assumptions [that are made] and ridiculousness of the video, it’s important to remember – this was actually used to train police! Because of videos like this one, countless metalheads, goth kids, and occult enthusiasts became quickly [and unfairly] singled out as “suspects” in crimes they did not have any part in. In case you weren’t aware, this has happened before.

How do You feel about this “training video?” I know it’s a little obscure, and it’s definitely something from the 1980s, but remember: this was an actual fear that a lot of people had. In their defense, the Law Enforcement Officers were only doing what they thought was right for their respective communities; even if some people were wrongly accused for crimes they did not commit.

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[Friendly Reminder: there was a time when I used to look like this – chances are, I would have been accused of something drastic too! For a more recent photo of me, click here!]


As always, if you find yourself to enjoy what I do on here, then please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [we’re at over 150+ likes – let’s get to 200!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been “gone live” online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog.

Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! I’ve also been writing way more reviews on my Letterboxd account, this is because I’m trying to review every single movie I watch  – with each review coming the very next day after viewing! Are you interested yet? Check me out over there and click that “follow” button! I’m just bound to follow you back because I like reading other people’s thoughts on film, as well as writing reviews myself!

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[Lydia was my original goth crush; second only to her]

 THANKS FOR READING.

real horror: North Carolina Woman Buys Used Freezer, Finds Surprise Inside

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but what could today’s “prize inside” be?

I have a confession: I have an unhealthy obsession with going through sites like Kijiji and Amazon for used Blu-Rays or anything pop culture related. Although I browse them constantly, I’ve actually only bought something once. It was an Ash action figure from Evil Dead II and I absolutely love it – it’s even still in the packaging! [this is the one I bought!] However, we’re not talking about me, but rather, an unnamed woman from Goldsboro, North Carolina: She was buying a slightly used deep-freeze freezer, which she bought from her neighbor for only $30! But that’s when things got weird.. really fast; and I don’t mean it in the way we – here on warrenisweird – appreciate.. She might have even believed the seller when they asked her not to open the freezer right away, because, as he claimed, it was being used as a “time capsule” for a Sunday School project. It would have gone so well.. Except she probably would have reconsidered this sweet deal when she finally opened up the freezer and discovered something [unexpected] inside: the frozen remains of a human being.

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source: WNCN

“A church was supposed to come to pick up the items inside the freezer,” the woman told WNCN News, stating that the neighbor had asked her to wait until the church arrived before opening the deep freeze up. Ultimately, “The church never came.” In the three weeks that passed afterwards, the neighbor had since moved away, claiming they were going to live closer to their mother, who was staying at a rest home in West Virginia[making the reasoning behind selling the freezer sensible: they were “just downsizing”] The woman also mentioned that she hadn’t seen the [now deceased] elderly woman since September. As expected, once she saw what was inside the freezer, she immediately called 911. “I have a serious problem,” she told the dispatcher, describing what she’d found, while repeating “I am freaking out.”

When they arrived, Police on scene had confirmed that the contents were in fact parts of a human corpse; which the woman later identified as her neighbor’s mother. The North Carolina Medical Examiner’s office also confirmed the identification.

“She sold me her frozen mother for $30,” the woman told WNCN. “How do you do something like that?” According to the Medical Examiner, there are no signs of foul play, but the Police are treating the incident as a felony. Watch the news report on this “real horror” down below!

I guess at the end of the day, the moral of this story is that you should always look at things you’re buying with the seller when buying from someone. Even if it’s something small, like a DVD – maybe the disc isn’t in the case and you’re assuming it is..until it’s too late. Or maybe your neighbor is selling a freezer…that happens to have a dead body inside. [too soon?]

As always, if you find yourself to enjoy what I do on here, then please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [we’re at over 150+ likes – let’s get to 200!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been “gone live” online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog.

Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! I’ve also been writing way more reviews on my Letterboxd account, this is because I’m trying to review every single movie I watch  – with each review coming the very next day after viewing! Are you interested yet? Check me out over there and click that “follow” button! I’m just bound to follow you back because I like reading other people’s thoughts on film, as well as writing reviews myself!

THANKS FOR READING.

REAL HORROR: an EVIL DEAD “super fan” is rebuilding THE CABIN!

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Good morning boys and ghouls, there is someone I absolutely need to introduce you to. Someone, who apparently is a bigger Evil Dead fan than I am! [Blasphemy, I know!] I don’t want to wait around so let’s get right into it. Please allow me to introduce you to Mike, the man who runs EvilDeadWorkshed. Mike – like most of us – is a lifelong and self-proclaimed Evil Dead enthusiast who makes replica chainsaws from the series. Pretty cool stuff, but the main reason I want you to know this guy is because he’s undertaking an incredibly important challenge that is valuable to the horror community. Calling this “project:” Operation: Evil Dead Uproot, Mike has found the original filming site of Evil Dead II and decided that it needs to be salvaged and preserved, making sure sure that it will forever live on for those who wish to proclaim their love to the beloved film. WAIT WHAT?

you can read the whole story here, but here’s the basic version: Mike has been in touch with the owners of the property where Evil Dead II was filmed, which for those unaware, is in Wadesboro, NC. Ever since 2011, Mike has been meaning to visit the location, if only to step foot where Evil Dead was filmed. One day, the owners warned him that they, “…will be clearing the area where the cabin ruins are located in order to harvest the trees for local firewood businesses.” For Mike, the thought of this was too much to handle. “After having a long conversation with the owners, I have been given permission to come to the site and remove ANY and ALL Evil Dead II structures that are able to be saved prior to the devastation of the site area,Mike explains.

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an AWESOME floor plan of the cabin – in film – by Patrick Soucy.

Unfortunately in 2014, the cabin collapsed due to a “…micro burst that hit [the owner’s] property“, so collecting and saving everything has proven to be somewhat of a difficult process. The frame of the work shed was so rotten and so damaged by termites, that Mike came to the logical conclusion to leave it behind and will build an identical frame upon which they’ll attach the original outer planks. As for materials and items from the cabin, he and his friend were able to gather as much as they possibly could, which in itself – is extremely impressive!

Of course, the million dollar question comes up: why does this matter? Luckily for you, Mike has an answer for that too! As Mike himself explains, “I am not making any money off of this. I spent a shit load of money to do this. I’m doing this for everyone. Bringing the secret and private site out of the woods and into public view. I plan on trying to bring some these structures to some of the [Western Pennsylvania] Comic-Cons.

That’s right! Depending on how everything goes – and you’re in the area – you might get a chance to interact with these original props and structures from Evil Dead II! Unfortunately being Canadian, this will prove difficult on my end..unless Steph and I went on a road trip; but knowing that someone is doing something many of us wouldn’t even fathom makes Mike one hell of a guy. From his official page, here’s a complete list of the items that were saved from the film’s site:

  • The entire Workshed [Complete Exterior and Roof Metal] Due to framing rot, the workshed collapsed during this process
  • The fake foam tree [180 degrees of the lower 5 feet of one tree]
  • 1 large Cabin window [kitchen area]
  • Cabin rear door frame with one door hinge and one screen door hinge still attached
  • Rear interior and exterior door trim
  • Interior base boards
  • Interior window frame [next to back door]
  • 1 Cabin window [rear room left of the rear door]
  • 5 bundles of cabin flooring
  • 3 large sections of interior walls
  • Cabin roofing
  • Roofing nails from the workshed
  • Cabin roofing cap
  • 3 remaining chimney stones [painted styrofoam]
  • Exterior Cabin wood [various locations]
  • Exterior Cabin plaster
  • One 55 gallon drum inside of the workshed [Resin labels – possibly used for the trees]
  • One 55 gallon drum found 100 feet from the back door [appears to be the one Ash tripped over]
  • The complete upper West wall of the living room [above where the cellar door would have been]
  • Roofing slats from the Workshed
  • One break away Ram-O-Cam door with a hinge attached
  • 90% of all remaining coal rocks where Ash buried Linda
  • A very large amount of window glass
  • The rear stairs framing
  • One rear stair
  • Small and Large pieces of white interior wall

Once again, I highly recommend heading to Mike’s page where he documents everything he did, because it’s extremely impressive. We’re talking about the endeavors and skills of a true horror fan and he deserves our thanks! Below, I’ve included a few pictures that Mike has posted, showing us fans the site now and his progress.

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So there you have it, proof that you – nor I – are the “ultimate Evil Dead fan”. I think that as I’ve shown here, Mike from EvilDeadWorkShed takes that spot pretty easily. The question remains though: what do You think about the concept of rebuilding an iconic Cabin? Is it something that needs to be done? Or an unnecessary piece of work? Let me know in the comments! Also, if you find yourself to enjoy what I do on here, then please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [we’re now at over 150+ likes – let’s reach over 200!]

By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been “gone live” online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog! Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! I’ve also been writing way more reviews on my Letterboxd account, this is because I’m trying to review every single movie I watch  – with each review coming the very next day after viewing! Are you interested yet? Check me out over there and click that “follow” button! I’m just bound to follow you back because I like reading other people’s thoughts on film, as well as writing reviews myself! I recently reviewed Captain America: Civil War, and I gotta say: I absolutely loved it! [read that spoiler filled review here] Apparently so much, that I’m actually seeing it again tonight! [I recommend it highly for any Marvel fan]

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THANKS FOR READING.

Real Horror: BBC Presenter Cooks His Own Flesh [Just To See What It Tastes Like]

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When you think of the word “cannibalism”, you probably think of zombies, or movies such as Cannibal Holocaust or The Green Inferno. It’s an odd concept – man eating man – that has been around for centuries. Even the Aztecs, who believed in the practice of eating another human, believed that by devouring their brethren; they would earn their “powers” or “abilities” in something that was more of a ritual, than a taboo. Cannibalism is one of those strange crimes that has always had the ability to physically turn stomachs as well as seem so incredibly disrespectful. For many people, it’s an absolutely sickening thought: eating another human being. But for others, there is a strange fascination when it comes to the thought of eating human flesh. Now before anyone jumps at me in the comments, I am in no way saying it’s okay or even promoting the idea of harming anyone in order to try and taste them. Instead, I’m here to talk about a BBC Presenter by the name of Greg Foot, and his Youtube video where he goes on a [personal] mission to discover what human flesh would actually taste like when it’s cooked. You read that correctly: BBC presenter Greg Foot cut out chunk of his own leg in the name of a taste test experiment. To begin this..”test”, Foot visited a local Doctor who took a biopsy of one of his quadriceps – located in the thigh- just so he could get it ready to cook and ultimately, eat.

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[picture source: BBC]

As grim, and painful, as it sounds; Greg had a chunk of thigh removed and analyzed [by a food specialist] to learn more about the make up of the “meat” and it’s flavor. It was revealed that it was made up of the same type of muscle as chicken breast, as well as having a likeness to certain cuts of beef. Going even further, he then took the leg samples off to be analyzed to learn that his now cooked flesh smells ‘really meaty, a lot richer than pork or chicken. It smells a bit like beef and ale stew.’  BUT before we all get too excited – he didn’t actually eat the pieces from his leg. [wait, what?] Unsurprisingly, it is illegal to eat human flesh, even if it’s your own, so instead Greg worked off the smells he observed and made a composite burger out of similar flavors and the smells that were present.

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[above: the actual “pieces” from Greg‘s biopsy]

Considering a total of 80% of the composition of the flavor is the smell, Greg cooked up a lamb, pork and beef burger to “mimic” what he imagined would be his own leg. Although it’s not technically his leg, it’s pretty close, which allows him to get as close to cannibalism as the law will allow. Greg was later quoted as saying: ‘I think that’s the closest I’ll ever get to eating human, and I tell you what – it’s pretty good.’ Now, the good part: above I mentioned how he did it for a Youtube video, and that was no exaggeration – I’ve included the video in this post, [I mean, why wouldn’t I?] and you’ll just have to tell me: given the chance, would YOU eat your own flesh? [At least, in the name of science] Let me know in the comments! So while it’s probably not what you expected, it goes to show that zombies might have the right idea when it comes to their preferred type of “meat.”

THANKS FOR READING.

Real Horror: Slender Man Documentary coming to HBO FILMS

If you remember in 2014, two twelve year old girls stabbed their friend, not once, but 19 times. Their reasoning? Slender Man made them do it.. or say they claim. I even shared my thoughts, talking about how it’s insane that he has gained such a fan base that actual attempted murders are happening in “his name”. Now, HBO will be bringing us “Beware The Slender Man,” a documentary by Irene Taylor Brodsky where she uses the [fictional] disturbing creepypasta character in order to explore not only the effect that Internet lore has on real-life actions, but also about how the digital age is saturating the imagination -and actions- of younger children.

The documentary is premiering at SXSW today, March 11, and the writers at Indiewire managed to get their hands on some poster art to share with you all. [it’ll be posted at the bottom!] It’s both effective and terrifying, and it makes it’s eerie enough to make the film come off more exciting. Now, before you ask, there is no release date yet, but being a Documentary, I expect it to come to Netflix soon enough. What else is impressive is that the director reportedly got exclusive access to the families of both girls that were charged with the crime, and as such, this documentary will likely stir up fierce debate [and more than likely, even a touch more fear about the character overall].

Slender Man’s Proxy symbol

 In order to prepare herself to make this Documentary film, Irene Taylor Brodsky spent a whopping 18 months following the court case of the two young girls, through courtroom footage, interviews with the girls’ parents and interviews with experts. She also explores what drove them to the act, while looking at how the Internet is shaping the young minds of today.

According to the poster, the act happened on May 31st, 2014, in the woods outside of Waukesha, Wisconsin; where two 12-year old girls stabbed their classmate 19 times. the film plans to explain the true story of what [they claim] drove them to do it.

As a fan of documentaries, I’m actually fairly excited about Beware the Slender Man. I remember the article when the stabbing happened, and how it shook the Internet – knowing that a fictional character had become such an inspiration for such terrible things. Not only does this documentary sound interesting, but the poster [above] is wonderfully eerie, giving off the vibe of always being watched..if only from a distance.

So now I turn to You. What are Your thoughts on Slender Man? Is it an interesting concept, or is it something that should be left alone? The important thing to remember is that Slender Man is not real. He was fabricated on a forum online..he just got insanely popular over a short period of time. If you plan on watching this film, let me know your thoughts in the comments! If you find yourself to enjoy what I do on here, then please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 145+ likes – only a few more and we’ll have reached over 150!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! I’ve also been writing way more reviews on my Letterboxd account, this is because I’m trying to review every movie I watch  – with my most recent reviews including newer films such as  Deadpool and The Revenant and older films, such as Revenge Of The Sith and The Empire Strikes Back. Interested? Check me out over there and click that “follow” button, I’m bound to follow you back because I like other people’s movie reviews, as well as writing them myself!

THANKS FOR READING.

Real Horror: The Art of Tsantsa [Shrunken Heads]

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What a week! From working every few days to calling many different places for the Internship I need to secure in January, I’ve had a very busy few days. This, of course, would explain my absence on the blog. As I said in the post before, I will be posting, but it won’t be as frequent – and with a job opportunity that might happen tomorrow, I have the possibility at full time employment before the Internship. So you can understand my frustration and extreme workload as of late. But you aren’t here to listen to me whine, you’re probably here because of that Facebook post last night. You know – the one that had a picture of a shrunken head!

Let’s get right to the gritty bone of it: If you are reading this, expecting this post to be an instruction manual on the ancient practice of head shrinking, or “Tsantsa” – the making of an actual shrunken head – then you have come to the right place! This post is going to look into the process by which severed human heads are “shrunk” to roughly the size of an apple, and the reasoning behind this process. As you could probably expect, it’s also possible that this post could be considered to be NSFW, as it is based on actual head shrinking so please; be advised of this ahead of time! Otherwise if you’re still here, let’s talk about some shrunken heads.

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Although many would follow this “exercise”, the main tribe known to practice head shrinking are the Jivaroan tribes – found in forests of Ecuador and the Peruvian Amazon. These Jivaro Natives were brought to the attention of the world because of their unusual custom of shrinking the heads of their enemies, but also because of them being one of the very few societies to have revolted against the Spanish Empire. There are various dialects in the Jivaroan tribes such as  – the AShuar, Aguaruna, Huambisa, and the most famous of them, the Shur; which will be the group we’re looking at today. These natives were highly superstitious and even impulsive, which would often lead to wars between themselves. The Shamans and medicine men would normally fall victim to attack, usually due to being accused of sorcery and/or black arts. Be aware that, at the time, these people did not have any concept of natural death and saw each [and every] death as having had a supernatural cause and therefore, the individual needed to be avenged. Scarily, at the ripe age of six, young Jivaro males were taught to hate neighboring peoples/tribes, and that the death of an opponent had meant reward in blessings, long life, riches and ultimately: the death of one’s enemies.

Even though it varies, the original reason behind the practice was a religious one; the tribes often believed that by shrinking the head of their enemy, they could “harness” that person’s soul and make it do their bidding. It was also a way to stop the soul from returning to our world in order to hurt the living and avenge his or her death. It is important to note that The Shuar tribe believed in 3 fundamental spirits:

Arutam – A vision or power that protects a person from a violent death.
Muisak  – A vengeful spirit who comes into being when a person carrying an Arutam spirit is murdered.
Wakani – Innate to humans and is a guardian spirit.

In order to stop a Muisak from using its evil powers, the head of a victim is [quite literally, as seen in pictures] shrunk and the mouth and eyes are sewn together as a way to paralyze the spirit. This method prevents that person’s soul from leaving the head and take revenge upon the murderer. This would also help to stop the victim’s soul from entering the afterlife and harming the murderer’s dead ancestors along the way.

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Now for the main event of this post: the process of shrinking the head. It wasn’t a complicated process per say, but a lengthy one. Taking up to 14 steps, it starts with the actual decapitation and ends with making them “wearable” pieces. Let’s break it down, step by step:

01 – After an attack on an enemy the members of the Shur tribe would kill their victims and quickly decapitated them with a machete. On a rare occasion, the captured enemy would still be alive while the head was removed.

02 – The head is removed below the neck and a piece of skin from the chest and back is also taken off with it. The entire process is meticulously carried out in order to preserve the original likeness of the victim.

03 – A slit is made up through the nape of the neck and up the back of the head, the warrior now peels the skin and hair very carefully off the skull. The victim’s skull is discarded by the warrior and left by the river as an offering the anaconda or “Pani”.

04 – The eyes are sewn shut with a natural fiber, the lips are also sewn together but these are later skewered shut with little wooden pegs. The pegs are then later removed after the boiling process.

05 – The head skin is then transferred to the cooking jars and cooked for around 90 minutes; any longer and the hair falls out so it is important to remove before this time.

06 – The skin takes on a dark color, becomes rubbery and is about a quarter of its original size.

07 – The skin is then turned inside out and any flesh that is still sticking to the inside is scraped off.

08 – The skin is then turned right side out and the slit at the back of the head is sewn up.

09 – Stones from the fire are then placed through the neck of the skin and rolled around to stop them from burning the inside. This makes the skin shrink even further, and when the point comes that the neck becomes the same size as some of the smaller stones, they are removed.

10 – Hot sand is then poured into the head through the neck. This gets into all the smaller areas in order to shrink the skin even further and shape the detail in the heads features.

11 – Any excess hair is burnt off and the skin hung above the fire the harden and turn to black.

12 – Then three “Chonta palm pins” are put through the lips and they are sewn together with a natural fiber.

13 – The whole process from start to finish takes around 1 week, usually with the warriors working on them on their way back to the village.

14 – Before the warriors enter the village for the Tsantsa celebration, they make a hole in the top of the head so that it can be hung around the neck.


As proven by this list, it wasn’t a pretty process. As expected, it’d be a dirty, and complicated situation that took great care. Although their reasoning wasn’t exactly sound – such as teaching young tribe members to hate others at an early age – it’s still something that is interesting to think about. If the list above is too long for you to read, you can also watch a video recreation of the process.

 

So now I turn to You. What are Your thoughts on Tsantsa – or head shrinking? Is it an interesting concept, or is it something that should be considered “dark magic” and shunned away from? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! If you find yourself to enjoy what I do on here, then please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 145+ likes – only a few more and we’ll have reached over 150!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! I’ve also been writing way more reviews on my Letterboxd account, I’m trying to review every movie I watch, [both new and older] with my most recent reviews including newer films such as  Deadpool and The Revenant!

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THANKS FOR READING.

REAL HORROR: Self-Portrait…made of BLOOD

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Just like we learn in grade 09 -at least, I learned it in grade 09- Art is an expression of the human mind. It’s different to everyone, and it can leave you confused or sometimes, in awe. But what if a piece of art left you stunned..because it was like nothing you had ever seen before? Especially if that type of art was a self portrait, but was not as simple as just drawing your own face on a piece of paper. Today, we are going to talk about a different type of self portrait, which was titled “Self“. Ever heard of it? It’s not exactly a new piece. If not or even if you have, READ ON:

Back in the early 90s, British artist Marc Quinn started one of the most bizarre art projects in history – making detailed self-portraits.. from his own frozen blood. You read that right, his own frozen blood. He has actually been making a “new one” every five year or so since then. Yes, I will admit they’re strange, but there is actually a reason behind why he makes them!

According to Marc Quinn, he created his “Self” portrait series as a way of recording the changes of his face throughout the years of his life, and if you look closely enough at the four blood portraits [which I’ll share below] he has made so far, you’ll notice that his face has in fact matured over time. [although that is to be expected] You would think that he could have used a more common material for his artworks such as paint or something more solid; but realistically, the message wouldn’t have been as powerful as using his own blood. As said by Scientific American magazine,


“by crafting these heads out of his own blood, Quinn reconnects us to the the fact that in the fullness of time, no artist’s attempt at immortality through self-portraiture will prevail. And of course the series will presumably end in the course of the artist’s life, so the artwork’s time-dimension has a death of sorts as well.”

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Self 1991

For each of his frozen portraits, Quinn claims that he uses anywhere between four and five liters of his own blood, which is extracted over a period of five months. [thankfully, not all at once!] After creating a detailed mold of his face, he then froze the blood to create his “portraits.” As expected, they are to be maintained in refrigeration units at a constant temperature of -15 degrees Celsius, to prevent them from melting. His latest “Self” sculpture is held alongside other famous portraits at the National Portrait Gallery in England, while some of the others have been actually been bought by foreign galleries. [or private collectors] Quinn has also said he likes to employ biology and genetics in his works, in order to expresses how art and science work together. As an artist, he has worked with a variety of other more “conventional” materials, such as glass, gold and ice. Be sure to check out his otherSelf” portraits, down below!

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Self 1996


 

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Self 2001


 

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Self 2006


 

Can you imagine making a self-portrait of yourself..made of your very own frozen blood? What do You think about Marc Quinn‘s “art”? Is it an awesome new spin on a familiar concept, or is it something that is considered too creepy to be in a museum? [or even bought] Let me know Your thoughts down below! If you want to check out Quinn‘s other artwork, be sure to check out his website as well!

Also, if you find yourself to enjoy what I do on here, then please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 135+ likes – only a few more and we’ll have reached over 150!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends!

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THANKS FOR READING.

REAL HORROR: The Aokigahara Forest

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One thing I’ve always found extremely satisfying is the idea of [large] Forests. I like the concept of the lush atmosphere, the trees looming around, and most of all: the sunlight – peering trough the tree trunks, reminding you that there is an exit if you happen to delve too deep. But like many things I like, there’s usually a dark side to it, [I promise, I’m not just referencing Star Wars!] maybe there’s vicious animals living inside that forest, or maybe there is no exit, or maybe there is dead people among the trees…but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s rewind.

Another thing I’ve always had an interest in is Japan: with it’s culture, the way of life, the food – it’s all something I’d love to experience first hand if given the chance. Of course, this ties in with the first thing I mentioned – as Japan is home to many Forests, specifically one. At the base of Japan’s iconic Mt. Fuji lies one such Forest. Although beautiful to look at from a distance, [see it here!] at the base of this post card looking mountain lies [what some believe is] a haunted destination of broken souls known as Aokigahara, often referred to as the “Sea Of Trees”…or more infamously as the “Suicide Forest.” That’s right, that new movie: The Forest is based on this Aokigahara, and although I’ve read a lot of negative reviews on the movie[which is unfortunate because I was looking forward to that one!] I’m here to talk to you about the actual Forest located in Japan. Be forewarned though, this has the potential to get very depressing, as we’re talking about a real place where people go to commit suicide. If you think you’re still ready to go forward, read on. I promise my next post will be more positive! Think of cats, or something that makes you happy while reading this: cause this post is about to get dark and depressing..

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there’s still time to turn back if you wanted to..

From the very moment you step into Aokigahara, it quickly becomes obvious that something is slightly “off” about the place, mainly the eerie silence. The harsh density of the closely packed trees blocks any sign of the sun or wind, making it a dark and uncomfortable blanket of quiet. It doesn’t help either, when you begin to realize a lack of wildlife in the area.  The sounds of birds that you’d  come to expect to hear from a Forest are.. missing. Some have described the quality of sounds in Aokigahara as somewhat muted, almost as if they were being heard from another room. And that’s not even the scary part.. While walking around, people have claimed that they’ve ‘become aware’ of bizarre and creepy litter strewn about the forest floor. Things like pairs of shoes – both for children and adults – have been seen lined up on moss covered logs. Things like a packet of entirely mundane photographs, with song lyrics scribbled on the envelope. Even things like a child’s doll lying on top of the twisted roots of a [dead] tree. They seem out of place, even random, especially seeing as they come off as abandoned items left to rot among the trees. The thing is, even if they are random.. they give off a growing sense of foreboding and uneasiness.

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Regardless of all this though, many tourists still visit the area [willingly!] to see the scenery and the numerous rocky caverns that are scattered throughout the Forest. Many of these caverns are deemed too dangerous to the unaware, with warning signs in front of most, and even amongst the thick trees..but for some reason, large numbers of visitors still brave the trek just to see them every year. But remember what I said above? Remember what this Forest is known for? That’s right, I’m talking about the poor, lost souls who come here every year to die.

That’s right! After all, it is called the Suicide Forest for a reason. Often referred to as “The perfect place to die,” Aokigahara is said to be the most popular place to commit suicide in Japan and the second in the world after The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Believe it or not, it’s been happening since [at least] the 1950s. This Forest has attracted ever growing numbers of people who come to the silence and the solemn for their final breaths, with the year 2003 seeing a record number of 108 suicides. What’s even more depressing is that these numbers are from the bodies that are found by monthly patrols and annual “body hunts,” which is when police and volunteers search the Forest for victims..

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just some of the remains found in Aokigahara

Even if 108 seems like a lot of deaths, you have to consider – the number is likely even higher because of some of the areas within the forest such as: the numerous caves, crevasses, and caverns. Not to mention, the Forest’s ability to quickly and thoroughly decompose remains with how dead the Forestry is. Some of the bodies of these victims are stumbled across by accident by visitors, who, while hiking through the otherwise beautiful wilderness seem to come across the horrific sight of a corpse hung from a tree. The sad reality is that it’s quite literally impossible for police and volunteers to locate all of the deceased that seem to be hidden away within this dark Forest, or to accurately estimate how many have died. The only thing that seems to be known for sure is that every year, the number of those who come to Aokigahara to die seems to be increasing yearly.

Of course, there’s many theories as to why these lonely souls drawn to Aokigahara. One of the more popular theories claiming it’s supernatural forces within the Forest that call them. Some survivors of suicide attempts [who attempted in Aokigahara] have told accounts of having the feeling of being somehow called to or ‘pulled towards’ the Forest.. or even having the inexplicable compulsion to make a trip to “visit.”

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just one of many crevasses found in the Forest

This isn’t the only time Aokigahara has had mentions of paranormal happenings though. Even before records started being kept on suicides within Aokigahara Forest, the area had long been seeped in spooky lore and mythology. This Forest was long believed to be the living space of demons and ghosts who lived among the trees, who enjoyed terrifying travelers. It is also theorized that it was once a popular place for the [very unfortunate]practice of something called ubasutea custom which has a sick or elderly relative who was purposely abandoned in a abandoned location such as a mountainside or [in this case] a Forest, only to behind: left to die – in the case of Aokigahara, locals claim that the victims of ubasate had became vengeful ghosts, and started living among the trees; preying on the weak.

Needless to say, Aokigahara is a very sad and very real place. It’s claimed the lives of thousands, if not more; with the number ever growing. Today’s question is somewhat difficult to answer, so I understand if you don’t really know how to respond: why do You think people go to Aokigahara? Is it really “the most beautiful place to die?” Or are these people being called by demons, vengeful spirits, or some other indescribable evil force? Let me know what Your thoughts are in the comments below. If you aren’t entirely sure of an answer, fear not! Because in all honesty… I feel that only those lost and forgotten souls – the ones who spent their last moments in this dark and quiet shadow-like Forest of Mt. Fuji – will ever know the real answer for sure..

THANKS FOR READING.

REAL HORROR: the dentist who creates mutations! [somewhat NSFW]

Ever wanted to make you own monster? Imagine: you could choose it’s number of eyes and/or it’s skin tone; it could literally be your monster. Now, let’s meet Morgan Loebel, a dentist technician from Kansas turned ‘Mutant Maker’. Morgan makes his very own creatures, monsters and mutated masterpieces out of polymer clay, and I must say.. they’re horrifyingly disgusting! [yet, I love the realism] Apparently this guy’s work is nothing new to some, but I’ve only just stumbled upon it and I’m shocked at the details!

After spending over 20 years making thousands of false teeth through his work as a dental lab technician, Loebel seems to have found his true calling after starting to use Polymer Clay back in 2012. Good thing too, because these monsters are probably the most life-like I’ve ever seen.. He claims that spending his days ‘fabricating realistic, detailed crowns, bridges and other dental prosthesis’ played a key role in his ‘progression from dental tech to mutant maker.’ He now makes anything from phone cases, to necklaces [with suspended teeth] to Necronomicon art; and for those curious – I will be posting pictures of some of his work at the end of this post. They’re even available for purchase on His Etsy page, where you can find one of a kind collectables ranging from hand sculpted polymer clay items to original artwork! According to his Etsy page, he’s been asked the same question since the beginning, which he answers with: “yes..all realistic eyes and teeth that are used in my works are handmade and you cannot get them anywhere else but here.” His work takes several weeks to complete, but the end result is staggering. It’s truly unique.

Take a look at the picture above, Morgan made this for a robot art contest online and even claims that he may be putting it up for sale soon! Though, like many of the comments on the photo agree; I feel he should keep it, as a personal trophy of his accomplishments thus far! According to the description of the picture, he always thought nano technology was interesting, With his idea for the ‘robot art’ contest began as a frightening article he had read a couple years ago on how these nanobots could be weaponized! So naturally, this is what he came up with, and I have to say; it’s creepy – but probably how things would turn out!!


Now I know you guys have been patient with my incessant praising of the art, and the explanations, so I’ll give you what you’ve been waiting for: the pictures. shall we begin with a phone case? remember, all the eyes/teeth on these “pieces of art” are fake, regardless of how real they seem to look! [somewhat NSFW]


It’s just mind numbing to realize that the teeth, the eyes, and even the saliva is fake. You can tell that Morgan worked with teeth for awhile, because he certainly knows how to add to the realism.. But, let’s say you like your phone case, and you’re not interested in buying one of the above cases; what about a necklace or two? For your loved one[s], of course!


I mean, I can only imagine the look on people’s faces if you walked by wearing one of these around your neck! I’m not entirely a fan of the second necklace [above] but I’m sure there are people that do! The last picture I’ll share [I’ll let his pages do the talking for him!] is a commissioned ‘portrait’ he did for someone.. What I’m saying is, that instead of just the face [like the phone cases] he actually made a portrait statue for someone – and it’s probably [in my opinion] the best one yet. Check it, below!

In closing, Morgan Loebel definitely has a ‘certain kind of fan base’, no doubt especially in the horror scene. The details, and the realism just make his art ‘pop’, which shows us that some people are just great at what they do. And just think, Morgan started as a Dentist Tech.. If you still can’t get enough of his ‘work’, be sure to check out his Etsy page or even his page on Facebook, where he sometimes takes requests from fans!

Another thing, if you found yourself to enjoy this article, please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 100+ likes – thanks so much!] By clicking “like”, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted. I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you guys to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share the page with your family and friends!

THANKS FOR READING.