Thursday Link Dump

Clever Manka, · Categories: Thursday Link Dump

Available from UK Etsy store wandrstore

Those of you who like Order of the Good Death‘s founder Caitlin Doughty’s vlog Ask A Mortician might appreciate this video game which was released last week.

The Feminist Power of Female Ghosts

When I asked a number of acquaintances to name the female spirits that stand out the most in their minds, two names seemed to prevail. Bloody Mary, that apparition every preteen girl dreads seeing in the mirror during a slumber party game, was the first. The second was, if I may quote one respondent, “The girl in The Ring. For me, the scariest are dark-haired, lurchy, wet women. What does that say?!” What does it say? What both of these answers, as well as many others, say, for one thing, is that female ghosts are particularly scary because the source of the pain that keeps them haunting the living world isn’t supernatural at all, but the result of being all too human.

A host of YouTube video playlists from pseudonymica! Haunting Stories and Poetry, Macabre Classical Music, Spooky Silent Movies. BTW, she mentioned she’s having a tough time right now and could use some financial help. If you’re in a place to donate, her paypal address is in a comment.

There is an Edward Gorey Museum!

The Miskatonic AC Club, organized by the originator of the Pittsburgh Department of Zombie Disposal.

Here’s a Kickstarter for the book Becoming Dangerous: A book about ritual and resistance. “Twenty personal essays from witchy femmes, queer conjurers, and magical rebels on summoning the power to resist.”

What does it mean to call something spooky? An eye-opening read for someone who only knew the noun “spook” as applied to humans when talking about spies or other undercover government agents. Guess this is a good time to more heavily integrate the Tumblr word “spoopy” into my vocabulary.


The complete ghost stories of M.R. James and a podcast based on his works.

A article about horror and gaslighting.

Horror exists as a genre primarily to reflect the ugly and the despicable parts of our world back at us through a funhouse lens that makes the trauma digestible. Most fans of horror know this and will tell you so; Frankenstein is about the terrifying possibilities that science and technology might visit on us; Invasion of the Body Snatchers told the story of what happened to a world beset by McCarthyism and Cold War anxieties; Get Out has shown us how the racism of white liberals is every bit as menacing as its more vitriolic counterpart. Some of these lessons are cautionary, which explains all the teenaged kids making bad spring break choices. But some of these lessons are simply mirror images of terrors we know all too well—like a girl telling someone that she isn’t comfortable, and being told in response that she’s the worst kind of downer for daring to admit it.

And a story on Strange Horizons about the final girl.

A few people sent movie recs, but I’m gonna put those in a comment thread. Please feel free to add your own below. Thanks to everyone who sent recommendations. There’s no way I could have put together this collection without you (I think only two of the links are ones I found myself, so bless all you contributors for real).




41 Responses to “Thursday Link Dump”

  1. Doc_Paradise says:

    My copy of Caitlin Doughty’s new book "From Here to Eternity" is due to arrive in the mail today. I ordered it and Ann Leckie's new book "Provenance". Both due today… I'm excited! I have blueberry wine in the fridge and the guys are both busy tonight so I'm hoping to have a quiet evening reading.

  2. CleverManka says:

    pseudonymica's paypal address is if you're in a place to send her some financial assistance

    • CleverManka says:

      From other people who either sent them to me or left them in an earlier post: Knights of Badassdom, The Convent, Stoker

      From Jenavira:
      Fall movies not horror: Practical Magic, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow are my annual go-tos. Stoker is a good atmospheric contemporary gothic (trigger warning for sexual assault as a major plot point). I just watched The Blackcoat's Daughter earlier this week, which I think I enjoyed but I was a little too spoiled for; very atmospheric, possession narrative but not super horror-y, trigger warning for bloody decapitations (but not a lot of gore). Penny Dreadful is a TV series, not a movie, but it's about on the Crimson Peak level of Gothic Creepiness, with only a few full-on horror movie moments, mostly involving large numbers of spiders. For very gentle atmospheric creepiness, Mushi-shi is a gorgeous anime about a guy who travels around cleaning up after spirits, some of which do some pretty nasty things to people, but not maliciously – it's just a part of their life cycle.

      Movies I recommend:
      What We Do in the Shadows (For. Real.), John Carpenter's The Thing (still great if you can ignore the lack of women), The Woman in Black (except for the last minute and a half, just ignore that), Poltergeist (yes the 80s one, it holds up imo), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and The Blob (1958) are fun and lighter fare–The Blob especially, and The Babadook (it's SO GOOD).

      I'm sure I'll think of others but I really have to pay attention to my job right now.

      • Doc_Paradise says:

        Three very different vampire movies that I like are:

        "Daybreakers" — action/science fiction

        "Shadow of the Vampire" — drama/fake documentary

        "Lesbian Vampire Killers" — satire/british comedy/B-movie

        The first two have Willem Defoe in them and the last is snark worthy (and problematic or satire depending on whether it is taking its taking itself seriously or is as much bullshit as the secondary character keeps pointing out).

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        Thanks to everyone for the recs! I appreciate the warning re: Stoker. I saw that in theaters without knowing what it was about at all (a friend wanted to go) and the way sexuality was treated in that movie was super uncomfortable for me.

        The non horror recs I love, including WWDitS, which is beyond amazing and I need to rewatch it. I've never seen/heard of Knights of Badassdom, The Convent, or Mushi-shi, but will look them up! And I've totally been meaning to watch The Woman in Black & The Blob.

        My own recs;

        Other non-horror- Clue; Hocus Pocus; various TV episodes (MSCL, Roseanne, Buffy, etc.)

        Other horror: Carrie and The Exorcist are big ones for me; House of the Devil is also wonderful. Also the original Scream. I'm sure there are tons more, but when I think or horror movies I'm more likely to watch around this time of year, those are the first ones that come to mind.

        Oh, and The Craft. Obviously The Craft.

      • BestLaidPlans says:

        Oh, The Blackcoat's Daughter is super duper creepy.

      • jenavira says:

        Catching up on Lore has reminded me of another not-really-horror movie: Le Pacte des Loups/Brotherhood of the Wolf, a totally ridiculous eye-candy movie based on the real-life Beast of Gevaudain. 18th Century French Court! Full Gothic incest tropes! A Native American guy who is a massive collection of stereotypes and is played by a guy who is…not Native (but at least he's not a white dude) but who is just by far the biggest badass in the entire movie! It's not good. But I love it, and I think I need to watch it again.

      • Kazoogrrl says:

        Replying la day ate today, but I'd like to add The Witch, and The Village (and I know some people don't like the twists in his films, but it has a great atmosphere). And Buffy's "Hush" episode, so good. And I like Cabin in the Woods, though I do close my eyes for some of the grosser parts.

        WWDITS is just the best. Woman in Black scared the pants off me, because I am a horror weenie. I saw the original Japanese Ring after a nighttime trip to see the house in the end of Blair Witch. 15+ years later it still freaks me out just thinking of it (I also saw the second one, and then the US remake. Why? Glutton for punishment, maybe?).

    • CleverManka says:

      A quick non-recommendation! The 2013 Carrie remake is terrible. Heartbreaking because of the utter waste of acting talent but ugh it was SO BAD.

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        I heard! It sucks, but honestly I couldn't imagine them improving on the original. Not that the original is absolutely perfect, but for that story, it really, really works (Piper Laurie is terrifying.)

    • Absotively says:

      I don't watch nearly enough movies, but since the topic includes vampire movies, I think Only Lovers Left Alive is kind of weirdly delightful.

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        I love that movie! It just makes me want to hole up with a good book and relax, like I (literally) have all the time in the world. Also it was just hilarious at times.

      • Kazoogrrl says:

        My faaaaavorite! I saw it 4 times in the theater. I identify with Eve so much, and Adam is way too similar to guys I've dated.

    • redheadfae says:

      I am still swoony over Interview With The Vampire and seriously adore Queen of The Damned. Aaliyah in that costume, omg.

  3. damngoodcoffee says:

    That final girl piece is wonderful. I like the Tor piece too; the horror movies I love the most are usually from a woman's perspective (The Ring, Carrie, Silence of the Lambs, The Descent, etc.), and a lot of the time they feel like scarier, more intense (though sometimes just as intense) versions of fairy and folk tales. Because of the horror movies I usually see, I've always seen horror as more of a women's genre, even, though I know there's more variation than that. But those have always been the stories that drew me, and I think they make up a large part of horror movies, particularly more recent ones (The Babadook, It Follows, Hush, etc.) But b/c of my own interests/selection I'm probably biased.

    • jenavira says:

      I will never be over the analysis in Women, Men and Chain Saws that points out that even for horror movies that are clearly made for a male audience, the viewpoint character is usually a woman, and part of the reason is that this gives men the ability to be scared. Men aren't supposed to be scared in our culture, but if they're watching a movie whose point is to be scary from the viewpoint of a woman, it's permission for men to have a feeling that isn't anger.

      (This framing is also the biggest reason I've grown not only to accept but also to appreciate the rape-revenge movies from the 70s like I Spit On Your Grave. Yes, they have graphic rape scenes in them. They're from the point of view of the woman, and they're horrible. If even one of those movies convinced one dude that women have a right to be paranoid about Schroedinger's Rapist, it's worth it.

      Also, like The Wicker Man, rape-revenge movies are just super fun and therapeutic sometimes.)

  4. Rillquiet says:

    Book recs thread! One of my all-time favorites, The Master and Margarita, is technically more a book for spring, but since it features a talking black cat, witches, vampires, and the devil himself, it's a solid choice for this season too. (Get the Glenny translation; it's missing minor lines, because Glenny was working from censored copy, but his grasp of language more than makes up for the omissions.)

    • littleinfinity says:

      I had this book on my shelf for ages before I read it and then was so glad I did! It's wonderful!

    • damngoodcoffee says:

      The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova. I'm also a fan of The Witches of Eastwick, because it is just so delightfully witchy. I enjoyed Dracula, though it was pretty dry. White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi (a Toast rec from a while ago) is creepy as hell and amazing.

      I've heard Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill is good, but haven't yet read it. I tried to read Hex by Thomas Olde Heveult last year and couldn't get through it, I found it so disturbing.

    • Xolandra says:

      BEST! I love that book so much!

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      Elizabeth Hand's Blacklight and (not quite as much but still creepy) Waking the Moon.

  5. Sarah says:

    Found this little treat for academic inclined witch

  6. littleinfinity says:

    Love the "peril of being disbelieved" article. Relevant to the season, the era, life in general…

  7. Heathered says:

    I never knew the "spy" meaning of spook, and as a kid went into hysterics when an uncle complained that spooks were taking all the good jobs in Boston (he was an Olympic-quality alcoholic, so it wasn't a leap to think he meant actual ghosts). That was a terrible thing to later get clarity on.

    • Rillquiet says:

      I grew up in the DC area, where enough people were involved in various forms of intelligence work that I heard the term used as shorthand for "dunno/don't want to say which branch that person is with, but one of 'em." Talk about fields that probably did have unquiet ghosts working for them! The racial meaning of the term was not current, but it cropped up in, of all places, "Back to the Future," where one of Biff's gang yells it at one of Marvin Berry's bandmates.

      • Kazoogrrl says:

        I remember a friend not really saying what his dad did for a living, until his partner yelled, "JFC, he's dead, you can tell people he was a spy!".

  8. pseudonymica says:

    If you're in the mood for a Victorian-esque Halloween, I think you'll like one of my playlists. That's what I was going for when I made them for myself. I might add some witchy music and other stuff too.

    For reasons involving spoons and my lack thereof, I spend a lot of time watching YouTube videos. Then I make highly specific playlists because it's what my academic brain does: search data for patterns, sort them into themes for analysis, and present it in a logical and attractive way.

  9. Lee Thomson says:

    A long piece on Joni Mitchell here:

    because we all know she deserved that Nobel more than Dylan

  10. Flitworth says:

    I am on Volume 2 of Monstress. The artwork is unbelievable and it's by two WOC.

  11. redheadfae says:

    Contribution: The Charles Addams Gallery

    I spent many an hour in the library going through every book of his I could find.

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