Saturday, November 13, 2010

Happy Birthday, Robert Louis Stevenson



A tribute to Stevenson's horror classic by the best band ever.

How to Spot The Antichrist



PBS.org has a wonderful website about The Apocalypse. It is chockful of useful tips to explain what to look for when things start really going south. My favorite is the section of primary source material, which contains ancient and medieval documents about all things Road Warriorish.

An 11th century Benedectine abbess Hildegard allegedly received visions of the devil as a disgusting, monstrous worm "covered in ulcers and pustules." She recorded them in a document called the Scivias. A depiction of the visions coming into her head is pictured above (What the hell are those tentacle-things, anyway? Is that heavenly light, or something that might tunnel out of John Hurt's stomach?) But you can read an excerpt, and see the picture of the ugly, worm-like devil here.

But it's the Antichrist who is the star of the show. He's like the Where's Waldo of theology, hidden somewhere in the crowd, but easily seen if you know what to look for. A thousand years ago, a monk named Adso provided rattled off a list of identifying marks. Here are some of them, along with some helpful tips from me:

Adso: Still, he will be conceived wholly in sin... will be generated in sin, and will be born in sin. At the very beginning of his conception the devil will enter his mother's womb at the same moment.... [W]ith the devil's cooperation she will conceive through a man and what will be born from her will be totally wicked, totally evil, totally lost.
Bibeau: This will probably happen on an episode of Jersey Shore.

Adso: Just as Our Lord and Redeemer foresaw Bethlehem for himself as the place to assume humanity and to be born for us, so too the devil knew a place fit for that lost man who is called Antichrist, a place from which the root of all evil (1 Tim. 6:10) ought to come, namely, the city of Babylon.
Bibeau: ...or possibly Vegas.

Adso: The Antichrist will have magicians, enchanters, diviners, and wizards who at the devil's bidding will rear him and instruct him in every evil, error, and wicked art. Evil spirits will be his leaders, his constant associates, and inseparable companions.
Bibeau: Yes. Definitely Vegas.

Adso: Then he will come to Jerusalem and with various tortures will slay all the Christians he cannot convert to his cause.
Bibeau: Those holy land travel packages are usually not refundable. There's usually a whole torture n' conversion clause right in the contract.

Adso: He will circumcise himself and will pretend that he is the son of Almighty God.
Bibeau: Saw a guy do that in shop class once.

Adso: He will attack the places where the Lord Christ walked and will destroy what the Lord made famous.
Bibeau: Not Amy Grant!

Adso: He will make the elements change into differing forms, divert the order and flow of bodies of water, disturb the air with winds and all sorts of commotions, and perform countless other wondrous acts.
Bibeau: A weatherman. From Vegas. Conceived on a reality show. You heard it here first.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Story Behind The Headless Horseman




Over at The Vault of Horror, they have a series on the folklore behind Halloween's scariest goblins, traditions, and trappings. And Jeanette Laredo of the blog Monsterland contributed an essay on some of the folktales around that world that feature the Headless Horseman. It's a great, enlightening read for those of you who believe that a decapitated spirit of vengeance began with the famous tale by Washington Irving.


You can find the remaining posts here. One of them, about the Jack O'Lantern, is my own humble offering. Brian Solomon, or "B-Sol," is the tireless curator of The Vault, and it is one of my favorite places on the internet. Of course, if you've seen the sick sh-t I like, you'd reconsider taking advice from me. But don't let my Brady Bunch-themed hentai fetish sour you on B-Sol! He's a decent egg. Whatever twisted obsessions haunt him, clearly he's using them for good.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Prologue: Beach Blanket Bloodbath

(Note: This is a rough draft I am noodling over. I decided to throw caution to the wind and just post it.)

I trip over the first head in the dark. Without looking down I know what it is – there’s a kind of terrible give that a severed head has that a rock or piece of wood lacks. It’s almost like a jack o’lantern, soft and meaty and full of heavy smells. I scrape my shins on a pile of twigs as I go down and my hand comes to rest in something wet. But I don’t dare move. They’re somewhere near in the woods, and coming after me. Far away I can hear the sounds of the ocean. I smell the salt on the wind. Somehow it doesn’t help.

When I’m convinced my pursuers are still a ways off, I finally click on the light of my cell and scan the ground. The head belonged to an attractive brunette woman. I believe she was a hooker, although I’m almost positive I’d never availed myself of her services. Just a few feet away there are several more heads. All of them covered with festive glitter. And hanging on a tree branch above the garish scene I notice a cloth banner decorated with more of the glitter and a single word cut out of red felt letters: PRAISE!

I’ve stumbled back to their lair. Hope leaves me.

That’s when I hear the twig snap, not twenty feet away. I fall as flat as I can, trying to squeeze myself into the ground if I can. I know what’s coming a half-second before it does – the woods around me explodes with automatic weapon fire. The dirt sprays everywhere, getting in my mouth and eyes. Branches disintegrate around me. The roar goes on forever, the sound like toothpicks in my ear… until I become disoriented and time seems to slow, and for a moment I think I am already dead. That this is how it is, how you experience your last moments, stretching out forever until you don’t notice that you’re gone. I am very, very tired. I’ve been running for hours. I’m certain these people will close in soon and kill me. And in this moment I feel small and weak, and I don’t care anymore. It will be a relief to die, I realize for the first time in my life. If it weren’t for Peg and her daughter, lost somewhere in the dark, I would just give up now. But I can’t.

The gunfire stops. There is silence as the birds and animals hold their breath and even the wind seems to stop. Then an inconceivable sound. For a few long moments I can’t believe it’s happening. But it’s impossible to deny.

You just call out my name… And you know wherever I am…

Is that a guitar twanging?

I’ll come running! To see you again…

This is worse than the severed heads, or what I saw in the burnt-out remains of that store on Atlantic. Somehow this is worse than anything…

Dontcha Know that Winter, Spring, Summer, or Faaall. All you got to doo is call...
And I'll be there, yesIwill...

The sick fucks are singing James Taylor.

You've got a friend.
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