Picturing Poe: How the Poe-Land Cover Came to Be

An interview with artist and a look at some of the original cover ideas for Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe, including an off-the-wall Disneyland concept that must never see the light of day… (read more)

[2014 OTIS Halloween Season Blog]

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RANDOM THING: This weekend might end up being my favorite of the season. Friday night, Poe-Land appearance at the Goodwin Library in NH. Saturday, hanging out in Salem. Sunday, in Boston for the Poe statue unveiling. Hopefully, I’ll see some of you at some of these places, although I’ll only be able to recognize you by your avatars.
[2014 OTIS Halloween Season Blog]
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RANDOM THING: This weekend might end up being my favorite of the season. Friday night, Poe-Land appearance at the Goodwin Library in NH. Saturday, hanging out in Salem. Sunday, in Boston for the Poe statue unveiling. Hopefully, I’ll see some of you at some of these places, although I’ll only be able to recognize you by your avatars.

[2014 OTIS Halloween Season Blog]

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Living Dead Room
A living room bestrewn with paper bats and skeletons, scented by pumpkin spice and mulled cider candles, lighted by the electric and flame twinklings in the eyes of ceramic jack-o-lanterns and ghosts, is our only controlled Halloween environment. Here, we don’t have to worry about random hot days that weigh down our spirits or worry about those strange people who bemoan the end of summer looking at us weird because we’re excited by it. Here, we don’t have to worry about crowds gunking up all the Halloween activities and stores moving Christmas merchandise too early. In our living dead room, it’s always the perfect level of Halloween… (read more)

[2014 OTIS Halloween Season Blog]
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Living Dead Room

A living room bestrewn with paper bats and skeletons, scented by pumpkin spice and mulled cider candles, lighted by the electric and flame twinklings in the eyes of ceramic jack-o-lanterns and ghosts, is our only controlled Halloween environment. Here, we don’t have to worry about random hot days that weigh down our spirits or worry about those strange people who bemoan the end of summer looking at us weird because we’re excited by it. Here, we don’t have to worry about crowds gunking up all the Halloween activities and stores moving Christmas merchandise too early. In our living dead room, it’s always the perfect level of Halloween… (read more)

[2014 OTIS Halloween Season Blog]

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RANDOM THING: Congrats to the Fright Kingdom VIP pass winners, Jay, Kelly, and Kristin. You should have emails in your inboxes. Enough people entered that I felt bad about giving away only two pair, so I threw in a third. Still feel bad (why I can’t do giveaways usually), but for those who didn’t win, go nevertheless. Worth your weight in soul.
[2014 OTIS Halloween Season Blog]
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RANDOM THING: Congrats to the Fright Kingdom VIP pass winners, Jay, Kelly, and Kristin. You should have emails in your inboxes. Enough people entered that I felt bad about giving away only two pair, so I threw in a third. Still feel bad (why I can’t do giveaways usually), but for those who didn’t win, go nevertheless. Worth your weight in soul.

[2014 OTIS Halloween Season Blog]

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OTIS PHOTO: Spiderweb (and spider) on my lawn. Using this as an excuse not to mow my grass.
[2014 OTIS Halloween Season Blog]
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OTIS PHOTO: Spiderweb (and spider) on my lawn. Using this as an excuse not to mow my grass.

[2014 OTIS Halloween Season Blog]

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A Book and a Burial Site: The Grave of John Bellairs

The House with a Clock in Its Walls is somehow both cozy and epic, and I loved it enough to visit the grave of the man who wrote it… (read more)

[2014 OTIS Halloween Season Blog]

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Nostalgia for Nightmares
Of all the monsters in my nightmares, only four have always haunted me. I remember them more clearly than the face of my second grade teacher, more vividly than the presents of my early Christmases. I don’t think I’ve ever told anybody about them, mostly because they’d seem silly to someone who hasn’t shared nighttime childhood brainspace with them. But in the spirit of the season, let me tell you about them…with badly GIMP’d illustrations… (read more)
[2014 OTIS Halloween Season Blog]
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Nostalgia for Nightmares

Of all the monsters in my nightmares, only four have always haunted me. I remember them more clearly than the face of my second grade teacher, more vividly than the presents of my early Christmases. I don’t think I’ve ever told anybody about them, mostly because they’d seem silly to someone who hasn’t shared nighttime childhood brainspace with them. But in the spirit of the season, let me tell you about them…with badly GIMP’d illustrations… (read more)

[2014 OTIS Halloween Season Blog]

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OTIS PHOTO: This is my wife. We have Woodchuck pear cider and pumpkin spice Oreos. I am about to introduce her to the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
[2014 OTIS Halloween Season Blog]
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OTIS PHOTO: This is my wife. We have Woodchuck pear cider and pumpkin spice Oreos. I am about to introduce her to the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

[2014 OTIS Halloween Season Blog]

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Giant Red Leech Swallows Worm Hole

BBC has footage of a large red leech slowly swallowing a big worm from one end. Great and disgusting. It went down on a mountain in Borneo, and bonus points to BBC for laying down a theremin-y track for it. It was the right call.

[ODDITY NEWS]

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RANDOM THING: Here’s a recap of the past week of the OTIS Halloween Season. The most popular post so far is…last year’s "Aging Witches" Hocus Pocus film sites article. Hit my Halloween peak and nobody told me.
1) A Memphis cemetery 2) The ultimate Poe-themed roadtrip 3) My Venus Flytrap4) Tracking down the sites of Poe’s “The Raven”5) A Washington DC Cemetery6) Behind-the-scenes tour of Fright Kingdom7) I try a buried alive simulator8) Our Fall roadtrip into Vermont
[2014 OTIS Halloween Season Blog]
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RANDOM THING: Here’s a recap of the past week of the OTIS Halloween Season. The most popular post so far is…last year’s "Aging Witches" Hocus Pocus film sites article. Hit my Halloween peak and nobody told me.

1) A Memphis cemetery 
2) The ultimate Poe-themed roadtrip 
3) My Venus Flytrap
4) Tracking down the sites of Poe’s “The Raven”
5) A Washington DC Cemetery
6) Behind-the-scenes tour of Fright Kingdom
7) I try a buried alive simulator
8) Our Fall roadtrip into Vermont

[2014 OTIS Halloween Season Blog]

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Up Yours, Vermont…Your Highways and Byways, I Mean

A recap of yesterday’s Fall road trip that involved a ghostly girl playing the violin in a cemetery, an impromptu memorial for Robin Williams, and an entire factory floor dedicated to getting people drunk on old apples… (read more)

[2014 OTIS Halloween Season Blog]

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Panic in a Casket:The Fright Kingdom “Buried Alive” Simulator
He shut the lid of the casket, darkness fell, and panic started creeping. Claustrophobia is a problem for me in general, but this kind of claustrophobia might be the worst, this casket claustrophobia. On top of that was the mental strain of not knowing what was going to happen next or, worse, how long it was going to happen for. On top of that, and possibly more terrible than the previous two factors, was the heat. Like I was being fed into a crematorium oven. Stifling. Basically I had three reasons to sweat… (read more)
[2014 OTIS Halloween Season Blog]
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Panic in a Casket:The Fright Kingdom “Buried Alive” Simulator

He shut the lid of the casket, darkness fell, and panic started creeping. Claustrophobia is a problem for me in general, but this kind of claustrophobia might be the worst, this casket claustrophobia. On top of that was the mental strain of not knowing what was going to happen next or, worse, how long it was going to happen for. On top of that, and possibly more terrible than the previous two factors, was the heat. Like I was being fed into a crematorium oven. Stifling. Basically I had three reasons to sweat… (read more)

[2014 OTIS Halloween Season Blog]

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OTIS PHOTO: I know I owe you some videos for this Halloween Season. They’re coming. Wait…who took this picture?
[2014 OTIS Halloween Season Blog]
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OTIS PHOTO: I know I owe you some videos for this Halloween Season. They’re coming. Wait…who took this picture?

[2014 OTIS Halloween Season Blog]

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Open Haunted House: Fright Kingdom

My wife just wanted pho. Two weeks later she’s running from a man in a clown mask and an animatronic corpse leaping from a casket as we get a personal, before-it-opens tour of one of the best haunted attractions in New England. Also, I’m giving out VIP passes, so make sure you read to the end… (read more)

[2014 OTIS Halloween Season Blog]

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Skip the Washington Monument: Rock Creek Cemetery
I always talk about how much I love New England cemeteries—their age, their abundance, their macabre iconography, but that doesn’t mean other places don’t have cemeteries worth being buried in. Take my old stomping grounds in DC. Rock Creek Cemetery has some of the best funerary art in the country, and a major Edgar Allan Poe connection… (read more)
[2014 OTIS Halloween Season Blog]
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Skip the Washington Monument: Rock Creek Cemetery

I always talk about how much I love New England cemeteries—their age, their abundance, their macabre iconography, but that doesn’t mean other places don’t have cemeteries worth being buried in. Take my old stomping grounds in DC. Rock Creek Cemetery has some of the best funerary art in the country, and a major Edgar Allan Poe connection… (read more)

[2014 OTIS Halloween Season Blog]

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