When Did Clowns Become Creepy Monsters? In 2016, America was gripped by a slew of creepy clown sightings in cities far and wide. These sightings vanished as suddenly as they began, and there was no rhyme or reason for them other than it was just "a thing" for that year. But that wasn't the beginning of the clown as a monster. The iconic clown character was invented as comic relief, dressed up as silly as possible to distract us with physical comedy. But that heavy makeup and happy-go-lucky act struck us as someone who is hiding their true nature. The roots of clowns that range from untrustworthy to downright murderous go back further than you might think, but it's only been in the last 50 years or so that we know more horrifying clowns than humorous clowns. Today, you'd have a hard time finding a just plain funny clown in pop culture. Dr. Emily Zarka looks at the history of creepy clowns and the psychological forces that make them the monsters we see today.
Is This Cave the Place Where Halloween was Born? In County Roscommon, Ireland, lies a complex of archaeological sites called Rathcroghan that is revealing thousands of years of Ireland's ancient history, from the Neolithic to the medieval period. This is where you'll find the cave called Oweynagat, or the Cave of the Cats. The folklore surrounding the cave goes back a couple of thousands years, as it is known that the cave is a gateway to Hell and would open up every October 31st to release demons in the shape of animals that would strip the earth of its greenery. It is also the home of Morrighan, the pagan goddess of war. We don't know how old the occasion called Samhain is, but its lore and customs are intertwined with those of Oweynagat. Locals would stay indoors on October 31st to avoid being dragged to Hell when the demons returned home. If you must go out, better wear a disguise so they won't know it's you. Read about the ancient Cave of the Cats (and other beasts) at Twisted Sifter. -via Strange Company(Image credit: Davsca) 
Horror Stories to Make Thanksgiving Feel Like HalloweenThanksgiving, schmanksgiving. This holiday might be a bit of a letdown for Halloween fans, with all this family togetherness and good cheer, and all you can think about is how Halloween season is over. What you need are some seasonally-appropriate horror stories! A crazy man burning a turkey in your yard? It's not Uncle joe trying a deep-fried bird for the first time, it's a bona fide lunatic bent on revenge! When Grandma decides to join the family feast from beyond the grave, you'd better follow her instructions to the T. The three horror stories above are said to be true stories. Or at least someone said they were true stories. If you prefer your horror without the supernatural overtones, here are three more Thanksgiving horror stories, this time in three different animation styles. These stories are a little different. I listened to the first one and thought it didn't make enough sense to be believable, but then I found that each story is followed by the real news story it is based on. Now, that's frightening.
When Halloween Pumpkins Become DumpkinsIt's a sure sign of Halloween fading away for the year when Jack-o-Lanterns give up the ghost, so to speak, and slump into their rotting softness. Whole pumpkins may last the entire winter, but once you carve them, the clock starts ticking. Jack-o-Lanterns past their prime have a certain melancholy beauty in their sad slump. It's time to put those pumpkins out of their misery and into a compost heap.A few years ago, Atlas Obscura asked their readers to send in photographs of their past-their-prime pumpkins, which are sometimes referred to as "slumpkins" or "dumpkins." If you're ready to bid a final farewell to Halloween 2023, you'll enjoy seeing a gallery of 32 very elderly Jack-o-Lanterns. Then we can start planning for Halloween 2024! -via Boing Boing​(Image credit: michael) 
The Novel Frankenstein is Deeper Than Any Movie It InspiredFor generations now, people have been correcting each other. Frankenstein is not the name of the monster, it's the name of the mad scientist who created the monster! But then again, a more thoughtful take on that would be that the real monster of the story is the mad scientist, Dr. Frankenstein. In Mary Shelley's original novel, Frankenstein isn't even a doctor. But he is a scientist, whether mad or evil or both. It takes a lot of hubris to imagine one can reanimate dead body parts, essentially making a man. The creature itself is the victim, not only of being reanimated without consent, but being seen as a monster, undeserving of love. The novel delves much deeper into the ethics of science and the danger of playing God. Monstrum, from PBS, explains some of the deeper themes addressed in the original 1818 novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus.
Terrifier 3 Puts Some Horror into Christmas TimeIf a series of movies runs long enough, it will eventually have a Christmas episode. And if you are mourning the passing of Halloween, a horror Christmas movie is just the thing to make you feel better! Terrifier 3 continues Damien Leone's horror franchise about Art the Clown, once again portrayed by David Howard Thornton. Also returning are cast members Lauren LaVera, Elliott Fullam, and Samantha Scaffidi. But this time, it's Christmas! Okay, while the teaser may give you a horror thrill as we gear up for Christmas 2023, Terrifier 3 is not scheduled for release until October 25, 2024. Meanwhile, it serves as a reminder that Terrifier 2 from last year has been re-released and is playing in theaters now, which should also help you with your post-Halloween blues.