Clowns? Why Did it Have to be CLOWNS?

I don’t normally post links to news articles, and links to Buzzfeed? Not going to happen much at all. But this one story is too much up my alley to pass up.

Clowns. In the woods. Calling out to kids…

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Probably like this, but with balloon animals. I stole this image, because clowns.

Seriously, read the story. If this isn’t a hoax, it’s about the freakiest real-world thing I have read about in a long time

CREEPY CLOWN STORY.

UPDATE:

Here is the story from the local news source in Greenville, South Carolina. My favorite part of the story?

The deputy who compiled the report also wrote that several children said they “believe the clowns stay in a house located near a pond at the end of a man-made [trail] in the woods.”

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If I saw this? The next police report would be about the woods being on fire.

I’m a pretty compassionate guy, and I would love for everyone in the world to be able to do their thing and not have to deal with the judgement of others for it. But CLOWNS? IN THE WOODS? And they have a squat-house by a pond? There is no amount of gasoline that could deal with this.

Monster Monday: the Dearg-Due

There is a prevailing custom in some older cultures, one in which you take extra care to cover the graves of the recently deceased with stones (or boulders). The reason for which might be as simple as not having any dirt around to backfill the grave, or, if you live in Ireland, it’s a lesson learned from ages passed.

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Her name is long forgotten, but her legend lives on. Not for the beauty she radiated in life, but for the terror she harvested in death. She is the Dearg-Due, the Red Blood Drinker. She was once a legendary beauty, born to a family of means and highly sought after. Her heart, though, belonged to a peasant, which ultimately brought about her doom.

The young lady’s family had come into hard times, and her father wished to marry her off to a wealthy family to bring much needed funds into his coffers. A bride-price was settled, and the unfortunate woman was shipped off to her new husband’s estate.

Sadly, the groom was a terrible man. He relished acts of cruelty, and loved to inflict harm on his new bride. He would cut her perfect skin, and delight in the contrast of ruddy crimson against her pale, flawless flesh. When he wasn’t abusing her, he locked her away in a tower so that none but him could see her.

The young woman held out for hope that her beloved would mount a rescue, or that her father would come to his senses and ask for the marriage to be annulled. She struggled in this manner for several months, oblivious to the fact that her father was drunk with his new-found return to wealth, and that her beloved had perished in a mysterious fire.

Eventually, her will to carry on was extinguished. She stopped eating. She stopped drinking. She no longer resisted the cruelty inflicted upon her by her spouse. She renounced her faith, renounced her heart, and slowly, painfully, ceased to live.

The people of her village were devastated. Some, perhaps, knew what had been happening to the young woman but kept their mouths shut, and were now reflecting on their own complicity in her death. She was buried, and she was mourned. A great depression settled over the area.

The very night she was buried, a young man disappeared from his bed. His brother, whom he shared a room with, said that he dreamt of a beautiful song coming from the nearby woods, and a soft, soothing voice urging him to come and dance. He dreamt that his brother slipped on his shoes and climbed out the window, then stumbled off into the misty woodlands.

Several days passed, and the young man remained missing. Search parties were sent out, and returned without news. Finally, the boy was found; pale, lifeless and limp, in a ditch that ran alongside the graveyard. His body had been drained of blood, countless lesions and cuts marked the skin all over his arms and chest.

Panic settled over the village; one of their own had been murdered, and the graveyard had been vandalized as well. The grave of the greatly wronged beauty had been defiled, and her corpse was nowhere to be seen. People began to whisper of dark forces being at work, and wished ever harder that they had intervened before the young woman had perished.

The tragedies that befell that tiny village went on for years. Young men would wander out into the mists, never to be seen again. Children would sit up from their sleep, muttering about the wonderful songs they heard in their dreams, and struggle to leave their homes. Newly born babes would disappear in the night. Search parties were sent out day after day, but they, too, began to go missing.

Those poor folk that survived knew in their hearts that the creature that preyed on their young was one of their own creation, a fiend born of neglect and silence in the face of cruelty.

The little village grew smaller, the fields grew fallow. The woods began to creep closer to people’s homes. The water in the streams tasted of copper. Eventually, the people of the village had the good sense to flee, and never return.

Some say the Dearg-Due is still there, wandering the woods and calling out, singing a haunting siren’s song of loss, tragedy and yearning.

One thing is certain, though; the legacy of the Dearg-Due can still be seen to this day, at cemeteries all over the country. Graves, once filled, are topped with stones, all to discourage the recently dead from returning to settle the grievances left from life.

Dearg-Due
©2016  Leigh George Kade

Batman Revisited: Victor

This week we’ll look at Victor Fries, another down on his luck resident of Gotham who has had several unfortunate run-ins with Bruce Wayne’s alter-ego.

Like Selina and Harvey before him, Victor has taken to hiding from the authorities in the slums of the city. Police are afraid to do more than cursory patrols of the area, and even the Vigilante sticks to the outer fringes of the slums to enact his “crusade”.

Dr. Victor Fries was a brilliant Cryogenics expert who had pioneered a life-saving procedure that could suspend a person in “deep freeze” until cures for their diseases could be found. Eager to start live trials on human subjects, Victor put his terminally ill wife Nora through the (ultimately successful) procedure.

Lucius Fox, CFO of Wayne Industries, found the cryonics pod that Nora had been suspended in. Using his discovery as leverage, Fox forced Victor to use his knowledge of super-cold elements to plunder riches from unbreakable safes around Gotham. During one of these heists, a chemical reaction caused an explosion that doused Fries in a volatile compound that dropped his body temperature to near arctic extremes.

Surprisingly, Victor Fries did not die. Unfortunately, though, his sanity was shattered. His extreme body temperature makes him fragile in typical Gotham weather, which has caused him to retrofit an old Soviet era diving suit into a walking cryogenics lab. Dubbing himself “Mister Freeze,” Victor haunts the streets and alleys of the Gotham slums, plotting his revenge against the man who destroyed his life.

Victor Color

Mythic Articulations

I am pretty much doomed.

Not in some theological “I really should have done that one thing instead of that other thing” sort of way. More like a “these are so freaking cool I am going to sell all my blood to buy them” sort of way. I’ll get back to that in a minute.

Look, I love monsters. Anyone who has checked out more than one post on this page knows that. Anyone who knows me personally really knows that. And by monster, I am an equal opportunity enthusiast of anything in the para-zoological sphere; give me your faeries, your kelpies, your poor huddled goblins.

So, when someone does something monstrously cool, I kind of fall for that project. Yesterday, I stumbled upon Mythic Articulations. Check this out:

Fairy Skeleton

That’s the skeleton of a wetland fairy. I can’t get over how cool this is! Could you imagine having one of these sitting on your desk, or under a glass dome? I’m thinking about getting one and using some acrylic glazes to give the bones a patina.

Tooth Fairy

This little bundle of nightmare tonic is the Tooth Fairy skeleton, and seriously couldn’t be any cooler!

I was wandering around the site, checking out the cool skeleton art posters, skulls, and the other monster skeletons when I saw something that took the air right out of me. How freaking cool is this?

Chupie

Yeah, that’s a Chupacabra skeleton in a can. It’s a model kit, kids. And because the folks at Mythic Articulations made the bones with ball-socket connectors, these kits are completely poseable.

Werewolf can

Here’s a werewolf for those of you into more traditional horror tropes. I prefer the fairy skeletons, personally; I really want to fill my studio with little skeletons under glass!

The price range might seem a bit steep on the surface; most of the skeletons are over $60, but there are art prints and books available for less than $30. Compared to a lot of collectibles they are actually pretty affordable, and your money is supporting a small business that creates unique and imaginative art.

Mythic Articulations uses state of the art 3-D printing technology, and makes each monster to order. You can check out all of their monsters here, or purchase them directly from their Etsy shop.

Workbench Wednesday: Sewer Edition

Odin’s Day again? Time for another look at what’s on the workbench!

Work on Morbid Stories for Dreadful Children continues, with Volume One: The Miller’s Daughters about two-thirds finished. Here are the pencils for page 23:

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I am laying in digital inks now, and will feature a time-lapse film of the finished art on Friday! For a look at the scripted breakdown of page 23, take a look here!

The next coloring book is underway as well, with pencil concepts making way for some background art. First up, a Nosferatu who has the unfortunate job of Sewer Inspector:

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Here’s the finished inks for the sewer:

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Rough concept for the Phantom of the Opera, who landed a terrible gig as a Karaoke DJ:

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These will be featured in Grimmleigh’s Classic Monsters (with terrible jobs), which I am expecting to have available in late September!

And these two are super rough speed sketches that I put together while watching old Hammer Horror movies the other night. The tree scene will probably be used with a vampire or in one of the fairy tales, and the graveyard will be for a Slavic grave goblin:

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I really am drawn to floating apparitions in the woods…

Thanks again for stopping by! If you like what you see, feel free to click that “follow” button! I update nearly every day, and subscribers get a handy e-mail notification when new content is posted!

Have a great one!

 

 

 

 

 

Monster Monday: the Shishiga

Russia is lousy with monsters. Seriously. You can’t swing a wet kobold without hitting some sort of gremlin or beastie. And the farther you get from the cities, the more bizarre and unusual the monsters get!

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The Shishiga is an aquatic goblin that haunts the swamps and lakes of Russian and Slavic regions. I’m not positive that the Shishiga actually goes as far as Western Europe, but I think it’s safe to say that any area with Baba Yaga legends probably has Shishiga lurking about and mucking up the waterways.

Shishiga 1

Shishiga are not fond of clothing, they are described as being naked little fiends, with clammy white skin and tousled hair. The common Shishiga is most often seen sitting on a log or shoreline, muttering to itself and combing its hair. Sadly, this is also an omen that the person seeing the Shishiga is going to drown soon, or die of mysterious causes. Whether this death is caused by the Shishiga, or it is just acting as a messenger of death is unknown.

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Shishiga are notorious for harassing people, (a common goblinoid trait) and like to steal things from unwary people’s homes. The all-time favorite pastime of the Shishiga, though, is bringing misfortune to drunkards. Shishiga have been known to enter taverns and steal money, cause accidental lewdness, and manipulate a victim’s clothing so that their pants or shirts would fall off when they attempt to stand up. Some might say that drunks and cowards manufactured the Shishiga to pass the blame for their poor behavior, but those well versed in goblin psychology know the truth.

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The Shishiga artwork in this post are concept sketches for the Shishiga page in my upcoming coloring story book, Grimmleigh’s Mythic Horrors. My current book, Grimmleigh’s Beastly Oddities, is available on Amazon now.

 

 

And the Winner is…

Last night’s Midnight Monster Madness poll went well into the morning, with a lot of really good (and goofy) candidates for this week’s art drop. We had everything from a chupacabra to the elusive Gingersquatch suggested, but there was one clear winner in the, ahem, pack.

It seems people are crazy for werewolves. Very specific werewolves, in fact; you seem to like your lycanthropes in leopard print. At tea parties.

And this is why I love you.

Here are the pencils for this week’s art drop!

Werewolf tea party

The finished piece will be 5×7 inches, inked on card. It will be hidden somewhere in Salt Lake City either Friday or Saturday this week, stay tuned for more details!

Monster Monday: the Nachzehrer

My Spectral Consultant whispered something into my ear last night.

Regular content is a must if you are going to make it in this world..” it whispered. Then it licked my ear. CREEPY. I opened my eyes, and my dog was standing on my chest, staring at me. Could my chihuahua actually be my Spectral Consultant? Impossible.

I’m listening to my consultant, though. Dog, Daemon, or daisy, it was right. I need regular stuffs to keep the peeps coming back. I like monsters. YOU like monsters (please like monsters). So, let’s check out a monster!

This week, we’re going to travel to the middle of Olde Europe, and take a look at a rather twisted sort of vampire. It’s hungry. It’s dead. It likes the taste of pyjamas.

My fellow cognizants, please keep flash photography to a minimum. It’ll eat you. Please extend a hearty hello to the Nachzehrer.

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“Get your own shroud!”

The Middle Ages were tough, folks. People were dropping off like flies, mostly due to diseases that simple hygiene and a lack of raw sewage could have helped prevent. But, if there is one constant in the human condition, we will look to the supernatural for the cause of a problem, even if the physical world is crawling with the answer.

Scared people were desperate to explain why so many friends and neighbors were wasting away. It couldn’t be the piles of trash and roving rat colonies, so it was most likely some sort of malevolent entity. Maybe someone who was already dead… Far easier to rationalize Uncle Peebo coming back to life than think too much about the river of poo you had to jump over to get to your job at the muck sorting factory.

This is pretty much the conclusion people in parts of Germany and Poland came to. Whole families were dying, and it was probably because someone in the family shuffled off this mortal coil, got bored, got hungry, then came back to eat mom and dad. If the first person in the family to die took their own life, that made the evidence even more damning.

The Nachzehrer would feast off the life energy of its victims, causing them to waste away. It was a lot easier for people to believe that a vampire was killing everyone in town than dysentery or plague, so the belief spread and people kept on dying.

The Nachzehrer was a bit quirky, even for this period of time. They really liked the taste of their funeral shrouds, so if you were hunting one, all you had to do was hold really still and listen; the Nachzehrer could be heard calmly munching away on its clothes. They also liked to sleep in their tombs, sucking on its shroud with one eye open, clutching its own thumb.

Nachzehrer Sleeping
“munch…munch… munch”

The Nachzehrer was also a bit of a show-off, and liked to climb into church towers during the dead of night and ring the bells. Anyone who heard the bells ringing during the night was most likely to die. It’s also said that the shadow of a Nachzehrer would kill anyone it came into contact with, and something about them being able to turn into pigs, but that’s just goofy.

If you found a Nachzehrer, you could end its killing spree by placing a coin in its mouth then chopping off its head. The coin would paralyze the vamp for some reason, which we can just chalk up to Middle Ages Logic. There is even evidence that some overzealous hunter skipped the coin altogether; the remains of a woman in Venice were found in a plague grave with a brick shoved between her teeth. That’ll show her!

Nachzehrer

I will be featuring a Nachzehrer in an upcoming book; this drawing was the first coloring page, but I’m going to re-do it; something about the Nachzehrer’s passion for garment eating is too good to pass up!

Is there an old monster you would like to see highlighted here? Let me know in the comments section!