Haute Macabre Staff Favorites For 2017: Sonya’s Picks

2017 was a strange, potent year and I can’t say I’ll miss it. I traveled (to France, Florida, Salem, and Iceland), got engaged to my partner Gregg (of Golden Gardens and Goodnight Cairo), left a full-time job in marketing writing to do freelance journalism, and battled mental health demons with chamomile tea and podcasts. I […]

Dr. Bloodsucker: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love My Pet Leech

The other day I found myself at the home model and eccentric Jessie Lynn shares with third-generation coffin maker Jack Bennett — Jessie and I were planning to spend a few hours watching bad horror movies and drinking wine, but she also had new pets I was itching to take a peek at: hirudo medicinalis […]

Artist Spotlight: MUA Kirra Cruz On Style, Veganism, And The Most Important Love

Kirra Cruz is a makeup artist based in the Pacific Northwest — her Instagram is full of stunning looks and moody greenery, with cameos by locals like photographer Olivia Lazer and model Jessie, whose collaboration is shown above. It’s also a space where she, a longtime vegan, showcases leather alternatives by Haute Macabre friends Deandri […]

A cemetery outside Tokyo. Nearly all people who die in Japan are cremated. Credit Ben C. Solomon/The New York Times

Japan’s “Corpse Hotels”: It’s There That No One Will Stare

“Checkout time, for the living and the dead, is usually no later than 3 p.m,” writes Motoko Rich. She’s talking about the Hotel Relation in Osaka, whose accommodations include plain twin beds, flat-screen televisions, and plastic-wrapped cups and toothbrushes — oh, and, the corpses are across the hall. Hotel Relation is just one of Japan’s […]

Kieran Crowder ‘Liberates’ Ashes, Makes Art

This past weekend, a very unique exhibit was on display at Turner Fine Arts in Birmingham. Here Lies is the result of over thirty years’ work and incorporates ashes “acquired from a crematorium the artist worked at when he was a teenager in the 1970s,” according to the art gallery’s description. For those unfamiliar with […]

The Mysteries of Cimetière de Montmartre

The other week I had the pleasure of again visiting Paris, one of my most favorite places in the world — partly, I think, because it expects you to earn its love. Paris is like me, or like how I prefer to think of myself: challenging, but worth exploring. It doesn’t require patience so much […]

Agnieszka Osipa: Fashion Where Slavic Folklore Reigns

Polish designer Agnieszka Osipa’s creations feel like home to me, embodying a sort of feral holiness I associate with Slavic folklore and imagery. Its grand and decadent but wild, refined yet chaotic — her fashion often inseparable from the moody, atmospheric dreamscapes she creates with her photographers. Each image is uniquely powerful, with intricate beading […]

“The Demonologist” Author Sues Conjuring Films Because Demons Aren’t Real

Husband-and-wife duo Ed and Lorraine Warren founded the New England Society for Psychic Research in 1952 and went on to author numerous books about spirit activity, often speaking to packed crowds at universities and lecture halls. Many of the hauntings they claim to have witnessed are ghost story classics: the Warrens were some of the first […]

Ask Baba Yaga: Folkloric Advice From Taisia Kitaiskaia

Taisia Kitaiskaia is a Russian-American poet and writer with not one but TWO forthcoming books you’ll want to add to your stack. The first is Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writers (co-created with artist Katy Horan) and the second, Ask Baba Yaga: Otherworldly Advice for Everyday Troubles, just opened pre-orders. Though American perception […]

Bela Lugosi’s Dead (but You Can Live in His House for $3 Million)

Bela Lugosi’s mansion — where the actor lived from 1934-1937 — is on the market. For only $3million dollars, you can buy the Tudor-style Hollywood home, built by architect Frank W Green and complete with a ballroom-size living room with stone fireplace, a formal dining room with “banks of iron glass windows” (because why not), a library with […]

Catching Feelings: The Myth of Victorian-Era Tear Catchers

I’ve had this article on my to-write list for months — tear catchers or “lachrymatories,” those gilded vials you often see next to mourning wreaths and crushed velvet capelets, are the very height of romanticism. During the Victorian Era, it’s said, the grieving would weep into the delicate containers which turn up now and then […]

Scary Stories Tribute Art Exhibit Is Beautifully Terrifying

Earlier this month we were alerted to a new kind of art exhibit by John Squires at Bloody Disgusting: work inspired by the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books was on display from 7pm to 12am in a small San Antonio, Texas gallery, whose Instagram served as a live feed for those of […]

Our Favorite Independent Publishers, For The Discerning Bibliophile

There has never been a better time for books — or, rather, to be a reader of them. Because of the Internet and the literary devotion of independent editors and publishers, many of whom run presses as a side passion project and not an actual revenue stream, we have unprecedented access to books on nearly […]

The Forbidden Desire of “Lover’s Eyes”

Few things in life are as intimate as eyes, whether we’re talking about symbolic gateways to the soul or the visceral suckerpunch of lingering gazes across a crowded room. That so much emotion can be held in such a small physical space inspired a short-lived jewelry trend we have come to know as Lover’s Eyes. […]

Magic For The Modern Mystic: Interview With The Hoodwitch’s Bri Luna

An online community and website, The Hoodwitch is devoted to sharing metaphysics, folk medicine, and wellness in a modern and accessible way. “Magic is creating change by connecting with the energies of nature, at will,” says founder Bri Luna, who works to honor the inner knowledge we so often forget or learn to ignore. It’s a […]

Witch Baby Soap: Making Bath Time Magical

Witch Baby Soap is heaven in a bath. A spooky, intoxicatingly-scented glitterbomb heaven, that is. These purveyors of bath bombs, body butters, sugar scrubs, solid perfumes, and other delights are a cult favorite on Instagram, and for good reason. Their goodies are 100% vegan, hand-made with the finest witchy ingredients, and often contain hidden messages […]

Slow Holler Tarot Deck: Queer + Southern Artists Re-Imagine The Arcana

I’ll admit that tarot has never been one of my favorite mediums for art or divination, somewhat because divination as a whole gives me anxiety but mostly because the gender symbolism in the arcana has always felt incredibly constricting, a word I don’t particularly want to associate with my future. Thankfully, Slow Holler is here […]

Petite Mort: Textile Talismans from Julia Berg

Julia Berg of Petite Mort grew up in the neighborhood wool shop owned by her grandfather and remembers always making something creative out of the materials around her. Self-taught in knitting and crochet like her mother and grandmother, she transitioned to jewelry after training in film school. It “happened naturally,” she says. “While still in […]

Anatomy In Black: Dazzling Drawings From Emily Evans

Emily Evans’ wondrous tome Anatomy in Black is a “sophisticated coffee table book for anatomy lovers,” which is to say it had my attention immediately. The book is a comprehensive anatomy text crafted in black and gold — it’s hard-bound, and features a built-in ribbon which the reader may use as a bookmark… or as a […]

Hopeless Lingerie: The Awakening

Hopeless Lingerie has enthralled us with their latest collection The Awakening, a “haunting blend of lace and mesh” that draws inspiration from the ghosts and vampires of early horror films. The obscure and abandoned have been muses for creator Gaby Adamidis since the line’s beginnings in 2008, and eight years later she and sister Dominique […]

Made With Ashes: Memento Mori For Your Next Dinner Party

New Mexico is home to many artisans specializing in pottery, and Justin Crowe’s Chronicle Cremation Designs is one after our own hearts. Or, more specifically, after our ashes. Made with the cremains of 200 people, Nourish is a dinnerware series “designed to infuse a sense of mortality into everyday moments.” Like many working in the […]

The Aberdeen Bestiary: Fantastical Stories & Illustrations From The Middle Ages

The Aberdeen Bestiary, housed since the 1600s in Scotland’s University of Aberdeen, is now available online, complete with dazzling high-res images, translations of the original Latin, and notes from the university team about the book’s construction. Aberdeen’s volume is an exquisite example of a bestiary, which was an anthology of moral fables and allegories popular […]

A Mortician’s Tale: Death-Positive Gaming

If you’ve never considered yourself a lover of video games, that all is about to change. Inspired by Caitlin Doughty and The Order Of The Good Death, A Mortician’s Tale is a narrative-driven game set in the fictional Rose And Daughters Funeral Home — it’s also a nail in the coffin of unimaginative first-person-shooters as […]

The Small Beast: What Starts In The Stars Ends In The Stars

We’ve written before about the esoteric creations of The Small Beast, a “true Seattle black metal” jeweler that continues to dazzle us with their powerful, keenly-textured pieces. Describing itself as a jewelry line for the modern Mystic, The Small Beast reinterprets metaphysical and occult themes using materials as old as the ideas themselves. Silver, copper, […]

Haute Macabre Exclusive – Golden Gardens / REIGN

Aubrey Rachel Violet Bramble and Gregg Alexander Joseph Neville are Golden Gardens: a mystical duo up from the nocturnal underground, weaving dreamscapes and anthems for magical minds. Their latest offering, REIGN, is currently available for pre-order and Haute Macabre is delighted to bring you an exclusive stream of the entire album in advance of the Friday, 10/21 release. […]

The Sacred Order – Shiny Jewels For Morbid Magpies

The Sacred Order is not only one of my favorite online shops but also a profoundly inspiring treasure trove of mysticism and eye candy. Curated and owned by Wendy Wagner, The Sacred Order specializes in antique, mourning, memento mori, and fraternity jewelry — rings, pendants, earrings and other aesthetic accoutrements wrought from gold, decorated with […]

Nick Cave’s Skeleton Tree / One More Time With Feeling

We usually think of exploration as positive: adventurers, dreamers, alchemists searching for immortality, identity, and meaning. Nick Cave’s 16th studio album Skeleton Tree and its accompanying documentary One More Time With Feeling are not this kind of exploration. Released back-to-back in early September, they are instead a heart-rending look at the aftermath of a great trauma. “What […]

APATICO The Crypt, Fall/Winter 2016

Please welcome Sonya Vatomsky, Haute Macabre’s newest addition to our writing team. Sonya is a Moscow-born, Seattle-based poet and author of Salt Is For Curing. Follow her on Instagram and Tumblr. We can’t wait to get APATICO’s latest line of harnesses, headpieces, and collars on our bones. Available for purchase on September 5th, The Crypt is […]