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. […]