Nuggets of Wisdom

Friday, October 31, 2014

Nightly Frights: 1999


Tattoo Donkey


If you’ve been disturbed reading about the scary moments from Sesame Street that I've been listing all this month, then thank whatever deity you believe in that you did not grow up in Ontario around 1999.

The children there used to tune into some pretty disturbing programming during that time, with low-budget television programs featuring hands being mutilated with scissors and men in creepy bear costumes harassing poor, screaming children within a dark cellar.

Perhaps more disturbing than the programming itself was how children were often invited to visit Mr. Bear in real life. What would happen to them afterwards is, um, well far too disturbing for me to even write about. You have to read Elliot’s blog posts yourself.


July, 1999

It was summer, and I hadn't watched channel 21 for a while. Until one day when I slept over at my friend’s house I decided to check it out again. My friend had gotten a TV in his room for his sixth birthday, so we stayed up very late (For us, 9:30 was very late) and watched TV. That’s when I remembered channel 21 and brought it up to my friend. We decided to see if it was on, and to our surprise it was (They must have changed the broadcasting time).

Mr. Bear’s Cellar-Episode 23: This episode was entertaining for my friend and I, mainly because it had swearing. However, now when I think of this episode, I realize something was definitely wrong when it was filmed. The episode started with the camera on its side, while it was facing Mr. Bear, who was walking up stairs to the cellar door. The camera then blacked out for about a second, before fading in, back upright, and facing Mr. Bear. There was also another kid talking to him, but this kid looked about eleven or twelve.

He was talking to Mr. Bear for a while, but I couldn't hear well (Again with the crappy camcorder) until the kid started raising his voice. The kid was saying how it was late and his sister had to go home, you could also hear more voices in the background. I remember Mr. Bear clearly saying “Get the fuck out, you're not invited.” with a deep voice muffled by the bear mask. I remember my friend and I looking at each other and laughing at the mention of the forbidden F word, but the episode got weirder. The kid began climbing the stairs before turning around and saying how he was going to call the police. Mr. Bear began breaking into a run towards the kid, who started screaming and running as well. The camera then cut out, and that was the end of the episode. The channel then turned to static shortly after.

Booby-episode 42: “Playing with scissors”: One rainy afternoon I was bored, so I decided to watch channel 21. When I started watching, some show about a guy sitting in an armchair was just finishing, I forget what it was about though. When I first saw this episode, I thought it was for teenagers because it had blood in it, and it was very gross. When the police told me everything, I now know who the blood belonged to. The episode showed Booby and another hand with a ribbon around the pinkie finger (Booby’s girlfriend). Booby was holding scissors and hopping around back and forth, while his girlfriend slowly swung around aimlessly.

Another hand shot onto the scene, this hand was smaller though and was jerking around violently, as if someone under the table was forcing the hand (And I later found out this was the case) “Scissors are very dangerous kids, so hold them safely” Booby said to the camera. I noticed I could also hear muffled screams, but I wasn’t sure where it was coming from because of the bad sound quality.

Booby’s girlfriend grabbed the smaller hand, which was thrashing about, and Booby went at it with the scissors. He started with the thumb, He opened the scissors wide and clasped them onto the thumb, blood began oozing out and the muffled screams were now very loud. My five year old self was very grossed out and that’s when I decided maybe Booby was a show meant for teenagers or grown ups. Then the scissors got to the bone, a horrible crunching noise was heard, and that’s when I turned the TV off. I never discussed it with my dad because I feared he would limit my TV time.
Click here to read the entire story.

Dark Stallion Release Dates

Tomorrow is when my fan fiction The Dark Stallion premieres. Starting tomorrow, a new chapter will be released every week, with a hiatus every fourth week to give me time to continue working on it. Here is the schedule for the first three chapters:

11/01: Episode 01: Xander, Lone Unicorn On A Quest.
11/08: Episode 02: My Name Is Skywind. I Remember Nothing Else.
11/15: Episode 03: Enter Ninja Star, The Stalwart Swordpony.

Top 13 Sesame Street Scares (#1)

Finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for has arrived, and on this most haunted of days. Today, on Halloween, I reveal the #1 scariest moment in Sesame Street.

But first, let’s talk about the Wizard of Oz.


IMDB


On second thought, let’s not. Because, really, what is there to talk about?

Pretty much everyone and their grandparents know about the Wizard of Oz—and I do mean that literally, as most of our grandparents, and I would even daresay great-grandparents, were alive to see the movie when it first came out in theaters.

The Wizard of Oz is one of those movies that most of us are introduced to as children. So it only seemed fitting that Sesame Street, in its early days, decided to have one of the movie’s characters make a guest appearance on their show.

So which character did Sesame Street decide to invite on? Scarecrow? Tin Man? Cowardly Lion? Dorothy and Toto? (I don’t believe we're in Kansas anymore, Toto. The birds back home don’t grow to be eight feet tall!)

Or how about the Wicked Witch of the West?


OZ Wiki


Yes, if the Wizard of Oz is one of the first movies that we are shown as kids, then the Wicked Witch is one of the first villains were are exposed to as children—and depending on who you are, you either end up loving her, hating her, or running screaming out of the room whenever you see her green, warty face.

So, of course, such a “lovable” character as herself would make the most opportune guest on Sesame Street, and in 1976, Margaret Hamilton reprised her infamous role as the witch for a single episode appearance.


Muppet Wiki


#1: The Wicked Witch Visits Sesame Street (Episode 0847)

In that episode, the Wicked Witch is flying over Sesame Street when she accidently drops her broom.

Wait, what? She drops her broom? But isn’t that how she flies? Wouldn’t that be like saying that I was driving my motorcycle down the road when I accidently dropped my motorcycle.

But I digress.

Anyway, she drops her broom and it lands into—where else?—Sesame Street. There, it is picked up by the Hooper Store assistant, David, who uses it to sweep the floor. When the Wicked Witch comes by demanding her broom back, David, in his infinite wisdom, refuses. This pisses the witch off, and she casts a magic spell to make it rain inside the store. She then goes on to threaten to turn David into a basketball and Big Bird into a feather duster.

But none of that compares to the most terrifying part of the episode: Oscar crushing on the Witch!

Turns out that the Grouch is really turned on by the mean, green woman and wants a good taste of some of that green chocolate. (And I will stop there before I start making any more inappropriate vomit-inducing innuendo.)

Now, at this point, I would probably be showing you all a clip from that episode, if not only a still screenshot. Unfortunately, no video or pictures of this episode exists—and for good reason: this episode was banned from television.

You best believe that when this episode first aired, that it freaked the hello out of many little children, and their parents were less than pleased about it, so much so that they sent angry letters to the Children’s Television Workshop. Muppet Wiki has more details:
This episode prompted an unusually large amount of mail responses from parents, almost entirely negative, within a short time frame. Typical responses included parents concerned that their children were afraid and now refused to watch the show, using such phrases as "screams and tears" and "the threat of the witch's power remains in children's eyes." A somewhat atypical missive came from a self-proclaimed Wiccan, concerned with the perpetuation of a negative fairy tale stereotype and recommended a segment "portraying witches as they really are, now."
Because of this, the Children’s Television Workshop, in its better judgment, decided never to reair the episode again, and it never did. Rumor even has it that the film reel of the episode itself was destroyed so that it would never be accidently re-run. The episode probably still exists. It probably doesn’t. And for all we know, that’s what the higher-ups probably want.

So there you have it: a Sesame Street moment that scared kids so badly on the first airing that it was never shown again. With such a reaction, how could this moment not be the #1 Sesame Street Scare?

Top 13 Sesame Street Scares (#2)

Hey, kids! Want to learn how to count? What’s that? You’d rather not? Well, don’t worry! This next segment will guarantee that you remain mathematically illiterate:

#2 Limbo (Nobody)



Yes, you are seeing that correctly: that is, indeed, a creepy disembodied face floating in total darkness counting down numbers in a psychedelic setting.

And, no, you are not having a nightmare. Or a fever dream. Or a bad drug trip. (Though something tells me the creators of this segment were inspired after going on one!)

This—thing—you are watching is called “Limbo,” though most people refer to him as “Nobody”—for obvious reasons!


Muppet Wiki


The puppet, as you can see, consists of two string-like eyes and a string-like mouth that are operated using an elaborate system of wires that are manipulated via glove.

Because of this, I have very mixed feelings about this puppet. On the one hand, the technological innovation behind it is highly impressive. On the other hand, GOOD SWEET MERCIFUL CELESTIA, THAT IS HORRIFYING!

This segment of his first appeared on Sesame Street in 1970. It was one of two segments that he appeared in, and those were his only two appearances on the show.

No! But he seems like such a charming character that children would simply adore—and by “adore,” I mean simultaneously piss their pants and lose their lunch over.

However, those wasn’t his only appearances on television. The character had starred in many of Jim Henson’s early work such as Sam and Friends as well as his appearances on late night shows such as The Tonight Show.

One of Limbo’s more infamous appearances was the sketch The Organized Mind, which was a psychedelic look into the mind of an ordinary man, with some creepy side effects:



The creepiest part about this segment has to be the appearance of one nightmarish hell-spawn that appears for a split-second, and fittingly enough, the name of that puppet was “Nightmare.”


Muppet Wiki


Thankfully, THAT puppet never made any other appearance outside of this segment, especially on Sesame Street.

Though you have to wonder what Henson was thinking, or even smoking, when he considered putting Limbo on the show.

“Hey, guys, you know that disembodied, ghost-like face puppet I have, the one that I featured in a skit about a man’s nightmarish journey into the dark recesses of his own subconscious? Yeah, I was thinking of giving him his own segment on Sesame Street. The kids are going to love him!”

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Dark Stallion Teaser #3


deviantART


In less than a week, my fan fiction The Dark Stallion will make its debut. I'll be releasing a few teasers until then. Here's one last teaser before the big premiere:

*****

Twilight Sparkle and her friends had gathered at Sugarcube Corner. Twilight paced the floor while the other five sat around a table. Rarity held open a newspaper with a headline about the recent robberies.

Fluttershy studied the headline. “So it looks like we’re not the only ones who were robbed last night.”

Twilight continued pacing the floor, deep in thought. “Yes, whoever stole from me and you also stole from other ponies in town.”

Applejack shook her head. “It’s a mighty shame that the police department is understaffed this year."

Pinkie Pie slammed her hoof on the table. “Forget the police,” she exclaimed, raising her other hoof in the air. “This sounds like a job for the Mysterious Mare Do Well!”

Rarity lowered her newspaper. “Pinkie, dear, we are the Mysterious Mare Do Well.”

“Oh!” Pinkie dropped her other hoof and shamefully lowered her head, which she quickly lifted back up. “Well then, maybe it’s a job for just us.”

“As if,” Rainbow Dash sneered. “Saving a bus from flying off a cliff is one thing, but catching a burglar is quite another.”

“Burglars?” Pinkie scoffed, rolling her eyes. “This is clearly the handiwork of ninjas!”

Twilight stopped pacing to glare at Pinkie. “Pinkie Pie, it was probably just a burglar, not ninjas.”

Pinkie tilted her head and raised her eyebrow. “And how do you know that? Were you there?”

Twilight just shook her head as she continued pacing.

“Burglars or ninjas,” Dash said, “It’s still going to be a hassle trying to catch them.”

“Not quite,” Twilight said as she stopped pacing. “I think catching the culprit may be quite simple.”

“Whatever do you mean, dear?” Rarity asked.

“Don’t you see what all those thefts have in common?” Twilight asked. “My magnifying glass, Fluttershy’s comb, all the other jewelry in town?”

“What about them?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“Crystals,” Twilight exclaimed. “They all had crystals. Whoever is robbing everypony is stealing things made from crystal. So if we want to catch them, we just have to lure them with something made from crystal. Fortunately for us, there’s one pony here who owns plenty of those.”

Everyone’s gaze shifted towards—

“Me?” Rarity asked.

“Of course,” Twilight walked toward her. “And oddly enough, the thief hasn’t stolen from you yet.”

Pinkie leapt onto the table. “Maybe because she’s the thief!” she exclaimed, pointing accusingly at Rarity.

Rarity only returned a cold stare, which was enough to force Pinkie to slink back off the table and into her chair.

“Or not.” She quietly muttered, embarrassed.

“Which is why we simply need to lure the thief with the most exquisite crystal item that Rarity owns,” Twilight continued.

Rarity placed her hoof under her chin as she contemplated. “Well, there’s the three gem tiara that goes with my Gala dress. But it just seems too risky. I'd hate to have that stolen.”

“Don’t worry, Rarity,” Twilight said. “We’ll catch the thief before he can even touch it.”

On that note, the six ponies left. They passed another table where sat a colt with a conical Asian hat that was slanted to conceal his eyes. He took a sip of his tea before slowly lifting his gaze toward the six, watching their every move intently as they exited the store.

*****

The Dark Stallion premieres Nov. 1.

Nightly Frights: Racy Pulp Comic Covers [NSFW]

And now for a post that’s a bit more, well, "not safe for work."

You could question whether it’s tasteful for me to showcase such “covers” on my blog, but hey—what guy doesn’t like seeing a half-naked (or even fully-naked) damsel in distress trapped in a test tube and at the mercy of a mad doctor?

I know it’s grossly “misogynistic” for me to think this, but there’s something alluring, if not empowering, about seeing women stripped of their clothes and bodily autonomy and subjected to the whims of a villainous cur.

Here’s just a sample of vintage pulp magazine covers I found from this blog. Click the link to view more of them, especially those that are more "revealing."

(And if damsels in distress and mad science are your personal kink, then I highly recommend you visit Mad Erotic Science, which has an extensive collection of, well, erotic mad science material.)








Blogspot


There’s something I find intriguing about such vintage pulp comic and magazine covers. They come from a time when the culture was much more sexually repressive, yet they managed to get away with being risqué enough to put Playboy to shame. I can almost see why there was a huge moral backlash against comic books in the 1950s.

Even when standards and expectations for comic books, if not media in general, have become much more relaxed in recent years, covers such as these would be unthinkable in our current politically-correct culture. If the recent feminist outrage over Spiderwoman’s butt made your eyes roll, imagine what would happen if comic books these days tried to publish covers such as these. Anita Sarkessien would have an aneurysm!

So being able to enjoy such vintage covers seem like a real rare find. These types of covers truly were a product of their era, and will probably never be recreated.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Nightly Frights: Chiller (Thriller Parody)

Ever since its debut, Michael Jackson’s Thriller has been a Halloween tradition—which is why I’m not sharing it today. We’ve all seen it a million times before. You know what hasn’t been seen as many times? A Thriller parody with talking fruit in a freezer!



You could consider this hilarious, or you could consider it annoying. But I repeat myself.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Dark Stallion Teaser #2


deviantART


In less than a week, my fan fiction The Dark Stallion will make its debut. I'll be releasing a few teasers until then. Here's one of them:

*****

The next morning, Rainbow Dash was busy zipping across the sky to clear away the excess clouds that had formed during yesterday's storm. As always, she had cleared away the clouds in record time. She flew over to a lone cloud to sit and admire her handiwork.

“Dashie girl, you’ve really outdone yourself this time!” she bragged to herself. “I challenged myself to clear this sky in ten seconds flat, and I did. Naturally!”

Just then, a loud crash erupted behind her, nearly causing her to fall off her cloud. She turned to see something--or rather, someone--plummeting toward the ground. Even though it had flown past her at breaking speed, Dash recognized the falling object as a purple pegasus.

In a gasp, Dash dove off the cloud and after the pegasus. She soon gained enough speed to fly alongside him as the two of them began nearing the ground. Inspecting him, she noticed that his eyes were barely open and his wings were lifelessly limp. Dash wrapped her legs around his body and lifted her wings, causing the two pegasi to glide across the ground before either could crash into it. Unfortunately for them, they flew into the marketplace, crashing through a series of carts and stalls until finally crash landing into a stall of rugs. The crowd around them began to panic as they crowded around the two fallen pegasi.

Dash had just enough strength remaining in her to pick her head up and look at the pegasus she had saved. He was purple with wavy black hair, black ears, wings, and hooves. His eyes, barely open, were green like his cutie mark—a gust of wind.

Those were the most details Rainbow Dash could recognize before she quickly collapsed and passed out.

*****

The Dark Stallion premieres Nov. 1.

SATIRE: College Requires Written Consent


Vox


College Students Required To Offer Written Sexual Consent

College code requires students to sign and submit waivers before engaging in any sexual contact, or else risk being disciplined for sexual misconduct.

Moron Dowd
Daily Bungle

It was your typical college romance. John and Jane met at the beginning of their freshmen year at Justinuther University, and over the next few weeks, began to know each other a little better.

By the following semester, after attending a campus party, the two decided to take their relationship to the next level.

Jane invited John over to her dorm room, where she made the first move and asked him if he wanted to sleep with her. John complied, and the two had sex.

Despite both of them drinking at the party earlier that evening, both were sober enough to offer each other their consent and use protection.

The next morning, neither of them were ashamed of what they had done, and both were willing to do it again in the near future.

This is where their story should have ended. Sadly, for them, it did not, and their ending was anything but happy.

Two days later, they were both summoned to the Dean of Students Office, which had caught wind of their sexual act. Both of them were accused of violating the college’s new code of sexual conduct.

Under the new code, students wishing to engage in sexual contact are required to offer their written consent. Neither John no Jane had complied with this measure, and thus, they were charged by college officials with sexual misconduct—specifically, Jack was charged with rape.

Despite their insistence that their sex was consensual and mutual, and despite police investigating their case and concluding that they were innocent of any sexual misconduct, and thus refused to charge them with any crime, the two were brought before the college judiciary, who convicted John of rape and had him promptly expelled.

John has since hired a lawyer and filed a lawsuit against the college. His lawsuit remains pending.

“This is beyond ridiculous,” Jane said in a phone interview. “How could I have been raped if I wanted to have sex? I consented. John consented. We both consented. Neither of us had any regrets, and we both loved it. End of story. John did not rape me.”

The college’s code of sexual conduct was revised prior to the start of the fall semester last year, and was passed at the behest of student feminist groups urging for stricter rules and regulations against sexual assault.

Under the school’s new code, simply asking another student if they want to have sex and receiving a “yes” answer is insufficient for consent. Both students must report to the student office and sign and submit a waiver expressing their sexual consent though writing.

Their waiver requires filling out a form detailing all of the physical and sexual contact they wish to engage in, from kissing and fondling, to whether their sex includes oral or anal, to what sexual position they wish to assume.

After completing their form and providing their signatures, both students must wait a minimum of two to three days until their waiver is approved to engage in their desired coitus.

Despite these otherwise “draconian” measures (as many students have described it), most students have chosen to bypass this new process and do what Mother Nature programmed them to do. Most students have been able to get away with this, but others such as John and John have not.

Even when students have complied with the new process, a simple typographical error could have them running the risk of being disciplined for sexual misconduct.

One couple, who wishes to remain anonymous, had submitted their waiver and received approval, but were still disciplined when it was learned that the female student gave the male student a blowjob, despite them having specified in their form that they were only engaging in regular sex.

Another couple ran into a similar predicament when they decided halfway through their sexual act to try “doggy style” when they had originally specified that they were only going to engage in the missionary position.

The college has refused to divulge the number of students it has disciplined for sexual misconduct, nor how it was able to learn that said students had been engaging in it.

The college’s new code rides on the current wind of nationwide debate concerning college sexual assault, the flames of which were further fanned earlier this spring by an investigation by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Education of 55 colleges that were suspected of not reporting sexual assault cases.

That investigation, along with national stories of rape cases such as Steubenville, have prompted activists, mostly feminists, to demand stricter laws and regulations, especially on college campuses, to curtail sexual assault.

To support their demands, feminists have often cited the common statistic that one in five female college students are raped—a figure based upon a study which has since been debunked by criminologists James Alan Fox and Richard Moran:
“The estimated 19% sexual assault rate among college women is based on a survey at two large four-year universities, which might not accurately reflect our nation’s colleges overall. In addition, the survey had a large non-response rate, with the clear possibility that those who had been victimized were more apt to have completed the questionnaire, resulting in an inflated prevalence figure.”
Their findings, along with other statistics that reveal sexual assault rates at record lows, refute feminist claims that America is currently suffering from a “rape epidemic."

However, this has not stopped elected officials from proposing and passing stricter laws concerning sexual assault.

Recently, California approved SB 967, or the “Yes Means Yes” bill, which requires colleges to adopt stricter guidelines concerning sexual conduct based upon “affirmative consent,” which the bill defines as "an affirmative, unambiguous, and conscious decision by each participant to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity.”

The bill further stipulates that consent may be revoked if "the accused's belief in consent arose from the self-induced intoxication or recklessness of the accused" or if "the accused did not take reasonable steps, in the circumstances known to the accused at the time, to ascertain that the complainant was consenting."

While the bill has been praised by feminist activists, it has come under scrutiny by critics over its “ambiguous” definition of consent, which could potentially lead to false rape accusations.

Furthermore, the processes by which colleges would be required to adopt to investigate rape allegations could lead to the accused having their legal rights violated, as Reason Magazine’s Robby Soave explained:
“The big [problem] is that many colleges don’t extend due process rights to students involved in the process. The accused are frequently denied legal counsel, the right to call their own witnesses or cross-examine the evidence against them, and they are convicted on the "preponderance of the evidence" standard, which only requires administrators to be 50.00001 percent sure of themselves. This is the standard the federal government insists upon and California's bill requires. Students found guilty under that standard are often suspended for years or expelled outright, meaning that whatever money they spent on tuition is wasted. And since other colleges are loathe to admit anyone with a campus sexual assault violation on his record, conviction in a campus court can end a person's college career forever.”
One recent incident that highlights this potential problem occurred last year at Occidental College when a male student was expelled after being accused of rape.

Despite his case revealing that his accuser had previously expressed her willingness to have sex with him, both to him and to another friend, and despite the police finding no evidence of any wrongdoing from either party, the male student was still expelled, as the school considered his accuser’s consent “invalid” due to her being intoxicated.

Despite such potential problems concerning the “Yes Means Yes” bill and other anti-rape measures, feminist supporters have remained unfazed by them.

Vox's editor-in-chief Ezra Klein admitted that the bill “is a terrible law” that would do more harm than good, but that the inevitable harm was necessary to combat sexual assault on college campuses:
“If the Yes Means Yes law is taken even remotely seriously it will settle like a cold winter on college campuses, throwing everyday sexual practice into doubt and creating a haze of fear and confusion over what counts as consent. This is the case against it, and also the case for it. Because for one in five women to report an attempted or completed sexual assault means that everyday sexual practices on college campuses need to be upended, and men need to feel a cold spike of fear when they begin a sexual encounter...To work, "Yes Means Yes" needs to create a world where men are afraid.”
###

I'm not sure what's worse about anti-rape measures such as California's "Yes Means Yes" bill: that their "good intentions" will inevitably pave the road to hell for the sex lives of unwitting college students, or that their feminist supporters don't give a damn?

Nightly Frights: The Mysterious Stranger


Blogspot


Ever heard of Will Vinton? If you haven’t, you’ve probably heard of the California Raisins. Those singing raisins were one of his many creations, along with many other animated shorts and features that he filmed with his signature stop-motion technique “Claymation.”

By far, his magnum opus was the 1985 film “The Adventures of Mark Twain,” which was the first full-length feature film created with the Claymation technique.

The film is about the titular author Mark Twain embarking on a fantastical voyage with his characters Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, and Becky Thatcher as they chase Haley’s Comet in a steamboat-esque airship.

The movie is a profile of Mark Twain’s life and work, with vignettes of his short stories including “The Frog of Calaveras County,” “The Diaries of Adam and Eve,” and “The Mysterious Stranger.”

Never heard of the last one? That’s probably because it was one of Twain’s post humorous works. Not much is known about this unpublished short story, other than Twain has been working on it for a good decade until his inevitable passing.

Oh, and the protagonist is Satan—which explains why the animated segment based off of it is rather, well, creepy.

Yeah, this infamous segment of the film was rumored to have been censored on television and in other countries. That’s not true, of course, but watching the segment, you can almost understand why it could have been true.

Words cannot do justice to this scene. You have to watch it for yourself. (Just don’t do it before bed if you plan on sleeping for the evening—or the decade!):

Monday, October 27, 2014

Nightly Frights: Top 10 Inadvertent Nightmare Stuff


Blip


Let’s face it: everyone and their grandmothers have already made a top ten list of scariest childhood scares—even I made such a list—and when you have so many lists flooding the internet, chances are, the waters will stagnate, and everything will be diluted and homogenous.

Seriously, who hasn’t cited Fantasia’s "Night On Bald Mountain" as one of the movie moments that made them wet their pants? Or how about Willy Wonka’s Tunnel of Doom? Or Large Marge from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure?

Well, The Obscure ain’t got no time for that! He’s a real hipster who breaks from the crowd and strives to be anything but predictable—which is very clear from his list of "Top 10 Inadvertent Nightmare Stuff."

You won’t see any of the tired-old cliché selections that you see on other lists. Instead, The Obscure overlooks the intentionally scary stuff in favor of the more, well, obscure scares—the ones that most other nostalgiatards overlook.

Like how about the running out of air music from Sonic the Hedgehog? If you’re trying to beat the game, then there is no scarier music than that.

Or how about the E.T. ride at Universal Studios. Sure, E.T. would hardly scare any three-year-old, but the other abominations on his home planet are sure to plague any child’s nightmares.

Or how about Slim Goodbody? You know, Slim Goodbody? The educator who used to dress up in a flesh-tone bodysuit that displays all of his internal organs? You have to admit, that was rather gruesome.

But all of that pales in comparison to his #1 pick. What is it? Well, you’ll have to see for yourself. But let’s just say you’ll never consider evolution the same way again.


Top 13 Sesame Street Scares (#3)


Wikipedia


As I mentioned in my list of Top 13 Scariest Nostalgic Moments, the "Sesame Street News Flash" intro always scared the Sweet Celestia out of me as a little kid, making it my biggest nostalgic scare.

However, nightmare-inducing intro aside, the Sesame Street News Flashes themselves were rather entertaining, and I never really had a big problem with them.

Most of them, at least!

And this one would be the segment I had the biggest problems with.

#3: Humpty Dumpty News Flash



The “Humpty Dumpty” news flash carries out as you would expect.

Kermit is reporting on the scene where, true to the nursery rhyme, Humpty Dumpty has taken his great fall, and all of the king’s horses and all of the kings men are racing around in panic trying to put poor Humpy Dumpty together again.

Unlike the nursery rhyme, however, the king’s horses and men actually manage to put the broken egg back together again.

And when you see him, you’d wish that they didn’t.

But seriously, how bad can it be? It’s just a big egg. How scary can an egg be…


Muppet Wiki


...OH MY GOD! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR FACE?!?!

Those teeth. My Celestia, those teeth! They’re so big and…Holy sheet! Teeth are not supposed to open and close that way.

Thank frigging Celestia that that—that abomination ends up getting cracked again, and let’s pray that the king’s horses and men can’t put him back together again this time.

The sunnier side up to this is that, in future segments, a different Humpty Dumpty Muppet would be used—one that’s more friendlier and less—nightmare inducing.


Muppet Wiki


This was originally going to be at the top spot on my list, but as you can see, this is only #3! We have two more to go, and, oh boy, are they much more nightmare-inducing than this.

Prepare yourselves, folks! Things are about to get really bucked up in here!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Nightly Frights: Grad Night In The Haunted Mansion


Schmoes Know

There’s an urban legend that claims that, when the Haunted Mansion attraction first opened in Disneyland, that it was so frightening that a guest was scared to death from a heart attack, forcing the attraction to be promptly shut down and revamped.

Obviously, that urban legend is simply that: a legend.

However, there have been elements of the ride that have been changed and removed during its lifetime. One such element was an animatronic ghost known as the Hat Box Ghost, thusly named because it carried around a hat box with something sinister inside.

Since its initial removal from the ride, fans have speculated as to why it was removed. Some say it was too frightening. Others claim its mechanics were outdated. But still others have claimed that there is a far more sinister reason for the ghost’s removal—a reason that three friends would discover after sneaking aboard the ride during the annual grad night:


The big plan for the night was kind of ambitious and maybe a little reckless – to this day, I can’t remember who suggested it first, only that we all thought it was a great idea. We had already gotten into the park and gone on a number of rides when it was brought up, while we were sitting on a bench in Frontierland eating churros. From where we sat, we could look across the Rivers of America to Tom Sawyer Island, and past that where the river curved to New Orleans Square. Poking above the trees was the cupola of the Haunted Mansion, with its clipper ship weather-vane. The sun had just gone down, and the sky was awash with dull orange and purple clouds, most of which seemed to loom behind the cupola. I pointed out how perfect and spooky the whole thing looked, and that got us talking about it. The mansion was a collective favorite, and being dumb kids, we agreed to do a little exploring: to effectively “spend the night” in the Haunted Mansion.

We laughed about as we got in line for it, moving past the brick columns and up the walk toward the mansion, but inside I was a bit nervous. You have to understand security was a bit more lax back then, so it was plausible that we would be able to pull this off if we were careful. Plus, Grad Night always had kids getting into trouble, and the likelihood of us getting banned for good was not as high as it could have been. But I still felt tense, that feeling you get when you’re scared about going on a thrill ride for the first time, excited but hesitant.

The three of us – Mike, Karen and myself – had it all worked out: when you first enter the mansion, you’re escorted into a room that seems to stretch and warp before your eyes, which is actually an elevator that takes guests below ground, where a hallway connects to the ride building beyond the park’s berm. As everyone else crowded out of the room and into the Hall of Morphing Portraits, we lagged behind (which the disembodied voice of the Ghost Host jokingly warns you not to do) and fell in at the very back of the line. By the time we piled into our “Doombuggy,” there was no one else behind us, and the black, endless procession of clamshell-like cars were empty.

We went through the ride as normal, cracking jokes and making banter at all the old familiar scenes, until we reached the exit crypt. We stepped out onto the moving platform and walked toward the escalator ramp that leads from the crypt back to the park outside. If you don’t know, the escalator hugs the wall on the right, but on the left is a small crypt scene where a tiny, ghostly bride stands on a stone shelf and tells you to “Hurry back…Hurry back…” Mike took charge here, deliberately turning backwards as we went up to watch the cast member near the buggies below us. Mike’s a big, broad-shouldered guy, a football player through-and-through, and his bulk hid me and Karen from view as we slowly ascended. At his signal, when the cast member monitoring the exit had his back turned, Karen and I climbed over the rail and dropped down into the crypt scene, where we quickly scurried under the dusty space beneath the escalator. Mike was over a moment later, and we laughed and congratulated each other on a job well done.

We must have spent a good hour or so down there, giggling into our hands whenever we heard footsteps and voices overhead of unsuspecting people exiting the ride. Karen even had some snacks she’d brought with her, and we sat there in the dark and ate and whispered to each other. It was like being in a weird clubhouse, and it felt good that we three shared this delinquency together, even as the narration of the ghost bride looped over and over again in the background: “Hurry back…Hurry back…Be sure to bring your death certificate. If you decide to join us, make final arrangements now. We’ve been…dying to have you.”

Eventually the novelty wore off, and we got quiet, and then listless. Sure, we’d managed this much, but then what? Karen pointed out that it had been eerily silent for awhile – other than the monotonous speech of the bride and other spooky ambient sounds, there were no more people coming up the ramp. Mike said he thought maybe the park had closed, but that made no sense because it was open all night on Grad Night. Not wanting to get in trouble, but also wondering what was up, I volunteered to clamber back up and take a look. When I did, using some of the crypt scenery for hand and footholds, I saw that there was no one around, not even a cast member down at the unloading platform at the end.

When I reported this, Mike and Karen climbed back up as well, and we went back down the unloading station to look around. All the Doombuggies coming along the corridor were empty, and there was not a person in sight. It was odd, to say the least, and I felt like something was definitely off to have the place so empty. I was about to suggest turning around and heading back outside when Mike said he’d always wondered where the Doombuggies went after they dropped you off. They rounded a dark corner in the crypt area and vanished from sight, and Mike was curious what was down there.
Click here to read the rest of the story

Dark Stallion Teaser #1



In less than a week, my fan fiction The Dark Stallion will make its debut. I'll be releasing a few teasers until then. Here's one of them:

*****

Spike watched with his snout upon the tabletop as a cockroach scurried across. His eyes then focused on Twilight standing opposite to him.

“Ready, Twilight?” he asked.

Twilight nodded. “Here goes.”

She closed her eyes as her horn began to glow with a purple aura. Before either the pony or dragon could blink, a glass jar materialized on the table, trapping the cockroach within it.

Spike leapt for joy with fist pumped in the air. “Alright!”

He ran over to a nearby checklist propped upon an easel.

“That’s your 50th spell and counting, Twilight!” he said as he marked a red check. “You’ve sure learned a lot since you moved to Ponyville a year ago.”

Twilight blushed. “That’s what happens when you commit yourself to your studies.”

Spike sauntered over to the table and stared at the cockroach trying frantically to escape its glass prison, despite the fact that it was sealed shut with a lid.

“I have to say, though, it would have been much cooler if you made it explode.” He threw his elbows on the table and placed his chin upon his claws. “20 percent cooler if it had exploded in a sonic rainboom.”

Twilight giggled. “It may have been cooler, but it wouldn’t have been as humane.”

Using her magic, she picked up the jar, causing the bug within to scurry faster in panic.

“It may be an ugly Blattodea, but it’s still a living creature, and it has every right to live.”

Spike rolled his eyes. “You’ve been hanging around Fluttershy lately, haven’t you?”

Twilight walked over to a nearby window to open the jar and throw out the roach. “That obvious?”

“I still say you should learn how to make something explode.” Spike leapt from the table and walked toward Twilight. “It would look great on your list of spells. Then again, I don’t know any other pony who knows more spells than you do.”

On that note, the library door flew open.

Through it entered a colt, a light-blue unicorn with a silver mane. He wore a brown jacket, a satchel over his shoulder, and a golden pocket watch dangling around his neck. Though his jacket concealed it, his cutie mark was a green triangle inside a square inside a circle—an alchemy circle. He was slightly taller than Twilight and seemed slightly older than her, but if only by a year or two. His eyes flickered with a serious look—not a mean one, but by no means gleeful either.

Without speaking a word, he walked over to one of the bookshelves. He scanned its contents before choosing a book using the magic from his horn.

“Oh, good morning,” Twilight greeted him.

The unicorn glanced at Twilight, then back at his book. “Morning.”

“Back again, I see?” Twilight commented.

The unicorn did not respond. He walked to a nearby table where he sat down and started reading his book, but not before unloading the contents of his satchel: a notepad, a pencil, and a few other books of his.

“This has to be the third time this week he’s come here,” Spike whispered into Twilight's ear.

Twilight nodded. “Yes. And he always stays until closing. Must be important research he’s working on.”

“I don’t think I’ve seen him around before. Is he new to Ponyville?”

“I think he moved into town just this week."

“What’s his name?”

“You know, I’m not sure either. I never really talked to him.”

“Well, what are you waiting for?” Spike asked, smacking Twilight on the rump, prodding her forward. “Go ahead and talk to him.”

Twilight hesitated. “But—”

Spike motioned for her to move forward.

Twilight shrugged. She walked over to the colt, who was now in deep concentration, reading his book and taking notes.

“Looks like you’re doing some pretty important research there,” Twilight said, trying desperately to break the ice.

The colt did not look up to acknowledge her, but continued what he was doing. “It is.”

“I don’t think we've been properly introduced. I’m Twilight Sparkle.”

The unicorn continued his work, taking a much long time before replying, “Xander.”

Silence hung between the two: Xander enthralled in his research, and Twilight hesitating to say something. She had not felt this awkward since she had first met Fluttershy, but to Xander’s credit, he was still more talkative that her.

“So, Xander, just what is it exactly you’re researching there?” She asked. “You’ve been here everyday for—”

“Listen Miss,” The colt interrupted, not in a mean way, but rather in a blunt one. “I don’t mean to be rude, but I’m busy right now and I prefer not to be disturbed.”

Twilight gasped and blushed bright red. “Oh! Well, um. I guess I’ll leave you to your work then.”

She quietly slipped away and returned to Spike, who shot a dirty look at Xander.

“Well, at least we know he’s the rude type.” He said, hands upon hips.

Twilight shook her head. “He’s not rude, just pre-occupied. I used to be the same way, remember? We just need to give him time. He’ll open up eventually.”

*****

At the Ponyville Dam, the water passed from the reservoir above and through its turbines before emptying out into the river below, just as it did ever day since the dam was first built.

But then something began to stir within the waters below the dam. The water spiraled into a small whirlpool before erupting into a large water devil.

From it emerged a humanoid creature endowed in a dark-blue robe like that of a wizard. It was a green frog-like creature with yellow slit eyes and a yellow beak for a mouth. Though its wizard hat concealed it, its head was concave like a bowl and was filled to the brim with water. And though its robe concealed it, his back had a shell like that of a turtle. In its slimy, webbed-hand grasp it held a wooden staff with a blue sapphire sitting atop it.

This creature was a kappa, and from his appearance, he was a wizard.

The kappa gazed upon the dam mischievously and gently raised his staff. From the sapphire a blue light was emitted into the clouds above, which soon grew dark. As he swiveled his staff in his hands, the clouds began to circle with it, growing darker and darker. From them roared thunder and crashed lightning as from them poured rain.

The creature cackled in amusement.

*****

The Dark Stallion premieres Nov. 1.

MLP Villains: Lord Tirek

Finally! To wrap up this year’s collection of MLP Villains posts, I’m closing out this month with the best MLP Villain of them all: Lord Tirek.

Long ago, Tirek came from another land to take over Equestria, but his brother, who had befriended the ponies, warned of his plot, and Tirek was cast into Tartarus for his crimes. Centuries passed, and Tirek managed to escape his prison and regain his power once more. With the help of the trickster, Discord, he was able to absorb all of the magic from the ponies in Equestria, including the alicorn princesses themselves. Everything seemed to be in his favor until Twilight and her friends unlocked the Rainbow Power and used it to banish him to Tartarus once more.

And here is a few select fan art of the most powerful villain of them all:


Tirek Scrap by harwicks-art on deviantART

"Is he friend or is he foe, the pony folk wonders. I can assure you, I am no friend!" Best. Line. EVER!



Tirek by Audrarius on deviantART

Please tell me I'm not the only one to see similarities between Tirek and Trigon from Teen Titans. Big, red horned demons seem to look the same to me.



Anti-Rainbow by BlindCoyote on deviantART

Discord really didn't see this coming, but I'm surprised the others didn't see it as well. Discord siding with the villain? No! How?



Tirek by baitoubaozou on deviantART

Tirek uses flamethrower. It's super effective.



Tirek vs. Twilight by QuizzicalKisses on deviantART

I want to say that the fight scene between Twilight and Tirek was the best animated fight scene this side of the pond from Japan, but that honor belongs to Aang’s fight with the Fire Lord in Avatar. But this scene is pretty far close!



Tirek Tastes the Rainbow by Ghostwalker2061 on deviantART

Twilight summons Bahamut. It's super effective. (Okay, the monster is actually Neltharion, but I don't know who he is. Also, I mixed up Final Fantasy with Pokémon.)



Decisive Battle! by DANMAKUMAN on deviantART

Twilight uses Thunderbolt. It's not very effective. (Okay, that's enough Pokémon references from me.)



Attack On Tirek by Left2Fail on deviantART

I know this picture is an Attack on Titan reference, but all I can think of is Samurai Jack. Now I'm thinking of Tirek with Mako's voice.



Spike vs. Tirek by KometIV on deviantART

Spike vs. Tirek. Well, this is the closest we're going to get to an actual Dragonball reference.



Taste The Rainbow Tirek by MEGARAINBOWDASH2000 on deviantART

Even as babies they're still epic!



Tirek and Discord against the world by seriousdog on deviantART

You may laugh now, but don't you ever underestimate the power of the sandwich. There is a reason why Jared lost that much weight!



Tirek-sama by DarthCraftus on deviantART

Tirek IS best villain. All the other villains are just imitating.



tirek by CSImadmax on deviantART

The new-school look at the old-school villain—or, at least before he was given the official new-school look.

Sunday Funnies (10/25/2014)

Need a good laugh? We all do! So here’s your weekly compilation of political cartoons. And this week is Halloween! I don’t know what’s scarier: the children parading down the street with their masks and costumes, the mainstream media whipping up fear over Ebola and Isis, or the barrage of negative political ads leading up to midterm elections? Ah, well. Soon the horror will end after Halloween. (Or rather, after Election Day!)


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