Chernobyl’s Ghost City: Postcards From Pripyat

Deep within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, the restricted area surrounding the nuclear power plant effected by radiation and fallout after the 1986 disaster, is the eerie abandoned city of Pripyat. Once the home of over 49,000 people, the city was evacuated days after the explosion. It has been empty ever since, steadily being swallowed up by nature.

While working on a 60 Minutes report on Chernobyl for CBS News in 2014, filmmaker Danny Cooke took the opportunity to explore the ghost city. Armed with a dosimeter geiger counter (required to enter the exclusion zone) and his camera, Cooke captured amazing footage of the crumbling city.

via Mysterious Universe

Gasmasks laying on the floor in Chernobyl's abandoned city of Pripyat

Cult of Weird Holiday Gift Guide 2014

The 2014 Cult of Weird holiday gift guide will help you find the perfect gifts for the weirdos on your Christmas list!

Find the perfect oddities to finish up your holiday shopping with the official Cult of Weird 2014 holiday gift guide, full of weird stocking stuffers, quirky novelties and macabre confectioneries. Whether you are looking to fill a cabinet of curiosities, or feed the insatiable human appetite for the unknown, there is sure to be something on this list to make someone happy (or nauseous) this Christmas season.

Chocolate Skulls From Conjurer’s Kitchen

Chocolate conjoined twin fetus skulls by Conjurer's Kitchen
Annabel de Vetten of the UK-based Conjurer’s Kitchen makes anatomically correct, life-size skulls and other macabre confectioneries out of cake and chocolate. Do you need a chocolate death cast of Vincent Price? Looking for the perfect edible conjoined twin fetus skull? Maybe it’s a chocolate replica of artist Jessica Joslin’s ornate “Morrigan” crow skull sculpture that is perfect for the weirdo in your life.

Buy Here

Monsters in America Cryptozoological Map

Monsters in America cryptozoological map
This 25″x19″ hand-drawn, limited edition print of bizarre creature sightings across the US brings together the Jersey Devil, Bigfoot, Mothman, Chupacabra, Shunka Warakin, Caddy, the Honey Island Swamp Monster and more.

Loren Coleman, director of the International Cryptozoology Museum said “Hog Island Press has produced a informative, affordable, high quality collectible, which also serves as an educational tool useful for your next road trip, a future research trek, or everyday bibliographic study.

Buy Here

Mummified Heart Pendants

Mummified heart pendants by Afterlife Anatomy
Katie Innamorato of Afterlife Anatomy professionally preserves and mounts these mummified hearts in glass dome pendants.

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Bronze Octopus Coffee Table

Bronze octopus octopus coffee table by sculptor Kirk McGuire
The perfect cephalopod for your living room. Limited edition bronze octopus coffee table created by sculptor Kirk McGuire.

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Goatman: Flesh or Folklore?

Exclusive signed copies of Goatman: Flesh or Folklore? by J. Nathan Couch
Author and paranormal investigator J. Nathan Couch goes in search of the legendary Goatman in his new book Goatman: Flesh or Folklore? The official Cult of Weird shop is offering exclusive signed copies of this fascinating read.

Buy Here

Planchette Necklaces by Blood Milk Jewels

Planchette necklaces by Blood Milk Jewels
For the spiritualist in your life, these highly-quality sterling silver planchette necklaces are crafted by Blood Milk with a distressed satin finish and hand oxidized to achieve her “signature shade of gloomy gray.”

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Squid Beak Wet Specimen by Silentcheesecake

Squid beak wet specimen by silentcheesecake designs
Silentcheesecake Designs creates jewelry and other wearables inspired by science, nature and Victorian cabinets of curiosities. The results are amazing wet specimens preserved in clear wax, such as this squid beak in a vial.

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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitin Doughty
Caitlin Doughty of Ask a Mortician is responsible for this year’s Tickle-Me-Elmo for weirdos, I mean…those of us with darker sensibilities. Get a glimpse into the secretive culture of the mortuary business with Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.

Buy Here

Looking for more books? Check out Macabre Books and the Fall Reading List.

Stacking Skeleton Coffee Cups

Stacking skeleton coffee mugs
Set of 4 coffee mugs silk screen-printed with a skeleton illustration by Phoebe Richardson.

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Mini Female Anatomical Head

Mini female anatomical head from The Evolution Store
This hand-painted 1:3 scale medically accurate anatomical model from The Evolution Store demonstrates the basic muscular and venous anatomy of the head, face and neck.

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Roadkill Collector Bumper Sticker

Roadkill collector bumper stickers from Afterlife Anatomy
Who hasn’t stopped to scrape up something dead on the side of the road every now and then? For taxidermists, roadkill often ends up in the freezer at home. Get your own roadkill collector bumper sticker from Afterlife Anatomy.

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Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps

Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps by Chet Van Duzer
What were those terrifying sea monsters on maps, and why were they there? This beautifully designed atlas by Chet Van Duzer explores the legends of sea monsters and the art of map-making in the medieval and renaissance times. Perfect for the historical, cryptozoological cartography enthusiast in your life.

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Real Bone Christmas Ornaments

Real bone Christmas ornaments from Pandora's Box oddities shop
No Christmas tree is complete without an ornament from Pandora’s Box!

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Skull Flower Vase Sweater

Skull flower vase from Media Karloff
Human skull flower pot sweater from Medea Karloff.

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Gothic Skull on Victorian Frame

Gothic skull on Victorian frame
This gothic bobcat skull on a Victorian style frame was hand-crafted by Cult of Weird’s resident mad taxidermist Rob Reysen.

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Morbid Anatomy 2015 Wall Calendar

Morbid Anatomy 2015 wall calendar
With images drawn from the archives of founder Joanna Ebenstein, the Morbid Anatomy calendar will bring the macabre month after month.

Buy Here

Shrunken Rabbit Head

Shrunken rabbit head by Afterlife Anatomy
Katie Innamorato has developed her own process of creating shrunken heads, which she uses to create these fuzzy and unique shrunken specimens. The rabbit is available here, but there is also a squirrel and opossum.

Human Skull Suture Ring

Real human skull suture ring
This amazing sterling silver ring with a real piece of human skull is available from Death Isn’t the End right here. Maybe a human skull fragment set in 19th century coffin nails is more your style.

Talking Board Historical Society Launches

The Talking Board Historical Society
Talking Board Historical Society logo by Calvin Von Crush

The Talking Board Historical Society, formed by Ouija historians Robert Murch and Brandon Hodge, launched it’s new Facebook page this week. They are already posting fascinating content, such as a spotlight on Rick “Ormortis” Schreck, who attempted to make his New Jersey home haunted by filling it with talking boards.

Though the group has just become official, they have been acting to preserve Ouija history since 2008. They erected a Ouija gravestone at the unmarked grave of original patentee Elijah Bond in Baltimore’s Green Mount Cemetery. They also successfully petitioned the city to recognize William Fuld’s factory on Hartford Ave, which Fuld claimed the Ouija board told him to build in 1919, as a historical landmark.

The Talking Board Historical Society is raising it’s profile in advance of OuijaCon, happening in Baltimore on April 23-25, 2015.

Follow the group on Facebook right here.

via Paranormal Pop Culture


Abandoned America Book Documents Forgotten Spaces Across the US

Abandoned America book by Matthew Christopher

Matthew Christopher spent the last decade photographing the forgotten, crumbling ruins of America. It began as an attempt to photograph the decline of the state hospital system, but evolved into this sprawling book documenting abandoned locations and their history.

Abandoned America includes 230+ photos from over 30 empty, isolated places across the US. It is currently available to pre-order from Amazon right here.

Deep-Fried Tarantula Recipe

Make Thanksgiving unique this year by serving something your guests won’t soon forget…deep-fried tarantulas.
Deep-fried tarantula recipe

Author David George Gordon is no stranger to the bizarre, having written an account of snail sex that the New York Times called “almost breathtaking.” However, his foray into the weird world of bug cuisine is sure to be slimier and more grotesque.

The Eat-A-Bug Cookbook details how to cook and serve numerous insects including crickets, grasshoppers, ants, centipedes and more. But if you really want to make a memorable meal, Gordon’s eight-legged appetizers are the way to go.

All you need is vegetable oil, tempura batter, paprika and two adult tarantulas.

So how exactly does one eat a spider? According to Gordon you should “encourage your guests to try the legs first and, if still hungry, to nibble on the meat-filled mesothorax, avoiding the spider’s paired fangs, which are tucked away in the head region.”

I’m pretty sure I may have just permanently lost my appetite.

But if that sounds great to you, follow the recipe here: Deep-Fried Tarantula Spider Recipe

Fun fact: Gordon originally tried to procure the world’s largest arachnid, the goliath bird-eating spider for this recipe.

Would you try it? Tell me in the comments below.