Wunderkammer animated short film

Wunderkammer: Animated Short Film of the Erotic-Grotesque

Madelaine discovers an alluring object in her cabinet of grotesque curiosities.

Satanic Snaketivity

Satanic ‘Snaketivity’ on Display for Christmas in Illinois Capitol

The Satanic Temple of Chicago installed a sculpture of a hand holding an apple with a snake wrapped around it for the holidays.
Satanic Snaketivity on display in the Illinois State Capitol for Christmas
Snaketivity on display in Springfield, Il.

“Fill your eyes and ears with Satanic holiday cheer! The Snaketivity is here!” the Satanic Temple of Chicago posted on Instagram this week.

The “Snaketivity” is a black resin sculpture of a hand holding an apple with a snake wrapped around it. The base reads, “Knowledge is the greatest gift.” It is currently on display for the holiday season in Springfield alongside a menorah, a Christmas tree, and a Nativity scene.

More weird holiday cheer:

When the Satanic Temple announced the plan in November, they wrote that the Snaketivity would be “bringing a message to the Illinois state capital that religious freedom means freedom of representation for ALL religions… not just the ones that don’t offend Christians.”

With a plea to “Please consider what you may do to help us bring Satan to Springfield!,” the group raised $1,700 on GoFundMe for their Satanic holiday display.

Satanic Snaketivity on display in the Illinois State Capitol for Christmas

Satanic Snaketivity on display in the Illinois State Capitol for Christmas

“I suppose it is their free speech rights to do that, so I can’t deny that. But do I agree with it? Absolutely not,” one interviewee told WBMF News. “I can’t disagree with the statement in itself but when it’s coming from a satanic or a cult group, my response would be that everything about Satan is a lie.”

“I think it’s inappropriate because it’s not something that should be displayed for a lot of people to be offended by,” said another. “I would be offended by that myself.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bq8knQOAkeP/

The statue will remain on display in the Illinois State Capitol until Dec. 29.

Everything I want for Christmas is dead

Everything I Want for Christmas is Dead

It’s about time someone made a Christmas song the Cult of Weird community can appreciate. If you included skulls, taxidermy, wet specimens, preserved insects, or other ghoulish goodies in your letter to Santa this year, you’ll find this song by Matt “Piggy D” Montgomery, or Count D, is quite relatable.

Speaking of dead things, go dig up the 2019 Holiday Gift Guide for plenty of morbid, macabre, and mystifying stocking stuffers for yourself or the other creeps on your shopping list this holiday season.

Cult of Weird Holiday Gift Guide

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Natural Magick

Natural Magick: Exquisite New Edition of 16th Century Occult Tome

Bring this once banned book of science and the occult back to life with a beautiful new edition from Black Letter Press.

Black Letter Press is crowdfunding an exquisitely illustrated new edition of Natural Magick by Giambattista della Porta, the 1558 book about the occult that was listed in an idex of forbidden books.

From the IndieGoGo campaign:

Natural Magick was first published in 1558. Giambattista della Porta was a magus, or a natural magician, who searched nature for similarities that would serve to build a broad template of forced understanding of seeming likenesses, looking for the great connector in the exceptional and the unusual, the stuff outside of the formerly Aristotlean world.

Porta writes in the first chapter, defining the word “magic”: “Magic took her name and original [sic] from Persia… In the Persian language, a Magician is nothing else but one that expounds and studies divine things; and it is the general name of wise-men in that country… Magic was begun in Persia by Zoroastres”. Therefore it is not a book of ceremonial magic, spells or any religious topics but an encyclopedic work of natural wonders, a gold-mine of information and clever wishfulness written at a time when science was still in its infancy. Magic is described as a specific science of natural objects.

Natural Magic concerns itself with a variety of subjects della Porta had investigated such as magic, alchemy, optics, geometry, cryptography, magnetism, agriculture, the art of memory, munitions, and many other topics, all grouped together and refined, distilled, into a compendium of natural knowledge.

While some of della Portas described Experiments on living animals and Humans might seem curious and quite cruel to the modern reader, his researches in optics were visionary. He gave the world the first published description of the convex lens and the camera obscura. Though he did not invent these, his work is perfecting and describing them, and their inclusion in Natural Magick, contributed to the dissemination of this knowledge.

The first edition of Natural Magic (1558) ended up on the spanish Index of forbidden Books due to Porta’s naturalistic approach to witchcraft and necromantic arts. A second version in 1589 was purged of the infamous – and one of the few passed on – recipes for a witches unguent. Della Porta speculates in this banned chapter, that the witches flight and orgiastic encounters with demons and the devil had a natural explanation. Hallucinogenic plants were used to create the flying ointment – a material substance with occult, but non-demonic properties.

A new edition of Natural Magick by Giambattista Dell Porta from Black Letter Press

Back this project on IndieGoGo right here.

Mark Borchardt's new UFO documentary

Documentary Reveals Small Town “UFO Capital of the World”

Filmmaker Mark Borchardt visits a local UFO hotspot to document the curious characters who have been experiencing strange things in the area for decades.

Remember Mark Borchardt, the Milwaukee filmmaker whose struggle to produce a short horror film was the subject of the award-winning documentary American Movie? Mark is back, this time with a documentary about a UFO festival that’s been happening here in the backyard of Cult of Weird HQ for decades.

2018 marked the 30th anniversary of UFO Daze. The gathering began in the 1980s after residents of the unincorporated community of Dundee, Wisconsin decided they should get together to discuss the bizarre phenomena they had been experiencing in the area.

Bill Benson, owner of Benson’s Hide-A-Way on the shore of Long Lake, has been keeping track of alien encounters in the area since crop circles appeared on a neighbor’s farm in 1947 when he was a child. Since then, he has personally witnessed his own share of unexplained activity over Long Lake and around nearby Dundee Mountain. He hosts the annual gathering, and has converted his tavern into a shrine to little green men.

According to Benson, Dundee is the “UFO capital of the world.”

UFO Bob from the film The Dundee Project
Robert “UFO Bob” Keuhn

Borchardt’s film The Dundee Project is the result of years of filming at UFO Daze, from 2001 through 2007 or 2008. The film includes interviews with some of the area’s most fascinating characters.

Robert “UFO BOB” Keuhn, for example, co-founded UFO Daze with Benson in 1988. He once told a local news outlet that he maintained ongoing telepathic communications with an alien named Ezeata from the Plaidian star system. “Ezeata visits Long Lake occasionally,” he said, “even though the journey takes about 500 light years.”

The Dundee Project by Mark Borchardt on DVD

The Dundee Project made the film festival rounds last year, and is now available to order on DVD and digital download from the Found Footage Festival website right here.