Autodidact: self-taught


Goth Bible

by V. L. Craven

The Goth Bible by Nancy Kilpatrick

CHAPTER ONE –Death in Doc Martins–

–The Dark Side of Dark–
001 In November 2000, Mayor Carolyn Risher of Inglis, Florida (population 1,400), nailed copies of her official proclamation onto posts at four entrance points to the city, declaring her town to be a “Satan-free zone.” Risher claims she was targeting DUI drivers, child molesters, and “kids dressing goth.”
002 Also in the fall of 2000, the U.S. Congress gave the town of Blue Springs, Missouri (population under 50,000), $273,000 for a Youth Orchestra Outreach Unit to “combat goth culture.” Would that be the town’s four peaceful and law-abiding high school goths, who hang out in the mall’s parking lot?
003 [regarding Columbine] “So what if they were [goth] ? I’m sure lots of murderers are Christians.”

CHAPTER TWO –Darklings with Attitude–
004 Old goths don’t die, they just wear less makeup.

–Long Ago But Not So Far Away–
005 The original Goths (capital “G”) were Germanic tribes who, between the second and sixth centuries A.D. managed to do a lot of marauding. They loved to fight—apparently it was the ultimate experience—and, because somebody in Europe invented the stirrup around the second century, it gave one of those original Goths an idea: Horses could make not just an effective mode of transport and a larger-than-life pet, but the noble steed might be an excellent partner in battle when the terrain demanded something more than human feet, such as the plains of Eastern Europe and Russia.
006 These first Goths seemed to fall into two main groups, the Visigoths (visi = wisi = to the west) and the Ostrogoths (ostro = austro = to the east). The Visigoths took on the Roman Empire, fighting, losing, fighting, winning bits and pieces, and finally collaborating with the Romans against the Huns. Eventually those Visigoths roamed to France and Spain and tried to dig roots there until the French kicked them out of their country. A bit more war and Islamic rule became the norm for a while in Spain, but ultimately the survival-oriented Visigoths headed for the hills.
[Inset: History of the Word Goth/Gothic:
007 visigoths: The ones who go out to clubs and spend the evening looking at themselves in mirrors while they dance.   ostrogoths: The ones who stay home and take Valium]
008 Meanwhile, the Ostrogoths, with probably fewer options, aligned with the Huns under the infamous Attila. The Huns, too, battled the Romans and lost, and the Ostrogoths ended up in Italy by way of the Balkans. They managed pretty well there until the end of the sixth century, when the Roman emperor Justinian started an internal war based on a kind of centralized-power doctrine that destroyed Italy and saw the demise of the Ostrogoths.
009 Beyond all this, from designs of jewelry and weapons and other things, it’s clear that the original Goths had a connection to the Celts, but what and how seem to be mostly lost in the mists of time. Generally, the word “Goth” with a capital “G” was used in the past as a pejorative. It meant a person of no refinement. They were barbarians, at least to the then civilized world. Which leads to the Gothic style of architecture that originated in France around the middle of the twelfth century. Some of the most sophisticated and elaborate Gothic cathedrals were designed and built there and are still standing. Carrying on for about two hundred more years, the style was eventually picked up in Germany and England. Gothic architecture came about because the French were tired of Romanesque and Norman buildings—square structures with a couple of columns and a bit of design work on a peaked roof. Gothic architecture took the inside of the building and put it on the outside. It’s like taking the skeleton—the structure that holds us up—and placing it on the outside of the body. Gothic architecture turned the normal inside out.
010 The nomadic Goths of history more resembled modern-day Punks, at least to the collective eye—wild, crude, tribal.

–Gother Than Thou–
011 In gothland, that gother-than-thou attitude is not uncommon. In fact, it’s so prevalent that the online magazine/forum offered rolls of Goth Points one could buy, little stickers to be given out to friends and strangers—the more you got, the gother you became. The Corruption is an online role-playing game where players win Goth Points
012 [card game] Gother Than Thou is a satire of the gothic lifestyle. To win, a player must accumulate twenty goth points while giving his or her opponents cards that subtract points. For instance, the “Genital Piercing” card gives the player who holds it six goth points, but takes away six money points. That card also gives the player two sickness points—not good! If a player gets five sickness points, he or she swoons, and must discard their Fate deck (as in “what Fate has in store for you”). The images are photographs of goths enacting the “Crying Yourself to Sleep” card, or the “Dire Fashion Blunder” card, or images of nongoths, for example the “Visit From Mom” card.

–The Classes of a Classless Subculture–
013 One Web site, A Study of Gothic Subculture: An Inside Look for Outsiders (see Chapter 2 URLs), provides a list of goth terms, including categories that goths are often dropped into.
014 Cemetery Goth: Most of The † Section [the assortment of goths interviewed for the book] prefer graveyards to backyards. Only a very few suffer an aversion to death and everything associated with it; most are intrigued by the concept of demise, and find cemeteries lovely. Death interests include being enamored with lovely gravestones and angel statuary, and fascinated with gravestone inscriptions. As creepy says: “I’m interested, but not in a morbid way. I find the older ones [cemeteries] to be especially intriguing because of the history and stories. They also have beautiful headstones, so I go more for the art.” Nevermore, who considers himself a Cemetery/Macabre/Death goth, has a favorite funereal outfit: “Black dress pants, my 1930s priest’s cassock, long-sleeve black shirts with the cuffs frayed, East German—issue combat boots, and occasionally a black Clockwork Orange—style derby.”
015 Cranky and cynical goth: That is, most goths. In a world where values have gone to hell in a handbasket, a lot of people are cynical. Goths, who are used to deceit and narrow-mindedness directed their way from the general population, become jaded at an early age. “Trust no one” has been a popular slogan since before Fox Mulder was warned for the first time. Being a full-time cynic is exhausting, and it makes one cranky. But the glorious thing about cynicism is the humor it breeds, and goths are some of the funniest people on the planet. It takes a wound to produce a belly laugh, and the sensitivity that is a prerequisite for being goth lays the groundwork for a twisted view of life. The Internet offers many goth humor Web sites.
016 Industrial: Industrial goths bond around Industrial music. They wear basic black, not complex attire, and adornment sometimes involves leather and chains, with or without a fetish edge. This style nudges the biker look. They are ready for physical action, and it’s not surprising when an industrial goth ends up buying a motorcycle. These solid worker-bees believe in muscle. They are the guys and girls hired as security at goth clubs, and can come at goth with more action than contemplation. Morbius likes Industrial, and her favorite outfit is “my black oh-crap shirt, black tight pants, black purse with silver, combat boots.” Reynaldo is industrial and simply wears “Black T-shirt, black pants.” Lisiblac says one of her favorite clothing items is her “black leather biker jacket.” She recalls: “Neil Gaiman [who usually appears in public in a black leather jacket] said to me at a signing once, ‘It’s not a jacket, it’s an environment!’ Spot on!’
017 Neil Gaiman says, true goths are “born to it”
018 Victorian: Goths enamored with gentle spectacle, the subtlety of romance and courtly love. Victorian goths adore the languid lifestyle. They emulate those ladies and gentlemen who gave a serious nod to manners and decorum—hand—kissing is de rigueur—all while wearing lush attire that can border on the baroque. The New York boutique Religious Sex is one well-known purveyor of goth Victorian attire for all genders. Moonglum loves the Victorian period. A special article of clothing he values is “a hand-made black velvet cloak with purple satin lining made by my wife for our wedding.” Paola wears “long skirts, tailored jackets, long tailored coats, Victorian costumes with corsets and flowing skirts. I wear a lace scarf that belonged to my grandmother, carry small black bags and a tiny Furla rucksack. I adore silver Victorian rings.” Ravenheart favors”black lacy long dresses, tight black pants, steel-boned corsets worn over clothing, frock coats, long black dusters, antique rosaries, and cool chokers and necklaces made by my friend Emily.”

CHAPTER THREE –Ever Changing Fashion–
–Demise as a Fashion Statement–
019 Goth fashions have a range. You can wear black, or you can wear black.

–Proletarian by Night–
020 The Industrial/Military look is a more in-your-face approach to goth living. Black, as basic as it gets. The fabrics are leather, black denim, cotton, sometimes vinyl.
021 Accessories reflect a tough industrial element: black leather, metal rings and chains, spiked jewelry.
022 Industrial/military often embraces a German-soldier quality, and a style with even a vague hint of Nazi Germany can frighten nongoths.

–When Colours Collide–
023 Goth looks can range from lingering death to finally dead to eternally undead, but black is the one constant, the color of choice.

CHAPTER FOUR – The Accoutrements of Goth–
–A Genderless Lipstick Called Bruise–
024 Goths, the visual drama queens that they are

–Crosses…Crosses…and More Crossess–
025 Contrary to popular belief, the symbol of the cross was not incorporated as a Christian symbol until about the seventh century A.D. Prior to that, Christ was represented by a lamb, or a shepherd—the good shepherd.
026 Process is about being patient until a third, unforeseen, unanticipated alternative spontaneously emerges.
027 One of the most startling pieces of information from The † Section is that a third of them own no crosses—which, of course, goes against stereotype. In some cases, they are not now nor have they ever have been a part of the Christian faith, so wearing a cross doesn’t feel right.

–Widow’s Weeds and Other Graveyard Trendsetters–
028 One difficulty with original mourning veils is that the fabric was frequently colored with indigo dye, which contains sulphur and arsenic, both of which are poisonous when inhaled.

–The Curse of Sunshine–
029 What has been forgotten and/or for the most part ignored is that what was once commonly termed ‘Gothic’ gained its roots from Romanticism, dating from roughly 1760—1830. This era was best known for Shelley, Keats, Byron, Coleridge, Emerson, Goethe, and countless other brilliant minds whose works put an emphasis on the sublimity of individualism, a retreat from the artificiality of the world and its conventions, the belief that imagination is superior to reason, a devotion to beauty, love of and worship of nature, and a fascination with the past. The Gothic genre originated in novels of this time—mid-eighteenth century; the catalyst being Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764), as Romanticism’s natural counterpart. Its focus: exploration into the subterranean shadow realms of the human psyche, offering up a predilection for the macabre, the mysterious, the supernatural, and the terrifying, particularly in the pleasure of terror.

030 Goths like to wear leather. And chains.
031 Leather and metal combined bring out the seriously sexy of the Industrial look.
032 vampire gauntlets, boot extensions, and Oriental hair cones, which come with four black lacquer chopsticks or four stainless steel chopsticks.

–The Agony and the Ecstasy–
033 A brief attempt in 1851 to kill the corset and substitute trousers for women met with horror.

CHAPTER FIVE –Music of the Macabre: In the Beginning–

CHAPTER SIX –Son of Music of the Macabre–
–Darkness Face to Face–
034 And then there’s Pzycho Bitch, whose hard-edged and noisy electro-Industrial brings fresh aspects to ‘Future Pop’
035 They dominate the electro scene, not only by the appearance of their enticingly beautiful but rather evil-looking redheaded female singer S.I.N.A.,

–The Goth Father Speaks–
036 “Anyway, Pegasus went bust, so no royalties there, but it had been fun doing a book about goth that was riddled with humor, even though that pissed lots of goths off who had become seriously po-faced by that time (’91—’92),
037 …once a source of tension arises within any part of a scene in a noticeable way, it balloons up, flourishes, and is never forgotten. … I have never got involved with any of that and try and look for the best in people and developments, and that distance, I believe, makes my detached observations more worthwhile and pertinent, and sensibly so,
038 “Other genres of music tend to be about something, with the link generally being something you feel, but that’s all—yet if you are interested in literature, film, art, visual stimuli of various forms, goth has a relevance that wouldn’t appear within other forms, exhibiting such broad, welcoming facets. They really are all inextricably linked, and it’s all down to which particular elements you mix and match. “Also, assuming they aren’t put off by the petty-minded superiority of the minority, then newcomers should find it all-encompassing to the point where they need to make certain decisions. … You naturally enjoy it the more you get older, as you learn from mistakes, or you’re merely one of the fashionable types, which has the highest dropout factor, where once the clubbing ends so does any serious contemplation.

–Existential Questions for Goth Bar and Club Owners–
039 A common wail from club owners is: “Goths don’t drink!” This is a subculture not afraid to order a Shirley Temple, or cranberry juice and Perrier. Those who do drink have, for the most part, preferences.
040 What’s the most popular goth drink and how often do goths drink it? Basic beer and/or wine. Occasionally to frequently.

–The Green Fairy is Goth–
041 Extract of Artemesia absinthium. It’s just a shrub, called wormwood in English. They used it in the Middle Ages to treat intestinal worms. Absinthe was allegedly invented by Dr. Pierre Ordiniare in 1792 as an all-purpose medicinal. In the late 1700s, Major Henri Dubied bought the recipe from the Sisters Henriod and began brewing the green beverage that combined wormwood with exotic-sounding herbs like juniper, melissa, angelica, nutmeg, anise, fennel, and hyssop, which created a bitter drink that he gave to soldiers. The effect was mental clarity and increased libido, a fine combination. Dubied sold the recipe to his son-in-law, Henri-Louis Pernod, in 1797, who set up the Pernod-Fils absinthe factory in Pontarlier, France in 1805.
Absinthe enjoyed about thirty-five years of a heyday before it met an untimely end. Yet right from the start this magical drink appealed to artists. During l’heure verte (the green hour), Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec, and van Gogh took to the drink, as well as Baudelaire, Apollinaire, Rimbaud, and Satie, who also claimed it enhanced their creativity.
042 Absinthe requires ritual. A small amount of absinthe is placed in a large and lovely bulbous or egg-shaped glass. Special spoons are used—in the past they were sometimes silver, often pressed tin, the bowl of the spoon perforated in a decorative fashion to form des flèches (arrows), des fleurs (flowers), or la croix (cross)… Because absinthe is bitter, and tastes a little like licorice—it resembles the Pernod you can buy everywhere today—it requires modification. To properly drink absinthe, a sugar cube is placed on the perforated spoon and water drizzled over the sugar. As the sugar melts into the liquid, the absinthe turns from sea green to a milky green—the first of its magical transformations. Absinthe in the past was a minimum of 75 percent alcohol (150 proof), and water was added three or four to one to dilute it, filling the glass three-quarters of the way up. A variation on the ritual is to place the sugar cube onto the spoon, dip it quickly into the absinthe, then set the sugar on fire. The alcohol burns away via the lovely flame that melts the sugar through the holes in the spoon and into the drink. Sometimes, the entire contents of the glass is lighted, which, of course, burns away much of the coveted alcohol.
043 It became the drink of the Belle Epoque (1871—1914), reeking of naughtiness and charisma. Wildly popular—millions of gallons a year were sold—and less expensive than wine, it soon replaced wine as France’s national drink. But as with any intoxicant, overindulgence is easy and can lead to problems for some, and it did. Hallucinations were known to turn ugly. Convulsions and fits occurred. In a large enough quantity, and because of the high alcohol content, kidney failure was reported—even recent cases have occurred with the resurgence of this delirious drink’s popularity. And back in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, disreputable manufacturers were known to color the cheap stuff with copper compounds and fortify it with methanol, both toxic. The prohibitionists of the day blamed absinthe for every conceivable problem: high unemployment, marriage difficulties, breakdowns of religions, government, and every other institution, all leading to delirium, madness, and even death. Van Gogh cut off his ear under the influence, and look what happened to Oscar Wilde!
044 All of this kerfuffle culminated in a pivotal moment. In 1905, Jean Lanfray, a Swiss farmer, murdered his family. Just as today, the media reported the most sensational facts—Lanfray was on an absinthe binge. What was not reported was the fact that he had also consumed several bottles of wine, and many shots of brandy as well. The abolitionists used the event, and by 1914 absinthe became illegal almost everywhere.
045 In reality, thujone, the basic compound in wormwood, is poisonous—in massive doses. Wolfgang believes: “The whole thujone story is a hoax created by the prohibitionists of the time. There’s a load of thujone in sage, but did you ever hear about psychoactive and poisonous turkey stuffing?’
046 [+ section on Absinthe] Hardrock Llewynyth “I’ve drunk quite a bit. Spanish absinthe is too sweet, and too heavily anise-flavored. Czech absinthe is almost exclusively Windex, with the exception of Sebor, which is my favorite absinthe. Sebor has a wonderful bitterness with a nice balanced herbal nose with anise almost unnoticeable. French La Bleue absinthe is a pleasant balance of sweetness and bitterness, not overwhelmingly anise.”
047 London’s charming Bar Absinthe serves a variety of absinthes, and also pastis (absinthe without the wormwood), which is much easier to find, and far less expensive.
048 But this is a realm that suits goth sensibilities: a drink that can enhance creativity, or cause liver failure. A world of dreams and magic, or nightmares and sorcery. Romance combined with danger equals appeal.

–ABSINTHE-FLAVORED WINE RECIPE courtesy of the Gothic Martha Stewart 2 tsp. dried wormwood 2 pints port 2 tsp. hyssop 2 tsp. lavender 2 tsp. marjoram 2 tsp. peppermint 2 tsp. sage 2 tsp. thyme   All herbs are dried. Steep herbs for one week in the port, then filter and bottle. Serve mixed with sugar cubes and water.

–Weed vs Spice–
049 according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, clove cigarettes, which contain 60—70 percent tobacco, produce twice as much tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide as regular American cigarettes

–Natural vs Pharmaceutical–
050 according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, clove cigarettes, which contain 60—70 percent tobacco, produce twice as much tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide as regular American cigarettes. …And for most of The † Section who indulge marijuana is or was their drug of choice, used infrequently.

CHAPTER EIGHT –Love in the Post-Love Age: Domesticating the Goth Within–
–Courtly (not Courtney) Love–
051 Love tainted with heartbreak is a cornerstone of the goth lifestyle.
Like everyone else on the planet, goths long for love. What makes them different is that they expect disappointment.
052 Courtly love was modeled on the feudal relationship between a knight and his lord, and dictated that the knight owed his lady the same obedience and loyalty, although in reality she might not know he existed. Consequently, the lady controlled the relationship. Such love ennobled the knight, inspiring him to great deeds in order to be worthy of and win her (platonic) love.
053 “Lovesick” knights (Ovid described love as a sickness) often sighed, turned pale or flushed, suffered fever, or were unable to eat, sleep, or drink.
Romance for the modern terminally romantic cynic elicits all of these reactions and more.
Courtly love has come to infect relationships, so that today we hold this as the epitome of real love (with the addition of sex). But, of course, normal relationships cannot sustain such lofty ideals for long. Naturally, when love crashes and burns, all the dried roses in the world cannot mend a broken heart quickly. Goths are used to broken hearts, and they sleep with despair. They have learned to take the time to heal before moving on to become once again a romance victim.

–Crossing the Leather Line–
054 Goth lends itself nicely to the tough-love look of fetish. The crossover is easy and (almost) painless. Goths wear dog collars and fetishwear, and sometimes carry S&M gear. Black leather and latex are already in the closet, the props often hanging on the wall.

–Marriage or Mirage?–
055 Historically, handfasting is not a wedding, but a ceremony celebrating and affirming the intention to marry.
The eighteenth-century writer and poet Sir Walter Scott wrote this about handfasting: “When we are handfasted, as we term it, we are man and wife for a year and a day; that space gone by, each may choose another mate, or, at their pleasure, may call the priest to marry them for life; and this we call handfasting.”

–Working goths–
056 Whether goths couple or not, somehow, the rent has to be paid, and that usually involves work. The shortage of professional mourner positions is appalling.
057 “Those of us who need to dress more corporate know that ultimately what makes one ‘goth’ is not the clothing or the paraphernalia, but rather a certain disposition. We may like to express ourselves through our clothing, but when you take it away, we are no less goth, and when that is the case, we were not gothic to begin with!”

058 Goths are overwhelmingly pet lovers.
059 The favored cat breed is the exotic Sphinx.
060 Edgar Allan Poe said about ravens, “Though the birds have a wide variety of sounds and calls, they may not be willing to divulge their secrets to us.”
061 About 1,075 species of bats have been identified—the only flying mammals, and the only vertebrate animals that fly at night. Bats come in second to rats and rodents as the most diverse mammals on the earth. The two cutest bats might be the epauletted fruit bat (Epomophorus wahlbergi) of Africa, commonly called the “flying fox,” weighing about three ounces, and the dog-faced Egyptian fruit bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus), which weighs in at a slightly larger three and a half ounces.
062 Vampire bats can maneuver on the ground as well as in the air, and can crawl or fly side to side and backwards.

–CHAPTER 9 –When Goths Relax–
–Surfing the Dark Side of the Internet–
063 “Gothic,” says Darren, “stood for clanky chains and ghosts in castles long before Joy Division started whining.
064 Darren admits that it’s not easy running an all-goth Web publication. “It’s hard finding good help. Most of the people who work for us are goth-as-fuck. Because of this, they are also notorious flakes.

–Online Chatter–
065 Chat rooms are the never-ending international tournament of bullshit. It’s anonymous, ambiguous, and cheap, like a Teflon coating for personality disorders.”

–Up-and Downside of Internet Gothing–
066 Three words. Sexy death chicks—or ‘sexxy deth chix’, as we like to spell it.

–Relaxing with Comix–
067 Charles Addams drew the Addams Family cartoons for The New Yorker, where they appeared from 1935 to 1988.
068 Neil Gaiman: Most of the fiction people have given me to read ‘aimed at goths’ is terribly earnest and depressing. Most of the goths I know like funny—even if their tastes in humour tend toward the dark—and they like real.’
Neil admits he was never really goth. “If I was ever part of a movement, I was a punk. (We didn’t have goths back then.) If I was five years younger I might well have been a first-wave goth, and if I was fifteen years younger I might be a goth now. Instead I’m just an author with a rather monochromatic wardrobe, and a mind that wanders towards graveyards.”
He sees goth as a natural phenomenon. “Truth to tell, I suspect that goths are born, not made. People who think there is something deeply cool about graveyards in autumn and summer lightning, and know that they just don’t look right in summery pink leisure suits, probably didn’t get that way through reading fiction. Although they may recognize themselves in fiction (as I did, as a child, in [Ray] Bradbury’s story ‘Homecoming’). It’s a process of recognition.”
069 The image for the character Death is based on photographs of goth supermodel Donna Ricci,… “Why do I love darkness so much? Ogden Nash put it best: ‘Where there’s a monster, there’s a miracle.’ I love the magic you can find in dark places. Most of my next novel for children is set in a graveyard, after all.” That would be The Graveyard Book.

–Tea, High and Low–
070 The Duchess of Bedford (1788–1861), one of Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting, complained of a “sinking feeling” in the late afternoon. Back then in England, only breakfast and a dinner late in the evening were served. So the Duchess invented afternoon tea, to which she invited friends, around five P.M., and it kept them going. The Queen approved, and a tradition was born

–Goth Gardening–
071 The quest for the black rose—that romantic symbol of eternal love of death—exhausts goths. How to find that rose with no hint of blue, purple, or deep red hidden at the base of the petals?
072 Some of the common and readily available black flowers include: Black Prince pansy, black viola, black sweet william, black tulip, penny black, black and white columbine, and ace of spades.
073 Tacca chanterii, also known as the Black Bat Plant because the flower’s whispy petals resemble the wings of a bat

–Cultivating the Perfect Goth Garden–
074 “Before getting cats, I planted mainly abortifacients and other poisonous plants (belladonna, Solomon’s seal, and those herbs they tell you not to use while pregnant). Now, it’s wormwood, hyssop, nicotiana, moonflowers, black tulips (alas! a rather dark purple), night-scented-stock, and roses. Lavaglut (lavaglow) is a striking dark-red floribunda rose. It is very cool to be able to get and track down plants that were in existence when your favorite author was alive. Smell the same flowers that Poe smelled!
075 white flowers are better for a ‘goth garden,’ because they glow under moonlight, and you can actually see them at the time most of us sit outside lounging around in our velvet finery. Moonflowers bloom only at night.
076 I like dangerous beauty: delphiniums, monkshood, digitalis, belladonna. I like fragrance: shrub roses in white and red, plus a Blue Nile rose, oriental lilies. … I have black hollyhocks and pansies. I have a ginkgo tree I’m trying to keep short and horizontal. My favorite arrangement of the past has to be a four-by-eight-foot plot I called ‘The Killing Fields,’ in which morning glory and mexican bamboo were pitted against each other in a death match that would not be won this century.
077 The goth gardeners have suggestions for gothing up a garden, whether it’s in a yard, in a container, in window boxes, on a rooftop, indoors, outdoors, or anywhere growth is possible. C.B.: “Even if it dies, you can just leave the plant there, and that would be goth too.”

CHAPTER TEN – Visiting the Vaults: One Ticket to the Catacombs, Please!–
–Cemetery Picnics and Other Diversions–
078 The ordinary faithful were buried in the churchyard, and there too positioning proved crucial. Those buried close to the church on the east side had the advantage: The resurrected would be able to watch the sunrise on Judgment Day! The north corner of the graveyard was considered the Devil’s domain, reserved for stillborns, bastards and strangers.
079 TYPES OF CEMETERIES Church vaults: Inside a church, near statues or areas of intense worship, beneath the floor in subterranean rooms or vaults. Usually reserved for clergy or important persons.   Churchyard/Graveyard: Small, flat, organized, situated beside a church, may or may not be enclosed by a fence. Burials for church members and families.   Family plots: Located near a rural house or a farm. Private, family members only.   Forest: A large piece of land with cemetery buildings around a central hilly part, graves hidden in dense foliage, dirt paths, artistically disorganized or haphazard feel.   Garden: Medium-height stones, a few obelisks. Ornamental monuments clustered within designated lots, not necessarily aligned in rows. Trees often line the paved roads and cars can drive through.   Lawn: Resembles a suburban lawn, clipped grass, footpaths, low stones, or metal plates at ground level. Non-ornamental. One central roadway.   Park: Slightly hilly, trees old and random growth, can be wild with undergrowth, asymmetrical. Concrete, flagstone or dirt paths, similar to larger city parks.   Rural: Small, located in the country, usually in a field. Burials of area residents.
080 The Victorians took to cemeteries (the word means sleeping chamber ) … well, the way goths do. Weekend outings with the entire family were a common practice, a chance to socialize and “take in the air.” They held picnics, admired the statuary on the graves and mausoleums of the rich and famous, contemplated poetry and the mysteries of life, paid their respects to deceased friends and family, and enjoyed a visit to the frequently adjoining arboretum.
081 Today, cemeteries are more for the dead, not the living. They have fallen out of favor as places to visit, apart from mourning, or for tapophiles (lovers of tombs)—and goths, who are often tapophiles.
082 The Fugit Hora (Time is Fleeting) lightbulb death’s heads began as crude, cartoonlike images dug into slate by the Pilgrims in the 1600s and evolved to the more sophisticated designs of the 1800s before they finally disappeared.
Paris: Many of the world’s most exquisite cemeteries were created out of necessity. Paris had its Cimetière des Innocents, a mass gravesite filled with plague victims, among others, located about where Les Halles is now. This was consecrated but contaminated ground, with crumbling stone walls used as a barrier between living and dead. At the Cimetière des Innocents so many corpses were heaped one upon another that not only did bones often fall over the walls and onto the streets, but disease-causing seepage that included adopcere (body fat that turns into a soaplike substance) came through at ground level to accost passersby. In 1786, Paris decided to close down the Cimetière des Innocents and move the remains of about seventeen million people twenty-five meters underground, into the quarries over which the city was built around the tenth century, tunnels that had existed when the Romans held this part of the world. The massive tunnel system. beneath Paris holds what is now the world-famous Catacombs of Paris. … This planet contains many wonderful cemeteries, but perhaps none are as exquisite as Père Lachaise. Gorgeous rows of narrow crypts that resemble gothic telephone booths line quiet stone walkways.
London: Many amazing cemeteries exist in England, but everyone’s favorite is the now barely accessible Highgate. Highgate Cemetery opened in the 1830s. Soon, so many were buried here that new ground to the East was bought, across Swain’s Lane. Burials didn’t take place in the eastern side until the 1860s. A tunnel beneath Swain’s Lane connects the two halves, built mainly for pallbearers to walk coffins through. Highgate over the years fell into abandonment to the point where, in the 1970s, a number of vampire hunters spotted the undead skulking through the grounds. Armed with stakes and garlic, they competed with Satanists who used the cemetery for rituals. Rossetti remained consumed by Lizzy until his own death, perhaps more so after her demise than when she was alive. As her body lay for viewing in the sitting room of their house in Highgate village, Rossetti tenderly placed into the coffin sheets of parchment with love poems he had written to her. The lid closed, and Lizzy took his romantic verse to her grave. It was his literary agent who persuaded the reluctant Rossetti that the poems buried with Elizabeth—of which there were no copies—might be published and revive his career. Lizzy’s exhumation took place after dark, when the public could not witness this grisly act. As a bonfire lit the eerie scene, and while the bells of St. Michael’s Church chimed midnight, Lizzy’s coffin was hauled to the surface. Rossetti, unable to face the macabre sight of his wife’s corpse, hid at home. The manuscripts were disinfected, published, and … met with lukewarm reviews. Until his death, he regretted removing them.
Toronto: Toronto’s largest cemetery is Mount Pleasant, home to the Massey Crypt, one of the most unusual and gorgeous pieces of cemetery architecture in the world.
The Italian Alps: Danse Macabre is the name given to the fifteenth-century “plague-art” paintings and drawings done by anonymous artists found on cemetery and church walls.
Palermo: The normal method of preservation was simply to place a corpse in one of the passageway cells called “strainers,” composed of the local tufaceous (porous limestone) soil, which dried out the body in about eight months. Once dehydrated, the mummy was then dressed in the finery of the day and displayed along the walls of the catacomb, in a coffin, or placed reclining or standing in a niche, alone or as part of a tableau, wherever and however they had requested to be positioned for eternity.
New Orleans: New Orleans is cursed/blessed with a low water table, meaning that below-ground burials are rare. During floods, more than one coffin with a body has been found floating in rivers and even in the Mississippi River. Consequently, cremation of an unusual nature has always been the popular choice in New Orleans. “Oven crypts” are usually designed to hold two bodies, upper and lower, like sleeping berths on a train. Space is rented for a year and a day. During that time, the heat and humidity of this Delta city works to cremate the flesh. If another family member dies before the year and a day are up, the new corpse is stored temporarily in a brick wall of niches used for that purpose. Once the designated time lapses, the bones within the oven are shoved to the back, the most recently departed is interred, and the crypt walled up for at least another year and a day. In this manner, family members’ ashes are mixed together for eternity, which might be comforting or horrifying, depending on how one views one’s relations. The spin on cemeteries and death in New Orleans crystallizes at Westgate, which for many goths fills a need. The Westgate is the gate of the four directions that opens to the west, to death. For the past twenty-three years, Leilah Wendell and Daniel Kemp have been documenting encounters with anthropomorphic death entities by way of the Azrael Project. Westgate, their black-and-purple house on Magazine Street, is home to artwork and writings, and a meeting place for people who have met Azrael, the Angel of Death, in any of his myriad forms.
Chicago: In a city of fifty cemeteries Chicago’s 350-acre Rosehill Cemetery—the largest—stands out because of its famous haunted chapel. … The May Chapel was constructed over a preexisting cave that became a crypt. …But peering down the skylights on the grassy mound one can catch a glimpse of crypts below, the openings sealed but unidentified
Baltimore: Poe, indigent, died on the morning of October 7, 1849 in an out-of-the-way hospital. His body lay in state for three days in the rotunda of the college adjoining the hospital, where friends, family, and strangers paid respects. At least fifty women arrived to receive a lock of his hair as a memento. Relatives paid for an oak coffin, and Poe, who always dressed in black, was buried in black. … On October 9—a cold, rainy, cheerless day—his body was carried to Westminster, burying ground of the First Presbyterian Church. He was interred to the right of his grandfather, General Poe, in a lead-lined coffin with a brass plate at the foot of it. A temporary marker with the number 8 scrawled on it was placed at the head of his grave. Poe’s headstone had not yet been transported to the cemetery from the marble yard near the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad tracks where it was cut and carved when a train jumped the tracks and crushed it. In 1875, schoolchildren donated money for a stone monument that was placed in a corner of the cemetery yard, where it still stands. Poe’s body was exhumed and moved to this new grave site. Or was it? … Eleven years earlier, in 1864, the headstones of the cemetery were all turned from facing the east gate to facing the west gate, reason unknown. Apparently no one told the grave diggers of 1875, who only knew that Poe had been buried to the right of his grandfather. But Poe, because of the movement of the headstones, was now on the left. Who was on the right? Private Philip Mosher, Jr. The coffin that was dug up—twelve feet to the right of General Poe—was not the lead-lined oak Edgar Allan had been buried in, but mahogany, with no plate. Records state that Private Mosher had been buried in a mahogany coffin. There were other discrepancies, including the excellent condition of the teeth, again pointing to the occupant as the younger and more affluent Private Mosher. … The body exhumed to the right of General Poe was reburied under the new monument, and joined by the remains of Virginia Poe. Since 1949, this grave identified as belonging to Edgar Allan Poe has been visited every year in the early hours on his birthday, January 19. Rumor has it an elderly gentleman draped in black using a silver-tipped cane for support kneels at the foot of the grave for a toast of Martel cognac, then leaves behind the half-empty bottle and three red roses when he departs.
Prague: Seventy kilometers outside Prague near Kuntá Hora lies the sleepy village of Sedlec. Since 1141 the tiny town is home to the hrbitou, or cemetery of the Cistercian Monastery. It wasn’t until 1278 when Abbot Heidenreich returned from Jerusalem with a jug of dirt dug from Golgotha, the hill where Christ was reputedly crucified, that the cemetery became consecrated ground. Pretty soon all of Europe was dying to be buried there. … In the middle of the cemetery stands the fourteenth-century Church of All Saints, with its copper cupolas atop twin spires. … 1870: a wood-carver named Frantisek Rint, who arranged what amounted to 40,000 sets of bones into “pleasing designs.”
Vienna: Vienna is also home to the Bestattungsmuseum, aka, the Undertakers’ Museum. The Big Book of Death by Bronwyn Carlton (DC Comics, Paradox Press, 1995) depicts a goth girl, in cartoon format, touring the museum and providing a history of Austrian funeral customs.
Houston: Houston, Texas is home of the National Museum of Funeral History,
Lithuania: Six miles north of Siulivi in Lithuania is a hill piled high with crosses, rosaries, and other religious objects, more than 50,000 of them! This area, originally a stronghold against the Knights of the Teutonic Order, became a receptacle for crosses in 1831, to protest the deportation of residents to Siberia.
084: Other Goth Vacation Fascinations
“Halloween Café (part of La Brasserie de l’Etrange) is a horror-themed restaurant and bar, one hundred meters from the famous Manneken Pis in Brussels.
“Le Cerceuil (the Coffin) is located just off the Grand Place.
Bodyworlds–based in Germany (a roving anatomical exhibit of real human bodies (seen in the German movie Anatomie)
Dracula Theme Park–Sighisoara, Romania (the name says it all)
Medieval Criminal Museum Collection–San Gimignano, Italy (a traveling exhibit for the criminologist within)
Museum of Death–Hollywood, California (Hollywood macabre, serial killer oddities, crime scene photos, skulls, coffins, artwork, mortician tools, body bags, you name it!)
Pitt Rivers Museum–Oxford, England (excellent anthropology museum, shrunken heads, talismans, mechanical toys) The Salem Witch Museum—Salem, Massachusetts (history of those nasty witch trials!) Songran Niyomsane Forensic Medicine Museum—Bangkok, Thailand (what it sounds like) Torture Museum–Amsterdam, Netherlands (where much of that torture equipment from the Inquisition ended up)

Gravestone Artwear Gravestone epitaphs Virtual tour of the Catacombs of Paris Danse Macabre of Italy
Capuchin Mummies of Palermo The Bone Chapel outside Prague The Hill of Crosses—Lithuania
National Museum of Funeral History

CHAPTER ELEVEN: Subscribing to the Dark Arts
–Art of the Gothic–
085. WILLIAM BLAKE’S LEVELS OF CONSCIOUSNESS TO REACH ART Level 1: Blame. The lowest common denominator. Nobody takes responsibility. Everybody viciously accuses others of being the source of their problems. Level 2: Conflict. People debate openly and fairly, arguing their respective side without blaming the others. Holding onto tension without cracking. Level 3: Love. Opposites attract. Conflicts are resolved through respect and understanding. Level 4: Art. Borne of the merging of opposites. Creation. The baby born of an ova and a sperm, the painting or novel bursting into existence when the deadlock of two opposing ideas results in a third, creative solution.

–Languid Literature–
086. Long dead writers: Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) is another goth favorite. Poet, essayist, and literary and art critic, his best-known collection is Les Fleurs du Mal (Flowers of Evil), considered the most infamous book of poetry in French literature. During his lifetime, Baudelaire was charged with offenses to religion and public morality for thirteen of the 100 poems in that collection. The court ordered that six poems be removed from the book on the grounds of obscenity.
Much of his poetry reveals a deep introspective search for God, but it seems he was unable to find any religious belief system to sustain him. In some circles his name is still synonymous with depravity, morbidity, and obscenity.
When he discovered Poe, Baudelaire felt the two had an almost preternatural connection. He became obsessed with the American and, two years before Poe’s death, began translating his work into French. These translations would provide Baudelaire with a steady source of income throughout his life.
087. “ENIVREY-VOUS” (Get Drunk) from Les Petits Poèmes en Prose by Charles Baudelaire, translation by Caro Soles It is essential to be drunk all the time. That’s it! The great imperative! To avoid feeling the appalling weight of Time breaking your shoulders, bending you to the ground, get drunk and stay that way.
But on what? On wine, poetry, goodness, please yourself. But get drunk. Don’t be martyred slaves to Time, get drunk! Endlessly drunk! On wine, virtue, poetry, please yourself!”
Moods of isolation and despair tormented Baudelaire: he termed them his “moods of spleen.”
“Les Litanies de Satan” is one of Baudelaire’s most dramatic and best-known verses. Scandalous in its day, the stanzas sing the praises of the Prince of Darkness, with the repetitive chant: Satan, have mercy on my long distress!
Other dead writers popular among goths are: Emily Brontë, Charles Brockden Brown, Lord Byron, Lewis Carroll, Charlotte Brontë, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Marquis de Sade, Charles Dickens, Emily Dickinson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, John Donne, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Lord Dunsany, Sheridan le Fanu, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Henry James, Franz Kafka, John Keats, Guy de Maupassant, John Milton, Frederich Nietzsche, William Shakespeare, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Algernon Swinburne, Ugo Tarchetti, and Sir Robert Walpole. Dante Alighieri and his levels of Hell receives an honorable mention.

–Recently Dead Writers–
088. Recently dead writers:
Perhaps no other late writer of darkly strange fiction has had the impact of Howard Phillips Lovecraft. His short stories reflect his strange interior worlds, just behind the seam that divides reality, where powerful, demonic beings dwell, gods of darkness eager to enter the realm of the living and engulf us.
Lovecraft, born August 20, 1890, was a precocious child, reciting poetry at the age of two, reading at three, and writing by the time he was six years old. At the age of sixteen he penned regular columns on astronomy for various newspapers. But he was a lonely boy, moody, often suffering illnesses with a psychological basis. His father died of paresis, a neurosyphilis. An unhealthy relationship with his mother contributed to his loneliness.
Lovecraft contemplated suicide; he suffered a nervous breakdown that left him unable to graduate from high school.
Other recently dead writers that goths enjoy include: William Burroughs, Edward Gorey, Anton Lavey, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and J.R.R. Tolkein.

–Undead Writers–
089. Not all of Anne Rice’s readers are goth, but all goths, it seems, have read Anne Rice.
Poppy Z. Brite: Short stories:
Lost Souls, a kind of modern underground culture, gay vampire musical road trip. She followed this up with two more novels of modern macabre, Drawing Blood and Exquisite Corpse.

–Modern Gothic Writers on Their Art–
090. Storm Constantine is an award-winning goth favorite.
Caitlin Kiernan, born in Ireland, now living in the United States, burst onto the book world in the late 1990s. Her debut novel, Silk, set in the goth subculture,
Nancy Kilpatrick: Her most recent work of fiction is the horror novel Eternal City. … [Goth] was really not much more than a comfortable label for a way that I’d felt and dressed and thought since high school… “I’ve always been quiet, a loner, struggling to make connections to people, generally stunned by the amount of useless babble and noise around me, and the shallow realm that the masses seem to prefer to live in and from which they relate. … “I think it’s difficult just being alive, and if you add any extremism onto that, well, there are even more problems in your life. Following the rules almost always gets people the superficial rewards. … It’s been a struggle, writing about darkness, being considered amoral in many ways because frequently I take the position of not judging my characters, which makes them seem immoral to the mainstream.” … it’s only clothes and makeup, but it gives me a little bit of power I never had before!
Other undead authors goths admire include: Clive Baker, J.G. Ballard, Ray Bradbury, Italo Calvino, Clint Catalyst, Nick Cave, Nancy Collins, Charles de Lint, Umberto Eco, Harlan Ellison, Sèphera Girón, Tanya Huff, Barbara Hambly, Verschwende Deine Jugend (German New Wave and Punk scene), Stephen King, Tanith Lee, China Miéville, Octavio Paz, Terry Prachett, Thomas Roche, David Schow, Peter Underwood, Colin Wilson, and Mehitobel Wilson.

091. Dark poetry encompasses anything and everything a horror novel, dark fantasy novel, or science fiction novel might. Sonnets about Cthulhu. A love letter to Hannibal Lechter.

–Piercing Periodicals–
092. The City Morgue is a small publication, and reveals a lot of what little goth zines are about.
Hymni Nocturnalès.

–Exquisite Art–
093. Ars Moriendi, illustrations of the art of dying, emerged in the fifteenth century when Europe was awash with plague. In these illustrations, the dying person encounters priests, demons, angels, friends, all of whom argue the merits of heaven or hell, trying to sway the soon-to-be-departed towards one realm or the other.
Danse Macabre in French, the Dance of death in English, and Totentanz in German….
Publisher Guyot Marchand in 1486 used Gerson’s poem, and illustrations by an anonymous artist who replicated the twenty-three tableauxs from the walls of the Cimetière des Innocents based on woodcuts done the year before by Hans Holbein the Younger. …
Death in skeletal form varies in its depiction, depending on the country from which it originates. German images are a bit more grisly, showing some flesh remaining, and a few tufts of hair. Elsewhere, figures appear more stark, the drawings primitive. Still others are sophisticated. Some dances show several skeletons and several people together.
The founder of a California theatrical troupe researched the Danse Macabre woodcuts, fascinated by the instruments many of the skeletons are seen with in the drawings, and replicated those musical instruments, then formed the Bone Band,
…role-playing game set in 1356 Paris is called Danse Macabre;

–The Pre-Raphaelites–
094. The subject matter involves brooding faces, sometimes trance-like and full of moodiness. Sensitive men and dreamy, languid women full of half-requited or suicidal passions… The highly romantic bittersweet images that the Pre-Raphaelite painters are famous for evoke emotion in the viewer—what the painters intended.
Millais described the then-favored style of painting as “Drooping branches of brown trees over a night-like sky, or a column with a curtain unnaturally arranged.”

–Modern Gothic Art–
095. Gorey—and goths relate to him partially for this reason—loved a time and place not his own. He brought another century to life in both his art and in his lifestyle.
The subject matter of Gorey’s books and art is familiar. We’ve read his demented little poetic snippets and highly cryptic phrases that accompany his fine black-and-white drawings of dismal and helpless beings stuck in A Situation.
…(Gorey hated fruitcake and joked that there were only a few fruitcakes in the world, never eaten, repackaged each Christmas and given as gifts.) … The Funeral Consumers Alliance commissioned a T-shirt design, two designs for coffee mugs, as well as the cover sketch on the booklet and another sketch on the refrigerator magnet included in the package of their “Before I Go, You Should Know” end-of-life planning kit.
Edward Gorey declared that he had no wish to live on into the twenty-first century.
096. Another popular modern artist is British photographer Simon Marsden. [One of his books is] Visions of Poe.
097. Other artists, past to present, special to goths are: Lorraine Albright, Diane Arbus; Jason Beam; Ambrose Bierce; William Blake; Hieronymus Bosch; Sandro Botticelli; Walter Crane; Salvador Dali; Leonardo da Vinci; Edgar Degas; Gustave Doré; Albrecht Dürer; (Romaine de Tirtoff) Erté; M.C. Escher; Brian Froud; H.R. Giger; Jenny Holtzer; David Horton; Paul Klee; Gustav Klimt; Ivan Le; Robert Mapplethorpe; Franz Marc; René Magritte; John Martinez; Dave McKean; Michaelangelo Buonarroti; Claude Monet; Henry Moore; Alphonse Mucha; Theirry Mugler; Edvard Munch; Kay Neilsen; Georgia O’Keefe; Yoko Ono; Michael Parkes; Pablo Picasso; Floria Sigismondi; Vincent van Gogh; Andy Warhol, and Joel Peter Whitkin.
The most beloved contemporary artist among goths universally is, not surprisingly, Tim Burton. … He ended up working for Disney, but much of the “happy” animation he did left him depressed.

–TV with Bite–
098. Hungarian Grufti—the goths notorious for keeping up that country’s world-ranking suicide performance.
Reach for the Crypt [in Canada]

–Sinister Cinema–
099. In 1979 German filmmaker Werner Herzog directed the gorgeous remake, called Nosferatu the Vampyre.
Elvira’s Haunted Hills
Goth favorite directors and filmmakers include: Dario Argento, John Carpenter, David Cronenberg, Werner Herzog, David Lynch, Quentin Tarantino, and Guillermo Del Toro.

–High and Low Brow Art–
100. In 1897 France, a type of theater became popular known as Le Grand Guignol, and its grisly reign lasted for sixty years. Taking bites out of the ancient Greek playwright Aeschylus, and elements of medieval, Elizabethan, and Jacobean dramas as well as the dark emotions of Gothic melodrama, Le Grand Guignol went further in its outrageous approach to violence than all of those, and became the sinister granddaddy of modern horror.

The Bone Band
Funeral Consumers Alliance
The Strange Case of Edward Gorey by Alexander Theroux Fantagraphics Books
Hugues Leblanc’s macabre photos
My Pet Skeleton Monolith Graphics The City Morgue Hymni Nocturnalès

CHAPTER TWELVE: The Preternatural Is Calling
–Dracula and Friends–
101. Vampires possess a number of bewildering traits: they can fly; hop (China); walk through walls; appear in dreams (Japan); possess the strength of ten men; transform into animals like a bat (South America and Mexico); or a wolf (Balkans). They are able to control the elements, control animals, mesmerize human beings. … In parts of India it is believed crows, whose diet includes carrion, can be controlled by the Undead. In Ceylon, female vampires can survive entirely on elephant blood. In Iceland, vampires shape-shift into dragons, birds, wolves, bears, and horses.

TOP 10 INFAMOUS VAMPIRES (courtesy of Dr. Jeanne K. Youngson, president, The Vampire Empire)
1. Russia: Upierczi–so bad it can dry the dew off plants
2. Romania: Nosferat–makes husbands impotent
3. Bavaria: Nachehrer–ties cows together by their tails
4. Moravia: Vampire–likes to skulk around naked
5. Serbia: Mulo–boils ladies he fancies in a huge vat
6. Dalmatia: Kuzlak–tosses pots and pans around the kitchen
7. Albania: Sampiro–dresses in a shroud and stilettos
8. Crete: Catacano–can’t stop laughing
9. Ashantiland: Asanbosam–normal except he has books for feet
10. Portugal: Bruxsa–only enjoys the blood of children

102. Miss Lynx “Morons who think they are a vampire are the biggest bane of the goth subculture. Aside from people who think they look good in heavy makeup, and don’t”.
103. Alphonsus Joseph-Mary Augustus Montague Summers, a Protestant minister turned Catholic priest. He dressed like an eighteenth-century cleric, with the addition of a long, sweeping cape, and the silver-tipped cane he carried, depicting Leda being ravished by Zeus in the form of a swan. His hairstyle—one of his own design—is now fashionable with goths—two knots on the side of the head. Summers wrote several other books of interest to goths: History of Demonology and Witchcraft, The Gothic Quest: a History of the Gothic Novel, A Gothic Bibliography, and he also reprinted The Discovery of Witches by the infamous Matthew Hopkins, and undertook the first English translation of the fifteenth-century treatise on witchcraft, Malleus Maleficarum.
In much the same manner as goths, Summers saw himself as a refugee from another century, in his case, the eighteenth.
104. Katherine Ramsland. “I found that many goths resented being associated with vampires, and rightly so. … Some goths see the mythological vampire as an icon of darkness and mystery, but don’t identify themselves as vampires, whereas people in the vampire subculture may adopt goth fashion and music—perhaps even some of that perspective—but they don’t accept the more passive, wraithlike qualities of goth culture. They do mingle at parties, but the pure types in each subculture tend not to want to be identified as belonging to the other.

–Vampires Unlimited–
105. In the Western world, all vampires seem to stem from the old-school tradition that brought us Vlad Tepesh, aka, Vlad the Impaler, a fifteenth-century Transylvanian prince and viviode (warlord) who became one of the inspirations for Stoker’s Dracula.
The first vampire novel in English was the nearly 1,000-page tome Varney the Vampire, or The Feast of Blood, probably penned by Thomas Preskett Prest (author of Sweeney Todd and other macabre works), but possibly Malcolm James Rymer.
106. Guy de Maupassant penned ‘The Horla’ in 1887, a tale told in classic diary format of a protagonist stalked by a malevolent energy that actualizes and drives him insane. De Maupassant wrote this story six years before he died in an asylum from syphilis, where he was placed after a suicide attempt.

–The Blood Countess–
107. Erzsebet Bathory had a normal aristocratic upbringing. But she was a problem child, given to fits of rage and violence, and loved to torture small animals and insects. At fifteen, she married Count Ferenc Nadasdy, who spent most of his time away from home. Countess Bathory had a couple of cohorts, including her servant Dorka, thought to be a witch, who also enjoyed sadism as her main source of entertainment. Over the years, the Countess fell into the practice of torturing her servant girls by pressing red-hot keys or coins into their hands, and burning their faces with a hot iron fireplace poker. She stuck needles into the flesh beneath the fingernails. Once, she forced open a maid’s mouth until the flesh tore. In winter, she had girls play naked in the snow, dousing them with water until ice formed and they died of hypothermia. In summer, she coated their bodies with honey and left them outdoors for twenty-four hours to suffer insect bites and stings.
Then the Countess, who had always been beautiful and used that power, began to age. One fateful day she slapped the girl who had been brushing her hair not to her liking. A cut in the girl’s lip produced blood, which splattered onto Erzsebet’s face. She rubbed the blood into her skin, and tasted it. “You look younger,” Dorka cried. The Countess gazed into a mirror and said, “It’s a miracle.” Reenacting this miracle resulted in incredible suffering. The Countess beat and tortured servant girls until they bled, washing in their blood to renew her youth, which became a daily requirement. Eventually she left the castle for Vienna and there had built by a German clockmaker a mechanized precursor of the iron maiden, which she called the iron virgin. She decorated her life-sized sarcophagus with painted blue eyes, real human teeth, and hair. The suspended vertical contraption opened like a mummy case. Victims were placed within, and the door that contained spikes was shut, forcing the spikes into the body, which bled into a tub as the girl died a painful and prolonged death. The street in Vienna where so many girls died at the Countess’s hands is now known as Blood Alley.
As signs of aging increased, Countess Bathory determined that she needed the superior blood of virgins of noble birth to rejuvenate her. She began biting, then killing, young girls unwittingly sent to her by their families for service among royalty. Rumors of the disappearances of the wealthy reached the ears of the Hungarian emperor, who sent a committee to Castle Bathory to investigate. They discovered a detailed diary of names and dates, and 650 graves. A trial ensued; court records still exist. Because of her high station, the Countess could not be executed. Instead, she was walled up in the tower of her castle, food and water slipped through an opening. She survived for three years in solitary confinement, never seeing the sun, not speaking to anyone or hearing a sound from the outside world. After her death, and until this day, locals believe she rises from her grave, seeking the blood of young virgins.

–La comtesse du Sang de France–
108. France had its own version of a blood countess, who lived in the Chateau de Deux-Forts in the twelfth century. La Comtesse found a red spot on her belly that her physician deemed to be leprosy. She didn’t like his diagnosis and threats led the medical man to prescribe bathing in fresh human blood. This she did, murdering children for their vitae, until the court at Auvergne put a stop to it. The doctor was hanged, and the Comtesse drawn and quartered. A stone cross stands today, called la Croix de Mal Mort (the Cross of the Female Death).

–Peter Kurten, the Vampire of Dusseldorf–
109. Peter Kürten, the vampire of Düsseldorf (1883-1932), was born into a violent and impoverished family of thirteen children that lived in one room. … By the age of ten he drowned a school friend in the River Rhine. During his teenage years he was jailed repeatedly for petty crimes (stealing food or clothes), and, while serving a two-year sentence, whiled away the hours fantasizing about killing hundreds of people. … He even broke prison rules to get himself placed into solitary confinement in order to indulge in these fantasies.
Whilst cultivating a respectable image (he was always meticulous and neat), he secretly murdered lovers, prostitutes, and strangers. Unlike most serial killers, he would murder anyone: men, women, children, and animals.
Suave and sophisticated in court, he remained calm, despite being on display in a shoulder-high cage surrounded by [evidence such as] his murder tools and victims’ body parts.

–The Vampire of Foster, Rhode Island–
110. New England in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was a hotbed of vampiric activity. … As is the custom in almost all vampire legends, the undead prefer to prey upon their relatives first.
Nancy’s body was exhumed and burned on a wooden pyre. The remaining Young family inhaled the fumes, in the belief that this would cure the sickness that plagued their line.
The story of Nancy Young is one of a dozen vampire tales that come out of New England, eleven of which involve tuberculosis, a disease that ran rampant between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

–Frankenstein, Or The Modern Prometheus–
111. One summer in 1816, the British poets Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, Shelley’s lover Mary Wollstonecraft (Shelley was married at the time to someone else), her half-sister Claire Clairmont, and Byron’s personal physician, John Polidori, took a little vacation to Geneva.
It was a warm but rainy evening, keeping the party indoors. Despite plenty of laudanum—a tincture of diluted opium—the vacationers became a bit bored. Lord Byron challenged them all to write a ghost story over the weekend. Byron himself produced a fragment, later completed and published by Polidori under his own name. Shelley produced nothing much. But Mary Wollstonecraft had a dream, one that became the basis of the novel Frankenstein.
A wonderful depiction of the weekend’s events has been created by Ken Russell in his film Gothic.

112. In the first century A.D., the Roman poet Virgil wrote of a sorcerer who took poisonous herbs to turn himself into a werewolf.
Voluntary werewolves were considered to be people who made a pact with the devil. Involuntary werewolves were those whose actions inadvertently caused a nasty transformation. For instance, in Sicily, a child born during a new moon would surely grow up to be an involuntary werewolf. In Germany, folktales told of a mountain brook where the water turned one into a werewolf. In Serbia, those who drank water from a wolf’s footprint would turn. In Greece, epileptics were thought to be werewolves. And in Armenia, an adulterous woman would be visited by the devil, who would fornicate with her, then give her a wolf’s skin to wear for seven years, after which she could return to human form.
The last British wolf died in 1743. They managed to survive in Ireland until 1773.
Most European countries consider wolves an endangered species. In Norway it is illegal to kill a wolf, unless a farmer is protecting livestock.
Guy Endore’s tour de force novel The Werewolf of Paris is one of the most intriguing werewolf books to be publishd, alive with Gallic manners and mores of the nineteenth century. Endore based his book on newspaper accounts of le loup-garou Sergeant Bertrand, as recorded by Sabine Baring-Gould in this 1865 Book of Werewolves.

113. It is in a work dating from at least the tenth century—The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night—where ghouls first surfaced in daylight. The late Brian McNaughton told us, “The ghoul derives from their [Arabic] folklore as ‘a spirit or demon that haunts graveyards and feeds on the dead.’”
Brian McNaughton’s novelette The Throne of Bones…chronicals the antics of a multigenerational family of ghouls.

114. Haiti is the home country of zombies. A voodoo bokor (practitioner of black magic or petro voodoo—usually a male) places a spell on a human being, accompanied by a poisonous potion that brings about a state that imitates death in the imbiber. For all intents and purposes, the zombified person is dead, and frequently buried in a shallow grave, or aboveground. Three days later the person is “resurrected” in a state of walking catatonia and traditionally used as slave labor on a plantation. The will of the human being has been stolen, through poison.
The Serpent and the Rainbow.
Whether or not actual zombies exist, the metaphorical state does. It can have a variety of interpretations, and Clive Barker nailed one: “Zombies are the liberal nightmare. Here you have the masses, whom you would love to love, appearing at your front door with their faces falling off; and you’re trying to be as humane as you possibly can, but they are, after all, eating the cat.”

–Talking Boards–
115. It was 1848 when two sisters, Kate and Margaret Fox of Hydesville, New York contacted the spirit of a dead peddler. This led to personal fame for the Fox girls, and the birth of spiritualism across North America and Europe that flourished through the remainder of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth. Special churches dedicated to contacting those on the “other side” sprang up, and inviting a medium to your party became all the rage.
At first this was done by way of talking tables. The medium and the participants would sit at a small table with fingers resting lightly on the edge, ask a question, and wait for the table to rotate, then for the legs to “knock” out the letters of the alphabet. That long and tiresome process led to the invention of the planchette, a piece of wood usually pointed at one end, with a small hole for a pencil that allowed for “automatic writing.” But automatic writing was often difficult to read. Consequently, apparatus was dispensed with for a time and mental channeling via a tranced state came into vogue. Then—briefly—bulky, impossible contraptions with pulleys and wheels called “dial plates” appeared. Obvious drawback—they couldn’t be easily transported….
Talking boards reflect their era. William Fuld’s Ouija in the early 1900s was known as the Egyptian Luck Board. Other turn-of-the-century boards include: Mystifying Oracle; Throne Board; Wireless-Messenger from 1898 with instructions in seven languages on the back; I-D-O PSYCHO-I-D-O-GRAPH from 1919, a psycho-graphic board packed with images; Electric Mystifying Oracle, an early board with an Art Deco design; Psyche, and Mitche Manitou from the 1920s.
In 1999 Parker Brothers, which still owns the patent on the Ouija board, ceased production. … Creepy Necronomicon talking board with the history of H.P. Lovecraft’s Necronomicon on the back.
“These boards,” he says, “reflect very different attitudes as time passed. This has always fascinated me. These mysterious ‘games’ are much like chameleons, shifting and adapting to their surroundings. The artwork used to decorate these boards tells us very clearly what the attitude towards them was.”

CHAPTER THIRTEEN: Esoterica: The Religion of Heresy
–Nourishing the Wounded Soul–
116. Excerpt from “Underwoods” “Under the wide and starry sky, Dig the grave and let me lie. Glad did I live and gladly die …” .—Robert Louis Stevenson
117. The Goth Chakras: Black: Black absorbs negativity, promotes grounding and stability,
118. Wicca is a modern religion, which began in the 1940s… “Wicca is a Pagan religion. New Age is a general movement that draws upon various spiritual practices stressing self-improvement and spiritual well-being but is not in itself a religion, even though many confuse it as such. Magic is a practice each [practitioner] may use to make changes in their lives.
“Wicca is more specifically a term used to describe a subset of religious witchcraft. Now depending on who you talk to, this subset of religious witchcraft could consist solely of what is known as the Gardnerian Tradition (one of the first modern forms of religious witchcraft), or any variation that derived through Gardnerian influences.

–Remembering the Inquisition–
119. To Wiccans, the word witch, according to Dark Wyccan, “is generic and can mean anything from someone who just works natural magic, to the religious types that center around a goddess.
Back in the twelfth century, when social change began to threaten such community staples as marriage, Pope Innocent III organized a crusade against heretics—those who spoke against the Church or God. Included were those deemed to be witches, those who consorted with the devil.
In the thirteenth century, Pope Gregory IX, fearful that the Holy Roman emperor would take control of what came to be called the Inquisition, placed the inquisitors under the special jurisdiction of the papacy. Punishment escalated. Freethinkers in Germany and France were targeted initially, but the rest of Europe soon followed.
Inquisitors set up camp for weeks or months, bringing charges against the locals and demanding that those guilty of heresy present themselves. Those charged had a month to confess, after which a trial took place. The right to asylum in the church did not apply to heretics. Two witnesses was considered proof of guilt.
In 1252, Pope Innocent IV officially sanctioned the use of torture. Sentences were pronounced in public, creating an auto-da-fé (public judgment and instant punishment). At the start of this period, punishments ranged from a pilgrimage or a fine to a public flogging. Wearing two tongues of red cloth sewn onto a garment marked those who made a false accusation. Penalties also included confiscation of property, or imprisonment. Life imprisonment was the limit of the inquisitors’ powers of sentencing, which meant that when the person sentenced was handed over to civil authorities for the sentence to be carried out, it often resulted in their execution.
Tomás de Torquemada of the Spanish Inquisition is the most notorious grand inquisitor, personally responsible for extreme torture to accused heretics and the execution of thousands. His torture methods included nail chairs, the iron seat of a chair heated from below; an oral, rectal or vaginal wooden “pear” that was twisted open after insertion; and severing the body by means of tying horses to each limb and driving them until the limbs were torn from the torso. The iron maiden—a metal sarcophagus with spikes inside—comes from the Inquisition, as does the rack, a metal bed-like frame where the limbs are tied at the head and foot and stretched by rollers until they pop out of their joints. Some historians believe the Inquisition spanned five centuries, with an estimated nine million persons executed—most of them women—often through confessions elicited by extreme torture.
120. The Inquisition certainly set the stage for the witch trials in and around Salem, Massachusetts. Two friends, nine-year-old Elisabeth Parris, and eleven-year-old Abigail Williams began throwing fits, falling into trances, and spontaneously screaming blasphemes. Physicians, stymied, declared them under the influence of Satan.
Community prayers and fasting didn’t work. Nor did the witch cake, baked by John Indian and composed of rye meal and the urine of the afflicted girls, which when eaten was supposed to reveal the source of the problem.
The girls, under pressure, identified three women as witches. Tituba, the Parris’s Carib Indian slave, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborne. Tituba, under torture, confessed a conspiracy of witches were at work in Salem, but the other two declared their innocence.
Frequently accused and arrested were people who disturbed the social order, especially women, some with criminal records, others oddballs, or merely widows and/or property owners.
Bridget Bishop was the first to be found guilty, and hanged in Salem in 1692. Accusations of witchcraft in New England escalated, and the Andover witch hunt began. … One man, Giles Corey, was pressed to death for refusing a trial.
The Superior Court, established in 1693, ended the convictions, but not before twenty people had been executed.
… This denegation of the feminine flies in the face of what goth is about. Goth supports the feminine in both women and men.
…They are attracted to the pre-Christian belief—a belief shared by many peoples—that spirit dwells in all nature, and the gods and goddesses reflect humanity, not deities that imitate a feudal patriarchal being intent on dominion and subjugation over us all.
…“goths tend to be more open-minded and exploratory and so are more likely to be attracted to such a flexible and personal path as Wicca.” He also says that goths tend to associate with dark deities, such as Hecate, Morrigan, Kali, or Lilith.
Internet shop catering to Wiccans is: Morticia’s Morgue Emporium

–A Relationship with the Grim Reaper–
121. The French have always viewed moments in life when the ego is forced to give way as “little deaths,” a process of building up a tolerance for ego dissolution in order to better face the Big Death. Losing love, losing a job, losing health, experiencing rejection, these are all examples of “little deaths,” when we feel as if some part of us is dying.
–Go Goth (Promoting Gothic Lifestyle since the late twentieth century)
122. “I’d like my body bathed in acid so the flesh will be gone and only bone remaining. I want the bones to be painted chrome with purple accents and set up in a friend’s house where I will be dressed in wigs and clothes and attend all future parties!”

123. The darkness you love loves you back.

X CHAPTER: Future Tense
124. Many other countries outside the United States and England have a goth population, and some, like Germany, have an enormous goth population—this is as it should be, since Germany and England are where goth was born.
–ASYLUM Seven: goth clothing line
–France: “There are no goth writers in France besides Sire Cédric and myself—we both have a large goth readership. Sire Cédric writes vampire erotica. My focus is more like the ancient ‘colds’ of the eighties. There are no major goth writers in France. Well, perhaps, Carthésian Land.”
–Germany: “We have problems, too, within the goth scene, with groups of neo-Nazis that try to infiltrate. That’s bad and leads to conflicts.”
–Italy: “First of all, I find the Italians really tolerant. I hear some real horror stories of American goths being laughed at or persecuted, but in Italy they don’t automatically assume that a goth is also a rabbit-slashing Satanist, or a potential new Columbine murderer. Their view is admirably serene. This may be because most Italian goths tend to be middle-upper-class, all college students or thirty somethings with brilliant jobs, so the stigma of goth as white trash does not exist. Also, Italian goths are still Italians, so they are friendly, witty and love a laugh and the good things in life; I rarely saw dismal goths here.
–The Netherlands: In general, people in the Netherlands respect the goth scene, simply because it’s so big they can’t deny its existence and its greatness.”
–Ukraine: “Our most gothic book is Remarque’s L’arc de Triomph, and all his other books. To be honest, we think gothic is more a philosophy than vampyre stuff. … “I don’t know if goths here are different than goths elsewhere, but maybe are smarter. In Ukraine you’re supposed to be smarter if you’re goth,’

–The past impregnates the present, which births the future–
125. To the extent that a person has difficulty accepting death, they will also have a hard time accepting anyone or anything that personifies that dark goddess.
126. “What did Orwell say? In order for there to be a strong Us, there must be a frightening Them.”
127. Werner Herzog’s exquisitely elegant film Nosferatu the Vampyre portrays the idyllic town of Bremer, overrun with rats carrying the plague, brought to its shores by a vampire. In one poignant scene, the character Lucy Harker (played by Isabelle Adjani) wanders through the town square crowded with citizens who have given way to insanity brought about by knowledge of their impending demise. Goth is the Lucy of the world, still sane, viewing the madness of the collective, unable to do much about it, but unable to ignore it either. Goths hear the proverbial fiddlers play while the city burns. When the emperor decides to go naked, goths refuse to pretend he’s dressed. It’s no wonder some people are uncomfortable around goths.


Corporate Goth Survival Strategies
• Always take advantage of stereotypes that work in your favor and play along. • Know, and never cross, the boundaries of tolerance in appearance for your specific profession. • Check out how others dress in the company before interviewing. • Wean them in—establish mutual respect and then slowly show your true colors (or in this case, lack of colors!). • Maintain a professional stance. Dress and act appropriately for meetings. Sometimes you need to make sacrifices to stay ahead. • To help make sure you are taken seriously, try to make your first contact via e-mail or phone. • Dress in a manner that is comfortable for your coworkers (within reason). Compromise enough to establish a good working relationship with your coworkers. • Speak to your HR representative and learn your rights! Technically I can dress in drag (as long as it is something a woman could wear to work), and legally they can’t say anything to me. Of course that does not mean they won’t figure out another reason to fire me! So know your rights and also know the limitations of those rights.

What Not to Wear to a Corporate Job
So many people wear crosses to work, but I still tuck my pentacle in. • Leather should be confined to shoes or jacket. • Black lace blouses are fine but wear something more modest than a bra or corsette underneath. • Excessive facial piercings frighten people. Leave the jewelry at home. • Learn to conceal your tongue ring when you talk. • The torn fishnet stockings should probably get left at
home. • No visible garter belts. • Avoid wearing skull jewelry (besides, it’s rarely done well enough to keep you from looking like a lame teenager!). • Leave the animal bones at home. • Stiletto heels should stay in the closet. Your Docs are more comfy anyway.

2¼ cups all purpose flour salt to taste 1½ tsp baking powder 2 tsp baking soda 2 cups raisins or currants 1 egg, beat it well 2 cup butter cut into small cubes 1 cup milk or buttermilk black food coloring   Sift together all the dry ingredients. Cut butter into that mixture with two sharp daggers. If daggers are unavailable, use steak knives. Do this until it resembles the Epsom salts you’ll need in your bath later to soothe your muscles after all this kitchen work. Add the milk or buttermilk, the raisins or currants, and a couple of drops of the black food coloring. Dough should be a bit sticky. Either wear latex gloves or dip your hands in flour and mould the dough into a ball. Knead it gently while you listen to the opening stanzas of the angels singing “This Corrosion.” Flatten these balls to 1” thick. Cut circles using a wide shot glass. Now comes the artistic part: paint the circles with the egg that you’ve beaten. These creatures will bake somewhere between 11 and 16 minutes in a 425° F oven. They should be light golden-grey when you take them out. You need to eat them warm, with Devonshire cream, maybe some preserves, because when they get cold and hard they are only good for paperweights.

Goth Comments During Intimate Moments
• I can’t see a damned thing. I’m gonna have to take off the sunglasses. • I was going to blindfold you but I didn’t want to smudge your eye makeup. • Is that your skirt or mine? • You want to put your pet snake where? • What a romantic Nietzschean move on your part, my little Über-kink. • That better be white candle wax you’re dripping on me; the black candles leave stains. • What the hell!? Did you put Floodland on REPEAT? • Are your pubic hairs normally that color, or do you dye them? • Do we have to take our Docs off? • My ampallang’s caught in your labia ring! • This thing is so small … why don’t you get a bigger coffin? • I love seeing your black fingernails against my pallid skin. • Shhhh! I think I saw headlights past that grave. • Damn, there’s nowhere to attach the handcuffs to in this coffin. • Can you please play dead?

Old Aztec Wedding Prayer
I know not whether thou has been absent I lie down with thee, I rise up with thee In my dreams thou art with me If my eardrops tremble in my ears I know it is thou moving within my heart


Photos of Convergence 8, 2002, Montreal
Whitby Gothic Weekend-UK
Industrial Festiva/—France
How to Dance Gothic
La fée verte (the Green Fairy) Web site

Jorge Olguín’s Sangre Eterna (released by Fangoria Films in North America as Eternal Blood)

Popular Goth Comics: Writhe and Shine, The Crow (O’Barr), Hellraiser, Purgatori and Lenore

21st Century Goth

Goth: A Horror Trivia Board Game is a Trivial Pursuit for the darkly inclined
Klaus Kinski

artwork of Czech artist Adolf Benca.
The Dark Angel   Enigma Fashions
Gothic Martha Stewart
Gothic Rose Antiques   Flaming Angels Designs   Shaddow Domain Gothic Treasurer
Inkubus Art & Objects   Edemonium   Dark Reflections Designs   Cruella   Corporate goth site   Living Dead Dolls   Dark Culture magazine   Grave Concerns e-zine   The Asylum Eclectica-Morbid Fact du Jour   Cavalorn   Sangre Eterna   Neil Gaiman   Jhonen Vasquez   Oh my Goth (Voltaire)   Marcel de Jong   The Black Rose Company   Morbid Curiosity   The Sentimentalist   Ver Sacrum

Short list of Gothic Cathedrals:
Glastonbury Abbey
Notre Dame
Saint Bavon
Westminster Abbey
Whitby Abbey

The Raven Beer—advertised as “The Taste is Poetic”—was apparently first produced in the Black Forest region of Germany. Now, it’s made in Baltimore, Maryland,
Dead Guy Ale and Rasputin from Rogue Breweries of Newport, Oregon; Arrogant Bastard (demonic label) and Gargoyle from Stone Brewing Co., San Diego, California; HopDevil Ale from Victory Brewing, Downington, Pennsylvania; Fin du Monde (End of the World), Maudit (Dammit!) and Ephémère (Ephemeral), from Unibroue, Chambly, Quebec; Gargouille (Gargoyle) from Quatre Temps in Quebec; Rigor Mortis and l’Alchimist, from the brew pub Dieu du Ciel! in Montreal, Quebec; Bishop’s Finger ale from the UK’s oldest brewer, Shepherd Neame, Faversham, Kent; La Mort Subite (Sudden Death), Br De Keer Smaeker, Belgium; Duvel (Devil)
Moortgat Brewery, Breendonk, Belgium; Louwaege Hapkin, named after an axe-wielding count, from Belgium; Judas, Brauerei Alken-Maes, from Belgium; Belzebuth, advertised as the strongest lager beer in the world, from Brasserie Jeanne d’Arc S.A., Ronchin-Lille, France; La Bière du Demon (The Devil’s Beer), “12% of diabolic pleasure,” from Les Brasseurs de Gayant, France; Trompe la Mort (Cheat Death), from Brauerei Schwabisch Gmund, Germany, with the reaper in the fog on the label. Wine, especially red, is a perennial goth favorite. After all, red wine claims elegance, sophistication, and has the added benefit of resembling blood.

Popular goth photographer Stephane Lord
Blue Blood Magazine, an artful blend of goth and fetish
Whitby Goth Weekend
Convergence Conventions

Depeche Mode
Pet Shop Boys
New Order
Frontline Assembly
Skinny Puppy
Legendary Pink Dots

(band? Magazine?)
Ipso Facto
Lip Service
Cyclops Underground
Esplendor Geometrico
Book: 21st Century Goth
Book: Hex Files
Book: Gothic Rock

Morticia’s Addams
Siren (Toronto)

The word “abiosis” means “absence of life.”
Mastaba-style tomb

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress