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THIS BLOG WAS CREATED IN NOVEMBER 2009 WITH THE GOAL OF GATHERING ALL INFORMATION POSSIBLE ABOUT GOTHIC CULTURE.

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31 October 2011

This is Halloween

Halloween is here! Happy Halloween!!!!! :D


A few facts on Halloween:

Halloween (or Hallowe'en), a contraction of All-Hallows-Eve (as in the day before "All Hallows" or "All Souls" Day), is an annual festival observed on October 31. In recent years the American inspired (and US media driven) commercialisation of this date (previously marked in the UK by children carving lanterns in turnips or swedes and little else - pumpkins being scarce) has resulted in the importing of US traditions such as "trick-or-treating", costume parties, and carving lanterns from real pumpkins which are now cultivated specially for this purpose.

The true origins of Halloween are to be found in the Celtic and Irish cultures. The original name of Halloween is Samhain which derives from old irish for "summer's end".




Development of artifacts and symbols associated with Halloween formed over time. For instance, the carving of jack-o'-lanterns springs from the souling custom of carving turnips into lanterns as a way of remembering the souls held in purgatory.The turnip has traditionally been used in Ireland and Scotland at Halloween, but immigrants to North America used the native pumpkin, which are both readily available and much larger – making them easier to carve than turnips. The American tradition of carving pumpkins is recorded in 1837 and was originally associated with harvest time in general, not becoming specifically associated with Halloween until the mid-to-late 19th century.




The imagery of Halloween is derived from many sources, including national customs, works of Gothic and horror literature (such as the novel Dracula), and classic horror films (such as Frankenstein and The Mummy).Elements of the autumn season, such as pumpkins, corn husks, and scarecrows, are also prevalent. Homes are often decorated with these types of symbols around Halloween.


Halloween imagery includes themes of death, evil, the occult, or mythical monsters. Black and orange are the holiday's traditional colors.


25 October 2011

Gothic Idols - Ville Valo of H.I.M.

Ville Hermanni Valo, born 22 November 1976, is known for being the singer and songwriter for Finnish gothic rock band H.I.M. . There has been some debate on wheter H.I.M. is to be considered goth or not because it seems that every band that is not that underground can't be properly goth as it becomes pop music. But regardless all this, Ville Valo is anyway and definitely one of the best rock singers out there. (and yeah, one of the hottest too xD). He has a baritone vocal range that doesn't go unnoticed. His music talks about death and love and the connection between them. They sound very romantic and dark at the same time. No wonder many girls fall in love with both the music and Ville.



Valo (means "light") is known for loving Edgar Allan Poe (he had the author's eyes tattooed on his back) and has been seen many times reading parts of Dante's Divine Commedy (the Inferno part) during his shows. His favourite movies of all time are "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "Gone With The Wind". He also loves reading The Flowers Of Evil by Charles Baudelaire, poetries which he takes inspiration from. (see song Funeral Of Hearts for example where he sings "the flowers of evil in bloom"). 


The band symbol is the famous Heartagram:



Famous collaboration of Ville Valo with other bands:

Cradle Of Filth- Byronic Man
Apocalyptica- Bittersweet
Bloodhoung gang - Something Diabolical
Ville Valo feat. Natalia Avalon- Summer Wine


Albums by HIM are:

666 ways to love 
Greatest Love songs vol. 666
Razorblade Romance
Deepshadows and Brilliant Highlights
Love Metal
Dark Light
Venus Doom
Screamworks: Love in theory and practice



21 October 2011

In the 19th century...for an hour

Oh my, I realised I never shared with you these awesome pictures of me dressed up as a victorian lady from 19th century!! I made this photoshoot during a trip to Florida last year. There was this place where they would take pictures and make them look ancient. They had a set that looked like a 19th century house interior and they would give you the right dress and jewelry to wear, of course, I couldn't say no to the temptation of taking a photoshoot dressed up like an 19th century victorian lady! 


 They gave me this beautiful dress (that in reality was white with light blue little flowers), this awesome fancy hat which I would have loved to take home with me, a little fan, a pochette and a parasol! It was like a dream coming true for me. I felt like a princess!! :P


(sorry for bad quality..I do not own a scanner xD)

They took me 9 pictures and I could decide wheter i wanted them in colors, black and white, sepia or faded colors..I chose sepia because I love sepia toned pictures and the sepia tone fit the 18th century most! They also gave me 2 free wooden frames !

If I ever get the chance again I'll surely make another photoshoot..! Maybe as an 19th century bride! *-* 


B-Dark

edit: forgive me..I wrote 18th instead of 19th! stupid me...xD I meant the period from 1800 to 1900, which includes the Victoria era..! [Thanks sgath92 for making me notice it ;)]

The Vampire Cat of Nabeshima


Hello! This is Kurotsuta Murasaki-chan, happy to be writing my first Japanese Folktale. Folktales have, and will always, hold a special place in the Gothic Subculture; for they are stories of goblins, and faeries that so delight those of us whose hearts are lined in black velvet and violet silk. I find all folktales interesting, but my love of anime has got me interested in Japanese folklore in particular.

Japan is a fascinating place with a feudal history and thrilling ghost stories and legends of youkai {spectres, ghouls} and bakemono {monsters, shape-shifters} as well as their famous snarling oni {Demons}. But surprisingly, vampire legends are few and far between in the "Land of the Rising Sun", although, thinking on it... that nickname might be a contributing factor. Oh yes, they have legends such as that of the Yuuki-onna {Snow woman}, but she didn't always fulfill the traditional requirements to really earn her the title of "Vampire". Japan had few vampiric influences until the "westernization" that took place in the late Edo and Meiji Periods (1603-1868 and 1868-1912 respectively). In fact, the Japanese word for vampire (And no, I don't mean "Vanpaia", all you Vampire Knight fans), Kyuuketsuki was developed in the Meiji period by piecing together kanji that accurately described the concept.
However! That's not to say that our lovely friends in the land of sakura don't have any stories of blood-drinking creatures of the night.
Perhaps the most well known of this handful of stories is "The Vampire Cat of Nabeshima", which was famously translated by A.B. Mitford (Full name: Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford, 1st Baron Redesdale) and featured in his 1871 publication, Tales of Old Japan. I love this book because, as well as the vampire cat, it is also full of thrilling tales of samurai revenge, fairy-tales, and an intriguing account of the seppuku or hara-kiri ceremony (Honour suicide via disembowelment). But back to the subject at hand: the vampire cat. I would like to tell you the whole story in detail, but that would take up far too much space (after all, you can buy the book.) But I will provide a short version (By me).

Sometime in the early to mid Edo Period, the prince of the Nabeshima Clan, which held authority over the Hizen Prefecture (modern day Nagasaki), was bewitched by a vampire cat. One night, the prince's favorite concubine, O-Toyo, awoke in the night to find a giant cat with a forked tail observing her from the corner of the room. As she let out a cry, the cat sprang upon her and, snapping her neck with it's jaws, drank her blood and assumed her form before burying her under the veranda.
As the days went by, the chief advisor of the Nabeshima Clan, Isahaya Buzen, began to notice that the prince was rapidly falling into illness and lethargy. He and the other councilors concluded that this strange sickness was the work of some sort of devil and set up a night watch of one-hundred retainers to stand guard over the prince as he slept. But strangely enough, at ten o'clock, all one-hundred retainers fell soundly asleep.
After several other failures of this kind, the Nabeshima councilors appealed to a monk named Ruiten to recite prayers every night for their lord. One evening, just as Ruiten had finished his litanies and was retiring, he noticed a samurai outside, praying. As the young man was leaving, Ruiten approached him. Itou Souda (for that was the young man's name) was a foot solider in the Nabeshima infantry who was concerned about the prince. Itou desired to stand guard over the prince, but as he held no sufficient rank, he could not appeal. Ruiten was impressed that a man of such a young age as Souda - for he was no more than twenty-three years aged - should have such a strong sense of loyalty and devotion to his master, and thus told Souda that he would consult the Nabeshima advisors and see what could be done to for him.
After Ruiten's consultation with Isahaya, Itou was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, and that night he stood guard over Nabeshima-sama {Lord Nabeshima}. Just as with the other, at ten o'clock, he began to fall asleep. After trying everything he could think of to keep himself awake, Itou was fall back on his last resort: he laid out some oil paper, sat upon it, and unsheathing his tanto {dagger}, stabbed himself in the thigh. The pain effectively kept him awake, and as he sat there, the false O-Toyo slid the door open and entered. She kept a steady eye on Itou as she approached the prince's bedside and knelt down. As she did, Itou twisted the knife around in his leg to show her that he was very much awake. Wrinkling her nose, the false lady left and did not return that night.
With the devil's identity revealed, Itou set up measures to capture and kill it the next night. As the vampire entered, Itou attacked her with a sword and, after landing several blows, the ghoul reverted to the form of a giant cat and fled into the night.
The Nabeshima Clan led a great hunt in the mountains and the monster was vanquished. The prince returned to health and he and Itou Souda became fast friends ever after.

A classic vampire tale, is it not? After it's publication in Tales of Old Japan, several other versions of this tale were written by various authors, including a variation by a Frenchman named Maurice Dubard. Several minor alterations were made in Dubard's version and the excerpts concerning the nightly draining of the prince's blood were described in somewhat more... erm... explicit detail than in all other versions of the story. Unfortunately i have not been able to do much research on this version, but I am satisfied that what I have learned is sufficiently accurate.

It is suggested that the "vampire cat" in the story is a nekomata or "Two-tailed Demon Cat", because in the original illustration in the book (Oh, yes, that would be the picture at the top of the post) the vampire-cat is featured having a forked tail. In Japan it was believed that if a cat grew to a certain size, it's tail would fork and it would become a nekomata. Due to this, it was customary in feudal Japan to cut off a cat's tail once it grew "too long". As with all animals in Japanese lore that were said to have magical powers (others include foxes and badgers), not all nekomata were malicious; some were quite helpful and whimsical, but many lived up to their title of "Demon Cat".
Nekomata have been featured in contemporary works such as anime and manga; for instance it is given a cameo in the popular anime/manga Naruto as one of the nine "tailed beasts".

Thank you for reading, this has been Kurotsuta Murasaki,
Until next time, Sayonara.










Gothic Shoe Shopping



Sincere apologies for not writing for a while... You know how life goes.

Right then, one of my favourite topics... SHOES! Yes, not to be stereotypical of the female gender, I am in love with shoes! I adore looking at photo shoots from my favourtie people and bands and so on, and seeing the shoes they wear. I love the pin-up, retro and burlesque styles - for me they are so beautiful. I also think that shoes can really make an outfit! One thing I always struggle with is finding shoes that I like AND in my size. I have tiny feet (UK size 3). 

This makes it nearly impossible to buy beautiful gothic shoes.... or so I used to think! (I am now building up a collection of amazing shoes, to include Demonia boots, Iron fist shoes, Dr Martens and so on!)

My advice for buying the most fang-tastic footwear:

- NEVER be scared to visit shops you would normally not be seen dead in. You can sometimes be surprised at what you find in the shoe section!
- NEVER buy without trying on (unless there are free returns!). Much like bra's, never just assume that because you are one size in one store, you are ''officially'' that size. This is also true with style. Flat shoes may mean you are one size, but in heels you may be another. You get the point.
- The internet is your friend. My most treasured shoes have come from cyber-space ♥
- At first, go for shoes that can go with several outfits - that way, you get good use/wear from them and they become good value for money.
- A pair of shoes can make an awesome addition to your Christmas/Birthday list! We all know in the current economic climate that prices are going up - so with Christmas coming, hunt for a pair that you like, then show (or print a picture) them to your Mum/Dad/Boyfriend/Other and stick them on your list :)

Some of my personal favourite brands include Iron Fist, Pleaser and Demonia. You can get a great idea of all the shoes in the gothic/alt genre by searching the internet for things like ''burlesque footwear'' or ''gothic footwear''.

Some great examples of gothic/alt shoes I've found on the internet:

Sugar Witch Platform IFL0671
Iron Fist shoes! ♥
Bordello Shoes ''Teeze''
Pleaser USA - Do cute flats and heels! ♥
Demonia - Crypto 301 Boot
Demonia

 




















As you can see, there is so much variety! You can have heels, flats, boots - and no compromise on style! You just have to look for it. Another tactic you can use is to check out sites like Ebay in order to get some good deals and savings! I found a pair of patent black Dr Martens in my size on Ebay and saved around £25 off the original price! 

Happy shoe shopping :) 

Candy x

13 October 2011

Goth Chick Appreciation Day

It appears that today 13th October is Goth Chick Appreciation Day, i found out about it while reading The Ultimate Goth Guide. Amy mentioned me among her favourite goth girls out there, which means a lot to me and of course she is among my favourite goth chicks too because she's really amazing! :)



Though I must say I don't really appreciate the picture of the goth girl on the leaflet (too vulgar in my opinion and doesn't appeal to most of goth chicks..not me at least :P) I take this occasion to give virtual hugs and gloomy kisses to all the goth chicks out there, and especially of course to my gothic divinities here! I'm not going to say names because you are too many but you know who you are ;) keep being creative, keep being dark, keep being yourselves all the time!



PS. 11/11/11 ...it will be Gothic Divine Day...keep in touch for more infos ;)

WALK LIKE A ZOMBIE


(Goth Zombie! \m/ )

As you can see on the right side of the blog there's a little poll asking what you are going to dress up like for Halloween. I put Zombie as an answer but then I wondered if you knew or realised that there are different types of zombies!

There are the ones who walk slowly wondering pointlessly or just to eat brains, those who run and follow you to kill you, those who infect you by vomiting on you..eww

In case you didn't know there are actual classes of zombies:

BASILISK
BERSERKER
CRAWLER
HOWLER
HUNTER
MERCY
SPITTER

you can find all the detailled explanations on this awesome site I found. www.thezombiehunters.com 

so which one you are going to or would you like to be? 

Another question, what's your favourite zombie movie ever?

Mine is Zombieland!


(check out this amazing shoes by Iron Fist inspired by zombies *-*)

12 October 2011

Dressing or dressing-up?

This is a weird dilemma that came into my mind while commenting on blogs about wearing gothic clothes. 
 Many times Goths have used the expression "dressing up" with the meaning of simply "going to wear gothic attire". I did to, but the thruth is I'm not dressing up as for "I'm going to put up a costume of some kind". I just dress, meaning I wear my gothic clothes with the same non-chalance as I wear my non-goth clothes. 
There is a difference between dressing up and dressing, in my opinion. 



I dressed goth yesterday.
I dressed up goth yesterday.

In the first sentence (I know this sounds like a grammar explanation of some kind ahah!), what I understand is that the person saying it, was just wearing gothic clothes yesterday, right?
But in the second sentence, doesn't it sound like she or he is saying that they pretended to be a goth for a day?

It does sound like that to me. I don't know if you get what i mean..

Do you consider wearing gothic clothes like wearing a sort of costume like an occasional "dress-up",a "let's be goth for a day" thing?

I have often used the verb "dressing up" with the inner meaning that creating my gothic attire took me so much time and effort that it's almost like I was preparing the next halloween costume! Especially when planning to wear those highly sophisticated or extreme looks that do look like occasional dress-ups to the eyes of the majority of people..


So my question is, 
are you dressed or dressed-up goth?


11 October 2011

Getting ready for Halloween..

Put your hands up if you're thinking about Halloween right now!

*me puts hand up* because yes, I'm going crazy thinking about the perfect Halloween dress-up for this year. I've thought many like cursed pirate, wicked doll, zombie geisha, zombie pin-up etc. but still I have to make up my mind. My mum had the great idea that I should dress-up like an owl (yes, an owl xD) because this seems to be the year of the owl for me..(Remember my post "owls everywhere?" well for some reason I keep encountering owls on my way...I'll explain this better in another post because this is very very weird..almost creepy :P)

So, What about you? Have you already decided what you are going to be for Halloween?

I don't have pictures of last year because it was raining and all my dress-up make up and hair got ruined and it wasn't the best idea to take the camera out while it was raining like hell. (a whole region of my country completely FLOODED and it took me 4 hours to go back home instead of 1..this to make you understand how serious the situation was xD)

BUT, the year before I made this awesome make up (which of course my pictures don't show well :P), made with eyeliner spiderwebs around my eyes and silver and gold eyeshadow which live looked AWESOME and a lot of people around the place I went to were point at my make-up in awe. :D

(feel free to take inspiration from this make-up of course!)


I was supposed to be a vampire first. Then I changed my mind and wanted to be a witch. So i really don't know what I dressed up like in the end. :P

Also, some might ask what music is good for an halloween party.. Again i will suggest you a few songs out of my mp3 player that I think are very good for halloween

Marilyn Manson -This is Halloween
Cradle Of Filth - Halloween 2
The Hellfreaks - Boogeyman
The Horrorpops- Walk like a zombie
Theatres des Vampires - Danse Macabria (remix version)
The Phantom Of The Opera - OST (yes the whole soundtrack! ♥)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show - OST
The Ramones - Pet Cemetery
Siouxsie and The Banshees - Halloween 

This is it for now..if I find more I'll edit this list ;) and of course, your music suggestions are very welcome!



Love,

B-Dark

05 October 2011

Exploring Music.. Part. 2

I see the previous post about my song suggestions had success so I will post other songs that I have on my mp3 player. Again, not all of these are goth music. Just some. All these have a somehow dark atmosphere and those lovely minor chords that I love so you might like them too :) I will also suggest some videos of the songs that are very artsy and dark.





Royksopp- What Else Is There
Slipknot- Dead Memories
Slipknot - Prelude 3.0
Slipknot - Danger Keep Away
Apocalyptica feat Ville Valo and The Rasmus- Bittersweet
Nightwish - Walking In The Air
Audioslave - Like a stone
Anouk - The Dark
Masters Of Horror - Opening
Ghost in The shell- Opening
Bjork - Army Of Me
Skunk Anansie - Charlie Big Potato
Depeche Mode - Home
Depeche Mode - Enjoy The Silence
Cradle Of Filth - Halloween
Flowing Tears - Portsall (departure song)
The Bloodhound gang - Something Diabolical
Massive Attack - Teardrop

Some of you who have been followers for a while might remember hearing some of these songs when we had music in the blog..By the way for those wondering why I removed it, it's because it was an heavy feature and my pc would crash often and also i received a little complaint for the fact that the music would start all of a sudden giving a shriek to some unaware of its presence..so it was better to remove it. :)

03 October 2011

Gothic Novels - The Picture Of Dorian Gray

Oh it's been a while since I suggested you a gothic novel to read. :) Forgive me!

Well today I suggest you one of my favourite novels ever. I'm talking about "The Picture of Dorian Gray" written by genius writer Oscar Wilde in 1891.


The novel tells of a young man named Dorian Gray, the subject of a painting by artist Basil Hallward. Basil is impressed by Dorian's beauty and becomes infatuated with him, believing his beauty is responsible for a new mode in his art. Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, a friend of Basil's, and becomes enthralled by Lord Henry's world view. Espousing a new hedonism, Lord Henry suggests the only things worth pursuing in life are beauty and fulfillment of the senses. Realizing that one day his beauty will fade, Dorian (whimsically) expresses a desire to sell his soul to ensure the portrait Basil has painted would age rather than himself. Dorian's wish is fulfilled, plunging him into debauched acts. The portrait serves as a reminder of the effect each act has upon his soul, with each sin displayed as a disfigurement of his form, or through a sign of aging.



"How sad it is! I shall grow old, and horrible, and dreadful. But this picture will remain always young. It will never be older than this particular day of June... If it were only the other way! If it were I who was to be always young, and the picture that was to grow old! For that-for that-I would give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give! I would give my soul for that!"


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