NEW: Are you a goth artist, an illustrator, a musician, a band, a writer, a model or a photographer? Want to make yourself known among goth community online? To be featured or obtain a free interview in Gothic Divine Magazine it's easy: leave a comment in the guestbook with your name,your job or hobby (model, photographer etc.), your email address where we can contact you and a link to your website.
Incomplete "applications" won't be taken taken in consideration.

RECRUITING NEW COLLABORATORS FOR THIS BLOG!! Click on link below for more information


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21 December 2013

Ideas for a wonderful Gothic Christmas time

Winter season has officially begun and so did the holidays!
Yesterday has been the last day of working for many people, me included!Yay! Luckily, I will be back to work on 7th January! This means I have a lot of free time and lot of relaxing at last! I'll be able to have my cup of tea or coffee by the chimney (and not by the yucky vending machine >_> ) and I will be able to wake up any time I want without hurry.
So here I am writing the usual Christmas post! Last year I remember showing you some ideas to make your Christmas the 'gothiest' way possible, keeping down the glamourous-kitsch-and-way-too-bright side of it. This year I'm basically going to do the same because I don't have much else to say about it..!
I still have to realize it's Christmas already XD

I hope the following images will help you find ways to decorate or,why not, craft yourself some Xmas decorations in Gothic style! Enjoy:

As I don't think I will dedicate time to the blog in these days, I wish you all a Merry Christmas! 

15 November 2013

Premature burial and the fear of being buried alive

"Fear of being buried alive is the fear of being placed in a grave while still alive as a result of being incorrectly pronounced dead. The abnormal, psychopathological version of this fear is referred to as taphophobia (from Greek taphos, "grave, tomb" and phobos, "fear"), which is translated as "fear of graves". "

This fear peaked during the cholera epidemics of the 18th and 19th centuries but accounts of live burial have been recorded further back. When his tomb was reopened, the philosopher John Duns Scotus (1266 – 1308) was reportedly found outside his coffin with his hands torn and bloody after attempting to escape. The fears of being buried alive were heightened by reports of doctors and accounts in literature and the newspapers. As well as dealing with the subject in "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "The Cask of Amontillado", Edgar Allan Poe wrote "The Premature Burial", which was published in 1844. It contained accounts of supposedly genuine cases of premature burial as well as detailing the narrator's own (perceived) interment while still alive.

A safety coffin or security coffin is a coffin fitted with a mechanism to prevent premature burial or allow the occupant to signal that they have been buried alive. A large number of designs for safety coffins were patented during the 18th and 19th centuries and variations on the idea are still available today.

The general fear of premature burial led to the invention of many safety devices which could be incorporated into coffins. Most consisted of some type of device for communication to the outside world such as a cord attached to a bell that the interred person could ring should he revive after the burial. Other variations on the bell included flags and pyrotechnics. Some designs included ladders, escape hatches, and even feeding tubes, but many forgot a method for providing air!

The first recorded safety coffin was constructed on the orders of Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick before his death in 1792. He had a window installed to allow light in, an air tube to provide a supply of fresh air, and instead of having the lid nailed down he had a lock fitted. In a special pocket of his shroud he had two keys, one for the coffin lid and a second for the tomb door.
P.G. Pessler, a German priest, suggested in 1798 that all coffins have a tube inserted from which a cord would run to the church bells. If an individual had been buried alive he could draw attention to himself by ringing the bells. This idea, while highly impractical, led to the first designs of safety coffins equipped with signalling systems. Pessler's colleague, Pastor Beck, suggested that coffins should have a small trumpet-like tube attached. Each day the local priest could check the state of putrefaction of the corpse by sniffing the odours emanating from the tube. If no odour was detected or the priest heard cries for help the coffin could be dug up and the occupant rescued.

Dr. Adolf Gutsmuth was buried alive several times to demonstrate a safety coffin of his own design, and in 1822 he stayed underground for several hours and even ate a meal of soup, sausages and beer delivered to him through the coffin's feeding tube.

The 1820s also saw the use of "portable death chambers" in Germany. A small chamber, equipped with a bell for signalling and a window for viewing the body, was constructed over an empty grave. Watchmen would check each day for signs of life or decomposition in each of the chambers. If the bell was rung the "body" could be immediately removed, but if the watchman observed signs of putrefaction in the corpse, a door in the floor of the chamber could be opened and the body would drop down into the grave. A panel could then be slid in to cover the grave and the upper chamber removed and reused.

In 1829, Dr Johann Gottfried Taberger designed a system using a bell which would alert the cemetery nightwatchman. The corpse would have strings attached to its hands, head and feet. A housing around the bell above ground prevented it ringing accidentally. An improvement over previous designs, the housing prevented rainwater from running down the tube and netting prevented insects entering the coffin. If the bell rang the watchman had to insert a second tube and pump air into the coffin with a bellows to allow the occupant to survive until the casket could be dug up.

Vester's "Burial Case" was an elaborate variation on earlier bell and cord systems.
The systems using cords tied to the body suffered from the drawback that the natural processes of decay often caused the body to swell or shift position, causing accidental tension on the cords and a "false positive". Franz Vester's 1868 "Burial Case" overcame this problem by adding a tube through which the face of the "corpse" could be viewed. If the interred person came to, they could ring the bell (if not strong enough to ascend the tube by means of a supplied ladder) and the watchmen could check to see if the person had genuinely returned to life or whether it was merely a movement of the corpse. Vester's design allowed the viewing tube to be removed and reused once death was assured.

Count Michel de Karnice-Karnicki, a chamberlain to the Tsar of Russia, patented his own safety coffin, called Le Karnice, in 1897 and demonstrated it at the Sorbonne the following year. His design detected movement in the coffin and opened a tube to supply air while simultaneously raising a flag and ringing a bell. Le Karnice never caught on: it was too sensitive to allow for even a slight movement in a decaying corpse, and a demonstration in which one of Karnice-Karnicki's assistants had been buried alive ended badly when the signalling systems failed. Luckily, the breathing tube had activated and the assistant was disinterred unharmed, but the reputation of Le Karnice was damaged beyond repair.

In 1995 a modern safety coffin was patented by Fabrizio Caselli. His design included an emergency alarm, intercom system, a torch (flashlight), breathing apparatus, and both a heart monitor and stimulator.
Despite the fear of burial while still alive, there are no documented cases of anybody being saved by a safety coffin.

Folk etymology has suggested that the phrases "saved by the bell", "dead ringer" and "graveyard shift" come from the use of safety coffins in the Victorian era.

Before the advent of modern medicine, the fear was not entirely irrational. Throughout history, there have been numerous cases of people being buried alive by accident. In 1905, the English reformer William Tebb collected accounts of premature burial. He found 219 cases of near live burial, 149 actual live burials, 10 cases of live dissection and 2 cases of awakening while being embalmed.
The 18th century had seen the development of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and crude defibrillation techniques to revive persons considered dead, and the Royal Humane Society had been formed as the Society for the Recovery of Persons Apparently Drowned. 
In 1896, an American funeral director, T.M. Montgomery, reported that "nearly 2% of those exhumed were no doubt victims of suspended animation," although folklorist Paul Barber has argued that the incidence of burial alive has been overestimated, and that the normal effects of decomposition are mistaken for signs of life.
There have been many urban legends of people being accidentally buried alive. Legends included elements such as someone entering into the state of sopor or coma, only to wake up years later and die a horrible death. Other legends tell of coffins opened to find a corpse with a long beard or corpses with the hands raised and palms turned upward. On his deathbed in 1799, George Washington made his attendants promise not to bury him for two days.

Fear of burial alive was deeply rooted in Western culture in the nineteenth century, and Poe was taking advantage of the public's fascination with it. Hundreds of cases were reported in which doctors mistakenly pronounced people dead. In this period, coffins occasionally were equipped with emergency devices to allow the "corpse" to call for help, should he or she turn out to be still living. It was such a strong concern, Victorians even organized a Society for the Prevention of People Being Buried Alive. Belief in the vampire, an animated corpse that remains in its grave by day and emerges to prey on the living at night, has sometimes been attributed to premature burial.

06 November 2013

Introducing: VAVABEEB!

Hello there!
well i guess you are all wondering who this nut job is?
*ahem* I happen to be a new Author to this Magazine blog! I will be bringing to you tales of the paranormal and spooky things to keep those macabre hearts of yours beating ;)

A little about me:

I live in a wonderful city in Australias east, called Melbourne. It's a magical place where goths are abundant and culture is all around you at every turn.
I've always been very into Goth and the macabre since i was a young girl, preferring horror movies and JRock to what everyone else was into. I think I'm not alone when i say, i feel more comfortable and at home in an environment of gothic lace and platform boots stomping to Marilyn and Laibach, crowding towards the droning darkness instead of the sunshine pinks of the pop world (though i still like to take a taste every now and then!)

And with my love of everything gothic, i guess, came my love of horror and the paranormal too :) I hope to bring you many great tales, sources, videos and more! (maybe even some Gothic horror Games if it's received well by you all ;)
Please feel free to send me any suggestions or ideas you have of things you would love to hear or learn about in the comments below. I welcome it all!
Keep an eye out for the first of (hopefully) many posts from this crazy redhead, Vavabeeb!

Hope you are all having a delightful day :)


04 November 2013


Twixt is a 2011 horror thriller film written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola starring Val Kilmer and Elle Fanning and full of gothic elements from ghosts to vampires, and even the character of Edgar Allan Poe is involved in this movie!

Writer Hall Baltimore (Kilmer), in career decline, comes to a small town during a book tour, and becomes involved in the murder investigation of a young girl. In a dream, he is approached by a youthful ghost named V (Fanning), whose connection to the murder is unclear..

In an interview with The New York Times, Coppola discussed the origins of the film, which he said "grew out of dream [he] had last year – more of a nightmare" and "seemed to have the imagery of Hawthorne or Poe." 

He continued: "But as I was having it I realized perhaps it was a gift, as I could make it as a story, perhaps a scary film, I thought even as I was dreaming. But then some loud noise outside woke me up, and I wanted to go back to the dream and get an ending. But I couldn't fall back asleep so I recorded what I remembered right there and then on my phone. I realized that it was a gothic romance setting, so in fact I'd be able to do it all around my home base, rather than have to go to a distant country"


Time has come to recruit new collaborators for this blog as I'm left alone and I can't handle it all myself. It would be a pity to let this all fall apart especially now that the project to feature and interview Goth artists is on and many applied for this chance.

So, I'm looking 3 NEW COLLABORATORS.

If you want to start writing for this blog these are the CONDITIONS:

  • You won't be paid. You just have to collaborate for free and take this as a hobby not as a full job. The aim is just to support Goth culture and have fun!
  • This means you don't have to work regularly but at least post 1 article every 2 week. Even better if you can do this everyday, of course. 
  • Topics? Anything related to Goth culture! From macabre things, places, facts to your own goth make-up. Just go through the blog and you can see we write about everything. Just one thing: remember this is not your personal blog so it doesn't have to be all about you. If you want to write about you and your life open up your own blog. 
  • Period of trial is one month only. After that you will be advised if you are "hired or fired". 
  • Do not apply if you know you don't have much time to write.


Comment below this post and write:
  • Name or Nickname
  • Age 
  • Country
  • Your email address
  • Why you want to collaborate to this blog
  • What would you prefer to write about (ex. music, art, literature, beauty, paranormal etc)
  • On which social networks are you active (ex. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc.)

If you have any more questions or need some clarifications before applying, please do ask me by commenting below this post or contacting me on my Google+ profile "Melissa Dark" (link somewhere on the right side of this blog).

Thank you.

03 November 2013

The "hidden" book of Shakespeare

Quick post about something that I found yesterday: I was looking at my boyfriend's bookshelf and William Shakespeare's "Five Great Tragedies" caught my eye. I took it out of the shelf to see it closer. It was old and dusty and I think this is the main reason I noticed it among all the clean new books.

It's a 1944 print! Even more particular thing is that this was a book meant for the U.S. military so it's unusual to find one outside the US. The marking on the back of the book would encourage people to buy and send the book to boys in the army preparing to go to war. At times when computers or cell phones didn't exist, books were the only thing that could keep company to those poor men

The book contains those which I consider the best tragedies by Shakespeare: Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Julius Caesar and Macbeth. I know many Goths are fond readers and love books soI thought it was a nice idea to share with you all about this finding. :)

Funny thing the bookmark was right on the page I was looking for:

Shakespeare and his tragedies have inspired many goth artists, including Emilie Autumn. This song for example is clearly inspired by the character of Ophelia.

17 October 2013

Interview to...: Kai Le Cross from "Velvet Rose Designs"

A new victim for a new interview. This time we introduce you a gothic clothes designer from New York City and his beautiful creations. His name is Kai Le Cross and his shop is called Velvet Rose Designs.

How was the idea of Velvet Rose Designs born? 

I wanna start by saying thank you much for taking the time to interview me and my works. The idea for Velvet Rose Designs (VRD) was a show process that started 3 years ago when I was making small drawings and concept art designs on fashion. Not being sure what career path I wanted to venture on after being a preschool teacher I simply knew I wanted to have my own business and put my creativity to good use.

 Why did you call it Velvet Rose?

Oh wow,  I sat down for a really long time coming up with different names. I'm not good with title names to be honest and this had to sound good, something that speaks for itself. Had to sound dark but elegant and beautiful. Many gothic designs are velvet, lace, spiked and pretty dark. After 3 days on mixing names together Velvet Rose Designs was born on a scrap paper. This is something I started alone and from scratch, ambition first ideas second.

Kai Le Cross, the creative mind behind Velvet Rose Designs

 What inspires you to create these works of art?

Dreams inspire me, I feel my best designs come from a good nap. I can block the world out and dream something up. But I get inspiration from anime, j-rock, Lolita and comic books. Other things that inspire me much are sci-fi shows, some of my favorite are Farscape and Defiance. I'm really big on Cosplay so I have admiration for people who get out there own stuff cause you never know where that can lead to.

 How vast is the goth scene in your area?

Its pretty big out here when it comes to parties, I can admit its not the way it was years ago because of the change of times and everyone has a spin on everything. But there is always your true traditional goths you having walking down the street especially around Saint Marks. The only thing I fear for the goth scene is that it would become one of Nicki Minaj, Lil' Wayne's or Lady Gaga's horrible fashion trends as if we're new to the world. 

 Is there a strong "black goth" community where you live? Are they integrated with the "white goths"?

It's very diverse when it comes to being black and goth, some people didn't even know that existed. There are many "scene" kids around which people totally get the two confused but hell, who am I to correct someone. I reside in NYC see so when it comes to a goth scene you have black, white and hispanic goths; not as many black but we're there. Maybe you can call that something special.

Kai Le Cross 

 Which are the creations of VRD that you are most proud of and why. 

I like my Lolita/Victorian designs the most, reason why it is such a interesting mixture that can go in many directions. Like my Kimono dresses, I start with a traditional kimono look and finish it off with old victorian designs. These here are some of my favorites. They have there own elegance thats brings them to life.

Do you work alone or are there also other people working and creating for VRD?

I did it alone from making the clothing to educating myself on getting a business license even making the website which I really enjoyed doing. I didn't go to school of fashion or any of this stuff, I was suppose to be a electrical engineer, I'm really familiar with science. My family shows no interest to support what I do but my girlfriend and great customers pushes me to keep up what I do. In a way I feel I owe it to the Goth community to strive everyday to do better, because its people like us that keep it alive.

Any other thing you would like to say or add?

Whatever your creative goal is just go for it whether people support you or not, you're not hurting anyone you just want your creativity to flourish, for us in the goth community thats difficult sometimes, we are not just dark sadness. Peace, Love and Beauty.

For more info visit:

04 October 2013

"Dark Shadows" Inspired Make-up Tutorial

A very nice gothic make-up tutorial video by make-up artist Charisma Star. This one in particular is inspired by movie Dark Shadows


The Lake of Death and its victims: the macabre side of nature.

The Lake of Death turns the animals that bathe in its water into statues of salt.

 Photo © Nick Brandt

Animals that are immersed remain calcified , no one knows what the cause.

According to Dante (author of Divine Commedy), the Styx is not just a river, but a vast swamp deadly that fills the entire fifth circle of hell , and in which the wrathful are immersed and the slothful submerged . Maybe some of us will see it when it is our time, but , until then, Lake Natron in northern Tanzania does a good job to illustrate the vision of Alighieri.

 Photo © Nick Brandt

Unless you are an "alkaline tilapia" - a fish that is well adapted to the extreme conditions - the lake is not the best place to live. The temperatures can reach 60 ° C , and its alkalinity is between pH 9 and pH 10.5.

Photo © Nick Brandt

The lake takes its name from the natron , a natural compound made ​​primarily from carbonate hydrate of sodium that has accumulated in the valley of the Great Rift volcanic ash . Animals that are immersed in the water die and remain calcified , they look like real pillars of salt .

Photo © Nick Brandt

Photographer Nick Brandt, who lived in East Africa for years- and has directed the video for Michael Jackson's ' Earth Song ' in 1995 - was impressed when he discovered perfectly preserved birds and bats on the shoreline . "I could not help but photograph them , " he says. " Nobody knows for sure how to die , but it seems that the highly reflective surface of the lake is mistaking them , as when birds crashed into the windows, and fall into the lake."

Photo © Nick Brandt

When the salt islands appear on the lake , flamingos take the opportunity to nest - but it's a big risk , as you can see from the pictures of the birds calcified . The animals were all put posing by the photographer."

info taken from: leggilo.net (originally written in Italian)

27 September 2013

The Maker

I found this fantastic and very well done short movie online sometime ago and I realized I never shared it with you! If you like Frankenstein, stop-motion movies or similar you definitely have to watch this.

 "The Maker", directed by Christopher Kezelos, is about " a strange creature that races against time to make the most important and beautiful creation of his life":

Marvellous! Wasn't it?

The music score for The Maker is called 'WINTER' and was composed by Paul Halley. (You can download it from his website by going to www.paulhalleymusic.com/albums/paul-hall­eys-music)

Other links to the movie:

18 September 2013

Interview to.. Melle Noire: Alternative model for Gothic, Horror, Fantasy

We have received lots of requests since we decided to offer free interviews to artists involved in or connected to the gothic subculture. As the blog has become quite famous (almost 10,000 views per month), we decided to start this project to give opportunity to all to advertise themselves and their career and make themselves known among the gothic community. This is also a great chance for the readers and followers of this blog to get in touch something different from the usual famous overheard stuff and to discover the interesting "little known acts" in the gothic world.

Among all the requests we have received we chose as victim for an interview a very pretty alternative female model from Germany called 
Melle Noire

Photography by: Tobias K.

First of all, what inspired you to become an alternative model?

I loved to be photographed since I was a child ( but for a long time I thought I would get no chance to start modeling ). Then in the late summer 2001 somebody approached me in a club and asked me if I wanna try to start an alternative model career :) I didn't know that alternative and amateur modeling was existing ! O.o 

When did you career start and how?

I started modeling in September 2001, I had my first regular shootings with a good friend – she  was searching for alternative models to get an art school diploma -  and with Morpheus Arms in Darmstadt. He who had approached me for alternative modeling knowed this photographer and helped me to arrange the shooting. 

What are the pros and cons of being an alternative model?

At first it's amazing to work with so many creative people, I can play several roles in front if the camera, I can be however I want ! :) I am very versatile and love to show 1000 different faces ! And of course it's always great to get good pictures of me after a shooting, modeling is pushing my ego and it's absolutely wonderful for me to get publications ! :) Furthermore I just enjoy  the change of scene when I am out for shootings and sometimes I can get new views of life, that's very interesting ! :)

Otherwise it's sometimes exhausting for me to be Melle Noire when I go out for clubbing in my private life, because I need much time for my styling and for my make-up ( 2-3 hours ) and my look should be always PERFECT, I never would celebrate the nights in clubs without a good make-up, I have to cultivate my image ! That can be very stressful and I don't always like that. Since a few years in my normal course of life there is no make-up in my face, then I can be just me without any stuff.

       Photography by: MM-Pictures (http://mm-pictures.info)

You say that being Melle Noire can be quite stressful because you have to keep your image perfect all the time, like you created an alter ego. Which are the common things/characteristics between Melle Noire and the "real" you?

I would say in my private life I am just an ordinary gothic girl. In my normal course of life not all things have to be perfect, I don't have to be perfect all the time and that's good. Then it's very important for me to remain true to myself, I am rooted to the soil and I economize, I am sparing with money, sometimes I am really stingy ! :D

At the most time Melle Noire is an extraverted person, indeed in my private life I am extraverted, too ( I love to go out, to talk, to meet my friends, to have a lot of fun... And I am not shy ! ) but in some areas of life I am introverted, I brood over many things in my life and I worry about all sorts of things. Furthermore I want to do some things in peace, please do not disturb me for example when I am editing pictures or doing office work ! I cannot concentrate when too many people are around me. And I am not always in contact with my friends, sometimes I enjoy to spend time alone just with myself . :)

In front of the camera Melle Noire seems to be always self-confident. But on some days the private person has a low self-esteem. Then I am depressive, I feel inconsequential and unsightly. In my childhood I was bullied by my schoolmates for many years. That lacerated me, it was a trauma and I still have bad dreams. When I was a child I had definitely thoughts of suicide. O.o

Photography by: Tobias K.

From your pictures we can see you love gothic style. Do you consider yourself a Goth? How long have you been into the scene?

Oh yes, absolutely, gothic is my life ! I joined the scene in 1998, I met somebody at school, who was always dressed in black - I was fascinated and a few weeks later I wore black clothes only, too and started listening to dark music. 

Which are the first bands that you listened to? And which are your favourite bands today?

At the beginning of my darker life I was listening to Rammstein ( that was the first band ! ), Garbage, Guano Apes, Die Toten Hosen, Böhse Onkelz, The Offspring, Marilyn Manson, Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper, Slayer, Blind Guardian, Cradle of Filth...

Over the years my taste in music has changed, today I like more different music genres. Favourite bands : The Crüxhadows, Wolfsheim, VNV Nation, In Strict Confidence, Covenant, Apoptygma Berzerk, Project Pitchfork, Absurd Minds, Suicide Commando, Feindflug, Grendel, Wumpscut, Nitzer Ebb, Front 242, Spetsnaz, Leatherstrip, Front Line Assembly, Skinny Puppy, SPK, DIVE, PAL, Haus Arafna, Deine Lakaien, Lacrimosa, Das Ich, Janus, ASP, Rammstein, OOMPH!, Marilyn Manson, Alice Cooper, Type-0 Negative, The Sisters of Mercy, Nightwish, Metallica, Subway to Sally, Faun, Schandmaul, Mila Mar, Die verbannten Kinder Evas, Qntal, Fiddler's Green, Joy Divison, Die Toten Hosen... and so many more !!! 

Photography by Marcell Waltzer (www.schwarze-farben.de )

Who are your idols and main inspirations?

I have no idols. But of course sometimes I am inspirated by a work of somebody ! Watching movies or TV series can inspirate me for new ideas, a nightly dream, my everyday life, some situations in my life, stories of other people's life, romances, teratologies, legends... :)

Could you make an example of something that has particularly inspired you in your life?

For example I very like the look of movies directed by Tim Burton ! Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow, Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, Alice in Wonderland... SO wonderful and amazing !!!! But I generally love the fantasy genre - and science fiction, too ! :) I think that has influenced my modeling work a little bit... ;)

Photography by:
Incarda DesEYEn ( www.facebook.com/pages/Incarda-DesEYEn/178908248832532 )

Beside modelling, do you have other hobbies?

Yes, of course ! My hobbies are : Watching TV, going to the pictures ( I love movies and TV series ! ), surfing the Internet, meeting friends, going out for clubbing, listening to music, doing crossword puzzles, editing pictures, writing poems, drawing, reading...

Photography by: Catherine Lee Mason ( www.catleema.de )

Find out more about Melle Noire at the following links:

Website : http://www.melles-midnight.de
 Blog : http://mellenoire.wordpress.com
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/mellenoire

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