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Billy placed the red plate of sparking sugar crystal covered cookies at Santa’s feet.  The aroma of freshly baked cinnamon and cloves almost covered up the smell of fresh blood.  

“I promise I’ve been good this year, Santa.” Billy said, almost like it mattered.  Santa had missed his house last year.  Billy was sure it was just a misunderstanding he didn’t get his hammer and tacks, or the whip that cracks like he’d asked for.  It couldn’t have been because of the dead squirrel he’d snuck into the girl’s lunchbox at school. That had been a funny joke.  She’d made such a fuss about it even though it was already dead.  

He’d made absolutely sure that Santa would have to let him explain what a good boy he’d been this year.  The tripwire he’d strung in front of the Christmas tree had worked like a charm, Santa hadn’t seen it at all. He’d fallen headfirst on the hearth stones by the fire and knocked himself out cold.  Silly old elf.  Now he was laying in a growing pool of blood that Billy kept using Santa’s red hat to wipe up.  Santa would be okay, he was magic after all.  

Honestly, Billy hadn’t even been all that bad this year.  He could only think of one time he’d gotten scolded. When he had put weed killer in Freddy McCooly’s water bottle at soccer practice and then laughed when he drank it.  It wasn’t his fault Freddy’s head looked just like a fuzzy yellow dandelion.  Really, he’d been doing him a favor.  Besides, Freddy was going to be fine.  Mostly.  


Okay, and last week too, if he was being truthful, which he was because that’s what good little boys were. Of course, one knew about this one so it didn’t really count, but he was prepared to admit it if Santa brought it up. The head of baby Jesus in the church’s large outdoor nativity scene had been replaced with a dead possum head he’d found on his way to school.  Seeing batty old Ms. Conner from across the street taken away in an ambulance when she’d found it the next day before going to Mass had been especially satisfying. He’d always hated her dumb, fat garden gnomes he keep tripping over when he went to pee on her rose bushes. It wasn’t like he was the one that gave her a bad heart though, so Santa could surely forgive him those minor things when he woke up.

That’s when Billy noticed the blow poke, the long metal tube with the barbed hook on the end that Daddy used to stir and blow on the fire.  Santa had landed right on top of it.  Billy picked up the end of the blow poke and yanked on it.  It was stuck fast underneath Santa’s enormous belly.  

He yanked again, this time even harder.  There was a distinct ripping sound of cloth and flesh tearing as Billy fell backwards and landed on this butt in an undignified huff, the bloody blow poke clutched tightly in his hand.  Everything looked okay for a second, then the side of Santa exploded, a flood of squishy red and pink meats leaked out.  Billy scurried back out of the way but still got some on his favorite reindeer slippers.  

“Eww. Gross, Santa,” Billy exclaimed, and kicked Santa’s body with his now blood-covered slippered foot.  

None of this was going the way Billy planned.  Maybe if he just put everything back where it was supposed to go.  The long gooey intestine was slippery in his hands and the cut in the side of Santa they had come out of didn’t want to fit them back in.  Billy finally got frustrated enough he threw them in the fireplace instead.  They cracked and popped cheerily, smelling a little of the sausage his mother made in the mornings and poop.


Santa looked a bit deflated now. He let out a low painful groan as Billy poked him in the face with the bloody end of the blowpoke. He couldn’t be hurt too bad if he was still making noise.  If anything, Billy could stuff him with some of the red tinsel from the tree as a replacement, and, he giggled, maybe a bowl of strawberry jelly from the fridge.  

Billy had worn himself out with all that yanking and mopping.  He sat down cross legged in front of the plate of cookies he’d brought Santa earlier and reached for one with a bloody hand.  Santa would forgive him for eating one of his cookies.  Santa would forgive him for a lot of things.  Billy wouldn’t let him go until he did. 

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jennifer Weigel

    December 21, 2020 at 8:25 am

    Snips and snails and puppy dogs tails… with a side of murder…

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Original Series

Nightmarish Nature: Assassin Fashion



I thought about featuring some sort of Father Nature bit for Father’s Day, but having already explored Perilous Parenting I decided to focus on more creepy insects instead. Because we love creepy insects here at Haunted MTL. Thus, I present Assassin Fashion, featuring the Assassin Bug…

Assassin Bug drawing by Jennifer Weigel
Assassin Bug

Fashion Plates

Now I don’t know about you, but my first thought after snagging my prey and slurping out their dissolved innards is that I totally want to wear the dried up husk of their now lifeless body. Like that necklace made of nothing but shrunken heads. That is some first-rate fashion right there, and no one would dare to say otherwise lest they want to become a part of the dead-flesh coat… And this is exactly what the Assassin Bug does. Like a spider, it stabs its unsuspecting prey, turns it into a giant protein shake inside of its insectoid shell-glass, sips it out, and then attaches the corpse’s carapace to its ever growing collection atop its back.

Aside from being totally badass, these nightmarish embellishments serve a number of additional functions. They help the Assassin Bug blend in among its prey, masking its own odor and helping it to appear as a mass of insects that belong in or near the nest (especially among those more social networking creepy crawlies like ants and termites). In fact, it may even draw the attention of those clean up crews seeking to bury their dead, luring them in to become part of the body snatched horde. And the horrifying additions also act as a sort of armor and potential decoy for other predators like lizards and birds, who can end up with a mouth full of dead bug bodies rather than a bite of juicy Assassin Bug.

Wearing the Latest Trend in Dead Ant Bodies, drawing by Jennifer Weigel
Wearing the Latest Trend in Dead Ant Bodies

Kissing Sucks

And Assassin Bugs don’t just carry around one or two dead bodies, they may totally pile them up, as well as use other insects’ and plants’ secretions to their own advantage. Here’s a cool video from Deep Look that shows a partnership some Assassin Bugs have with Tarweed, keeping moth caterpillars from eating all of its flowers so that it can itself reproduce and spread.

Fortunately humans are too big to be susceptible… Or are we? There are also parasitic Assassin Bugs known as Kissing Bugs or Vampire Bugs that feed on mammal’s blood at night; they even act as a vector for other parasites that can cause disease years after feeding, which are associated with Chagas disease and are transmitted to mammalian hosts when the Assassin Bug poops while feeding and the host animal smears the poop into the bite when itching it.

pencil drawing by Jennifer Weigel
Pencil Drawing by Jennifer Weigel

So here’s a pencil drawing I did of a dead bug I found (I had a whole series of these back in the day). I hadn’t at the time known what it was, but it turns out to be an Assassin Bug. I wonder what its fashion sense was like…

So remember, if you want to be at the forefront of creepy horrific fashion, just look to the Assassin Bug for inspiration. If you’ve enjoyed this segment of Nightmarish Nature, feel free to check out some previous here:


Vampires Among Us

Perilous Parenting

Freaky Fungus

Worrisome Wasps



Terrifying Tardigrades

Reindeer Give Pause

Komodo Dragons

Zombie Snails

Horrifying Humans


Giants Among Spiders

Flesh in Flowers

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Original Creations

Goblins, a Short Story by Jennifer Weigel



Revisiting the creepy faux fingernail art, I made a couple of goblins… They then ransacked my house. This is their story, as told by myself, Jennifer Weigel.

More faux fingernail art from Jennifer Weigel, featuring wide smiling mouth with red sparkly lipstick and faux fingernail teeth on textured green goblins background
More faux fingernail art from Jennifer Weigel

So it finally happened. My art came to life. And of course it couldn’t be one of the cute pretty pictures, like the sparkly unicorns or the cat drawings. No it had to be the faux fingernail goblins… Ugh. I first encountered them in the bathroom.

I see England.
I see France.
I see someone’s underpants!

Of course you do, it’s the bathroom. That’s totally the room for that. Remind me again why I decided to paint these little green monsters. Ugh. From there, they moved on to the kitchen.

We so tricksy.
We so sly.
We eats all the cherry pie!


Did they have to eat ALL the cherry pie? Like seriously. But what can I expect, they’re goblins and they’re in the house. Ugh. And honestly they’re just plain gross.

I pick my friend.
I pick nose.
Just whose nose, do you suppose?

Get away from me you obnoxious, vile creatures! I can pick my own nose on my own time, thank you. Ugh. Oh, great, now they’re tearing up the living room.

We be goblins.
We be green.
We be making quite a scene!

No, not the sofa! Now there are little bits of fabric and stuffing flying everywhere. I can see you’re all too pleased with yourselves. Nasty critters. Ugh. Why can’t you just leave?


I do mischief.
I do bad.
This best party ever had!

I did NOT agree to host your little shindig. Stop tearing up my house! All I know is, it’s about time you moved on to wreak havoc elsewhere. Ugh. Just get out – NOW!

We scare the cat.
We scare you.
We scare all, we care not who!

I may have brought these dreadful disgusting demons into being seeing as how I painted them, but I have no idea what brought them to life or why. What kind of cosmic miscalculation caused this? I need to know so I can avoid it in the future. Ugh. Goblins… need I say more?

Feel free to check out more of Jennifer Weigel’s work here on Haunted MTL or on her writing, fine art, and conceptual projects websites.

Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.
Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.

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Original Creations

Faux Fingernails Art by Jennifer Weigel



So I had some faux fingernails leftover from a costume based modeling session, from posing as Cruella De Vil for the figure drawing group… Here’s a teaser from that modeling session, before the horrible creepy art generation in the aftermath. If you zoom in tight enough, you can see my tiger fingernails, which kept trying to fall off constantly, reminding me why I hate trying to wear the things and why they (d)evolved into art.

Cruella De Vil modeling for figure drawing
Cruella De Vil modeling for figure drawing

My version of Cruella De Vil channels Glenn Close or the original animated character more than the recent Emma Stone variant, but they’re all delightfully devilish.

Anyway, I made this series of “Tiger Sharks” prominently featuring the same tiger faux fingernails, including those used in the Cruella De Vil costume. These “Tiger Sharks” also incorporated some pirate fingernails, because sharks and pirates are tight.

Pirate skeleton hand with faux fingernails
Pirate skeleton hand with faux fingernails

I couldn’t think of a better use for the pirate fingernails than adding them to this skeletal hand. I never actually wore these, they were too hard to come up with something to go with. But I do love the Beetlejuice vibe with the stripes…

Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.
Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.

Feel free to check out more of Jennifer Weigel’s work here on Haunted MTL or on her writing, fine art, and conceptual projects websites.

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