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Let us take a brief glimpse into the Infernal Insurance Answering Service… because you always suspected as much.

A cherry-red-skinned woman with slightly pointed ears and long black hair wearing a studded black leather miniskirt and matching corset wakes from her nap.  She turns to answer a 1950s era black rotary dial telephone from an office in the depths of Hades.  A red light on the phone flashes to indicate that there is a caller on hold, which is released as an incoming call finally rings through after several attempts.

The demonic receptionist spins ever so slightly in the oversized leather office chair, using her barbed tail as a sort of paddle to push herself lightly along.  She glances at an old microcomputer on the desk in front of her, its black screen just sitting there staring blankly ahead as if powered down permanently.  She coils the tangled phone cord around a long black claw tipped with red. 

As the receptionist speaks, smoke and brimstone curls around her yellow jagged rows of sharks teeth barely hidden behind her ruby painted lips.  Her small wings rise and fall teasingly.  Her flame yellow eyes glow, like those of a cat in the darkest night.  She is both stunningly beautiful and terrifying at the same time.


 “Hello and thank you for calling Infernal Insurance.  May I put you on hold?”

The phone clicks over before the caller can respond.  The loudest, most obnoxious elevator accordion and bagpipe music imaginable wafts from the receiver as the receptionist sets it aside to manicure her claws.  After a long interlude she picks it up again.

“Thank you for holding.”

“Ok, first I’ll need you to verify your account with us…”

The computer screen in front of the demonic receptionist sits black and vacant until she presses a button on the keypad and it springs to life.  An account number must be entered and verified to continue.  The receptionist speaks into the phone, pausing just long enough to give the caller time to respond.


“What is your account number?”

“What is your current name as well as any other names, nicknames and pseudonyms you might have used or been associated with over the course of this lifetime and the three prior?”

“Yes, I need all of them.”

 “Ok, now what is your most recent date of death associated with this account?”

The receptionist types in all of the information given over the next 12 pages without verifying the spelling of any of it.  She enters a string of 6s scrolling through the last three pages until she is satisfied with her entry and hits the Enter button.  She turns back to the phone call.


“Now we need a sample of your blood.  Use the razor blade built into the phone receiver to slit your wrist and bleed into the phone mouthpiece.”

The receptionist types madly into the system.  The screen flashes a red warning error message and goes black again.

“I’m sorry, we have no record of that account number as associated with you.  Can you repeat that?  Did you perhaps miss a nickname or misread or transpose any of the numbers?  Sometimes the account number tattooing becomes less legible or migrates over time.”

The receptionist types the caller’s information in again, this time adding six more 6s at the beginning and again at the end than were spoken.

“You’re right, that was the correct number associated with your account.  It seems we didn’t get enough blood to run through our verification process the first time, I’ll need for you to do that again.  Try holding the receiver to your wrist for several minutes while you bleed out this time.”


The account appears on the screen, its content information slowly forming character by character in flaming red from the dark void in old school DOS fashion.  The screen locks on a bill for $2,720,322.46 owed for services both rendered and not.  A payment plan must be initiated to proceed.

“Ok, I found your account.  You owe $2,720,322.46 in back policy payments.”

“Yes, I am sure that is the amount owed.  Would you like to pay in full today?  Do you have a bank account that you would like to use?”

“Yes, we can arrange for scheduled payments but there will be a surcharge for that service.”

The receptionist types in the bank account information given by the caller, this time verifying every figure three times to be sure to plug it in correctly.  She hits the button to schedule monthly payments.


“Oh I see that you are already on our scheduled payment plan which is how you came to owe $2,720,322.46 with the surcharges, compounding interest and inconvenience fees.  We will up your payment amounts, then.  If you can offer a down-payment of your firstborn, we can minimize the amount you owe for each payment processed to the account.”

“Ah yes, I see that you have already done so, Carrie is in the system accordingly.  Her balance is $1,425,866.53.  We cannot transfer any more of your balance to her account.  Do you have any other offspring?”

“Oh, I’m so very not sorry to hear that, what a tragic loss,” the receptionist smiles and runs a forked tongue over her jagged teeth.   “No, we don’t cover those circumstances.  Let me see what I can do.”

She downgrades the insurance plan from a Deluxe Super Premium plan to a Super Essential Premium Plus account.  The resulting savings are -$35,609.24 so that now $2,756,933.70 is owed in total.  It doesn’t add up, but that is to be expected.

“Ok, after some changes to your policy, I managed to get your payments down to $527.31 per month.  It’s only a 300% increase.”


“I’m going to need to put you on hold again while I make those updates.”

The loud, obnoxious elevator accordion bagpipe music returns as the phone clicks over.  The only comparable sound anyone can think to associate the hold music with is that of someone skinning a live cat.  Fortunately, few callers have actually heard such a terrible sound as that of a live creature being skinned, but this so-called music is exactly what they would imagine it to be like.

The receptionist continues to file her claws to sharpened points, moving onto her exposed feet as she removes them from her thigh high leather boots to manicure those nails as well, before answering again.

“Thank you again for holding.  Now, what did you need?”

She types “Maggots eating face” into the line to open a claim.  She hits Enter.


“No, I’m sorry, but your policy type does not insure against maggots eating your face off.  You would have to upgrade to a Deluxe Super Premium plan for that, but we cannot offer that policy type with your current amount of back payments owed.”

“Let me put you on hold while I look that up.”

The yowling cat elevator accordion bagpipe music returns briefly, inspiring even the most stubborn callers to want to cut out their eardrums or lobotomize themselves with an ice pick or do whatever it takes to make it stop.  The receptionist yawns, takes a swig of coffee, flexes her wings, and clicks over the phone again.

“No, I see no record of your having been in that policy type before.  You are in a Super Essential Premium Plus account.  This account type has limited liability when it comes to bodily harm, possessions, and damages caused by weather, insects, animals, humans, demons, angels, and any other supernatural or otherworldly beings.”

“No, I’m sorry but as I’d stated previously, maggots eating your face is not covered by this account type.  It will cover any routine losses caused by ordinary houseplants, several highly uncommon diseases, and some specific interactions with Azamir but not while online in any form.  You will have to read the fine print on the 5,687 pages following the policy account information to discern just what is and isn’t covered in what circumstances.”


“Yes, you can file a formal complaint if you wish.  As a receptionist for Infernal Insurance, I am mandated not to give you my name or identity so you will have to file any such complaint without said information.”

“To file a complaint, you will have to call back on Saturday morning between 2 and 5 AM and wait your turn on hold.  We do not get to everyone in the queue every week, so it may take several Saturdays to get through.  I’d recommend calling as close to 2 AM as possible.”

“All complaints are promptly incinerated the following Tuesday at 10 PM.”

“Thank you again for calling.  I will put you on hold until the phone system will allow you to hang up.  Have a horrible day.”

The demonic receptionist smiles a wide toothy grin as she clicks the call over to the grating hold music, takes another swig of coffee, and curls up in her chair for a long overdue nap.  The red phone caller indicator light blinks that there is a call on hold waiting to be released as she drifts off to sleep again until the next call comes in.

Devilish portrait of Jennifer Weigel

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.

Jennifer Weigel is a multi-disciplinary mixed media conceptual artist residing in Kansas USA. Weigel utilizes a wide range of media to convey her ideas, including assemblage, drawing, fibers, installation, jewelry, painting, performance, photography, sculpture, video and writing. You can find more of her work at:

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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Original Series

Nightmarish Nature: Something Rotten, Flesh in Flowers



This time on Nightmarish Nature we will again explore some of the more fetid fungi and plants, this time focusing on those that imitate rotten flesh in order to attract flies. Among the best known of these are the Stinkhorn and the Corpse Lily or Corpse Flower. The Language of Flowers be damned, literally…


Many of the fungi in the Stinkhorn family erupt in mushrooms that reek of rotten flesh and sprout from a white sort of egg sac in various forms, the common type being a phallus like structure with a white body and olive head. The Beefsteak fungus resembles, well, a cut of beef oozing blood. And some mushroom bodies of the Clathrus genus bloom in elaborate lattice structures or devil’s tooth and devil’s fingers that resemble terrifying alien beings. These odoriferous fetid fungi grow in decaying wood material and use their stinky attributes to attract flies and other insects which will then spread the spores from their fruiting bodies. They truly look like something out of an outer space or aquatic nightmare.

Some various fungi that can reek of rotten flesh, drawing by Jennifer Weigel.
Some various fungi that can reek of rotten flesh.


Some plants also utilize pungent putrid odors to attract flies and other insects, in part to aid in the pollination and dissemination but also to attract insect matter for their own needs, to absorb the insects for valuable nutrients that they cannot otherwise obtain. The largest flowers in the world bear many of these characteristics, also being among the stinkiest. And some pitcher plants mimic rotten flesh to attract flies upon which they “feed”.

The Titan Arum of Sumatra and Indonesia is a plant that over time produces a huge flower somewhat resembling a calla lily but larger as the plant body stores enough energy to do so. While Calla Lilies are often used to symbolize rebirth and resurrection and can be associated with death, often in a funerary setting, the huge Titan Arum does more than that, strongly mimicking decaying flesh in order to attract flies. These flowers can grow to almost 8-feet tall and bloom for only about three days before wilting; they are a huge draw at botanic gardens when flowering because of the rare nature of the event and the remarkable presence that the flower has, in both size and smell. The US. Botanic Gardens has a page devoted to this plant here, where you can even track previous blooms.

Titan Arum flower as drawn by Jennifer Weigel.
Titan Arum flower as drawn by Jennifer Weigel.

Another noteworthy flowering plant is Rafflesia, a parasitic flower native to Indonesia and Malaysia that feeds on the liana vine and grows from a sprouting body bud into a huge flower over the course of five years. Its flowers, once finally formed, can grow to almost a meter across and resembles something out of a horror film. These too smell of death and decay to attract flies in order to cross-pollinate. You can learn more about these unusual plants on this video from Real Science here.

Rafflesia flower as drawn by Jennifer Weigel.
Rafflesia flower as drawn by Jennifer Weigel.

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


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