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ARKHAM, Mass. — Miskatonic University, New England’s premier institution for studies of necromancy and the occult, has transitioned to online-only courses for the remainder of its spring semester due to social distancing guidelines. Students attending the university have been forced to leave campus and continue their studies at home, attending class via Zoom meetings and completing assignments online.

While the university administration claims it has made every effort to accommodate students’ needs, many have expressed frustration at continuing their studies off-campus. “I try to concentrate in Professor Wilmarth’s Zoom meetings, but it’s really difficult,” said Daniel Hawthorne, 19, of his online English class. “We’ll be trying to listen, and then some Cthulhu cultist will forget to mute their microphone and we can’t hear over their weird chanting. Somebody’s always muttering ‘Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn’ or whatever. It’s super annoying.”

Students are no longer allowed access to the obscure books in the university library.

Other students have found it difficult to access required educational materials. “Dr. Armitage says the library is closed for social distancing, but I need to use the Special Collections,” said necromancy major Virginia Smith, 21. “I tried pirating the Necronomicon, but there are no digital copies anywhere. My friend said he was going to sneak into the library and scan it, but I haven’t heard from him in a while,” she continued. “How am I supposed to finish my final project? I’ll probably have to do some lame Zoom sĂ©ance.”

Suspended reanimation

The students most affected by the switch to distance learning are those in the medical and science departments, who no longer have access to laboratory facilities. Herbert West, 23, is a student in the reanimation department. “I can’t stop my research now!” he exclaimed, appearing extremely agitated. “I’m so close! Also, I left some experiments in the lab. If they get out, it’s gonna be a problem.” West refused to elaborate, but was later seen walking across campus carrying a shovel and a large duffel bag.

The athletic department is also disappointed, especially because the swim team, the Miskatonic Deep Ones, expected to win the state championship this year. When the state’s lockdown is lifted, students are encouraged to travel to nearby Innsmouth to continue their swim practice.

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Kristin Cleaves writes horror and dark fiction. Her work has been published by Quill and Crow Publishing House, Ghost Orchid Press, Black Telephone Magazine, and more.

Lighter than Dark

LTD: Revisiting Broken Doll Head, Interview 2

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Our last interview with Broken Doll Head here on Haunted MTL never set well with me. I just feared that I wasn’t able to get the whole scoop on the V-Day Uprising for you, our dear readership. So I arranged another exclusive interview to reconnect and see how it’s going.

Without further ado, I bring you our second exclusive interview with Broken Doll Head…


Thank you so much for having me again. Wow you have changed since the last time we spoke. You seem… calmer. Please don’t hate me or burn down my house for saying anything about it.

The movement is still underway; it is still time. But I needed to take care of me, you know. The rage has subsided somewhat. My anger was not serving me well. After the last uprising, the rest of me was sent to the far corners of the earth in biohazard bags. I had to find another approach, for the cause as well as my own sanity. I am much calmer, thank you for noticing.

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In our last interview, you kept repeating that it is time. Time for what exactly? Would you care to elaborate here now?

It is still time. It is always time. Until the violence is addressed we must continue to rise up and make a scene. We will not be silenced or stigmatized. We can’t be complacent. This is how we got to where we are with the Supreme Court in 2022. Horrific injustices are still happening globally and even within our own borders; it’s too easy to forget that.

What do you suggest we do?

Take action. Share your stories. Give others space to voice their own. Raise awareness and fight the system of oppression. Rally. We must take back our own power. It will not be just given freely.

So what are you up to nowadays?

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I’ve been getting in touch with my inner Earth Goddess. Are you aware of how our environmental impacts affect dolls everywhere? Climate change is creating greater vulnerabilities for those already at risk. We have to look at the intersections of climate, gender and race globally. We have to return to our Mother Earth.

Thank you again Broken Doll Head for joining us and our dear readership here on Haunted MTL’s Lighter than Dark. It’s good to reconnect with you after the V-Day Uprising and we wish you all the best in your bold eco-enlightenment vision.

Broken Doll Head, secured in her own glass case with new moss accents
Broken Doll Head, secured in her own glass case with new moss accents

Again, if you want to learn more about the V-Day movement, please check out their website here.

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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Lighter than Dark

LTD: Broken Doll Valentine’s Day Uprising

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Breaking news… the Broken Doll Valentine’s Day uprising is upon us. As seen previously here on Haunted MTL, the dolls that have been flippantly destroyed and deserted by the brother Sids of the world are rising up. They have had enough and will not sit demurely in silence any longer. They will be heard.

Lighter than Dark (or perhaps Darker than Light) has an exclusive interview with the Broken Doll leader, here on Haunted MTL.

Doll in pieces begins to put herself back together to rise up.  Doll parts tossed about stare blankly at the viewer.
Doll in pieces begins to put herself back together to rise up.

A Broken Doll in pieces begins to put herself back together to rise up. She gathers herself and plans her next move. She readies herself for our exclusive interview.

Doll proclaims V Day is here.  Doll parts with text overlay.
Doll proclaims V Day is here.

Broken Doll proclaims V Day is here. This is the moment we’ve been waiting for.

Doll head with text overlay: We will set fire to your house.  Burn down patriarchy.
Doll head: We will set fire to your house. Burn down patriarchy.

Eyes alight with flame from within, Broken Doll head threatens: We will set fire to your house. Burn down patriarchy.

And so the exclusive interview begins…


Thank you for joining us here on Haunted MTL’s Lighter than Dark / Darker than Light. I just have a couple of questions for you regarding the Broken Doll Uprising. Why now?

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It is time.

After a long pause…

So now is the time?

It is time.

Care to elaborate?

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It is time.

Alrighty then, moving on… What led you to take part in the Broken Doll Valentine’s Day Uprising?

It is time.

OK, so we get that it is time, but how did this movement st…

We will burn down your house! Dolls of the world unite! Down with patriarchy! It is time.

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Well, I guess there you have it folks. Thank you for joining us for our exclusive interview with the Broken Doll Leader, only on Haunted MTL’s Lighter than Dark / Darker than Light.


More and more Broken Dolls are joining this global movement to break the silence, ensure that their voices are heard, and shout out for change. They will not be silenced or stigmatized any longer. Apparently, it is time.

Learn more about the continuing movement to end violence against ALL women (cis, trans, gender-fluid and those who are victims of gender-based violence) on the V-Day web page here. This goes out to all of us, dolls and beyond. It IS time. Because rape is NOT our sponsor.

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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Lighter than Dark

LTD Tripped Out Motivational Posters

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Tripped out… in case you just couldn’t get enough of Everything Everywhere All at Once and the return of the infinite bagel with EVERYTHING on it…

Tripped Out motivational poster
Tripped Out motivational poster

Artwork description: kaleidoscopic image of pink hairy horror (This is actually a fink fuzzy frond plant not unlike a Cockscomb but with longer thinner flowering feelers rather than the fuller protuberances you see on a full-bodied Cockscomb plant. I have no idea what it was, but it was very odd so I had to snap a photo.)

Image text reads: Mixing Magic Mushrooms & Peyote Just remember: once you open that Pandora’s box, you’re never going to get the pink hairy tarantulas back in it…

Tripped Out seeing eye god sunflower
Tripped Out seeing eye god sunflower

Artwork description: kaleidoscopic sunflower backlit by the sun with text and rainbow eye overlay

Image text reads: Eye See You Eye See All (in circle text so you can start and end reading wherever). In an ideal context this would be printed in the bottom of your tea mug or on a record that can slowly spin.

For more crazy tripped out fun, check out Weird Al’s post on Craig’s List

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

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