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This is an actual true story of my life. It’s not a ghost story or a Bigfoot sighting or anything, but I thought you might appreciate it anyway. I am posting it in honor of my father’s memory (his birthday would be today).

For a little background: My father was a dentist until he was forced to retire due to a prolonged auto-immune disorder. He loved horror films, especially the really campy old black and white ones of the Universal Studios Monsters era, but the more obscure the better. I think his favorite may have been The Invasion of the Space Preachers, but that may have just been the flavor of the day at one time. Personally, I always liked The Beginning of the End but then again the scene at the end with the giant grasshoppers let loose all over the Chicago skyline with the shot changing every time they crawled out onto the sky just tickled me.

Anyway, I found the perfect Christmas gift for my father on clearance after Halloween: the Spooky Hollow house of the Spooky Dentist. It looked like a wide grinning skull with stairs leading up into its gaping maw. It came with a green light bulb and was meant to be a part of your Spooky Hollow Halloween porcelain lighted town to ensure that you represented all of the wondrous merchants and businesses that the world had to offer and thusly procured yet more lighted figurines for your Halloween decor setup. What can I say – it was the late 1990s or early 2000s, and this fit right in.

So I picked up the Spooky Dentist and… my father adored it. He placed it prominently in the window front and center on the enclosed porch so that all who came to the house could bask in its beauteous green glowing glory. My stepmother did not feel the same, however, and so it became the leg lamp of our family for awhile. She would turn it off, and he would go turn it on again. When the light bulb finally died, he bought a new one online at way more than one should ever have to pay for a small green light bulb, just to get it up and running again. It’s wide-grinning toothy smile greeted everyone who came and went, and so it continued on until one fateful day.

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Like the leg lamp of A Christmas Story lore, the Spooky Dentist met a similar fate. It fell to its inevitable demise while my stepmother was out watering her plants. In fairness, the enclosed porch was a veritable jungle of sorts, including something a bit too closely resembling a corpse lily, but that’s a story for another day. At any rate, the Spooky Dentist was knocked from its perch and fell to the concrete below, shattering like Humpty Dumpty into too many pieces to put back together again. The porch lost some of its sparkle, bereft of the green glow that had once greeted visitors and was no more. Sure, there was still the giant Mothra butterfly kite looming at the beacon supernova of a plant grow light bulb, but honestly it just wasn’t the same.

My father passed away in 2014. I wish I could find another Spooky Dentist to place prominently somewhere in my house to greet visitors, but alas I have not been able to procure one. I admit, being banned from eBay isn’t helping, but that’s a story for another day as well. At any rate, here are some pictures I gleaned online. Maybe someday I’ll run into one somewhere, and I’ll crank up the old Frankenstein laboratory, fix it up, and maniacally laugh as I bask in its glorious green glow.

two views of the Spooky Dentist lighted porcelain house, off and on
two images of the Spooky hollow Spooky Dentist house, off and on

If you want to get a sense for just how well this will fit into my decor when I finally find one, you can check out some of my art collection highlights here on Haunted MTL.

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: https://www.jenniferweigelart.com/ https://www.jenniferweigelprojects.com/ https://jenniferweigelwords.wordpress.com/

Original Creations

Zombie Christ – Second Coming Art by Jennifer Weigel

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So I probably should have taken a before picture, but I found a faux wood stained plaster Jesus statue and turned it into Zombie Christ. Because it’s the second second coming. Or something. It’s kind of an offshoot of my nail polish paintings reappropriating thrift store art

Anyway without further ado, I present…

Zombie Christ remake statue by Jennifer Weigel
Zombie Christ remake statue by Jennifer Weigel

I was a little concerned that I made him too green at first, but I’m happy with the finished result. This statue just looked so anguished. It’s eyes had been closed but I like them better open and even painted them with blacklight reactive nail polish so they will stand out even more and be interactive in other ways to add creepy factor.

Another view of sculpture
Another view of sculpture
From the top...
And taking it from the top…

Sadly I don’t have a blacklight anymore or I’d share a picture that way too. Oh well. I’ll leave you with a fun detail shot instead.

Zombie Christ detail with eyes
Zombie Christ detail with eyes

Next time I may make him more gray than green though. We shall see…

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 Creations

Jennifer Weigel Art Collection Highlights Part 3

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So it’s been awhile since we’ve looked at some of the things I have gathered, so I thought I’d bring back my art collection for another round… Here are the first and second highlights in case you missed earlier explorations.

Art Collection highlights

From left to right: M Pena Windstone Editions bat-winged flap cat, bone mask by Terry and Susan Wright, wood cat in skull by labcreature, real hair art by myself, pencil drawing of Barbarois Elder for Vampire Hunter D anime cel

Art Collection highlights

From left to right: Barbarois Elder for Vampire Hunter D anime cel, Turn Me Royal portrait of my father and stepmother as Frankenstein’s monster and his bride, painted horse skull

Art Collection highlights

Left to right: Overgrowth by Ellie Bradley, heart by TenderFlesh, praying devil girl by Torman’s Treasures

Vintage plastic Jack O LAntern

And a vintage plastic 2-foot Jack O Lantern I got at a yard sale and have kept on display on his very own stool in the living room since. So happy.

Anyway, there are some more highlights from my art collection, as it is always growing and evolving. I have lucked into several of these pieces at antique and thrift stores or acquired them from the artists or more. And yes, I still have Da Ting the taxidermy shih-tzu from the first of these posts.

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 Series

Nightmarish Nature: Assassin Fashion

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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:

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Vampires Among Us

Perilous Parenting

Freaky Fungus

Worrisome Wasps

Cannibalism

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Terrifying Tardigrades

Reindeer Give Pause

Komodo Dragons

Zombie Snails

Horrifying Humans

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Giants Among Spiders

Flesh in Flowers

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