Tag Archives: dracula

Nosferatunes – 13 Vampire Songs

The children of the night…what music they make!

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Here’s another 13 songs for your next Halloween party. This isn’t a definitive list, just a few hand-picked tunes that will enthrall a crowd with different…tastes.

This list starts off moody, like a newly risen, angst ridden revenant and grows stronger and stranger until it becomes a naughty vampire god. Pop your cape, sharpen your fangs, and dig up these tunes…

Marceline_go_with_me

1. Moon Over Bourbon Street

Sting

As a horror-starved kid I was thrilled to find a main stream song about a vampire.

2. After Dark

Tito & Tarantula, Dusk ‘Til Dawn Soundtrack

This entire album has a lot of great songs to set the mood for your party, especially if it’s ‘that kind of party’.

3. Dracula Moon

Joan Osborne

I love the honky tonk sounds in this one.

4. Closer

Kings of Leon

I’ll admit, this is a new one to me but I dig it.

5. Night of the Vampire

Roky Erickson

This is the least bizarre of Roky Erickson’s songs, but a good place to start getting weird.

6. Dracula’s Lament

Jason Segal, Forgetting Sarah Marshall Soundtrack

I chose the short version from the soundtrack because I like the mood and piano, but there are longer versions on youtube.

7. Blacula (Stalk Walk)

Gene Page, Blacula Soundtrack

This song is deadlier than Dracula.

8. Black Dracula

Killa Sha featuring Foul Monday

This song popped up randomly on a Wu-Tang station but it’s different enough to make the cut.

9. Dracula’s Wedding

Outkast

Wonderfully playful.

10. Oh Sookie

Snoop Dogg, True Blood Soundtrack

There’s often a song on these lists I refuse to apologize for, and this is that song.  The greatest song to come from True Blood since ‘Bad Thing’ and better than the last 3 seasons combined.

11. Dracula Perfect Selection – Beginning

I don’t even know what’s going on with this one.  Konami released a rap album? With music from Castlevania?

12. Soul Dracula

Hot Blood

This song should be played at every party, regardless of the holiday.

13. Fright Night

J. Geils Band

This video is pure, un-cut madness straight from the 80’s.

As a bonus, here is the intro to a great odd cartoon I used to love: Count Duckula

 

Don’t forget to check out previous lists of handpicked Halloween songs from other years here, here and here.  Do you know of a song that should have made the list?  Let me know in the comments.

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Looking for Van Helsing

The legend of DRACULA, as written in the classic novel by Bram Stoker, has spawned countless works of fiction.  Legends often contain a kernel of truth, however, and the character of Dracula is believed to be based on the real historical figure Vlad the Impaler, the notorious 14th century prince of Wallachia.

New evidence has been unearthed that another enduring character from Bram Stoker’s novel may also have some basis in reality: the courageous ‘vampire hunter’ Abraham Van Helsing.  Author Ed Erdelac found surprising clues about the real life doctor and used them to create a sequel to Dracula, with his new novel, TEROVOLAS.

I asked Mr. Erdelac to describe his research and tell us about the ‘real’ Abraham Van Helsing.

When did you first make your discovery?

Back in the summer of 1997 when I was living in Uptown Chicago, I landed a seasonal job carrying old boxes of documents back and forth from the basements of the University of Chicago’s Regenstein Library during this big re-organizational push they were having.  At the back of a shelf, I found a large box marked for the Ravenwood collection that had (in my opinion) been deliberately mislaid.  It was posted from Purfleet in England, and contained a series of dated, sealed packets ranging from the 1860’s to about 1934, and accompanying letters from Dr. John Seward to the head of the university’s archaeology department in 1935.

The name Seward was familiar to me, but I didn’t realize it was that Jack Seward until one day on lunch, avoiding my student supervisor, I cracked open one of the packets out of curiosity and started reading.

What I’d found that day was what I now call The Van Helsing Papers, a series of personal journals translated from Dutch, and organized into packets with relevant correspondences and newspaper articles that all served to convince me that the Abraham Van Helsing, who famously opposed Count Dracula in Bram Stoker’s seminal novel of 1897, was a real person with a long and fascinating career in the fledgling field of paranormal investigation.

What is the premise of this book?

For the first release of Van Helsing’s papers, I decided to cover the period immediately following the events of Dracula, as I thought it would garner the most interest, considering the continued popularity of the ‘novel.’

Eight months after the conclusion of the Dracula affair, Van Helsing committed himself to Jack Seward’s asylum in Purfleet, as he was suffering from violent delusions brought about by his mortal encounter with the count’s three vampiric wives.  Disposing of three sleeping women had taken its toll on Van Helsing emotionally, and Seward diagnosed him (possibly incorrectly, but I’m not a psychiatrist) with melancholic lycanthropea.

After several months of psychiatric care he was released, and discovered the cremated remains and personal effects of Quincey P. Morris, the Texan who died in the Carpathians fighting Dracula and his followers, were still in the possession of Arthur Holmwood, Lord Godalming, who was tied up with legal affairs that originated with the recent death of his father.

Van Helsing volunteered to take Morris’ remains back to the Morris family ranch in Sorefoot, Texas, partly in the hopes of getting in some relaxing downtime, but it didn’t work out that way.

Morris’ estranged brother, Coleman, was in the midst of a land dispute with a neighboring outfit of Norwegian cattlemen led by a man named Sigmund Skoll, and only a few days after Van Helsing’s arrival, Cole’s foreman Early Searls and Sheriff G.B. Turlough were murdered. Slaughtered, might be a better word.

Needless to say, Van Helsing, being on hand, offered to lend his expertise, and gathered enough evidence from the crime scene to suspect a supernatural force was at work.  But of course, having only recently left the asylum, he was worried he had begun regressing to his previous aberrant mental state.

I don’t want to give too much away, of course.  Read the book.

Do you think your credits as a fiction writer will make people dismiss your research on the ‘real’ Van Helsing?

Well, there is a danger of that, yeah. But I believe fate put a seventy year old document in my lap for a reason. I could have spent another fifteen years shopping The Van Helsing Papers around to someone with scholarly credentials, but I think I’d probably have run into the same problems as Seward, the original compiler. People like that generally aren’t willing to put their reputations on the line. I have no reputation to risk, in that regard.

I think the truth of The Van Helsing Papers aren’t for everyone. But if it’s available to anyone, then I think the people who are looking for the truth will find it, and that’s more important than getting a blurb from some academic on the back cover.

You contend that Count Dracula was based on a historical figure.  You have pointed out that Bram Stoker describes Prof. Van Helsing’s appearance and personality in far greater detail than his other characters.  Do you believe that once the public has a chance to review your case the existence of the ‘real’ Van Helsing will become ‘common knowledge’?

Well, first off, I’m personally not sure about the popular notion that Dracula is Vlad Tepes.

That’s not implicitly stated in Dracula and not really my area of study.  I know there’s a lot of speculation about that, and I understand the theory has come under question recently, but it doesn’t really concern me.  I don’t have access to the documents which Stoker used to write Dracula and the Count’s past isn’t relevant to anything in The Van Helsing Papers.

I believe the Count Dracula that Van Helsing and company contended with existed, yes.  Van Helsing conjectures some about his origins, but I don’t think he discovered it in the course of his investigation.  He was understandable preoccupied in trying to preserve Mina Harker’s life.  At any rate, Van Helsing’s battle with Dracula was only a single incident in a long career.

In the past fifteen years I’ve uncovered a lot.  I’ve seen his death certificate (he died in 1934 in Holysloot, North Holland), for one thing, and I have a copy of a book he translated into Dutch for his colleague Arminius Vambery (Western Cultures In Eastern Lands is the English title), and there’s mention of him in the personal papers of T.E. Lawrence and Flinders Petrie for example (though I doubt you’ll get confirmation of that from any of their biographers).  After the publication of Dracula though, he became something of a pariah in the academic community, and even many of the people who called on his expertise in later years went a long way to suppress their associations with him.

Of course I hope the real man will come to the world’s attention, that’s my intent, but the public is fickle and strange.  In a culture that celebrates Twilight, it’s popular for men like Van Helsing to be portrayed as monsters, and we like our monsters fictional.

Witch hunts and vampire panics are well documented in Europe and America, but evidence of superstitious practices is not the same thing as proof that those superstitions were correct.  Even if the historical Doctor Van Helsing did believe in vampires, what makes you think other elements of the Dracula story are true?

I would urge you to read Terovolas. Because if the primary accounts in it are true, and from my years of cross checking and corresponding with historical societies and descendants of the participants, and visits to the actual locations (there’s an old tombstone at the Fairview Cemetery in Bastrop, Texas for example, on which you can still make out the name Coleman Morris, and the Bowie knife Quincey used on Dracula is probably the same one I traced to the Autry Museum here in Los Angeles) I can verify that they probably are, then chances are better than average the things portrayed in Dracula are real as well.

But of course, Dracula was presented as fiction, and compiled by Stoker at the behest of the Harkers. It’s possible that some things in it were spruced up. I can’t speak for it 100% as I don’t have access to that segment of Van Helsing’s personal papers. They were taken from him by an undisclosed party during his stay at Purfleet. All that of course, will probably come to light in a later publication, once the legalities of it are sorted out.

But there are further references to Count Dracula elsewhere in The Van Helsing Papers, including an incident in 1898 or so involving his Gypsy followers, so I know that they at least existed, and believed in Dracula’s powers, and exercised inexplicable abilities of their own.

Anyone interested in the fictional world of Dracula or the real life travels of Dr. Van Helsing should read TEROVOLAS.  The story is a must for horror fans and the depth of research available in the footnotes will thrill fans of historical horror.  Get the book now at http://journal-store.com/fiction/terovolas/

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Beyond the Monster Mash

The Monster Mash is awesome, nobody is disputing that, but it is not the only ‘Halloween Carol’.  This may come as a surprise to anyone who has ever tried to assemble a playlist for a halloween party.

If you are in a rush and only want to choose one album to set the mood I would recommend Halloween Hootenanny, Rob Zombie’s spooktacular record of original songs by the Ghastly Ones, Los Straitjackets, The Bomboras, Rocket From The Crypt, Zacherle, etc.  If you picked up an album from any of these contributing artists you are well on your way.

But if you want a hand picked list of rare gems I present the following list of terrifyin’ tunes from the crypts of Hip Hop, Trip Hop, Doo Wop, Disco, Cajun and…Thai Funk???

– Wolfman Jack by Binary Star.  Awesome story about a werewolf in the ‘hood, and the best you’re gonna find unless The Werewolf of Watts ever gets greenlit.

– Witch Queen of New Orleans by Red Bone.  This cajun rock song is about Marie Laveau, the voodoo queen of N’awlins.

– Are you ready for Freddy? by The Fat Boys.  I’m going to assume you already own ‘Nightmare on my street’ by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.  If not consider this a two-for-one, because Are You Ready for Freddy? teams Freddy Krueger with the Fat Boys.  Unlike the Fresh Prince video that was filmed but never released, the Fat Boys video is on youtube!

-Dr. Frankenstein by Ice Cube.  People probably know this song but may forget to add it to their halloween mix.  What better way to get the party bumpin’?

– Fatal by RZA.  As long as we’re getting hardcore here’s the Wu Tang Clan’s RZA with the best (only?) thing to come out of Blade Trinity.

– Monster Crack by Kool Moe Dee.  Why not go old school with a rap about the crack monster?

– The Horror by RJD2.  From Hip Hop to Trip Hop, this is a groove I listen to year round.

– Do The Zombie by The Symbols.  Here’s a pre-Romero zombie Doo Wop song that’s great fun.

– Monster Beach by The Surf Trio.  This is the ultimate distillation of the ‘surf guitar’ vibe present in so many Halloween songs.  Possibly the greatest song ever.

To end this list here’s a 3-peat of Disco Dracula:

– Soul Dracula by Hot Blood.  The video alone is mind blowing.

– Soul Dracula by Messer Chups.  Now with added Surf guitar!

– Soul Dracula by Thai Beat A Go-Go.  In this version the melody is sung with lyrics in Thai!

There are thousands of wonderfully weird Halloween – worthy songs out there, and hopefully these will lead you down some interesting haunted trails.  Happy Halloween!

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Fighting Terror with Terror

I can’t help but kick off my month long celebration of Hallowe’en a little early (technically I celebrate 33 days of Hallowe’en, counting Nov. 1st and 2nd for Dia De Los Muertos).

My friend Elliott suggested we remake Blacula with Chewitel Ejiofor.  That is certainly an awesome idea, but I thought I’d throw my cape into the ring with something a bit goofy yet still kinda awesome.

EXT. AFGHAN DESERT – TWILIGHT

2 American special forces commandos stalk across the baked desert earth.  The sun has just sunk beneath the horizon, spreading red finger-like clouds up to the stars.

The CAPTAIN, a tall black man, peers down into a deep valley at a caravan through a pair of high-tech night vision goggles.

 

CAPTAIN

God damn, it’s the entire Taliban.  And it looks like

they’re going to retake afghanistan tonight.

The Captain raises his goggles and we see his face.  It is Big Daddy Kane (a.k.a. Father Time from the Outlaw Posse).

 

His 2nd in Command whispers GPS coordinates into a field radio.

 

He turns around and looks at the the Captain.  The 2nd in Command is none other than Snoop Dogg.

CAPTAIN

Where’s that air support, lieutenant?

Just then, a giant BAT flaps down behind them and transforms into BLACULA !!!

 

BLACULA

Your unit was ambushed by the Taliban.  I’m your air support now.

CAPTAIN

In that case it looks like it’s up to me, Lieutenant Dogg and

Blacula to take on the entire Taliban.

Blacula whips out a full sized coffin and flips the lid.  It is full of high powered rifles and anti-tank weapons.

 

LIEUTENANT DOGG

Fo’ shizzle.

INSERT TITLE SEQUENCE: RIDE, BLACULA, RIDE !

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