Creepy Christmas : Part 2: A Merry JÒl !

Creepmas /Christmasween/ Hollowmas/ Black Christmas/Creepy Christmas

Believe it or not,Vikings started a lot of the Christmas traditions we see today.
Actually , the old Viking Christmas celebration is quite like the modern one.

As you might know , the pagan/ old Germanic folks called Christmas for Yule. And Yule comes from the Norse word JÒl or JÒlablot , and is almost identical to the modern Norwegian word : Jul !

The Vikings started their celebration on the 21st of December and partied hard for 12 straight days. Sound familiar?

Christmas Trees

Another thing the vikings did , was to decorate ever green trees !

Since the trees stayed green and healthy all year thru , they become a symbol of good health and fortune , so when JÒl arrived , they would decorate the trees with carved figurines and gifts , for the spirit in the trees , to grow and prospure to the next spring.
Holly Christmas Wreath!

The Vikings love for ever green plants , did`nt end there!

They made round wreathes out of Holly . The circle symbolising the start and end of a years cycle. They then placed them over their doors for protection against evil spirits.

Same with the mistletoe!

I really hope you all have a safe and creepy Christmas!

Happy Krampusnacht! The Christmas Devil is here!

Creepmas /Christmasween/ Hollowmas/ Black Christmas/Creepy Christmas

Krampus is the famous Christmas devil!

He is a figure/creature with a very devilish look . Krampus is also described as a half goat half demon looking beast with archhorn , whom appears in the early days the Christmas season.
Krampus comes along with his counterpart: St. Nikolas, the dude that the modern Santa we know today is based of ! They both arrive on December 6th (sometimes Krampus shows up on the night to December 6th , December 5th) , were St.Nikolas gives out presents for the “good” kids , and leaves Krampus to do the dirty work , and has the job of scaring and punishing the “bad” ones. May even eat some of them.

Krampus has existed since the middle ages , and has be known under many different names during the years.

In the cities surrounding the Alpine region , there is an annual parade , just for Krampus himself! People dress up as Krampus with horns, pelts , scary devil masks and goes lurking and creeping around throughout the streets .With the bells ringing, whips lashing and screams filling the night . This phenomenon is also occuring in Germany every year , and its called Krampuslauf (Krampusrun)!

Exchanging Krampuskarten ( Krampus Cards) during the beginning of Christmas time , is also still a thing the Scandinavians do , which is pretty cool!

I

just have to say , the Krampus part of the pagan Pre- Christmas times ,has always been my favorite parts of Christmas.
And every year , on night to December 6th , I put on all the Krampus movies I have (even tho , my favorite is the Michael Dougherty one ) ,and have a blast watching this Christmas devil doing his own version of Christmas!

So , based on the nice-o metre: who would you get a visit from on December 6th?
The nice Satan , ops , SANTA , or the creepy Krampus?

Hope you all are enjoying the holidays!
Merry KrampusNacht everyone!

Spooky Advent: The Northern Advent Star !

Creepmas /Christmasween/ Hollowmas/ Black Christmas/Creepy Christmas

I do not know , how many of you have this kind of decoration in your window during Christmas time?

An illuminated star , made out of paper , plastic , glass or steel. It can be bought in all kinds of colors . The most popular colors for the paper stars are white and red , and the steel ones , silver and gold. I really like the Gothic looking ones tho. Super creepy.kll

Advent Star From http://www.killstar.com

The origin of the advent star known to have originated in the 1830s at the Moravian Boys’ School in Niesky, Germany, as a geometry project!

The star has since been modified into a look more resembling the northern star , than the 110 spiked star it originated from. I know ,110 spikes!

We Norwegians hang up our star lamps in the windows . And they all go up almost on the same day, first day of Advent. This year its on December 2nd!

As I mentioned earlier , The advent start is a big deal here. Almost every house has one , but there are almost sooo many different styles and shapes!

As you can see in the picture above, we also have another advent related decor: The Advent stake !

So since today is the 1st Sunday( out of 4) of Advent, I have placed all the stars and and stakes in my windows !

These lamps really lighten up this dark month 🖤

Creepy Christmas is upon us!

Creepmas /Christmasween/ Hollowmas/ Black Christmas/Creepy Christmas

We are now entering the darkest time of year.
The time when goblins, gnomes and other ancient creatures comes out to play!

This season is , like Halloween , also quite spooky!At least where I`m from.
Here in Norway , the myths and legends surrounding Christmas time , are many.

The legends get scarier , the more north in the country you get.
Since the northern part of Norway has whole days without any sunlight , it totally makes sense that the more scarier stuff happens there.

So during this December , I will share some of Norway and Scandinavia`s creepiest Christmas legends and traditions!

Happy Creepmas , Everyone!

Norwegian Halloween Pumpkins!

Pumpkins!

Ok, so this is my first year attempting to grow my very own jackolantern pumpkins!

I planted them in June, which might have been a little late in the year, but hey, I tried anyways !

As you can see, I used the jackolantern pumpkin seeds! They were 5 $ at a store called Plantasjen!

The pots I chose to grow them in, were a bit small I think, but they still grew quite rapidly!

So after 2 weeks inside, I prepared my outdoor plantation patch , where my pumpkins were to be planted .

I covered the open ground around the plants, to keep the heat stay in the ground. And also keep weeds away!

The vines started growing, and soon the flowers appeared!

And one day, this little fella sprouted out!

When the patch started getting to a certain size, I covered the ground ,so that weeds and bugs would get their hands on it.

Only 1 out of 4 sprouts actually kept on growing, and I really thought it was going to make it all the way to a orange pumpkin!

But sadly , my efforts to keep the bugs away, failed.

On the 13th of October, this sight is what waited me:


Just LOOK at what those snails did to it?! They ate wholes in it and have audacity to still hang around it!

I’m so bummed I won’t be able to carve my self grown pumpkins .

But next year I will be growing them in a greenhouse! Protected from bad weather , bugs and deers!

Holloween Card swap & P.O box!

Halloween Mail!

September!

That’s the month we all start preparing our Halloween card and box swapping!🎃😁

I had 30 Halloween card slots this year and 10 boxes,and they are all now taken! And I’m so excited to send them all out!🎃😁

Also new this year:

I have finally gotten myself a P.O box!

It makes everything so much easier! + I don’t have to worry about my mail getting stolen !

Halloween King: Hallowwoods!

Halloween Kings

Name: Matthew Woods

Age: 34

From: New York City

Matthew is the amazing artist behind the famous character Pumpkinhead aka @hallowwoods!

What made you love Halloween so strongly?

I have always loved spooky stuff, gross stuff, the thrill of being scared, and dressing up in costume. It is the perfect holiday for me. Halloween encompasses all the things I enjoy. As a kid it was always my favorite and has continued into adulthood.

How did you get into Halloween?

My family owns and operates a funeral parlor so death was a constant topic of conversation when I was growing up. My mother used to decorate the house for Halloween including tying a white sheet around the light post in the front yard to make a ghost. The sheet was one that was used to cover bodies at the funeral parlor just days before it was hung out in the yard. It added a weird sense of humor combined with the macabre, and that made me love celebrating.

What is your favorite things to do on/around Halloween?

I can remember walking down the horror aisle at the local video store and staring at the VHS covers wide-eyed. I gave myself nightmares on more than one occasion but I ended up more fascinated than put off. I now love horror movies and every Monday for the month of October I host “Monster Movie Monday,” which is a double feature movie night at my apartment attended by friends and family.

Can you remember which Halloween costume was your favorite one?

I was notorious for making up my own, sometimes nonsensical, costumes. I was a character I called “Rat Boy” one year. Mostly, I wanted an excuse to cover myself in rubber rats. I loved being “Rat Boy.”

What does Halloween mean to you?

I like the common notion that Halloween night is when the barrier between worlds is thinnest and the dead and living walk together for one day. Across cultures Halloween has been a night to remember and honor those who are gone while simultaneously celebrating life. It is a whole day devoted to the notion of “Momento Mori” (Latin for “remember that you have to die”) encouraging people to enjoy the time they have. While Christmas reminds you to give, Halloween reminds you to live.

Of all the amazing Halloween candy you can get nowadays, what is your favourite? (Old Classics/ New style candy, etc.)

My favorite is Reese’s Peanut butter Cups. I also buy candy corn every year but, truth be told, I think it tastes gross. I only buy it because it’s a classic!

What Halloween food and drinks are you most excited about?

In my family, it’s a tradition for my mom to make a big pot of chili on Halloween night so it would be ready to feed whoever came by the house, whenever they wanted to eat. I have started doing the same thing, Halloween night is chili night!

When do you start shopping for Halloween?

Pssshhh- when do you stop?

What about Halloween makes it your favorite holiday?

All my life I desperately wanted to fit in, to be one of the cool kids. It took a long time for me to realize that just being myself, doing the things I like to do with the people I like is what cool is. Not trying, just being authentic. So while some may consider me dark or morbid I have found a crowd that appreciates me for those uncommon interests and eccentricities. On Halloween, us weirdos are celebrated rather that criticized. It is our time to shine.

Do you think it has any negative sides to it?

I think some people can take it too far. I disagree with some of the extreme haunted houses out there that push the limits of safety. Some people also use Halloween as an excuse to vandalize neighborhoods. When I was ten my grandfather and I built a scarecrow for the front step. In the night somebody tore him apart, spread his leaves everywhere, and stole his head. I remember being very upset about it and vowed never to be that person.

What is the Favorite Halloween item you have?

I have a ceramic skull made by my late grandmother, Nana. It is lit from within by a small orange lightbulb. It stays out year round on the shelf in my studio. When I stay up late working on projects I like to turn it on to keep me company.

Do you still go trick or treating?

I don’t. Living in NYC on the top floor of a residential apartment building, I almost never even get trick-or-treaters at my door. I’m always ready though! One year I got one trick-or-treater and I was so excited I gave her the whole bucket!

Can you remember your first Halloween memory?

I have lots of distant memories but they come in fragments and little pieces. The tail of my homemade dinosaur costume seeming so big I could hardly walk. Being afraid of the neighborhood witches. Feeling grumpy because I was told I had to wear a coat over my costume. I can’t discern which of these came first or how old I was.

Do you keep all your Halloween decorations out all year or do you start decorating at a certain time?

I have some things that are creepy decorations on display year-round, but I really enjoy taking out “The Box” and transforming my apartment. I follow my mother’s guidelines: decorations out only from October 1st to November 1st. It makes it feel more special that way.

Where do you buy your Halloween items?

I make a lot of them. I am a huge believer that homemade is always better. Otherwise I do a lot of shopping at Michael’s, Halloween Adventure near Union Square, and Pottery Barn. Spookylittlehalloween.com is an incredible resource for all your shopping needs.

Whats your favourite halloween movie/series?

Hmmmm… as an avid horror fan, this is a tough one. John Carpenter‘s Halloween franchise is just so good. The first one is a masterpiece. But I love all the 70’s and 80’s movie maniacs: Jason, Freddy, and Leatherface. Wes Craven’s SCREAM films are really what hooked me when I was a teenager in the 90’s.

How is Halloween celebrated where you live?

Big time. NYC has the biggest Halloween celebration in the world! The parade in the West Village is legendary! I haven’t been for years because it can be really overwhelming, so I usually host my own party.

Is it difficult finding Halloween decorations in your town/city?

Nope- there is a store that is open all year called Halloween Adventure. Spirit Halloween stores pop up in temporary locations all over the city. Plus, the internet will deliver just about anything you want.

_____________________________

Hallowwoods

What made you want to start the @hallowwoods Pumpkinhead character?

I was feeling a little blue from Halloween withdrawal and drew him to help myself feel better. From there he took on a life of his own. Like him, I sometimes struggle with getting into the spirit of other holidays and seasons. I always want to inject a little spooky into everything. It’s no surprise that most of Pumpkinhead is based on my life, but he isn’t a perfect representation of myself. For example, Pumpkinhead hates Mondays and is constantly trying to kill them off. I quite like Mondays! They are a day when everyone else goes to work and I get to spend time drawing in my studio.

What themes do you use when you draw?

I keep a meticulous calendar filled with things like National Bat Appreciation Day (April 17), National Monster Day (August 14), Bella Lugosi’s birthday (August 16), Sarah Michelle Gellar’s birthday (April 14), and a daily Halloween countdown. I try and make an occasion out of the ordinary. I find a simple daily activity and see how Pumpkinhead can make it weird, or do it just a little bit wrong.

How much time do you spend of your day/week on drawing the hallowwoods series?

I do everything by hand with quill pens, brushes, and inks. Each layer has to dry completely and cure before I can go back in otherwise the inks will run together, so I usually have several going at a time. I also do other work besides Pumpkinhead; illustrations for authors, pieces for exhibitions, gifts for family and friends, commissions, random things that pop into my head… I always feel like I’m behind, like there is so much story to tell and not enough time to do it in. Striking a balance between art, my “day job,” and life is a constant challenge. I try to keep the scale from tipping too far in one direction. I’d say I get to draw 20-30 hours a week depending on the week and each drawing takes me several hours.

Any plans on making it into a comic book series?

I think about that all the time. I have an idea for a children’s book, a comic book, and more! I would love to make them come true!

Can it sometimes be difficult for you to handle the fame by being a known Halloween persona?

I am hardly famous! I’ve found the Halloween community on Instagram and at conventions is always so kind and supportive. It’s a weird thing that we all love and it feels like being on a campaign all together to build and celebrate this holiday.

___________________________

Clothing / Style / Accessories

Where do you usually buy your clothes?

Mostly online. I’m on a forever quest to find the perfect pair of black jeans.

What style of clothing do you like to buy?

I unsurprisingly wear a lot of black. It’s both very NYC and very metal to wear black all the time. There are some punk stores in downtown NYC that I love: I Need More on Orchard Street and Trash & Vaudeville on East 7th Street. I like clothes that are witchy and I like clothes that are rock n roll.

Do you have any tips on where to find awesome Halloween clothing for the rest of us Halloween addicts?

Yes! There are so many incredible designers and artists out there that put their work on clothing. One of my favorites is Local Boogeyman. He has a great old school horror vibe. I also love Bill Crisafi, Cavity Colors, Terror Threads, Pentagram Peter Pan Clothing, and Wolf Skull Jack. Don’t be afraid to go down the virtual rabbit hole and discover lots of new stuff to love!

Do you wear Halloween/Horror styled clothes all year?

I have a black t-shirt addiction. More especially, black t-shirts with white print. Most of them are of bands, horror movies, or artists’ designs. The older and more beat up the t-shirt, the more sacred.

What’s your favourite Halloween clothing, accessories (pins/jewelry), bags, shoes, scarfs, etc?

I almost always have a Pumpkinhead pin on (you can get one at matthewwoodsart.com/shop). If I’m not going to wear my own work, how can I expect anyone else to? Besides that, I just got a new jack-o-lantern ring from I Need More that I’m in love with. Everyday I wear a metal cast of a wolf tooth. It is my own personal totem. My friends are my wolf pack and they each have one.

Have you worked hard on your style?

Not really, I just buy what I like. It’s constantly evolving. I try to buy from other small companies as much as I can. It’s hard to avoid giant retailers like H&M, but I think it’s important to support the David instead of the Goliath.

_____________________________________

Follow Matthew on Instagram:Www.instagram.com/Hallowwoods

And be sure to stop by his web shop! Www.matthewwoodsart.com/shop