December 31, 2013

Dark Side of the Net's 20th Anniversary

This year was the 20th anniversary of Dark Side of the Net. (That makes me feel super old!) It started off as a little email newsletter, covering the handful of gopher and FTP sites, Usenet newsgroups, and listserv mailing lists that existed for goths at the time. (There wasn't a Web yet!)

When I started Dark Side of the Net, I lived in a painfully boring small town, far from my friends, so I had tons of time to spend building the database, adding and researching new links. Now, 20 years later, I live in the suburbs of Seattle, busy with a full time job, a small business, four foster kids, two dogs and a cat, and a busy social circle. I don't have as much time to devote to my favorite hobby, Darklinks, as I used to, and it shows in the lack of updates.

Lacking alone time, quiet and privacy to write and research, I think often of Virginia Woolf's "A Room of One's Own."

As 2013 began, I was full of plans of ways to celebrate the 20th anniversary (and forget that this now means I'm an eldergoth in my mid 40s!)

I suffer from a bit of telephone anxiety, so my brief notion to throw a 20th anniversary party for Dark Side of the Net at some club or restaurant here in Seattle seemed like it would be difficult to arrange. (Also a bit self congratulatory, yuck). Maybe I will have conquered my anxiety in time for the 25th anniversary in five years - let's have a party!

So instead, I celebrated by opening Dark Side University, a project I've been dreaming about attempting for the past 10 years. It's still in beta, and I'm hoping to somehow carve out the time to devote to it regularly, as I'm really passionate about it.

I'm looking forward to all the new dark blogs, websites, bands, dark artists, and shops that will appear in 2014 for us to explore and enjoy together!

Happy New Year!!

--Carrie Carolin

Dark Side of the Net

Blog of the Year Pick for 2013

My pick this year for Blog of the Year is The Curious Professor Z. I've so enjoyed reading Mary Frances' (Franny's) various blogs over the years, including Le Professeur Gothique and The Dancing Maenad.

Her Bat Fit fitness challenge has inspired so many goths to get fitter and more healthy. I see her Bat Fit banner everywhere I look when I'm out exploring the dark corners of the Web. (Check out the 2014 Bat Fit info and the Bat Fit Facebook group if this sounds interesting to you).

I also am so impressed with her challenges she used to pose on her Professeur Gothique blog. Goth bloggers around the world would accept her "homework" challenge and answer her questions on their blogs, sharing things about their lives, their goth fashion stylings, and their hobbies.

I loved reading answers to "How do you relax?" and "Post something related to an artist who inspires you" or "Draw fashion inspiration from India and post a picture of yourself" and "Find inspiration in snow and ice and produce something creative."

Currently, she's blogging about her passions: art, academia, and fashion. She's letting us peer a bit into her personal life, with posts about her holidays and how she decorated her home; her Winter solstice; a bit about her life in academia and a peek at her Christmas lights; and some cute pics of her in adorable gothy outfits. I don't have her courage to share so much about my personal life, that's really gutsy of her given all the weird stalkers out there on the net!

Hope you enjoy browsing The Curious Professor Z, if you aren't already a regular reader of hers!

--Carrie Carolin

Dark Side of the Net - 20 years of darkness

October 29, 2013

New Halloween Links for the Spooky Season

Halloween Collector

Mark B. Ledenbach shares his Halloween collection, amassed and curated since 1988. His audience is primarily serious collectors of vintage Halloween memorabilia, but people simply wanting to know more about the hobby will enjoy this site too. His FAQ on buying vintage Halloween items is really interesting, and the blog provides fascinating pics and articles.

Take Back Halloween

A costume resource guide for "Women with imagination." Removing the "sexy" aspect of women's Halloween costumes, and creating costumes instead that are witty, clever, empowering or really cool. The inspirational costume ideas here help you figure out how to put together a costume with things you already have - without even having to sew! This site encourages you to dress as your favorite heroine, pay tribute to your heritage, be a queen for the day, channel the Goddess, or channel Hollywood red carpet glamour.

Costume categories here include Notable Women, Glamour Grrls, Goddesses and Legends, and Queens.

As a geek, I love that their Notable Women section starts with Ada Lovelace. And don't miss the entry on Lizzie Borden!


Hallow-Holics Anonymous is a creepy blog dedicated to Halloween and horror movies. They find really interesting things to post about. Check out their Halloween Hotties vintage pinups post and their recent post on drive in trailers for movies featuring the devil.

365 Days of Costumes

This costume store called Theatrical Costumes Etc. in Boulder Colorado took on the challenge of posting a pic of an employee in costume every day this year. You'll love browsing the pics!

Halloween Show

The official Facebook presence for the National Halloween, Horror, Haunted House and Hearse Convention. It will next take place from May 2-4, 2014.


Nearly 20,000 fans keep Halloween alive year-round on this Facebook page.


Former members of the legendary Halloween-L mailing list joined this Facebook group to keep in touch and share their love of the holiday.

13 Nights of Halloween

ABC Family's 13 Nights of Halloween offers this Facebook page for fans to keep track of which shows are playing next. 455,000 people love this page! The movies play from October 19-31.

Designing the Fear

Behind-the-scenes looks at haunted attractions, home haunts and haunted Halloween events. Recently they're featuring Queen Mary's Dark Harbor.

Designing Fear on Facebook

Halloween Holler

A pleasantly cheerful blog with homemade DIY Halloween crafts, Halloween recipes, and a blogroll of good Halloween blog links.

Scareworld Magazine

Scareworld is a magazine for professional haunt vendors and haunted house attractions in Europe. Probably not all that interesting if you're not in the biz, and they haven't updated the blog since July unfortunately.

Halloween Queens

A 1000 fan Halloween page with makeup, decor, signs and memes. Cutesey stuff, not very dark.

Halloween 365-24/7

Another Facebook Halloween page with cute pics and images. "Celebrating Halloween all year long."

Halloween 365-24/7 on Facebook

Halloween Crazy

A Halloween Facebook page that's mostly reposts from other places, but they do find interesting pics.

I Eat, Sleep and Breathe Halloween

A woman runs this 45k fan Facebook page with lots of interesting Halloween and horror pics, postings and news info.

I Eat, Sleep and Breathe Halloween on Facebook

Halloween Pictures

41,000 fans enjoy the Halloween and spooky pics posted here on this Facebook page.

Halloween Pictures on Facebook

Vintage Halloween Collectibles

Really interesting pics of vintage Halloween postcards, collectibles, ephemera and toys.

Vintage Halloween Collectibles on Facebook

The Pumpkin Season - When Witches Fly

My favorite Halloween fan page. The curator just finds extremely interesting things to share, and doesn't just repost the same pics from other places over and over.

The Pumpkin Season, on Facebook

Halloween Corner

This Halloween Facebook fan page has an astonishing amount of fans - nearly 140,000! They post several interesting pics a day - mainly Halloween recipes, spooky houses, and some cosmetics tips.

Halloween Corner, on Facebook

Fun for Halloween

6-8 Halloween related Facebook posts per day, often recipes.

Fun for Halloween, on Facebook

Boo Halloween Boo

Lots and lots of intriguing Halloween recipes are posted here, plus the occasional cute costumed kid and spooky black kitty pic.

Boo Halloween Boo on Facebook

Halloween Inspirations

This page posts a lot of interesting vintage Halloween advertisements and photographs.

Halloween Inspirations, on Facebook

Everything Halloween

A Halloween crafts and DIY costumes/decor page. I like a lot of the projects posted here recently, even though I'm too lazy to attempt them.

Everything Halloween, on Facebook

Memories of Halloween

This page posts about Halloween movies, costumes, props, books, recipes, decorations, ghosts and the paranormal.

Memories of Halloween, on Facebook

Everyday is Halloween 365

This is my second favorite Halloween facebook page. The things they post here are quite a bit darker than other pages, with hardly anything cutesy.

Every Day is Halloween 365 on Facebook

Halloween Hollow Haunts

Halloween and horror postings influenced by the past twenty or thirty years. I like the vintage 1980s things they show here.

Halloween Hollow Haunts, on Facebook

Gothic Crafts and Halloween Treasures

This page is getting off to a good start. Recently they've shared projects including a a printable bat box, shown snapdragon seed pods that look like skulls, and shown a cool idea for decorating your jacket with safety pins.

Gothic Crafts and Halloween Treasures, on Faceboook

Everyday is Halloween All Hallows Eve

This page is heavy on the dark gothic fantasy art and video postings.

Everyday is Halloween - All Hallows Eve on Facebook

--Copyright 2013 Carrie Carolin

Dark Side of the Net Halloween Links

October 19, 2013

New Goth Links for October 19, 2013


Ania Tomicka Art

The gallery of an Italian pop surrealist artist. She draws in sort of the "Big eye girl" style. Her gallery includes paintings, drawings and digital art.

Ania Tomicka on Facebook

Ania Tomicka on Twitter

San Gato Photography

This stunning photography gallery displays the works of Cat Lippi, who resides in St. Augustine, Florida. She specializes in horror and conceptual photography. There's also a section for her Make Believe photography and the set photography she does on local horror movie sets. Gorgeous work here, you'll love looking through the galleries.

San Gato Photography on Facebook

San Gato Photography on Twitter

Sarah Troester Photography

A German photographer's beautiful dark fairy-tale and fantasy inspired photos. The costumes shown here in the photos are incredible.

Sarah Troester Photography on Facebook

Sarah Troester on Flickr


The Macabre Doctrine

Alexandria blogs from Idaho, writing about horror movies, the paranormal, hauntings and old murder cases.


Dark Books.Org

This site is Witch Christina's archive of free occult, magic and mythology etexts and ebooks. Subjects include gods and goddesses, spellbooks, fairy tales, tarot, rituals, Freemasonry, horror tales, Celts and Druids, and many more. A nice resource.


Calavera Calavera

Here's an unusual band! Calavera Calavera hail from Madrid. They play a fusion of industrial electro, Caribbean and goth music. You can check them out by listening to their four songs available on Bandcamp.

Calavera Calavera on Bandcamp

Calavera Calavera on Facebook

Dead Souls

Dead Souls is a Joy Division tribute band from San Francisco. I've checked out a few of their Youtube videos and I'm impressed by the vocalist!

Dead Souls on Facebook

Dead Souls on MySpace


Eye Kandy Cosmetics

While not specifically tailored to goths or the dark alternative scene, Eye Kandy Cosmetics sells some really cool glitter and mineral sprinkles that I think might appeal to cybergoths and perkigoths. They also present a "Liquid Sugar" sealant to help keep the pretty shiny stuff on your eyelids. but

Eye Kandy Cosmetics on Facebook

Impero London

This London company offers bespoke luxury leather clothing. Not everything here will speak to your goth sensibilities, but I think you'll enjoy looking through the things here. Check out the Men's leather tailcoats, for starters.

My favorite garment here is this leather corset dress coat.

Impero London on Facebook

Impero London on Twitter

Violette Market

This shop sells hand blended perfumes, as well as bath and body products. Their current collections include a "Long Ago and Far Away" theme (perfumes named Pumpkin Coach, Gingerbread House, Black Apple, Cathedral and Spider's Design); Myths and Legends (scents named for Hades, Demeter's Lament, Pandora's Box and Persephone); and an entire line of fragrances called Vampyre.

Violette Market on Facebook

Violette Market on Livejournal

Violette Market on Twitter


Dancing Ghosts

This club is a darkwave dance party in San Francisco. It doesn't seem to have any actual upcoming events since May 2013, but I'll leave this link in here just in case they become active again this autumn, cuz it sounds like they put on fun events.

Dancing Ghosts on Facebook


Batty for Bats

A Facebook group for people (not just for goths) who love bats. Photos, artwork and bat-related product pics are posted.

Batty for Bats Group, on Facebook


Cenobite Me

A horror review blog. This guy has a huge horror movie collection, and his blog is a good way to learn about obscure horror movies you might not have heard of before.

The Classic Horror Film Board

Here's a nice active horror forum with posts on classic horror, the Golden Age of horror, Universal Monsters, Sherlock Holmes and other cool topics.

Horror Feminista

Horror and sci-fi reviews from an entertaining writer.

Raz's Midnight Macabre

This adults-only blog is currently taking part in a 30 day Horror Movie Challenge. Not a lot of commenters are responding - maybe drop an encouraging comment or two?

--Copyright 2013 Carrie Carolin

Dark Side of the Net - 20 years of Darkness

Introducing Dark Side University

On October first this year, I opened Dark Side University, which has been a work in progress since I first announced it in 2002. I am very excited about this project and passionate about it, and it's true it's been sucking my time away from updating Darklinks and from the Darklinks goth social network.

Dark Side University is a goth community offering free classes on gothic, horror, vampiric, and Halloween topics. You don't get credit or a grade, just the fun of learning new things and discussing dark topics alongside other cool people from the subculture.

It's meant to be for adults, and courses are taught at the college level. There are homework assignments, but nobody raps your hands with a ruler if you don't complete them. Still, we hope if you choose to take one of our courses, you'll make time in your busy life to participate in it fully.

Back in the early 2000s when I was able to devote much more time to Dark Side of the Net and immerse myself in the online goth community, I was so inspired by the goth people I was meeting. So many people in small towns, isolated from other goths, with so much passion for our subculture and so many interesting ideas. I thought what a shame it was that it's so difficult to find interesting classes on dark topics in the real world (aside from the occasional horror film university course). I learned so much from people running goth businesses, promoting dark events, creating clubs and festivals, working professionally in bands. I wondered if there was a way to share all of everyone's expertise in dark topics. I watched online education blossom and then explode, and became interested in presenting a place where goth students and goth experts could come together to learn and share knowledge.

I finally settled on the Ning platform to facilitate our courses, and carved out time in my life to finally begin. I'm very excited, and I hope you will take a look around!

The current and upcoming course offerings include:

For now, Dark Side University is free. It's never been conceived as a money-making venture, but in the future it will likely have to charge minimal amounts (a few dollars per class) to pay its expenses and attract quality professional lecturers and professors. Also, I've learned through my many years of teaching in-person Internet and eBay classes, people tend to show up more, learn more and work harder in classes they've paid to attend.

How do you sign up? Just head over to Dark Side University and create an account. You'll need to fill out a captcha, provide an email address that the Ning Network can verify, and fill out a short profile about yourself. Mostly it serves to prove to me that you are a real person and not a spammer or a bot.

Note that we require you to leave at least one real, truthful link to your own personal blog, your own personal website you actually run and maintain (Don't leave something like or as I know you don't personally own and operate those domains), your own personal Facebook or Twitter link. Which link you choose is up to you, but you must leave one. A huge number of people have been leaving their email address in place of a link, and that simply won't work for us here.

Reading comprehension is going to be critical for you to benefit from the courses offered here, so filling out your profile incorrectly will get your application to DSU denied. I am quite shocked at the number of applications I've had to decline because the person unfortunately could not seem to be able to leave a clickable working link to their blog or one of their social profiles.

Once your application is approved, you can log into the community and take a look around. There's a FAQ available for people who want to teach classes (in short, you need to have a college education in real life but it doesn't matter what subject it's in; and I'll want you to participate in one online course before offering to teach one yourself).

Thanks so much to our first professor, Alisdair Smyth (shown on the left), who is an English professor in real life, currently teaching our Dracula class! This picture was taken in Seattle this summer when we went wine tasting and started developing the first few courses for DSU!

Please "Like" the Facebook page for Dark Side University if you're interested in keeping up with what we're doing here.

-Carrie Carolin

October 10, 2013

The Castle Halloween Museum

Did you know there was a Halloween museum in the US? I didn't know until just now!

The Castle Halloween Museum is located in Boggs Run, West Virginia. It contains over 35,000 Halloween collectibles, decorations, ephemera, and artifacts. It's curated by the "Queen of Halloween" Pamela E. Apkarian-Russell, who obviously has a lifelong passion for Halloween.

Tours can only be taken by making an appointment in advance. But you can take an online tour of the antiques and collectibles, folk art, paintings and framed art, postcards, signs and advertising, and Tim Burton's "Nightmare Before Christmas" collectibles.

You can watch a video tour of the museum on YouTube; it runs over an hour and a half long.

October 2, 2013

Incredibly Cool and Useful Halloween Blog - The Year of Halloween

The Year of Halloween

The Year of Halloween may be my favorite Halloween-related blog of all time. (And I've been curating Dark Side of the Net for 20 years!).

Eva Halloween does a fantastic job of writing this blog, posting interesting things nearly every day. (I know from experience it's VERY difficult to find the time and have enough passion to post even a handful of times a week, much less every day).

She posts about Halloween crafts, spooky food and DIY projects, including this cool DIY apothecary table and zombie head hors d'oeuvres.

In the "Art & Inspiration" section, she blogs about TV and film; history; oddities; music; and horror conventions.

Besides her daily Halloween posts, Eva offers Halloween and horror costume and makeup tutorials; the ; Friday Night Features horror shorts; movie stills on Silent Sundays; and a series of posts on 31 Scary Things.

If you're a longtime visitor to Dark Side of the Net, you know I rarely if ever feature just one link or resource by itself in a blog post. That should go to show how very awesome I think this Halloween blog is!

Copyright 2013 Carrie Carolin

Dark Side of the Net - Twenty years of darkness -

September 28, 2013

10 Temptingly Dark and Gothic Etsy Shops

Creepy Christine's Cabinet of Curiosities

Creepy Christine lives in Toronto, Canada. She sells shadowboxes, dark ofrendas (altars) dedicated to Edward Gorey and Vincent Price, plus some artistic creations.

Dr. Kyla's Emporium

Dr. Kyla lives in Montreal, Canada and creates adorable crocheted Pocket Monsters. They're dedicated to characters from horror films, including Carrie, Pinhead, Chucky, Ghostface from Scream, Samara from The Ring, Tippi Hedren's character from The Birds, and more.

My favorite Pocket Monster here is Ode to Jack Torrance from The Shining.

Helene Hawthorne Fashions

Helene Hawthorne Fashions is based in Edmonds (I'm assuming that's near me in Seattle). She creates stunningly beautiful Victorian and rococo gowns and skirts, plus some fabulous hair pieces, collars and wigs.

My favorite thing here is this black and white striped Marie Antoinette dress.

La Vie Macabre

La Vie Macabre sells Victorian mourning jewelry, memento mori, and other dark adornments. There are also a lot of beaded spiders here.


McLaineO is a shop run out of Miami. While most of the things here are closer to tattoo and rockabilly culture than dark alternative, I thought you might like to see the skeleton adult onesie and skull romper. There are also some cute skull dresses.

My favorite item here is this sugar skull party dress.

Paper Moon Gallery

This California shop sells odd folk art creations, including big-eyed dolls, felt zombies, witch ornaments, and zombie cats.

Romantic Threads

This Long Beach based shop sells drop dead gorgeous gowns: Medieval, fantasy, Victorian, gothic, and steampunk. There are also a few stunning, original fairy fantasy wedding gowns.

My favorite thing here is this Marie Antoinette peacock gothic fantasy gown.

Sandra Arteaga

This artist lives in Barcelona, Spain. She creates morbid, odd little paper dollies and art pieces.

My favorite piece here is this Celinne Halloween paper doll.

3Quartermoon Creative

This shop (in Tucson, AZ) sells unique steampunk jewelry. They also offer some T-shirts and art pieces.

There are also some home decor pieces here, such as this steampunk drink coasters set.


TwinklyBits sells hands-down, the most creative, unusual headpieces and hats I think I'll ever see. There are goth cupcake skull fascinators, teacup death skulls, zombie duck hats and dripping eye ball hats. So cool!

--Copyright 2013 Carrie Carolin

Dark Side of the Net