Jack the Ripper tour: Nothing to see here

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There was nothing to photograph during the Jack the Ripper tour in London’s East End, so I took this photo of a street lamp in the area.

There were four different Jack the Ripper walking tours hovering around the same square in the East End of London on Saturday evening. That number doesn’t include the other Jack the Ripper tours walking around nearby or the tours that took place earlier that day, one of which is run by the Jack the Ripper Museum.

All this for a serial killer who is believed to have murdered five people.

Yeah, I thought the death count was higher as well. But I also knew almost nothing about Jack the Ripper until I took the tour run by London Walks. My tour began with the knowledgeable guide explaining that interest in Jack the Ripper has remained high after all these years because of the gruesome manner in which he or she committed the murders and the fact that this person was never caught, among other reasons. Continue reading “Jack the Ripper tour: Nothing to see here”

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6 restaurants for ‘Walking Dead’ fans

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Zombie Burger + Shake Lab in Iowa City. (Facebook.com/ZombieBurgerIowaCity)

“The Walking Dead” isn’t the kind of TV series that makes people hungry. Chances are the grotesque AMC zombie drama has the opposite effect, not counting the delicious-looking applesauce cookies Carol made for the Alexandria dinner party. This is the same show where poor Noah had his face chewed apart by zombies and Bob watched cannibals dine on his detached leg.

And yet, it appears “The Walking Dead,” as morbid and unappetizing as it is, has inspired more than a few restaurants since it debuted in 2010.

Zombies became popular again thanks, in large part, to one of the highest rated shows on television. And because the restaurant industry loves a good trend, that popularity carried over into zombie-themed eateries.

Here’s a look at the restaurants where fans of “The Walking Dead” can get their zombie fix, from an Iowa burger chain with post-apocalyptic decor and a Southern California doughnut shop with morbid pastries to a Georgia cafe co-owned by the creator of the comic that the TV series is based on.

Continue reading “6 restaurants for ‘Walking Dead’ fans”

Frankenstein monster comes alive at Edinburgh pub

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The show at Frankenstein’s Pub in Edinburgh, Scotland takes place at least three times a day, including 6 p.m. and midnight. (Photo courtesy of Frankenstein Pub)

You have to hand it the animatronic Frankenstein monster at Frankenstein Pub in Edinburgh, Scotland — the guy knows how to make an entrance.

The monster emerges from a smokey balcony on a gurney every day at 6 p.m. and midnight, shortly after the lights have been dimmed and the speakers have been taken over by the sounds of thunder and groaning. He is slowly lowered to the main floor, where he sits up to scan the room before being raised back up.

The Frankenstein show takes place at least three times a day, with the staff sometimes firing up the show upon request.

Continue reading “Frankenstein monster comes alive at Edinburgh pub”

Satanic Panic: A burlesque show in Chicago for fans and followers of the occult

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(Photo by Split Sugar Photography)

You know how you’re always talking about wanting to try something different?

Satanic Panic — which is scheduled to take place March 24 at the SAIC Ballroom in Chicago — will bring together performers from the burlesque world and fans and followers of the occult for a macabre show with social commentary.

The premise revolves around trashy talk show host Gerald Rivers (played by Dickson Detroit) and his exposé on Satan worshipping, with panelists debating its impact on society in front of you, the studio audience. Satanic Panic was created by burlesque performer Red Rum, who appeared on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” in 2015 and has been involved in the burlesque scene for six years.

Continue reading “Satanic Panic: A burlesque show in Chicago for fans and followers of the occult”

Chicago Zombie Pub Crawl turns 10

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Chicago Zombie Pub Crawl participants in 2013. (Photo by Natasha J. Photography)

The Zombie Pub Crawl has been reppin’ the living dead since before it was even cool.

Members of the pH Comedy Theater started the tradition in 2007 – that’s three years before AMC’s “The Walking Dead” premiered, for the record – as a fundraiser for their show season and educational programs. The Zombie Pub Crawl caught on because people like day drinking and dressing up in costumes and now the annual bar-hop is set to celebrate its 10th anniversary April 29 in the Andersonville neighborhood.

“It’s grown since the early days,” said ph Comedy Theater executive director Brett Mannes, by email. “… I do think ‘The Walking Dead’ gave it a bit of an energy boost for a few years. It certainly inspired some costumes.”

Continue reading “Chicago Zombie Pub Crawl turns 10”

Beetle House: What you should know about Tim Burton-themed New York restaurant

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The bar at the Tim Burton-themed Beetle House in New York. (Photo courtesy of Beetle House)

You know how TGI Fridays boasts “In here, it’s always Friday” in ads for the restaurant chain? In Beetle House, the Tim Burton-themed restaurant in New York’s East Village, the motto is “It’s Halloween all year long.”

Advantage: Beetle House.

The restaurant pays tribute to the quirky creator of “Beetlejuice” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and his gothic-heavy film catalog. It should be noted, however, that Beetle House is not affiliated with Burton. The disclaimer on the website describes Beetle House as an “artistic adaptation.”

Continue reading “Beetle House: What you should know about Tim Burton-themed New York restaurant”

Atlanta Zombie Run to be held where ‘Walking Dead’ films Kingdom scenes

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(Photo couresy of Zombie Run)

Zombie Run is giving you the opportunity to run The Kingdom, so to speak.

The 5K race that pits runners against zombies will take place April 29 at Atlanta’s Fort McPherson, which is where “The Walking Dead” films its Kingdom scenes. The Kingdom, for those who don’t watch AMC’s zombie drama, is a community of survivors led by King Ezekiel that found shelter in an abandoned school.

In real life, Fort McPherson was an active U.S. Army military base from 1885 to 2011. Tyler Perry bought 330 acres of land on the property in 2015 and turned it into a film studio, which is used by “The Walking Dead.”

Continue reading “Atlanta Zombie Run to be held where ‘Walking Dead’ films Kingdom scenes”

Zombie survival game in England a 13-hour, overnight experience

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PLZ Survival in Southwest England places participants in the zombie apocalypse, where the key to survival is stealth and smarts. (Photo by Kenneth Cox)

Wanna play “Walking Dead”?

PLZ Survival is offering a 13-hour, overnight experience in Southwest England called VacanZ that places you in the zombie apocalypse. The interactive competition takes place nightly April 14-16 in Plymouth, Devon and is set in a future where good and bad communities have formed in the fight for survival, just like in the hit AMC zombie drama.

Participants are placed in groups from the very beginning with friends and/or strangers. The goal is to make it until the end without being infected (touched on the arm).

Continue reading “Zombie survival game in England a 13-hour, overnight experience”

St. Patrick’s Day haunted houses? Sure, why not?

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St. Patrick’s Slay is coming to Dark Hour haunted house in Plano, Texas for the fourth year in a row. (Photo courtesy of Dark Hour)

You can add St. Patrick’s Day to the list of holidays getting the haunted house treatment.

There are a handful of haunted houses across the US that will be open for the Irish-centric holiday, just like many do around Christmas time and Valentine’s Day. It’s just one more step in making haunted houses relevant outside the traditional Halloween season.

Really, it’s not too much of a stretch to give St. Patrick’s Day a haunted house spin, especially when a horror film franchise has already somewhat paved the way. The “Leprechaun” films took the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed leprechaun character and turned him into a grotesque monster who kills anyone who gets between him and his gold.

Here’s a look at the haunted houses that will carry on the proud tradition of maniacal leprechauns St. Patrick’s Day weekend:

Continue reading “St. Patrick’s Day haunted houses? Sure, why not?”

What we know about the Hollywood Horror Museum so far

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(Photo courtesy of the Hollywood Horror Museum)

It’s been a year and a half since plans to build the Hollywood Horror Museum — which will celebrate the horror genre’s contributions to the arts — were first announced through a Kickstarter campaign. How far along in the process is the museum? Where will it be located? And who are the names behind it?

The following is what we know (and don’t know) so far about the Hollywood Horror Museum:

Continue reading “What we know about the Hollywood Horror Museum so far”