Things That Go Bump in the Night

Sharene Kamel, Staff Writer


For some, the spirit of Halloween cannot (and should not) be contained to a single day in a single month. For these individuals the spirit of Halloween runs like a current through their lives, a subtle undertone of spook is manifested in their expressions. Here are some artists who have internalized Halloween into their own style of creation, using art as a vehicle to instill the ambiance and shiver of Halloween in a timeless fashion. Seeing as the date is here, it is only necessary to pay homage to these six artists who have lended society some well needed “spook” over the years.



6. Tim Burton (1958-present)

An ode to the artists of Halloween would not be complete without Tim Burton. Since his first (known) film, The Island of Doctor Agor, published at the shy age of thirteen, Tim Burton has graced the world with his gift of dark and twisted animated films. Chances are at some point in your life you have had the pleasure of witnessing The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) or The Corpse Bride (2005). Through his animations, he creates a universe where bright colors coexist without being swallowed by the night. In this universe tragedy inspires more pity than fear and monsters become charming friends. More intriguing than scary, his animations comprise outcast characters who are just weird enough to make us seem normal. The one and only place to go for a kindred spirit who gets your obsession with all things Halloween all the time.












5.Edward Gorey (1925-2000)

My all time favorite, and the inspiration for this post, is the one and only Edward Gorey. Best known for his macabre illustrations of children meeting their doom in The Gashlycrumb Tinies, his work extends to an impressive list of over two dozen short stories (all equally gruesome of course). His work exhibits a Victorian vibe that has inspired many after him. His dark and comical work appeals to a select aspect of the human psyche, as it straddles the line between darkly comical and outright unacceptable. Approached through a childlike lens, this contradiction is only intensified a twisted vibe. Gorey’s work has never gone out of style, teaching us that children are never too young for horror. Thinking of that costume that is “too scary” for your little one? Gorey would say go for it.




4. John Kenn Mortensen (1978-present)

Denmark native, John Kenn Mortensen is best known for his “sticky monsters”. The fear you would associate with the term monster is embodied in his work. However this is complicated by his placement of the monsters in everyday associations with humans, who seem unaffected by their presence as they continue reading, talking, shopping ect. If you’re looking for the crisp visualization of your notion of a monster as Halloween approaches, you have found the right guy.



3. Charles Addams (1912-1988)

An American cartoonist, Addams is best known for his humorous characterization of the dark. He achieved a unique balance between heavier tones and the upbeat nuisances still possible in everyday life. Addams drew more than 1,300 cartoons over the course of his life, including his most well known The Addams family. An nontraditional family, the Addams family teaches us that those on the more eccentric side more fun. Just because you embody the doom and gloom of Halloween year round, don’t forget you can still laugh too.



2. Charles Addams (1912-1988)

Most famous for her novels, The Three Incestuous Sisters and The Adventuress, Niffenegger capture ghosts, heartbreak, and melancholy all in one. Her work utilizes color along with monochromatic schemes to create differently charged yet equally head turning and fear producing images. A great current and unique place to that visual release for your discomfort with the inner working of life.




1. Aubrey Vincent Beardsley (1872-1898)

Bringing us back to our roots is English illustrator and author, Aubrey Beardsley. Beardsley combined the grotesque with the beautiful in his often erotically charged works. The paradoxical combination worked to simultaneously intrigued and repel his Victorian audience. His depiction of the beautiful sinner, and its eerie tones are enough to make us deeply uncomfortable at times, even in today’s world. Know someone looking for that sexy Halloween costume? Channel the erotic vibe of Halloween by throwing it back with some Beardsley (it’ll be a hit, I promise).