October 15, 2008: ABC News Online:

Australia will join five other countries in what scientists describe as one of the most ambitious explorations of the Antarctic.

Buried deep beneath the Antarctic continent is a mountain range of such a huge scale that scientists are almost in awe of what they are about to do.


The Hendersons

The Henderson’s house was always very dimly lit.


OK, as we’re on the subject of the Uncanny Valley, let’s drift over to the phenomenon of Reborn Baby Dolls. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, look here. This is a Reborn Baby Doll web ring. Kick back. Spend a few minutes browsing around. And be prepared to be really creeped out.

This is a huge community of people who are devoted to making, buying and selling minutely detailed facsimiles of babies. I’m not a biological parent, so I may not be the best one to judge, but these ‘dolls’ really give me the willies. They don’t say ‘cute lifelike baby’ to me – they say ‘DEAD baby’. I suppose the makers might argue that they are sleeping babies, but I would counter that they never wake up and are therefore back in the category of DEAD. Especially the ones with their eyes open.

If you had one of these things in your house, then I can guarantee that there’s one sound you’d never want to hear and that’s the pitter-patter of tiny feet.


(Seriously – mothers who are reading – do you find this concept cute or weird? I’m really interested.)


Whilst browsing the Rogues Gallery recently, I learned of a newly available product that I know is going to greatly interest all Cow readers: Roland-Deese Productions’ Ghost In A Bottle.

Ghost in a Bottle

Yes, Cowpokes, for forking out a mere $US20.00 you too can have a bottle containing a ‘ghost’ ‘captured from a reported haunted establishment, (house, hotel, ship, cemetery, etc), by our Ghost Hunters’.

“But Reverend,” I hear you cry, “There are so many crooks, thieves and swindlers out in the wide world! How can I be sure that I’m getting a real ghost in my bottle?! What’s to stop Roland-Deese Productions from selling me some cheap empty bottle and merely saying there’s a ghost in it?”

Well, Cowmrades, you can be sure you’re getting the Real Deal because along with your bottle-imprisoned-ghost you get a ‘Ghost Certificate’ which is signed by the Ghost Hunter that has ‘captured’ the ghost! In addition, the bottle (‘Sealed for Your Protection*: WE CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY MISFORTUNE TO BEFALL YOU SHOULD YOU TAKE POSSESSION OF THIS OBJECT’) comes with a List of Dire Warnings of Hideous Things that Might Happen if you open your bottle, like, oh, ‘your car keys might go missing…’ or ‘you might smell an unfamiliar cologne or perfume…’. Roland-Deese Productions would surely not just make things like that up!

Indeed, as Murray, of Apple Valley, California says in the testimonials:

Just like your instructions advised, I beleive I have seen all signs of my ghost. I’m thinking of moving out of my apartment, it’s now haunted. The Ghost Bottle is a very entertaining novelty!

It would appear that Murray’s ghost isn’t so much haunting him out of his apartment, as entertaining him out! One can only speculate as to whose spirit he got.

Not only might something from the long list of Warnings happen to you, should you open your Ghost Bottle, but Roland-Deese further advises that ‘You may experience other Ghostly situations not stated above.’ I guess that would cover:

• Hideous face deformation and body contortions
• Having your soul sucked out through your mouth
• Attacks by swarms of flies
• The desire to throw yourself out a thirteenth floor window
• Getting sucked into the TV

…and all the other things that ghosts really† do that the purveyors of the Ghost Bottles are not keen to detail in their list, for some reason. Of course, Roland-Deese Productions Ghost Hunters are professionals and therefore in no danger themselves when they bottle their wraiths:

There is a special technology that takes place when our Ghost Hunting professionals capture the Ghosts.

That special technology is of course called Bullshit™ and is used extensively throughout the world of ‘psychic’ commerce.

All that being said, faithful Acowlytes, it will probably come as no surprise to you that agents‡ for TCA Enterprises, ever on the lookout for a new marketing opportunity, have come up with an even better idea than a Ghost in Bottle: a Ghost SHIP in a Bottle!

Fantom Frigate in a Flagon
(Sorry folks. No matter how hard I try, I simply can’t present you with artwork as terrible as the Ghost in a Bottle site)

Yes, that’s right! Selected readers of Tetherd Cow Ahead are eligible†† for their very own highly collectible Fantom Frigate in a Flagon! Using genuine naval ectoplasm,‡‡ TCA artisans have lovingly crafted exact replicas of your favourite mystery ships, including the Andrea Doria, the Octavius, the Flying Dutchman and the Mary Celeste, had them cursed by Certified African Witchdoctors** and then stuck in a jar. Of course, that’s exactly where you should leave them, because, should you open your Fantom Frigate Flagon, you may experience:

• Flooded drains
• Shortages of rum in the liquor cabinet
• ‘Mysterious’ parrot droppings around the house
• Unexplained attacks of scurvy
• Voices singing sea-shanties in another room
• Huge splintered wooden holes in your walls
• ‘Salty’ tasting coffee
• Other things not stated above that might be associated with ghost ships, or the sea, or pirates, or water, or films about ghost ships, or salt beef, or smuggling, or gold doubloons, or films about water, or wooden legs, or Moby Dick, or the moon on a cloudy night. Etc.

And remember, when you get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and a water-logged, rag-draped skeleton leaps out of your bathtub and lunges at you with a rusty sabre – make sure you have a good ol’ chuckle. After all, it’s just entertainment…


*The bottle is sealed with wax, for Pete’s sake. What kind of third-rate spook is going to let a little glob of red wax get in the way of eating your brains?

†They don’t really do those things. Ghosts don’t exist. In case you were, like, taking me seriously or anything.

‡I shamelessly stole this idea from Jim Shaver over at Rogues Gallery, Thanks Jim!

††Bribes Conditions apply.

‡‡Spiritualism joke.

**From Nigeria. It wasn’t at all difficult to find experts there in the ‘special technology’ that Roland-Deese uses.

★A special thanks to Ralph Elzholz at Virtual Room for the Schooner model.


Chemical Wedding Artwork

Calloo callay, oh frabjous day! Or perhaps ‘Callow callay’ might be a more appropriate salute in this particular case, for next week sees the release of Julian Doyle’s Chemical Wedding, a film starring the wonderful Simon Callow, that has some misguided university types using ‘the world’s biggest super-conductive (sic) computer’ to resurrect the spirit of the redoubtable (if arguably substantially unhinged) Aleister Crowley to possess the body of a classical history professor.

Of course it all goes horribly wrong (as things necessarily must if one attempts to strike up a rapport with the self-proclaimed greatest Satanist of our time) when the reborn Crowley embarks on an effort to call up the Power of the Abyss to unite the Biblical Beast of Revelations with the Whore of Babylon in the Ultimate Satanic Rite – The Chemical Wedding. A showdown between the forces of magic and technology, and other jolly antics, thence ensue.

Oh how I look forward to this film! No-one can do this kind of high camp techno-occultism with anywhere near as much panache as the British, and when the director is the guy who edited Brazil and the writer is the lead singer of Iron Maiden how can it possibly fail to be worth the price of the ticket?!


Props to Sean for the heads-up!

…and RaJ – how can I possibly have failed to miss the Number of the Post? And I call myself a Reverend. I’m definitely losing my touch.


According to this this report from that pinnacle of reputable British journalism The Sun, a stunted, pointy-hat-wearing gnome is haunting a small South American town.

The Creepy Gnome

“Teenager Jose Alvarez – who filmed the gnome – yesterday told national newspaper El Tribuno that they caught the creature while larking about in their hometown of General Guemes, Argentina.

“One of my friends was so scared after seeing that thing that we had to take him to the hospital.””

The video footage is creepy in a ‘Blair Witch’ yeah-and-pull-the-other-one kinda way, but the real question must be: Hands up who’s seen Polanski and his midget sidekick lately?

(I really wish this had happened in the Emerald Isles. It would have given me the unparalleled opportunity to use the headline ‘Gnome Man is in Ireland’)

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