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October is one of my favourite months, despite the fact that it marks the beginning of “Pumpkin Flavoured Everything” season. I love October partially because I finally think “Fall” when I look out of my window in the morning, but mostly because I know that Halloween is right around the corner. Stores begin putting out candy, costumes, and decorations. ABC Family airs Hocus Pocus a couple of thousand times, and Disney Channel brings back Halloweentown I-XV. I even get to marathon scary movies alone in the dark without it being too weird. So, in honour of Halloween being only 10 days away, I have compiled a short list of artwork that I think will get you into the holiday mood.

4. The Temptation of St. Anthony-Martin Schongauer


Martin Schongauer was a prominent German printmaker during the early Northern Renaissance. His engravings were widely popular and sold all across Europe. The image above is a print of one of his more well-known engravings by the same name. The scene depicts the biblical story of Saint Anthony the Great, who allegedly endured several supernatural temptations while in the Egyptian desert. The hellish creatures shown hanging from St. Anthony’s frame are representations of the “demons” that supposedly tried to tempt him from his path. The Temptation of St. Anthony has been the subject of many artworks. A young Michelangelo copied Schongauer’s version as a boy.

3. Gallowgate Lard-Ken Currie


Ken Currie is a Scottish artist whose work explores themes of the suffering and poverty experienced by the working class in Scotland. Currie’s paintings are almost uncomfortable to look at, and they often leave the viewer feeling unsettled. This particular work, which was purchased by the Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums in 1997, is supposedly a self portrait. For further information on Gallowgate Lard, feel free to visit the Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums website.

2. Garden of Earthly Delights-Hieronymus Bosch


No list of disturbing artworks would be complete without this Hieronymus Bosch classic. Like Martin Schongauer, Bosch was an artist working during the Northern Renaissance. He was known for his strange, fantastical depictions of religious religious themes. His skill lied particularly in triptychs, which are three-panel alterpieces that can open and shut. Garden of Earthly Delights remains Bosch’s most famous triptych. The image above is a section from the right-panel of the triptych while it is open. The right panel is supposed to represent Hell. Monsters of various forms are shown punishing humans for their sins in multiple, disturbing ways. The “Hell Scene” greatly contrasts the left and center-panels, which depict people frolicking happily against brightly-coloured landscapes.

1. Comics by Junji Itoito

If you are particularly internet savvy, then you may recognize this last image from the “Don’t You Believe in Fairies?” meme that has popped up in various forms around the Web. The original image shown above is an excerpt from Junji Ito’s manga titled Frankenstein. I am not handing over the Creepy Crown to these panels specifically. Rather, I believe that all of Junji Ito’s work deserves to be properly recognized for the highly disturbing images that they are. Ito is Japanese master of horror manga.  His two most notable series are Tomie, which is about a beautiful immortal girl who drives her admirers insane, and Uzumaki, which tells the story of a town that becomes obsessed with spirals. These manga are not for the faint of heart. (The image I chose is actually fairly tame compared to most of his other illustrations.) However, if you are a die-hard horror fan, these may be the comics for you. They have also been adapted into films. I am still trying to convince myself to watch Tomie: Unlimited.

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About the Author

Tierra Holmes is a senior studying Art History and History at UNCC. When she isn’t chained to her computer working on research projects, she enjoys marathoning Korean dramas and spending money she doesn’t have. After graduation, she hopes to curate a museum or gallery and possibly guest-star on Mysteries at the Museum.