Category Archive for Nightcrawling

Goth guide to Paris! Visiting the Catacombs skulls, Pere Lachaise Gothic vampire cemetery, Cantada II absinthe bar.

the purge kiss me mask, kimmy candy girl halloween costume

Kiss Me… if you want to get Purged!

Can you tell I’m already in a Halloween mood? I’m relieved that scary season is back — I always feel most “me” at this dark time of year.

To celebrate, I’m sharing my Gothic travel guide to Paris, France — including a visit to the Catacombs and famous Pere Lachaise cemetery.

And I also have a fun announcement… Blumhouse Productions is flying me to New Orleans, to be part of the Purge TV show and report from the set!

the purge election year kimmy, candy girl, masked purger

I’m sure you’ve heard of Blumhouse, as they’ve released some of the most terrifying horror movies in recent years. I’m a huge fan of The Purge, Paranormal Activity, Get Out, Insidious, Split, Happy Death Day, and the new Halloween (with music by John Carpenter, godfather of synthwave!)

Right now, Blumhouse and USA Network are filming season 2 of  The Purge TV show (one night a year, society becomes lawless — so you can pillage, kill and Purge to your heart’s delight). They’re flying me to New Orleans, where the series is being shot, to go behind the scenes. I’m also going to be in an episode, as an extra: you’ll see me in a big finale scene.

purge movie mask, kiss me, election year purge masks

(I got so excited about this opportunity that I decided to cosplay as Kimmy, the evil candy girl from “The Purge: Election Year!” She wears this bloody “Kiss Me” mask as she wreaks havoc. I took a plain white masquerade mask, and covered it in white caulking, paint… and real blood?)

Ready for the Commencement? You’re invited to follow along my Instagram @lacarmina to see my horrific adventures in New Orleans, with The Purge TV show! 

elegant designer witch costume, witches hat

I’ll also be visiting Boston and Salem, MA — center of the 17th century witch trials. Can’t wait to get my Witch on, in one of the most Gothic places in the world. Keep your eyes peeled for stories from Salem, a place I’ve wanted to see for years. (Photo from last year’s Netflix Spellman House for the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina TV show.)

And I have two more trips coming up in October… I’ll reveal more soon. This is going to be the best Halloween ever, muahaha.

human skulls paris catacombs

Until then, I’m thrilled to release my Gothic travel guide to Paris, France! 

Let me take you to the darkest, spookiest places in the city, including The Catacombs of Paris. (I know many of you have been asking me to cover this ossuary, for years.) We’ll encounter thousands of human skulls and bones…

bat tomb grave pere lachaise cemetery

… and hunt for bats and vampires in Père Lachaise Cemetery. (Above is a devilish winged symbol I found on a tomb.)

Finally, we’ll unwind with a glass or several of absinthe, at Cantada II — the heavy metal absinthe bar that Anthony Bourdain visited. 

jacques sirgent vampire tour pere lachaise cemetery

Let’s begin our Gothic tour of Paris with a stroll through Père Lachaise Cemetery.

The Paris Tourism Board connected me with Jacques Sirgent, vampirologist and author. He also curates le Musée des Vampires, a collection of obscure vampire objects, and runs walking tours that show the darkest aspects of the famous graveyard.

gothic spooky haunted paris france

Père Lachaise Cemetery opened in 1804, and stretches over 110 acres. The burial ground is named after Louis XIV’s confessor, and is the final resting place of many famous artists — including Melies, Proust, Moliere, Ingres, and Jim Morrison.

jesus statue arms removed desecrated

Jacques Sirgent knows every corner of cemetery, and has uncovered its most haunting secrets. He showed us desecrated graves — like this one, with Jesus’ arms removed — and places where he found the remains of twisted, occult rituals.

bats vampires pere lachaise paris

Pere Lachaise is a Goth wonderland. We wandered past decaying flowers under stone crosses, and mausoleums guarded by bats.

(My silk cropped jacket is by Charli Cohen).

bat tombstone paris pere la chaise

Jacques pointed out dark details, such as this figure with what appear to be horns and batwings. The 19th century French mausoleums are beautiful to behold.

paris oscar wilde grave art deco

Don’t miss the grave of Oscar Wilde, featuring a 1914 sculpture by Jacob Epstein. This winged deity in motion is inspired by Wilde’s poem The Sphinx. (Officials had to put up a glass barrier, as too many people were kissing the stone).

leduc vampire grave tomb, Musée des Vampires paris

Jacques told us tales of his strange discoveries and theories at Pere Lachaise. He suggests that this coffin-shaped grave for Leduc is linked to Vlad Tepes, the real Count Dracula. Fittingly, it’s marked with bats, always in the dark, and has no cross.

(I’m wearing a Jolie dress by Parisian designer Valfre.)

haunted goth pere lachaise vampirologist

If you’re visiting Paris, be sure to wear your finest mourning garments, and hunt for bats and vampires at Père Lachaise.

visit catacombs paris tunnels

For a more morbid attraction, you’ve got to make a pilgrimage to the Catacombs of Paris!

The catacombs can only hold 200 visitors at a time; book a ticket online in advance, or arrive at off-hours to avoid waiting in a long line. A head’s up: you have to walk down 131 steps, and up 112 at the end, so the site may not be accessible for everyone.

paris ossuary haunted scary goth catacomb

It doesn’t get any spookier than this subterranean collection of the dead. The Paris Catacombs hold the skeletal remains of more than six million people!

french drawing history catacombs origins

In the late 1700s, Paris’ cemeteries were over-crowded, and rotting corpses were spilling out. As a solution, officials unearthed, blessed, and stacked mounds of bones in the city’s former limestone mines.

The Goths of the 19th century enjoyed hanging out in this bone repository, as you can see in the drawing above.

human remains skull bones paris underground

As you creep through the Catacombs, you’ll be surrounded by tall stacks of skulls and bones. I felt quite at home among the dead, but the “dry random bits” at the top made me shiver.

catacombs paris deaths stealing skulls

“Dem bones” are rather artfully arranged. Just when you think you’ve reached the end of the tunnel, you’ll step into yet another passage filled with femurs and crania.

creepy paris skull collection catacombs tickets

I learned that only a small area of the Catacombs are open to the public. Some urban explorers known as “Cataphiles” illegally sneak into secret entrances, and hang out in the dangerous restricted zones.

heavy metal rock bars paris france

The ghoulish theme continued that evening at Cantada II, a heavy metal absinthe bar in the 11th arrondissement.

I learned of Cantada II from Anthony Bourdain’s Paris episode (RIP). With blood red walls, and creepy zombie / monster art everywhere, this was my kind of place.

anthony bourdain paris absinthe bar cantadaii

Cantada II has dozens of absinthe bottles from around the world, which you can order on the rocks, in a cocktail, or served with a flaming sugar cube and water drip from a vintage vessel.

cantada ii absinthe bar paris liqueur goth

Don’t expect a ritzy fin-de-siecle environment: Cantada II blasts heavy metal music, and draws in a gritty alternative crowd.

Since I was in Paris, I stuck to French absinthes including La Coquette, and L’Entete. Everything is well priced, and there are beers and spirits as well.

paris gothic cabaret, absinthe bars cantada ii

Creep past the viking skeleton, and enter a crypt that doubles as a performance space. You might encounter burlesque, pole or tribal dancers at “Cabaret du Neant,” or hipster singing hard rock karaoke.

So happy I got to experience Cantada II absinth bar, and all these spooky sites, while traveling in Paris.

sakura cherry blossoms goth punk outfit

Since I’m in a Halloween mood, we’ll end with a few “batty” outfit posts that I hadn’t shared on the blog. Sourpuss Clothing sent me this Gothic bat baseball tee, faux fur leopard print jacket, and black mini-skirt.

sourpuss bat baseball tee tshirt

I paired it with a bone-shaped hair clip, Jeffrey Campbell platforms, and a Miffy purse from Hong Kong. (The Miffy lamp is from Mr Maria.)

goth punk pinup girl clothing

This Sourpuss faux fur cheetah print jacket is a vibe, no? Love animal prints, and the motto on their long-sleeve top: Support your local working stiff, Monster Mortuary!

leopard print faux fur gothic jacket

Release the bats… and bunnies! Here’s the head-to-toe look, which is perfect for fall weather (so happy it’s no longer so hot outside). Hail Miffy, my favorite cute mascot, as you well know.

goth black bucket hat, lack of color

This summer, I didn’t go anywhere without this Lack of Color bucket hat.  The cotton-canvas material is light and foldable, and the black color matches everything. It’s perfect for taking along on a day out, and can be worn with the brim pushed up or down.

synthwave tshirts turboluv retrowave outrun clothes

What I wore to see Perturbator in concert. Top by Turboluv, a synthwave / outrun / retrowave clothing label. The pharoah leggings are by Cryptic Apparel.

laurence and chico cafe furry colorful chairs

I paid a return visit to the Laurence and Chico cafe in downtown Vancouver. This time, I got to sit in a different fuzzy critter chair in the whimsical high fashion cafe.

hail mary's bar vancouver mary kitsch

I also checked out Hail Mary’s Vancouver, a kitschy theme bar with sacrilegious cocktails and Virgin Mary decor all over.

arc du triomphe at night

Adieu to Paris for now… here’s a final look at the Arc du Triomphe, lit up at night.

I hope you enjoyed my spooky, alternative guide to the city. For other tips (including museums, where to stay, and what to eat), you can consult my first Paris travel article here. A bientot, Paris.

the purge season 2 poster god mask usa network

“This is not a test.” I’m truly off to get Purged!

Check out my Instagram @lacarmina posts and stories starting today, to see what I get up to, on the set of The Purge TV show in New Orleans. It’s going to get bloody… and you’re going to love every second of it.


Bangkok Goth & kawaii fashion shops! Morph8ne clothing, drag queen mall, Thailand gay club Maggie Choo’s.

morph8ne clothing bangkok thailand fashion

Don’t be Cross with me… or you might get a stake through the heart!

It’s been a busy few months, and I’ve fallen behind on recapping my Asia travels. As I pray for your forgiveness, I’ll continue with our adventures in Thailand. 

morph8ne goth grunge street fashion label

If you’re looking for Gothic, alternative and experimental fashion in Bangkok, then this post has everything you’ll need. We’ll sashay into a drag queen mall, and work the stage at LGBT club Maggie Choo’s (with RuPaul’s Drag Race Thailand host, Pangina Heals!) 

goth bangkok thailand shop

While in Bangkok, I was delighted to connect with the team at Morph8ne Clothing. They are one of my favorite independent designers (from these spooky elegant photos, you can easily tell why).  

gothic stores shopping bangkok thailand

For a long time, I’ve been online friends with the Morph8ne girls, and loved wearing their clothing around the world. It was a devilish treat to finally met them in Bangkok, Thailand where they are based!

modeling gothic clothing thailand

They kindly invited Yukiro and me to visit their fashion studio (access is by private appointment only), and model their latest designs. 

morph8ne clothing designers

The all-women team is so sweet, and their personal style epitomized the brand. The founder (second from right) is named Morphine, hence the name of the label. The ladies work together on the design and production.

occult witch bangkok thailand

Morph8ne’s design studio is decorated with elegant Gothic flourishes. The walls are adorned with antique portraits, crosses, and haunting artwork. 

outcast street style store bangkok

This rack showed their latest collection at the time: we couldn’t get enough of the purple garments! Morph8ne uniquely combines influences from Japanese Gothic Lolita, grunge, 90s, and pastel Goth — a delectable witches’ brew. 

thailand spooky haunted gothic

I loved seeing Morphine’s creative process at her studio, including mood boards for upcoming wardrobes (which I can’t show you!) Their dark dolly clothing is always made ethically, and in small batches. 

You can browse and purchase designs through Morph8ne’s website — they ship worldwide. They’re also stocked by some Asia boutiques, like Never Mind the Xu in Tokyo, and Outcast street style store in Bangkok.

goth shops stores bangkok

This studio is not open to the public, so I’m grateful that the Morph8ne girls let us take a look behind the scenes. We were captivated by Morphine’s collection of horror oddities, displayed in a glass case at the entrance.

gollum toy collection figurines

Living Dead dolls, skulls, crucifixes… and Gollum.

antique book purse spell book bag

How lovely is this purple-edged Spell Book purse, featuring their heart and cross logo? 

morph8ne goth grunge dress

Next, we got to play dress-up and take photos. I’m wearing a Bad Mood dress, featuring red ribbon tie straps and the adorably emo heart character. 

purple faux fur jacket pants

Yukiro went for an ultraviolet look. Morph8ne uses textures fabulously, from faux fur to sheer panels and accent patches. 

giant cross crucifix vampire goth girl

Cheeky ruffled heart patches on the back of my red Madly miniskirt… they double as pockets.

morph8ne heart pants bad mood

Bringing on the darkness, with a crop top (check out the trailing ribbon sleeve detailing) and one-of-a-kind heart cut out pants. 

morphine stores studio thailand goth

If you like what you see, you can find these Gothic-girly fashions on Morph8ne’s web store. The prices are incredibly reasonable for the high quality and originality of the pieces, and we encourage you to support these lovely ladies. 

bangkok thailand goths alternative punk

To quote their latest collection: “Sisterhood is forever whether you like it or not.” 

Thank you Morph8ne for opening your dark hearts to us! 

maggie choo's gay nightclub bangkok

We encountered more fab fashion… at the most decadent gay and drag club in Bangkok, Maggie Choo’s. When you step in, you’ll be greeted by muscled, shirtless men in turbans swinging from the rafters. 

The nightclub looks like an opium den with 19th century style lamps, velvet curtains, and Grecian marble bust statues. The venue holds a variety of live performances and dance parties. However, we came for Maggie Choo’s famous Sunday night drag queen party. 

pangina heals, thailand rupaul drag race host

Every Sunday, you can see the best Thai drag queens strut the stage, and entertain the crowd with sassy banter. The drag show is hosted in both English and Thai by the vivacious Pangina Heals, the host of “RuPaul’s Drag Race Thailand” TV show. 

drag performers ladyboys bangkok

Thailand is known for its next-level drag queens — and at Maggie Choo’s, the performers truly brought it. The fashion and lip-synching were top class; Yukiro was surprised when this Gothic queen performed an obscure track, Malena Ernman’s Tragedy song. which he also uses in his shows. 

“Here comes the tragedy, The sound of agony, The tears you love to cry, The pain that wants no remedy…”

thailand drag queen shows performances

We’ll never forget this rousing rendition of Sia’s “Titanium.” This queen wrapped herself in a plastic tube, which protected her from objects that others threw at her… talk about symbolism at its funniest!

pangina heals thai drag queen, maggie choo's club

Pangina Heals performed with powerful energy and charm, demonstrating why she’s the host of the Thailand RuPaul’s Drag Race TV show. Between sets, she entertains the crowd with banter. If you can name the disco tune that the DJ plays, Pangina will invite you onstage to do a shot with her.

On a Sunday night, Maggie Choo’s is the LGBT club to be in Bangkok.  

lgbt clubs bangkok thailand

Where do Bangkok’s showgirls and drag performers get their wild wardrobes? The secret spot is Watergate Mall, which looks like a small and unimpressive shopping center. 

watergate mall bangkok thailand

However, when you walk inside, you’ll be bombarded by feathers and glitter! Nicknamed the “drag mall,” Watergate Bangkok has several floors of small shops, filled with flamboyant creations by locals.

drag queen dresses bangkok
Be sure to visit Hutcha, a talented Bangkok designer. Admire his mannequins, who are dressed in mermaid dresses with gauzy ruffs. (Not sure how you’d get through the doorway, in some of these ballgowns!)

costumes showgirls clothing bangkok

Hutcha can also custom-make a garment in any style you please (how about a space pirate suit?) 

bangkok headdresses thai shopping

Walk around Watergate Mall, and you’ll find all sorts of showy garments. Admire the traditional Thai theater costumes, or shop for holographic jumpsuits.

gold thai headpieces crowns

You’ll be overwhelmed by the options for glitzing up your wardrobe. Bargaining is welcome, at accessories and headdresses stores like this one. 

goth queen skull crown

Watergate Mall is an excellent place to find costume jewelry, and experimental pieces such as headpieces covered in spikes. Or how about this crown decorated with a skull and cobwebs? 

drag queen dresses bangkok

The prices vary widely. Yukiro got this purple dressing gown with trailing sleeves for a steal. Other items, such as this glittery military gown, can be $1000+.

thailand crazy accessories hats

Those giant earrings look like they’d be a pain to wear… but that’s the price of fab fashion, isn’t it? 

siam discovery mall interior design

For fashion that’s less “out-there” but till outstanding, I recommend heading to Siam Paragon and Siam Discovery malls. This is my favorite spot to see Thai indie clothing all in one place. 

ecotopia eco fashion boutiques bangkok

Ascend to the upper levels and wander through Ecotopia. This department is all about ethical and eco-friendly goods. I eyed the organic cotton dresses and home products, and took home a few packets of local herbal curry. 

little twin stars scarves

Cross over to Siam Center, and you’ll be confronted by a variety of cute, hip fashion geared towards younger shoppers. 

hello kitty scarf, bangkok shop

This scarf store had a collaboration with Sanrio. There’s a limited edition “sawasdee” Hello Kitty shawl, as well as some featuring Little Twin Stars and Moomin. 

jelly bunny shoe bags store thailand

Those who love playful fashion will adore Jelly Bunny, a local line of kitschy shoes and purses. When you walk in, you’ll be welcomed by a large, sparkling pastel-pink rabbit statue. 

space rocket astronaut purses bags

Jelly Bunny has a huge range of “jelly” shoes, the malleable style that was big in the 90s. I was tempted to get one of their space-inspired holographic purses, shaped like astronauts or sleepy crescent moons. 

flynow eccentric fashion bangkok

Don’t miss out on the psychedelic Flynow store, also in Siam Center. You’ll run into colorful lions and bears dressed in the funky designer’s clothing.  

thailand weird experimental clothing fly now

Flynow’s designs stand out for being high-end – the brand presents at Bangkok Fashion Week – yet playful, with a pop-culture bent. The experimental garments include rainbow dresses, and bedazzled jeans with cartoon character faces. 

pink pvssy accessories store thailand

We also enjoyed roaming through Pink Pvssy, a quirky accessories store with multiple locations. Pink Pvssy carries every accessory you can imagine, from giant bead necklaces to 3D lion’s-head backpacks. You can even pick up a human-sized inflatable alien!

bloody bunny thailand rabbit

Finally, we popped into Bloody Bunny and Friends cafe. This Thai mascot is a mix between cute and frightening: note the bloodshot eyes, bent stitched ear and knife. 

cute characters theme cafe bangkok

Bloody Bunny’s friends are similarly spooky-cute. Get to know a growling, frowning bear (Serious Kuma) and a raven dressed like a plague doctor. This is a great place to pick up adorable themed goods, such as notebooks and toys. 

bloody bunny themed cafe

Then, head to the Bloody Bunny theme cafe. You can sip a red slushy, or munch on snacks served in bowls with his evil eyes.

touring bird tours activities travel tips writing

I hope you found these dark and alternative Bangkok tips helpful — or at least, frightful!

I also wrote about many of these places for Touring Bird, the new Google Area120 travel tips site. You can find all my Touring Bird tips for Bangkok here, as well as my underground guides for other cities worldwide.

(If you’re heading to Thailand, I contributed Touring Bird tips for Hua Hin, Krabi, and Ko Samui — plus many other major destinations in Asia. Thanks for checking out my writing on Google’s new travel website!)