Night Queen and Chanel Teaming Up?

By Maggie

Did Chanel take a trip into the Nightmare Realm for the Fall-Winter 2018/19 Ready-to-Wear Show?? I see feathers. I see fur and chains. I see stars twinkling on midnight dresses.  And I see a dark wood masked by mist.

And OMG, I see HER in the audience??!! The Night Queen!! In that horrid (amazing) dress! The bodice of animal bones, the hem of matted fur, but this time the fabric is blacker than midnight. And rising above it all that terrifying crown of ram’s horns tipped with jet black stones. Only Chanel could emulate a look like that!

Plunged into Darkness? Make a Water Bottle Lantern

By Tanya

I am far from understanding exactly how yet, but the Nightmare Realm seems to disrupt electricity.  The Night Queen arrives, and suddenly, it’s lights out. Maggie says, “Duh, T.  She is the Queen of NIGHT.  She can make it night whenever she wants. Stop overthinking it!” (Like overthinking is a bad thing… )

Regardless, there’s a simple hack to light up that room plunged into darkness.  Just shine a flashlight into a water bottle.  The light refracts off the water and expands the light’s reach.  Check it out:

Cake Creatures and Cakes That Reveal Creature

By Rebecca

I am completely enamored with the cakes of Akiko White, cakelustrator [external link:].  Using cake and sugar as the medium, she creates edible art!  She learned baking from her grandmother like I learned baking from my Nai Nai!

Some of you may have read about our adventure with a certain hairy, sharp-toothed creature and the cake we baked to reveal him.  THAT cake did not look like this amazing cake from Akiko White, but her cake does look a little like our Nightmare Realm creature…


By Clio

“Vintage engraving from 1753 of the mother, the nurse and the fairy. From the Fables of John Gay.”

Giving a shout-out to Professor D. L. Ashliman, Professor Emeritus of German at the University of Pittsburgh and a leading expert on folklore and fairytales. I dug deep into all his gathered information on changelings

There are legends from Northern Europe to North Africa that elves, fairies, or demons could take a baby or child away with them and leave a creature in its place. Professor Ashliman theorizes that the legend was a way for families to explain a child suffering from an unknown illness. The methods to reveal the changeling (and hopefully get the real child returned) were, well, BRUTAL. While I do love the past and all, I’m really glad we don’t live in a time where any of those seem like a good idea!

It was from Professor Ashliman’s many sources that we discovered several ways to identify a changeling including: hairy hands, pointed sharp teeth, huge appetite, unusual screaming and crying, and odd appearances of nature indoors. 

Our BIGGEST THANKS go to him for the only non-violent way to expose a changeling’s identity. You might need this method. Read about in Babysitting Nightmares: The Shadow Hand

Here is some other cool info on the legends of the British Isles and Ireland.

Great Horned Owl: The Night Queen’s Companion

By Tanya

We were all wondering why the Night Queen wore a mantle of Great Horned Owl feathers and leaves one of its feathers as a calling card. I cued up this trailer for a CBC documentary, and now I get it. The words they use to describe the owl are: silent, powerful, mysterious, formidable, predator, and rarely seen. Yup, that pretty much sums up the Night Queen.

Lighting Up the Night: Black Light Hack

By Tanya

Whether you are in pursuit of creatures of the Night Realm or not, the woods at night are filled with magic — you just need the right light to see it. When you look at the woods with a black light, it can appear that someone has gone through the woods marking trees with highlighter markers. (Don’t give Rebecca the idea of highlighting trees! She loves to highlight everything in different colors, everything perfectly color coded by subject.) 

You may see a glow on trees and logs because many lichens will fluoresce when exposed to UV light (black light). Google image search “Ultraviolet lichen” to be wowed. Scientists have yet to figure out why certain lichens contain fluorescent chemicals. Maybe I’ll discover it someday. Maybe you will.

The very first creature we met from the Nightmare Realm was made up of decaying organic matter. (No, Maggie, not like zombies!) I am talking about rotting wood with… lichen. So when you are lichen hunting, watch out for lichen that is moving.

Check out this hack for turning your phone into a black light. I use this hack on my LED headlamp so that I can project black light onto trees hands-free.