Horror Inspired Social Distancing Making the Headlines

Most of the world has now had a few weeks to adjust to the idea of social distancing and learn about the best practices for protecting themselves and their communities from coronavirus. Hand washing, quarantine orders and closure of public places has become the norm. While policy makers and medical establishments struggle with how to instruct the public on intimacy versus isolation during this health crisis, a few horror fans have used their favourite movies as inspiration to fight the illness. Here are a few from around the web that caught our attention. 

German artist Lady Frankenstein drew inspiration from a sci-fi horror classic when it came to designing her own facemask. Some countries have recently introduced laws making the wearing of medical masks mandatory, Even where this is not official in law, it is becoming a more common sight to encounter people venturing outside with their faces covered. But there is a worldwide shortage of these masks, and health authorities are concerned that public stockpiling could risk the supply of this vital equipment to hospitals where it is most needed. As a result, many people have tried making a face mask at home from recycled fabrics. But this artist took this to another level, and it looks seriously awesome. The scary looking mask recreates the facehuggers from the Alien franchise. It’s scaled down a little from the film to make it more comfortable to wear, but just as creepy. Anyone wearing this would probably not find social distancing difficult as everyone would probably flee in terror! 

Another story we loved was that of Florida lawyer Daniel Uhlfelder. Florida residents have been debating whether beaches in the area should be allowed to remain open amid concerns about the spread of the virus. While some beaches are open to allow for exercise, beachgoers have been criticized for using them as a place to sunbathe and socialise in large groups. Uhlfelder was alarmed by the seeming lack of regard for social distancing advice and wanted to do something to scare folks into realising the risk they could be taking. 

He plans to tour Florida beaches from early May dressed as the grim reaper with the goal of spooking the locals away from the seafront. It bears a resemblance to New Zealand’s public service character the infamous ‘Swim Reaper’ who terrified children into learning to swim in a series of dark short films. This isn’t the lawmakers first public awareness campaign – he recently dressed in full HazMat gear to warn citizens about the risks of not following social distancing advice. This one is just a little spookier however, as is designed to also target authorities he feels are reopening the beaches too early. 

“I understand the pressure because it’s such a big part of our revenue. But, we need to get back to normal quickly, and I think reopening prematurely is going to prolong this.” he explained. “That’s why I’m doing things that are kind of unorthodox. You now have a trial lawyer wearing a Grim Reaper costume on the beach. That’s not normal, but these are not normal times.”

Hopefully this campaign will scare sunbathers into considering if their beach visits are essential. 

The last story of the week that we loved is the unofficial competition between museums to find the world’s creepiest artifacts and exhibits. As the majority of museums are currently closed, curators have taken to Twitter to share some of the bizarre items in their collections.  Yorkshire Museum launched a weekly #curatorbattle on social media, kicking off with an unsettling hairpiece from ancient Rome. The National Museums of Scotland responded by sharing a bizarre taxidermy ‘mermaid’ with a frightening grin. 

Soon museums across the world were sharing their exhibits. Historic plauge doctor masks, deformed Victorian children’s toys and even a sinister execution mask popped up to join the campaign, resulting in some very creepy photos for readers to enjoy. Some other horrifying highlights included a box of glass eyeballs, vintage childrens costumes and severed body parts used as good luck charms. 

We urge you to browse through some of the entries on the #CURATORBATTLE hashtag and check out these fascinating scary artifacts.