Here’s a lesson in not taking things on face value, and about time too, especially nowadays as we’re saturated with images and videos, because sometimes, you need someone to come along and show you not everything is as it seems.
Like this piece of creepy art, which reveals sinister layers the longer you stare at it. A bit like my Tinder profile tbqh.
On first impressions it looks like a busier time of day in a world similar to Nighthawks, the 1942 Edward Hopper painting that depicts a quiet downtown diner scene. But on closer inspection, there’s more darker things going on in this creepy restaurant.
Let’s take a closer look. There’s way too much going on to just be looking at a close up of only a part of the picture:
Before we start playing Who Saw The Most Messed Up Stuff, let’s take a minute to appreciate the work of the artist, Jeff Lee Johnson, who produced this mind-fudgery in just three days, Buzzfeed reports. I couldn’t draw a stick-man in three days.
Johnson was given a brief for ‘a seemingly normal but actually horrific scene within a rail car diner in Lovecraft’s fictional town of Arkham, Massachusetts, for Fantasy Flight Games’ The Investigators of Arkham Horror: Tales of Adventure and Madness.
So let’s start playing. The first ‘that’s not right’ for me, were the tentacles coming out of the mother’s sleeve wrapping around the little boy’s arm. Something about ‘Stranger Danger’ that gets drilled into you as a kid which never leaves, I suppose.
And what’s that behind them, a bleeding knife or a bloody pie? Hmm… wonder what that tastes like. Could actually go for some coffee and cake right now.
Bloody hell indeed, the chap in the background has got tentacles coming out of his face. Is that a sign of how good the pie is in this place? If so, send me a slice.
Pan out a little bit and you see the skull in the cup of whatver that reddish brown beverage is supposed to be. A bit too bloody for my liking. Milk, no sugar, thanks. Sweet enough.
On the left-hand side of the scene, a blind man is reading a newspaper. What? My brain is melting at this point. He’s got a stick and those blacked out glasses, which means he has to be blind? I got a GCSE in Drama, I know what Chekhov’s gun is, if that chap wasn’t blind they wouldn’t be there. But how is he reading?!
Hang about, that bloke’s throat’s all weird, too! At first, it looks like someone’s hands are strangling the guy but, phew, deep breaths, it’s all okay. It’s just gills. Everything’s fine. Blind fish dude is cool. He can read, and he’s chowing down on a plate of eyeballs and fingers. Bleurgh!
I can’t cope. I need to go to the toilet. Or restroom as it’s called around these parts.
There’s a bloody hand on the door. And Christ, what’s that under the counter with all the eyes and the tentacles?!
The perspective of the piece is all skewed which kind of makes me feel nauseous and much like my GCSE Drama exam, I realise I’ve hit my 500 words and finish by saying, I think this piece is dead good because, all the things I said earlier.
I give this creepy picture the same grade I got: A*. Let me know if there’s anything I missed.
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Tim Horner is a sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated with a BA Journalism from University College Falmouth before most his colleagues were born. A previous editor of adult mags, he now enjoys bringing the tone down in the viral news sector.