Hints From Hel(l)oise — Practical Help for Housewives From the Dark Side

by Janine Annett

Image via Pixabay

Image via Pixabay

Dear Helloise, 

Recently my home office has begun to smell really strange. It’s kind of a musty smell, but also smells a bit like sulfur, and maybe... brimstone? I’m not even sure what brimstone really is. Anyway, do you have any hints on how I could get rid of the smell?

Sincerely,
Must-Not

Dear Must-Not,

I suggest you try putting out a dish of uncovered baking soda, maybe with a few drops of essential oil in it. Try dusting and cleaning the room, and running a dehumidifier. If that doesn't work, try making a sacrifice to the Dark Lord. That ought to do the trick.

Yours,
Helloise

~~~

Dear Helloise,

Recently, I brought home an oil painting from a yard sale, which I purchased for $6.66. I thought the price on the painting was kind of a strange amount, but a bargain’s a bargain, so I paid up (in cash — another odd thing was that the seller asked if I wanted to pay "in cash or blood." I just thought maybe he had a strange sense of humor). So the problem is the painting seems to be... moving on its own, and sometimes I swear the eyes in the portrait are following me. Also, it seems like it could use a good cleaning. Any advice on how to clean this painting and make it seem maybe a little less possessed?

Sincerely,
Paint by Number of the Beast

Dear Paint by,

Many experts actually suggest using human spit to gently clean oil paintings. This is a step in the right direction, but in this case, I think your first mistake was not paying in blood. You'll be paying in blood now, though. It must be the blood of another human being. It's up to you whether to actually kill the other human being or just severely maim him or her — maybe try maiming first, and if that doesn't work, you may have to try killing. I'm afraid the blood of an animal just won't do the trick. Once you bathe the painting in human blood, using a clean, damp washcloth under the light of a full moon, your painting should look shiny and bright and will stop moving around on its own. 

Yours,
Helloise

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Dear Helloise,

I’m having a devil of a time getting candle wax stains out of my home altar! I’ve tried everything — but the wax won’t budge. Hell-p!

Sincerely,
Stuck On You

Dear Stuck,

You didn't specify whether your altar was made of marble, wood, or another substance, but the general rules of removing hardened wax should still apply. First, make sure you've set up your pentagram correctly. So many people skip this important first step, thinking it's really not necessary — but it is. Go back and re-draw your pentagram in the ash from charred bones. Next, try melting some of the wax using a hair dryer, or perhaps an incantation to Satan. Once the wax is melted, either by hair dryer or Satan himself, use a dull knife to scrape up some of the wax. Your altar should be good as new in no time! 

Yours,
Helloise

~~~

Dear Helloise,

With Halloween just around the corner, I was wondering if you had any tips on how to get blood out of fabric.

Sincerely,
Devil May Care About Preserving Ceremonial Robes

Dear Devil May Care,

First of all, I always recommend you check the tags on your new ceremonial robes to make sure they aren't labeled "dry clean only." Your dry cleaner may be able to handle small spots of blood, but may look askance at large splotches — or worse yet, use the wrong solvents, permanently setting the stain and ruining your garment. Another tip: If you're making your own robes out of animal skins, you can try using a fabric and upholstery protector like Scotch Guard to make them more resistant to blood stains. If you do get a blood stain on your robe, don't fret! Assuming the material is machine washable, try applying detergent or stain remover directly to the stain. Blot, don't rub. Let it soak in cold water for a minimum of 30 minutes. Then bury it in a mixture of salt, human hair, and your own fingernail clippings in the dirt of a fresh grave. Come back in 28 days, dig it up, and voila! Your stains should be gone. 

Yours,
Helloise

 

Janine Annett has been published in various online and print outlets, including a recent essay as part of Akashic Book's "Terrible Twosdays" series, and is currently working on writing picture books. She lives just outside of New York City with her husband, son, and very old cat. Follow Janine on Twitter and on Facebook