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Christmas Gift Guide
Culture

Creepy face candles grin at you as they melt

Sculptor Anna Sternik makes candles that look so uncannily like human faces that you may think twice about lighting the wick.

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These candles may look like real faces, but they won't scream when they melt. Uncanny Art Shop

UK-based artist Anna Sternik makes the kind of candles that melt in our nightmares. Her realistic face candles are so disturbing that we wonder how people might use them other than for Halloween.

Turn a romantic candle-lit dinner into an ominous gesture fit for Hannibal Lecter. Or better yet, try taking a soothing bubble bath with these ghoulish faces grinning at you as they melt.

The "Bodily Candles" designs include a face with mouth and teeth, showing a happy or disgusted expression, and just a faceless head with ears for approximately $18 (about £12 or AU$23).

The candles, sold via Sternik's Uncanny Art Shop on Etsy, are all 2.3 inches (about 6 cm) tall and are made from a soybean vegetable wax called EcoSoya. "I chose soybean wax because it is important for me to create products which are vegan, eco-friendly and safe for my customers," Sternik told Crave.

Sternik's candles were inspired by psychology icon Dr. Sigmund Freud and by Dadaism. "Inspiration for my art is rooted in the concept of bodily fragmentation deriving from psychoanalysis," Sternik explained. "I find Freud's notion of the 'uncanny' (hence the name of my shop) especially influential."

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You can get candles with mouths that look like they're wearing lipstick, if you prefer. Uncanny Art Shop

"My creations are in general quite horrific as the substantial body form is being challenged, but bodily fragmentation creates a sublime experience which allows the spectator to cross certain borders of the perception of the human body," Sternik added. "[T]hat is why a melting face can be both creepy and entertaining."

As eerily realistic as the candles may appear, they at least smell nice. The candles are available in many scents, such as chamomile, chocolate, frankincense, grapefruit and orange.

Of all the candles that Sternik has made, the one she loved the most doesn't even have a face. "[T]he one with ears is in my opinion the uncanniest -- or at least the most peculiar -- of them all due to the lack of facial features," Sternik told Crave. "It is quite misleading; it seems so calm and fragile, but who knows, maybe it has sharp teeth hidden underneath?"

If these styles of face candles aren't eerie enough for you, Sternik promises more designs are on the way for her Etsy store. "I am currently developing a whole new range of bodily candles which will be ready within the next two to three weeks," Sternik told Crave. "There is going to be a lot of variety and I can assure you -- the new candles are going to be even creepier."

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This candle is all ears. Uncanny Art Shop