Well my brother and his family are now south in the Santa Cruz area enjoying their Memorial weekend vacation, one of many that they are planning to take. In a way I’m a little jealous, it would be nice to have a Gypsy Wagon to travel here and there, but we also have to be realistic. But we know they arrived safely Thursday evening after taking the long route there to avoid the steep climb of Highway 17 which has destroyed more than one vehicle’s transmission.
I swear I think May should be World Goth Month or have at least World Goth Week from May 22 (which is World Goth Day) through the traditional Memorial Day May 31, that way we can also encompass the three birthdays of our Three Gentlemen of Terror Peter Cushing, Vincent Prince and Christopher Lee as well as the date when “Dracula” was published for the first time and saw the ‘light of day’ in print.
It seems to make sense to me to do that.
I mean look at it May 22 World Goth Day
May 26 Peter Cushing’s Birthday
May 26 Dracula published 1897
May 27 Vincent Price’s Birthday
May 27 Christopher Lee’s Birthday
Followed by Memorial Day in the United States to remember those who fought for Freedom.
Of course Dracula by Stoker was not the first Vampire novel, that goes to John Polidori who wrote “The Vampyre” based upon notes by Lord Byron although it was Polidori who introduced the concept of charm being deadly, this was followed in the 1850’s by “Varney the Vampire or the Feast of Blood” then in 1871 by Le Fanu’s “Carmilla”. but it was Stoker’s Dracula who defined its modern form, and the novel has spawned numerous theatrical, film, and television interpretations.
This is the 1899 American edition of Dracula.
The novel ends 7 years later with Jonathan and Mina’s son listening to them recounting their adventures but a small section was removed from the original final chapter, in which Dracula's castle falls apart as he dies, hiding the fact that vampires were ever there.
It went as follows:
“As we looked there came a terrible convulsion of the earth so that we seemed to rock to and fro and fell to our knees. At the same moment with a roar which seemed to shake the very heavens the whole castle and the rock and even the hill on which it stood seemed to rise into the air and scatter in fragments while a mighty cloud of black and yellow smoke volume on volume in rolling grandeur was shot upwards with inconceivable rapidity.
Then there was a stillness in nature as the echoes of that thunderous report seemed to come as with the hollow boom of a thunder-clap - the long reverberating roll which seems as though the floors of heaven shook. Then down in a mighty ruin falling whence they rose came the fragments that had been tossed skywards in the cataclysm.
From where we stood it seemed as though the one fierce volcano burst had satisfied the need of nature and that the castle and the structure of the hill had sunk again into the void. We were so appalled with the suddenness and the grandeur that we forgot to think of ourselves.”
— Deleted excerpt from the original Dracula manuscript
Stoker was even considering giving the title of his manuscript “The Undead” but instead changed it to the name of his anti-hero.
A nephew of Stoker did write a sequel to the original story, but it was not well received. So it is fitting that the last full week of May at least should be considered at least World Goth Week and have some sort of celebration, after all the First of May is kicked off with Walpurgis Night which is the 30th of April or May Eve and that is when Witches and Evil things wander the land.
Sis, Doyle, Brian and I did our mini-celebration watching films that featured our favorite trio of Terror, and we are finishing it tonight with 3 movies tonight, Horror of Dracula, Madhouse and that sendup “House of the Long Shadows” which also includes John Carradine who also played Dracula at least twice. Although this film was considered a disappointment by critics, it doesn’t matter to us, we are in it for the enjoyment and on this very warm evening we are going to watch it outside on the screen enclosed back porch while we are having ice cream for dessert. But I also have on hand extra ice cream as well as soft drinks because I know our other neighbors are going to be peeking over the fence and want to join us and why not, the more the merrier I always say.
But next year I am going to carefully mark that week on my next Calendar perhaps even plan on doing a “Black Feast” for it and invited a few friends to dress up in their vampire or Goth best. It is something worth planning for.
And now I must go, I have to make sure that Doyle and Brian place the T.V. screen in the right place.