Thursday, November 8, 2012

"I am here to do Your bidding, Master. I am Your slave..."

So you thought Hallowe'en was over? That you could coast for a little while before the next big holiday was upon you? That you could safely pack up and put away your spooky decorations?


Today is the birthday of Bram Stoker, the Irish novelist best known for his novel, Dracula. Stoker was born on November 8, 1847 in Clontarf, Ireland. Bedridden until the age of seven, he made a complete recovery and grew up without any further major health issues. He even became an athlete.  He graduated with a B.A. in Mathematics from Trinity College in Dublin.

After marrying Florence Balcombe (a former girlfriend of  Oscar Wilde) in 1878, the Stokers moved to London, where Bram became acting manager and then business manager of Lyceum Theatre, where he worked for 27 years. Sir Henry Irving was a stage actor and manager of Lyceum Theatre, and friend of Bram's. Working for Irving afforded Stoker to travel the world, including trips to the United States, where he met two American presidents, William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. It was while working at the Lyceum Theatre that Stoker wrote his most famous novel. It is believed that meeting Ármin Vámbéry, a Hungarian writer and traveler and his dark stories of the Carpathian mountains that sparked the idea for Dracula. Stoker spent several years researching European folklore and mythological stories of vampires after meeting the Hungarian.

Stoker died in 1912 and was cremated. After the death of his son, Noel Broker, he, too, was cremated and his ashes added to those of his father's. The urn is on display in Golders Green Crematorium, in London.

Today, to celebrate, rent or buy one of the many movie versions of Dracula. The classic, of course, is the 1931 Bela Lugosi Dracula, but the one closer to the Stoker novel might be the more recent Gary Oldman's Dracula. Of course, the fact that Keanu Reeves is in this version also helps! ;)

Dress up in black cape, fake vampire teeth and slick back your hair.

Play creepy music. I actually got my friends in the mood for Day of the Dead crafts by playing Nox Arcana.

There are many Hallowe'en dishes that would do, especially anything that appears to bleed. Red wine or red grape juice is a MUST!

If you are too pooped to party, then tuck in with a copy of the book. Bram Stoker wrote many more stories than just Dracula, so be sure to look for a few while you're at it!

Whatever you do, prepared to have trouble sleeping later! <insert evil laughter here!>

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