Hey. Hey you. It’s Halloween. You should be drunk right now. I know I am.
This is the world’s best holiday ever for all time. Do you know why? Because it has absolutely no moralizing behind it, no religious connotations to get people all riled up (Ok, dipshits-who-claim-pagans-might-get-offended: false. In no way is our contemporary candy-toting costume-donning concept of ‘Halloween’ part of the canonical practices of modern neopaganism. It’s not worshiping the devil, it’s not glorifying evil spirits, it’s not going to see fucking Paranormal Activity 3 and pretending you think hand-held camera shit is still scary. It’s a goddamn harvest festival/new year celebration. Read some Golden Bough, get educated and let me finish. Thank you).
Now you don’t normally think sexual scandal when you think Halloween. Unless you count what the coeds are wearing these days an affront to morality YES I DO but otherwise the biggest controversy seems to stem from shitty slasher movies and kids getting drugs in candy. Not sexy.
WELL THINK A-FUCKING-GAIN BITCHEZ, CAUSE I JUST SPENT ABOUT HALF AN HOUR GOOGLING AS MANY PEOPLE CONNECTED TO CLASSIC HORROR AS I COULD REMEMBER. Cause that’s what we’re about here at for shame!—class(ic).
Boom. Salacious bullet points:
Mary Shelly– Wrote Frankenstein, fucking tragically beautiful, read it, tears. Also had SO MUCH premarital sex with Percy Bysshe Shelly, who was already married when they met, and totally stayed married through the conception of two of his and Mary’s three children, a trip to the Continent, and like two years. Mary met Percy when she was 17 and they started banging almost immediately, and when she got preggers, her dad kind of didn’t want anything to do with her, and she and her boytoi were super poor for a while. Then Percy’s wife committed suicide, they got hitched, Mary thought up Frankenstein, had two more kids, moved to Italy, had two kids die, had Percy die, got rull sad, had a bunch of suitors (including WASHINGTON IRVING WHO WROTE THE HEADLESS HORSESMAN SO MANY HORRIFYING CONNECTIONS), then died. Ta-da! That’s somebody’s life in a paragraph.
Edgar Allen Poe – Hey, guess what this guy did. Married his cousin. She was 13. He was 36. Whatever, different strokes.
Wilkie Collins– Great gothic writer, most notable for The Woman in White, which is weird and creepy andkingdofdragsinpartsbuttotallypicks up at the end! He was a big ol’ drug addict who shacked up with a surprising number of women for a guy who had laudanum-induced visions of his own doppelganger that followed him around who called ‘Ghost Wilkie.’ When he was 32, he started living with this
courgar widow named Caroline Graves, but six years later, he left his bangmaid for a much younger slice named Martha Rudd, who he knocked up three times in three years. Girl was fertile. Caroline took out her earrings and told Martha she better back the fuck ahWAY, and that Wilkie had to choose. Turns out, he didn’t actually make an honest woman out of either of them, though he chose Martha for a time, then rekindled his flame with Caroline, two years after she married some lameo names Joseph Clow. But he was also still nailing Martha. Git it Wilkie, git it.
F.W. Murnau– The German expressionist film director who first put the Dracula story on the silver screen in his 1922 film, Nosferatu (turns our Bram Stoker was an ‘upstanding citizen’ and didn’t leave behind piles of dirty laundry for me to shift through). He was a big gay. Like a BIG GAY. He was open about his sexuality in the teens and twenties in Germany, and luckily(?) he died before Hitler came to power, so I imagine his life to have essentially been the musical Cabaret.
William Seabrook– An adventurer and writer of the Lost Generation, he traveled extensively in Africa and lived with various indigenous tribes for extended periods, publishing his findings on their rituals and religious practices. In 1929 he published the first short story in English to mention ‘zombies,’ about voodoo cults in Haiti called The Magic Island. He was also an occultist, alcoholic and a cannibal!!!!!!!1 In 1935 he married fellow writer Marjorie Muir Worthington, a friend since their days chilling in 1920s Paris with Aldous Huxley, Alice Tolkas, Gertrude Stein, Hemingway, the Fitzgeralds, Sinclair Lewis, etc. Why she picked Seabrook out of that bumper crop lord only knows, but they soon divorced after it became apparent his alcohol abuse and sadist sexual tendencies would never allow them to have a healthy relationship. He died of a drug overdose in 1945, before the prions that grow in the brains of people who eat human flesh could turn his lobes into swiss cheese.
The Lon Chaneys– Lon Chaney Sr. and Jr. were two of the best known horror-movie actors of the 20th century. Sr. was a little more discriminating than his son in his choice of B-picture roles, but is arguably most famous for The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Phantom of the Opera. Jr., one of my favorites in the monster-movie tradition, got his big break in the 1941 Wolfman (not that piece of shit with Academy Award Winner Benicio Del Torro), and continued through a long career of z-grade horror schlock. Shit got real with the Chaneys (but not that real, not incestual-sodomy real, don’t worry. I know you were worried). Sr. married his wife, Cleva Creighton, when she was a sweet, applecheeked 16 year old
stripper cabaret singer, because he sort of kind of got her pregnant (there’s a lot of that going on in this post). Their only child was Jr., and 10 years into the marriage, she very publicly tried to kill herself. By drinking straight poison. Sr. promptly took the ring off it, then told his impressionable young son YOUR MOM IS DEAD. But wait, SHE WASN’T ACTUALLY MOTHERFUCKING DEAD, SHE HAD SURVIVED AND MOVED TO ALBEQUERQUE OR SOME OTHER SHITHOLE. When he was an adult, Jr. himself got a d-i-v-r-o-r-c-e, then promptly (as in the same year) remarried, so who knows if it was because he and his wife were driven apart by the rampant alcoholism that eventually killed him, his famously volatile temper, because he found true love, or was having an affair. It certainly wasn’t because he couldn’t have a normal relationship with women because his mother tried to commit suicide to escape her sham of a marriage, and then his father told him she was dead. Yeah, who knows.
(And thank you to the friends and loyal readers over at my mid-sized east-coast liberal-arts college’s improv troupe, who I shamelessly stole the title from. THANKS GUYZ!!!!!1)