August 30th is Frankenstein Day, a date that honors the classic novel by Mary Shelley, as well as her birthday. To commemorate this annual event, I thought it would be fun to share some ways we can all pay tribute. There may not be a time machine to transport us to 1818 (the year the book was released) to chat with the author, but why not use the imagination to bring to life our own monstrous creations! Here’s how you can celebrate Frankenstein Day.
Concoct a Frankenstein-Inspired Cocktail
What better way to kick off the list than with an adult beverage to toast this horror-filled day? Pinterest alone offers a nice variety. Here are links to some of the best ones I have come across, but feel free to do a search of your own as well, as there are many options.
Sour Frankenstein Cocktail: This cocktail is basically a cucumber margarita and is perfect if you’re short on time, but still want to get creative.
Frankenstein Halloween Cocktail: The vodka-based drink calls for the use of gummy eyeballs and black sugar.
Bride of Frankenstein Cocktail: Raise a glass to the Creature’s bride with this refreshment that is made with a splash of the bubbly.
Freaky Frankenstein Cocktail: This is from The Purple Pumpkin Blog, and the color of the drink is also purple. It’s an apple vodka concoction and includes an apple liqueur, a melon liqueur, lemon sparkling water and black food coloring.
The Frankenstein Drink-Green Halloween Cocktail: The recipe comes from the site Cocktails With Class and uses Crystal Head vodka. On the website, it appears to be a shot served in one of the brand’s skull glasses, but of course you can use the alcohol of your choice and serve it in some sort of spooky glassware. Other ingredients include blue curacao, orange juice and pineapple juice.
Frankenstein the Cocktail: This libation from First Pour Cocktails calls for egg whites, tequila, mezcal and a slew of other goodies. It’s served in a tall Collins glass and looks quite distinguished with the white froth sitting atop the green liquid.
Revive the Creature on the Small Screen
There are countless film adaptations of Frankenstein that you could easily spend the day watching (and writing a blog post about), and more continue to be made. Here are just a handful that are my favorites. Get some friends together and have a movie marathon!
There’s no way I cannot suggest this classic. This is the mother of all Frankenstein movie adaptations. Directed by James Whale and starring Boris Karloff as the monster, this version is based both on Mary Shelley’s novel and the play by British writer Peggy Webling. As if that’s not enough reason to watch it, it was also inducted into the National Film Registry in 1991 for being historically significant. Also, Midsummer Scream 2022 featured a panel titled The Original Monster Kids, which included the daughter of Boris Karloff, Sara. Read about it here.
I absolutely love Tim Burton’s take on the horror story. The black and white stop-motion film is a remake of the director’s 1984 short film of the same name. This tale follows a boy named Victor who loses his dog Sparky when he’s hit by a car. After seeing his science teacher demonstrate the effect of electricity on a dead frog, he’s determined to attempt resurrecting his deceased pooch. Winona Ryder and Catherine O’ Hara are among the actors lending their voices to bring this fun and heartwarming movie to life.
A Netflix Original: The Frankenstein Chronicles (2017)
Even Netflix has gotten in on the Frankenstein action. I first mentioned this series in my blog post “Best Ways to Keep the Halloween Spirit Alive Year-Round” and because I enjoyed the show so much, it deserves a second mention. The British series puts a dark twist on the Frankenstein story and is set in 19th-century London. Actor Sean Bean plays a detective who is called upon to investigate a string of murders that seem to be inspired by Mary Shelley’s horrific novel. Even better, the author herself, played by Anna Maxwell Martin, is figured into the script.
Mary Shelley (2017)
I enjoy biographical films, but I also know that many don’t have the greatest reputation of being accurate. This movie though was quite good and I think it gives an interesting look into the woman behind the novel. The story delves into the affair between Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and Percy Bysshe Shelley, and the events that led to the writing of Frankenstein.
Lend an Ear to Frankenstein-Inspired Tunes
Set the mood with dark sounds. There’s a YouTube channel called Fantasy & World Music by the Fiechters. The composers feature a series of Halloween music, including one track titled “Frankenstein’s Monster.” The melodies are ominous and ethereal. You may also want to check out Midnight Syndicate’s album Monsters of Legend, which is inspired by Hammer film classics. Listen to pieces with names like “Building the Monster” and “Inn of the Weeping Sparrow.”
Walk in the Creature’s Footsteps
If you’re up for a travel adventure, why not create an itinerary inspired by Mary Shelley’s novel? The Smithsonian published a fascinating article back in 2015 when the film Victor Frankenstein, starring Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy, was about to be released. A few of the places mentioned include Geneva, Switzerland, the childhood home of Victor Frankenstein; London, England, where 19th-century scientific advancements influenced the story’s plot; Chamonix, France, the area Victor flees to after his Creature has murdered his brother; and, of course, Castle Frankenstein in the Odenwald in Germany.
Legend has it that the eccentric alchemist Johann Konrad Dippel, born in 1673 at the castle, had a fixation with human anatomy and would dig up corpses to perform experiments on them. He supposedly was intent on discovering a way to resuscitate the cadavers. He even claimed to have concocted an elixir of life. Although only speculation, Dippel is believed by many to be the man on whom Shelley based Frankenstein.
Another destination I must add is not mentioned in the novel, but it is a place dedicated to Frankenstein. It is The World Famous Frankenstein & Bier Keller in Edinburgh, Scotland! I learned about it from musician Aurelio Voltaire. He was on a UK tour earlier this year, and he posted about the bar on social media. It’s located in a 150-year-old gothic church, and has three floors, a live DJ, and hosts ghoulish events. Even if you can’t plan a trip to these destinations now, they make for stimulating conversation.
I hope this list has got your juices flowing about ways you can commemorate Frankenstein Day. To learn more about the official holiday, go here.
I would love to hear more ideas and know how all of you celebrate. Feel free to leave comments below!