12 Unusual Facts About Mary Shelley

Portrait of Mary Shelley by Richard Rothwell
Portrait of Mary Shelley by Richard Rothwell

In 1818, Mary Shelley published her first major work, Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus. More than 200 years later, the novel is still popular among gothic horror fans. Not only has it sparked numerous movie adaptations, but the monster of the narrative has been the inspiration behind Halloween costumes, haunts and a Frankenstein-themed bar in the UK. The author also continues to be a prominent literary figure today, inspiring countless contemporary horror writers. There’s even an annual holiday commemorating her birthday and notorious book, Frankenstein Day on August 30th. To pay homage to the author, here are 12 interesting facts about Mary Shelley that may surprise you.

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Spotlight on Wikka: Classical Music Artist with Gothic Flair

Wikka (Photo by Jacob Maximillian Baron)
Photo by Jacob Maximillian Baron

The worlds of classical music and dark alternative magically collide when listening to the melodies of Wikka. The artist behind the persona is Alexia DelGiudice Bigari who’s an adept vocalist and violist from New York City. She studied at The Juilliard School, then went on to receive her Master of Music degree at Northwestern University. Her classically trained background and appreciation for the macabre influence her art, and the result is enticing.

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Spotlight on Adrienne LaVey: Absinthe & Gothic Arts Connoisseur

Adrienne LaVey of Ligeia Resurrected

Bridging the realms of goth subculture and the gothic aesthetic, Adrienne LaVey is an individual who revels in the beauty of darkness. Her YouTube channel, Ligeia Resurrected, features insightful reviews on topics that run the gamut from 19th-century macabre literature to the latest goth music releases. Of the content she produces, her absinthe videos truly set her apart and are a unique offering. Since March 5th is National Absinthe Day, I felt it fitting to interview someone who seeks to unravel the mysteries that surround this widely misunderstood spirit.

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Midnight Syndicate Unravels a Haunting Tale in Latest Album ‘Bloodlines’

Edward Douglas & Gavin Goszka of Midnight Syndicate
Edward Douglas & Gavin Goszka of Midnight Syndicate (Photo credit: Colleen Douglas)

To usher in last Halloween season, Midnight Syndicate released new music with Bloodlines. Members Edward Douglas and Gavin Goszka continue the story of the enigmatic Haverghast family, which they first introduced in 2001’s Gates of Delirium. The mini-album adds another layer to their narrative and is a prequel to the 2005 recording The 13th Hour. I’ve listened to it several times and the effects are chilling!

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Midnight Light Book Review: A Poetic Exploration of Life & Death

“The moon appears in the night sky
Casting our souls into dreams
Endlessly flowing streams of subconscious move over the land”
-Another Perspective

Midnight Light
Image accompanying the poem “Underneath Icicles” in Midnight Light (Photo credit: Brian Paglinco)

Verse and imagery entwine in Midnight Light, a book that illuminates darkness and uncovers life pulsating in the land of the dead. It is the creation of two dear friends—writer Michael Pace and photographer Brian Paglinco—who wanted to share their artistic vision with the world, as well as pay tribute to their enduring friendship. The pages contain a series of gothic-inspired poems and photos that transported me to different time periods and places as I explored the work.

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The Dark Pariahs of Society: A Baby Bat’s Ruminations on Goth

To commemorate World Goth Day this year on May 22nd, I’ve decided to take a nostalgic look back at a high school paper I wrote on the subculture in 2002. I was 16 years old and in 11th grade. The assignment was for an English class and I was to write an expository essay. I was a young goth who was still learning about the scene and eager to share the knowledge I had gained. This project was my opportunity to not only reveal to readers the dark beauty of this alternative community, but also proudly proclaim my connection with it.

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Vampires Descend in The Sixth Chamber’s “Walpurgis Night”

Lead singer & guitarist Rahne Pistor of The Sixth Chamber

“Walpurgis Night, when, according to the belief of millions of people, the devil was abroad—when the graves were opened and the dead came forth and walked. When all evil things of earth and air and water held revel.”

-Bram Stoker’s Dracula’s Guest

Like bats taking flight from their shadowy cave, gothic metal band The Sixth Chamber has emerged, releasing the lyric music video to their latest single “Walpurgis Night.” The newest track will be part of the group’s third full-length album, which is currently in the works, and nocturnal souls are sure to revel in it.

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Spotlight On Joseph Vargo: Gothic Fantasy Artist, Composer & Writer

Artwork by Joseph Vargo
Artwork by Joseph Vargo

Mournful spirits, brooding gargoyles, blood-thirsty vampires, nightmarish beasts and seductive sirens are a few of the creatures that prowl the creations of Joseph Vargo. The artist has been honing his dark craft for decades and is renowned for the gothic fantasy imagery he portrays. Be prepared to step into a world where pariahs thrive, and the dead pulsate with life.  

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Spotlight on Midnight Syndicate: Masters of Gothic Melodies

Photo credit: Midnight Syndicate
Photo credit: Midnight Syndicate

Midnight Syndicate has been haunting the Gothic music landscape for more than 20 years. Members Edward Douglas and Gavin Goszka specialize in creating macabre melodies and their collection of work has become the ultimate Halloween soundtrack. With the fall season approaching, I thought it’d be fitting to present a look inside the machinations of the duo, along with a special interview. Continue reading “Spotlight on Midnight Syndicate: Masters of Gothic Melodies”

The Undead Way to Celebrate Dracula Day

From left to right: Bram Stoker, Vlad Tepes and Bela Lugosi as Dracula
From left to right: Bram Stoker, Vlad Tepes and Bela Lugosi as Dracula

On May 26th, 1897, Bram Stoker’s notorious novel Dracula was published. More than a century later, the vampire tale has indeed proven to be as immortal as its protagonist. There have been films, TV shows, music, books, art and entertainment events inspired by the Count. Stoker’s work has left such an indelible mark on, not just the literary world, but the creative world in general that there is a day dedicated to it—Dracula Day. There are many ways to celebrate and following you will find ideas for how to throw a fangtastic vampire soiree, whether alone or with others! Continue reading “The Undead Way to Celebrate Dracula Day”