Everyone reading this already knows that Halloween is my favorite holiday, right? And that the worst day of the year, at least in some respects, is November 1st, because it means the longest possible time until more Halloween. Well, it’s not quite two Halloweens in a year, but there’s apparently an Internet initiative underway to turn May 26-27 (or more specifically, the night in-between the two) into the Feast of the Long Shadows.
The name comes from a 1983 movie called House of the Long Shadows. By all accounts it isn’t very good (though I’ll admit that I’ve yet to see it, myself), but it has the distinction of starring Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, and Christopher Lee. Not just some of the greatest actors ever to be associated chiefly with the Gothic and horror genre, but also some of the genre’s greatest statesmen. We may never see their like again. As it so happens, those three dignitaries are also the reason for the celebration, or at least the reason for the choosing of the date. Vincent Price and Christopher Lee were born on May 27th, while Peter Cushing was born on the 26th. Certainly, it seems like a confluence worth noting.
The initiative, started by Italian author and critic Franco Pezzini and director Max Ferro, aims to make the Feast “a celebration of the creative strength and cultural import of the arts of imagination, of horror and wonder.” That’s definitely an idea that I can get behind. And having another celebration of the mysterious, the monstrous, and the macabre situated roughly opposite All Hallow’s Eve will make the wait for the next Halloween a little more bearable. So from now on, I’ll be celebrating the Feast of the Long Shadows on the evening of May 26th, probably with some movies featuring one or more of those esteemed personages mentioned above. I encourage everyone else to do the same, and spread the word. It’s a holiday worth having, and if enough people get behind it we can make it happen.
(Thanks to excellent author and editor T.E. Grau for introducing me to the notion.)