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What Happened at The Castle Keep

Did the ghost of Bela Legosi appear at the Castle Keep?….

The main subject of this blog is without doubt the Anti-Valentine event and my much anticipated talk on horror legend Bela Lugosi. With all the rehearsals and preparation for my first book related talk in place, I was more than ready to start.

Arriving at the Castle Keep, with books at the ready, I set myself up in the Grand Hall where the event took place. This incredible medieval building is such a perfect venue, both Dracula and Lugosi would approve of its Gothic splendour. Speakers and a projector screen were also in place with Peter Cumisky operating the movie projector for the screening of Lugosi’s cult classic White Zombie. Actually it was a laptop but movie projector sounds much more nostalgic!

People were soon arriving (about sixty on total) at the hall to the famous music of Swan Lake, which was used for Lugosi’s film Dracula. Slides of various Lugosi movies were projected on screen to add to the atmosphere. With everyone more or less seated this part of the evening rounded off with the music video of Nouvelle Vogue’s song Bela Lugosi’s Dead.

Then came my turn! Luckily I didn’t need a microphone as the acoustics were amazing. Despite being nervous, my talk about the rise and fall of Lugosi met with a positive audience approval. And with the book signing, I had a great opportunity to chat with some of the audience and sell a few books. And of course White Zombie finally got its screening. Although dated in spots, the film still has the dreamlike power to fascinate, and that was enough to round off a great evening. Finally I was off to the Bridge Tavern next door for a couple of well deserved real ales!

I’m doing a further talk on Lugosi at the Castle Keep in March for those who could not get tickets. I’ll also be meeting the organisers of the Whitley Bay Film Festival a possible talk in August. To round things off, there’s a further talk lined for another local film festival in May.

Longer blog than usual but then it has been a busy week!

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