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'Frankenstein' anniversary a cause for celebration

ZOMBIE HORDE: A group of participants in Wabash Carnegie Public Library’s first Zombie Walk shamble down Miami Streettoward the Wabash County Historical Museum.

by ANDREW CHRISTMAN - achristman@wabashplaindealer.com

A full “horde” of costumed enthusiasts met at Wabash Carnegie Public Library on Friday for the inaugural Zombie Walk, an effort to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s classic novel “Frankenstein.”

The leisurely walk headed from the library to the Wabash County Historical Museum, where participants were treated to refreshments and a costume contest. It is the first of several Frankenstein-inspired events to be held here this month.

The idea was suggested by Southwood High School English teacher Cathy Gohmann, according to WCPL Community Outreach Coordinator Rachel Parks.

“We thought it would be really cool,” Parks said. “The idea kind of snowballed and grew from there.”

Dawn Dutton brought her grandchildren to Friday’s Zombie Walk because she thought it sounded like a fun way to start the weekend.

“We’re just really lucky the library does this kind of stuff,” Dutton said.

Libraries and schools across the nation are celebrating the anniversary of Frankenstein with similar events, as the classic novel continues to captivate imaginations centuries after its original publication.

Here in Wabash County, the Wabash and North Manchester Public Libraries will mark the occasion with Frankenstein-inspired programming throughout the month. NMPL Program Coordinator Heidi Lovett said it’s more fun to celebrate the novel around Halloween. The library stocked up on paperback copies of the novel and will hold family-friendly events like “Frankenspace,” during which students can make crafts and catch a screening of the original 1931 “Frankenstein” film on Oct. 22.

Two-hundred years since its first publication, “Frankenstein” is still revered by many.

“I’m in awe of Mary Shelley,” said Joy Harber, Roann Public Library director. “I believe she started it when she was 17 and published it at 19. I think it’s amazing she didn’t have anything to pattern her story after and she created something that’s lasted all this time.”