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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: May 2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

PENANG INTERNATIONAL DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL!!


 
 
 
 
Dragon Boat Racing History

   On the fifth day of the fifth lunar month every year, Chinese communities worldwide celebrate the Duanwu Jie festival, which commemorates the death of the Chinese patriot/poet Qu Yuan.
   As a rival state conquered his home kingdom, Qu Yuan committed suicide, drowning himself in the Miluo river on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month.









 

   His countrymen paddled swiftly out to the middle of the river to retrieve his body, while others threw packets of rice in the water to distract the fish from eating the poet's body.
   These two acts, it is said, are the origin of the festival's two main preoccupations - the glutinous rice dumplings known as zongzi, and the dragon boat races.








 

Dragon Boat Racing in Modern Times

   Dragon boat racing, despite its roots in ancient tradition, are as exciting a sport as they come. Two or more boats compete against each other in heats spanning distances of about 1 1/4 mile (2000 meters) or less.
   The boats conform to traditional designs, and are extremely eye-catching. Each boat is mounted with a dragon's head and tail, finely carved to meet the traditional Chinese dragon appearance (in case you didn't know, a Chinese dragon has an ox's head, a deer's antlers, a horse's mane, and a fish's tail).








 

   Each boat is crewed by up to twenty paddlers, facing the front of the boat (as opposed to Western rowing sports, where the rower faces the rear). A drummer sits in front of the boat, facing the rowers, dictating the rhythm for the row team.  A sweep, or tiller, sits aft, steering the boat.
   Strength and endurance are necessary, but not sufficient, for success. Dragon boat racing, as a sport, demands the closest teamwork possible from teams that want to get through the finish line first.







 

Dragon Boat Racing in Penang, Malaysia

   In Penang, Malaysia, the dragon boat races are especially famous. The region's first dragon boat race was held here in 1956, on the occasion of the 100th founding anniversary of Georgetown.
   Initially, the races were open only to Malaysian teams. Overseas participation was allowed in 1979, attracting contestants from Hong Kong and Singapore.
   Today, the Penang International Dragon Boat Festival attracts contestants from around the globe, including teams from Europe and the USA. Any group affiliated with the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) may join. 62 countries are represented in the IDBF.








 

A Safer, Controlled Environment

   The Penang International Dragon Boat Festival takes place at the Teluk Bahang Dam, Penang, from May 23 to 24. In two days, a number of races are staged, including races for men, women, and mixed teams.
   Teams come from all over, with some local teams representing government offices, fraternal associations, and corporations. The local teams bring along the most enthusiastic fans, cheering at the top of their voices for their favorites to win.
   The reservoir at the Teluk Bahang Dam has served as the Dragon Boat Festival's venue since 2002, as it provides a safer, more controlled environment than the seafront venue used from the beginning of the race.
   The view, too, is top-notch, as punters get to see the race against the green hills of the Penang countryside.

WHY ARE CHILDREN USUALLY SCARY IN HORROR FILMS!!






    It truly does seem that Hollywood has turned to children in a huge effort to make sure people are scared stiff in movie theaters. But this has been done for years. Some of the oldest and scariest films have introduced the ultimate horror via these creepy little guys and dolls. While it may seem that Hollywood is leaning a little too hard on “child labor,” there are some definite reasons why kids seem to scare grown-ups more than other grown-ups. In fact, I’ve got Five Good Examples to substantiate the declaration that Kids are in fact, scarier than adults in horror films.











   They Have “The Sixth Sense”.

   Because adults are so used to being in complete control of situations, it’s unnerving to think that a child is capable of doing things that adult cannot. Sure, grown-ups may be able to drive, buy alcohol, and see Rated-R films with no problem. But the fact remains that when it comes to more sensitive psychic abilities, we grown-ups just happen to fall short. In 1999, Haley Joel Osment wooed nine-year old girls everywhere with his innocently perfected declarations about the afterlife. In fact, his insight in the blockbuster film, “The Sixth Sense” was in many ways scarier than the dead people he proclaimed to see. Certainly, everyone in the theatre was aghast at viewing a teenage “ghost” walk around poor Cole’s apartment with the back of his head blown off. Truth be told, audiences were more aghast at the fact that Cole was privy to the sight instead of his mother. What’s really scary is having an innocent child look at you and reduce all of your complicated adult feelings to one sentence.










They Play "Hide and Seek"

   Little Emily Callaway (otherwise known as Dakota Fanning) was fit to be tied by her imaginary friend, “Charlie.” 2005’s “Hide and Seek” starring both Fanning and Robert DeNiro (as her doting Daddy) did more than startle audiences with the heavy silences and foreboding set. “Charlie” in fact, remained invisible for about two-thirds of the film. His antics were terrifying. Opening windows and leaving foreboding notes in blood around the house is justifiably cause for alarm. But for some reason, it is Emily herself that causes audiences to freak out. Why? Because her delicate face is framed by a wig of dark hair. And that dark hair goes right along with the blank and disturbed expression that lingered on her face for much of the film. Dakota’s terse vocabulary and violent gazes made Emily’s character more ominous than the monster we couldn’t see. By the time we find out who has been playing Hide and Seek with Emily, it just doesn’t really matter anymore.










   They Won’t Die

   When children who have been drowned violently by their parents won’t seem to die, there is a problem. Such is the case with petite “Samara,” the Villainess Supreme whose image on a videotape suddenly came to life to scare her victims into the afterlife. “The Ring,” which starred Naomi Watts and David Dorfman (as equally creepy, “Aidan”), focused on a few subplots—but none of them more frightening than Samara’s. This child, in her videotaped interviews with Doctor, admits that she enjoys her self-imposed evil, and did not plan on stopping any time soon. This very vivid and concrete declaration is enough to give any adult the “willies.”











   They Are Kin To The Anti-Christ

    While most of these recent child ‘terrors’ were tangential in their brushes with evil, Damien WAS evil incarnate. Born the son of the Devil, he never even had a fighting chance. In watching "The Omen", I was always amazed that few of the adults present felt strange around the child, especially the parents. And why is it that no one thought to examine the tot’s skull earlier in life? Surely, the “666” they’d encounter would be a dead giveaway. Instead, the family had to take the long way in discovering that something was not quite right with their perfect little angel. In 1976, child actor Harvey Stephens II, had his blonde tresses dyed black in order to portray the wicked tyke. This did nothing but magnify his already sinister demeanor. His menacing smile into the cameras at the end of the film was actually quite innocently provoked, according to the director of the film: Little Harvey was told not to laugh (a reverse psychology ploy). As a result of trying to withhold his chuckles, a small devilish (pun intended) smile ensued—succeeding in scaring enough viewers to tune into the sequel two years later.










They Vomit Pea Soup

   Without a doubt, the all time scariest child of the century is “Regan”, the focal point of hit 1973 blockbuster, “The Exorcist.” Voted by Entertainment Weekly as the Scariest Film of All Time, one does not have to wonder why. More likely than not, Linda Blair’s (“Regan”) subsequent acting career came to an abrupt crawl after this role. Rumored to have made some audiences faint during the film’s release, “The Exorcist” succeeded in commanding the attention and respect of every adult viewer. Further giving credence to the horror is the fact that episodes in the film are reported to be based on real events. Knowing that somewhere in America, there really was a child who vomited pea soup at the command of the Devil, is the official stamp of Terror.

TINKU FESTIVAL FROM BOLIVIA!!






   Tinku, an Andean tradition, began as a form of ritualistic combat. It is native to the northern region of Potosí in Bolivia. In the language of Quechua, the word “tinku” means encounter. In the language of Aymara it means “physical attack".  During this ritual, men and women from different communities will meet and begin the festivities by drinking and dancing. The women will then form circles and begin chanting while the men proceed to fight each other; rarely the women will join in the fighting as well. Large tinkus are held in Potosí during the first few weeks of May.












  Because of the rhythmic way the men throw their fists at each other, and because they stand in a crouched stance going in circles around each other, a dance was formed. This dance, the Festive Tinku, simulates the traditional combat, bearing a warlike rhythm.  The differences between the Andean tradition and the dance are the costumes, the role of women, and the fact that the dancers do not actually fight each other. The Festive Tinku has become a cultural dance for all of Bolivia, although it originated in Potosí, like the fight itself










Tinku Combat

History
   The Andean tradition began with the indigenous belief in Pachamama, or Mother Nature. The combat is in praise of Pachamama, and any blood shed throughout the fighting is considered a sacrifice, in hopes of a fruitful harvest and fertility. Because of the violent nature of the tradition there have been fatalities, but each death is considered a sacrifice which brings forth life, and a donation to the land that fertilizes it. The brawls are also considered a means of release of frustration and anger between the separate communities. Tinkus usually last two to three days.  During this time, participants will stop every now and then to eat, sleep, or drink.










Groups Who Participate
   Tinkus occur "between different communities, moieties, or kin groups". They are prearranged and usually take place in the small towns of southern Bolivia, like Macha and Pocoata. Tinkus are very festive, with a numerous audience of men, women and children, who bring food and beverages. Alcoholic drinks are also brought and sold along with food during the tinku.










Methods of Combat

   During the brawl itself, men will often times carry rocks in their hands to have greater force in their punches, or they will just throw them at opponents. Sometimes, especially in the town of Macha in Potosí, where the brawl gets the most violent, men will wrap strips of cloth with shards of glass stuck to them around their fists to cause greater damage. Slingshots and whips are also used, though not as much as hand-to-hand combat. The last day of the fight is considered the most violent and police almost always have to separate the mass of bloody men and women.










Attire

   Men attend tinkus wearing traditional monteras, or thick helmet-like hats made of thick leather, resembling helmets from the Conquistadors. These helmets are often times painted and decorated with feathers.  Their pants are usually simple black or white with traditional embroidering near their feet. Often times the men wear wide thick belts tied around their waist and stomach for more protection.










Festive Tinku Dance

   The Festive Tinku, a much more pleasant experience than a ceremonial tinku, has many differences. It has been accepted as a cultural dance in the whole nation of Bolivia. Tinku music has a loud constant drum beat to give it a native warlike feel, while charangos, guitars, and zampoñas (panpipes) play melodies.  The dancers perform with combat like movements, following the heavy beat of the drum.









Costumes

   For men, the costumes are more colorful. Their monteras are usually decorated with long colorful feathers. Tinku Suits, or the outfits men wear during Festive Tinku performances, are usually made with bold colors to symbolize power and strength, instead of the neutral colors worn in ceremonial tinkus that help participants blend in. Women wear long embroidered skirts and colorful tops. Their costumes are completed by extravagant hats, painted and decorated with various long and colorful feathers and ribbons. Men and women wear walking sandals so they can move and jump easily.










 Dance

   The dance is performed in a crouching stance, bending at the waist. Arms are thrown out and there are various kicks, while the performers move in circles following the beat of the drum. Every jump from one foot to the next is followed by a hard stomp and a thrown fist to signify the violence from the ceremonial tinku. Many times the dancers will hold basic and traditional instruments in their hands that they will use as they stomp, just to add more noise for a greater effect.

MEMORIAL DAY OR DECORATION DAY?






   Is it called Memorial Day or Decoration Day? Many people, especially those in the south, ask themselves this question every year. Compounding the confusion is the fact that both celebrations are often held on the same weekend in May. Most of us have participated in Memorial Day celebrations. I've had the experience of participating in several Decoration Day celebrations as well.
   According to History.com Memorial Day was first celebrated as Decoration Day. This day first happened officially a few years after the Civil Warn ended on May 30, 1868.










   General John Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic is widely credited for the original proclamation. This held great importance even though the Grand Army of the Republic was a group of former soldiers and sailors and not a governmental organization.
   President







Richard Nixon officially declared Memorial Day to be a federal holiday in 1971. It is held on the last Monday in May as a remembrance of those brave men and women who died in war. Traditionally, a wreath is placed in Arlington Cemetery as a way of memorializing those who died.
 










  Decoration Day had similar beginnings and is in fact the tradition that gave birth to Memorial Day. Even today it is celebrated by many small churches in the south. It began as a way to honor Civil War dead but soon became a time to put flowers or other decorative items on the graves of all the dead.
 










 Southern churches are famous for having cemeteries on the same land as the church itself. Sometimes, a driveway will separate the two sections but not always. It is very common for the cemetery to be adjacent to the church.
  
Decoration Day is usually celebrated on the last Sunday in May. Often, this is combined with a church homecoming celebration possibly all day preaching and dinner on the grounds. This is different from a Memorial Day celebration where only the graves of soldiers are decorated.










   Church members will go to great lengths to be sure that all graves are decorated and cleaned. There may not be any living family members for a particular plot but there will be flowers on the grave.
   It is said that "cleanliness is next to Godliness". This is where the church literally shines. Headstones will be scrubbed and cleaned until they shine like new pennies. All debris is removed from the cemetery. The grass will be cut, weeds pulled and all of the cemetery grounds will be trimmed.









    Only then is the cemetery ready for the flowers to be placed. On Decoration day each grave will be decorated to the one hundred flowers stuck in the dirt on any given grave. You may see pots of live flowers, expensive floral arrangements or hand picked bouquets. The graves may also have photos or other mementos placed upon them.
   The commitment to honoring the dead isn't just made in flowers. On Decoration Day, many southern churches will collect monetary donations as people come to tend their plots. These funds go toward cemetery upkeep and play an important role in the continued maintenance of the cemetery.
   Even though the two special occasions occur on the same weekend and share common beginnings the two days are not the same. As more people celebrate Memorial Day fewer are left to celebrate or even understand Decoration Day.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

CHEUNG CHAU BUN FESTIVAL FROM CHINA!







Cheung Chau Bun Festival or Cheung Chau Da Jiu Festival is a traditional Chinese festival on the island of Cheung Chau in Hong Kong.  Being held annually, and with therefore the most public exposure, it is by far the most famous of such Da Jiu festivals, with Jiu being a Taoist sacrificial ceremony. Such events are held by mostly rural communities in Hong Kong, either annually or at a set interval of years ranging all the way up to once every 60 years ( the same year in the Chinese astrological calendar). Other places that may share the folk custom include Taiwan, Sichuan, Fujian and Guangdong.
Cheung Chau's Bun Festival, which draws tens of thousands of local and overseas tourists every year, is staged to mark the Eighth day of the Fourth Moon, in the Chinese calendar (this is usually in early May). It coincides with the local celebration of Buddha's Birthday.









 
   The Cheung Chau Bun Festival began as a fun and exciting ritual for fishing communities to pray for safety from pirates. Today this religious origin has largely been forgotten, and the festival has mainly become a showcase of traditional Chinese culture
HistoryOne story of the origin of the festival is that in the 18th Century the island of Cheung Chau was devastated by a plague and infiltrated by pirates until local fishermen brought an image of the god Pak Tai to the island. Paraded through the village lanes, the deity drove away evil spirits. Villagers also disguised themselves as different deities and walked around the island to drive away the evil spirits.








 

History

   One story of the origin of the festival is that in the 18th Century the island of Cheung Chau was devastated by a plague and infiltrated by pirates until local fishermen brought an image of the god Pak Tai to the island. Paraded through the village lanes, the deity drove away evil spirits. Villagers also disguised themselves as different deities and walked around the island to drive away the evil spirits.








 
Activities

Vegetarian:

   A notice announces that McDonald's is selling vegetarian burgersEvery year on the 8th day of the fourth month of the lunar calendar, the islanders organise a weeklong thanksgiving, the Cheung Chau Bun Festival usually in April or May. The festival lasts for seven days. On three of these days the entire island goes vegetarian; most of the island's famous seafood restaurants adhere to this tradition. The local McDonald's also takes meat off the menu and instead sells burgers made of mushrooms.








 

   Parade of Floats / Parade-In-The-Air:

   In addition to traditional lion dances and dragon dances, children dressed as legendary and modern heroes are suspended above the crowd on the tips of swords and paper fans.  They form the parade-in-the-air and are all secured within steel frames, though they appear to glide through the air. Parents consider it a great honour for their offspring to be part of the parade.
This fascinating procession is accompanied by the bedlam of musicians loudly beating gongs and drums to scare away evil spirits. It is led by a spectacular image of Pak Tai, the God of Water and Spirit of the North, to whom the island's Temple of the Jade Vacuity is dedicated.









Deities

   Here are some divinities Cheung Chau people celebrate in the festival:

Pak Tai

   Since Cheung Chau is traditionally an island of fisherfolk, Pak Tai is its most revered divinity, since it is believed he has the power to confer smooth sailing for the fishing boats as well as providing good catches for their crews. Pious believers recognise him as "Pei Fang Chen Wu Hsuan T'ien Shang Ti" (True Soldier and Superior Divinity of the Deep Heaven of the North).







 


Tin Hau

  The second of the significant deities whose images add a supplementary splatter of Oriental holiness to the pageant is the much-revered Tin Hau, Goddess of the Seas and protector of all fishermen and boat people. Celebrated for providing warnings of imminent storms and saving countless lives from wreckage, she is in many ways Pak Tai's competitor for the fondness of the fisherfolk.

Kuan Yin and Hung Hsing

Two more gods complete the celestial divinities taking part in the parade: Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy with her tranquil and ever compassionate smile; and Hung Hsing, the terrifying God of the South with his menacing head-dress, unkind face, bushy black beard, and stave at the ready to chastise all enemies.






Bun Snatching


   Steamed buns for the "Bun Mountain", being stamped the crimson characters of the respective district, "Northern Society" shown in a combined way) on the island.The centrepiece of the festival is at Pak Tai Temple where are the "Bun Mountains" or "Bun Towers",  three giant 60-feet bamboo towers covered with buns. It is those bun-covered towers that give the festival its name. Historically, young men would race up the tower to get hold of the buns; the higher the bun, the better fortune it was supposed to bring to the holder's family; the race was known as "Bun-snatching".  However, during a race in 1978 one of the towers collapsed, injuring more than 100 people. In subsequent years, three designated climbers (one climber to each tower) raced up their respective towers and having cleared the top buns proceeded to strip the towers of their buns as they descended.








 

   The three "Bun Mountains" are still placed in the area in front of Pak Tai Temple, and are constructed using the traditional fixation method -- bamboo scaffolding.
   In 2005, a single tower climbing event in the adjacent sports ground was revived as a race -- with extra safety precautions including proper mountain-climbing tools as well as tutorials for participants (which now include women). A teamwork version of the event was added in 2006.The revised version of "Bun-snatching" as well as the traditional three "Bun Mountains" still have their buns removed from the towers at midnight of the Festival.
   In February 2007, it was further announced that the buns on the single-tower construct will henceforth be made of plastic.  During the festival, Chinese operas, lion dances, and religious services also take place on the island.








 
    Burning of Paper Effigies

   At a quarter to midnight a paper effigy of the King of the Ghosts is set ablaze, enormous incense sticks are lit and the buns are harvested and distributed to the villagers, who, pleased to be sharing in this propitious good fortune, rejoice late into the night







 

Return of Bun-Snatching

   The new "Bun Mountain" used for bun-snatching competitions.   The bun-snatching ritual was abandoned by the government due to the 1978 collapse. Still, a large portion of Cheung Chau villagers regard this as part and parcel of their daily life, and the precious culture of Hong Kong to boot. In addition to the villagers' immense urge to resume the ritual, a local cartoon movie "My life as McDull, " recalled the forlorn ceremony, giving a tinge of nostalgia to its audience. As such, the long-awaited ritual was reintroduced on 15 May 2005. Safety measures were intensified: only 12 well-trained athletes selected from preliminary competitions were permitted to climb on one single "Bun Mountain"; instead of bamboo, the framework of the "Bun Mountains" was made up of steel

7 TRADITIONS THAT STARTED IN THE EARLY PART OF CELEBRATING HALLOWEEN!

Masked Halloween Mystery








   Decked out for Halloween, a masked woman on roller skates—most likely a random addition to her costume—poses in 1910.
   Masquerade parties in the United States were much more common a hundred years ago, when people dressed up not just for Halloween but also for several other holidays, including Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve, according to Lesley Bannatyne, author of the forthcoming book Halloween Nation: Behind the Scenes of America's Fright Night.
   Private social clubs often threw Halloween parties for their members, as it was the first major holiday after most people had returned from their summer homes.
   That said, it's "not like Halloween [in the early 1900s] was an East Coast phenomenon or a high-society phenomenon"—people of all classes donned costumes across the country, even in small Western mining towns, she said.
   The "early 20th century also was the beginning of a real democratic movement, a push toward a popular culture," Bannatyne said, so Halloween was "very egalitarian—everyone celebrated it in their own way."

 


Schoolhouse Ghost






 

   A person in a ghost costume stands with a table full of Halloween decorations in a rural U.S. schoolhouse in 1905. Nature often inspired Halloween costumes and decorations a century ago, with cornstalks (as seen above), vegetables, tree branches, and leaves showing up as common elements, according to Bannatyne.
   Halloween was originally perceived as a "rustic, country holiday," especially during the U.S. Victorian period, about 1840 to 1900, she noted. (Also see "Candy Facts: Halloween Treats From Ancient Recipes.")
   "Overwhelmed by the fallout of industrialization, [Victorians and early Halloween revelers] sought out a simpler time where people were more connected to the land and the natural world.
   "The quaint, old-world, country nature of Halloween appealed to them."
 


Halloween Child's Play








 

   Part of an old U.S. Halloween tradition, blindfolded children attempt to put out a candle in a photograph dated to the 1900s.  The game, probably called "blow out the candle," is often mentioned in early Halloween party books, Bannatyne said.
   Halloween in the U.S. was mainly a celebration for children until the premiere of the 1978 slasher flick Halloween, when the holiday "became paired with contemporary horror," she added.
   This new association with bloody violence—and the attendant gory costumes and decorations—"opened up the holiday for adults and older children to celebrate, and made it more popular."



Magic Moment






 

   Possibly conjuring a witch, sorcerer, or clown, one woman's 1910 Halloween costume (pictured) has several possible meanings, according to Bannatyne.
   The star and moon icons, for instance, may reflect a fascination with mysticism and magic, which have been   connected to the "spooky aura" of Halloween for centuries, Bannatyne said.
   "Many of the first Halloween costumes reflected people's interest in the exotic, such as other cultures," she said. "You often find Egyptian-inspired costumes, for example, because of the mystic association with ancient Egypt."
   Likewise, she added, this costume's celestial symbols could represent night—"the domain of Halloween."



Bewitched on Halloween









    Women wearing improvised witch costumes line up for a photograph in the U.S. in 1910.
   "Witches and Halloween have been tied together in the public's imagination since at least 16th-century Scotland," Bannatyne said. At that time, "you begin to find poems such as Alexander Montgomerie's 'The Flighting of Polwart,' where witches ride through the night on All Hallow's Eve."
   "Also, costumes were always homemade at first," she noted. "People only began to buy manufactured costumes in the second and third decades of the 20th century, when a few savvy companies—Dennison and Beistle were the first—became aware that money could be made from Halloween decorations."



Halloween Dance







 

   Costumed girls—including one swathed in swastikas—smile for the camera on October 25, 1918, on the way to a Halloween dance pageant. The swastika had different meanings before the rise of the Nazi party in the mid-20th century—for one, it's an ancient symbol for life in some Indian religions, according to Columbia University.
   "Most [U.S.] civic and private organizations in the first half of the 20th century"—such as dancing schools, churches, women's groups, and military groups—"all hosted Halloween parties for children," Bannatyne said.
   "It was partly an attempt to keep children busy on Halloween, so as to cut down on some of the mischief that happened at night."



Bobbing for Apples






 

   A U.S. girl bobs for Halloween apples sometime in the early 1900s.
   Due to Halloween's rural origins—its precursor, Samhain, was marked 2,000 years ago in Celtic Europe—the harvest-time holiday has often been associated with apples, nuts, and cabbages.
   Today Halloween is a "rogue holiday," not attached to any person, ethnicity, or event. Because of that, it's often a "cultural bellwether" for what happens in U.S. society.
   For instance, on Halloween 2001, right after the September 11 terrorist attacks, more families than usual went trick-or-treating—for example as firemen—to show their "lack of intimidation," she said.

TOP 5 CLASSIC HORROR ACTORS FROM THE GOLDEN AGE OF MONSTER MOVIES!







Classic Horror Actors

    As a small boy growing up , my family had no problem letting me watch horror movies. As a result, I quickly became desensitized to the genre that scared my friends for many years.   So I grew to enjoy and appreciate classic horror movies. Take a look back at the top five classic horror actors in history.












5. Lon Chaney, Jr.

   Quite honestly, I never really thought of Lon Chaney, Jr. as a "horror" actor. I did not find him scary at all and he was talented enough to act in many different genres. Still, the impact he made as an actor in many different classic horror movies cannot be ignored. The son of "The Man of a Thousand Faces," Lon Chaney, Jr. is best remembered for his role in the classic horror movie, "The Wolf Man."












4. Peter Cushing

   Classic horror movies experienced a decline in the 1950s. The genre lost the respect of critics and moviegoers in the decade because most horror movies were poorly made, low budget efforts. But Hammer Film Productions in England brought gothic classic horror movies back to the forefront. One of their best actors was Peter Cushing. The small, diminutive Cushing had the range to play both the hero and the wily, evil genius.












3. Christopher Lee

   The top actor who starred in Hammer's classic horror movies was Christopher Lee. In most of the films, Lee starred alongside Peter Cushing. While Lee played a variety of roles, he is most famous as an actor for portraying Count Dracula is many Hammer classic horror movies. Christopher Lee also stars as the narrator in one of my favorite documentaries of all-time, "In Search of Dracula."













2. Boris Karloff

   With all due respect to numbers three to five, the top two classic horror movie actors clearly stand above the rest. After a number of stirring, critically acclaimed silent horror movies, the genre truly exploded in 1931 with "Dracula" and "Frankenstein." After legendary actor Bela Lugosi turned down the role of the monster in "Frankenstein," Boris Karloff stepped in. Karloff went on to star in numerous classic horror movies.











1. Bela Lugosi

    No actor is identified with a role more so than Bela Lugosi with Count Dracula. After portraying the vampire on stage for many years, the Hungarian actor starred in the classic horror movie "Dracula." His legendary performance was made more impressive by the fact that he did not speak English. Despite this, Lugosi went on to play Count Dracula in many more films and even appeared as the villain in many other classic horror movies with other themes.