Many Happy Returns: Our Final Post
As announced back in March, today will be the last day that Classic-Horror.com updates. After today, the site will remain online as an archive. It is also the site's thirteenth birthday. Classic horror has been part of me longer than that, though -- far, far longer.
There's a young boy in Iowa in 1991 whose parents just bought him The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Nosferatu for Christmas, because that's all he really wanted. His mother had introduced him to horror films earlier that year and now the boy is obsessed with all things monstrous. He has a plethora of Universal classics on tape because his best friend's dad (who has cable) taped AMC's Monsterfest for him. He writes a fan letter to Vincent Price and hopes to meet him someday.
Eight years later, the boy is a teenager. His interest in horror has waned, but he still has his books and VHS tapes. A paper he writes for English class on the history of horror films reignites his long-dormant passion for the subject. That summer, he makes a basic page on his personal homepage extolling the virtues of his favorite horror films. He calls it "Classic Horror", because every horror website he's seen seems to be concerned with Freddy and Jason and he wants a site for Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Wolf Man, for Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, and Christopher Lee, for James Whale, Roger Corman, and Terence Fisher.
Thirteen years later, the site that teenager created is... well, this. And I am that teenager, now an adult, for want of a better word. And I couldn't be happier or prouder of what eventually became Classic-Horror.com. It's been my baby and the one constant throughout my adult life. It's given me so many great experiences, not to mention enough stress to crack a brain in half. I sought -- once I figured out what I wanted -- to build a place where intelligent discussion of classic and obscure horror films could flourish. Even bearing in mind the occasions I wandered from that goal (usually to try to make the site more ubiquitous, somehow), I think it's a success.
Now it's time to go. Thirteen years is a long time. I've repeated that sentence so many times in the last few months when people ask me why we'll no longer be updating Classic-Horror.com. It is mostly true or true enough, really. I want to work on other projects or maybe just enjoy the additional free time. I also have some personal reasons for not continuing on, but they will remain personal.
As a final farewell, I have put together another one of my video compilations in a separate post.
Classic-Horror.com is not something accomplished by a single person, not by a long shot. I have many, many people to thank. Since there's no band to play me off, here we go:
This site flourished the most when it was co-stewarded with Julia Merriam, my stalwart Managing Deaditor. Without her, the site wouldn't be half of what it is today.
Much as I think of Classic-Horror as my baby, it really wouldn't be possible without the incredible stable of writers who have worked on it over the years. I've told most of them this at some point, but my overwhelming gratitude goes out to Chris Justice, Robert Ring, Jason Jones, Brandt Sponseller, Dracula's Guest, Jenn Dlugos, Eric Miller, Jose Cruz, Simon Powell, Timothy J. Rush, John Dubrawa, Rob Wrigley, Dana Gravesen, Joseph Maddrey, Dellamorte, Jake Tucker, Kevin Nickelson, Aaron Edgell, Tom Fallows, Bruce Jordan, Matt Mulcahey, Emily Langton, Chris Gaskey, Spooky Steve, Matt Majeski, Chrissy Derbyshire, Rich Dishman, Shaughn Ander, John W. Bowen, Thomas E. Richardson, Nathan Sturm, Missy Yearian and dozens more who contributed to the voice of the site over the years.
Also huge thanks to Mom, who read every review I ever wrote and Dad, who lent me his credit card so I could buy the domain name. Thanks to my sister, Xoe, for putting up with me when I hogged the phone line to check my stats incessantly. Thanks to my spouse, Ereon, who helped me redesign the site despite disliking horror movies.
Thank you to friends of the site Tim Lucas, Tom Weaver, Andrea Beesley, Craig Byrne, Tenebrous Kate, John Kenneth Muir, John Cozzoli and the fine folks of the League of Tana Tea Drinkers, Mark Shostrom, Zombie Keeper, Josh Tyler, and David Colton.
Thanks to the amazing team of friends who, when the site's servers crashed in 2008 and all of our recent backups were corrupted, combed through the search engine caches for five months of lost data.
Finally, thank you to our readers, whether you've been following us for thirteen years or three days. You made all of this worth doing.
Classic-Horror.com will remain online as an archive for as long as I can afford to maintain it. Even as it fades out of relevance, it will still be a resource, hopefully. Be sure to read our final review, a look at 1933's The Vampire Bat.
It has been my pleasure to review the history of horror these past thirteen years and I look forward to seeing what the next thirteen years of my life bring.
Best of luck to you and keep watching scary movies.