Library to show collection on Frankenstein

Ron MacCloskeyRon MacCloskey

If you ask Edison resident Ron MacCloskey to choose between "Frankenstein" the book and the movie of the same name, he declines to say which he prefers.

"They both have their merits. At the heart of it, the story of Dr. Frankenstein and his monster is really a modern parable," said MacCloskey, who is considered by many to be one of the country’s leading collectors of Frankenstein memorabilia, in a recent telephone interview.

As for the popularity of the story, which has endured over the years as a literary classic before gaining immortality on the silver screen, MacCloskey said he thinks the story touches something in everyone.

"Frankenstein is truly part of the public domain," he said.

The monster created for the movie has become so recognizable that "if you ask any 3-year-old kid, they can tell you who it is."

An avid collector of memorabilia related to all things Frankenstein, MacCloskey was featured in CN8’s Halloween special on all things spooky, which was broadcast Oct. 30.

In addition to filming the TV spot, MacCloskey frequently speaks about Frankenstein at locations around the country.

Beginning Nov. 18, MacCloskey’s extensive collection — which contains more than 750 items — will be featured at the Jersey City Public Library.

"I’ve been collecting for 40 years, since 1962, actually," MacCloskey said.

At age 7, MacCloskey said, he got his first monster model and began reading monster magazines.

"I just fell in love with it and started saving everything I could find. Some people grow out of it. Me, I guess I just never stopped," he said.

MacCloskey’s love for all things Frankenstein led him to create his own holiday — Frank Friday — which is observed the last Friday in October in order to coincide with Halloween.

"Scranton, Pa., actually called to say they were going to celebrate Frank Friday," MacCloskey said.

In addition to Frank Friday, MacCloskey can claim responsibility for the Frankie Award which is given out to honor a person who has contributed to bringing the world all things Frankenstein.

The latest recipient is Jack Pierce, a makeup man for Universal Studios who was instrumental in transferring the story of Frankenstein to the silver screen.

According to MacCloskey, he hopes to one day do enough to receive his own Frankie Award.

"After I die, maybe I’ll get it," he said, chuckling.

MacCloskey’s collection is scheduled to remain at the library until Jan. 6. For more information, visit

— Alison Granito