A classic horror icon and character, Frankenstein’s Monster, has been in the Hollywood scene for many years. The book, Frankensteinby Mary Shelley, is a classic novel about the creation of a monster by Dr. Frankenstein; who wanted to create life, but was horrified with what he made. After weeks of thinking of a storyline, she dreamt about the outline for Frankenstein. The original novel was a dream Mary had, which had been written down and won a “contest” between her and her husband Percy Shelley to come up with the best horror story. Shelley’s version of the tale was more graphic and Gothic than a modern day movie, but is a very interesting read.
Another reason to be afraid of the dark is Dracula. This horror tale was written by an Irish writer, Bram Stoker. The story begins with Count Dracula wanting to move from the famous Transylvania, Romania to England to escape a murderous group of men and women lead by Professor Abraham Van Helsing, a Dutch teacher out to destroy the vampire spices. The novel was written in the nineteenth century and changed the horror genre. Although, Stoker did not create the vampire, he defined it’s modern form and inspired many interpretations. Stoker took the Romanian words “drac,” translating into dragon or devil and “ul,” which translates to “the” and he combined them to make “The devil.”
The thought of a Werewolf, half man and half wolf, usually brings to mind Twilight, but the history behind the Werewolf is just as interesting. Also known as Lycanthrope, which is Greek for Wolf and Man, werewolves were becoming known in European folklore during the thirteenth through seventeenth centuries and were related to the belief in witches. A parallel was that during witch trials, they would hold trials for supposed werewolfs. This quickly spread throughout Europe and the New World through colonialism. With the case of Peter Stumpp, a German farmer who was accused of being a serial killer and cannibal, hype for the execution of supposed werewolfs flooded central and western Europe.
Zombies, or what make zombies in modern times, has been a disease that acts very quickly and that can be passed on through a bite, but the origin of the zombie is mind-blowing. The textbook definition of the zombie is an animated corpse that are not as active but are aware of surrounding stimuli. Zombies in folklore can be traced back to West Africa, and the legend of Vodou. The legend is told that a dead person can be brought back by a magic user or sorcerer. In African folklore, the sorcerer can control apart of the soul of the “Zombi,” which in the Kikongo language means “God,” and put it in a bottle for sale. A more recent account of a zombie was in Haiti in 1937, a researcher came across a family record saying they found a woman named Felicia Felix-Mentor who the family claims to be a relative who died in 1907. Many other Haitians have recorded a sighting of this phenomenon and still believe in zombies.
Although movies like Alien and Independence Day have depicted aliens as evil and humanoid creatures, we do not really have an idea of an alien or extraterrestrial life. The search for alien life has been a difficult one. Whole fields like astrobiology have been devoted to finding extraterrestrials. Most scientists agree that there is life on other planets but most is microscopic and are very simple, living in the soil or ice of Mars and Jupiter’s moons. Science-fiction writers like Carl Sagan have written about what life would be like on other planets, from evil beings wanting to take over the Earth to aliens wanting to help us with the many problems of today. Although, the life that scientists have found may not be fully grown, powerful species that are shown in horror movies, we still have a lot of space to search.