Spectral Visions is a Gothic Society hosted by the University of Sunderland.
Edgar Allan Poe is considered a literary genius and one of the fathers of horror literature as well as the inventor of the detective story. Poe was gifted with an undoubtedly brilliant mind able to create elaborate plots. He showed the darkest and most intricate aspects of the human soul with which he was able to provoke feelings of fear, anguish and unease in the readers daring enough to immerse themselves in his stories.
From that famed night of ghost-stories in a Lake Geneva villa in 1816, as well as Frankenstein’s monster, there arose that other great figure of 19th-century gothic fiction – the Vampire – a creation of Lord Byron’s personal physician John Polidiri. Andrew McConnell Stott explores how a fractious relationship between Polidiri and his poet employer lies behind the tale, with Lord Byron himself providing a model for the blood-sucking aristocratic figure of the legend we are familiar with today.