Throughout the 19th century, graves of those believed undead would be dug up, the chest cavity of the deceased broken open, the heart removed and burned, and the skull and leg bones dislodged and rearranged. Nicholas Bellantoni, emeritus state archeologist, will talk about the history and mythologies of vampires in the “Nutmeg State,” focusing on mysterious remains found in the Jewett City area in eastern Connecticut. During a 2013 talk at the Danbury Museum and Historical Society, Bellantoni said in the 19th century, people who were unaware of the actual cause of consumption – tuberculosis – a belief grew in these rural communities that it was caused by undead family members visiting their children, wives or husbands in the night and “sucking the life spirit out” of them. According to an article on Smithsonian.com, in neighboring Jewett City, Connecticut, townspeople in 1854 had exhumed several corpses suspected to be vampires that were rising from their graves to kill the living.
In 1819 a story called The Vampyre was published, in which the creature who traditionally looked like a hobbit and lived down a mole hole was refashioned as a melancholy aristocrat in riding boots and frock coat. The authorship was attributed to Lord Byron but The Vampyre was in fact the product of Byron’s physician, a troubled and troublesome scamp called John Polidori.
Halloween is the perfect time to curl up with a bloody good book and nothing is as satisfying as a vampire novel. While lesbian vampire fiction seems like a new subset of the horror genre, it has actually been around for centuries.
Archaeologists in Turkey have uncovered a secret tunnel, storage rooms, a military shelter, and two dungeons during restoration work on Tokat Castle, where Vlad III the Impaler, who served as the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s character Dracula, is believed to have been held captive in the early 15th century.
A rare manuscript for a stage production of Dracula written by Bram Stoker himself is to go on display at the British Library.
BUCHAREST, Romania—About eight hours’ drive from the capital, and another four hours’ trek from the nearest road, Izvorul Calimanului Mountain looks like many of the Carpathians’ uninhabited peaks: snow-capped in the winter, fir trees thinning near its rocky 6,670-foot peak.
Few hikers visit, but Dacre Stoker thinks tourist dollars could erupt from the extinct Transylvanian volcano. Although he hasn’t visited yet, he’s currently co-writing a guidebook that he hopes will set his ambitious plan in motion. He envisages guided tours by local mountaineers, informative signage, and a nearby cultural center explaining the mountain’s unusual significance.
The dark exoticism of Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a story that continues to haunt the choreographic imagination, with Mark Bruce having recently toured one of the most frighteningly physical dance adaptations of the novel to date. This autumn Northern Ballet revive David Nixon’s version. Nixon follows the original Stoker plot, using a score that weaves together music by Schnittke, Rachmaninov, Pärt and Daugherty. The dramatically gothic set design is by Ali Allen, with the multi-tasking Nixon designing the costumes himself.