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Castle Frankenstein

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Castle Frankenstein 002

Castle Frankenstein from The Bride

Castle Frankenstein (alternately known as Frankenstein Castle or Frankenstein's Castle) is a term attributed to any number of properties owned by the family Frankenstein. While usually associated with the Frankenstein family home, it has also become synonymous with the various watchtowers and laboratories in which Doctor Frankenstein created the infamous Frankenstein Monster. The concept was inspired by the works of Mary Shelley who wrote the 1818 novel Frankenstein: or, the Modern Prometheus, which in turn may have been inspired by the historical castle Frankenstein in Darmstadt, Germay which was once occupied by alchemist Johan Conrad Dippel.

Universal Edit

The original castle and watchtower Edit

The original Castle Frankenstein was located in the barony of Frankenstein Village and was the ancestral home of the Frankenstein family for more than seven-hundred years. [1] The earliest known member of the family was Baron Frankenstein (first name unknown) who lived there with his son Henry and daughter-in-law, Elizabeth. Baron Frankenstein was a respected member of the community, though he had little tolerance for politics or what he perceived to be foolishness perpetuated by the local Burgomeister (who at the time was a man known as Herr Vogel).

Adjacent to the family manor was an ancient watchtower. It was here that the adult Henry Frankenstein performed a series of controversial experiments – experiments that would ultimately bring the family name into ruin. In the upper chambers of the tower, he challenged the laws of both nature and science by bringing to life a creature stitched together from body parts confiscated from the recently deceased. This creature, who has since become known as the Frankenstein Monster, was responsible for terrorizing the nearby village, and the death of a small girl named Maria. The monster seemingly met his end when he confronted Frankenstein at an old windmill, but would later rise to terrorize the village once again. [2]

Henry returned to his family estate to recuperate from the ordeal, at which time he married his fiancée, Elizabeth. A short time after the wedding, the old Baron died, passing his title on to Henry. The only known member of the household staff at this time was a housekeeper named Minnie.

It was at this time that Henry Frankenstein was reunited with his old mentor, Doctor Pretorius. Pretorius was the one who inspired Henry to unlock the secrets behind life and death and urged him to continue on with his work. When Henry refused, Pretorius called upon the aid of the Frankenstein Monster to pressure Henry into relenting. It was Pretorius desire to usher in "a new world of gods and monsters" by having Henry construct a mate for his creature. Henry reopened the old watchtower and began working. The experiment was a success, but when the female creation rejected her "betrothed", the Frankenstein Monster pulled a lever which caused the watchtower to explode. [3]

With another crisis seemingly averted, Henry and Elizabeth remained at Castle Frankenstein for many years where they bore a son named Wolf. When Henry Frankenstein died, his remains were buried in a secret crypt at the base of the watchtower ruins.

As the years went on, the family moved out of the castle and it remained empty for quite some time. By the late 1930s, the watchtower had become the adopted home of a squatter named Ygor. Rumors of the castle being haunted began to circulate throughout the town.

In 1939, Wolf von Frankenstein, his American bride Elsa, and their son, Peter, returned to Frankenstein Village and moved into the castle. Wolf discovered Ygor who had been keeping watch over the surviving Frankenstein Monster for many years. In the hopes of restoring his family's honor, Wolf labored to heal the Monster from the injuries he suffered in the watchtower explosion. At this time, the castle household included a housekeeper named Amelia and a butler named Benson. [4]

The second Castle Frankenstein Edit

Castle Frankentein 001

The ruins of Castle Frankenstein

Castle Frankenstein could also refer to the home of Wolf's brother, Ludwig Frankenstein. This version of Castle Frankenstein was located atop a hill near a dam in the village of Vasaria. The castle was partially destroyed when the Frankenstein Monster, along with Ygor, came to Vasaria in order to blackmail Ludwig Frankenstein into transplanting Ygor’s brain into the body of the creature. This incident led to a fire that consumed most of the estate. The Frankenstein Monster fell through a crevice into an underground glacial cavern where he remained frozen for many months. With the death of Ludwig Frankenstein, the estate came into the ownership of his daughter, the Baroness Elsa Frankenstein. She had little interest in the upkeep of the property and preferred to live elsewhere outside of Vasaria. [5]

Baroness Frankenstein found herself called back to the family ruins when she received notice that someone named Mister Taylor had an interest in purchasing the property. Mister Taylor turned out to be werewolf Larry Talbot who used the alias to bring Elsa back to Vasaria. The suicidal Talbot wanted Elsa's help in finding her father's notes so that he might develop a means of ending his immortal, hellish existence. Talbot had found the frozen Frankenstein Monster and revived him. Larry and Elsa returned to the castle along with a surgeon from Cardiff named Frank Mannering. Mannering renovated the laboratory, restoring most of the original equipment and went to work on trying to both heal the injured monster and cure Larry Talbot.

The villagers from Vasaria had a great dislike for all things related to Frankenstein. One villager in particular, Vazec, decided to put an end to this legacy of horror by blowing up the nearby dam. Tons of water came flooding in, destroying most of the castle ruins. The monster and the werewolf were swept down into the subterranean catacombs where they were frozen in blocks of ice. [6]

A short time later, an escaped convict named Doctor Gustav Niemann and his hunchbacked assistant, Daniel, came to Vasaria in the hopes of recovering Doctor Frankenstein's records. They found no cooperation from the local constabulary, who denied them access to the castle. Niemann and Daniel trudged onward however and found their way into the ruins. Daniel slipped through a weak patch of earth and fell into the frozen cavern where the Monster and the Wolf Man remained inert. Niemann immediately recognized them and revived them. The Wolf Man changed back into Larry Talbot and offered Niemann Frankenstein's notes in exchange for helping him find a cure. They left the ruins in order to work in Niemann's personal laboratory. [7]

The Bride Edit

Castle Frankenstein was also the primary setting for the 1985 Franc Roddam film The Bride. In this film, Doctor Charles Frankenstein creates a monster in his castle laboratory and goes on to create a mate for the monster, which he names Eva. Unlike the original Bride of Frankenstein, Eva is not scarred or deformed, but she rejects her intended mate nonetheless. Echoing the climax from The Bride of Frankenstein, the original Frankenstein Monster destroys the tower room after being rejected by the mate that Frankenstein creates for him. Charles Frankenstein develops an obsessive lust for Eva and this emotional spiral culminates in a battle between the Frankenstein Monster and himself atop the parpapets of the castle. Ultimately, Doctor Frankenstein is hurled to his doom and Eva and the Monster go off with one another.

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Edit

The 1994 film Mary Shelley's Frankenstein also included the family estate, but like the novel, this was in fact an elaborate mansion and not a castle. Directed by Kenneth Branagh, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is truer to the original novel then most other film adaptations, though some differences do arise. It is one of the few films to incoporate the original family household from the novel.

Household

  • Alphonse Frankenstein
  • Caroline Beaufort Frankenstein
  • Victor Frankenstein
  • Elizabeth Lavenza Frankenstein
  • William Frankenstein
  • Justine Moritz

Notes Edit

  • While often portrayed as an actual castle, more often Frankenstein's Castle is just a spacious mansion. The first time it is ever seen as a castle is in 1942's Ghost of Frankenstein.

External Links Edit

References Edit

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