Villa Diodati


The Haunted Summer of 1816 and the Origin of Frankenstein

There's not much I love more than haunted things and horror origin stories...well, other than puppies and iced coffee. Being that it is Women in Horror month, I started looking into the origin story of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. The history is more interesting than you think. The Year Without a Summer The year of 1816 was known as the year without a summer. In April 1815, there was a volcanic eruption.  The eruption of Mount Tambora (located in present-day Indonesia) was the most powerful volcanic eruption in human recorded history. It is reported that the[...]


Poor Polidori: Granddad of the contemporary vampire

In the summer of 1816, a group of artists, poets, and friends gathered together at the Villa Diodati on Lake Geneva in Swizerland. Sounds quaint enough. So here’s the dirt, and I’m paraphrasing liberally from a couple of different sources: Mary Shelly’s step-sister, Claire Clairmont, had the idea: she was hooking up with Lord Byron and even though he wasn’t really feeling it, she decided to “surprise” him in Swizerland though he never really invited her along for the trip. With her, Claire brought Mary and her main squeeze, Percy, along for kicks. Pe[...]