|Walpurgis Night bonfire (from Sweden.se)|
Did you know that tonight is Walpurgis Night, exactly six months away from Halloween? The night is often associated with witches and sorcerers, and is celebrated with bonfires and dancing, in preparation for the arrival of spring's May Day. Bram Stoker's short story, "Dracula's Guest", takes place on Walpurgis Night. This tale is thought to be a deleted chapter from his classic 1897 horror novel Dracula. It begins with an unnamed English traveller (assumed to be Jonathan Harker) in Munich on Walpurgis Night. Despite his coachman's warning, the man wanders out into the forest at night. A storm arises just as he enters a cemetery, and he is forced to seek shelter in a marble tomb. At that point the night takes on a strange and menacing aspect, full of weird sights and sounds, including a glimpse of a beautiful countess and the persistent howling of wolves. The Englishman loses consciousness, but is vaguely aware that something is holding him down. He is eventually rescued, and learns that his rescue was even more fantastically unusual than the events leading up to it, and came about by the intercession of the very person he is on his way to visit in Transylvania, who just happens to be Count Dracula. You can read this short story here, or watch an interesting gothic horror machinima animation version on YouTube. The latter is something I had never seen before, and I found it fascinating!
If you find yourself travelling to Transylvania today, you had best stay indoors after dark. Have a safe Walpurgis Night!
|Dracula welcomes his guest (from Horror Cult Films)|