CARMILLA (1871) – By Sheridan Le Fanu. Balladeer’s Blog’s month-long celebration of Halloween continues. I would have thought that the classic vampire story Carmilla would be too well known for me to have to cover it. I’m surprised at how many people I encounter who are not familiar with the original story, however, just some of the adaptations. SPOILERS AHEAD!
The vampire Carmilla is really the presumably long-dead Countess Mircalla Karnstein. She fell in love with Laura, the heroine of the story, when Laura was six, so she spared her. As the story begins Laura has turned eighteen, so Carmilla considers her ripe for seduction. The vampire plans to spend eternity with our teenage heroine, in the now-routine element of vampire tales.
A nice novelty is that Carmilla turns into a cat instead of a bat, but otherwise the 200 year-old vampress’ pursuit of Laura followed the usual pattern: “Sickness” strikes dead several girls in the Austrian town near the castle where Laura lives with her father. Eventually she herself begins to show lesser versions of the mysterious illness’ symptoms.
Other characters include:
** General Spielsdorf, (an old friend of Laura’s father), whose niece was one of the victims of Carmilla’s nocturnal blood-hunts.
** And Baron Vordenburg, the latest in his family’s long line of expert vampire slayers who have protected Austria and vicinity from those monsters. In the 1690s the Baron’s ancestor clashed with Carmilla/Mircalla but fell in love with her, ultimately joining her as one of the undead. To avenge the family honor this latest Baron Vordenburg wants to send Countess Karnstein to her eternal damnation.
I don’t want to give away everything about the story, suffice it to say Carmilla lives up to its reputation as a masterpiece of erotic horror. ++
FOR ISABELLA OF EGYPT, FEATURING A GOLEM, A MANDRAGORE, A LIVING DEAD MAN, A GYPSY WITCH AND A JEWISH SORCEROR CLICK HERE
FOR MORE HALLOWEEN ITEMS CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/category/halloween-season/
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