Tag Archives: Sheridan Le Fanu

CARMILLA (1871) BY SHERIDAN LE FANU

carmillaCARMILLA (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. Continue reading

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