A werewolf or lycanthrope is a person who unwillingly transforms into a half man, half wolf creature whenever the moon is full. The werewolf is said to be result of a gypsy’s curse and is unable to be controlled when under the full moon’s spell. The werewolf is thought to be immortal, but can be killed if shot with a silver bullet or stabbed with a silver dagger. When a man turns into a werewolf, he is said to roam the night searching for his victims and will stop at nothing to catch his prey. The next morning when the sun has risen, the werewolf will have no memory of his deeds the night before. It is said that if you are bitten by a werewolf you will also turn into one, but most people are not left alive long enough after a werewolf bite to suffer from this fate.
Vampires are the masters of the night. They are creatures who exist between life and death and must drink the blood of humans or animals in order to survive. True vampires are thought to have the power to drain another person of their blood, energy, power, life force, or soul just by being near them. Many people believe that vampires can be killed in a variety of ways, including a stake through the heart, decapitation, burning, holy water, and of course exposure to the sun. It is also thought that vampires can shape-shift into a variety of different animals, like bats or dogs. They do not cast a shadow and have no reflection due to the fact that they have no souls. It is also thought that a vampire cannot enter someone’s house without being invited, will never enter a church or holy building, are fearful of garlic, and have the compulsion to count things, like grains of salt, when thrown on the floor. Count Dracula, the most popular vampire of all, comes from the Bram Stoker novel Dracula. While vampires have been popular monsters throughout history, Stoker’s novel is responsible for influencing other adaptations in modern films.
Frankenstein is a fictional character from Mary Shelley’s book, Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus. In the book, Dr. Frankenstein reanimates a corpse using some questionable scientific methods. The monster awakens, not knowing who or what he is, and flees into the forest where he hides in a peasant family’s shed attached to their cottage. The monster learns to speak while listening to the family’s conversations through the walls as he hides. When he finally reveals himself to the blind father he is treated with kindness, but when the rest of the family sees how frightening he looks, they drive him away. The monster experiences more prejudice and eventually searches out Dr. Frankenstein in order to punish him for giving him life. In the end, Dr. Frankenstein dies and the monster commits suicide because he has no family left to belong to. While quite different from the popularized film adaptation, this tale of intolerance and misunderstanding makes Frankenstein’s story both frightening and sad.