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The regular early morning yell of horror was the sound of Arthur Dent waking up and suddenly remembering where he was. Douglas Adams, Life, The Universe and Everything
The horror! The horror! Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, 1902
I’m into The Walking Dead, Shaun of the Dead, obviously, and I’ve seen all the Romero movies. I am a classic zombie queen. And I love the White Walkers on Game of Thrones. Weirdly, it wasn’t until pretty late in life that I found my entry point into horror films. Anna Kendrick
I wants to make your flesh creep. Charles Dickens, Pickwick Papers, Fat Boy
‘We will each write a ghost story,’ said Lord Byron; and his proposition was acceded to. There were four of us ... Have you thought of a story? I was asked each morning, and each morning I was forced to reply with a mortifying negative ... On the morrow I announced that I had thought of a story ... At first I thought but a few pages – of a short tale; but Shelley urged me to develop the idea at greater length. Mary Shelley, introduction to Frankenstein
I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half vital motion. Frightful must it be; for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavour to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world. ibid.
You seek for knowledge and wisdom as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been. ibid. Letter 4
It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn. ibid. ch4
Everywhere I see bliss, from which I alone am irrevocably excluded. ibid.
Flash of lightning illuminated the object and discovered its shape plainly to me; its gigantic stature, and the deformity of its aspect, more hideous than belongs to humanity, instantly informed me that it was the wretch, the filthy demon to whom [he] had given life. ibid. ch7 p60
His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath. His watery eyes – they seemed almost the same colours as the white sockets in which they were set. ibid.
When I looked around I saw and heard of none like me. Was I, then, a monster, a blot upon the earth from which all men fled and whom all men disowned? ibid. ch13 p105
I am alone and miserable: man will not associate with me; but one as deformed and horrible as myself would not deny herself to me. My companion must be of the same species and have the same defects. This being you must create. ibid. ch16 p129
Seek happiness in tranquillity and avoid ambition. ibid. ch24 p200
I busied myself to think of a story which would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature. And awaken thrilling horror. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein 1994 starring Robert deNiro & Kenneth Branagh & Helena Bonham Carter & Ian Holm & Rory Jennings & Tom Hulce & John Cleese & Aidan Quinn & Richard Briers & Robert Hardy & Christina Cutall & Celia Imrie & Cherie Lunghi & Charles Wyn-Davies & Richard Bonneville et al, director Kenneth Branagh
The dawn of the nineteenth century ... Among the pioneers, Captain Robert Walton, an explorer, obsessed with reaching the north pole. As the prize drew closer his voyage would uncover a story to strike terror in the hearts of all who would venture into the unknown. ibid. caption
We can change things. We can make things better. ibid. Victor to professor
Sooner or later the best way to cheat death will be to create life. ibid. Victor to friend & professor
I abandoned my other research many years ago. Because the result is an abomination. ibid.
You’re evil. You’re the one who’re meant to die. ibid. man on scaffold to crowd
What has happened to you? How can you live like this? ibid. Elizabeth to Victor
It’s alive! It’s alive! ibid. Victor in lab
Evil stitched to evil stitched to evil. ibid. senior professor
Because I am so very ugly. And they are so very beautiful. ibid. Monster to old man
You gave me these emotions. But you didn’t tell me how to use them. Now two people are dead. ibid.
What of my soul. Do I have one? ibid.
Did you ever consider the consequence of your actions? You gave me life then left me to die. Who am I? ibid.
There is something I want. A friend. Companion. A female. Someone like me. So she won’t hate me. ibid.
If you deny me my wedding night, I will be with you on yours. ibid.
I am done with man. ibid.
It is perhaps the most horrific monster ever imagined. A gruesome body sewn together from freshly dug up corpses given new life through the power of electricity. The scientist Victor Frankenstein and his terrifying monster were characters created by Mary Shelley in her famous nineteenth century novel. Yet there are real life stories that are just as macabre. Decoding the Past s2e34: The Real Dr Frankenstein, History 2006
Frankenstein: one of the darkest tales ever told was born in a nightmare. From a nineteen-year-old girl whose life was full of demons came a monster who terrorised generations to come. Mary Shelley began Frankenstein in Switzerland at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Professor Robert Winston, Frankenstein: Birth of a Monster, BBC 2003
People believed that electricity and magnetism could bring the dead back to life. As a child Mary had heard of experiments to reanimate hanged convicts. ibid.
Mary Shelley’s intellectual gene pool was a rich one; both her parents were revolutionary thinkers. Her mother was Mary Wollstonecraft, the founder of feminism. Mary Wollstonecraft was a unique woman. Beautiful. Fierce. Independent ... Her book A Vindication of the Rights of Woman is still taught in colleges today. ibid.
Percy Bysshe Shelley: he was the bad boy of Oxford University. For some time he had been writing long letters to [William] Godwin. ibid.
Mary was Percy’s soul mate. ibid.
Common sense got to Shelley before the bullet did. But he was distraught. Later that night he took an overdose of Laudanum. His two suicide attempts had failed. ibid.
Mary Shelley’s hero - Victor Frankenstein – was a doctor seeking the ultimate truth about life. ibid.
This gruesome trade in dead bodies inspired Mary. ibid.
The summer of 1816 when Lord Byron entertained his friends on the shores of Lake Geneva. They called it the Summer of Darkness. ibid.
Mary took the ghost story challenge seriously. ibid.
A few days after the ghost story challenge Mary was to have her famous dream. ibid.
Mary and Percy’s lives were becoming a soap opera of births, marriages and deaths, often involving Byron. ibid.
It is as if the monster is crying out for Shelley. ibid.
Frankenstein, made infamous by the classic Boris Karloff films of the 1930s, was written by a 19-year-old girl nearly 200 years ago. Frankenstein: A Modern Myth, Channel 4 2013
Mary Shelley raised larger questions about our own origins and mankind’s place in the universe. ibid.