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Frankenstein village

Frankenstein Village is a fictional location and the primary setting for the first three Frankenstein films produced by Universal Pictures; Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein and Son of Frankenstein. It is loosely based on the state of Ingolstadt in Bavaria, Germany, which was a central location in the original 1818 Frankenstein novel by Mary Shelley. In the film series, the village is not identified as Frankenstein Village until the beginning of the 1939 film Son of Frankenstein.

History[edit | edit source]

Frankenstein Village is a small town located in Switzerland. It is near the town of Reigelberg and is a three day journey by horse to the village of Vasaria. [1] The village was named after the noble Frankenstein family, who has maintained a strong presence in the region for more than seven-hundred years. [2]

Frankenstein Village is the location of Frankenstein Castle, the ancestral home of the family, the earliest known ancestor of which was Baron Frankenstein, who lived at the manor with his son, Heinrich von (Henry) Frankenstein. Near the castle was an old watchtower where Henry Frankenstein conducted a series of bizarre experiments in the late 19th century that ruined the family legacy, making the name Frankenstein synonymous with monsters and horror. The product of Frankenstein's work was a shambling, monster who many claim were responsible for several deaths in the nearby village. The first confirmed sighting of the monster took place following the accidental death of a village boy. The villagers banded together as a mob and hunted the monster down, allegedly killing him at an old mill near the family estate.[3]

The monster survived however, and only a short time later, wandered deep into the forests of the village where he befriended an old, blind man. During this time, the monster learned to speak and began to develop a sense of humanity, but this brief happiness ended when the monster decided to end his own life, as well as that of his monstrous "bride", by destroying the Frankenstein watchtower. [4]

Henry Frankenstein and his wife Elizabeth survived these horrors and remained at the castle for some time where they raised a family. When Henry Frankenstein died, his records of his experiments were lost and his body was buried in a secret crypt beneath the ruins of his old laboratory.

His monstrous legacy however was still alive. For years, the Frankenstein Monster lived alone in the woods, doing everything he could to survive. Driven mad by his prior experiences, he became a savage killer, raiding homes and murdering at random. One man, Inspector Krogh, once described how the monster burst into his home when he was a young child and ripped his right arm clean out of its socket.

The monster disappeared shortly thereafter and was not heard of in the village for many years.

The ruling council members of Frankenstein Village may have been free of the monster, but they still had other criminals to contend with. One such criminal was a blacksmith named Ygor, who was sentenced to hang for allegedly robbing graves. Ygor was executed and pronounced dead, but had miraculously survived the hanging. It was decreed that they could not execute him a second time, and they were forced to set Ygor free. Following this event, Ygor began living in the ruins of Frankenstein Castle and became known as a local oddity.

A short time later, Wolf von Frankenstein, his American bride Elsa and their son Peter came to live in Frankenstein Village. The villagers had enjoyed many years of peace without anyone invoking the hated family name, and they wished it to remain so. As the Frankenstein family disembarked the train at the station, they were met by the town Burgomaster and the reigning council members who pointedly told them, "We are here to meet you, not to greet you". Wolf tried to appeal to their better nature, telling them that he wished to be their friends and to restore honor to the name of Frankenstein, but the villagers had little interest in anything he had to say. It wasn't long before Wolf discovered the Frankenstein Monster and used him as a template to continue his father's work.

Points of Interest[edit | edit source]

  • Frankenstein Castle
  • Frankenstein Watchtower
  • Goldstadt Medical College

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • The exact location of Frankenstein Village is never revealed in any of the films, but the August 12th, 1930 shooting script for Frankenstein indicates that it is located in Switzerland. This is also in keeping with the original Mary Shelley novel which used Switzerland as its primary setting. A popular misperception is that Frankenstein Village is located in Germany. This is likely derived from the fact that in the novel, Victor Frankenstein attended school at Ingolstadt in Bavaria, Germany.
  • People from Frankenstein Village often refer to themselves as Frankensteinians. [5]

References[edit | edit source]

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