In the tower of a dark cold castle, on a hilltop in Germany, an alchemist works on a discovery that he believes will change the world. Using candlelight he views a vessel containing an elixir and smiles as the light confirms its purity. All those years of medical experimentation coming to fruition in the form of this little vial of fluid, the elixir of life. Using this potion he believes he can transfer the soul from a decaying corpse to a more viable body, then by using electricity he will bring it back to life!
This could very well be an excerpt from a Mary Shelley fictional horror novel but it’s actually based on the historical evidence and folklore around a very real place, Castle Frankenstein.
The Castle Frankenstein was constructed around 1250 by Lord Conrad II Reiz of Breuberg and was christened Frankenstein Castle. In 1673 Johann Conrad Dippel Von Frankenstein was born within the castle walls. Legend has it Johann became an alchemist and his life’s work was comprised of two things: changing metals to gold and finding the “Elixir of Life”. He performed his medical experiments in the tower (now called the Anne Marie Tower) high above the town of Darmstadt. Whispers could be heard amongst the local community, about the nature of these experiments. It was believed that Johann robbed graves and experimented on the cadavers to bring them back to life. He was known by the local clerics of the day as the “Blood Brother to the Devil”.
Today it’s widely speculated that Johann was in fact the inspiration for Mary Shelley’s dark and gothic masterpiece Frankenstein and there are many ghost stories linked to the castle. Here are just a few.
The Haunted Chapel
Castle Frankenstein’s Chapel is purported to be haunted by the First Knight of Frankenstein whose likeness is immortalized in a statue found within its walls. The young Knight passed away tragically of a broken neck in a coach accident at the age of 24. To make the story even more heart-rending, it happened while he was on his way to meet his betrothed, a young lady named Anne Marie. Many who have visited the chapel claim to have heard the statue speak to them, lamenting about his sadness over dying at such a young age. Shadows are also alleged to be seen passing the chapel window and felt hovering behind visitors seated in pews.
Some have also witnessed an entity frantically dancing across the roof. This spirit is thought to be the mad Johan Dipple Von Frankenstein himself.
The “Anne Marie” Tower
At the top of the Anne Marie Tower is a room which was used as a lab by Johann Frankenstein and its believed to be haunted by the unhinged Doctor himself along with spirits of the many bodies he used for his macabre experimentation.
A young attractive nude woman has also been seen in this room. It has been speculated that she is the betrothed Anne Marie still waiting to meet her lover the First Knight of Frankenstein whom will never arrive.
The Lookout Tower
The tall lookout tower is open toward the inside of the castle walls and each floor can be seen. This imposing tower is said to be haunted by spirits of the past who are not happy with the changes being made to the castle grounds. Its been recounted by tourists that stones rain down from the upper levels onto those who pass by below, especially onto those exhibiting a more nasty disposition.
Castle Frankenstein with its literary and ghostly links would definitely be an excellent add to anyone’s travel list!