Yes, there really is a genuine Frankenstein Castle and it is open to the public. It’s in Germany (as you would expect) and overlooks the city of Darmstadt. It was originally built in the thirteenth century and it’s thought that it provided Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, with the inspiration for the tale we know so well.
Just four years before her book was published, Mary Shelley had possibly visited the castle. It’s known that she was certainly only a few miles away and may have heard some of the strange rumours that abounded about the mad scientist who lived there.
Because a man called Johann Conrad Dippel had been born in the castle in 1673 and grew up to be the castle’s resident alchemist. He believed that he had discovered ‘the elixir of life’. There were rumours though that his experiments went further.
It was said that he conducted experiments on human bodies, even going to the extent of digging up dead bodies in order to perform his research.
Needless to say, he wasn’t popular with the local populace. When he died in 1734 it was supposed to have been because of a stroke but many people believed that he had been poisoned because of his unpopularity locally.
So although we know that the Frankenstein monster was merely a figment of Mary Shelley’s fertile imagination, are we really sure? Was a monster really created at Frankenstein Castle. Or does the ghost of Dippel still wander around – possibly because he was thwarted and did not live forever as his ‘elixir of life’ had suggested?
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.