21. Apr 2012 | Images © 1922: Albin Grau (1, 2); Degen (3); PRIMAX FILM (4); |
He has always been much more terrifying than Dracula and he always had the more pointed teeth. He inspired Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau in 1922 to produce a silent movie that made film history and until today hasn’t lost its eerie edge. The legendary creature Nosferatu
is by no means a normal Vampire and the way that Murnau has characterized him in his film
through actor Max Schreck (whose last name translates "fright" or "terror") largely corresponds with the way we imagine him, even today. His appearance, however, does in no way resemble that of the stylish, common vampire. Nosferatu carries a much darker side, he gives us a feeling of menace that only goes along with the unknown. Until today, we know almost nothing about him. He is a diffuse mythological creature from the depths of Transsylvanian folklore. The first Vampire. Noone knows his age or origin. It is by the way a false belief that we owe Dracula to Bram Stoker. Scottish author Emily Gerard travelled to Transsylvania quite frequently in the late 1800s. She layed the groundstone for the myth of the vampire in her 1888 book "The Land beyond the Forest. Facts and Fancies from Transylvania". There she tells of the Transsylvanian population’s belief in a demonic creature and called it "Nosferatu". A name associated with all kinds of evil such as the Black Death or Lucifer himself. How Nosferatu turned into a vampire
, however, will stay his eternal secret. Anyway, Bram Stoker used her phantastic description quite successfully when he invented his legendary "Dracula" in 1897.