“NOSFERATU: THE NIGHTMARE HISTORY AND TERRIFYING LEGACY OF A CLASSIC HORROR FILM” #WeirdDarkness

NOSFERATU: THE NIGHTMARE HISTORY AND TERRIFYING LEGACY OF A CLASSIC HORROR FILM” #WeirdDarkness

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IN THIS EPISODE: The 1922 horror classic “Nosferatu” still turns up, on TV and on college campuses every Halloween. And it’ll likely show up again somewhere this year as well. In this episode we’ll look at how Nosferatu is terrifyingly relevant even still today, the controversial making of the film – and the lawsuit by Bram Stoker’s wife, how the director of the film was involved in the occult… and how you would not have wanted to miss the film’s premiere which was an unforgettable, epic event all by itself. That and a whole lot more about 1922’s Nosferatu, on this episode of Weird Darkness.
SOURCES AND ESSENTIAL WEB LINKS…
“The Message Nosferatu Has For Us Today” by Jim Beckerman for NorthJersey.com:https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/4h966w3w
“The True Story Behind Nosferatu” by Sam Markus for Grunge.com: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/zupyynu7
“Other Nosferatu Facts” by Mark Mancini for Mental Floss: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/zueums9f, and William Burns for Horror News Network: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/r6xbudh4
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PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT…..

100 years ago, a rather strange “want” ad appeared in a German newspaper. “Wanted: 30-50 living rats.” The ad, which ran on July 31, 1921, was a casting call. The rats were needed for a film that was being shot in the Northern German town of Wismar that summer. The film was “Nosferatu.” If you’ve seen that film — and many of you have — you’ll know that they got their rats. COVID-19 has made us look at a lot of familiar things with fresh eyes: from a handshake to a doorknob to a grocery list. Certain movies, too, will never look quite the same. One is this early silent movie version of “Dracula,” which might have been made with the present moment in mind. And no wonder — because it was made during a similar moment.

I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.

SHOW OPEN==========

Welcome, Weirdos – I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, the strange and bizarre, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.

Coming up in this episode…

The 1922 horror classic “Nosferatu” still turns up, on TV and on college campuses every Halloween. And it’ll likely show up again somewhere this year as well. In this episode we’ll look at how Nosferatu is terrifyingly relevant even still today, the controversial making of the film – and the lawsuit by Bram Stoker’s wife, how the director of the film was involved in the occult… and how you would not have wanted to miss the film’s premiere which was an unforgettable, epic event all by itself. That and a whole lot more about 1922’s Nosferatu, on this episode of Weird Darkness.

If you’re new here, welcome to the show! While you’re listening, be sure to check out WeirdDarkness.com for merchandise, my newsletter, enter contests, to connect with me on social media, plus, you can visit the Hope in the Darkness page if you’re struggling with depression or dark thoughts. You can find all of that and more at WeirdDarkness.com.

Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!

 

STORY: THE MESSAGE NOSFERATU HAS FOR US TODAY==========

Nosferatu has become part of pop culture, to an extent that is unusual for a silent film. It was remade by Werner Herzog in 1979. A quirky film-about-the-film, “Shadow of the Vampire” (2000) starred Willem Dafoe as the actor Max Schreck, whom the film proposed was an actual vampire. The villain in “Batman Returns” (1992) was named “Max Schreck” (the name of the actor who portrayed Nosferatu in the 1922 film).  There have been “Nosferatu” novels, comic books, model kits. In 2019, the supernatural horror series called “NOS4A2” premiered on AMC. There is even a “Nosferatu” beer.

You may even know something about this film’s backstory, which will go into deeper later in the show. For example – “Schreck” is a word that means “terror” — and for decades, it was assumed to be a pseudonym, but no, it was the poor actor’s real name. How the widow of Bram Stoker, author of “Dracula,” sued to have the film destroyed — and nearly succeeded. How its director, F.W. Murnau, is considered one of the giants of German cinema.

What you might not know is what the rats are doing there in the film.  Bats are the animals generally associated with vampires. Certainly, that was the totem animal in Hollywood’s “Dracula” starring Bela Lugosi in 1931. This was the movie that set the fashion for the vampire as a suave, diabolically handsome aristocrat.

But in “Nosferatu,” it’s rats. When the vampire’s coffin is chopped opened, rats come swarming out. When he debarks from a sailing ship — after killing the entire crew — hordes of rats follow. Schreck, far from being a debonair nobleman, is even made up to look like a rat.

Murnau and his collaborators were not making a movie about a vampire. They were making a movie about a pandemic.

Between 1918 and 1920, Germany lost roughly 287,000 people in the great flu pandemic — the “Spanish Flu,” as it’s erroneously called today — which killed 50 million worldwide. It was a shattering experience for the Germans, as it was for people everywhere. It may even have helped fuel the rise of Hitler and the Nazis, a recent paper by economist Kristian Bickle proposed. “Influenza deaths themselves had a strong effect on the share of votes won by extremists, specifically the extremist national socialist party,” Bickle wrote.

Between the flu, the lost war, economic instability and political turmoil, Germans of the 1920s were spooked. It showed in their films: “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,” “The Golem,” “Warning Shadows,” “Tired Death,” and a dozen other creepy titles.

In the case of “Nosferatu,” the Dracula story became a vehicle — a way to deal with horrors that were fresh in the minds of the German audience. Plague is not a concept that comes up in Stoker’s novel. Nor will you find it in the more conventional “Dracula” movies, the ones with hunky guys in capes bending over the necks of swooning ladies. But it’s central to “Nosferatu.”

The scenes in which the vampire brings death to a captain and his crew, and then pilots the ghost ship into the harbor where dozens of rats scurry off to infect the city, is almost literally a page from history.

“In January of the year 1348 three ships carrying cargoes of spices put in at Genoa, Italy,” wrote historian Donovan Fitzpatrick. “They were also loaded with rats, lean and hungry, that scurried down the hawsers and anchor lines and disappeared into the city…The rats died by the thousands, and then the people began to die.” It was the beginning of The Black Death — bubonic plague.

In “Nosferatu,” there are quarantines, funerals, stay-at-home orders: all the things that are so familiar right now. There is also — significantly — rumor-mongering, and scapegoating. Near the climax, an escaped lunatic is chased by an angry mob. (Something you could see today just because the man wasn’t wearing a face mask!)

In his famed study of German cinema, “From Caligari to Hitler,” critic Siegfried Kracauer argued that the vampire of “Nosferatu” was a tyrant figure, a foreshadowing of Hitler. That may be exactly backward.

The vampire, called Count Orlok in the film — it was made out of copyright, which is why Mrs. Stoker sued — is stealthy. An infiltrator, not a conqueror. He is the outsider bearing disease, the snake in the garden, the alien them who brings ruin down on the hapless us.

Such scapegoating, as we’ve seen, is an undercurrent in our 21st century pandemic — Chinese Americans, Orthodox Jews and (in India) Muslims have been blamed for the outbreak. And of course in Germany, 99 years ago, there was one particular group that bore the brunt of all such insinuations.

Not that “Nosferatu” is an anti-Semitic film. Several of the actors were Jewish. Others were left-wingers. Murnau, the director, was gay.

But “Nosferatu” was drawing its themes from our collective unconscious. Which is still as active now as it was in 1922. It’s worth noting that the Nazis, when they circulated lurid propaganda cartoons about “inferior” races, often depicted them with rat-like features. Sometimes they were pictured, like the vampire in “Nosferatu,” in the midst of rats.

“Nosferatu” is old, celebrating it’s 100th birthday in 2022. But history is said to repeat. And in a time of plague, paranoia and fear-mongering — alas! — everything old is new again.

BREAK==========

Nosferatu terrified audiences when it was first released, leaving many to go home to nightmares in their sleep… but the film was also a nightmare to make. The controversial making of Nosferatu, the lawsuit that should have had all copies of the film destroyed, the occult connection it had through its director, what the film added to vampire lore that will still use today, and more, when Weird Darkness returns.

STORY: THE TRUE STORY BEHIND NOSFERATU==========

In the horror genre, few, if any, movies are as iconic and revered as F.W. Murnau’s 1922 silent vampire tale Nosferatu. Brimming with dread and atmosphere, the film is an example of how even the primitive moviemaking of cinema’s early days can yield breathtaking results that stick with the viewer forever. More so, the film’s villain Graf Orlok, portrayed by German actor Max Schreck, has become a timeless and gut-wrenching interpretation of the vampire, offering those who grew up with the cliched flowing evening wear and smirking arrogance of Bela Lugosi’s Dracula an uglier, more haunting interpretation of the undead.

But like any movie worth its salt, Nosferatu was a nightmare to make. The film’s production was plagued by financial and legal issues, nearly ruining the lives of some of the people who made it. That we even have the movie at all is a miracle, given that every copy of Nosferatu was ordered destroyed by the German courts. But the film remains a dark classic, exciting cinema fans to this day — and lending an odd sort of validation to the real-life circumstances behind its creation…

German director F.W. Murnau is most often credited for Nosferatu’s unique atmosphere and imagery, and rightly so — Murnau would go on to massive success for films like 1924’s The Last Laugh, 1926’s Faust, and 1927’s Sunrise. But equally deserving in praise for the film is Albin Grau, Nosferatu’s producer — and an experienced occultist. According to PeoplePill.com, Grau was a member of a hermetic order named Fraternitas Saturni (Latin for “Brotherhood of Saturn,” referencing the Roman god of time, the harvest, and death), where he used the magic name “Master Pacitius.” The order was founded in the 1920s in Germany by Eugen Gorsch.

Many believe it was Grau’s spiritual relationship with the occult that leant Nosferatu its chilling ambiance. One can even see hermetic and occult symbols in certain scenes of Nosferatu. When Grau started the production company which made the film (named Prana Film after the Buddhist concept of “prana,” meaning “breath” or “life force”), it was meant to focus on films solely of a spiritual or supernatural nature.

Many critics will point out that Nosferatu is a rip-off of Dracula. And to be fair, that’s exactly what it is. Before the widespread popularity of Bram Stoker’s novel, vampires were folk legends rather than part of pop culture. But apparently, while Albin Grau wanted to film Dracula, he had become interested in vampires even before reading the novel, when he was stationed in Serbia during World War I.

According to a 1921 article by Grau in Buhne und Film, partially reprinted by vampire research site Shroudeater.com, a Serbian farmer told the producer that his father had become a vampire. The farmer’s father had died and was buried without receiving the holy sacraments. A month later, a string of deaths occurred — and then witnesses reported seeing the farmer’s father walking around. Locals exhumed his coffin and found it empty. The next morning, they returned and found a healthy-looking man with teeth so long and pointy that he couldn’t close his mouth. A stake was driven through the corpse’s heart before it was cremated.

While Grau’s story might have been a way to drum up hype for his film, Eastern Europe has always been where the legends of vampires as we know them — the blood-drinking, nocturnal undead — have originated. According to National Geographic, the country was home to some of the earliest European vampire hysteria, in part focused around the folkloric character Sava Savanovic. That Grau would have heard this story in Serbia makes sense.

Though Nosferatu’s creators gave their central vampire a look and feel all its own, many contend that the plot — a young clerk traveling to the old country, only to discover a vampire nobleman who covets his beloved — is just Bram Stoker’s Dracula with the names changed. This is quite literally true – Nosferatu was adapted from Dracula, but the characters’ names were altered for the simple reason that producer Albin Grau couldn’t obtain the rights for the novel from Stoker’s estate, according to a piece in Plagiarism Today.

According to Forward, the job of trying to dodge litigation fell on screenwriter Henrik Galeen. He changed names, settings, descriptions, and even the cast of the story in order to avoid litigation and adapt Stoker’s lengthy epistolary novel into a silent film. Count Dracula became Graf Orlok, Jonathan Harker became Thomas Hutter, Renfield became Knock, and Mina Harker became Ellen Hutter. Many of the novel’s supporting characters, such as Professor Van Helsing and cowboy Quincy Morris, are absent entirely. Unfortunately, the writer’s hard work was not enough to keep Prana Film out of legal hot water.

The actor playing Graf Orlok, one Max Schreck, has been the subject of rumors over the years. The most common one is that he was, in fact, a vampire himself, a concept that was turned into the full-length horror film Shadow Of The Vampire, starring Willem Dafoe as the undead Schreck. While the story is obviously untrue, everything about Schreck did little to dispel these rumors.

According to an interview with biographer Stefan Eickoff in Reuters, Schreck was no supernatural creature but rather a versatile actor with an unusual temperament. He was a civil servant’s son with over 800 screen and stage roles and was “a loyal, conscientious loner” with no family to speak of. Schreck was also known for his detached, offbeat sense of humor, leading one of his contemporaries to claim that he lived in his own “remote and strange world.” Of course, it certainly didn’t help his reputation that the word “schreck” is German for “terror,” immediately painting the man as an intimidating figure.

While different depictions of vampires cherry-pick their strengths and weaknesses — fearing the crucifix, casting no reflection in mirrors, transforming into bats — one of the universally recognized tropes is that vampires are killed by direct sunlight. However, this wasn’t always a common concept. In fact, Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula walks around in the sun — he’s merely weakened by it.

It was Nosferatu’s climax that cemented the idea of sunlight killing the vampire into the minds of the public. As noted in a piece on Medium, it was F.W. Murnau who came up with the idea of the vampire being disintegrated by the rays of the dawn. While the poetry of the final scene is laid on thick — the viriginal Ellen Hutter sacrifices herself to the vampire, so that he, drunk on her innocent blood, doesn’t notice the rising sun until it’s too late — truthfully, the use of this special effect was just a cheap alternative to a grisly death scene. The folkloric way to dispense with a vampire involved driving a stake through its heart, cutting its head off, and burning the corpse, which wasn’t easy to show onscreen.

The Medium piece does make a good point, though: Nosferatu wasn’t widely viewed after its release due to it being destroyed via court order. So whether the sun as vampire repellent spread quickly among the few folklore enthusiasts who saw the film, or whether Murnau had heard about it in some rare piece of lore, is unknown.

For a work of art as atmospheric and macabre as Nosferatu, Grau and Murnau couldn’t simply host the world premiere in a movie theater. Instead, the film was premiered with the kind of event one wishes more horror movies launched with — an epic costume party at a zoo.

According to Mental Floss, Nosferatu premiered March 4, 1922, at the Marble Hall of the Berlin Zoological Gardens. Before the film, there was a stage show including a spoken-word prologue by star Max Schreck himself, followed by a dance number. After the showing, there was an elaborate masquerade ball, complete with gowns, frocks, and suitable costumes to honor such a morbid film. The party, dubbed “Das Fest des Nosferatu” (“The Festival of Nosferatu”) raged until 2:00 AM, with guests including German filmmakers like Ernst Lubitsch and Heinz Schall. As noted by Brenton Film, the party and promotional campaign surrounding the film cost more than the movie itself.

Thankfully, this elaborate event has been recreated to a certain degree today. Austin, Texas, hosts an annual Nosferatu Festival, inviting fans from all over the world to travel to America’s “City of Bats” and celebrate all things vampiric.

Given the climate of anti-Semitism in Europe during the first third of the 20th century, it’s unsurprising to learn that many saw Nosferatu as an inherently anti-Semitic film. Jews had for some time been cast as blood-drinking witches by anti-Semites, and the similarities between the vampire Graf Orlok and contemporary stereotypes of Judaism — the long nose, rat-like features, and hunger for innocent Germanic women — lent the movie a bigoted undertone.

One member of the audience at Nosferatu’s premiere leaped on this concept: Julius Streicher, who would become chief editor of Hitler’s antisemitic newspaper Der Stürmer. According to an article from the blog of the Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot, Streicher was so transfixed by the film that he returned to watch it repeatedly. Later on, in the pages of Der Stürmer, Streicher would repeatedly use art and prose to conflate Jews with vampires, making Jewish people out to be rat-faced, bloodthirsty plague-spreaders.

While it has since been noted that F.W. Murnau was friendly with many Jewish people in the film industry, the feeling that Nosferatu was made to stoke the fear of the universal Other — a claim often made about Dracula as well — remains to this day.

Nosferatu was a direct adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, with names and references changed to avoid a copyright infringement lawsuit. Unfortunately, the makers of the film weren’t ready for the sheer tenacity of the enemy they had made: Florence Balcombe, Stoker’s widow.

According to David J. Skal’s book Hollywood Gothic: The Tangled Web of Dracula From Novel To Stage and Screen, Balcombe was an “English rose”-style beauty who’d once been courted by influential public figures such as Oscar Wilde. After her husband’s death, her only real source of income was the royalties from Dracula, his one truly successful book. When she discovered that Grau and Murnau had made the film, she demanded financial compensation — when they dodged this, she demanded that all copies of their film be destroyed.

Despite Nosferatu’s producers doing their best to avoid Balcombe’s wrath, Stoker’s widow won. The German courts ordered all prints and negatives of Nosferatu to be burned, in one of the first cases of capital punishment being waged against a film. However, by then, copies of the movie had been distributed throughout the world, and as one can guess, the fact that Nosferatu is such an iconic film means that it was not entirely lost.

Though Nosferatu is considered a cinematic milestone today, at the time, it was a risky moneymaking venture that had cost a ton to promote. When Bram Stoker’s widow decided to take legal action against Prana Film, producer Albin Grau had only a few options when it came to avoiding lawsuits. So he chose one of the extreme ones — and declared bankruptcy.

Prana Film’s finances had always been precarious, but the threat of litigation — and one with actual merit behind it, given Grau’s decision to simply make Dracula with the names changed — would have been too much for the production company to bear. According to ScreenPrism, Grau’s declaration of bankruptcy made Nosferatu the only feature Prana Film would ever make. Meanwhile, TCM says that Grau sold the movie to Deutsche Film Produktion in order to immediately distance himself from the production.

Even after Stoker’s widow ordered Nosferatu destroyed, the film managed to live on. By that time, copies of the movie had been sent to theaters around the world. Meanwhile, TCM notes that after Grau sold the film to Deutsch Film Produktion, the company edited it without Murnau’s permission.

The result is that many of the copies of Nosferatu that survived were incomplete, re-edited, or had their title cards changed, so every version of the film is different. As reported by Fictosphere, one such unique copy was The Twelfth Hour: A Night Of Horror, a sound version of the film released in 1930 by Deutsche Film Produktion. Featuring new scenes, a different ending, the inclusion of footage that didn’t make the original film, and even a different actor playing the vampire in similar makeup, The Twelfth Hour was shown in theaters and on television around the world but is now difficult to find and stands as a testament to how original movies were recut and re-released before the art form was commonplace.

Interestingly enough, even Bram Stoker’s widow couldn’t kill the vampire after she’d ordered it burned. According to David J. Skal’s Hollywood Gothic, shortly after she’d won her case against Nosferatu, Florence Balcombe received an invitation to a private film society screening — of F.W. Murnau’s Dracula.

At the end of the day, the most iconic depiction of Dracula will always be Bela Lugosi in Todd Browning’s 1931 film by Universal — the cape, the widow’s peak, the thick Eastern European accent. And yet, for many film critics, Nosferatu’s ugly, ethereal depiction of the vampire makes it a superior film to its latter-day, properly licensed descendants.

In fact, renowned film critic Roger Ebert gave the movie four out of four stars, saying on his website, “To watch F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922) is to see the vampire movie before it had really seen itself. Here is the story of Dracula before it was buried alive in cliches, jokes, TV skits, cartoons, and more than 30 other films. The film is in awe of its material. It really seems to believe in vampires. ‘Nosferatu’ is a better title, anyway, than ‘Dracula,'” he adds. “Say ‘Dracula’ and you smile. Say ‘Nosferatu’ and you’ve eaten a lemon.”

BREAK==========

We’re not quite done – there are a few more facts about Nosferatu we can sink our teeth into, when Weird Darkness returns!

STORY: OTHER NOSFERATU FACTS==========

Before Bela Lugosi ever donned his Dracula cape, there was Max Schreck’s gaunt, pointy-eared, and nimble-fingered Count Orlok. As the iconic villain of Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, Orlok represents the earliest surviving attempt to put a vampire onto the silver screen. He is also the product of intellectual theft. Universally recognized as one of the greatest horror movies ever made, Nosferatu has a complicated legacy because it shamelessly plagiarized Bram Stoker’s Dracula. And yet, without this seminal motion picture, the vampire genre that’s found success in every medium, from television to Young Adult novels, might never have taken off.

Despite popular belief, Nosferatu was not the first Dracula film. Stoker’s famous novel earned him some welcome praise, but very little cash. A gothic thriller, Dracula first hit the shelves in 1897. Most reviews were favorable: “Persons of small courage and weak nerves should confine their reading of these gruesome pages strictly to the hours between dawn and sunset,” gushed The Daily Mail. Further praise was heaped on by the incomparable Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who told Stoker, “I think it is the very best story of diatribe which I have read for many years.” Alas, such esteem did not turn Dracula’s author into a wealthy man. Although the book sold around 30,000 copies per year for the next three decades, most of its profits bypassed Stoker and went directly to his publisher. The writer’s longstanding debts and poor health kept him in dire financial straits until he passed away in 1911. Ten years later, Stoker’s most notorious character made his big screen debut. Released in 1921, Dracula’s Death was the earliest attempt to convert the 1897 novel into a motion picture. Mildly put, it was a loose adaptation. Filmed in Hungary and directed by Karoly Latjay, Dracula’s Death tells the story of a young woman who gets a terrible nightmare after she crosses paths with the eponymous villain. Strangely, Dracula himself is an insane musician in this version, rather than a suave aristocrat. No copies of the silent film survive today. Were it not for some recovered publicity photos and newspaper reviews, movie historians might not know that it ever existed.

Stop motion photography helped sell the paranormal aspect of Count Orlock. At one point, Orlok’s coffin closes by itself after the lid levitates off the ground. An early form of stop-motion animation made this possible. By rapidly showing a sequence of still images in which the lid moves closer and closer to its final resting spot, Murnau was able to trick the viewer into thinking that the inanimate object was flying around under its own power. This same technique was also employed during the scene in which Orlok uses his magic to open the hatch of a ship.

Count Orlock’s abode was, in fact, a real castle. Nosferatu was mostly filmed on location within the German cities of Lubeck and Wismar. However, the Transylvania scenes were shot in northern Slovakia—a place that was significantly closer to home for Murnau and company than Romania would’ve been. With one exception, all the exterior shots of Orlok’s palace really depict the 700 year-old Orava Castle that sits above a fishing village called Oravsky Poozamonva. The very last scene in Nosferatu is a shot of our vampire’s Transylvanian home, which has collapsed after his death. To shoot this footage, Murnau traveled to Starhrad, a long-abandoned Slovakian castle that’s been decaying since the 1500s.

Many – and I do mean MANY different soundtracks have been written for Nosferatu. This sort of thing often happens to silent films. When Nosferatu premiered in Berlin, it was accompanied by a live, orchestral score composed by one Hans Erdmann – which you are hearing a rendition of behind me. No recordings of this original soundtrack are known to exist, although a few restorations have been made. Over the years, Nosferatu has also received several alternative scores spanning a wide array of genres. Various home video editions of the film now include jazz, electronic, and classical background music.

In 2002, the Nickelodeon cable channel – the one for kids – shows Orlock a bit of love. Listeners of a certain age might remember Nosferatu not as a classic horror film but as the subject of a particularly strange SpongeBob SquarePants gag. The season 2 episode “Graveyard Shift” sees SpongeBob and Squidward trying to survive their first 24-hour workday at the Krusty Krab. Things get eerie when the lights start to flicker on and off—seemingly all by themselves. At the end of the episode, who should they find playing around with the switch but that mischievous rascal… Count Orlok?!

Even by the show’s own absurd standards, this joke is a real non sequitur. Jay Lender, one of the cartoon’s longest-serving writers, conceived the bit as an “out of left field” ending for the episode. In 2012, Lender told Hogan’s Alley magazine “I’ve had several people say to me that [it’s] the all-time funniest SpongeBob moment. From a technical standpoint, the most difficult aspect of this joke was finding a useable image of Max Schreck in full vampire regalia. I drove all over town looking for books with scannable pictures of Count Orlok; I searched what little there was of the Web back then,” says Lender. “Hours and hours of my life [were spent] over four seconds of screen time because it made me laugh.”

And a few bullet-point facts for you…

Ruth Landshoff, the actress who played the hero’s sister once described a scene in which she fled the vampire, running along a beach. That scene is not in any version of the film, nor in the original script.

The creature that they say is a werewolf, during the scene at the Inn, is actually a Hyena.

The character of Nosferatu is only seen on screen for a bit less than nine minutes in total throughout the whole film.

Even during those nine minutes though, you can only find Count Orlock blinking once, as the actor and director never wanted the creature to blink as it was too humanizing.

Many scenes featuring Graf Orlok were filmed during the day, and when viewed in black and white, this becomes extremely obvious. This is somewhat corrected though when watching later edits of the movie which are tinted blue to represent nighttime scenes.

SHOW CLOSE, CREDITS, A LITTLE LIGHT, AND A FINAL THOUGHT==========

Thanks for listening. If you like the show, please share it with someone you know who loves the paranormal or strange stories, true crime, monsters, or unsolved mysteries like you do! You can also email me anytime with your questions or comments through the website at WeirdDarkness.com. That’s also where you can find all of my social media, listen to free audiobooks I’ve narrated, shop the Weird Darkness store, sign up for the email newsletter to win monthly prizes, find other podcasts that I host, and find the Hope in the Darkness page if you or someone you know is struggling with depression or dark thoughts. Plus if you have a true paranormal or creepy tale to tell, you can click on TELL YOUR STORY – or call the DARKLINE toll free at 1-877-277-5944.

All stories in Weird Darkness are purported to be true (unless stated otherwise) and you can find source links or links to the authors in the show notes.

“The Message Nosferatu Has For Us Today” by Jim Beckerman for NorthJersey.com
“The True Story Behind Nosferatu” by Sam Markus for Grunge.com
“Other Nosferatu Facts” by Mark Mancini for Mental Floss, and William Burns for Horror News Network

 

Again, you can find links to all of these stories in the show notes.

WeirdDarkness™ – is a production and trademark of Marlar House Productions. Copyright, Weird Darkness, 2022.

Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” – 1 Corinthians 13:12

And a final thought… “Always have hope. Always have faith. No matter how bad any situation is, your miracle can be closer than you can imagine.”

I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.

 

 

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