Vox explore the real experiments that inspired the Frankenstein book by Mary Shelly. When we think about Frankenstein, we think of a goofy horror icon, far removed from the real-world.

 

But at the time, Frankenstein was a prediction of things to come, in the mind of its author. Just before Mary Shelly wrote the famous book, scientists were developing a method of bringing the dead back to life. The technique they used was called Galvanism, where electricity was pumped into recently deceased corpses. In turn, these corpses would often move around and even pull facial expressions.

At the time, people thought that they were bringing people back from the dead, if only for a moment. These people weren’t being brought back to life though, just being re-animated artificially by hijacking the body’s muscle systems. This is what inspired Shelly to write her classic horror story. For us, it’s just a spooky story, but for her, it was a very real concept indeed.

Frankenstein|Vox|Documentary

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