Women In Horror
Welcome my dear playfellows! Been awhile… Step in—into the dark—we won’t bite—at least not right away! (High-pitched laughter echoes as Nighty steps into view) Let us play!
Nighty has a bone to pick! Well, several actually-but that we’ll save for another column. (Grinning slyly)
All this talk of “Women in Horror Month”! Yes, Nighty is quite aware that particular month has come and gone! That, dear playfellows is the point. The sharp and deadly point my fellow ladies of the macabre. “Women in Horror”? To Nighty, the blood all tastes the same. Well, men are slightly sweeter… ooh yes! For centuries, women have been involved in horror most bloody! Some of these beauties needn’t have touched a quill nor pen…oh no! A bladed knife or a tongue that could slice like one, is all they’d possibly need! (Screams in hellish delight)
Who but a woman, penned the forever, famous “Frankenstein”! This brilliant woman, created a horrifying tale about a huge dude, stitched together from dead body parts and brought to life with the ingenious method of lightening! Today we call that a defibrillator. Yes, Mary Shelley was in fact, the very creator of literature’s most feared “Monster.” She paved a beautiful, bloody path for many a femme fatale who had a way for all things most wicked.
This was Gothic at its best! Such great works which influenced both authors and filmmakers to this day!
Let us not forget yet another wickedly, wonderful woman who wrote and inspired; Shirley Jackson! The creator of the famously, favorite, fright-filled epic, “The Haunting.” What a thrill ride exists in not only the novel, but the original black-and-white 1963 version of this unparalleled, haunted house story! The freaking walls breathed for Hades’ sake! Breathed, I tell you! The hammering that echoed the halls was so loud, you unknowingly held your breath! For some, that may have been all you could hold! C’mon, Nighty knows! (Claps in fiendish delight)
Oh my playfellows, horror comes in various forms and women throughout time had a hand in each of the most horrifying of all evils! No man dare to dream—eh—much less conjure any such hellish nightmares, as these women of whom Nighty speaks! Well, perhaps a few; a select few. Let us delve into history, shall we?
The number one, most evil “Woman in Horror,” without a doubt, is the illustrious Elizabeth Báthory! Yes, my dear playfellows, this woman has been deemed the female version of Dracula! Báthory, was born into one of the wealthiest families in Transylvania! “Transylvania,” my playfellows! She not only drank the blood of the virgin girls she murdered but bathed in it! Ooh, a bloody bath indeed! She did so, not to cleanse her skin but to retain her youth! No soap was needed. She kept it simple; type A, B or whatever virginal blood was available. Such a vain and evil woman! What unearthly thought could spawn such evil intent? Well, truth has it…
After this cruel and sadistic woman had beaten a slave, she noticed the blood appeared to “tighten and firm” her own skin! Could it have been the blood itself drying? Oh my, that would make way too much sense to this mind most disturbed! Over 600 women lost their lives to her tortures. One device she constructed solely for that purpose, was the “Iron Virgin.” (How appropriately named) This horrific and bloody torture device was later known as the “Iron Maiden.” What a mess left for the poor unfortunate whose position was to do nothing but tidy up after Ms. Báthory! Not even Oil of Olay™ could top that skin treatment, my playfellows! If by chance, you’re contemplating the use of these gruesomely extreme, beauty methods; you may want to do some research on the number of virgins needed weekly to keep up with such an extravagant skin regimen. Unless blood is your thing, Nighty suggests you stick with the trusted Oil de Olay. Less mess, less fuss… (Tossing her head back in a howling screech!)
There is speculation that Bram Stoker used Báthory when writing “Dracula”! The similarities between this maven of the macabre and the deadly Dracula are numerous. Could you imagine the union those two would have made? Oh, what a devilish mess would have been left in their wake!
Seriously my fellow followers of fright, this dudette is one of the most famous of all “Women of Horror”!
If you’ve yet to hear of this next madam ala terror, get ready my playfellows, this one is a killer! (Laughs maniacally) A socialite in New Orleans, Delphine LaLaurie, was discovered to be quite the ghoulish girl when a fire alerted authorities, revealing not only two slaves chained to her stove, but over a dozen maimed and disfigured slaves in her attic! Included among those most unfortunate servants, was a woman whose limbs were so hellishly disfigured (thanks to LaLaurie’s creative way with knives) she resembled a caterpillar! Yep! You read right, my fright loving followers! Another devious creation by LaLaurie, was a woman sliced and diced to simulate an unworldly crab! Some of her victims were found barely breathing, hanging on the ledge of life and death- due to this woman most sadistic. Imagine the sight! A caterpillar! A crab like creation? Was she delving in some twisted scientific experiment gone wrong- or was she simply evil and twisted? Perhaps, she was attempting to create a sort of freakish plaything! The mind of such evil cannot be so easily interpreted! Nighty dare not try! (Wickedly grins)
So as you see my dear playfellows, a single month is simply not enough to cover the multitude of these maidens of the macabre! Although various means of weapons were utilized, whether they be pen or blade, these ladies knew how to weave horror at its most terrifying! However meek or evil they were in life, these ladies will forever be listed among the great “Women of Horror” in any month!
Nighty, is familiar with a few of the modern day Horror Philes! Care to stay and dine with us perhaps? We’d love to have you for dinner… That’s right…enter this way. The pot is just about to boil! (Howling laughter echoes the realm as Nighty fades into the mist.
‘Til next time my playfellows,
Stay Sacred! Yes, so very scared. (A cackle ensues)