Varla Ventura, fan favorite on Huffington Post’s Weird News, frequent guest on Coast to Coast, and bestselling author of The Book of the Bizarre and Beyond Bizarre, introduces a new Weiser Books Collection of forgotten crypto-classics. Magical Creatures is a hair-raising herd of affordable digital editions, curated with Varla’s affectionate and unerring eye for the fantastic.

The story of the conception of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein is a tale well known to horror devotees. Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Mary Wollstonecraft (Shelley) were reading ghost stories aloud to one another one stormy night at Byron’s lake house in Geneva, Switzerland. Byron prompted his partygoers to write a ghostly tale of their own. Out of this came the beginnings of one of the most famous horror novels of all time, Frankenstein, a Modern Prometheus. As it happened, John William Polidori was also there that fated night. Personal physician to Lord Byron and a writer as a past time, Polidori crafted The Vampyre, A Tale from a sketch of a story that Byron composed that same evening. Often wrongly advertised as a story by Byron himself, The Vampyre has remained a relatively obscure tale of terror. The first vampire story published in English, Polidori’s work predates the seminal Bram Stoker’s Dracula by more than seventy years.

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