Carmilla Chronicles


The history of Sheridan Le Fanu’s famous female vampire

Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla was one of the first vampires in fiction, and the first female vampire — and lesbian female vampire. On Diabolique, I have a four-part series examining the history of vampires in literature and the strange journey of Carmilla from page to screen — first in the surreal 1932 horror film Vampyr, in which she does not actually appear at all; then in Roger Vadim’s Blood and Roses, which transported Carmilla to 1960’s France; and finally in Hammer’s lurid, beautiful The Vampire Lovers in 1970. Along the way, we’ll flip through The Leaves of Satan’s Book, suffer the Curse of Frankenstein, experience the Horror of Dracula, and catch up with Carmilla after The Vampire Lovers, when she popped up in everything from a sleazy Spanish horror film to a Batman cartoon.

Links below point to the posts on Diabolique.

“But dreams come through stone walls, light up dark rooms, or darken light ones, and their persons make their exits and their entrances as they please, and laugh at locksmiths.”

— Sheridan Le Fanu

From Camilla to Carl Dreyer
The early history of vampire literature, Carmilla, and Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Vampyr.
Vadim’s Vamps: Bared Bums and Bared Fangs
Roger Vadim introduces the world to Brigitte Bardot and adapts Carmilla for the modern era.
Carmilla in the House of Horror, Part 1
England’s Hammer Films gets into the horror business with Frankenstein and Dracula.
Carmilla in the House of Horror, Part 2
Hammer makes The Vampire Lovers, a faithful adaptation of Le Fanu and gives Carmilla the film she deserves