Synopsis by Jason Buchanan
In 1818, British novelist Marry Shelley created one of the most iconic monsters of all time, but could it be that her frightening tale of reanimation was actually rooted in horrifying fact? In this documentary, the filmmakers of Decoding the Past explore the curious case of brilliant scientist Johann Konrad Dippel, who - despite his staggering wealth of knowledge relating to the human anatomy - earned a grim reputation for dabbling in alchemy and body snatching. The prototypical "mad scientist," Dippel was born in Castle Frankenstein in 1673. In addition to conducting pioneering work that would ultimately lead to the advent of electric shock therapy, his dark scientific research would later lead him on a search for an elixir that could restore life to the dead. But Dippel still needed a subject on whom to test his elixir, his search ultimately leading him to nearby Nieder-Beerbach Cemetery. There, the scientist would dig up fresh corpses and haul them back to his laboratory deep in the bowels of Castle Frankenstein. Whether or not he succeeded in his mission of creating an elixir capable of reanimating dead tissue is still up for debate, though the fact that he was ultimately driven out of town has led countless people to wonder just what horrors truly unfolded in that sprawling gothic castle.