Frankenstein and Vasaria – The Fictional Locations of the Early Universal Horror Films (location)

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HORRORPEDIA

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Although the continuity is a little wayward, the events of many of the Golden Age of Universal horror films actually take place in one of two fictional locales – the village of Frankenstein and that of Vasaria (sometimes spelled Visaria). In turn, these were generally filmed in the same place too, the sprawling Universal back-lot, nicknamed ‘Little Europe’.

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Frankenstein Village is home, naturally enough, to the famed Frankenstein family who resided in the area for 700 years. Taking elements of the setting of Mary Shelley’s novel, Ingolstadt in Bavaria, it is referred to in House of Frankenstein as being located near the fictional town of Reigelberg in Switzerland (the country is also referred to in a 1930 shooting script for Frankenstein).

Notable places of interest in the village include a castle on the edge of the village, the ancestral dwelling of the Frankenstein family, latter inhabitants being the Baron and his son, Henry. Located behind the…

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Dwight Frye (actor)

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Dwight Iliff Frye (February 22, 1899 – November 7, 1943) was an American stage and screen actor, noted for his appearances in the classic horror films Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Invisible Man (1933), and Bride of Frankenstein (1935). He is frequently seen on-screen as a simple, sometimes deranged, sycophantic assistant to a more intelligent, malevolent character.

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Born in Salina, Kansas on February 22nd 1899, after which his parents relocated to Denver, Colorado, Dwight was given voice training and piano lessons, showing signs of a promising career as an accomplished concert pianist. His unusual middle name derives from a character in Tennyson’s poetry cycle, Idylls of the King, one of the few nods towards the arts his parents gave. An appearance in a school play led to Frye catching the acting bug, to the dismay and alarm of his parents, particularly his mother who was a devout Christian Scientist. Despite their concerns, he followed…

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Noble Johnson (actor)

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Noble Johnson (April 18, 1881 – January 9, 1978) was an African-American actor and film producer. He was one of the first black actors in Hollywood to achieve any meaningful level of fame and successfully navigated the transition from silent movies to talkies.

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Born in Marshall, Missouri 18th April 1881, Noble was a boyhood friend of Lon Chaney Sr and both became well-known for their ability to immerse themselves into roles, playing a wide variety of characters, often ‘bit-parts’ who still made a big impression. The Johnsons were a well-known black family in the city and their father was an expert horse-trainer. Johnson left school at 15 and travelled with his father riding horses until 1898 when he became a cowboy and had a succession of jobs in ranching, horse training, and later in mining in 1909, as well as finding time to be a boxer and an athlete. Noble Johnson became the first…

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