Author: Joseph Seridan Le Fanu
Genre: Gothic, Horror, Novella
Page Count: 108
Publication Date: 1872
Themes: Vampires, LGBTQ+
Carmilla is a Gothic novella about a young woman, Lara, who upon hearing about the death of her dear friend, comes upon a sickly woman who is invited into her home, by her father. This mysterious woman begins to display strange behaviour and Lara and Carmilla develop a very strong connection, only to discover that there is something very wrong with Carmilla.
Carmilla is an incredibly fascinating vampire story. It is one of the earlier vampire stories, that was published before Dracula by Bram Stoker. I found this novella was incredibly interesting. It was interesting to see an early concept of what vampires were. There were hints of the stereotypical traits of vampires, like sleeping all day. There are also some traits that are not necessarily as popular in pop culture today.
I found that the story was a very slow and haunting kind of story. It was not a sudden horror. It was the kind of horror that grew over time and learning more about the characters. I really enjoyed that style of horror, that is slow and creeping. It starts you off in a very normal way and then the horror bleeds into the story.
I also really enjoyed the LGBTQ+ qualities of the story. Though, they are not overt there are definitely a lot of hints toward Lara and Carmilla having stronger feelings for each other, than just friends. I mean, it’s a not a secret that Carmilla’s victims are all women. It’s also not an understatement to consider the time in which this was written, the rebelliousness of female attraction and interest in one another.
I honestly really enjoyed this short little novella about a female vampire and her origins. It was complex and fascinating and definitely spooky.
I’m rating this 4.5/5 goblets of blood