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The frightening and disturbing Graf Orlock (Max Schreck) in Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie des Grauens.


(pop culture)

Nosferatu is a modern word derived from Old Slavonic word, nesufur-atu, borrowed from the Greek nosophoros, a “plague carrier.” Vampires were associated in the popular mind with the spread of disease (such as tuberculosis whose cause was otherwise unknown) and by, extension with the idea of spreading the infection of vampirism through its bite. It is not a Romanian word, and it is not found in Romanian dictionaries. It was originally a technical term in the old Slavonic that filtered into common speech. It has erroneously been reported to mean “undead,” a concept developed by Bram Stoker for Dracula (1897), and elsewhere as a reference to the devil. It appears to have entered literature through the popular travelogue of Emily Gerard’s The Land Beyond the Forest (1885) in which she said, “More decidedly evil is the nosferatu, or vampire, in which every Romanian peasant believes as he does in heaven or hell.” From Gerard, Stoker picked up the term for Dracula. In his famous determinative speech on the vampire in chapter 18, Abraham Van Helsing said, “The nosferatu do not die like the bee when he stings once. He is only stronger; and being stronger, have yet more power to work evil.” The term, though used by Stoker, is not prominent.

The term first gained real prominence when it was used by Freidrich Wilhelm Murnau in his attempt to create a disguised version of Dracula for the screen. Murnau’s film, Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie des Grauens, made the term part of the popular language about vampires, especially after its rediscovery in the 1960s and the new release in 1972. Over the last several decades, it has commonly appeared in novels and films as a term synonymous with the vampire. In his two books about vampires, Leonard Wolf relied on Gerard, repeated her mistakes, and then contributed one of his own when he said in his The Annotated Dracula that nosferatu was a Romanian word meaning “not dead.”


Gerard, Emily. The Land Beyond the Forest. 1885. 2 vols. Edinburgh & London: Will Blackwood & Sons, 1888.
Senn, Harry A. Were-Wolf and Vampire in Romania. New York: Columbia University Press, 1982. 148 pp.
Stoker, Bram. The Annotated Dracula. Edited by Leonard Wolf. New York: Clarkson N. Porter, 1974. Rept. New York: Ballantine, 1976. 362 pp.
Wolf, Leonard. A Dream of Dracula: In Search of the Living Dead. Boston, MA: Little Brown, 1972. Rept. New York: Popular Library, 1977. 326 pp.
References in classic literature ?
Friend Arthur, if you had met that kiss which you know of before poor Lucy die, or again, last night when you open your arms to her, you would in time, when you had died, have become nosferatu, as they call it in Eastern europe, and would for all time make more of those Un-Deads that so have filled us with horror.
THEATRE Medusa Following the success of Nosferatu at the Brindley Theatre, innovative storytellers and theatre-makers proper Job Theatre Company collaborate with award-winning writer Helen Mort to re-tell this classic myth from the point of view of Medusa, as the second part of the Monster Trilogy.
0844 338 5000 cinema Frankenstein (1910) and Nosferatu (1921) The historic Town Hall organ will send shivers down your spine during this Halloween silent movie double bill.
Joslin presents a compendium of the most important Dracula film adaptations from 1922's Nosferatu to 2013's Dario Argento's Dracula.
German director FW Murnau's iconic horror film of 1922, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, or in German, Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens, was feted with the grand symphonic canvas that it deserved at the Katara Drama Theatre as part of The Doha Film Institute's A Symphony of Films.
Saturday, September 3, Nosferatu, Halifax Minster The refurbishment of the Square Chapel Centre for the Arts in Halifax means that the venue has been closed for most of the summer.
In 1979 he released the album Nosferatu with the Captain Beefheart's Magic Band's drummer, Robert Williams, which was his first venture away from The Stranglers After leaving the Stranglers in 1990 he began working with Roger Cook and Andy West as CCW, and also pursued a prolific solo career with a host of albums under his belt.
Hi, I'm Nosferatu and you know, there's been a lot of misinformation going around.
Suso es el director del show (donde tambien protagoniza a Nosferatu el vampiro) que presentara el Gran Teatro Moliere (prolongacion calle Moliere 389, en Polanco), del 9 de octubre al 8 de noviembre.
With references to flicks from Nosferatu right up to the Twilight franchise, it's an affectionate, irreverent and very, very funny send-up.
Caligari and the chilling horror movie: Nosferatu, which still has the power to grip the mind.
Obama, 51, who rode to power in a 2008 campaign with the motto Yes We Can, is portrayed with cape and pointy gnashers, like horror film bloodsucker Nosferatu.