Ghost stories exist for a reason. They serve as a warning of the unknown, but also to be vigilant of our surroundings lest something should want to harm us. That’s why when we hear tales of ghosts bumping around in the attic, our insides twist and turn as both fantasy and reality collide. Surely it isn’t actually a ghost in the attic. What if the ghost is something else entirely? What if that ghost is made out of flesh and bone and seeks to destroy everyone you know and love and then yourself? This was the unfortunate case with Hinterkaifeck as Amazon’s LORE points out to us.
We all know the tales of the Blood Countess, Elizabeth Bathory. Known as the most prolific female serial killer in the world, she was rumored to have murdered up to 650 victims, with the vast majority of them being young virginal women. The tales of her bathing in the blood of virgin women in order to maintain her youth have been rumored to have inspired Bram Stoker in his creation of the fictional vampire Dracula. However, each interpretation of Bathory is different and Amazon’s LORE seeks to show us a slightly different iteration in its episode.
Last year I was introduced to Aaron Mahnke’s LORE podcast after seeing the first trailer of the Amazon series of the same name. Here was a series that mixed folklore - both well known and obscure - and made it relevant to a modern audience by weaving together threads that allowed listeners to connect with the material. The first season of the show stood out because it had found a balance in its execution of Aaron Mahnke’s podcast. It walked a line between delivering audiences with educational tidbits while also laying out dramatized re-enactments that were meant to unnerve us in order to drive points home.