Updated June 30, 2003
Disaster at the Wax Museum, by William Max Miller
Welcome to The House of Wax, where the
Dark Imagination casts its Shadows...
Popular interest in horror entertainment has a long history that can be traced back to the Gothic novels of the 18'th century. In America, where horror has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry, the first stirrings of this fascination can be felt in the 1920's in the silent films of Tod Browning and Lon Chaney, Sr.; in the importation of German expressionistic films such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Nosferatu; and in the publication of an extremely influential pulp magazine called Weird Tales, which showcased the work of writers like H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard. This magazine continued to dominate the weird fiction market throughout the thirties, while at the same time Universal Studios ushered in the golden age of horror sound films beginning with Dracula and Frankenstein (both released in 1931) which launched the horror film careers of the legendary Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff. The years of WWII witnessed a host of films starring Lon Chaney, Jr., who followed in his famous father's footsteps and portrayed some of the screen's most enduring creatures, including the Wolfman, the Frankenstein Monster, Dracula, and the Mummy. This period also saw the appearance of John W. Campbell's short-lived pulp Unknown Worlds, which first introduced Americans to an off-beat kind of horror that greatly influenced writers like Rod Serling, Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson.
Horror entertainment further developed in the early fifties with the publication of E. C. Comic's line of horror titles and the brief appearance of television's first horror hostess, a Morticia Addams-like lady named Maila Nurmi who billed herself as "Vampira". But horror really didn't become an industry until 1957, when Universal Studios released its collection of classic monster films for T.V. distribution under the name Shock Theater. This event heralded an explosion of T.V. horror hosts, beginning with the still-popular Zacherly, and was soon followed by the 1958 publication of Forry Ackerman's legendary Famous Monsters of Filmland, a monster magazine that is still in publication today (although now under different editorship.) At approximately the same time, American filmmakers William Castle and Roger Corman began producing new and immensely popular horror movies, while England's Hammer Films introduced audiences to the terrifying talents of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing in their remakes of the Dracula and Frankenstein stories. With this cluster of events, horror entertainment emerged as a major cultural force in America, and soon began to dominate television, which started to compete for a share of the horror audience with its own fright and fantasy oriented programs. The success of fifties TV shows like Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Twilight Zone and One Step Beyond carried over into the 60's, which saw the appearance of Boris Karloff's Thriller, The Outer Limits, and comedy/horror hybrids such as The Munsters and The Addams Family.
At The Seventh Tower, our House of Wax examines many dark corners of the horror phenomenon. There are exhibits featuring essays on horror films and happenings in horror fandom. You'll also find a nostalgia section and links to other horror-related sites. Return as often as you like, and please tell your friends about us.
See some scenes from inside Monster Bash 2003!
Although our camera batteries died on Friday night, they had risen from the grave by the
next morning, and we captured some of our friends at the Bash (we still have them
in captivity, too, down in the basement laboratory!)
Our Old Friend, by W. M. Miller ©2002
Reflections in the Fun House Mirror
Psychoanalyze your favorite horror films!
Curse of the Werewolf, by W. M. Miller ©2003
Children of the Night
Check out the Monster Bash and relive monstrous memories
of magazines and models!
Imhotep, by W. M. Miller ©2002
The Inner Sanctum
Visit other scary locations in the Seventh Tower!
I'm Closer Than You Think,
by W. M. Miller ©2001
Some of our favorite links!
New!!! Just Added!!!
Skulleidoscope # 2, by W. M. Miller ©2003
The Kaleidoscope of Skulls!
See artwork made by processing drawings of
human skulls through distortion filters on
Adobe Photo Deluxe!
Tsantsa, by W. M. Miller ©2001
Be sure to visit
House of Shrunken Heads!
This link takes you to the heart of head-hunting territory!
You'll see so many shrunken heads you'll think Johnathan Drake
is having a Blue Light Special! See the severed, shrunken heads
and listen to our background themes from The Nutcracker Suite!
A refined, sophisticated aesthetic experience that shouldn't be missed!!!
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Your comments are welcomed!
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