Jonathan Willis, the co-founder of Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein tells all about the upcoming museum.
Opening in June 2021 at 37 Gay Street, Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein will be an educational, literary, cultural and super scary new attraction. Willis and his partner decided to open this attraction as something for teenagers to do in Bath. Bath has many tourist attractions but not many teenagers would enjoy so this is the perfect opportunity for some family fun.
Many people do not know that Shelley wrote Frankenstein while she was in Bath. The idea was conceived when Mary Shelley and her husband Percy Shelly were staying at a lakehouse villa in Geneva with Lord Byron and his physician one summer. Out of boredom, Byron suggested they have a ghost story writing competition and thus the idea for Frankenstein was born. Upon returning to Bath and seeing an exhibition on galvanism (a doctor named Wilkinson would entertain by pulsing electricity through dead bodies, giving the appearance of corpse reanimation), Mary wrote Frankenstein at just age 19.
The attraction will be a celebration of Mary Shelley’s life and work and will feature many different rooms of different themes. Extending over four floors and bursting with unusual artefacts, each room delivers an unnervingly visceral experience through theatrically decked out rooms, soundscapes and aromascapes. The main attraction is Frankenstein’s Laboratory where an 8ft animatronic of Frankenstein’s monster awaits you. This version of the monster is not based off the film’s depictions but made to look the way Shelley originally described him in her 1818 novel.
As well as Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein, Willis and his partner are planning to open a themed cafe in town, host horror walks with actors and technical effects, make a film set in the museum, host spooky sleepover and even an annual Halloween Monster Ball. They aim to take all the assets and replicate them in other parts of the country for others to enjoy.
Tickets are available to buy with a 10% discount on https://houseoffrankenstein.com/. Admissions will be 12 and up.
Words by Lauren Forester