Phantasmagoria magic lantern slides evoke the mysterious atmosphere of Gothic novels so popular in the late eighteenth century: ruins covered bathed in moonlighting, flying bats over crossing cemeteries, or cloisters where novices search for a missing lover. The thematic universe of these slides sessions includes of dark woods and landscapes, medieval ruins and castles with their own basements, crypts and passageways filled with ghosts, night noises, chains, skeletons, demons, even hybrid and monstrous creatures that mingled with mythology, such as the head of Medusa or the winged gryphon. The human being, except when referrering to great personalities famous people, is usually represented by men who are monks or hermits; and women are generally virgins, novices, nuns, witches or fortune tellers. These motifs remained popular for many years in the taste of the audience, which as was evidenced by the systematic inclusion of phantasmagorias in the magic lantern soirées throughout the nineteenth century.

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