The Man Who Gave ‘Frankenstein’ Its Shocking Start

A nightmare on a stormy night in the Alps is usually considered Mary Shelley’s inspiration for her classic Frankenstein. But an Italian scientist and philosopher also sparked Shelley’s imagination.

Luigi Galvani fired a bolt of electricity through a dead frog’s leg and watched it twitch. That discovery of “bioelectricity”  later became part of how Shelley brought her creature to life.

For Galvani’s 285th birthday on Sept. 9, Halloween Every Night charges through a few facts on just how he brought to the world.