Bring stories and sleeping bags for an all-night ghost story session at Milton’s Cottage as we re-imagine one of the most artistically productive house parties in history.

On 16th June 1816, on the banks of Lake Geneva – and trapped indoors by freak weather conditions – Lord Byron challenged his guests to compose a horror story. Inspired by a “waking dream” Mary Shelley started the story that eventually became Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus.

Byron’s traveling companion and physician, John Polidori, also wrote a nightmarish short story called The Vampyre. It was the first vampire story in English and would influence Bram Stoker’s Dracula some 80 years later. Both stories have haunted Western culture ever since.

Published in 1818, Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein contains the ghost of another classic work of literature: Paradise Lost. It takes a quotation from Milton’s epic masterpiece as its epigraph, while the Creature’s reading of Milton’s poem is the pivotal moment of the book.

Frankenfest explores these connections as part of the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein. It invites a new generation of storytellers to take inspiration from Paradise Lost – as well as its most infamous progeny – in the very place where Milton completed it.

Entry is by donation.  For further information, or to book, please contact Kelly O’Reilly on 01484 872313 or

You can also book via Eventbrite:    e/frankenfest-tickets-46638477943?aff=erelexpmlt