The Halloween History of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The theme of science gone amok is pervasive in 19th and 20th Century Horror and Halloween iconography.

Another work of fiction that explored the idea of science gone amok is Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In this, Dr. Jekyll creates a formula that separates man’s good aspect from his bad. Testing the potion on himself, he eventually finds himself turning uncontrollably into the evil Mr. Hyde when he is angered or stressed.

Two of the more famous legacies of the Jekyll and Hyde story are the comic book characters “Hulk” and “Two-Face.”

Both Frankenstein and Jekyll clearly are the main sources of that Halloween and Hollywood staple: The Mad Scientist. In the best of these stories (such as The Fly and others), the scientist intrudes on THINGS MAN WAS NOT MEANT TO KNOW, and the results are inevitably bad.

Originally posted 2015-01-02 03:11:49.