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LOST: The Skull of Nosferatu’s Director


Count Orlok creeps up the stairs (Image:Nosferatu/Flickr)

F.W. Murnau, the German director whose 1922 film Nosferatu created one of the most iconic depictions of Dracula, is buried in a family plot not far from Berlin. Earlier this week, the cemetery’s manager found that Murnau’s grave had been disturbed, and not for the first time. In the past, as the Washington Post reports, his coffin was damaged; this time, though, the visitors made off with Murnau’s skull.

It’s not clear who the thieves were or what their purpose was; some wax drippings were found by the gravesite, so there’s speculation that the theft is connected to some occult ritual. 

Murnau died in California at 42, in a car crash. He made 21 films, but the silent, expressionist story of “Count Orlok” in Nosferatu is his best known, and also deeply creepy. 

Bonus finds: Dinosaur eggsancient worm sperm

Every day, we highlight one newly lost or found object, curiosity or wonder. Discover something unusual or amazing? Tell us about it! Send your finds to sarah.laskow@atlasobscura.com.