Wake not the Dead

The journal article that I have chosen to analyze is by Ernst Benjamin’s Salomo Raupach and is a vampire story that is title “Wake Not the Dead!” This journal was found in the journal of popular culture volume 45, issue 6 on December 2012 pages 1189-1205.

The vampire story “Wake not the dead” was first seen in English around the year 1823 and was attributed and sold based on its romance myth, and was believed to be wrote by Ludwig Tieck before the real author Ernst Benjamin Salomo Raupach. One of the reasons that the original author may have gotten mixed up or some suggestions of why could be because of the original publishing in the journal of romance tales, was attributed to Ludwig Tieck who was known for his romance tales, and who also wrote a similar story called “The bride of the grave”.

In this article the attraction to the story “Wake not the dead” is described. One of the reasons why this story is so popular is because of the romance myth, and gothic vampire story combined. In the story a gentleman by the name of Walter whose wife Brunhilda dies unexpectantly. Walter later marries and has children with Swanhilda but the romance myth is used in the description of his everlasting love for Brunhilda, even after his happy life with Swanhilda. During his mourning for his lost lover, Walter meets a sorcerer who basically gives him a choice to wake up his dead lover. I say choice because he warns him over and over again.

Despite the warning Walter makes his wishes clear to the sorcerer to wake up Brunhilda. Over time Brunhilda becomes herself again but refuses Walter until he divorces his current wife. In this story, after a divorce the wife leaves the home and leaves the children with the husband. During the reuniting with Brunhilda, Walter does not know that this whole time she has become a vampire and is slowly killing his children. After she has taken the lives of all his children eventually she has to start to feed as a vampire on Walter, all while Walter is under a spell from her vampire powers. After time goes by Walter eats a magical root that makes him unaffected by her powers as a vampire. Inevitably Walter attempts to flee from his lover, but the magical control she has over him is too great. One day Walter seeks refuge at the crossroads such as the sorcerer instructed him to do, should he change his mind.

Walter takes a series of steps in order to break the spell and magical powers from his vampire lover, over himself. Walter eventually kills his vampire lover and the magical powers are gone, at this time he realizes what really happened and that he regrets losing his wife Swanhilda. Swanhilda will not forgive Walter for his sins and for allowing his lover to kill their children. The catch over killing his vampire lover, is that he must never think of her with love again. Shortly after Swanhilda rejected his pleas for her to come back to him, Walter meets someone who reminds him of his vampire lover. During a brief encounter with her, Walter asks her to marry him due to the resemblance she had to Brunhilda, at this moment the similar women turns into a snake and sparks the whole place with fire, when Walter is dyeing he hears the sorcerers warning of Wake not the dead.

This story is so intriguing by the popular culture audience due to the number of myths and formulas used to sale the story. Everyone is intrigued by the thought of undying love, true love, and devotion, so this implies the romance myth. The horror of a lover coming back from the grave and sucking the blood from your children and oneself, implies the suspenseful gothic myth. The idea behind the story leads to the idea that one should be faithful and grateful for what they have. I also agree that the correct author should be known and the reason for the confusion upon authors. I think the popular stories became confused and this article is important due to the right person being accredited for the story.


Crawford, H (December 2012) Ernst Benjamin Salomo Rapach, “Wake not the Dead” The journal of popular culture Volume 45, issue 6 (December 2012). Pg. 1189-11205

1 thought on “Wake not the Dead

  1. Tamara Ervin

    Based on your review of this article, I would love to read it. This story line seems right up my alley as far as interests go. Everyone loves vampires, and add the love aspect, I am hooked. Great job.

    Liked by 1 person


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