The Lair of the White Worm is a popular novel written by Bram Stoker and published in 1911. The Irish author also wrote Dracula, The Snake’s Pass, and The Lady of the Shroud. His gothic novels have found millions of fans throughout the years since they were published.
Stoker’s writings are over 100 years old, yet they continue to find fans and inspire movies. Based on European folklore and vampire mythology, Stoker was able to turn horror stories into popular tales of love, death, adversity and triumph.
The Lair of the White Worm is also commonly referred to as The Garden of Evil. The book was published in the United Kingdom the year before Stoker died and it was made into a movie in 1988. The book itself is not generally considered a Stoker masterpiece. He wrote it during his final years when he was ill and potentially medicated. Some literary scholars believe that the combination of pain and medication may have impacted Stoker’s writing abilities in a negative way.
However, for all that, the book has found itself fixed in modern literary circles. It is sexist, as most books from this time period are. And, it has racist language in it that many, in the 21st century, are likely to find offensive. For all that, the book is fascinating.
The plot revolves around Adam Salton, a young man from Australia. Adam goes to England in the effort to reconnect with his sole living relative and to accept the position of heir from his great-uncle. On his arrival, Adam takes residence at the Caswall estate and encounters a series of strange, otherworldly events that raise his suspicions and has him on guard against the people he encounters.
One of these individuals is Arabella March, a nearby resident. Arabella is a strange creature in her own right who does not like Adam as he is the creator of events that interfere with her goals. Upon Adam’s arrival, he discovers snakes on the property. These snakes are causing harm as they bite and kill. In his efforts to rid the property of snakes, Adam discovers that there is a creature living near Arabella’s house.
The creature, aka The White Worm, is an evil creature that eats anything given to it. Adam decides that he must get rid of both the White Worm and Arabella to protect his friends and the girl he loves. The challenge is difficult as both are resilient creatures with their own agendas. The plot goes beyond this as it explores love through the relationship between Adam and a young lady named Mimi Watford, family through the reunion of Adam and his remaining relatives, and the nature of evil through the actions of Arabella.
The story is a bit disjointed and at times, does not appear to make much sense but it is a thrilling horror novel that takes readers on a fantastic journey through life’s most common events shadowed by unknown fears that pierce the heart.