Skull of ‘Nosferatu’ director stolen from his grave

1920 film Nosferatu

The skull of the director of 1920s silent horror movie classic Nosferatu has been stolen from his grave in Germany.

The desecration of Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau’s grave at the cemetery in Stahnsdorf, outside Berlin, was discovered on Monday, authorities revealed.

Olaf Ihlefeldt, the cemetery administrator, said it was difficult to ascertain exactly when the incident took place, but that it was likely to have been between July 4 and 12.
It was not clear whether FW Murnau was targeted specifically.

The thief or thieves left little superficial damage to the grave, where Murnau is buried alongside his two brothers. Their graves were undamaged.

Police opened an investigation and called for witnesses who may have seen anything suspicious at the cemetery over recent weeks to come forward.

Murnau, who was born in Germany, died in a road accident in Santa Barbara, California, in 1931.

The Expressionist horror movie, Nosferatu, first appeared in 1922. Bearing strong similarities to Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, it starred Max Schreck as the vampire, Count Orlok. It is widely regarded as one of the most influential movies of all time.

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