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Alraune. Alraune was created by Hans Heinz Ewers (Frank Braun) and appeared in Alraune. Die Geschichte eines lebenden Wesens (1911), and then later in films, starting with Alraune, die Henkerstochter (1918).

Alraune is a Superhuman Femme Fatale. Medieval German myth stated that the semen of hanged men, collected from the dirt beneath their bodies, would produce the Mandrake root. In Ewers’ novel the Mad Scientist Dr. Ten Brinken scrapes the ground beneath a freshly hanged man and uses the semen gathered thereby to impregnate a prostitute. The prostitute gives birth to a daughter, Alraune, who grows up to be “uncannily beautiful.” However, when Alraune discovers her origin she turns to evil and becomes a heartless, depraved, “somnambulant vamp” who uses her occult (and possibly vampiric) powers of seduction on everyone, including her father. She becomes Frank Braun’s lover and dies accidentally.

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