We've all seen them, but what were they for? Were they fasteners used to hold Mary Shelley's creature's head on, which would be suspicious, since she didn't use bolts to attach it's limbs, or were they merely used as conduits to route the energy needed to reanimate Dr. Frankenstein's creation?

  • I don't think Mary Shelley came up with the bolts. They seem like a Hollywood addition. – Wad Cheber stands with Monica Oct 30 '15 at 20:19
  • @Wad_Cheber, can confirm, wrote an essay on the fact xD incidentally too much English Literature is making me desperate to edit "monster" in the title to "creature" hah – Mac Cooper Oct 30 '15 at 21:24

This article credits The man who invented Frankenstein's Monster's Bolt to Jack Pierce a make-up artist for the classic Hollywood adaptation. The bolts themselves are described as:

"actually electrodes used to conduct the electricity used to bring the monster to life."


The bolts, green complexion and low IQ are all attributes that were added in the films. In the original gothic novel, Shelley's creature is loving, well-read, and intelligent. He becomes vengeful and monstrous only after his repeated attempts at acceptance and love are rejected.


I think it was a way to transfer the electricity from the lightning through the creature's body, and into it's heart, reanimating it thusly

  • 13
    Do you have anything extra that isn't covered in NominSim's answer? – AncientSwordRage Oct 17 '12 at 8:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.