London After Midnight

The film London After Midnight is the most sought after “lost film” of the silent era. It starred Lon Chaney Sr. in a dual role as a detective and a vampire.


The Man in the Beaver Hat,

His eyes bulging like olives,

In black and white he grins,

Showing his bear-trap teeth.

And he is in dreams,

His silver-nitrate cape

Dissolved by some careless fire.

Lost, Lost –

The Holy Grail of scholars

Of the silent screen.

We hear rumbling

From those who saw him move.

This is as it should be:

That London After Midnight

 Gone will remain mythic,

The movie itself;

Conventional and boring,

Nothing worth searching for,

Nothing worth turning up-

In a dusty attic or collector’s vault,

But there is that gaunt visage-

The Man in the Beaver Hat,

Haunting dreams

I, myself,

Want to begin searching

For that one image if nothing more.


Michael Walker is a writer, musician and artist living in Newark, Ohio. He is the author of two published novels: 7-22, a young adult fantasy novel and The Vampire Henry; a literary horror novel. He has seen his stories and poems published in many magazines including Adelaide Literary Magazine and Fiction Southeast.

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