"The following Spring my father took me a on tour through Italy. We remained away for more than a year. It was long before the terror of recent events subsided; and to this hour the image of Carmilla returns to memory with ambiguous alternations-sometimes the playful, languid, beautiful girl; sometimes the writhing fiend I saw in the ruined church; and often from a reverie I have started, fancying I heard the light step of Carmilla at the drawing room door." -Carmilla, by J. Sheridan LeFanu
My Dear Doctor Hesselius,
It is my dearest hope that you will be able to believe me when I outline for you the unnatural events that I have been witness to over the last several weeks. I do hope that the contents of this letter will not disturb you, and that you will observe the truth of my story, although it may sound like the ravings of a mad old man.
It is with grief that I must inform you of the passing of my most kindly mistress, Mme. Laura Hollis, at the venerable age of ninety-nine. However it is not only to make you aware of my lady's passing that I write, but also to recount to you the strange and unsettling circumstances which preceded it. I have read your recent interview with my lady, in which she recounted to you the weird experiences of her childhood and youth, her brief encounter with the supernatural, which forever changed my lady's perspective.
I find it most urgent that I communicate with you now, so that you may inform the world of what has happened; in these final weeks of her life, Mme. Hollis encountered once again that same fiend that preyed upon her in her girlhood.
Yes, dear sir, Carmilla Karnstein is alive—if you can call her shadowy non-existence a life. She is not destroyed, as my lady's father M. Hollis and his friends once believed. They thought to have rid the world of her menace, but the creature is somehow returned to walk the earth once more. And of all the places that she might have gone, she returned to our humble schloss after all these long years, to bring torment to my poor lady in her final hours.
Doctor, you must warn the country of the re-appearance of Carmilla Karnstein. It would seem that she is as immortal as an idea. All good people must be warned so that they may take action to defend their daughters. If you have a daughter, my dear sir, then you must pray that her charms do not attract this fiend's attention.
In any case, I shall now describe to you the events of the past several weeks, which have left me shaken and befuddled. I can only hope that the writing may help me to make sense of them.