His name was Johann Konrad Dippel and there are those who say that he was the model and inspiration for Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, although this claim is ‘controversial’ to say the least.
(Johann Konrad Dippel, b. 1673 – d. 1734)
Johann Konrad Dippel was born on August 10, 1673, in Castle Frankenstein  - a hilltop castle about 5 km south of Darmstadt, Germany, that was built some time before 1650.
After studying theology, philosophy and alchemy at the University of Giessen , Dippel engaged in bitter disputes with an influential Reformed Court Preacher, Conrad Broeske of Offenbach.
Dippel’s reputation as a controversial theologian earned him both defenders and enemies throughout all of Europe.
One of Dippel’s former disciples, Emanual Swedenborg, later became a harsh critic and eventually dismissed him as a “most vile devil … who attempted wicked things” and “bound to no principles, but was in general opposed to all, whoever they may be, of whatever principle or faith … becoming angry with any one for contradicting him.” Dippel was convicted of heresy and spent seven years in prison.
Dippel created an oil made of bones, blood and various other animal products, known as Dippel’s Oil, which was supposed to be the equivalent to the alchemists’ dream of the Elixir of Life. He attempted to purchase Castle Frankenstein using the formula to his elixir as the purchase price. His offer was rejected.
(The ruins of Castle Frankenstein as seen from within the outer walls)
There were claims made that during his stay at Castle Frankenstein, Dippel practiced alchemy and anatomy. It was rumoured that Dippel performed gruesome experiments with cadavers in which he attempted to transfer the soul of one cadaver into another.  However, while it possible that Dippel pursued similar objectives, there is no direct evidence to link him to these specific acts. Dippel did, however, experiment quite frequently with dead animals, to which he was an “avid dissector.”
In his dissertation Maladies and Remedies of the Life of the Flesh, Dippel claims to have discovered both the Elixir of Life and the means to exorcize demons through potions he concocted from boiled animal bones and flesh. This is the same essay in which Dippel claimed to believe that souls could be transferred from one corpse to another by using a funnel.
(Colin Clive as Doctor Henry Frankenstein)
Dippel became disillusioned with Christianity and eventually abandoned it completely, shifting all of his energy exclusively on his alchemical experiments. He set up a lab near Wittgenstein and it is at this point in his life that historical records are vague on his activities and thus grew folkloric in nature. During this time, at least one local minister apparently accused Dippel of grave robbing, experimenting on cadavers, and keeping company with the Devil.
Dipped died, most likely of a stroke, on April 25, 1734, at the age of 61.
(Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s creation, known simply as The Creature)
While there are many theories suggesting that Mary Shelley had access to the stories of Johann Konrad Dippel , none is conclusive.
Regardless, however, of the historical validity of the connection, Dippel’s status as Frankenstein’s prototype seems assured in current popular culture - similar to Count Dracula’s equally controversial interchangeability with the historical Vlad the Impaler.
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 No, I’m not kidding. There’s actually a 17th century castle (or rather the ruins thereof) called Castle Frankenstein about 5 km south of Darmstadt, Germany.
 He obtained a master’s degree in theology in 1693.
 Soul-transference with cadavers was actually a common experiment among alchemists at the time and was a theory that Dippel supported in his writings.
 Speculations that she visited Castle Frankenstein during her travels with her husband Percy Shelley, that while in the Rhine district they heard local stories regarding Dippel, that she encountered students from the University of Strasbourg where Dippel was once a student and they may have told her about the infamous alumnus. One of the many other theories – this one by a local historian named Walter Scheele – is that Mary Shelley’s step-mother Mary Jane Clairmont who was a translator of the works of legendary story-teller Jacob Grimm recounted to young Mary the story of the mad scientist Dippel of Castle Frankenstein as transmitted to her in a letter by Grimm himself. Other historians, whether their field of research is Grimm, Shelley, or the Castle Frankenstein, do not see any evidence for this. Scheele’s claimed letter of Grimm is nowhere to be found. And no evidence can be found that Clairmont was considered as the translator for Grimm’s Fairy Tales.