German news outlets are reporting that the head of “Nosferatu” director F.W. Murnau has been stolen from his family plot in a cemetery in Stahnsdorf, Germany. The filmmaker of the early silent vampire movie, recognized as one of the scariest horror movies of all time, died in 1931.
In a story reminiscent of one of his own movies, grave robbers opened a metal coffin to access the filmmaker’s embalmed body, said the newspaper. Stahnsdorf is about 12 miles southwest of central Berlin. The nearby graves of his two brothers were not disturbed. Spiegel Online said some wax residue had been found near the grave, pointing to a possible occult connection.
Released in 1922, “Nosferatu” was an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula.” Murnau worked in Hollywood for several years, directing “Sunrise,” which won several Oscars at the first Academy Awards. He died in a car crash near Santa Barbara but was buried in his native Germany.