Fans of the fantastic gothic horror series Penny Dreadful have had much reason to rejoice lately. After the series untimely demise after a short three seasons, Showtime has decided to bring it back to life with a spin-off series called Penny Dreadful: City of Angels.
Despite the fact the show has been off the air for a while, that hasn’t stopped many fans from rewatching the show and getting terrified all over again. For a show all about horror and famous literary characters, Penny Dreadful really knew how to push the envelope. Here are 10 of the most frightening moments on the series.
10 Vanessa’s dog-eating spell
Vanessa has always been a dark character. She comes from a traumatic past and has been used as a vessel by witches and Dracula himself. The poor woman goes through hell while on the series.
But her turn towards darkness comes across even more in the second season of the series as she is lured closer and closer into Lucifer’s clutches. At one point she casts a spell to turn dogs feral on their master, Geoffrey Hawkes. We watch as the mutts become deranged and fatally maul the man and eat him to death. It’s a pretty horrific scene and greatly disturbs Ethan.
9 The Cut-Wife’s demise
The introduction of the Cut Wife is one of the high points of the series, particularly because the character is played by the talented actress Patti LuPone. But one of the most horrific scenes in the series also pertains to this character.
During some traumatic flashbacks, we see the event that leads to the Cut-Wife’s demise. Vanessa was forced to bear witness as her friend was tarred and burned alive by Evelyn Poole and her nightcomers. It’s a terrifying scene to watch and one that will probably make your stomach turn.
8 Dracula’s introduction
Even though Dracula didn’t wind up to be quite the foreboding and terrifying villain we were all hoping for, his early moments on the series are quite unforgettable. There’s the end of season two with all the rats pouring out of the city out of sheer fear of the ancient undead being, and then there’s the moment when Dracula displays his cruelty.
Early in season three, he sentences one of his own underlings to death by the other vampire army he’s amassed. Apparently, they are partial to cannibalism and we’re forced to watch as the other creatures tear their own brother apart and devour him.
7 Victor’s disgusting obsession
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Victor is a foul man. He is Victor Frankenstein after all. But he doesn’t just draw the line at creating monstrosities in his lab, he also likes to reanimate corpses. His treatment of Brona is particularly gross. She is meant to become the “Bride of Frankenstein” so to speak and is eventually renamed Lily Frankenstein.
Victor fondles her body in death and reanimates her corpse and has sex with her, all while informing her that she is his cousin. It’s pretty disgusting to watch. Perhaps not downright terrifying but the act itself is enough to burn an unpleasant image in your brain.
6 Dorian’s blood ball
This scene is actually just an intense vision that Vanessa has but it’s still pretty terrifying. She sees a chamber covered in blood and all the guests bleeding out at Dorian’s bloody ball.
The way the scene is filmed is fantastic and totally gruesome but it certainly ranks as one of the show’s most horrific moments even if it didn’t technically happen in real life.
5 Lucifer arrives
How did you think Lucifer would make his grand appearance on the show? Would he show up as a dashing man and sweep Vanessa off her feet? That’s not quite how Penny Dreadful depicts it.
Instead, he animates the horrifying Vanessa puppet (more on those later) and Vanessa is forced to face off against a creature that shares her likeness. Perhaps it’s not the most nightmarish version of the Devil we’ve seen but it’s undeniably twisted.
4 Madame Kali’s séance
The second episode of the series has one of the most chilling scenes. Madame Kali conducts a séance and during the middle of it, Vanessa becomes possessed by the many spirits in the room. Eva Green gives it her all in this spine-bending performance.
It is a true travesty that she never received any awards for her portrayal as Vanessa. The possession is horrifying in the way it seems completely realistic and heart-wrenching. It will send shivers up and down your spine and beg you to look away but the performance given by Green is so captivating you won’t be able to.
3 Vanessa’s exorcism
Speaking of Vanessa’s possession, even more terrifying is her exorcism. The poor woman becomes possessed yet again later in the series and is in truly frightening circumstances that could give any exorcism movie a real run for its money.
She attacks the priest who comes in to see her and bites off a piece of his flesh. She even lashes out at Malcolm and Ethan, although Ethan has slightly better luck in trying to get through to Vanessa. You can tell the kind of torment she’s in as her body tries to fight off the invasion of otherworldly beings.
2 Caliban’s introduction
We all know the story of Victor Frankenstein and his monster. Penny Dreadful has fun introducing us to his true, original monster, Caliban. Initially, we are lead to believe that Victor’s first creation is Proteus. He is a fairly quiet man who doesn’t cause many problems.
He doesn’t really conjure up the image of the “monstrosity” we read about in the book. But then the epic twist comes in when Caliban mercilessly destroys Proteus and is revealed as the true monster and Victor’s first creation. It’s one of the best character introductions of the series, perhaps of all time. Only matched by the grand reveal of Dorian Gray’s portrait.
1 Evelyn Poole creating voodoo puppets
Evelyn Poole was one of, if not the best, villain on the series. She was what witches are supposed to be, fearsome, cruel, and capable of unique and disturbing evils. She does anything to appease her master and in order to eventually bring him to life she creates super creepy fetish voodoo dolls.
Guess how she brings those dolls to life? By using actual baby parts. Yes, Evelyn Poole murders infants and uses their hearts to animate her doll collection. If that isn’t one of the most horrifying and iconic reveals on the series I don’t know what is.
Next: Penny Dreadful: City Of Angels – 7 Things We Know So Far About The New Spinoff