Victorian Horrors of Old Mauch Chunk

As I’ve said, I love a Victorian mystery, so I was pleasantly surprised to find a graphic novel set (nearly) in my own backyard.

The Victorian Horrors of Old Mauch Chunk is a mystery written in graphic novel format set in the tiny town of Mauch Chunk (Present day Jim Thorpe) located in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. During the height of the Industrial Revolution, Mauch Chunk was one of the centers of American industry: coal, textiles, lumber and manufacturing plants dotted the entire region (nowadays, this section of the country comprises the eastern part of the “rust” belt). When coal miners discover a strange crystal deep underground, strange things begin to happen including some violent deaths, strange lights and disappearances. Industrialist Nathan Gerard enlists the help of Villanova University professor, Dr. James Ashton, to solve the mystery. However, Gerard is not completely honest with Dr. Ashton, who hires a “fixer” named Peter Black to keep an eye on the good doctor. Gerard hopes to use the source of the crystal, and the crystal itself, for his own greed filled endeavors. 

One part Sherlock Holmes mixed in with a touch of Dickens, Victorian Horrors is ripe with well developed and interesting characters. The Victorian Horrors of Old Mauch Chunk is bound to be a delight of any fan of Hammer horror film’s the Quartermass Experiment.

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