vaults and charnel houses
Johnson in his 1755 Dictionary defines a
charnel house as "The place under churches where the bones of the dead are
reposited" and a vault as simply "a repository for the dead." By the
latter Victor Frankenstein probably means to distinguish a mausoleum.
Body-snatching or grave-robbing, a
means of supplying cadavers for medical experiments and instruction, was a
source of great anxiety in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It
was, of course, a criminal activity.