Count Dracula

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the film, see Count Dracula (1970 film). For other uses, see Dracula (disambiguation).
Count Dracula
Dracula character
Bela lugosi dracula.jpg
Count Dracula as portrayed by Béla Lugosi in 1931's Dracula
Created by Bram Stoker
Portrayed by See below
Nickname(s) Evil Eye[1]
Aliases Dracula
Count De Ville[4]
Mr. De Ville[5]
Vlad III Dracula
Vlad the Impaler
Species Undead human
Gender Male
Title Transylvanian Noble[8]
Voivode of Wallachia[9]
Vampire King[11]
Spouse(s) Brides of Dracula
Nationality Székely

Count Dracula is the title character, the main antagonist of Bram Stoker's 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula and a savior to the protagonist in the short story Dracula's Guest. He is considered thus to be both the prototypical and the archetypical vampire in subsequent works of fiction yet is also depicted in the novel to be the origin of werewolf legends.[12] Some aspects of the character are believed to have been inspired by the 15th-century Romanian general and Wallachian Prince Vlad III the Impaler, who was also known as Dracula. Other character aspects have been added or altered in subsequent popular media fictional works. The character has subsequently appeared frequently in popular culture, from films to animated media to breakfast cereals.

Stoker's creation[edit]

Bram Stoker's novel takes the form of an epistolary tale, in which Count Dracula's characteristics, powers, abilities and weaknesses are narrated by multiple narrators, from different perspectives.[13]

Count Dracula is an undead centuries-old vampire, and a Transylvanian nobleman who claims to be a Székely descended from Attila the Hun. He inhabits a decaying castle in the Carpathian Mountains near the Borgo Pass. Unlike the vampires of Eastern European folklore, which are portrayed as repulsive, corpse-like creatures, Dracula exudes a veneer of aristocratic charm. In his conversations with Jonathan Harker, he reveals himself as deeply proud of his boyar heritage and nostalgic for the past times, which he admits have become only a memory of heroism, honor and valor in modern times.

Early life[edit]

Details of his early life are obscure, but it is mentioned "he was in life a most wonderful man. Soldier, statesman, and alchemist. Which latter was the highest de-velopment of the science knowledge of his time. He had a mighty brain, a learning beyond compare, and a heart that knew no fear and no remorse... there was no branch of knowledge of his time that he did not essay."[14] It seems that Dracula studied the black arts at the academy of Scholomance in the Carpathian Mountains, overlooking the town of Sibiu (also known as Hermannstadt) and became proficient in alchemy and magic.[15] Taking up arms, as befitting his rank and status as a voivode, he led troops against the Turks across the Danube. According to Van Helsing, "He must indeed have been that Voivode Dracula who won his name against the Turk, over the great river on the very frontier of Turkey-land. If it be so, then was he no common man: for in that time, and for centuries after, he was spoken of as the cleverest and the most cunning, as well as the bravest of the sons of the land beyond the forest."[16] Dead and buried in a great tomb in the chapel of his castle, Dracula returns from death as a vampire and lives for several centuries in his castle with three terrifyingly beautiful female vampires beside him.[17] Whether they be his lovers, sisters, daughters, or vampires made by him is not made clear in the narrative.


Max Schreck as Count Orlok, the first confirmed cinematic representation of Dracula.

As the novel begins in the late 19th century, Dracula acts on a long contemplated plan for world domination, and infiltrates London to begin his reign of terror. He summons Jonathan Harker, a newly qualified English solicitor, to provide legal support for a real estate transaction overseen by Harker's employer. Dracula at first charms Harker with his cordiality and historical knowledge, and even rescues him from the clutches of the three female vampires in the castle. In truth, however, Dracula wishes to keep Harker alive long enough to complete the legal transaction and to learn as much as possible about England.

Dracula leaves his castle and boards a Russian ship, the Demeter, taking along with him 50 boxes of Transylvanian soil, which he needs in order to regain his strength and rest during daylight. During the voyage to Whitby, a coastal town in northern England, he sustains himself on the ship's crew members. Only one body is later found, that of the captain, who is found tied up to the ship's helm. The captain's log is recovered and tells of strange events that had taken place during the ship's journey. Dracula leaves the ship in the form of a dog.

Soon the Count is menacing Harker's fiancée, Wilhelmina "Mina" Murray, and her friend, Lucy Westenra. There is also a notable link between Dracula and Renfield, a patient in an insane asylum overseen by John Seward compelled to consume insects, spiders, birds, and other creatures—in ascending order of size—in order to absorb their "life force". Renfield acts as a kind of sensor, reacting to Dracula's proximity and supplying clues accordingly. Dracula begins to visit Lucy's bed chamber on a nightly basis, draining her of blood while simultaneously infecting her with the curse of vampirism. Not knowing the cause for Lucy's deterioration, her three suitors call upon John Seward's mentor, the Dutch doctor Abraham Van Helsing. Van Helsing soon deduces her condition's supernatural origins, but does not speak out. Despite an attempt at keeping the vampire at bay with garlic, Dracula attacks Lucy's house one final time, leaving her mother dead and transforming Lucy herself into one of the undead.

Under the suggestions of John Seward, Mina sought the assistance of Van Helsing to diagnose John Harker's health after the events from Dracula's castle mentally affected him. This caused her to read his journal and pass it along to Van Helsing. This unfolded the first clue to the identity of Lucy's assailant which later prompts Mina to collect all of the events of Dracula's appearance in news articles, saved letters, newspaper clippings and the journals of each member to which she arranges in chronological order. This assists the group in investigating Dracula's movements and later discovering that the behaviors of Dr Seward's patient Renfield are directly influenced by Dracula yet further acquiring knowledge that Dracula purchased a residence just next door to Dr. Sewards'. The group later uses this method of collecting each other's daily events and evidence to collaborate in gathering intelligence to track the location of Dracula for the purpose of destroying him.

After Lucy attacks several children, Van Helsing and Lucy's former suitors John Seward, Arthur Holmwood and Quincey Morris enter her crypt and kill her to save her soul. Later, Harker joins them and the party work to discover Dracula's intentions. Harker aids the party in tracking down the locations of the boxes to the various residences of Dracula and discovers that Dracula purchased multiple real estate properties 'over the couner' throughout the North, South, East and West sides of London[18] under the alias 'Count De Ville'.[19] Dracula's main plan was to move each of his 50 boxes of earth to his various properties in order to arrange multiple lairs throughout and around the perimeter of London.[20]

The locations of Dracula's residences which the 50 boxes were scattered include:

For purposes of "sterilizing" his boxes of earth, the party pried open each of the graves, placed wafers of Sacramental bread within each of them, and sealed them shut. This deprived the Count of his ability to seek safety in those boxes, and further disabled him from being able to enter, open or even continue his plans to finish transporting them to his other properties.[23] Dracula gains entry into Dr. Seward's residence by coercing an invitation out of Renfield. Due to this, Dracula was freely able to enter as he pleased. As he attempted to enter the room which John Harker and Mina are staying, Renfield attempted to stop him; causing Dracula to break his limbs, his back and crushing his skull. Van Helsing and Dr Seward enter the room to see Renfield laying in a pool of blood. As Van Helsing Operates on his head wound to keep him alive, Renfield gives a testimony and tells them Dracula was after Mina. Van Helsing and Dr. Seward leave Renfield and enter Mina's room to discover Harker in a trance and forced to watch as Dracula bites Mina then forces her to drink his blood, largely out of spite for the heroes' actions against him. The group then repel Dracula using crusifixes and sacramental bread forcing Dracula to flee by turning into a dark vapor and traveling through the door behind them. The party later learn that Dracula entered a different room of the residence to destroy all of their epistolary copies except one which was locked in a safe; then proceeding to break Renfield's neck before leaving the residence and fleeing to one of his many lairs. Knowing that as long as Dracula remains alive Mina is in danger of becoming a vampire herself; The party continue to hunt Dracula to search for his remainin lairs.[24] Although Dracula's 'baptism' of Mina grants a telepathic link to her, it backfires when Van Helsing hypnotizes Mina and uses her supernatural link with Dracula to track him as he flees back to Transylvania.


The final section of the novel details the heroes racing Dracula back to Transylvania, and in a climactic battle with Dracula's gypsy bodyguards, finally destroying him. Despite the popular image of Dracula having a stake driven through his heart to kill him, Mina's narrative describes his throat being cut through by Jonathan Harker's kukri and his heart pierced by Morris' Bowie knife (Mina Harker's Journal, 6 November, Dracula Chapter 27). His body then turns into dust, but not before Mina Harker sees an expression of peace on Dracula's face. The release of a soul when an undead is slain is mentioned by Van Helsing as their True Death.


Although early in the novel Dracula dons a mask of cordiality, he often flies into fits of rage when his plans are frustrated. When the three vampire women who live in his castle attempt to seduce Jonathan Harker, Dracula physically assaults one and ferociously berates them for their insubordination. He then relents and talks to them more kindly, telling them that he does indeed love each of them.

He has an appreciation for ancient architecture, and when purchasing a home he prefers them to be aged saying "A new home would kill me" and to make a new home habitable to him would take a century.[25]

Dracula is very passionate about his warrior heritage, emotionally proclaiming his pride to Harker on how the Székely people are infused with the blood of heroes. He does express an interest in the history of the British Empire, speaking admiringly of its people. He has a somewhat primal and predatory worldview; he pities ordinary humans for their revulsion to their darker impulses. His emotions are not voided out for others for he also is witnessed stating that he too can love.[26]

Though usually portrayed as having a strong Eastern European accent, the original novel only specifies that his spoken English is excellent, though strangely toned.

His appearance varies in age. He is described early in the novel as thin, with a long white mustache, pointed ears and sharp teeth.[27] It is also noted later in the novel (Chapter 11 subsection "The Escaped Wolf") by a zookeeper that sees him that he has a hooked nose and a pointed beard with a streak of white in it. He is dressed all in black and has hair on his palms. Jonathan Harker described him as an old man, "cruel looking" and giving an effect of "extraordinary pallor".[27] When angered, the Count showed his true bestial nature, his blue eyes flaming red.

I saw... Count Dracula... with red light of triumph in his eyes, and with a smile that Judas in hell might be proud of.
— Jonathan Harker's Journal, Dracula, Chapter 4

As the novel progresses, Dracula is described as taking on a more and more youthful appearance. After Jonathan strikes him with a shovel, he was left with a scar on his forehead which was retained throughout the course of the novel and was seen with it approximately a year later.

Powers and weaknesses[edit]

Count Dracula is portrayed in the novel using many different supernatural abilities and is believed to have gained his abilities through dealings with the Evil One. Chapter 18 of the novel describes many of the abilities, limitations and weaknesses of Dracula and vampires in-particular. Dracula has superhuman strength which, according to Van Helsing, is equivalent to that of 20 strong men. He does not cast a shadow or have a reflection from mirrors. He is immune to conventional means of attack as a sailor tried to stab him in the back with a knife but the blade went through Dracula's body as though it were air.[28] The Count can defy gravity to a certain extent and possesses superhuman agility, able to climb vertical surfaces upside down in a reptilian manner. He can travel onto "unhallowed" ground such as the graves of suicides and those of his victims. He has powerful hypnotic, telepathic and illusionary abilities. He also has the ability to "within limitations" vanish and reappear elsewhere at will. If he knows the path, he can come out from anything or into anything regardless of how close it is bound even if it is fused with fire.[29]

He is more cunning of mortals for his cunning and wisdom has been collected and retained throughout the ages of his existence and his immortality is described as being unable to die by the mere passing of time alone.[29]

He can command animals such as the rat, the owl, the bat, the moth, the fox and the wolf - However, the control of these animals are limited as seen when the party first enters the house of Dracula in London. Although Dracula was able to summon thousands of rats to swarm and attack the group of men, Dr. Seward opened the door to the house blowing a whistle calling a pack of hounds to come and devour the rats. The rats broke away from any control which the count had over them due to an overcoming fear.[30]

Dracula can also manipulate the weather and, within his range, is able to direct the elements; the storm, the fog, thunder, usually creating mists to hide his presence for which he can travel, but also storms such as in his voyage in the Demeter. Although range and distance of the mist and storms he creates is limited.[29]


He can shapeshift at will, able to grow and become small, his featured forms in the novel being that of a bat, a wolf, a large dog and a fog or mist. When the moonlight is shining, he can travel as elemental dust within its rays. He is able to pass through tiny cracks or crevices while retaining his human form or in the form of a vapor; described by Van Helsing as the ability to slip through a hairbreadth space of a tomb door or coffin. This is also an ability used by his victim Lucy as a vampire. When the party broke into her tomb, needing to unscrew the nails of the coffin and use a saw to remove the frame, they were in shock to find the coffin completely empty; her corpse was no longer located within.[31]


One of Dracula's most mysterious powers is the ability to transfer his vampirism condition by biting others, who become the vampires after death. According to Van Helsing:

When they become such, there comes with the change the curse of immortality; they cannot die, but must go on age after age adding new victims and multiplying the evils of the world. For all that die from the preying of the Un-dead become themselves Un-dead, and prey on their kind. And so the circle goes on ever widening, like as the ripples from a stone thrown in the water. Friend Arthur, if you had met that kiss which you know of before poor Lucy die, or again, last night when you open your arms to her, you would in time, when you had died, have become nosferatu, as they call it in Eastern europe, and would for all time make more of those Un-Deads that so have filled us with horror.

— Dr Seward's journal, Dracula, Chapter 16

The vampire bite itself does not cause death but is the method of the vampire used to drain blood of the victim and increase the influence a vampire has over them as they become multiple sources of food. This is described by Van Helsing:

The Nosferatu do not die like the bees when they sting once. He is only stronger, and being stronger, have yet more power to work evil.

— Mina Harker's journal, Dracula, Chapter 18

Those who have been bitten by a vampire but not died, the following has been further described:

Those children whose blood she suck are not yet so much worse; but if she live on, Un-Dead, more and more lose their blood and by her power over them they come to her.

— Mina Harker's journal, Dracula, Chapter 18

Van Helsing later states the aftermath of a bitten victim if the vampire has been killed:

But if she die in truth, then all cease; the tiny wounds of the throats disappear, and the go back to their plays unknowing of whatever has been.

— Mina Harker's journal, Dracula, Chapter 18

As Dracula slowly drains the blood of Lucy and despite the efforts of Dr. Seward and Van Helsing of providing her with multiple blood transfusions,[32] She dies from acute blood loss and later transforms into a vampire upon her death and awakens in her tomb.

He is aided by powers of necromancy and divination of the dead, that all who die by his hand may reanimate and do his bidding.[29]


All Vampires including Dracula require no other sustenance but fresh human blood, which has the effect of rejuvenating him thus allowing him to grow younger; though he cannot flourish without this diet as his power is drawn from the blood of others.[29][33] Although Drinking blood can rejuvenate his youth and strength, it does not give him the ability to regenerate or heal injuries; as the scar Dracula received after being struck in the head from a shovel wielded by Harker is seen again several months later.[34]

Dracula is not seen in the novel biting nor drinking the blood from any male and only actively pursues women. Lucy as the form of a vampire is however depicted as only biting adolescent victims. The newspaper clippings do not indicate if the children are male or female.[35] Harker stating that he believes Dracula has a state of fasting as well as a state of feeding evidences that he does not consistently need to feed each night.[36] Dracula does state to Mina however that exerting his abilities caused a desire to feed.[37]

Vampire's Baptism of Blood[edit]

Count Dracula is depicted as the "King Vampire", and can control other vampires who were his own victims but also, who may or may not have been Dracula's victims. To punish Mina and the party for their efforts against him, Dracula bites her on at least 3 occasions and along with drinking her blood, forces her to drink his blood; this act makes her unclean, curses her with the effects of vampirism and gives him telepathic link to her thoughts, however this link is used against him, as Mina is able to predict his movements under the hypnotism of Van Helsing since she felt it was the only way she could speak freely.[38] However, hypnotism was only able to be done before dawn.[39] The act of drinking blood by both the vampire and the victim was called "the Vampire's Baptism of Blood" by Van Helsing.[40]

The effects changed Mina' physically and mentally over time. A few moments after this act had passed, Van Hellsing took a wafer of sacramental bread and placed it on her forehead to bless her; when the bread touched her skin it burned her and left a terrible scar on her forehead. Leaving her unable to wield weapons against vampires which would in turn harm her as well. Her teeth started growing longer but had not sharpened. One month after the 'Baptism of Blood' she began to loose her appetite due to feeling repulsed by normal food,[42] began to sleep more and more during the day; unable to be awakened unless at sunset and stopped writing in her diary forcing Helsing to begin recording their events. When Van Helsing later crumbled the same bread in a circle around her she was unable to cross or leave the circle, discovering a new form of protection.[43]

Dracula's death can release the curse on any living victim of eventual transformation into vampire. However, Van Helsing reveals that were he to successfully escape, his continued existence would ensure that even if he did not victimize Mina Harker further, she would transform into a vampire upon her eventual natural death.

Limitations of his powers[edit]

Dracula's powers are not unlimited, however. He is much less powerful in daylight and is only able to shift his form at dawn, noon, and dusk (he can shift his form freely at night or if he is at his grave). The sun is not fatal to him, though, as sunlight does not burn and destroy him upon contact, most of his abilities do however cease.

The sun that rose on our sorrow this morning guards us in its course. Until it sets to-night, that monster must retain whatever form he now has. He is confined within the limitations of his earthly envelope. He cannot melt into thin air nor disappear through cracks or chinks or crannies. If he go through a doorway, he must open the door like a mortal.

— Johnathan Harker's journal, Dracula, Chapter 22

His power ceases, as does that all of all evil things, at the coming of the day. Only at certain times can he have limited freedom. If he be not at the place whither he is bound, he can only change himself at noon or exact sunrise or sunset.

— Mina Harker's journal, Dracula, Chapter 18

He is also limited in his ability to travel as he can only cross running water at low or high tide. Due to this, he is unable to fly across a river in the form of a bat or mist or even by himself board a boat or step off a boat onto a dock unless he is physically carried over with assistance. He is also unable to enter a place unless invited to do so by someone of the household; once invited however, he can enter and leave the premises at will.[29]


Dracula has a bloodlust which he is seemingly unable to control. At the sight of blood he becomes enveloped in a demoniac fury which is fueled by the need to feed. Other adaptations call this uncontrollable state 'the thirst'.

There are items which afflict him to the point he has no power and can even calm him from his insatiable appetite for blood. He is repulsed by garlic, as well as sacred items and symbols such as crucifixes, and sacramental bread.

at the instant I saw that the cut had bled a little, and the blood was trickling over my chin. I laid down the razor, turning as I did so half round to look for some stick-ing plaster. When the Count saw my face, his eyes blazed with a sort of demoniac fury, and he suddenly made a grab at my throat. I drew away and his hand touched the string of beads which held the crucifix. It made an instant change in him, for the fury passed so quickly that I could hardly believe that it was ever there.

— Johnathan Harker's Journal, Dracula, Chapter 2

Placing the branch of a wild rose upon the top of his coffin will render him unable to escape it; a sacred bullet fired into the coffin could kill him so that he remain True-Dead.[29]

Mountain Ash is also described as a form of protection from a vampire although the affects are unknown.[44] This was believed to be used as protection against evil spirits and witches during the Victorian era.


The state of rest to which vampires are prone to during times of day is described in the novel as a deathlike sleep where the vampire sleeps open-eyed, is unable to awaken or move, yet also may be unaware of any presence of individuals who may be trespassing; though this detail is obscure. It is unclear how often a vampire needs to sleep but Dracula has been seen active in daylight at least one time by Johnathon and Mina Harker as he was pursuing an unknown woman. Dracula had also purchased many properties throughout London 'over the counter' which shows that he does have the ability to have some type of presence in daylight.

He requires Transylvanian soil to be nearby to him in a foreign land or to be entombed within his coffin within Transylvania in order to successfully rest; otherwise, he will be unable to recover his strength. This has forced him to transport many boxes of Transylvanian earth to each of his residences in London. It should be noted however that he is most powerful when he is within his Earth-Home, Coffin-Home, Hell-Home, or any place unhallowed.[29][46]

Further, if Dracula or any vampire has had their fill in blood upon feeding, they will be caused to rest in this dead state even longer than usual.[47]

Other abilities[edit]

While universally feared by the local people of Transylvania and even beyond, he somehow commands the loyalty of gypsies and a band of Slovaks who transport his boxes on their way to London and to serve as an armed convoy bringing his coffin back to the Castle. The Slovaks and gypsies appear to know his true nature, for they laugh at Jonathan Harker, who tries to communicate his plight, and betray Harker's attempt to send a letter through them by giving it to the Count.

Dracula seems to be able to hold influence over people especially those with mental disorders such as Renfield who was never bitten but worships Dracula and refers to Dracula over the course of the novel as Master and Lord. Dracula has also afflicted Lucy with chronic sleepwalking, putting his victims into a trance-like state allowing them not only to submit to his will but also seek him and satisfy his need to feed.

Dracula's powers and weaknesses vary greatly in the many adaptations. Previous and subsequent vampires from different legends have had similar vampire characteristics.

Character development subsequent to the novel[edit]

Statue of Béla Lugosi as Count Dracula, at the Hollywood Wax Museum

Dracula is one of the most famous characters in popular culture. He has been portrayed by more actors in more visual media adaptations of the novel than any other horror character.[48] Actors who have played him include Max Schreck, Béla Lugosi, John Carradine, Christopher Lee, Charles Macaulay, Francis Lederer, Denholm Elliott, Jack Palance, Louis Jourdan, Frank Langella, Klaus Kinski, Gary Oldman, Leslie Nielsen, George Hamilton, Keith-Lee Castle, Gerard Butler, Richard Roxburgh, Marc Warren, Rutger Hauer, Stephen Billington, Thomas Kretschmann, Dominic Purcell, and Luke Evans. Lon Chaney Jr. played either Dracula or his progeny in the Universal film, "Son of Dracula." Of all the foregoing, it is generally conceded that actor Bela Lugosi's stage and 1931 movie portrayal of Dracula has, in appearance, speech, public personality, mannerisms and dress, overshadowed Stoker's original conception of these character aspects.

The character is closely associated with the western cultural archetype of the vampire, and remains a popular Halloween costume.

Count Dracula appears in Mad Monster Party? voiced by Allen Swift. This version is shown to be wearing a monocle. Count Dracula is among the monsters that Baron Boris von Frankenstein invites to the Isle of Evil in order to show off the secret of total destruction and announce his retirement from the Worldwide Organization of Monsters.

In Sesame Street, there is a character called Count von Count who was based on Bela Lugosi's interpretation of Count Dracula.

Count Dracula appears in Mad Mad Mad Monsters (a "prequel of sorts" to Mad Monster Party?) voiced again by Allen Swift. He and his son are invited by Baron Henry von Frankenstein to attend the wedding of Frankenstein's Monster and its mate at the Transylvania Astoria Hotel.

Gary Oldman as Dracula.

Dracula is the primary antagonist of the Castlevania video game series and the main protagonist of the Lords of Shadow reboot series.

In 2003, Count Dracula, as portrayed by Lugosi in the 1931 film, was named as the 33rd greatest movie villain by the American Film Institute.

Dracula appears as the lead character of Dracula the Un-dead, a novel by Stoker's great-grand nephew Dacre presented as a sequel to the original. Set twenty-five years after the original novel, Dracula has gone to Paris as an actor with the name Vladimir Basarab. He appears to be an anti-hero as he tries to protect his and Mina's son Quincey Harker against another vampire Elizabeth Bathory. At the end of the novel he was able to kill Bathory but was wounded by her and falls down a cliff with Mina, presumably dying. Sometime later Quincey went on a ship to America, hoping for a better life. Unknown to him, boxes labeled as property of Vladimir Basarab are also loaded on board. The ocean liner is later revealed to be the RMS Titanic.

Modern and postmodern analyses of the character[edit]

Portrait of Vlad III Dracula.

Already in 1958, Cecil Kirtly proposed that Count Dracula shared his personal past with the historical Transylvanian-born Voivode Vlad III Dracula of Wallachia, also known as Vlad the Impaler or Vlad Țepeș. Following the publication of In Search of Dracula by Radu Florescu and Raymond McNally in 1972, this supposed connection attracted much popular attention.

Historically, the name "Dracula" is the given name of Vlad Ṭepeș' family, a name derived from a secret fraternal order of knights called the Order of the Dragon, founded by Sigismund of Luxembourg (king of Hungary and Bohemia, and Holy Roman Emperor) to uphold Christianity and defend the Empire against the Ottoman Turks. Vlad II Dracul, father of Vlad III, was admitted to the order around 1431 because of his bravery in fighting the Turks and was dubbed Dracul (Dragon) thus his son became Dracula (son of the dragon). From 1431 onward, Vlad II wore the emblem of the order and later, as ruler of Wallachia, his coinage bore the dragon symbol.[49]

Stoker came across the name Dracula in his reading on Romanian history, and chose this to replace the name (Count Wampyr) that he had originally intended to use for his villain. However, some Dracula scholars, led by Elizabeth Miller, have questioned the depth of this connection as early as 1998. They argue that Stoker in fact knew little of the historic Vlad III except for the name "Dracula". While having a conversation with Jonathan Harker in Chapter 3, Dracula refers to his own background, and these speeches show elements which Stoker directly copied from Wilkinson's book.[citation needed] Stoker mentions the Voivode of the Dracula race who fought against the Turks after the defeat of Cossova, and was later betrayed by his brother, historical facts which unequivocally point to Vlad III, described as "Voïvode Dracula" by Wilkinson:

Who was it but one of my own race who as Voivode crossed the Danube and beat the Turk on his own ground? This was a Dracula indeed! Woe was it that his own unworthy brother, when he had fallen, sold his people to the Turk and brought the shame of slavery on them! Was it not this Dracula, indeed, who inspired that other of his race who in a later age again and again brought his forces over the great river into Turkey-land; who, when he was beaten back, came again, and again, though he had to come alone from the bloody field where his troops were being slaughtered, since he knew that he alone could ultimately triumph! (Chapter 3, pp 19)

The Count's intended identity is later commented by Professor Van Helsing, referring to a letter from his friend Arminius:

He must, indeed, have been that Voivode Dracula who won his name against the Turk, over the great river on the very frontier of Turkey-land. (Chapter 18, pp 145)

This indeed encourages the reader to identify the Count with the Voivode Dracula first mentioned by him in Chapter 3, the one betrayed by his brother: Vlad III Dracula, betrayed by his brother Radu the Handsome, who had chosen the side of the Turks. But as noted by the Dutch author Hans Corneel de Roos, in Chapter 25, Van Helsing and Mina drop this rudimentary connection to Vlad III and instead describe the Count's personal past as that of "that other of his race" who lived "in a later age". By smoothly exchanging Vlad III for a nameless double, Stoker avoided that his main character could be unambiguously linked to a historical person traceable in any history book.

Similarly, the novelist did not want to disclose the precise site of the Count's residence, Castle Dracula. As confirmed by Stoker's own handwritten research notes, the novelist had a specific location for the Castle in mind while writing the narrative: an empty mountain top in the Transylvanian Kelemen Alps near the former border with Moldavia.[50] Efforts to promote the Poenari Castle (ca. 200 km away from the novel's place of action near the Borgo Pass) as the "real Castle Dracula" have no basis in Stoker’s writing; Stoker did not know this building. Regarding the Bran Castle near Brașov, Stoker possibly saw an illustration of Castle Bran (Törzburg) in Charles Boner's book on Transylvania.[51] Although Stoker may have been inspired by its romantic appearance, neither Boner, nor Mazuchelli nor Crosse (who also mention Terzburg or Törzburg) associate it with Vlad III; for the site of his fictitious Castle Dracula, Stoker preferred an empty mountain top.

Furthermore, Stoker's detailed notes reveal that the novelist was very well aware of the ethnic and geo-political differences between the "Roumanians" or "Wallachs"/"Wallachians", descendants of the Dacians, and the Székelys or Szeklers, allies of the Magyars or Hungarians, whose interests were opposed to that of the Wallachians. In the novel's original typewritten manuscript, the Count speaks of throwing off the "Austrian yoke", which corresponds to the Szekler political point of view. This expression is crossed out, however, and replaced by "Hungarian yoke" (as appearing in the printed version), which matches the historical perspective of the Wallachians. This has been interpreted by some to mean that Stoker opted for the Wallachian, not the Szekler interpretation, thus lending more consistency to the Romanian identity of his Count: although not identical with Vlad III, the Vampire is portrayed as one of the "Dracula race".[52]

It has been suggested by some that Stoker was influenced by the legend of Countess Elizabeth Báthory, who was born in the Kingdom of Hungary and accused of the murder and torture of 80 young women.[53]

Portrayals in Film[edit]

Year Production Actor Notes
1922 Nosferatu Max Schreck Renamed Count Orlok for legal reasons
1931 Dracula Bela Lugosi
1931 Dracula Carlos Villar Spanish version using Lugosi's sets and a different cast and crew.
1943 Son of Dracula Lon Chaney, Jr.
1944 House of Frankenstein John Carradine
1945 House of Dracula John Carradine
1945 Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein Bela Lugosi
1958 Dracula Christopher Lee
1966 Dracula: Prince of Darkness Christopher Lee
1968 Dracula Has Risen from the Grave Christopher Lee
1969 The Magic Christian Christopher Lee
1970 Count Dracula Christopher Lee
1970 Taste the Blood of Dracula Christopher Lee
1970 One More Time Christopher Lee
1970 Scars of Dracula Christopher Lee
1971 Cuadecuc, vampir Christopher Lee
1972 Blacula William Marshall
1972 Dracula A.D. 1972 Christopher Lee
1973 The Satanic Rites of Dracula Christopher Lee
1974 The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires John Forbes-Robertson Dracula's voice is dubbed over by an uncredited David de Keyser
1976 Dracula and Son Christopher Lee
1977 Count Dracula Louis Jourdan
1979 Nosferatu the Vampyre Klaus Kinski Remake of Nosferatu (1922) with the novel's character names restored.
1979 Cliffhangers Michael Nouri Episode: "The Curse of Dracula"
1979 Love at First Bite George Hamilton
1979 Dracula Frank Langella
1987 The Monster Squad Duncan Regehr
1992 Bram Stoker's Dracula Gary Oldman
1995 Dracula: Dead and Loving It Leslie Nielsen
2000 Dracula 2000 Gerard Butler
2000 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rudolf Martin Episode: "Buffy vs. Dracula"
2001 Dracula, the Musical Tom Hewitt
2004 Van Helsing Richard Roxburgh
2004 Blade: Trinity Dominic Purcell
2004 Dracula 3000 Langley Kirkwood
2005 The Batman vs. Dracula Peter Stormare Animated film
2006-2014 Young Dracula Keith-Lee Castle TV-series
2012 Dracula 3D Thomas Kretschmann
2012 Hotel Transylvania Adam Sandler Animated film
2013 Dracula Jonathan Rhys Meyers TV-series
2014 Dracula Untold Luke Evans
2015 Hotel Transylvania 2 Adam Sandler Animated film
TBA Hotel Transylvania 3 Adam Sandler Animated film

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). pp. 10, 14, 499, 517. 
  2. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Chapter 2, Johnathon Harker's Journal. p. 9. ‘Ordog’—Satan, ‘Pokol’—hell, ‘stregoica’—witch, ‘vrolok’ and ‘vlkoslak’—both mean the same thing, one being Slovak and the other Servian for something that is either werewolf or vampire. 
  3. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Ch 23, Dr Seward's Diary. p. 436. ‘Look out for D. He has just now, 12:45, come from Carfax hurriedly and hastened towards the South. 
  4. ^ Stoker, Bram. Drracula (PDF). Chapter 20, Johnathon Harker's Journal, LETTER, MITCHELL, SONS & CANDY TO LORD GODALMING, October 1st. p. 391. The purchaser is a foreign nobleman, Count de Ville 
  5. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Chapter 26, Dr. Seward's Diary. p. 500. 
  6. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). pp. 9, 42. 
  7. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula's Guest (PDF). p. 11. A wolf--and yet not a wolf!" another put in shudderingly. "No use trying for him without the sacred bullet. 
  8. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Chapter 2, Johnathon Harker's Journal. p. 35. We Transylvanian nobles love not to think that our bones may lie amongst the common dead. 
  9. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). pp. 43, 344. 
  10. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Chapter 18, Dr. Seward's Diary. p. 344. 
  11. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Ch 27, DR. VAN HELSING’S MEMORANDUM, 5 November. p. 531. DRACULA This then was the Undead home of the King Vampire, to whom so many more were due. 
  12. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Ch 3, Johnathon Harker's Journal. p. 42. ‘We Szekelys have a right to be proud, for in our veins flows the blood of many brave races who fought as the lion fights, for lordship. Here, in the whirlpool of European races, the Ugric tribe bore down from Iceland the fighting spirit which Thor and Wodin gave them, which their Berserkers displayed to such fell intent on the seaboards of Europe, aye, and of Asia and Africa too, till the peoples thought that the werewolves themselves had come. 
  13. ^ Carol N. Senf "Dracula: The Unseen Face in the Mirror" in the Norton Critical Edition of Dracula (1997) by Bram Stoker, edited by Nina Auerbach and David J. Skal: 421-31
  14. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Chapter 23. p. 434. 
  15. ^ Dracula Chapter 18 and Chapter 23
  16. ^ Mina Harker's Journal, 30 September, Dracula, Chapter 18
  17. ^ Dracula Chapter 27
  18. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Chapter 20, Johnathon Harker's Journal. pp. 373, 374. 
  19. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Chapter 20, Johnathon Harker's Journal, Letter, Mitchell, Sons, and Candy to Lord Godalming. p. 329. 
  20. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Chapter 20, Johnathon Harker's Journal. pp. 373, 374. 
  21. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula. Chapter 19, Johnathon Harker's Journal. 
  22. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula. Chapter 22, Johnathon Harker's Journal, 3 October. p. 431. In the dining room, which lay at the back of the hall, we found eight boxes of earth. Eight boxes only out of the nine which we sought! Our work was not over, and would never be until we should have found the missing box. 
  23. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Chapter 18, Dr. Seward's Diary. p. 346. 
  24. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Chapter 21, Dr. Seward's Diary. p. 404,405,406. 
  25. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Chapter 2, Johnathon Harker's Journal. p. 35. 
  26. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Ch 3, Johnathon Harker's Journal. p. 57. ‘Yes, I too can love. You yourselves can tell it from the past. Is it not so? 
  27. ^ a b Dracula, Chapter 2
  28. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula. Chapter 7, Log of the Demeter, 3 August. p. 102. ISBN 978-0-00-742008-7. 
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h Dracula, Chapter 18
  30. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula. p. 303. ISBN 978-0-00-742008-7. 
  31. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Chapter 15, Dr. Stweard's Diary. pp. 281, 282. Taking the edge of the loose flange, he bent it back towards the foot of the coffin, and holding up the candle into the aperture, motioned to me to look. I drew near and looked. The coffin was empty. It was certainly a surprise to me, and gave me a considerable shock 
  32. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula. Chapter 10, Dr. Seward's Diary. p. 174. 
  33. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Ch 18, Dr. Seward's Diary. p. 341. on the blood of the living. Even more, we have seen amongst us that he can even grow younger, that his vital faculties grow strenuous, and seem as though they refresh themselves when his special pabulum is plenty. 
  34. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Ch 21, Johnathon Harker's Journal. pp. 411–412. I knew him at once from the description of the others. ...I knew, too, the red scar on his forehead where Jonathan had struck him. 
  35. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Ch 15, Westminster Gazzette. pp. 252–254. 
  36. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Ch 19, Johnathon Harker's Journal. p. 358. and when I had seen him he was either in the fasting stage of his existence in his rooms or, when he was bloated with fresh blood, 
  37. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Ch 21, Dr. Seward's Diary, 3 October. p. 412. First, a little refreshment to reward my exertions. 
  38. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Chapter 23, Dr. Stweard's Diary. p. 448. 
  39. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Ch 20, Johnathon Harker's Journal. p. 376. hypnotize before dawn 
  40. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). pp. 462, 492, 523. 
  41. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Chapter 21, Dr. Seward's Diary. p. 413. 
  42. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Ch. 27, Mina Harker's Journal, 6 November. p. 533. But I could not eat, to even try to do so was repulsive to me, and much as I would have liked to please him, I could not bring myself to the attempt. 
  43. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Chapter 27, Memorandum by Abraham Van Helsing, 4 November. pp. 519–527. 
  44. ^ Dracula, Chapter 3, second page
  45. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Chapter 4, Johnathon Harker's ournal. pp. 70, 71. 
  46. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Chapter 18, Doctor Seward's Diary. p. 343. Thus, whereas he can do as he will within his limit, when he have his earth-home, his coffin-home, his hell-home, the place unhallowed, as we saw when he went to the grave of the suicide at Whitby, still at other time he can only change when the time come. 
  47. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Chapter 22, Johnathon Harker's Journal, October 23. p. 424. The Count may come to Piccadilly earlier than we think.’ ‘Not so!’ said Van Helsing, holding up his hand. ‘But why?’ I asked. ‘Do you forget,’ he said, with actually a smile, ‘that last night he banqueted heavily, and will sleep late? 
  48. ^ Guinness World Records Experience
  49. ^ Vlad III Encyclopedia Britannica
  50. ^ Hans Corneel de Roos, The Dracula Maps, in: The Ultimate Dracula, Moonlake Editions, Munich, 2012.
  51. ^ Charles Boner, Transylvania: Its Products and Its People. London: Longmans, 1865. Referred to by Marius Crişan, The Models for Castle Dracula in Stoker’s Sources on Transylvania, Journal of Dracula Studies Nr 10 (2008)
  52. ^ Hans Corneel de Roos, Stoker's Vampire Trap: Vlad the Impaler and his Nameles Double, Linkoeping University Electronic Press, Linköping Electronic Articles in Computer and Information Science, ISSN 1401-9841, Vol. 15 (2012): no. 2. 2012, p. 7.
  53. ^


  • Clive Leatherdale (1985) Dracula: the Novel and the Legend. Desert Island Books.
  • Bram Stoker (1897) Dracula. Norton Critical Edition (1997) edited by Nina Auerbach and David J. Skal.
  • Senf, Carol. Dracula: Between Tradition and Modernism (Twayne, 1998).
  • Senf, Carol A. Bram Stoker. University of Wales Press, 2010.

External links[edit]