Count Dracula

Count Dracula (/ˈdrækjʊlə, -jələ/) is the title character of Bram Stoker's 1897 gothic horror novel Dracula. He is considered to be both the prototypical and the archetypal vampire in subsequent works of fiction. He 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 Wallachian Prince Vlad the Impaler, who was also known as Dracula, and Sir Henry Irving, an actor for whom Stoker was a personal assistant.[13]

Count Dracula
Dracula character
Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula in the 1931 film Dracula
Created byBram Stoker
Portrayed bySee below
Count De Ville[1]
Mr. De Ville[2]
NicknameEvil Eye[3]
Undead human
TitleTransylvanian Noble[8]
Voivode of Wallachia[9]
Vampire King[11]
SpousePossibly Brides of Dracula (unclear)

One of Dracula's most mysterious powers is his ability to turn others into vampires by biting them. Other character aspects have been added or altered in subsequent popular fictional works. Starring as Dracula in a sequence of Hammer Horror films which began with Dracula in 1958, Christopher Lee fixed the image of the fanged vampire in pop culture.[14] The character has appeared frequently in popular culture, from films to animated media to breakfast cereals.

Stoker's creation

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.[15]

Count Dracula is an undead, centuries-old vampire, and a Transylvanian nobleman who claims to be a Székely descended from Attila the Hun.[16] 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 is handsome and charismatic, with 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, which he admits have become only a memory of heroism, honour and valour in modern times.

Early life

Details of his early life are undisclosed, but it is mentioned "he was in life a most wonderful man. Soldier, statesman, and alchemist. Which latter was the highest development of the scientific 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."[17] He studied the black arts at the academy of Scholomance in the Carpathian Mountains, overlooking the town of Sibiu (also known as Hermannstadt) and has a deep knowledge of alchemy and magic.[18] Taking up arms, as befitting his rank and status as a voivode, he led troops against the Turks across the Danube. According to his nemesis Abraham 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."[19] 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.[20]


Short story

In "Dracula's Guest", the narrative follows an unnamed Englishman traveller as he wanders around Munich before leaving for Transylvania. It is Walpurgis Night and the young Englishman foolishly leaves his hotel, in spite of the coachman's warnings, and wanders through a dense forest alone. Along the way, he feels that he is being watched by a tall and thin stranger.

The short story climaxes in an old graveyard, where the Englishman encounters a sleeping female vampire called Countess Dolingen in a marble tomb with a large iron stake driven into it. This malevolent and beautiful vampire awakens from her marble bier to conjure a snowstorm before being struck by lightning and returning to her eternal prison. However, the Englishman's troubles are not quite over, as he is dragged away by an unseen force and rendered unconscious. He awakens to find a "gigantic" wolf lying on his chest and licking at his throat; however, the wolf merely keeps him warm and protects him until help arrives. When the Englishman is finally taken back to his hotel, a telegram awaits him from his expectant host Dracula, with a warning about "dangers from snow and wolves and night".


In Dracula, the eponymous vampire begins 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 merely 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 begins 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, who is compelled to consume 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 visits 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 - Seward, Arthur Holmwood and Quincey Morris - call upon Seward's mentor, the Dutch doctor Abraham Van Helsing. Van Helsing soon deduces her condition's supernatural origins, and tries to keep the vampire at bay with garlic. Nevertheless, Dracula attacks Lucy's house one final time, killing her mother and transforming Lucy herself into one of the undead.

Harker escapes Dracula's castle and returns to England, barely alive and deeply traumatized. On Seward's suggestion, Mina seeks Van Helsing's assistance in assessing Harker's health. She reads his journal and passes it along to Van Helsing. This unfolds 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 of the group. This assists the group in investigating Dracula's movements and later discovering that Renfield's behaviour is directly influenced by Dracula. They then discover that Dracula has purchased a residence next door to Seward's. The group gathers intelligence to track down Dracula and destroy him.

After the undead Lucy attacks several children, Van Helsing, Seward, Holmwood and Morris enter her crypt and destroy 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 throughout London[21] under the alias 'Count De Ville'.[22] 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.[21]

The party pries open each of the graves, places sacramental wafers within each of them, and seals them shut. This deprives Dracula of his ability to seek safety in those boxes.[23] Dracula gains entry into Seward's residence by coercing an invitation out of Renfield. As he attempts to enter the room in which Harker and Mina are staying, Renfield tries to stop him; Dracula then mortally wounds him. With his dying breath, Renfield tells Seward and Van Helsing that Dracula is after Mina. Van Helsing and Seward discover Dracula biting Mina and forcing her to drink his blood. The group repel Dracula using crucifixes and sacramental bread, forcing him to flee by turning into a dark vapor. The party continue to hunt Dracula to search for his remaining lairs.[24] Although Dracula's 'baptism' of Mina grants him 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 heroes follow Dracula back to Transylvania, and in a climactic battle with Dracula's Romani bodyguards, finally destroy him. Despite the popular image of Dracula having a stake driven through his heart to kill him, Mina's narrative describes his decapitation by Harker's kukri while Morris simultaneously pierces his heart with a Bowie knife (Mina Harker's Journal, 6 November, Dracula Chapter 27). His body then turns into dust, but not before Mina sees an expression of peace on his face.


Although early in the novel Dracula dons a mask of cordiality, he often flies into fits of rage when his plans are frustrated. When Dracula's brides attempt to seduce Jonathan Harker, Dracula physically assaults one and ferociously berates them for their insubordination.

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 that to make a new home habitable to him would take a century.[25]

Dracula is very proud of his warrior heritage, proclaiming his pride to Harker on how the Székely people are infused with the blood of heroes. He also expresses 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. He is not without human emotions, however; he often says 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 who 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. Harker describes him as an old man, "cruel looking" and giving an effect of "extraordinary pallor".[27] When angered, the Count shows 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 Harker strikes him with a shovel, he is left with a scar on his forehead which he bears throughout the course of the novel.

Dracula also possesses great wealth, and has Gypsies in his homeland who are loyal to him as servants and protectors.

Powers and weaknesses

Count Dracula is portrayed in the novel using many different supernatural abilities, and is believed to have gained his abilities through dealings with the Devil. Chapter 18 of the novel describes many of the abilities, limitations and weaknesses of vampires and Dracula 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; a sailor tries to stab him in the back with a knife, but the blade goes through his body as though it is air.[28] He 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 has amassed cunning and wisdom throughout centuries, and he is unable to die by the mere passing of time alone.[29]

He can command animals such as rats, owls, bats, moths, foxes and wolves. However, his control over these animals is limited, as seen when the party first enters his house in London. Although Dracula is able to summon thousands of rats to swarm and attack the group, Holmwood summons his trio of terriers to do battle with the rats. The dogs prove very efficient rat killers, suggesting they are Manchester terriers trained for that purpose. Terrified by the dogs' onslaught, the rats flee, and any control which Dracula had over them is gone.[30]

Dracula can also manipulate the weather and, within his range, is able to direct the elements, such as storms, fog and mist.[29]


Dracula can change form 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 vapour; 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 breaks into her tomb, they dismantle the secured coffin to find it completely empty; her corpse being no longer located within.[31]


One of Dracula's powers is the ability to turn others into vampires by biting them. 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. It is the method vampires use to drain blood of the victim and to increase their influence over them. 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

Victims who are bitten by a vampire and do not die, are hypnotically influenced by them:

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 describes the aftermath of a bitten victim when the vampire has been killed:

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

Mina Harker's journal, Dracula, Chapter 18

As Dracula slowly drains Lucy's blood, she dies from acute blood loss and later transforms into a vampire, despite the efforts of Seward and Van Helsing to provide her with blood transfusions.[32]

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]


Dracula requires no other sustenance but fresh human blood, which has the effect of rejuvenating him and allowing him to grow younger. His power is drawn from the blood of others, and he cannot survive without it.[29][33] Although drinking blood can rejuvenate his youth and strength, it does not give him the ability to regenerate; months after being struck on the head by a shovel, he still bears a scar from the impact.[34]

Dracula's preferred victims are women.[35] Harker states that he believes Dracula has a state of fasting as well as a state of feeding.[36] Dracula does state to Mina, however, that exerting his abilities causes a desire to feed.[37]

Vampire's Baptism of Blood

Count Dracula is depicted as the "King Vampire", and can control other vampires. To punish Mina and the party for their efforts against him, Dracula bites her on at least three occasions. He also forces her to drink his blood; this act curses her with the effects of vampirism and gives him a telepathic link to her thoughts.[38] However, hypnotism was only able to be done before dawn.[39] Van Helsing refers to the act of drinking blood by both the vampire and the victim "the Vampire's Baptism of Blood".[40]

The effects changes Mina' physically and mentally over time. A few moments after Dracula attacks her, Van Helsing takes a wafer of sacramental bread and places it on her forehead to bless her; when the bread touches her skin, it burns her and leaves a scar on her forehead. Her teeth start growing longer but do not grow sharper. She begins to lose her appetite, feeling repulsed by normal food,[42] begins to sleep more and more during the day; cannot wake unless at sunset and stops writing in her diary. When Van Helsing later crumbles the same bread in a circle around her, she is 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 further, she would transform into a vampire upon her eventual natural death.

Limitations of his powers

Dracula 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, as sunlight does not burn and destroy him upon contact, though most of his abilities 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.

Jonathan 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, even a visitor; once invited, 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 demonic fury which is fueled by the need to feed. Other adaptations call this uncontrollable state 'the thirst'.

Religious symbolism

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 sticking 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.

Jonathan 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 effects 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 during the day is described in the novel as a deathlike sleep in which the vampire sleeps open-eyed, is unable to awaken or move, and also may be unaware of any presence of individuals who may be trespassing. Dracula is portrayed as being active in daylight at least once in order to pursue a victim. Dracula also purchases 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. 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

While universally feared by the local people of Transylvania and even beyond, Dracula 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 his castle. The Slovaks and Gypsies appear to know his true nature, for they laugh at Harker when he 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 with mental disorders, such as Renfield, who is never bitten but who worships Dracula, referring to him over the course of the novel as "Master" and "Lord". Dracula also afflicts Lucy with chronic sleepwalking, putting her into a trance-like state that allows 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

Dracula has been portrayed by more actors in more visual media adaptations of the novel than any other horror character.[49] Actors who have played him include Max Schreck, Bela Lugosi, John Carradine, Lon Chaney Jr., Christopher Lee, Francis Lederer, Denholm Elliott, Jack Palance, Louis Jourdan, Frank Langella, Klaus Kinski, Gary Oldman, Leslie Nielsen, George Hamilton, David Niven, Charles Macaulay, Keith-Lee Castle, Gerard Butler, Duncan Regehr, Richard Roxburgh, Marc Warren, Rutger Hauer, Stephen Billington, Thomas Kretschmann, Dominic Purcell and Luke Evans. In 2003, Count Dracula, as portrayed by Lugosi in the 1931 film, was named as the 33rd greatest movie villain by the AFI.[50] In 2013, Empire magazine ranked Lee's portrayal as Dracula the 7th Greatest Horror Movie Character of All Time.[51]

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 and Jack Davis' design for Dracula from Mad Monster Party?.
  • 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.
  • Dracula is the primary antagonist of the Castlevania video game series and the main protagonist of the Lords of Shadow reboot series.
  • 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.
  • Count Dracula is the main character of the Hotel Transylvania franchise, voiced by Adam Sandler.
  • Dracula, going by an inversion of his name, "Alucard," serves as the main character of the anime and manga series Hellsing and Hellsing Ultimate where he serves Integra Hellsing, Abraham's great-granddaughter, as an anti-vampire warrior devoted to the British Crown.
  • Dracula is the primary antagonist of the Showtime series Penny Dreadful, portrayed by Christian Camargo. This version of the character is the brother of Lucifer and, thus, a fallen angel.

Modern and postmodern analyses of the character

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. This work argued that Bram Stoker based his Dracula on Vlad the Impaler.[52]

Historically, the name "Dracula" is the given name of Vlad Țepeș' 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 or devil) 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.[53]

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, Vlad the Impaler, and that he used only the name "Dracula" and some miscellaneous scraps of Romanian history.[54] Also, there are no comments about Vlad III in the author's working notes.[55]

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 An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia: With Various Political Observations Relating to Them by William Wilkinson.[56] Stoker mentions the Voivode of the Dracula race who fought against the Turks after the defeat in the Battle of Kosovo, 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.[57] 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 1865 book on Transylvania, Transylvania: Its Products and Its People.[58][59] 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".[60]

Screen portrayals

Year Title Actor playing Dracula Notes
1921 Dracula's Death Erik Vanko
1922 Nosferatu Max Schreck Renamed Count Orlok for legal reasons
1931 Dracula Bela Lugosi
Drácula Carlos Villarías Spanish version using the same sets as the Lugosi version, but with a different cast and crew.
1943 Son of Dracula Lon Chaney Jr.
1944 House of Frankenstein John Carradine
1945 House of Dracula
1948 Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein Bela Lugosi
1953 Drakula İstanbul'da Atıf Kaptan
1958 Dracula Christopher Lee
The Return of Dracula Francis Lederer
1964 Batman Dracula Jack Smith
1966 Dracula: Prince of Darkness Christopher Lee
Billy the Kid vs Dracula John Carradine
1967 Mad Monster Party? Allen Swift Animated film
Blood of Dracula's Castle Alexander D'Arcy
1968 Dracula Has Risen from the Grave Christopher Lee
Dracula Denholm Elliott Episode of UK TV series Mystery and Imagination
1969 Las vampiras John Carradine
The Magic Christian Christopher Lee
1970 Count Dracula
Taste the Blood of Dracula
One More Time
Scars of Dracula
Cuadecuc, vampir
Jonathan Paul Albert Krumm
1971 Dracula vs. Frankenstein Zandor Vorkov
Night Gallery Francis Lederer Episode: "The Devil Is Not Mocked"
1972 Blacula Charles Macaulay
Mad Mad Mad Monsters Allen Swift Animated film
Dracula A.D. 1972 Christopher Lee
Count Dracula's Great Love Paul Naschy
1973 Scream Blacula Scream Charles Macaulay
The Satanic Rites of Dracula Christopher Lee
Bram Stoker's Dracula Jack Palance Television film
1974 Blood for Dracula Udo Kier
Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires John Forbes-Robertson
Vampira David Niven Released in US as Old Dracula
1976 Dracula and Son Christopher Lee
1977 Dracula's Dog Michael Pataki
Count Dracula Louis Jourdan Television film
1978 Doctor Dracula John Carradine
1979 Nosferatu the Vampyre Klaus Kinski Remake of Nosferatu (1922) with the novel's character names restored.
Cliffhangers Michael Nouri Episode: "The Curse of Dracula"
Love at First Bite George Hamilton
Nocturna John Carradine
Dracula Frank Langella
The Halloween That Almost Wasn't Judd Hirsch Television film
1985 Fracchia Vs. Dracula Edmund Purdom
1987 The Monster Squad Duncan Regehr
1988 Waxwork Miles O'Keeffe
Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School Zale Kessler Animated film
Scooby-Doo! and the Reluctant Werewolf Hamilton Camp Animated film
1989 The Super Mario Bros. Super Show Jim Ward Episode: "Bats in the Basement"
Superboy Lloyd Bochner Episode: "Young Dracula"
1990–1991 Dracula: The Series Geordie Johnson TV series
1992 Bram Stoker's Dracula Gary Oldman
1993 The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles Bob Peck Episode: "Transylvania, January 1918"
U.F.O. Antony Georghiou
1995 Monster Mash Anthony Crivello
Dracula: Dead and Loving It Leslie Nielsen
1997 The Creeps Phil Fondacaro
2000 Dracula 2000 Gerard Butler
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rudolf Martin Episode: "Buffy vs. Dracula"
Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula Rudolf Martin Television film
2001 Dracula, the Musical Tom Hewitt
2002 Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary Zhang Wei-Qiang
Dracula Patrick Bergin
2004 Van Helsing Richard Roxburgh
Blade: Trinity Dominic Purcell
Dracula 3000 Langley Kirkwood
2005 The Batman vs. Dracula Peter Stormare Animated film
2005–2008 The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy Phil LaMarr Animated TV series
2006 Dracula Marc Warren Television film
2006–2014 Young Dracula Keith-Lee Castle TV series
2008 Supernatural Todd Stashwick Episode: "Monster Movie"
The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice Bruce Davison
2009 House of the Wolf Man Michael R. Thomas
2012 Dracula 3D Thomas Kretschmann
Hotel Transylvania Adam Sandler Animated film
Dracula Reborn Stuart Rigby Television film
2013 Dracula Jonathan Rhys Meyers TV series
Dear Dracula Ray Liotta Animated film
Dracula: The Dark Prince Luke Roberts
2014 Dracula Untold Luke Evans
2015 Hotel Transylvania 2 Adam Sandler Animated film
2016 Penny Dreadful Christian Camargo TV series
Welcome To Monster High Michael Sorich Animated film
2017 Monster High: Electrified Michael Sorich Animated film
2017–Present Castlevania Graham McTavish Animated TV series
Monster High: The Adventures of the Ghoul Squad Michael Sorich Animated TV series
2017 Monster Family Jason Isaacs Animated film
2018 Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation Adam Sandler Animated film
2019 Van Helsing Tricia Helfer TV series

See also


  1. 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
  2. Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Chapter 6, Johnathon Harker's Journal. p. 500. He had received a letter from Mr. de Ville of London
  3. Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). pp. 10, 14, 499, 517.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  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. Warren, Louis S. (2002). "Buffalo Bill Meets Dracula: William F. Cody, Bram Stoker, and the Frontiers of Racial Decay". The American Historical Review. Washington DC: American Historical Association. 107 (4): 1124–57. doi:10.1086/ahr/107.4.1124. eISSN 1937-5239. ISSN 0002-8762 via Oxford Journals Online.
  14. "Fangs for the memories: The A-Z of vampires". The Independent (October 31, 2009).
  15. Senf, Carol N. (Fall 1979). "Dracula: The Unseen Face in the Mirror". Journal of Narrative Technique. Ypsilanti, Michigan: Eastern Michigan University. 9 (3): 160–70.
  16. The Cambridge Companion to ‘Dracula'. Cambridge University Press. 2018. p. 101.
  17. Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Chapter 23. p. 434.
  18. Dracula Chapter 18 and Chapter 23
  19. Mina Harker's Journal, 30 September, Dracula, Chapter 18
  20. Dracula Chapter 27
  21. Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Chapter 20, Johnathon Harker's Journal. pp. 373, 374.
  22. Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF). Chapter 20, Johnathon Harker's Journal, Letter, Mitchell, Sons, and Candy to Lord Godalming. p. 329.
  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. Dracula, Chapter 2
  28. Stoker, Bram. Dracula. Chapter 7, Log of the Demeter, 3 August. p. 102. ISBN 978-0-00-742008-7.
  29. 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 Gazette. 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. Melton, J. Gordon (1994). The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead. Detroit, Michigan: Visible Ink Press. p. 247. ISBN 978-1578592814.
  49. Guinness World Records Experience
  50. "AFI's 100 Greatest Heroes & Villains". AFI. 19 October 2017.
  51. "The 100 best horror movie characters". Empire. Retrieved 11 March 2019
  52. Dearden, Lizzie (20 May 2014). "Radu Florescu dead: Legacy of the Romanian 'Dracula professor' remembered". The Independent. London, England: Independent Print Ltd. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  53. "Vlad III". Encyclopædia Britannica. Chicago, Illinois: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  54. Davis, Lauren (21 October 2014). "No, Bram Stoker Did Not Model Dracula On Vlad The Impaler". Gizmodo. New York City: Univision Communications. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  55. Cain, Jimmie E. (2006). "Notes — Chapter Four". Bram Stoker and Russophobia: Evidence of the British Fear of Russia in Dracula and The Lady of the Shroud. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co. p. 182. ISBN 0-7864-2407-9.
  56. Cazacu, Matei (2017). "Dracula and Bram Stoker". In Reinert, Stephen W. (ed.). Dracula. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill Publishers. p. 248. ISBN 978-9004349216.
  57. Corneel de Roos, Hans (2012). "The Dracula Maps". The Ultimate Dracula. Munich, Germany: Moonlake Editions. ISBN 978-3943559002.
  58. Boner, Charles (1865). Transylvania: Its Products and Its People. London, England: Longmans. ISBN 978-1146490337.
  59. Crişan, Marius (2008). "The Models for Castle Dracula in Stoker's Sources on Transylvania". Journal of Dracula Studies. Kutztown, Pennsylvania: Kutztown University of Pennsylvania (10).
  60. Corneel de Roos, Hans (2012). "Stoker's Vampire Trap: Vlad the Impaler and his Nameless Double". Linkoeping Electronic Articles in Computer and Information Science. Linkoeping, Sweden: Linkoeping University Electronic Press. 15 (2): 7.


  • 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.

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