So let’s start by answering what is a vampire? The dictionary defines a vampire as, “A ghost or reanimated corpse supposed to leave its grave at night to suck the blood of sleeping people, often represented as a human figure with long pointed canine teeth. A person who preys ruthlessly on others.” There have been stories about vampires around for thousands of years dating back to Romania and Greece in the 1300’s, and in 17th century China. The most famous of stories is of course Bram Stoker’s 1897 book “Dracula”, based on the Transylvanian count named ‘Count Dracula’.
Vampires have had many names: Vampire, vampir, vampiric, nosferatu, undead, blood suckers, children of the night, blood drinkers, and more.
Names of notable Vampire’s: Dracula, Vlad the Impaler, Elizabeth Bathory, Peter Plogojowitz, Rasputin, St Germain, Arnaud Paole. Also these other famous characters from vampire books,vampire movies, vampire music and vampire TV: Lestat de Lioncourt, Louis de Pointe du Lac, Marius de Romanus, Carmilla Karnstein, Barnabas Collins, Angel/Angelus, Spike aka William the Bloody and many listed HERE.
Bram Stoker’s Quote on the Nosferatu:
“The Nosferatu do not die like the bee when he stings once. He is only stronger… This vampire which is amongst us is of himself so strong in person as twenty men, he is of cunning more than mortal, for his cunning be the growth of ages, …he can, within his range, direct the elements, the storm, the fog, the thunder, he can command all the meaner things, the rat, and the owl, and the bat, … and the wolf, …, and he can at times vanish and come unknown.” …Bram Stoker, 1897.
You can read a flip book format of Bram Stoker’s book Dracula at Archive.Org.
Dracula is the most famous vampire character in history. Dracula’s story was born in the 1897 novel, DRACULA by Irish author Bram Stoker.
Historically, the name “Dracul” is derived from a secret fraternal order of knights called the Order of the Dragon. There is a supposed connections between the historical Transylvanian-born Vlad III Dracula of Wallachia and Bram Stoker’s fictional Dracula. “Vlad the Impaler” is said to have killed from 20,000 to 40,000 European civilians mainly by using his favourite method of impaling them on a sharp pole. Vlad III is known as a folk hero by Romanians for driving off the invading Turks. His impaled victims are said to have included as many as 100,000 Turkish Muslims.
Some think that Stoker was influenced by the history of Countess Elizabeth Bathory, born in the Kingdom of Hungary. Countess Bathory was said to torture and kill young women to bathe in or drink their blood. She was said to believe that this preserved her youth. It’s said she killed anywhere between 36 and 700 young women but no proof was ever found. This story may have influenced Stoker and would explain why Dracula appeared younger after feeding.
Here is an taste, to read more in online version please visit Gutenberg.Org
Dracula: DRACULA by Bram Stoker 1897 edition
“CHAPTER 2Jonathan Harker’s Journal Continued
5 May.–I must have been asleep, for certainly if I had been fully awake I must have noticed the approach of such a remarkable place. In the gloom the courtyard looked of considerable size, and as several dark ways led from it under great round arches, it perhaps seemed bigger than it really is. I have not yet been able to see it by daylight.
When the caleche stopped, the driver jumped down and held out his hand to assist me to alight. Again I could not but notice his prodigious strength. His hand actually seemed like a steel vice that could have crushed mine if he had chosen. Then he took my traps, and placed them on the ground beside me as I stood close to a great door, old and studded with large iron nails, and set in a projecting doorway of massive stone. I could see even in the dim light that the stone was massively carved, but that the carving had been much worn by time and weather. As I stood, the driver jumped again into his seat and shook the reins. The horses started forward, and trap and all disappeared down one of the dark openings.
I stood in silence where I was, for I did not know what to do. Of bell or knocker there was no sign. Through these frowning walls and dark window openings it was not likely that my voice could penetrate. The time I waited seemed endless, and I felt doubts and fears crowding upon me. What sort of place had I come to, and among what kind of people? What sort of grim adventure was it on which I had embarked? Was this a customary incident in the life of a solicitor’s clerk sent out to explain the purchase of a London estate to a foreigner? Solicitor’s clerk! Mina would not like that. Solicitor, for just before leaving London I got word that my examination was successful, and I am now a full-blown solicitor! I began to rub my eyes and pinch myself to see if I were awake. It all seemed like a horrible nightmare to me, and I expected that I should suddenly awake, and find myself at home, with the dawn struggling in through the windows, as I had now and again felt in the morning after a day of overwork. But my flesh answered the pinching test, and my eyes were not to be deceived. I was indeed awake and among the Carpathians. All I could do now was to be patient, and to wait the coming of morning.
Just as I had come to this conclusion I heard a heavy step approaching behind the great door, and saw through the chinks the gleam of a coming light. Then there was the sound of rattling chains and the clanking of massive bolts drawn back. A key was turned with the loud grating noise of long disuse, and the great door swung back.
Within, stood a tall old man, clean shaven save for a long white moustache, and clad in black from head to foot, without a single speck of colour about him anywhere. He held in his hand an antique silver lamp, in which the flame burned without a chimney or globe of any kind, throwing long quivering shadows as it flickered in the draught of the open door. The old man motioned me in with his right hand with a courtly gesture, saying in excellent English, but with a strange intonation.
“Welcome to my house! Enter freely and of your own free will!” He made no motion of stepping to meet me, but stood like a statue, as though his gesture of welcome had fixed him into stone. The instant, however, that I had stepped over the threshold, he moved impulsively forward, and holding out his hand grasped mine with a strength which made me wince, an effect which was not lessened by the fact that it seemed cold as ice, more like the hand of a dead than a living man. Again he said, “Welcome to my house! Enter freely. Go safely, and leave something of the happiness you bring!” The strength of the handshake was so much akin to that which I had noticed in the driver, whose face I had not seen, that for a moment I doubted if it were not the same person to whom I was speaking. So to make sure, I said interrogatively, “Count Dracula?”
He bowed in a courtly way as he replied, “I am Dracula, and I bid you welcome, Mr. Harker, to my house. Come in, the night air is chill, and you must need to eat and rest.” As he was speaking, he put the lamp on a bracket on the wall, and stepping out, took my luggage. He had carried it in before I could forestall him. I protested, but he insisted.
“Nay, sir, you are my guest. It is late, and my people are not available. Let me see to your comfort myself.” He insisted on carrying my traps along the passage, and then up a great winding stair, and along another great passage, on whose stone floor our steps rang heavily. At the end of this he threw open a heavy door, and I rejoiced to see within a well-lit room in which a table was spread for supper, and on whose mighty hearth a great fire of logs, freshly replenished, flamed and flared.
The Count halted, putting down my bags, closed the door, and crossing the room, opened another door, which led into a small octagonal room lit by a single lamp, and seemingly without a window of any sort. Passing through this, he opened another door, and motioned me to enter. It was a welcome sight. For here was a great bedroom well lighted and warmed with another log fire, also added to but lately, for the top logs were fresh, which sent a hollow roar up the wide chimney. The Count himself left my luggage inside and withdrew, saying, before he closed the door.
“You will need, after your journey, to refresh yourself by making your toilet. I trust you will find all you wish. When you are ready, come into the other room, where you will find your supper prepared.”
The light and warmth and the Count’s courteous welcome seemed to have dissipated all my doubts and fears. Having then reached my normal state, I discovered that I was half famished with hunger. So making a hasty toilet, I went into the other room.
I found supper already laid out. My host, who stood on one side of the great fireplace, leaning against the stonework, made a graceful wave of his hand to the table, and said,
“I pray you, be seated and sup how you please. You will I trust, excuse me that I do not join you, but I have dined already, and I do not sup.”
I handed to him the sealed letter which Mr. Hawkins had entrusted to me. He opened it and read it gravely. Then, with a charming smile, he handed it to me to read. One passage of it, at least, gave me a thrill of pleasure.
“I must regret that an attack of gout, from which malady I am a constant sufferer, forbids absolutely any travelling on my part for some time to come. But I am happy to say I can send a sufficient substitute, one in whom I have every possible confidence. He is a young man, full of energy and talent in his own way, and of a very faithful disposition. He is discreet and silent, and has grown into manhood in my service. He shall be ready to attend on you when you will during his stay, and shall take your instructions in all matters.”
The count himself came forward and took off the cover of a dish, and I fell to at once on an excellent roast chicken. This, with some cheese and a salad and a bottle of old tokay, of which I had two glasses, was my supper. During the time I was eating it the Count asked me many questions as to my journey, and I told him by degrees all I had experienced.
By this time I had finished my supper, and by my host’s desire had drawn up a chair by the fire and begun to smoke a cigar which he offered me, at the same time excusing himself that he did not smoke. I had now an opportunity of observing him, and found him of a very marked physiognomy.
His face was a strong, a very strong, aquiline, with high bridge of the thin nose and peculiarly arched nostrils, with lofty domed forehead, and hair growing scantily round the temples but profusely elsewhere. His eyebrows were very massive, almost meeting over the nose, and with bushy hair that seemed to curl in its own profusion. The mouth, so far as I could see it under the heavy moustache, was fixed and rather cruel-looking, with peculiarly sharp white teeth. These protruded over the lips, whose remarkable ruddiness showed astonishing vitality in a man of his years. For the rest, his ears were pale, and at the tops extremely pointed. The chin was broad and strong, and the cheeks firm though thin. The general effect was one of extraordinary pallor.
Hitherto I had noticed the backs of his hands as they lay on his knees in the firelight, and they had seemed rather white and fine. But seeing them now close to me, I could not but notice that they were rather coarse, broad, with squat fingers. Strange to say, there were hairs in the centre of the palm. The nails were long and fine, and cut to a sharp point. As the Count leaned over me and his hands touched me, I could not repress a shudder. It may have been that his breath was rank, but a horrible feeling of nausea came over me, which, do what I would, I could not conceal.
The Count, evidently noticing it, drew back. And with a grim sort of smile, which showed more than he had yet done his protruberant teeth, sat himself down again on his own side of the fireplace. We were both silent for a while, and as I looked towards the window I saw the first dim streak of the coming dawn. There seemed a strange stillness over everything. But as I listened, I heard as if from down below in the valley the howling of many wolves. The Count’s eyes gleamed, and he said.
“Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!” Seeing, I suppose, some expression in my face strange to him, he added, “Ah, sir, you dwellers in the city cannot enter into the feelings of the hunter.” Then he rose and said.
“But you must be tired. Your bedroom is all ready, and tomorrow you shall sleep as late as you will. I have to be away till the afternoon, so sleep well and dream well!” With a courteous bow, he opened for me himself the door to the octagonal room, and I entered my bedroom.
I am all in a sea of wonders. I doubt. I fear. I think strange things, which I dare not confess to my own soul. God keep me, if only for the sake of those dear to me!”
This article is from Wikipedia. All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.
Dracula is a fictional character, arguably the most famous vampire in fiction. He was created by the Irish writer Bram Stoker in his 1897 horror novel of the same name. It is an epistolary novel, that is, told mostly in diaries and letters from the characters, although Stoker also fabricates newspaper clippings, and even uses transcriptions of a dictation machine, then very new.
Dracula is set in Transylvania and England and tells of various encounters with the blood-sucking Count Dracula. The story begins when Jonathan Harker, an English solicitor, is invited to the Count’s crumbling castle to hammer out a real estate deal; while there, he becomes a de facto prisoner, discovers disquieting facets of the Count’s daily life, and is seduced by three female vampires. He eventually escapes the castle and finds his way back to England.Not long afterward, a Russian ship runs aground in Whitby. All passengers and crew are dead. A huge dog or wolf is seen running from the ship, which contains nothing but boxes of dirt from Transylvania.The Count reappears and is soon menacing Harker’s devoted fiancée, Wilhelmina “Mina” Murray, and her vivacious friend, Lucy Westernra. Lucy receives three marriage proposals in one day, from Arthur, Lord Godalming; an American called Quincy Morris who always carries a bowie knife; and an asylum psychiatrist, John Seward. There is a notable encounter between Dracula and Seward’s patient Renfield, an insane man who means to consume insects, rats, and birds, and other creatures — in ascending order of size — in order to absorb their “life force”. Renfield acts as a kind of motion sensor, detecting the proximity of Dracula and releasing clues accordingly.Lucy begins to waste suspiciously away. All her suitors fret; Seward calls in his old teacher, Professor Abraham Van Helsing from Amsterdam. Van Helsing immediately determines the cause of Lucy’s condition, but refuses to disclose it, knowing that Seward’s faith in him will be shaken if he starts spouting off about vampires. Van Helsing tries multiple blood transfusions, but they are clearly losing ground. On a night when Van Helsing must return to Amsterdam (and his message to Seward asking him to watch the Westenra household is accidentally sent to the wrong address), Lucy and her mother are attacked in the night by a strange wolf. Mrs Westenra, who has a heart condition, dies of fright, and Lucy herself apparently dies soon after.Lucy is buried, but soon afterward the newspapers report a “bloofer lady” stalking children in the night. Van Helsing, knowing that this means Lucy has become a vampire, confides in Seward, Godalming, and Morris. The suitors and Van Helsing form a coalition of the killing and track her down, and after a disturbing confrontation between her vampire self and Arthur, they stake her and behead her. Around the same time, Jonathan Harker arrives home from Transylvania, and he and Mina also join the coalition, who now turn their attentions to dealing with Dracula himself.
Then begins the longer drama of tracking Dracula’s movements in London, spoiling his Transylvanian earth with holy wafers, and dealing with his intensifying seduction of Mina Harker. Dracula flees back to his castle in Transylvania, followed by Van Helsing’s gang, who re-kill him and his three vampire women. Mina is freed, and the survivors (Quincy Morris is killed in the final battle) return to England.
The novel is narrated very effectively by multiple voices — Jonathan’s journal of his trip to Transylvania, Mina’s diary, and Seward’s recorded journal, as well as letters and newspaper items. Although somewhat crude and certainly sensational, the novel also does have psychological power, and the sexual longings underlying the vampire attacks are manifest. The pace is relaxed and atmospheric and the characters richer than one might expect.
Despite its important contributions to the vampire myth, several popular tropes are absent: for instance, Count Dracula is killed by knives, not a wooden stake; and the destruction of the vampire Lucy, though it does involve a wooden stake, is not the simple shove-the-stake-in-and-the-thing-is-done procedure often found in later vampire stories. Dracula also has the ability to travel as a mist and to scale the external walls of his castle.
Many authors claim that Stoker loosely based his character on the historic Wallachian (southern Romania) ruler Vlad III, also known as Vlad Ţepeş (“Vlad the Impaler”). In his six year reign (1456-1462) he is estimated to have killed 100,000 people, mainly by using his favourite method of impaling them on a sharp pole. However, it should be noted that the history of Romania at this time was mainly recorded by German immigrants, a group with which Vlad Ţepeş is known to have clashed several times. Indeed, Vlad Ţepeş is revered as a folk hero by native Romanians for driving off invading Turks with his brutal tactics. The attribution of Vlad Ţepeş as the source of Stoker’s Dracula is challenged by those who have studied Stoker and claim that he had no knowledge of Ţepeş before writing his book.
The name Dracula is derived from a secret fraternal order of knights called the Order of the Dragon, founded by King Sigismund of Hungary (who became the Holy Roman Emperor in 1410) to uphold Christianity and defend the Empire against the Ottoman Turks. Vlad III’s father (Vlad II) was admitted to the Order around 1431 because of his bravery in fighting the Turks. From 1431 onward Vlad II wore the emblem of the order and later, as ruler of Wallachia, his coinage bore the dragon symbol. The word for “dragon” in Romanian is drac (from Latin draco) and ul is the definite article. Vlad III’s father thus came to be known as Vlad Dracul, or “Vlad the Dragon”. In Romanian the ending ulea meant “the son of”. Under this interpretation, Vlad III thus became Vlad Dracula, or “The Son of the Dragon.” (The word drac also means “devil” in Romanian, giving a double meaning to the name for enemies of Vlad Ţepeş and his father.)
In writing Dracula, Stoker may also have drawn upon stories about blood-drinking ghouls from his native Ireland, and the Dracula myth as he created it and as it has been portrayed in films and television shows ever since may be a compound of various influences; many of Stoker’s biographers and literary critics have found strong similarities to Sheridan le Fanu’s earlier classic of the vampire genre, Carmilla.
One of the first movie adaptations of Stoker’s story actually caused Stoker’s estate to sue for copyright infringement. In 1922, silent film director F.W. Murnau made a horror film called Nosferatu the Vampire, which took the story of Dracula and set it in Germany. In the story, Dracula’s role was changed to that of Count Orlok, one of the most hideous versions of the vampire to be created for a movie. The Stoker estate won its lawsuit and all existing prints of Nosferatu were ordered to be destroyed. However, a number of pirated copies of the movie survived to the present era, where they entered the public domain. Nosferatu was also remade in 1979 by Werner Herzog.
The film Shadow of the Vampire (2000) was about the filming of Nosferatu, with the twist that Max Schreck, the rarely-seen actor playing the vampire, actually was a vampire. John Malkovich plays Murnau and Willem Dafoe plays Schreck.
The 1931 film starring Bela Lugosi and directed by Tod Browning is one of the more famous versions of the story and is commonly considered a horror classic. In 2000 the United States Library of Congress deemed the film “culturally significant” and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.
In 1956, Hammer Films produced a newer, more Gothic version of the story with the title The Horror of Dracula. This version of the story, starring Christopher Lee as Dracula and Peter Cushing as Van Helsing, is widely considered to be the most faithful version of the story to be adapted to film.
In 1992, Francis Ford Coppola produced and directed a new version of the movie, called Bram Stoker’s Dracula starring Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder. Coppola’s story included a subplot in which Mina Harker was revealed to be the reincarnation of Dracula’s greatest love. This story was not part of the Stoker’s original. The soundtrack included ‘Lovesong for a Vampire’ by Annie Lennox.
Patrick Lussier took a stab at the legend with his modern day Dracula 2000 (promoted as Wes Craven Presents Dracula 2000; Wes Craven was an executive producer). To discover how to destroy Dracula, Van Helsing (portrayed by Christopher Plummer) keeps himself alive with injections of Dracula’s blood. When thieves steal the vampire and crash near New Orleans, Van Helsing and his ward must track down the vampire and save Van Helsing’s daughter Mary.
Nosferatu: the Film That Wouldn’t Die, a History of the Vampire Film From Its Birth to the Present Day
Author: Tim Kane
There is no doubt that Freidrich Willhelm Murnau’s Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie des Grauens (Symphony of Horror) is a piece of landmark cinema, both for its Expressionist filmmaking and its unique treatment of the vampire as plague. Yet few people saw this monumental film prior to 1960. Though slated for destruction by Bram Stoker’s widow, the film managed to survive, popping up in the most peculiar places.
Nosferatu debuted at the Marble Hall of the Berlin Zoological Gardens in 1922. The movie was the first and last product of a small art collective called Prana Films — the brainchild of artist Albin Grau (later Nosferatu’s production designer). A month later Florence Stoker caught wind, and she started the legal machines rolling. Her only income at this point was her deceased husband’s book Dracula, and she would not let some German production company steal her meal ticket. During the 1920s, intellectual rights were a bit dodgy, so Florence paid one British pound to join the British Incorporated Society of Authors to help defend her property. Never mind that the society would also pick up the tab for the potentially huge legal bills.
Florence seemed unaware that a second vampire film, this one called Drakula , was produced by a Hungarian company in 1921. Although the title harkens back to Bram Stoker’s novel, the resemblance ends there. This film, now lost save for some stills, was more concerned with eye gouging than straight out vampirism. Nosferatu on the other hand took much of its plot from Stoker’s Dracula , changing only the names.
The film continued to be exhibited in Germany and Budapest up through 1925, though Prana was beleaguered by creditors and harassed by Florence Stoker. They tried to settle with the society, offering a cut of the film’s take in order for them to use the Dracula title in England and America. Florence would not relent.
She not only wanted Prana to halt exhibition of the film, she wanted it torched — all prints and negatives of the film destroyed. And she got her way. In 1925 Florence won her case and the destruction order went through. Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie des Grauens vanished into thin air just as Count Orlock, the vampire in the film, does when exposed to the rays of the morning sun.
Nosferatu did not stay dead. Like any good horror movie, the villain revived himself and carried on the fight. A print of the film resurfaced in 1929, playing to audiences in New York and Detroit. However preeminent Dracula scholar, David J. Skal, writes that the film “was not taken seriously” and that most audiences considered it “a boring picture”. The print was then purchased by Universal to see what had already been done in terms of a vampire movie. The film was studied by all the key creative personnel leading to the Universal production of Dracula in 1931.
The undead film continued to rise from the grave throughout the years. An abridged version was aired on television in the 1960s as part of Silents Please , and subsequently released by Entertainment films under the title Terror of Dracula , and then again by Blackhawk Films under the name Dracula . Blackhawk also released the original version to the collector’s market under the title Nosferatu the Vampire . An unabridged copy of the movie survived Florence Stoker’s death warrant and was restored and screened at Berlin’s Film Festival in 1984.
Despite its influence on the making of the 1931 Dracula , Nosferatu has few film decedents. It’s theme of vampire as a scourging plague has only been seriously taken up by two films: the 1979 remake by Werner Herzog, Nosferatu: The Vampyre , and the 1979 television miniseries of Salem’s Lot , directed by Tobe Hooper. Perhaps if the original Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie des Grauens had been allowed regular release, this would not be the case. It remains to be seen if Nosferatu will vanish again with the daylight or if this rare film will rise again in a new form.
For more information on the making of the original Dracula , check out David Skal’s book Hollywood Gothic: The Tangled Web of Dracula from Novel to Stage to Screen . If you want to see how vampire films have changed from Dracula to Underworld, pick up a copy of my book The Changing Vampire of Film and Television . Also you may visit www.timkanebooks.com for more vampire articles and fiction.
About the Author:
Tim Kane grew up watching monster movies—vampires, werewolves, and the giant creatures from Toho. He has always been attracted to the dread they inspire, all the way back to the boogeyman hiding in his closet or under the bed. This fascination endured into adulthood in the form of avid movie consumption.
His writing credits include the book, The Changing Vampire of Film and Television , published through McFarland Press. This is a critical study of vampires on screen from the 30s to present day. He has published articles and stories for Verbatim , Far Sector SFHH , and Amazon Shorts . Additionally, he won the 2007 Graversen Award, from the Garden State Horror Writers, and third place in the 2007 Bards and Sages Annual Writing Contest.
Visit www.timkanebooks.com for more vampire and horror fiction.
Vlad The Impaler
The true story of Vlad the Impaler and a wonderful wealk through Romania’s scenery, towns and castles. Watch George Angelescu’s video “Vlad the Impaler–The True Story of Dracula” presented by C21ETV!