“The eyes were open and stony, but without the glassiness of death—and the cheeks had the warmth of life through all their pallor; the lips were as red as ever. But there was no sign of movement, no pulse, no breath, no beating of the heart.” – Bram Stoker, Dracula
There’s something about vampires. Whether it’s their immortality, their need to drain people’s blood, their sexual attraction, the fact that they disappear at morning’s first light only to emerge again once the sun has set, or simply their mysterious demeanour, they have captured the imagination for over a hundred years. And while stories of vampires have been around for ages, the real craze started with Bram Stoker’s classic Dracula, published in 1897.
The book has all the ingredients for a perfect horror story: an isolated castle, an enigmatic count, supernatural beings, people disappearing, and blood – lots of it. Although all these aspects might sound cliché, contemporary reviewers praised the book and even considered it one of the best gothic stories of the century. The Victorian audience wasn’t impressed, however, and the book didn’t become a bestseller. How wrong they were! Well over a century later, Dracula has become one of the most famous fictional characters ever, and the countless adaptations are indisputable proof that Dracula will live forever.
Have you read the original novel? What is the best film adaptation? What is it about vampires that make them so interesting? Leave your opinion in the comments!
Next time, creatures that don’t suck blood, but devour something worse still…