Dracula’s Guest is a deleted chapter from Bram Stoker’s legendary novel Dracula which was written with the rest of the story but omitted from the final version published in 1897. Even though it was left out of the book, Dracula’s Guest was eventually published in 1914 in Dracula’s Guest and Other Weird Tales.
While it’s not technically a short story, it’s solid enough to be considered one. On its own, or as many fans and critic would have preferred, left part of the original novel, it’s an excellent piece of work, serving as a beautifully haunting introduction to the supernatural elements of the book, and the power of Dracula.
This deleted chapter tells the eerie tale of what took place before Jonathan Harker reaches Dracula’s castle. Jonathan is traveling via coach to Munich, when he spots an abandoned road, and in spite of his driver’s warnings that it’s “Walpurgis nacht” (which, according to my German mother, is the night evil comes out) Jonathan decides to walk down the path alone, leaving his frightened driver behind. What he finds at the end of the road is a ruined and desolate village. Stranded by a snow storm, he finds the haunted tomb of Countless Doligen of Gratz, and upon her tomb is an inscription which reads “THE DEAD TRAVEL FAST,” a line from Bürger’s Lenore (1773). After escaping the horrifying tomb, Jonathan is snatched up by an unearthly wolf, an encounter he barely survives.
It really is a shame that Stoker’s publishers left this chapter out of the final version, because it’s truly an amazing and chilling tale. Personally, I enjoyed it more than the chapters that did make the book.
If you are a fan of Bram Stoker and a Kindle user, then I highly suggest going HERE and downloading Dracula’s Guest – it’s FREE! Yay Kindle! A warning though, it contains multiple stories by Stoker and they aren’t separated well, so it’s difficult at first to figure out where one story ends and where one begins.
If you don’t own a Kindle, I still recommend getting your hands on this story. I assure you, it’s a wonderful addition to Dracula.