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Slains Castle: Is The Octagon The Key?

We all know that Scotland’s Slains Castle might have inspired Bram Stoker to create Castle Dracula for his bestselling novel. We know that Stoker visited Slains in 1888 (the year that Jack the Ripper was terrorizing London, by the way, and the year that Tarzan of the Apes was born in western Africa, probably in what is now Ghana, according to Philip Jose Farmer). He stayed in the area again in 1893, and may have visited Slains again. This all corresponds quite nicely with the period in which he was doing the research for his novel DRACULA. But just because Slains *could* have been the inspiration for Castle Dracula does not mean it *was* the inspiration. Is there any evidence. Then? As a matter of fact there is, although it is merely suggestive, hardly concrete, an excerpt from DRACULA, describing “a small octagonal room lit by a single lamp, and seemingly without a window of any sort” to which Jonathan Harker is taken by Count Dracula. Slains Castle contains just such a room, as seen in the photograph accompanying this article.

From DRACULA: “…a vast ruined castle, from whose tall black windows came no ray of light, and whose broken battlements showed a jagged line against the moonlit sky…. The castle stood…reared high above a waste of desolation…” Sound like Slains to you?

TheCheezman • December 10, 2018


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