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21

Ten Things You Don’t Know About Dracula

1. He never once hints that he himself is Vlad the Impaler (although there is the suggestion that maybe he is related to that figure). For that matter, the most current scholarship into the novel indicates Stoker himself hardly knew anything more about the historical Vlad Tepes (pronounced tseh-PESH) than the name. It sounded good, so he used it. Certainly it was a more inspired choice than the character’s original name, Count Wampyr.

2. Dracula wanders around in broad daylight without any ill effect. While the play hinted at vulnerability to sunlight and the silent movie “Nosferatu” had the vampire dissolve in the sun, the novel shows him unfazed by it. This actually is in keeping with folklore, which nowhere has vampires harmed in any way by sunlight.

3. The only hint of how Dracula himself became a vampire is Van Helsing‘s reference to this very Dracula having attended the Scholomance, a legendary school of magic (not unlike a Satanic Hogwarts) where one out of every class the Devil “claims as his own.” Only legend of course, but it does constitute the sole clue within the novel of how the title character came to be undead.

4. Conrad Veidt, Lon Chaney Sr. and Frederick March were all considered for the lead in the first English-language film of the story. Of course the role eventually went to Bela Lugosi who’d already toured across the United States. Having campaigned so hard for the role, Lugosi managed to get himself hired for a minimal payment. Not a good businessman was Mr. Lugosi.

5. We know where Stoker got the word “Nosferatu,” but his source would seem to be in error. There is no reference anywhere else to that word prior to its publication. Was it made up, or simply a garbling of some genuine word? Well, there’s a slightly similar word in Greek that means “plague carrier” so it could be that.

6. Transylvanian vampires are called either Moroi or Strigoi–and neither one bears much resemblance at all to Dracula. He does not, for example, stink. At least no one ever mentions it. Neither would he appear to devour human flesh. If anything, he would seem to most closely match the attributes of an Austrian vampire. This makes even more sense when one considers that Stoker’s notes indicate the novel was originally going to start off in Styria, a province in south west Austria. This was also the setting of Joseph Sheridan LeFanu‘s vampire classic “Carmilla” published a quarter century before.

7. An essential part of the plot is routinely ignored in virtually all adaptations–namely, that Dracula’s victim Lucy was bitten and died while in a kind of trance. Hence her behavior is different that other vampires. The hint is that in effect she is sleep-walking as a member of the undead. This might explain her foolishness in bringing child victims back to the vicinity of her tomb.

8. Much is made in the opening chapters of how little Harker understands the local languages. Yet he seems to understand Dracula’s brides talking amongst themselves perfectly, just as he comprehends what a peasant woman yells at Dracula from below the castle walls. One has to wonder at just how accurate a chronicler Jonathan Harker might be, especially since these events are recorded in his diary. Did he edit them? Or did his imagination fill in the blanks of what was being said, and in his agitated state presume his guesses were in fact reality? The film “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” actually addresses this, by having the Brides speak Romanian not English.

9. Up until Dracula’s publication, bats were not associated with supernatural vampires. Wolves, cats, even owls and serpents–but not bats. One might think the connection would be obvious because bats are winged creatures of the night. A species of South American bats even drink blood (hence the name–vampire bat). But no, they were not, not until Stoker wrote his book and it was published. Even then he got basic facts wrong. Vampire bats are the size of small mice. Their wingspan is tiny, less than half a foot.

10. According to the lore presented in the novel, Dracula should have survived what the vampire-hunters do to him at the end. His heart is pierced by a metal knife, not a wooden stake. His head is not severed from his body. Sunlight falls upon him but in the book that means next-to-nothing. Yet not only does he seem to crumble to dust, Mina Harker notes that his face became peaceful, at rest–in much the same way Lucy’s did when she died the true death. Perhaps the simple fact is that Van Helsing didn’t know as much about vampires as he claimed?

D.MacDowell Blue blogs at http://zahirblue.blogspot.com/.  He graduated from the National Shakespeare Conservatory and is now working on a web series called “End Of The Line” which he likes to describe as “Dexter Meets Twilight“.

Veritas is a faerie child, switched at birth and left with wonderful parents in a small shack deep in the hills of West Virginia. He believes in magick and hopes to inspire readers lured into the enchanted path. Occasionally, he’ll post contributions from other authors so drop us an email if you’re interested.
batsbela lugosibram stokercarmillaConrad VeidtCount WampyrdraculaFrederick MarchJonathan Harkerjoseph sheridan lefanuLon Chaney SrLucymina harkerMoroinosferaturomaniaScholomanceStrigoistyriasunlightTransylvaniaVan Helsingvlad tepesVlad the Impaler

Veritas • August 12, 2010


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  • Christine

    I knew all this stuff! Yai me! p

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  • Eryka

    Wow….. I knew all of that ever sine i was ten years old, and actually some poeple say that vampires are real, well guess what ……………………….. THEY ARE NOT EVEN REAL,AND IF POEPLE SAY THAT THEY SAW A ( NOT REAL ) VAMPIRE, DUDE IT MUST HAVE BEEN ON TV BECAUSE VAMPIRES ARE NOT REAL.. !

    • We are real and no matter how long you try to escape the reality of this you can not. This is because now we can go out into the sunlight and the thought of this is that of most disterbing. :[

  • Wow……. I already knew about all of that stuff ever since I was only ten years old !
    This is a test about vampires ! If anyone thinks that they got it right, please post your answers. ( Please copy the questions down on a pad of paper and use a pencil only.)

    1.) Are vampires real ? Yes or No
    2.) Would you to be vampire (only if you wanted to) ? Yes or No
    3.) What side of your neck would they ? Left or Right
    4.) How much blood do you think vampires drink everyday ?
    5.) Where do vampires sleep at night ?
    6.) If a vampire bit you, would you become a vampire, too ?
    7.)Where did vampires come from ?
    8.) Does your friend believe in vampires ? Yes or No
    9.) Where do you think vampires live ?
    10.) Would you go to any country or state to see if there were any vampires ?
    What country or state would it be in ?
    Please answer the qusetions and then put your answers on this website at https://www.vampires.com! Good Luck ! ! !

    • Moonlight

      A good spot to ask that is here :)

    • Amanda
    • 1.We are real
      2.I was born this way and if I had the choise to have died in the whoom I woud have
      3.I like to bite the left side of my girlfriends neck
      4.on a normal day one or two pintes
      5.We sleep eneywear whear ist quiet and dry
      6.No

      • Veronika

        Answer no 6 … if you a a real Vampire and as you answered if vampire bit you would you become one and you answered no , so if you love your human girlfriend how do you ….don`t you love her?don`t you want her to be with you for all eternity?

    • Graham Haggerty

      1) Yes.
      2) What does that even mean? Yes I would like to be a vampyr
      3)I would like to be bitten on the left side of my neck…
      4) Depends. Probably around 2-3 pints a day…
      5) Anywhere… Wherever they want to.
      6) It would be cool if I did, but no.
      7) There are legends from all over the world.
      8) Which friend? Some do. Some do not.
      9) In buildings. In the street. They just mirror our lives.
      10) Yes. I most definitely would. Even though, once again, they just mirror our lives… They are everywhere…

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  • Graham Haggerty

    The metal knife had probably fallen into some sawdust at some point, and a few grains must’ve stayed on it… Maybe Van Helsing, as well as Vlad (The REAL one), knew alchemy and magick, and thus could alter the chemical properties, making the knife capable of killing a vampyr…