"I bid you welcome."
Count Dracula
Dracula (Universal Classics)
Aliases: Drácula
Count Dracula
Baron Latos [1]
Doctor Lejos [2]
Franchise: Universal Monsters
Notability: Main character
Type: Vampire
Gender: Male
Location: Castle Dracula, Transylvania
London, England
Known relatives: Brides of Dracula [3]
Marya Zaleska [4]
Alucard [5]
Status: Status unknown
Born: 15th century [6]
Died: 1931 [7]
1st appearance: Dracula (1931)
Final: Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
Actor: Bela Lugosi
Carlos Villar
John Carradine

Dracula is without question the most famous vampire of all time and has been presented in dozens of horror films, television programs, comic books and video games across the globe. The character was first envisioned by Irish author Bram Stoker in his 1897 novel, Dracula. The titular antagonist, Dracula, was in fact based upon a 15th century Wallachian prince named Vlad Ţepeş III, also known as Vlad the Impaler. The first cinematic representation of Dracula was in the unauthorized 1922 silent film Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens by F. W. Murnau. The role of Dracula was played by German actor Max Schreck. Since this film was never approved by the Stoker estate, later versions of the film have changed the character's name to Count Orlok. Since then, the character has been presented in various films played by a wide range of actors such as Bela Lugosi, Carlos Villar, John Carradine, Christopher Lee, Udo Kier, Gary Oldman and many, many more.

Biography Edit

Dracula Edit

Almost nothing is known about the early history of Count Dracula save that he was a vampire and a Transylvanian nobleman who lived in an ancient castle with his three vampire brides. In 1931, Dracula sought to purchase a crumbling abbey in Purfleet, England known as Carfax. A London solicitor named Renfield journeyed to Castle Dracula to broker the deal. Renfield found the Count to be extremely polite, but offputting as well. After Dracula greeted the man, he ascended the steps of his castle and appeared to walk through a giant spider web without disturbing so much as a single strand.

He prepared a room for Renfield which included a large dinner set out for him. Renfield invited the Count to join him, but Dracula politely declined. While perusing the documents for the sale of Carfax Abbey, Renfield cut his finger and it began to bleed. Dracula's instinctive need for blood compelled him to draw in close, but he restrained himself from attacking Renfield at this critical juncture.

Later that evening, Dracula's three brides awakened and approached Renfield with the intent of feeding from him. Dracula drove them away, preferring to keep Renfield for himself. Once he was certain that he no longer required the man's legal expertise, Dracula exerted his will upon Renfield, breaking the man's sanity and forcing him to serve as his personal slave.

Dracula booked passage to England and brought with him three large crates filled with soil from Transylvania. As a vampire, Dracula was required to sleep in a coffin lined with dirt from his homeland. When they arrived in England, Dracula arranged to have Renfield committed to a sanitarium run by Doctor Seward.

Dracula formally introduced himself to Doctor Seward as well as his daughter, Mina, her fiancé, John Harker and her friend Lucy Weston at a London opera house. He told them of his purchase of Carfax Abbey and noted that it was located adjacent to Doctor Seward's sanitarium. Lucy was enraptured with the Count, and enjoyed listening to him describe the battlements of his castle in Transylvania.

A short time later, Dracula visited Lucy in her bedroom late at night and bit her on the throat. Lucy died from the injury and her remains were analyzed by a scientist named Professor Van Helsing. He quickly determined that Lucy had been killed by a vampire. Just as he had predicted, Lucy rose from the grave as a vampire.

Dracula then set his sights on Mina Seward. Like with Lucy, he crept into her bedroom late at night and bit her on the throat, drinking her blood. The following day, Mina complained of suffering from bizarre nightmares. Her fiancé, John Harker, kept watch over her at her room at the sanitarium.

Dracula paid a visit to the Seward home and met Professor Van Helsing. During the course of conversation, Van Helsing noticed that Dracula failed to cast a reflection in the mirrored interior of a cigarette case. After the others left the room, Van Helsing addressed Dracula directly. He showed Dracula the cigarette case and the vampire violently slapped it out of his hand. Both men learned the truth about one another. Dracula sneered and complimented Van Helsing on his astuteness. He then turned and left.

Dracula had a second encounter with Van Helsing only a few nights later. Dracula no longer hid the truth about what he was, and confidentally declared his intentions towards Mina. He told him that he has infused Mina with his own blood and that she would now be his. Dracula tried to use his hypnotic powers on Van Helsing, but Van Helsing's will was strong and he broke free of Dracula's control. Producing a crucifix, he drove the vampire away.

Dracula then took the form of a bat and appeared before Mina, ordering her to steal Van Helsing's crucifix, which was the Professor's sole defense against him. In a hypnotic trance, Mina agreed to obey Dracula, but John Harker drove the bat away.

Dracula maintained his control over Mina and led her back to the crypt beneath Carfax Abbey. Renfield appeared before them just as Dracula and Mina ascended a long flight of steps. Hearing the sounds of John and Van Helsing trailing after them, he turned towards Renfield, realizing that his loyal servant had been tricked into leading his enemies to his lair. He strangled Renfield and hurled his dead body down the steps of the abbey.

Dracula retreated into the lower catacombs and went to his coffin. As the sun began to rise, Van Helsing and Jonathan scoured the crypt until they found the coffin containing Dracula's sleeping form. Harker searched for Mina and Van Helsing pounded a wooden stake (made from the splinters of a coffin lid) into Dracula's chest. [8] Van Helsing stayed behind to cremate the remains of both Dracula and Renfield. [9]

House of Frankenstein Edit

Dracula (House of Frankenstein)

John Carradine as Dracula

Through a means that has never been revealed, Dracula was resurrected, albeit with a slightly different appearance. His sleeping body was sealed inside his coffin and eventually came into the possession of a traveling showman named Bruno Lampini. Lampini claimed to have recovered the remains from Dracula's castle himself, but he may have been lying. While traveling to the village of Reigelberg, Lampini picked up two escaped convicts named Gustav Niemann and Daniel. Niemann required a new identity for himself, so he had Daniel kill Lampini allowing the Niemann the opportunity to take his place. As such, Niemann now possessed the body of Dracula.

At the Crossroads of Reigelberg, Niemann displayed Dracula's coffin as part of Lampini's Chamber of Horrors. After the crowds dispersed, Niemann opened the coffin, revealing a skeleton with a wooden stake through its chest. Niemann removed the stake and Dracula was brought back to life. He held the stake over him and the vampire that if he made any move to attack him, he would drive it back into his heart. Dracula tried to mesmerize Niemann, but the doctor's willpower was too strong. Niemann promised to guard Dracula's coffin during the daylight hours so long as Dracula agreed to help him, and so he did.

Sometime later, Dracula assumed the identity of Baron Latos. He encountered the Hussman family and offered them a ride home in his carriage. They invited him back to their family estate for some wine and conversation. At the home, Dracula became fixated with Rita Hussman. He waited for a moment when the two could be alone and then began to seduce her. Rita was transfixed by Dracula's crescent ring and saw images of dead people within it. Dracula excused himself, but secretly promised Rita that he would return for her before the dawn.

As dawn grew near, Dracula returned to the Hussman estate. He transformed into a bat and attacked Burgomaster Hussman, biting him on the throat, ultimately killing him.

Upstairs, Rita's husband Carl Hussman discovered his wife behaving strangely. In a malaise, she kept staring out of the bedroom window as if hoping that someone would come to her. Carl noticed the ring on her finger and recognized it as Dracula's crest. Carl went back downstairs into the study where he found his dead grandfather. He quickly telephoned Inspector Arnz then returns to Rita's room. Rita was nowhere to be found, however.

Dracula found Rita and placed her inside of his coach and began driving off. Carl met up with the police and they began chasing Dracula's coach. Along the road, Doctor Niemann and Daniel take note of the police pursuing Dracula. Not wishing to be connected with the vampire any longer, Niemann had Daniel unload the vampire's coffin from their wagon. Now Dracula had nowhere to go once the sun rose.

To make matters even more complicated for the vampire, the carriage bolt slipped from his wagon and the vehicle veered off the side of the road down into a gulley. Dracula was thrown from the wagon, but as he desperately scrambled to get back inside, the sun came up over the horizon, killing him. Carl pulled Rita to safety from the overturned carriage and the two embraced. The ring slipped from Rita's finger and they now knew that they were free of Dracula forever.

House of Dracula Edit


Abbott and Costello Edit

In 1948, Dracula embarked upon a scheme to enslave the Frankenstein Monster. Assuming the alias of Doctor Lejos, he made contact with a female scientist named Sandra Mornay, whose knowledge of the original Frankenstein experiments would prove valuable towards transforming the monster into an obedient slave. Via a European agent (possibly even Dracula himself), he used his own legendary status in order to broker the sale of his coffin and the body of the Frankenstein Monster to a man named Mister McDougal for his House of Horrors museum in La Mirada, Florida.

Two crates arrived at a shipping station in Florida where they were left in the care of two bumbling baggage handlers named Chick Young and Wilbur Grey. At the insistance of Mister McDougal, Chick and Wilbur transported the crates to McDougal's House of Horrors for inspection. Dracula emerged from his coffin and used his powers to hypnotize the dim-witted Wilbur Grey. Wilbur stood still as Dracula used a small electronic device to awaken the Frankenstein Monster. He then had the monster carry his coffin and the two escaped from the museum.

Dracula finally made his way back to a castle on an island just off the coast of La Mirada. He assumed his Doctor Lejos alias and conspired with Doctor Mornay to find the perfect brain to transplant into the monster's body; a brain that would be pliable, easily manipulated and not prone to fits of rage. As it turned out, Doctor Mornay already had the perfect donor in mind -- her own boyfriend, Wilbur Grey.

Dracula met Wilbur, Chick Young and an insurance agent named Joan Raymond, though Wilbur did not recognize Dracula at first. Doctor Mornay was to attend the group to a masquerade party, whereupon she would abduct Wilbur, but at the last minute, she feined a headache and refused to go. Dracula took Sandra to her room to question her, whereupon she said that the experiment is not yet ready and that kidnapping Wilbur was too risky at this juncture. Dracula grew impatient with Sandra's willfullness and turned her into a vampire. He then sent her out to find Wilbur Grey and bring him back to the castle.

Once Wilbur was returned, Dracula had him brought to the castle laboratory where he forced Sandra to begin operating to place Wilbur's brain into the body of the monster. Things quickly devolved into chaos, owing largely to the sudden appearance of the Wolf Man. While Chick Young tried to help his friend Wilbur escape, the Wolf Man attacked Dracula. Dracula managed to keep him at bay by hurling flower pots and chairs at him, but the Wolf Man cornered Dracula on the balcony of the castle. Dracula turned into a bat and tried to escape, but the Wolf Man leaped upon him and the two fell down into the waters below.

Dracula's current whereabouts and activities, or whether he even survived his entanglement with the Wolf Man is unknown.

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • Originally, silent film star Lon Chaney, Sr. was considered for the title role of Dracula, but Chaney was under contract to MGM at the time. Regardless of contractual obligations, Chaney passed away from throat cancer on August 26th, 1930 and the role eventually went to Hungarian stage actor Bela Lugosi. Ironically, Lugosi would go on to star in Mark of the Vampire, itself a remake of London After Midnight starring Lon Chaney.
  • There are conflicting accounts regarding Lugosi's language capabilities during the production of Dracula. Many sources cite that Lugosi knew very few words in English and had to recite his lines phonetically, without really understanding what it was that he was saying. Other sources have claimed that Lugosi's English was as refined as it was ever likely to get.
  • During the symphony scene in Dracula, Dracula hypnotizes an usher into telling Doctor Seward that there is a telephone call for him in the lobby. The nature of this call, or why Dracula had the usher inform Doctor Seward of it are never explained. Presumably, Dracula was arranging to have Renfield admitted to the sanitarium so that he could keep him close by. In a following scene, Renfield is shown as a patient at the asylum with no explanation as to how he arrived there.

Quotes Edit

"For one who has not lived even a single lifetime, you are a wise man, Van Helsing."
"I bid you welcome."
"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."
"The blood is the life, Mr. Renfield."
"My blood now flows through her veins. She will live through the centuries to come, as I have lived."

External Links Edit

References Edit

  1. This was an alias that Dracula assumed in House of Frankenstein (1944).
  2. This was an alias that Dracula assumed while operating as a scientist in La Mirada, Florida; Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
  3. Dracula had three wives as per the original 1931 film; Referred to only as his "brides", it is unclear whether they were legally recognized wives or just symbolically referred to as brides due to being his vampire consorts.
  4. Daughter, although the exact nature of their relationship has never been explained.
  5. Son; presumably Dracula sired both Marya and Alucard prior to becoming a vampire and turned his children into vampires as well.
  6. Revealed in Dracula (1931) with the line, "She will live through the centuries to come, as I have lived". Professor Van Helsing later states in Dracula's Daughter that the Count was 500-years old.
  7. Original death at Carfax Abbey; later resurrected even though his remains were cremated.
  8. Dracula (1931)
  9. Dracula's Daughter (1936)

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