Five Things You Didn’t Know About Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Bram Stoker's Dracula graphic by Books on the Wall

Bram Stoker’s Dracula is one of the most famous horror stories of all time. Even if you haven’t read the novel itself, you’ve heard, seen and read countless allusions to the famed vampire of Transylvania.

Just in time for Halloween, here are five interesting things you may not have known about Dracula.

1. Bram Stoker wasn’t a writer by trade.

The author of Dracula, the Irishman Bram Stoker, wasn’t a writer by profession. He was the business manager of the Lyceum Theatre in England and wrote only to supplement his income. Though he wasn’t a professional writer, Stoker counted several acclaimed authors among his friends, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde.

2. Dracula was copied by Nosferatu.

Dracula was the primary inspiration for the silent black-and-white Nosferatu, a German horror film released in 1923. The connection was so clear, in fact, that Bram Stoker’s estate sued the producers of Nosferatu for copyright infringement—and won.

All copies of the Nosferatu film were destroyed, except for one, which went on to be reproduced and viewed around the world despite the legal ruling. Nosferatu has since become one of the most critically acclaimed horror films of all time, with a near-perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes.

3. Dracula was based on a real person.

Most people accept that the character of Dracula was loosely based on Vlad Tepes, also known as Vlad the Impaler (1431 – 1476), a real prince of Romania infamous for his cruel punishments. Though Vlad the Impaler has achieved international notoriety, in Romania, he is often celebrated as a patriot and national hero for his defense of Romania against the Ottoman Turks.

Stoker’s son, however, has disputed this Dracula origin story altogether, noting that the inspiration for Dracula came to Stoker “in a nightmarish dream after eating too much dressed crab.”

4. You can go on Dracula-themed tours of Romania.

Whether or not Dracula was in fact based on Vlad the Impaler, Romania has capitalized on the recent explosion of vampire interest by marketing Dracula-themed tourism. In Romania’s Transylvania region, you can go on Dracula tours, stay the night in “haunted” hotels, and visit the supposed site of Dracula’s Castle.

5. Dracula holds a Guiness World Record.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula holds the Guinness World Record for the most portrayed literary character in film. On an interesting and somewhat related note, the most portrayed literary human character in film is Sherlock Holmes, written by Stoker’s friend Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

It’s not surprising that Dracula references are everywhere in pop culture, from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird to Sesame Street‘s Count Von Count to Dracula’s Daughter by lead singer of the Decemberists, Colin Meloy. Vlad the Impaler also makes famous literary appearance – this time as a talking cockatiel – in David Foster Wallace’s Broom of the System.

Want to read the entire work of Dracula by Bram Stoker? Check out our full-text Dracula book poster:

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