10 Fascinating Facts about Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’

Bram Stoker’s classic horror story, ‘Dracula’, was published on this date in 1897. Sink your teeth into these ten interesting facts about the novel!

Book Culture Classics On This Day Publishing

Bram Stoker’s classic horror novel, Dracula, was published on this date in 1897. In honor of its publication anniversary, sink your teeth into these ten interesting facts about the novel!

 

 

1. The name “Dracula” translates to “devil” in the Wallachian language, and “son of the dragon” in Romanian. (“Dracul” means “dragon.”)

2. The novel was not an instant hit when it was first published. Although it sold relatively well after its publication, Richard Marsh’s horror story, The Beetle, actually outsold Stoker’s vampire novel at first.

3. Nosferatu and other twentieth-century horror films are what really caused the public to take a real interest in Dracula. Most notably was the 1931 film Dracula staring Bela Lugosi.

4. An article from Penguin Random House (UK) mentions that there are supposedly 101 pages of Dracula that have never been found. The owner of the original typescript, Paul Allen, allowed the author of the Penguin article to examine it. While the location of those missing pages in unknown, Stoker’s notes hint to what type of information might be found within those pages. Such content includes a short story entitled Dracula’s Guest and medical notes from Stoker’s elder brother Thornely, who was “an eminent medical authority.”

5. Despite the novel being set in Transylvania, Stoker never visited the country.

 

IMAGE VIA TIME MAGAZINE

 

6. Stoker originally intending on naming his titular vampire character “Count Wampyr.”

7. An eerie nightmare may have inspired Dracula. According to Mental Floss, Stoker had apparently eaten an unpleasant seafood dish, which could have caused Stoker’s bad dream. In the nightmare, Stoker dreamt of “a vampire king rising from the tomb.” While no one knows for sure whether the seafood actually prompted the nightmare, Stoker frequently revisited the dream while writing his novel.

8. Stoker’s working title for Dracula was The Dead Undead, later changed to just The Undead.

9. Dracula has multiple supernatural powers mentioned throughout the novel. These abilities include hypnosis, telepathy, controlling animals (e.g. bats and wolves), creating mists, and shape-shifting.

10. As mentioned in an article by Mental Floss, Vlad the Impaler may have served as an inspiration for Bram Stoker. The Romanian prince’s real name was Vlad Dracul, and he became known for skewering his enemies. Scholars do not know for sure how much Vlad the Impaler influenced Stoker. However, Stoker’s working notes for Dracula indicated that he read a book entitled An Account of the Principles of Wallachia and Moldavia by William Wilkinson. Vlad the Impaler is mentioned multiple times in the book, as are other leaders bearing the name “Dracula.”

 

FEATURED IMAGE VIA RAPTIS RARE BOOKS