I bid you Velcome
I have been a Dracula Fan for awhile now. (Let’s put it this way… even when I was a kid if you told me I wasn’t allowed to watch a vampire movie.. I still did!) I love Bela Lugosi and wondered if there was a special day for one or the other.
Some have said there is NOT a Dracula day, well guess what? Your Mistress of the Night has found it and its one of the 13 days of Halloween! (My 13 Days of Halloween hub is now available)
So who is your favorite incarnation of Dracula? Do you first think Bela Lugosi when Dracula is first mentioned, or does another actor come to mind? Which version of the movie is your favorite? Lugosi’s 31 Classic, or The one from the 90’s ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula with Gary Oldman, or maybe it was Frank Langella’s.
If today is Dracula Day then it should also be Bela Lugosi day as from what has been said is that he was buried in his Dracula Costume (well cape at least)!
Here’s all I could think of to celebrate Dracula day…watch the movies, read the Books Play a game dress up and so forth
and just so happens to be Bela Lugosi’s birthday
Dracula The Annotated edition
I saw this in the Library (I think ) when it first came out, as a hard cover and I was DROOLING as I saw someone putting it on show. I asked if I could look through it and there’s so much on it, t will be like you are reading the story for the first time. There’s a bio on Stoker, This history of dracula in film and media, HOw the story came to be written, What the original title was to be (which later Stoker’s great Nephew used for the follow up to Dracula (see below) Movie posters Mina’s Whitby glossary, Oh yeah & the story Dracula too! Like I said it would be like reading it for the first time.
Dracula the Story
from Vlad the Ruler to the screen
Dracula or shall I say , The Prince of Wallachia ruled in 1448, & from 1456 through 1462 as well as 1476. The Prince and ruler Vlad Tempes was also known as Vlad the Impaler or ‘Count Dracula’ and was a strict ruler.
For punishment he would impale the criminals on long steaks. From what I’ve read, basically if you looked at him wrong you could find yourself on the pointy end of one of these long steaks (think maybe the size or bigger than a telephone pole; and from the pictures… the hottest day in hell would be more comfortable!)
Dracula was based on the title ‘Dracul’ which was a title given to his father meaning Dragon or Devil in Romania (Dracula or more proper Draculea) simply means “Son of the Dracul”. The title was to describe Vlad ll’s activities though there are 2 views for the name. One of them being his enemies, who used the term to mean devil; the other was the dragon stamped currency and symbol on his clothing and banners. Vlad lll who became known as ‘Tepes’ meaning the Impaler only earned the title as his father’s son . The name Dracula was not used locally but was Vlad’s preferred signature.
While Irish author Bram Stoker was researching Romanian folklore he came across the name; and found that it perfectly suited his vampire character, and so the infamous vampire of the 1897 novel and character was born
(see more on VivaciousVampires )
Dracula’s Author Bram Stoker
Bram stoker who was a stage manager from Dublin, Ireland and son of Abraham and Charlotte Stoker. He was a sick child and was not expected to live. Bram spent most of his early years confined to bed, but grew into being a fine athlete. His illness ‘exposed’ him to his mother’s Irish folklore tales and details of the 1832 slingo cholera epidemic. Stoker was uncomfortably shy around people and much preferred reading to socializing. He expressed the desire to be a writer early on and Entered Trinity College in November of 1864. (Ok this is creeping me out; Vlad Tepes resumed Rank in Nov. 1476, and Stoker goes into college in November… more proof of the The ZodiacImmortal (see Scorpio Sass)
While at College Bram saw actor Henry Irving at a Theater Royale performance. This led to his becoming a drama critic for the Dublin Mail in 1871. He began writing the so called ‘Penny Dreadfuls’, his first novel “the Primrose Path’ (1875) was serialized in the Shamrock. He met Irving the following year, whose stage appearance inspired one of the models of Dracula. In 1881 he authored a series of children’s allegorical stories called Under the Sunset,(which included an episode inspired by his mother’s account of cholera) while serving in London as acting manager of the Lyceum Theater.
There’s some that long believed that Stoker wrote Dracula novel in haste, possibly beginning in August 1895 while on a holiday in Cruden Bay. However some studies indicate he started his research as far back as 1890. Stoker met with Arminius Vambery, who was an expert in folklore and gained useful information from him. He also conducted his research in the British Museum; as well as many other locales that are included in the novel such as Whitby Harbor where there were several shipwrechs most notable the Dimetry a Russian schrooner in 1885, which was the inspiration for Dracula’s Demeter. He visited the London zoo, and took the medical folklore & supernatural research to the extreme. While in Whitby he read the “Account of Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia” by William Wilkinson a onetime counsel in Bucharest. The work introduced him to Vlad Tempest the Impaler and was also Called Dracul, Son of Dracula. Stoker’s notes by 1892 had clear references to Count Vlad and in May 1897 the Novel was published.
Stoker wrote novels after Dracula like
Mystery of the Sea (1901) on witchcraft
The Jewel of the seven stars (1903) about a mummy
The Lady of the Shroud in 1909,
and his last work the Lair of the White Worm in 1911 (which is also a movie)
There’s been numerous biographies that have examined his emotional and mental state while writing the Dracula novel.Florence his widow was dedicated to defending his estate and copyrights.The allure of Dracula remains despite the passage of time or unappealing characteristics given by Stoker:
“Dressed Head to toe in black, with a strong face, thin nose, heavy mustache, sharp teeth, pointed ears, hairy palms, long nails, and fetid breath.”
Plus the powers that are synonymous with the undead.
‘casting no shadow, the strength of 20 men, growing younger on the blood of his victims (fog, thunder & rain) , controls the elements, animals (rats, fox, wolf, bat owl & moth) he can only enter one’s home by invitation, cannot pass running water save at high or low tides shape shift or transform only at noon or sunset except when he is in his coffin and must sleep in a coffin filled of his native soil. He recoils, at the site of the cross, garlic or holy water.
The Novel Dracula which was originally titled The Un-Dead and was originally going to be located in Styria. His earlier studies however took him to the “Land beyond the Forest” which literally translates to Transylvania. Dracula was published by Archibald Constable and Company in London in 1897. It is ranked as (one, if not) the greatest and foremost horror literature pieces as well as final gothic writing achievements ever. The book & character (& due to that Vampire) has been forever cemented in pop-culture. Stoker utilized a series of Journal and diary entries by the characters as well as letters between them, newspaper reports, and phonograph recordings as part of his collective narrative
He obviously based his character on Vlad Tepes (te-pesh) the 15th century Romanian Prince warlord otherwise known as Vlad the Impaler. Stoker tapped into the fact that sexuality not only drives us, but scares us as well. Critics have argued that Bram Stoker would be horrified of the many films portraying his character. The Dracula character has been quite durable of the variety of film incarnations throughout the years. The ‘monster’ that has more movies than Frankenstein, Wolf-man, the mummy & Fish face creature from the Black Lagoon have put together! The closest the movie Dracula came to being the definitive of the novel Dracula was the 1931 portrayal by Bela Lugosi. He became the most recognizable ‘Dracula’ in film and the one who set the tone for all those that were rolled out after. More movies followed getting further away from the novel. A series of movies Christopher Lee added depth, and genuine style to the role and is maybe the 2nd most memorable of the classic Dracula films.
The Character was inspired by Irving’s Mephistophelian stage appearance. The best part of the story many say is the beginning, while Jonathan Harker accounts of his experience in the Castle from his journal. Bram Stoker’s vampir is pretty much the basis of most of the countless vampires that have spawned through the years in media of movies, Tv, books but with varying interpretations of the character and story. The vampires’ and some of their characteristics have even evolved in a variety of ways. There’s been Male and female, alien, X-rated, radiation and soap opera versions. Then there have been the vampires that follow the classic outline, like that of Dracula; while others can go out in the sun without burning and others will burn but will take awhile before it does. Some don’t drink blood, they feed psychically. The romanticized versions like that of Blood Ties, or the ghoulish breed of 30 days of Night. When the public tires of one version a new interpretation comes about.
Tod Browning originally had Lon Chaney in mind to play vampire Dracula but settled on the Hungarian stage actor Bela Lugosi who already played the role in the theater.
Dracula celebrated its centennial in 1997 with no signs of aging or death.
as far as the sequel (Dracula Undead) to the original book, ‘Dracula’ is only a title his true name is Vladimir Basarab, or so as he is going by at the time.
if the vampire fears god then the cross will work, if not you’re up the creek without a paddle.
My blog entry for Dracula Day 2014
*This part is a work in progress as I will find more information as I brush up on my information
Dracula continues – through great nephew Dacre Stoker
I’m very interested to see what the GREAT Nephew does with the story and character. I’ve also included the Audio book , paper back & Kindle formats below
if the review here does not cut it for you I also have somewhat the main one HEREI think it is possibly longer and I have some more facts and information
One of the reasons so many Dracula books came out was because Bram’s copyright (though owned by his widowed wife) was void so that gave Hollywood & other author’s free reign to basically ruin the great gothic novel he created.
I have yet to get to it, but I’ve heard its quite good. That its supposed to be a sequel to his super great gramp’s popular gothic novel Dracula.
I’m very interested to see what the Grandson does with the story and character. I’ve also included the Audio book , paper back & Kindle formats below
Erie (ireland) Dracula stamp set
Bloody Good Bela – a books notes
Other Dracula incarnations have been played by
Christopher Lee (Scars of Dracula 2007),
Frank Langella (Dracula 1979)
Jack Palance (in Dan Curtis’ Dracula of 1974) BBC’s Count Dracula Mini Series of 2007,
Peter Cushing (there’s a stamp below with the depiction) &
VIncent Price took a turn as well.
In 2013 Jonathan Rhys Meyers was the newest incarnation for the NBC series DRACULA.
Now it’s October 2014 with the Bloodmoon on the rise (for the 8th) Luke Evans will play Vald Tepes aka Vlad the Impaler in Dracula Untold out on October 10th.
When you think of Dracula, Who’s the first name that pops to mind?
- Bela Lugosi
- Christopher Lee
- Frank Langella
- Gary Oldman
- Other? (please explain)
Books, games and prints
Book- THe forgotten writings of Bram Stoker
Book- Dracula’s Guest
Movie- Bram Stoker’s Dracula starring Keanu Reeves & Gary Oldman
Book/graphic novel The Tomb of Dracula: Day of Blood! Night of Redemption
video- Dracula the True Story on amazon available for 7 day rental at $1.99
Book- In search of Dracula
October 20, 1882 – August 16, 1956
Hungarian actor Bela Lugosi is the most associated with the iconic Dracula character. He’s the actor that first pops to mind when one says ‘Dracula’. He was born on October 20, 1882 as Bela Ferenc Dezso Blasko in Lugos, Hungary which is now (drum roll of Irony please) Lugoj, Romania and the youngest of 4 children.
Lugosi was a Lieutenant in the 1st world war, and in 1901 went on to begin his career on stage, In many Shakespearean roles. 1920 he moved to the United States starting with the Broadway version of Dracula in 1927 then moving on to the movie in 1931 with Universal Studios.
I’ve heard that when he died in 1956, that he was buried with his Dracula costume. He
did try to get out from the persona of being typecast showing up in many old horror movies, but to the world he was always Dracula. Once I saw his classic portrayal as Dracula no one else compared!
Unlike his aristocratic Dracula, he was not. His father was a baker, and Bela was self educated, and brought old world charms to his Dracula.
He may have played Dracula too well (Oscar anyone?) He’s been defined by the character and to this day if someone mentions him the first though is Dracula, none of his other roles like Black Sabbath, or White Zombie, The Corpse vanishes, Black Dragons, The Devil Bat, The Phantom Creeps, The Ape Man, Scared to Death, and others to name a few in my collection. He has a movie in color (which I didn’t know, I was quite surprised to see it as I thought he was only in black & white movies). It is hard to think of Lugosi as any other character even though I have seen many of his movies. No matter how many movies he made, he was a victim of type casting It was his role of a lifetime. He would still don the vampire regalia for promotions and stage when he could. He bore no semblance to Stoker’s Dracula whose country nobleman had grey hair and a mustache. He played his role of Dracula so well he wedged his iconic image into our skulls, or maybe its runs in our veins to this point.
He requested to be buried in his Dracula Cape
Dracula movie poster image
Peter Cushing as Dracula from UK
Bran (Dracula’s) Castle
The castle of the 15th century warlord known as Vlad the Impaler is actually called Bran’s Castle.
The site sees more than 400,000 tourists a year and is most likely because the Dracula novel was loosely based on the ruling Prince. I’ve read that the Prince did not actually own the castle, but may have been a temporary home. There may have been a time of 2 months when he’d been imprisoned within ‘his own’ castle.
In a January 2007 issue of The Journal News (the local paper for New York’s Westchester County), there was an article about someone from North Salem actually owning the abode (I’m so jealous!) of the 15th century Prince Vald Dracul having put it on the market for 78 million dollars!
I recall the article mentioning something he was hoping to sell it back to the local government in Romania to preserve the castle; and If I remember right, I think they were thinking of trying to do something to the likes of turning it into a hotel & Dracula theme park.
The article no
ted that the Castle was confiscated in 1948 from the owner Dominic Habsburg’s (who was 10 at the time) mother, Princess Ileana by the communists when the royals were forced to leave the country
Collage of Vlad the Impaler stamps
Dracula ‘The True story’
I’m sure I have seen this before (maybe even more than once) but I don’t remember which version this is to give the review on it. Any time on Discovery, learning channek and those sorts of stations if Dracula is mentioned I watch it, but they are all a muddle of information in my head.
un-Dead & Loving it
In 1997 Dracula had its 100th year centennial.
Dracula spawned dark fantasies and many interpretations and angles of the vampire myth. From Sesame street’s The Count Von Count, to Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire, in which we get the vampire’s eye view of what it’s like being turned and ‘living’ as a child of the night.
Dracula as such a vampire tale has an eternal popularity . The vampire is a very flexible symbol; in the 90’s it came to represent romance and the dangers of it, a lust for life. The vampire’s blood lust has also been a metaphor for drug abuse and other times as sex. In the 90s it was also estimated that that one new vampire novel comes out a week!
The century anniversary spurred a new round of interest with books, a ballet, & symposiums and has officially been ‘immortalized’ and put in the Hall of Fame, on a U.S. Stamp in the likes of the most popular incarnation…Bela Lugosi; he who gave the character sex appeal.
The story of the vampire actually predates to ancient Greece (the Vyrkolas) and the Romans. Once Stoker wrote his book however is when we became captivated and even enthralled by the beastly outsider who struggles with the good and evil sides of himself as a spirit of flesh.
Have you got the point?
- reVAMPing curriculum
a blog page of a ‘Dracula Day’ class curriculum.. I am VERY insults as I’m sure Bela Lugosi rollingover in his grave to osama Bin Laden being likened to a vampire
- Transylvania Tours
Dracula Daytrip in Bucharest
- Fantasy Ink-Dracula day
Dracula-Countdown to halloween
- Romania Tourism
Dracula-Beyond the legend
- Official Bela Lugosi Site
Bela Lugosi’s official site
Dracula Wanted poster book report
I came across this on your right while looking for prompts for a book journal, and thought it was cute so figured I’d include it
here. Instead of using it for a report on the novel, they can use it for a biography for Bela Lugosi, Vincent Price or other actors that have played the part, Bram Stoker the author, or even Vlad the Impaler who is said to be the inspiration of the book.
As for those prompts, they can be used for book reports and such so for those parents or teacher, please check out my 2013 Year of the Book Series lens. The prompts were for other ideas to note about books as well as a genre’s specific questions