The Dracula character started back in 1897 when Abraham Stoker in an epistolary novel, meaning the narrative is provided through a series of documents, such as letters and newspaper clippings, rather than a typical narrative. The story is of a solicitor who goes to stay at a castle owned by a nobleman called Count Dracula. Only to find that the nobleman is actually a vampire. Dracula eventually flees to Whitby, a seaside town in England, but is hunted down by a mob and killed. Although he is killed in the first-ever Dracula novel, the character has lived on in so many ways.
There has been a wealth of Dracula video games created to target modern audiences. The most popular video games are the Dracula game series starting at the turn of the century and containing for over a decade. There are also casino slot games made in the Dracul theme. He has not only a genuine slot machine but even a cartoon version in the Fat Drac slot to widen the appeal even more.
The original story has been adapted over 30 times for the theatre and the big screen. The first adaptation was a silent Hungarian film in 1921 called the Death of Dracula. Many of these early adaptations have been lost, especially since Stoker’s widow took legal action against some of them and the footage was destroyed. The continuation of adaptations has put the character in the limelight with the likes of Mickey Mouse, Superman and Frankenstein.
The character has made its way into other written art, including comic books. In fact, the character has appeared in scores of comic books throughout the ages. The character is now owned by Marvel Comics and used to appear in his own comic book series called The Tomb of Dracula. However, the series has ended, and Dracula usually appears as an antagonist within comics centring around superheroes from the Marvel Universe.
What inspired the character?
The inspiration and origins of Stoker’s tale have been contested and fiercely debated for decades. There is a widespread disagreement between literary scholars and historians on how he came up with the character. Some believe the character was inspired by Countess Elizabeth Bathory, a noblewoman in Hungary who was also a serial killer. But within Stoker’s extensive notes he used to write the novel, there are no mentions of Countess Elizabeth Bathory or anyone else that has been suggested to be the inspiration. It should be said that Draculas had already been referenced in folklore before the novel.
We do, however, know why he chose the name Dracula. Whilst holidaying in Whitby, which is the place where the Count flees to in the original novel, Stoker read the name Dracula in a public library and thought it was the Romanian name for the devil, which it is not.