8 Things You Didn’t Know About (The Original) Dracula

Dracula is the most iconic vampire ever. But did you know he loved to read? Here are 8 more things you probably didn’t know about Dracula.

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1. In his heyday, Dracula was the definitive vampire.

Don’t get the wrong idea here. I’m not saying Bram Stoker created vampires. There were already many folktales and legends, but none of them so clearly defined what a vampire was in terms of their abilities, long lifespans, and weaknesses as Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

2. Sunlight couldn’t kill him.

That’s right, in the original story Dracula didn’t turn to ash when caught in sunlight. Instead, his true, ghastly appearance was revealed. For a creature that has survived for hundreds of years through blending in with human society, that still can’t be a good thing. Although, if you’re as stylish as Gary Oldman in sunglasses and a top hat, you may not have much to worry about.

3. He learned to speak English from reading.

While it’s not clear how the Count learned to read the language, the story clearly states he learned to speak English strictly through reading. That’s why he has his iconically thick Transylvanian accent.

Now for two silly ones:

4. He climbs walls like a lizard.

Believe it or not, there is a scene wherein Count Dracula sneaks out of his castle to go about his vampiric activities. Although it is treated as a shocking and terrifying sight, one cannot help but chuckle at the description “just as a lizard moves along a wall.”

5. He has a sweet, sweet mustache.

This detail has been completely lost in many interpretations of the Count in pop culture, and I find that a particular shame. Stoker describes our favorite vampire as possessing a thick, bushy mustache. I personally think it makes for a nice touch, but time will tell if we see it in newer media.

6. He can turn into more than just a bat.

Dracula has no doubt defined a lot of what it means to be a vampire. Take shapeshifting, for example. Everyone knows the cute little bat classic movie Dracula turns into. But did you know the book version had much, much more up his sleeve? The Count is shown transforming into: a cloud of bats; a large black dog; a swarm of rats; and a humanoid bat creature. I, for one, would like to see more adaptations making use of this ability to the fullest.

7. All he wanted was to migrate to England.

You read that right. Dracula’s main goal in the novel, which is thwarted by our human cast, is migration to England. Normally one might ask “who’s the real monster?” But Stoker doesn’t leave much to interpretation. Calling “Dracula murders innocents in his pursuit of England” an understatement disrespects the word itself. Why, one of the first in-story deaths is a child, whom the vampire kidnaps and consumes to regain his youth right before his voyage!

8. Dracula (the novel) tells its story through a series of letters, and newspaper articles.

I am personally unsure why, but Stoker wrote Dracula (the novel) like a true account of events pieced together through various media. While interesting, it is particularly hard to follow if you are used to straightforward narratives. One moment you’ll be invested in a chain of letters from an important character; the next, forced to endure what seems like meaningless chatter between two lovers. But, as someone who’s read the novel, everything comes together in the end. If you are to read Bram Stoker’s Dracula, it will take a bit of patience. And perhaps a dictionary for the archaic language.