I am fascinated by the character of Bram Stoker's Dracula, who appeared in the book of the same name by Abraham 'Bram' Stoker. He wrote this story, basing the personality of the character of Count Dracula upon his readings about the historical figure Vlad Dracul, who was alive from 1393 until 1447. Vlad was a Duke of Wallachia, popular with many of his people. However he also inspired widespread fear as he was renowned for being harsh and cruel. He was known to regularly impale his enemies on stakes and leave them in full public view, as a warning against misbehavior of any kind from other potential enemies.
In the book Count Dracula comes from Transylvania over the sea in a boat that eventually was ship wrecked on the shore of the English fishing town Whitby. Bram Stoker had been reading about Vlad Dracul in Whitby and was then inspired to mention the town in his book.
Whitby has a beautiful old church and a ruined Abbey perched on top of a hill. To get to the church you have to climb up 199 steps and all round the church, on the hill-top are old gravestones. It is beautiful and relaxing and slightly eerie too - a perfect scene within the book, Dracula.
In part, the mention of Whitby in the Dracula book has inspired the Goth Festival that is now held twice a year in Whitby. Thousands of goths from loads of countries visit for music, dancing and to wear beautiful clothes, quite a few inspired by the look of vampires!
The character of Dracula in the book is also cruel and frightening. He is also exciting and sensual and has tremendous style. Many films based on the character of Count Dracula have since been made, further cementing the idea of Dracula within the popular culture and making the idea of a vampire as a tall, dark, mysterious and romantic creature, complete with black silk cloak, dinner suit and sharp pointy teeth a deep part of our core imagination.
Many people now choose to dress up as Count Dracula as part of their Halloween celebrations. Surely the ultimate Count Dracula complete with a long black cloak, lined with red silk, sharp fangs and hair combed back into a widow's peak must be one of the most popular and best known costumes of the best known vampire in the world - Bram Stoker's Dracula.
" Evil is a point of view. God kills indiscriminately and so shall we. For no creatures under God are as we are, none so like him as ourselves." -- Lestat, Interview with the Vampire