A user-friendly guide to the origins, exploits and influence of Count Dracula



PRE - 1800

Vampire myths from antiquity.

VIad "The Impaler" Tepes, prince of Wallachia, C1430-C1477

Elizabeth Bathory (1560-1614), Hungarian countess seeking rejuvenation, slaughters as many as 650 girls to bathe in their blood.

Early 1700s: vampire hysteria sweeps Europe.


The word "vampyre" enters the Enghsh language in translations of German accounts of vampire frenzy.



Goethe's Bride of Corinth.



Lord Byron's Fragment of a Novel.


The Vampyre by John Polidori. A story conceived at the Shelleys' celebrated house party that spawned Frankenstein.


Vampire craze in Paris theatres.

Der Vampyr, opera by Heinrich Marschner.


Bram Stoker born in Dublin.

Varney the Vampyre, or, The Feast of Blood by James Malcolrn Rymer.

Verdi's Macbeth.


Adaptation of Le Vampire by Dumas and Maquet.


Darwin's On the Origin of Species posits evolutionary link between man and lower animals.


Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu.


Bram Stoker's first published horror fiction, "The Chain of Destiny".


Bram Stoker meets Henry Irving.


Bram Stoker marries Florence Balcombe and simultaneously accepts position as acting manager of Irving's Lyceum Theatre.


Bela Blasko born, Lugos, Hungary.

Bram Stoker publishes macabre collection of children's stories, Under the Sunset.

Publication of Hall Caine's Recollections of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, which describes an incident said to have inspired Bram Stoker's portrayal of Lucy Westenra as a full-blooded vampire. The story goes that Rossetti buried a book of love poems with his late wife, but decided seven-and-a-half years later that he was going to retrieve it for publication. As a result the coffin was raised and opened. Rossetti's wife was found to have been perfectly preserved, and to have a kind of halo around her. The strange thing was that much of her beautiful hair came away in Rossetti's hand, as he extricated the book from where it was entwined, and the spectral halo faded.


Faust enters Lyceum repertoire; Henry Irving portrays Mephistopheles.


Robert Louis Stevenson publishes The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.


Oscar Wilde publishes The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Bram Stoker begins research on his novel, The Un-Dead.


Freud commences publication of Studies on Hysteria.


Trilby published; George du Maurier introduces Svengali.


The trial of Oscar Wilde.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells.


The Un-Dead published as Dracula.

Staged reading at the Lyceum Theatre.

Kipling's poem "The Vampire" accompanies exhibition of painting by Philip Burne-Jones.


First British paperback abridgement of Dracula.


Burne-Jones' The Vampire shown in New York.


Freud publishes The Interpretation of Dreams.


The death of Henry Irving. Bram Stoker suffers stroke and begins memoirs during his recuperation.


Publication of Bram Stoker's Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving.


Bram Stoker's last novel, The Lair of the White Worm.


Death of Bram Stoker.

Sinking of the Titanic.


Bram Stoker's working notes for Dracula sold at auction.

Publication of Dracula's Guest.


The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, prototype horror movie, produced in Germany.


Record of lost Hungarian film entitled Drakula.

First French edition of Dracula.


Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens produced as a pirated film by Prana-Film, Germany. Florence Stoker takes legal action through the British Society of Authors.


Hamilton Deane enters into contract with Florence Stoker for a stage adaptation of Dracula.


German court rules in favor of Stoker's claim and orders all prints of Nosferatu destroyed.

Florence Stoker prevents a private screening of Nosferatu by the Film Society, London.

Deane stage version has preview/premiere at Grand Theatre, Derby.


Deane play successfully tours the provinces.


London production of Dracula opens in February at the Little Theatre.

Horace Liveright contracts for American stage rights, hires John L. Balderston to write adaptation.

Florence Stoker privately commissions another stage adaptation of the play, to which she owns all rights. Charles Morrell version is unsuccessfully produced at the Royal Court Theatre, Warrington, in September.

Deane and Balderston version opens at Fulton Theatre, New York, October, with Bela Lugosi as star.

Metro Goidwyn Mayer produces a vampire film, London After Midnight, with Lon Chaney as star. Producer Irving Thalberg fears infringement of Dracula, instructs director Tod Browning to make story changes.


American stage version closes after successfull run; west coast tour mounted.

Universal Pictures leaks false press announcement that it has purchased film rights, and mentions Conrad Veidt as possible star. Universal's British agent grants permission to Film Society to screen Nosferatu on the grounds that Universal now controls copyright. Florence Stoker and lawyers threaten action.


Film Society turns over their print of Nosferatu to Florence Stoker for destruction.

Legitimate negotiations for film rights begin.

surfaces in New York and Detroit. Agent Harold Freedman negotiates with exhibitor to obtain print.

Liveright's gross earnings on stage play said to exceed $2 million.

Stock market crash.


Universal, Pathe, Columbia, and Metro all consider Dracula. Carl Laemmle, Sr., opposes production without Lon Chaney, who is under contract to Metro, and terminally ill.

Producer Horace Liveright threatens to block film sale with litigation. Settles for $4,500.

Liveright loses stage rights over $600 in owed royalties.

Universal purchases novel and film for $40,000.

Nosferatu turned over to Universal "for purposes of destruction." Novelist Louis Bromfield, hired to write screen adaptation, is replaced by Dudley Murphy and Garrett Fort.

Bela Lugosi cast in film after extended studio indecision. Filming commences m September, finishes in November.

Spanish-language version shot simultaneously.


January: Spanish film previewed to good notices.

February: American film premieres at Roxy Theatre, New York.

Attempt at Broadway revival in wake of the film is unsuccessful; closes after a few performances.

April-May: Dracula receives belated West Coast premiere. Spanish and American versions exhibited simultaneously in Los Angeles.

Tod Browning leaves Universal and returns to Metro.

Nosferatu director F.W. Murnau dies in Hollywood.

Swedish director Carl Dreyer produces 'Vampyr ' as art film in France.

Dracula ends the year as one of Universal's top money-makers, despite mixed notices. Studio has its only profitable year of the decade.


David O. Selznick options Dracula's Guest, and hires John L. Balderston to draft a treatment, called Dracula's Daughter. Metro fears infringement of Universal film, and negotiates sale of property to Universal.

Due to a loophole in the American copyright law, the novel Dracula is judged to have always been in the public domain.

Death of Horace Liveright.


Tod Browning remakes 'London After Midnight' as The Vampires of Prague for Metro, with Lugosi as a caped count. Universal unsuccessfully seeks a restraining order. Film released as Mark of the Vampire.


'Dracula's'Daughter' released by Universal.


Death of Florence Stoker.

U.S. horror film cycle comes to a temporary halt due to British embargo on monster films.


Dracula successfully re-released on double bill with Frankenstein. Some prints tinted green.

Orson Welles dramatizes novel for radio; 'Mercury Theatre on the Air' production features Welles as Dracula and Agnes Moorehead as Mina.


Hamilton Deane secures rights to Balderston adaptation and finally acts the role of Dracula on the London stage.

Actor Bernard Jukes, who played Renfield over 4,000 times killed in an air raid.

Tod Browning directs his last film, Miracles For Sale.


Birth of Anne Rice.


Son of Dracula, with the remarkably miscast Lon Chaney, Jr.

Lugosi appears as a thinly disguised Count for Columbia in Return of the Vampire.

Lugosi tours eastern seaboard in revival of Dean and Balderston play.


Dracula teamed with other Universal monsters in House of Frankenstein.


House of Dracula. Another monster festival from Universal.


Theatrical release of Dracula by Universal.


Lugosi plays Dracula on film for the second and last time in Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein (U.K. title Abbott and Costello meet the Ghosts).


Lugosi appears in stage revival of Dracula in Brighton, England, and films Old Mother Riley Meets the Vampire. Takes "The Bela Lugosi Revue" to Las Vegas.


First non-Western adaptation: Drakula Istanbulda produced in Turkey.


John L. Balderston dies.


Lugosi commits himself for well-publicised treatment of drug addiction.


Bela Lugosi makes his last screen appearance in Edward D. Wood Jr.'s cult classic Plan Nine from Outer Space.

Bela Lugosi dies of a heart attack on August 16; he is buried in Dracula costume and makeup.

John Carradine plays the Count in first television adaptation of Dracula on "Matinee Theatre."


United Artists produces the first non-Universal Dracula title, The Return of Dracula (later titled The Curse of Dracula), starring Francis Lederer.


Hammer Films produces Dracula (called Horror of Dracula in the U.S.). Christopher Lee is established as the cinema's new king of vampires.

American International Pictures capitalizes on the title, though not the character or story, in Blood of Dracula.

El Vampiro
(Mexico) with German Robles as the first Spanish vampire since Carlos Villarias.

Universal's horror film series, Shock Theatre, released to television. Regional TV "horror hosts" such as Zacherley and Vampira promote monsters to an impressionable new generation.

'Famous Monsters of Filmland' magazine is established as the bible of monster culture. Readership will include future film mega-mogul Steven Spielberg.

The death of Hamilton Deane.


Emminent Shakespearean actor Sir Donald Wolfitt wears Bela Lugosi makeup for Blood of the Vampre (U.K.).

Maurice Richardson publishes influential article, "The Psychoanalysis of Ghost Stories," placing Dracula in an overtly Freudian context for the first time.


Brides of Dracula (U.K.). First Hammer follow-up to Christopher Lee remake, this one heavily Oedipal and with no Count in sight, despite the title.

Black Sunday (Italy). One of the most evocative and frightening vampire films ever made, an homage to the entire genre by director Mario Bava.

Blood and Roses (France). Roger Vadim's atmospheric foray into Carmilla, titled To Die of Pleasure in Europe.


The Bad Flower: First Korean adaptation.


Harry Ludlam publishes A Biography of Dracula: The Iife Story of Bram Stoker.

Tod Browning dies.


Universal's commercial licensing of monster toys and games reaches a fever pitch. Bela Lugosi's heirs commence legal action, charging unjust exploitation of his likeness.


Dracula is revived as a tired Jewish grandfather in the CBS television series "The Munsters". Transylvania and suburbia blur.


Christopher Lee returns in Hammer's Dracula, Prince of Darkness.


John Carradine travels west for Billy the Kid vs. Dracula.

Il Imperio de Dracula

"Dark Shadows", ABC daytime television serial, brings Dracula trappings to New England.


The Count makes a brief appearance in Conrad Rooks' Chappaqua.


Limited theatrical re-release of Dracula and Frankenstein to revival house and college circuits.

Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (U.K.), once again starring Christopher Lee.

Dracula Meets the Outer Space Chicks (U.S.).


The Fearless Vampire Killers (U.K.). Roman Polanski's extravagant spoof; featuring Polanski, Sharon Tate, and elaborate references to earlier films.

Blood of Dracula's Castle (U.S.).

Men of Action Meet Women of Dracula

Dracula Sucks (first version).

Dracula (The Dirty Old Man).


Guess What Happened to Count Dracula (U.S.).

Dracula (U.K.). BBC TV production, with Denholm Elliot.

Dracula vs. Frankenstein (Spain).

Count Dracula. A low-budget, though faithful multi-national adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel, notable for Christopher Lee's close resemblance to Stoker's physical description. With Klaus Kinski as Renfield.

The Scars of Dracula (U.K.). Christopher Lee again. This time he stabs as well as bites.

Taste the Blood of Dracula (U.K.). In which hypocritical Victorian men looking for kicks dabble in demonism. Stylish, witty, and gruesome. Christopher Lee sets an all-time record for film portrayals of Dracula in a single year.

Dracula vs. Frankenstein. Yet another version, this one American, in a bumper- crop year.

Jonathan (West Germany). A Dracula-like premise in a parable of fascism.

Lake of Death (Japan), also known as 'The Lake of Dracula' and Japula.


Count Dracula by Ted Tiller becomes a popular vehicle in regional, community, and college theatres.


Blacula. A Caribbean Count.

Dracula A.D. 1972 (U.K.). You can't keep a good vampire down. Christopher Lee proves his durability, as England swings.

El gran amor de Conde Dracula (Spain).

Raymond T. McNalley and Radu R. Florescu publish In Search of Dracula, the first modern account of the "historical Dracula", Vlad Tepes.

California court rules in favor of Bela Lugosi's son and widow in lawsuit against Universal Pictures; plaintiffs awarded $72,000. Universal appeals decision.


La saga de los Draculas (Spain).

The Satanic Rites of Dracula (U.K.). Christopher Lee, round eight, this time as a CEO in a corporate office tower, plotting world domination via germ warfare.

Dracula. TV film with Jack Palance.

Andy Warhol's Dracula (Italy/France).


The Seven Brothers Meet Dracula (U.K./Hong Kong co-production).

Tender Dracula, or The Confessions of a Blood Drinker (France).

Old Dracula (U.K.). With David Niven.


Spermula (U.S.).


Daniel Farson publishes second full-length Stoker biography, The Man Who wrote Dracula.

in a musical stage adaptation by Wilford Leach.

Deafula. In sign language, for the hearing-impaired.

Publication of ''Salem's Lot,' Stephen King's foray into the world of the vampire.


Dracula, pere et fils. Christopher Lee, on vacation in France.

Author Anne Rice receives a $1 million advance for her first novel, Interview with the Vampire.


Zoltan-Hound of Dracula (U.K.). American title: Dracula's Dog.

Deane and Balderston play revived on Broadway in a tongue-in-cheek production designed by Edward Gorey, with Frank Langella in the title role.

California Supreme Court reverses lower court decision on Lugosi vs. Universal Pictures; studio's Dracula merchandising found not to be in violation of Lugosi's film contract. Actor's claim on likeness held not to survive death.

The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula (U.S. television film).


Count Dracula. British television adaptation with Louis Jourdan; perhaps the most ambitious attempt to faithfully reproduce the novel.

Dracula. Universal's stylish $40 million remake on the heels of the Broadway revival, with Frank Langella repeating his role opposite Laurence Olivier as Van Helsing. Kate Nelligan co-stars.

Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (West Germany). Werner Herzog's idiosyncratic homage to Murnau, filmed in two versions, German and English (the latter considered unreleasable). With Klaus Kinski and Isabelle Adjani.

Love at First Bite. George Hamilton stars in one of the best spoofs of the genre.

The True Life of Dracula (Romania).

Dracula Sucks (U.S.). Yet again, this time with porno star Jamie Gillis.

Vampire Dracula Comes to Kobe: Evil Makes Women Beautiful (Japanese TV movie).

The Passion of Dracula by Bob Hall and David Richmond is an off-Broadway hit.


Dracula's Last Rites (France).


Phyllis A. Roth publishes first full-length critical survey of Bram Stoker.


Cliff's Notes published for Dracula.


Restored version of Nosferata screened at the Berlin Film Festival, with live orchestral accompaniment.


Anne Rice's 'The Vampire Lestat' published; reaches best-seller lists as the second novel in her "Vampire Chronicles".


Dracula image used to advertise the Lutheran and Episcopal churches.


1931 Dracula poster sells to collector for a rumored $9,000, over three times what Bela Lugosi received to appear in the film. Lugosi autographs will soon ask as much as $1,000, original-release stills from Dracula up to $250 each.

Mama Dracula (France).

Draculas' Widow.

Restored archival print of Universal's Dracula released on videodisc.

The Queen of the Damned, Anne Rice's third best-seller of blood-drinking.


Romania overthrows and executes its dictator, Nikolai Ceaugescu, widely referred to in the news media as "Dracula". Dracula tours and historical sites an important part of the Romanian tourism economy.


Dracula announced as a syndicated television series.


Bram Stoker's Dracula (U.S.). Francis Ford Coppola's epic attempt at a faithful adaptation of Stoker's novel.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (U.S.). The humble beginning of the Buffy phenomenon.

Dracula Rising (U.S.).

Dracula's Hair (Russia).


Publication of The Tale of the Body Thief, the fourth installment in the story of Lestat.


Interview with the Vampire (U.S.). Neil Jordan's masterful adaptation of the Anne Rice novel.


'Dracula Dead and Loving It' (U.S). Mel Brooks spoof, largely based around the Universal film.

Publication of Memnoch the Devil, the fifth episode in Anne Rice's Lestat saga.


From Dusk Till Dawn (U.S.). Vampires receive the Quentin Tarantino treatment.

The Northern Ballet Theatre achieves unprecented success in the U.K. with its stunning ballet adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel. The show was destined for a series of revivals over the years that followed.


Publication of The Vampire Armand, the first novel in Anne Rice's "New Tales of the Vampires" series.

Pilot episode of 20th Century Fox's Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series.


Publication of Pandora the second novel in Anne Rice's "New Tales of the Vampires" series.


Publication of Vittorio, the Vampire the third novel in Anne Rice's "New Tales of the Vampires" series.


Return to the Count Dracula Page

Return to the Vampire Hall of Fame

Return to the Nosferatu Experience

Back to Main Page