Dracula’s Guest by Bram Stoker (1914)
Tuesday’s Tale of Terror October 14, 2014
This short story is not about witches but does have the flavors of Count Dracula and a creepy atmospheric mood in the classic style of Stoker’s horror. If you are a Bram Stoker fan, love the novel Dracula and are anxious to see the new movie Dracula Untold, this short fiction has all the qualities of a mysterious journey down a dark road to the supernatural.
We are on a carriage ride through the woods of Germany on the cursed night of the witches. An Englishman in Munich, on his way to visit Count Dracula in Transylvania, takes a carriage ride on Walpurgis nacht. It’s early summer and the carriage horses are throwing up their heads suspiciously into the air. Johann, the driver, passes a road that appears inviting to Englishman and he asks Johann to turn into that road. But Johann refuses. Johann responds …
He crossed himself and mumbled a prayer, before he answered, ‘It is unholy.’
‘What is unholy?’ I enquired.
‘Then there is a village?’
‘No, no. No one lives there hundreds of years.’
‘You are afraid, Johann—you are afraid. Go home; I shall return alone; the walk will do me good.’
And so begins this man’s lonely walk into the darkened woods, through a snowstorm, into the village cemetery, and the supernatural power he encounters there.
With the release of the film Dracula Untold this month, where the history of Count Dracula is illustrated in the story of Vlad the Impaler, I thought reading this particular short story of Stoker’s would be timely. It is thought that Dracula’s Guest was originally designed to be the opening chapter of the novel Dracula.
In 1912 Bram Stoker died in London on April 20, during the same month as the German Walpurgis nacht date of April 30. His wife Florence had Dracula’s Guest and Other Weird Stories published in 1922. Dracula’s Guest was first published in 1912 with the dedication, “To My Son.”
Read the short story Dracula’s Guest at Gutenberg.org
Listen to the audio version at Librivox.org
And, if you’ve seen Dracula Untold, post a review!
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