Of all of the monsters known to man, which one could possibly be considered more iconic than Count Dracula? The quintessential vampire, Count Dracula has inspired tens of films and stories the world over, not to mention the virtual immortality of the character during as a beloved Halloween character. For all of these reasons, it’s undeniable that this icon of horror more than deserves his own little holiday so the world can show its appreciation for his contributions to the worlds of cinema and literature over the centuries. So put on your fangs, and let’s sink out teeth right into this, shall we?
No, you don’t have to wait for Halloween to actually celebrate this demonic character now that there is a day dedicated to him. Although you may want to recap on what he actually looks like in the famous 1992 Dracula movie, just to be sure n all.
History of Dracula Day
The concept of vampirism dates back thousands of years. The ancient Greeks, Hebrews, Egyptians and Babylonians all had legends telling hair-raising tales of demon-like undead creatures that lived off of the blood of the living. However, the most iconic vampire of all time, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, was based on a real historical figure. Prince Vlad III of Wallachia (Romania) was the real-life inspiration behind Stoker’s gothic horror novel. An extremely cruel and merciless ruler, Vlad earned the nickname “Vlad the Impaler” for the many ways he tortured his opponents as well as people who betrayed him when they were captured. As can be guessed from his nickname, impaling was his favorite method of execution, and it is thought that he killed up to 100,000 people during his reign, and was infamous for the “forests” of impaled victims he left behind when he won a battle. The connection of his character with vampirism was made by Bram Stoker around the 1890’s, and has become a permanent element of pop culture since then.
He first truly came to light in the 1987 Gothic horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker. This is where the character Count Dracula was born and is now engrained in history. The novel itself speaks of the exciting story of Dracula’s attempt to move from Transylvania to England. Finally Dracula arrives in England, in a small fishing village named Whitby. To this day, Whitby in northern England hosts multiple events to celebrate Dracula including the famous castle in ruins that is lit up during certain seasons.
Dracula has also made history by being associated with many literary genres including vampire literature, horror fiction, gothic fiction, and invasion literature. These genres have even made their way to television and cinema, which certainly proves the fame and power of Dracula. Afterall, he is a powerful character, is he not? Vampire culture has long lived on, with the likes of The Lost Boys and Twilight being some popular favorites. While vampirism is clearly at the forefront of many modern novels, Dracula is also preoccupied with modernity because the Dracula novel itself looks into the relationship between the past and the future and represents the challenges between past and present, which makes us question the relationship we have today with our past and how things are likely to change in the future.
If you want to look at things a little deeper, that is. But we still all want to know more about the vampires, right? Well, as we have said, vampire culture is still popular to this day, and they will appear at many comic con adventures, cosplayers still enjoy using this iconic character. Since the first novel, there have been a number of new modernized versions, such as in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga, which was originally a novel.
Others have maintained the integrity of the original Dracula. Stephen King did this beautifully in Salem’s Lot. He had claimed that he had been very inspired by Dracula and there is no mistaking the similarities. We have even seen it in the American children’s television show Sesame Street, in which they developed a character, Count von Count, modeled on Dracula!
How to celebrate Dracula Day
Celebrating all things Dracula why not throw a party and get your friends round for the ultimate film binge. Ideas for creating the perfect atmosphere include giving your party a Gothic feel by making sure all of your decorations are either black or blood red, the table setting is rather sophisticated, everyone is dressed elegantly and wears fangs, hanging up plenty of bat and spider web decorations, and serving plenty of blood red drinks. It would also be perfect to watch one or more of the classic vampire movies to have been made, such as the 1958 British classic titled simply “Dracula”, and starring the incredibly impressive Christopher Lee as the aristocratic titular character. Other movie choices include “Nosferatu”, a 1922 German expressionist horror film, and “Interview with the Vampire” starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and a young Kirsten Dunst. And if it’s something more lighthearted you’re looking for, Roman Polański’s “The Fearless Vampire Killers, or Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are in My Neck” will keep everyone entertained.
You should take the time to plan a visit to all the places that Dracula visited on his travels, including Budapest, England and Eastern Europe, you may find a trail and feel his presence in many of the ruins scattered across Europe! If you wish to keep things a little closer to home, then why not have a themed Dracula birthday party. What better way to really throw a surprise birthday party than to have a group of Dracula themed monsters jump out from behind the couch; perhaps give that a pass for old aunt Mavis, you wouldn’t want her having a heart attack on her 90th birthday, afterall!
If you don’t plan on hosting a Halloween party, that does not mean you have to miss out on Dracula day—take the time to delve into the world created by Bran Stoker in his acclaimed novel. Reading a good book has never hurt anyone, and in the era social media’s 140-character blurbs of text, it is ever more important to keep the art of literature alive. If you’ve already read it, consider tackling Anne Rice’s “Vampire Chronicles”, a series of 11 critically acclaimed books that follow influential vampires all throughout history. Stephen King’s “Salem’s Lot”. As you can see, there is no shortage of ways to celebrate the vampires of the world this Dracula Day!f