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"Welcome to my house! Enter freely and of your own will!... Come freely. Go safely; and leave some of the happiness you bring!"
Count Dracula
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The original Bram Stoker novel that the Public-Domain Character Dracula comes from. It was first published in 1897.

Jonathan Harker, a young British solicitor about to be made partner, is sent out to Castle Dracula in Transylvania to see about a new client of his firm. Waiting at home for him is his young fiancée and secretary, Wilhelmina "Mina" Murray. Jonathan expects to be back home within a few weeks, but he doesn't know that Count Dracula is an ancient vampire, whose intentions in moving to England are nothing less than a plan to feast on the teeming crowds of London.

Meanwhile in England, Dr. John Seward, keeper of an insane asylum, notices a strange habit of his patient Renfield: consuming live things so as to absorb their life energy. Renfield keeps trying to escape to the old abandoned house next to the asylum, which seems to be seeing a lot of activity all of a sudden. And Lucy Westenra, Mina's beautiful best friend with one fiancé and two men in unrequited love with her (Dr. Seward being one of the two), is beginning to fall ill...

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Concerned about Lucy's health, Dr. Seward notifies his Dutch mentor, Dr. Abraham van Helsing. When Van Helsing recognizes Lucy's illness as the mark of the vampire, he gathers Lucy's loved ones around him to save the girl: her fiancé Arthur, Lord Godalming; her American former suitor Quincey Morris; Jonathan Harker (who was found severely traumatized by Dracula, but alive), and Mina. Knowing that Dracula's power doesn't work during the day — although he can still move about, and fight, quite well during these hours — they form a plan to hunt him down and rid the world of him forever. Although the men initially try to keep Mina out of the loop to protect her feminine sensibilities, she quickly proves herself to be a strong and thoroughly clever investigator... which Dracula himself is just as quick to notice.

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This book is now in the public domain, and can be found on Project Gutenberg.


The main characters in the novel include:
  • Count Dracula — the Big Bad. He's Affably Evil, at least at the beginning of the novel (though that might have been completely put-on for Harker's benefit).
  • Renfield — Dracula's pathetic yes man. This is usually only in the films though. Stoker's novel has him act as a kind of 'sensor' for Dracula, but no real explanation is given to how this is achieved. Renfield is simply shown to be an inmate at the asylum in the book.
  • Jonathan Harker — The Hero, though often is downgraded to The Watson for Van Helsing in adaptations. In the novel (and some adaptations), he Takes A Level In Badass, and spends the latter part of the story stalking Dracula through London with a Kukri knife.
  • Mina Harker (nee Murray) — Damsel in Distress and Vampire Refugee. She's the Trope Maker of the latter. She's also the Team Mom and The Heart of the group who track down Dracula.
  • Lucy Westenra — Damsel in Distress, played dead straight. She becomes the first victim of the count upon his arrival on London shores. The men try to save her, fail, and she becomes a vampire with a taste for children.
  • Abraham Van Helsing — Herr Doktor and The Professor, often promoted to Badass Bookworm in adaptations. Trope Codifier of the modern Vampire Hunter.
  • Jack Seward, Arthur Holmwood (later known as Lord Godalming), and Quincey Morris — Love Interests for Lucy who become secondary heroes following her distress. In adaptations, likely to be either dropped entirely or combined in some fashion with the Harker role. If not, they are The Lancer to Harker.
  • The Brides — Three beautiful and seductive Horny Devils who reside in Dracula's castle, desiring Jonathan's blood and welcoming Mina as their sister when's she's a Vampire Refugee. Due to their short role, it's not made clear what their relationship to Dracula is, some theorizing they're his wife and daughters/sisters/lovers or simply past victims he keeps for company (the tomb of their leader, the blonde one, seems to suggest she is of high status somehow). Their portrayal in various forms of media tend to shift on their behavior. Sometimes they are simply coquettish, while other times they are sexually forward. Often fall victim to Adaptation Dye-Job.

This story provides examples of:

  • AB Negative: Thanks to Science Marches On. When the book was written, the concept of blood transfusions was radical, cutting-edge science, and the possibility of an allergic reaction to someone else's blood wasn't known. Thus, Lucy can get transfusions from four different men without anyone worrying about blood type compatibility. Since she's in the process of becoming a vampire, blood types may be irrelevant to her in a very easy retcon. Another easy Fan Wank is to claim that Lucy is AB+ (one of the rarest types), the "universal recipient."
  • Academy of Evil: Dracula is mentioned to have studied at the 'Scholomance'. Freda Warrington's unofficial sequel has the now-abandoned Scholomance play a big role in the plot.
  • Accidental Truth: When Mina Harker asks Dr. Seward to let her listen to his phonograph diary, he's worried that she won't be able to stand hearing what happened to her best friend Lucy and tries to deter her by saying he doesn't know how to go to any specific part of the recordings. No sooner are the words out of his mouth than he realizes, "Oh, Crap!!! I really don't have any idea how to find any specific part of the diary! How are we supposed to use it to find clues about the vampire we're hunting?!" He now has no choice but to grant Mina's request to listen to the whole thing and transcribe it on her typewriter.
  • Admiring the Abomination: According to Van Helsing, the Count "must indeed have been that Voivode Dracula who won his name against the Turk, over the great river on the very frontier of Turkey-land. If it be so, then was he no common man: for in that time, and for centuries after, he was spoken of as the cleverest and the most cunning, as well as the bravest of the sons of the 'land beyond the forest'."
  • Affably Evil: Dracula is a most polite and charming host.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Van Helsing takes to Mina in a very fatherly sort of way, and consistently refers to her as "our dear Madam Mina."
  • Agent Mulder: It doesn't take much to convince Quincey Morris that there are vampires about.
  • Agent Scully: Dr. Seward originally disbelieves in vampires since it sounds pretty fantastical. Van Helsing personally shows him first-hand by visiting Lucy's grave before showing the others.
    • Arthur Holmwood also doesn't really believe in the vampire story. At least until the confrontation with the vampirized Lucy later on.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Renfield's death invokes this trope. He's mostly unsympathetic for most of the novel—he nearly beats a man to death and attacks one of the protagonists with a knife—but when he realizes that Dracula had lied to him, he attempts to defend Mina Harker from him and is fatally injured because of it. The graphic description of his injuries doesn't help.
  • All First Person Narrators Write Like Novelists: Pretty blatant example. The novel is presented as a collection of diaries, telegrams and newspaper clippings, the diaries being kept by characters like Jonathan (a lawyer), Mina (a lady of society), Seward (a psychiatrist), etc. Not only do all of them write in very much the same style, but all of them make use of florid, poetic language, despite none of them being professional writers. They also include long pages of dialogue that any real journal keeper would simply summarize.
  • Amazon Brigade: As short a role the brides had in the book, they certainly show they're fearsome creatures. It's only because of Dracula that they're prevented from feeding on Harker; it's clear if they had the chance, Harker would've been drained instantly and most likely turned into a vampire. And it's only due to Van Helsing's wafers that they were kept at bay from taking Mina. And even then they don't give up on trying to get her till the sun rises, even killing the pair's horses. If it was anyone else looking after Mina, the Brides would've most likely overpowered her protectors and claimed Mina easily.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Dracula is presented as intelligent but strangely mentally impaired. He is charismatic, good with languages and capable of planning—but also rigid in his thoughts, overly habitual, incapable of higher abstract thinking, selfish, and emotionally unbalanced, ranging from shallow affect to violent fits of rage. Professor Van Helsing speculatively characterizes him as a "criminal personality" in the novel, a now-obsolete diagnosis which is in some ways similar (but not equivalent) to the modern idea of sociopathy.
  • Americans Are Cowboys: The one American character, Quincey Morris, is a wealthy Texas cattle rancher who carries a large bowie knife. In one moment, Morris leaves a meeting with other heroes where they're trying to figure out how to cope with vampires; a few seconds later, bullets come flying through the window.
    Quincey: I'm sorry, I thought I saw a bat out there.
  • Animal Motifs: Howling wolves are a sign of Dracula's presence, and he's repeatedly associated with (and has power over) wolves, bats, rats, and at one point lizards. However, horses are terrified of vampires.
  • Animorphism: Dracula has the power to shapeshift into wolves, bats, and smoke, and probably other things.
  • Antagonist Title
  • Apocalyptic Log: The journal of the captain on whose ship Dracula came over is chilling.
  • Arbitrarily Large Bank Account: Of the four men trying to track down Dracula, three of them are extremely wealthy by last act (two of them having inherited large estates, the other being a wealthy ranch owner), which means they can spend money and hand out bribes freely without having to worry about the expense.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Except for Lord Godalming, AKA Arthur, who is one of the protagonists, but not treated any differently from the rest. Dracula, however, is dead straight. Conversely, every vampire is aristocratic.
  • Artistic Licence History: Stoker was clearly trying to imply that Dracula is the historical Vlad III of Wallachia, but has mixed him up with John Hunyadi, a contemporary and sometime enemy of Vlad. It was actually Hunyadi who ruled Transylvania (Vlad was from Wallachia), held the title of Count, and had connections to the Szekely gypsies.
  • Artistic Licence Medicine: There are a metric ton of blood transfusions, which was the hot new technology at the time, but blood types were unknown, so there's no concern for bad transfusions; instead it's assumed that strong young men have the best blood.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Van Helsing is either this or Retired Badass, depending on how one reads the hints in his backstory. A "metaphysician and philosopher" who has spent a good chunk of his life gathering arcane knowledge on vampires, then throws himself enthusiastically at the chance to put that knowledge to practical use.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign:
    • Stoker uses the word "nosferatu" as an appealingly foreign-sounding synonym for "vampire", and identified as his source a work that cited it as the Romanian translation of "not living". Unfortunately, the word doesn't exist in Romanian, and no alternative etymologies (a Greek word meaning "disease-bearing," a Latin word meaning "you are our wild beast," or a mis-transcription of a legitimate, but unknown, Romanian or Slavonic word) have gained anything like consensus.
    • At times, Van Helsing's speech is just a random string of words without any resemblance to Dutch syntax. But every once in awhile, he sounds perfectly Dutch ("He infect you in such wise, that even if he do no more, you have only to live" is a very Dutch structure, for example). Less forgivable are his occasional, very much not Dutch, very much German, exclamations of shock or horror (he says Mein Gott! instead of Mijn God!)
      • May be Justified by the fact that Van Helsing is a learned man and may well have known multiple languages and/or even lived in Germany for a brief time. The time he spent there may have stuck with him. Or the characters writing the journal entries didn't know any better.
  • Author Avatar: Jonathan Harker is the character most critics believe is Stoker's Author Avatar. Van Helsing might be an avatar for Stoker's father, who was also named Abraham.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Sort of a twisted version with Dracula and the brides. The dialogue implies they were women he courted before turning them into vampires. After which the love was lost and he keeps them simply for company. They disobey him when it comes to Jonathan but otherwise there's a reason the vampire women stay in castle and serve Dracula (either from fear, respect for their "love", or just total control over them). Dracula bringing them a baby to eat shows he does somewhat still care for them.
  • Babies Ever After: And they call him Quincey.
  • Badass Bookworm: Professor Abraham Van Helsing. The fact that he has "M.D., D.Ph., D.Litt., etc" after his name yet still hunts vampires should attest to this.
  • Badass Grandpa: Dr. Seward recorded that Renfield was 59 when admitted to the asylum and spent some time inside before the events of the novel unfurled. He's physically strong enough to fight a few burly attendants at once and wrestled Dracula himself in his strongest form at midnight.
  • Badass Mustache: While it's often left out in adaptations, when Dracula's appearance is first described, he is clean-shaven except a long, white moustache. This is probably based on portraits of Vlad the Impaler.
  • Badass Unintentional: Van Helsing isn't a Vampire Hunter or even an adventurer but rather just some Dutch scholar who's knowledgeable enough about the natural world to come up with a way to defeat Dracula.
  • Batman Gambit: The Count's master plan to infiltrate England and spread his vampire curse was only foiled by the Deus ex Machina of asylum doctor John Seward just happening to be the former student of Professor Van Helsing, the only person who'd recognise a vampire attack and know exactly what to do. Dracula's meticulous setup and coverup of his lairs and his later manipulation of Mina as a weapon against his pursuers was only matched by Van Helsing's counter-plan of hypnotising her to deduce the Count's location
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: It's strongly implied that Dracula is Vlad the Impaler himself. Stoker changed his villain's name from "Lord Vampyr" to Dracula after researching Vlad's grim reputation as a torturer.
  • Begging the Question: "I am satisfied that Lucy's body is not in that coffin, but that only proves one thing: That it is not there."
  • Big Fancy Castle: Dracula's castle used to be this, although traces of its ancient wealth could still be found in the sumptuous interior furnishings.
    • It is now more of a Haunted Castle, with broken battlements, few lights, and no residents except the Count himself and his brides.
  • Big Good: Abraham Van Helsing. The viewpoint characters do much of the action themselves, but it's clear that Helsing leads the fight against Drac and they would be helpless without him.
  • The Big Guy: Quincy Morris the Boisterous Bruiser Texan is the Class 4 Big Guy for Professor Van Hellsing's Vampire hunting team.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Jonathan Harker notes that the Count's eyebrows are
    "very massive, almost meeting over the nose, and with bushy hair that seemed to curl in its own profusion."
    • Van Helsing's are described as very thick too.
  • Bland-Name Product: The Dailygraph newspaper (Daily Telegraph) and Kingstead Cemetary (Highgate Cemetary, near Hampstead).
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: In the German translation. In the pivotal scene where Mina is visited by the Count at night, she tells the reader that she "couldn't resist him." In the original she says that she "didn't want to resist him" (she thinks that's part of his terrible power)—a small, but important difference.
  • Blood Lust: Count Dracula goes from being a charming gentleman to a raging fiend with the flip of a switch — and the switch is Jonathan cutting himself shaving.
  • Blood Magic: In contrast to his animalistic thralls, Dracula was originally just as much a sorcerer as he was a vampire.
  • Blunt Metaphors Trauma: As a result of his diffuclties with English, Van Helsing's attempts at figurative speech are rather...interesting.
    Van Helsing: Well, the milk that is spilt cries not out afterwards, as you say.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Quincey Morris fills this trope to a T.
  • Brain Fever: Jonathan Harker suffer from brain fever when Mina finally finds him after he somehow escaped the vampire's clutches.
  • Break the Cutie: Mina. Her best friend dies, then she's attacked by Dracula and terrified of the possibly of becoming a vampire. But she eventually subverts it and stays strong for the sake of the hunters.
  • Breaking and Bloodsucking: The Trope Codifier with a helping hand from Pop-Cultural Osmosis. Dracula never technically enters Lucy's bedroom the first few times he bites her. On the first occasion, he hypnotises her to leave the house and go down to the park. Thereafter, he goes to her bedroom window as a bat and she climbs partway out of it to be drained. Only when the escaped wolf breaks the window is he able to enter (presumably after hypnotizing Lucy's mother into inviting him in). When vamping Mina, he was able to enter because an inmate of the asylum she was sleeping in gave him leave.
  • Buffy Speak: How appropriate that this then-Unbuilt Trope still appears in the definitive vampire story!
    Dr. Seward: [Renfield] seems so mixed up with the Count in an indexy kind of way...
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Vampire hunting expert Van Helsing has quite the disturbing sense of humour.
  • The Cake Is a Lie: Dracula's deal to get Renfield to invite him in. And the deal Dracula reneged on; he offered Renfield thousands of rats. To eat. Renfield's insanity was a fixation on eating living creatures to absorb their life. Dracula going back on this deal is part of what instigated Renfield's Heel–Face Turn.
  • Cannot Cross Running Water: A stated weakness of vampires, except during "the slack or flood of the tide". It proves instrumental to slowing Dracula down near the end of the book.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • The peasants in Transylvania beg Jonathan not to go to the castle. He pretty much laughs them off.
    • Averted by Professor Van Helsing, who doesn't tell anyone vampires are involved until they see incontrovertible proof, because he knows they'd never believe him.
  • Cassette Craze: Probable the Ur-Example: Dr. Seward uses a phonograph to record his observations.
  • The Cavalry: This role is played by three terrier dogs when our heroes are attacked by a horde of rats.
  • Central Theme:
    • Sexual predation and the conflict between lust and repression.
    • More broadly, it's the classic Romantic VS Enlightenment argument; specifically "old world" (magic/superstition) VS "new world" (science/technology). Dracula is a gothic novel after all, which leans heavily towards romanticism. Dracula himself has the edge throughout most of the story because his existence is not even fathomable by members of this "new world." The most terrifying ability of Dracula (to a Victorian Brit) is his ability to cause sophisticated modern women to slip back into "savage" sexuality.
  • Character Title
  • Chekhov's Gun: Arthur's dog whistle.
  • Child Eater: Dracula's vampire companions and Lucy after she turned, though the latter never really fully drained her victims because circumstances would force her to leave them behind before she could.
  • Children Are Innocent: The vampire Lucy preys on children. Although she doesn't kill them, the children's innocent inability to understand that she was harming them — some even wish to meet her again — is horrific.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: Prof. Van Helsing, the one guy who knows how to deal with vampires, is a devout Catholic. Jonathan Harker, however, is at least nominal Anglican. This results in a few misunderstandings, when the Englishmen have a hard time taking Catholic crucifixes seriously and Van Helsing responds to their bemused surprise at his use of crushed communion hosts by explaining he has an indulgence. Although they are quite correct to be bemused, as indulgences don't work that way at all.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: By the time the book was written, vampire lore included an aversion to a cross. This, in different series, can be either the product of the vampire's belief in the cross, or the product of the wielder's belief in the cross. In Dracula itself it only really works for the Catholic Van Helsing; the others, mostly Church of England members, just can't take the idea seriously. Often, it also works with another strong symbol of belief — for example, a rabbi using a Star of David to hold a vampire at bay.
  • Clerk: Jonathan Harker is a clerk, though by the time the story starts he has risen high enough in the company to be trusted with dangerous foreign missions, and he's made a partner in the firm on his return.
  • Cold Iron: Dracula is slain by a knife through the heart and decapitation by a second knife, drawing on the use of sharp iron and/or steel tools like knives and needles as protection against vampires. It's never stated that iron is important, though.
  • Collateral Angst: Dr Seward observes several times that Jonathan seems to find Mina's metaphorical rape harder to bear than she does, and she, ironically, seems to be the one comforting him.
  • Combo Platter Powers: This vampire can scale walls like Spider-Man, control the weather, control wolves and rats, turn into a wolf and a cloud of dust in addition to a bat, and has Super Strength.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • The boat that Dracula is on arrives at Whitby, where Mina Murray, the fiancée of the man who's unwittingly helped him, is by a strange coincidence on holiday at the time; in a twist of fate, his first victim is Lucy, Mina's best friend. What's more, one of Lucy's admirers runs the lunatic asylum right next door to Dracula's new house. He also has a friend and mentor who, while not a vampire hunter, certainly knows a lot about how to deal with them or ward them off. Honestly, if Drac had landed anywhere else, his plan would've gone off without a hitch.
    • In Chapter 2, Harker notes that Whitby is circled on Dracula's map of England, implying that the Count's arrival there is not strictly coincidental; why he would have chosen that place, even before he learns of Mina, is a bit of a mystery; some adaptations, such as the 1970s BBC version, have Jonathan mentioning Mina staying at Whitby beforehand, so when he learns of Dracula circling it he knows it was a deliberate choice, and otherwise it may be inferred that Dracula somehow knew about Mina beforehand and had already chosen her).
  • Cool Boat
  • Creepy Cemetery: Van Helsing and Dr. Seward keep vigil at the cemetery where Lucy is entombed (and from which her body has disappeared), discovering she has become a vampire, and ultimately dispatch her with a stake through the heart after she returns to her coffin.
  • Crimefighting with Cash: While tracking down the Count, the private fortunes of the Harkers, Dr. Seward, Quincey Morris, and especially Arthur Holmwood (being, respectively, a partner of a law firm and sole inheritor of the estate of the other partner, a physician and sole owner of a mansion which he converted to an insane asylum, an American entrepreneur who regularly travels the world, and a British lord) are used to rapidly equip the entire party with whatever tools they need nearly instantaneously, as well as fund several necessary bribes both in England and abroad. At one point in the novel, Mina lampshades the incredible utility of cold, hard cash.
  • Cue the Sun: Subverted. Dracula is able to walk around in sunlight, he just has to stay in his coffin from dawn to noon. In fact, Dracula dies at sundown. It's a race to prevent him from becoming more powerful, not to waste time until he's weak.
    • Also he can shapeshift only at dawn and dusk so if they'd been a moment too late he could have turned into mist and escaped.
  • The Cutie: Lucy has three men ask for her hand in marriage in one day, and they then all pledge to protect and avenge her.
  • Damsels in Distress: Lucy and Mina. Mina, however, does something about it.
  • Dastardly Whiplash: Dracula's black attire and long moustache give him this appearance.
  • Daylight Horror: Dracula walks freely during the day. This is a staple of the Victorian vampire fiction. The idea of vampires dying in sunlight only became prevalent in the early 20th century thanks to Nosferatu.
  • Daywalking Vampire: Dracula walks freely during the day, though he's more powerful at night. This is something that was eventually lost in vampire lore and did not return until recent years.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Jonathan's and Mina's child is named after all of the group, but goes by Quincey.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The "laconic" Quincey Morris. Van Helsing gets his fair share as well, and Seward has his moments (especially when describing Renfield).
  • Death of a Child: Dracula haw no compunction feeding a baby to his three vampire wives. Then the baby's mother to a pack of wolves. And one of his victims, Lucy Westenra, gains a reputation for preying on children.
  • Dedication: "To my dear friend Hommy-Beg".note 
  • De-Power: This is the only effect of sunlight on Stoker's vampires.
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Sure, there's clearly something creepy going on, but it takes a while before Jonathan Harker actually decides he wants to leave, and the Count remains friendly around him right up until he starts attempting escape.
  • Disease Bleach: Jonathan's hair begins to go grey after his imprisonment at the Count's castle. It's believed by some to be another way in which he grows to mirror Dracula himself, similar to his personality change and growing fixation on his weapons. Of course, this gets even more patently ridiculous later on: after Mina explains all the deprivations the Count has been secretly putting her through and the fact that he's setting her up to become another vampire thrall, Jonathan's hair is explicitly stated as going stark white right then and there, grown hair and all.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The scene where Dracula forces Mina to drink his blood reads like a rape scene.
    • Vampirism in general. It's especially obvious in the situation when Lucy has been ravished and drained by the monster, and the men who love her have one option to restore her purity: to inject their own precious bodily fluids into her. This is lampshaded by one of the characters mocking the idea of the blood transfusion being a metaphorical sex act.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Renfield, albeit at the cost of his life.
  • Driven to Madness: The Count leaves poor Jonathan a complete psychological wreck, convinced that what he'd seen couldn't possibly be real.
  • Dual Age Modes: Dracula appears much younger when he's recently fed. He also disguised himself with a fake beard, and claimed to be a just a coachman working for the count.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: After Lucy is vamped, and subsequently staked, Arthur gives a heartfelt speech about how, though they were never married, the transfusion of his blood into her veins made them more than husband and wife. Doctor Van Helsing is suddenly overcome with giggles and has to excuse himself. When Seward follows him out, Van Helsing giddily explains that since Lucy had transfusions from four men (including himself), then by Arthur's logic, Lucy was a bigamist. Doctor Seward finds it much less funny.
  • Due to the Dead: What makes Seward so uneasy about investigating Lucy's vampirism.
  • Dungeon Crawling: There are some scenes reminiscent of this trope, although they omit the "and take the monster's stuff" step once the monster (Lucy) has been tracked to her underground crypt and dispatched.
  • Dying as Yourself: This happens with each of the vampires, including Dracula himself (in the moment before he crumbles into dust). It happens in the first stage adaptation as well, but for some reason tends not to happen in movie versions.
    "There was, on the face, a look of peace."
  • Eagleland: Quincey Morris is presented as a cowboy-type from Texas, informal but friendly and honorable. Strangely, although repeatedly described by his friends as a man of action, he doesn't engage in all that much of it until he suffers a mortal wound fighting the gypsies that protect Dracula's coffin at the end and striking one of the fatal blows to kill Dracula.
  • Eats Babies: It's implied that Dracula's brides ate a baby: they're after Jonathan's blood, but Dracula tells them to leave him alone because he's still needed for the big real estate deal. One of them whines, "Are we to have nothing tonight?" and they are subsequently contented with a small, writhing bag. A peasant woman arrives at the castle gates later, screaming for him to return her child.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Two of Dracula's vampire brides are brunettes and Lucy, when she turns, has her hair color change from blonde to brunette as a sign of her corruption. Naturally, being undead, they all have pale skins.
  • Eloquent in My Native Tongue: Van Helsing is an interesting quasi-example of this. He speaks the English in syntax quite broke, but he's really quite eloquent even then, in that he has a great vocabulary.
  • Empathic Environment: Immediately after vampire Lucy is slain, the weather is described as sunny and pleasant.
  • Epistolary Novel: See also Scrapbook Story.
  • Everything Is Big in Texas: Quincey Morris. Lucy likes his funny turns of phrase, so when he proposes to her, he hams up the quaint cowboy-themed metaphors to an almost sickening degree.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Dogs and horses are frightened by the Count's presence but he can control wolves.
    • When he goes out to meet Jonathan Harker the horses pulling Harker's cart panic, though the jet-black beasts pulling his own carriage obey him without hesitation.
    • At a funeral for one of Dracula's victims a dog belonging to one of the guests refuses to go near the grave.
    • A wolf at a zoo in England snarls and lunges at the bars of his cage when the Count comes near, but calms down when he gets closer. And later escapes and breaks through Lucy's garlic-protected window.
  • Evil Smells Bad: Dracula has foul breath, almost certainly due to his diet, and areas where he stays are, well, to quote the book:
    But as to the odour itself, how shall I describe it? It was not alone that it was composed of all the ills of mortality and with the pungent, acrid smell of blood, but it seemed as though corruption had become itself corrupt.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Dracula is said to have been adept in the dark arts due to being trained as a Solomonari, a dark wizard from Eastern European foklore. Its heavily implied that he rose as a vampire in the first place through magic rather than being bitten like all of his victims, and his more famous powers like turning into mist, bats, wolves or summoning storms are likely product of his black magic rather than inherit vampire powers.
  • Exposition of Immortality: In chapter III, Jonathan Harker converses with the Count on Transylvanian history, and observes that the Count speaks of "things and people, and especially of battles, [...] as if he had been present at them all." As the Count is really a centuries-old vampire, it is possible that he has been present at them all.
  • Extremely Dusty Home: Appears all the time, notably in the old wing of castle Dracula and in his purchased mansion.
  • Fainting: We get a nice Gender Flip with Jonathan Harker pulling one of these fairly early on. Just as equally an emotional faint, however, as he had just been overtly harassed by three beautiful vampire-ladies and apparently his own host.
  • Fangs Are Evil: The better to drink your blood.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The Count gives a polite and inviting first impression, if somewhat unsettling. The guest usually dismisses the last part under cultural/foreign differences.
    Welcome to my house! Enter freely and of your own will. Go safely and leave something of the happiness you bring.
  • Foil: Van Helsing to Dracula: Both are confident, knowledgeable and affable, with a slight hint of a generic strange accent, and refer to people as "friend".
  • Food Porn: Jonathan Harker devotes a lot of attention to what he's eating at the beginning of the book.
  • Foreshadowing: The brides are a bit of foreshadowing in regards the aftereffects of vampirism due to their seductive, beautiful yet off-putting nature. Indeed when Lucy turns, she's shown to have the same traits and Mina likewise starts exhibiting some of these after she's bitten.
  • Forgets to Eat: One of the worrying symptoms Helsing notes of Mina after she's bitten by Dracula, due to the fact her appetite has suddenly disappered during the journey to Castle Dracula. A sign that she's becoming closer to turning into a vampire.
  • Forgotten Trope: Dracula is described as having hairs in the centre of his palms which is an aspect of werewolf and vampire lore that has almost completely disappeared.
  • Frozen Fashion Sense: Averted. Dracula's attempts to prepare himself for his move to England explicitly include acquiring clothes in the latest fashionable English style he can get his hands on in order to blend in better.
  • Funetik Aksent: The old Yorkshireman, various cockneys, and of course Van Helsing himself. Stoker prided himself (without much justification) on his ability to do these.
  • Funny Foreigner: Van Helsing. Dracula himself outright defies it, stating that he is too proud to allow himself to be treated as such, and invites Johnathan Harker to his castle both to polish his accent and learn about everyday life in England, so he won't stick out like a sore thumb and be a target for mockery.
  • Fur Against Fang: Inverted. Dracula can control wolves as well as all creatures of the night, and even turns into a wolf as a slightly less conspicuous way of breaching the English shore.
  • Gaslighting: Whether it was his intent or not, Dracula did this to Jonathan Harker while he had Harker imprisoned in his castle. Harker was convinced he'd hallucinated the whole thing for a long time afterward. By the end of his stay, not only is Jonathan a psychological wreck, but he's practically become nocturnal to match the Count's own sleeping habits.
  • The Generic Guy: Jonathan Harker doesn't have an interest in science like Van Helsing or Seward, tragedy like Lucy and Arthur, madness like Renfield, or a Heroic Sacrifice like Quincey Morris. He's just a generic handsome guy who serves as the Count's Chew Toy in the first part of the book and as a Satellite Love Interest to Mina after the Count becomes obsessed with her. Many adaptations have either condensed his part or removed him completely and lost little.
  • Genre Refugee: Quincey P. Morris. Nothing like the presence of an American cowboy in a Gothic Horror story set in Britain to make you go "Say again?"
  • Genre Savvy: Van Helsing is a scientist, but having recognized that they were fighting a monster out of legend, he goes to those legends to learn how to fight it.
  • Gentleman and a Scholar: Van Helsing. Despite being "one of the most advanced scientists of his day", he has nerves of steel, an open mind, a kind heart, and a wry sense of humour.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Van Helsing in chapter 23 paraphrases some sailors, and their obscenities, without really understanding what is said, resulting in Buffy Speak cursing. An example: "They say much of blood and bloom and of others which I comprehend not, though I guess what they mean" and "Whereupon the captain tell him that he had better be quick—with blood—for that his ship will leave the place—of blood—before the turn of the tide—with blood."
  • Ghost Ship: The Demeter runs aground at Whitby with all the crew missing except the captain, whose corpse is found lashed to the helm. However, a ship's log is found which provides clues as to what happened aboard the vessel.
  • Girl Posse: Dracula's brides can be seen as this. In fact, curiously, he never seems to try and turn men.
    • With the heavy allusions Stoker draws between vampirisim and rape/sex, it actually rather makes sense that Dracula would prefer to target women. It's also worth noting that his brides target men, and Lucy, the chaste ingenue, feeds on children.
  • A Glass of Chianti: Dracula doesn't eat or drink, but Harker comments very favourably on the food and wine the Count serves.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Mina gets an evil one that the Transylvanians recognize. Dracula gets one from Jonathan early on, but it's inconsistently described in the text.
  • Go Out with a Smile:
    • Vampirism is a curse, so vampires who are killed are implied to be relieved.
    • Quincey also seems remarkably chipper for one who has thirty seconds to live — but he dies knowing Dracula is dead and Mina is saved.
  • Gotta Kill Them All: The heroes have to track down and destroy Dracula's lairs so he will have no place to go to change shape or rest in his native soil.
  • Gratuitous German: Van Helsing sometimes offers examples, though he is a Dutchman rather than a German. Some of it may be justified, however, since German was famously the great language of science (and medicine, especially) in the late 19th century, so a learned professor should be quite familiar with it no matter his own national origin.
  • Grave Robbing: Committed a couple times by the protagonists, since vampires sleep in their coffins. Some of them really take issue with it at first.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: It is openly stated that Dracula's vampirism is the result of a damning Deal with the Devil and part of the dark sorcery that he was taught as a disciple of Satan in the occult academy of Scholomance. This black magic that has transcended the natural limits of life and death makes him come across as a mere sinner who was tempted into becoming one by the powers of darkness and still serves them by crawling in the shadows of his hideous unlife.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Interesting variation. Lucy, befitting her treasured English Rose status, is described as blonde (Seward refers to her hair lying on her bed pillow in "sunny ripples"), but as a vampire, is described by eyewitnesses as having dark hair. Especially fitting as her childlike innocence before getting attacked by Dracula is absent from her vampire form.
  • Haunted Castle: Dracula greets Jonathan Harker: "Welcome to my house! Enter freely and of your own will!"
  • Have a Gay Old Time: "Dr. Van Helsing rushed into the room, ejaculating furiously".
    • When the letters between Mina Murray and Lucy Westenra contain such titillating turns of phrase as "I am longing to be with you", "We have told all our secrets since we were children; we have slept together...", and "I wish I were with you, dear, sitting by the fire undressing, as we used to sit", it's very easy for modern readers to get the wrong idea about the nature of their relationship. They're just good friends. Honest. Specifically it's a devoted Romantic Two-Girl Friendship quite normal for those days. There were Romantic Two-Guy Friendships too and even church services to solemnize these unions.
  • The Heart: Mina keeps the men's morale high and reminds them of why they're fighting.
  • Hemo Erotic: A rather vague passage suggests that a new vampire can only be created if a bite victim somehow ingests vampire blood. Then again, the book was criticized for its "sucking sounds" which many readers interpreted as suggestive of oral sex rather than blood drinking.
  • Heroic BSoD: Jonathan Harker suffers one after his imprisonment in Dracula's castle and no wonder. His physical health breaks down right along with the mental, and he doesn't even know if everything he saw was real or in his head until Van Helsing confirms it.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Quincey Morris.
  • Herr Doktor: Professor Van Helsing is actually Dutch, but constantly peppers his English with German. (Yes, Bram Stoker did, in fact, do the research — German was a lingua franca in that area of Europe.)
    • Also, Dutch is a Germanic language closely related to German.
    • And German was the language of science in the 19th century—a (non-German) scientist tossing around German words would be like a musician casually using Italian words.
  • Hide Your Otherness: Count Dracula poses as an ordinary human nobleman for most of the first half of the story, as part of his evil plot to get some Londoners to nosh on.
  • Hiss Before Fleeing: When confronted by Van Helsing and company and beginning to feed on a small boy, the newly turned Lucy throws the child to the ground, "growling over it as a dog growls over a bone." Shortly afterwards, the vampiric Lucy is driven back by Van Helsing's crucifix. She isn't described as hissing at this point, but does have a mouth grown "to an open square, as in the passion masks of the Greeks and Japanese."
  • Historical In-Joke: Protestant England is saved from Dracula in part thanks to the use of Catholic paraphernalia such as crucifixes. During his stay at Castle Dracula, Harker notes the irony of seeking solace in a crucifix having been taught since childhood that it is a symbol of idolatry.
  • Holy Burns Evil: Crosses and communion wafers (the Host) repel vampires. Dr. van Helsing seals up a vampire's tomb by filling in the cracks of the door with putty containing ground up Host. After Mina is forced to drink Dracula's blood, van Helsing attempts to bless her by placing a wafer on her forehead but it burns her skin, leaving a scar that remains until the Count is slain.
  • Hollywood Heart Attack: How Lady Westenra dies in the story; as Dracula bursts into the house in a wolf form (or sending a wolf), the shock of the attack gets to her heart. Lucy tries to get help, but the maids have been drugged and Dracula soon descends on her. Curiously he doesn't try to bite Mrs. Westenra though it's possible she died before he could or he was not interested in making someone so elderly into a vampire.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Mina mocks the "New Woman" a few times in her journal. For those that don't know, "New Woman" at the time was when females were starting their movement for independence and becoming more assertive which was a big deal at the time. The reason it's ironic is because Mina becomes assertive after her encounter with Dracula and is both able to resist his influence (with some help) and coming up with the idea to use her newfound psychic link with Dracula to lead the hunters to him.
  • Hysterical Woman: There aren't any in the book, but Dr. Seward certainly believes in this trope. At one point he remarks, "Men and women are so different in manifestations of nervous strength or weakness!". Mina seems to exist to defy this trope, as no matter how distressed she gets, she has it together better than her husband. She does go into hysterics at one point, but it's for a very good reason and she gets over it with amazing quickness. Several of the men also have brief hysterical episodes.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • The main characters know that a vampire can only enter a house into which he is invited, but they still keep his victim in a house that they know Dracula can already enter. Also, they know that Lucy died and rose as a vampire after becoming paler and weaker over many days. When Mina's not feeling well and looking rather pale, they write it off as a simple illness.
    • Luckily Dracula has it too. Van Helsing concludes that Dracula is doing what he did when he was a mortal man—raising an army and invading another country, only it's England this time and not the Ottoman Empire. Dracula goes about this by attacking and attempting to turn a grand total of two women. He fails miserably with both. And once Harker, Seward, Van Helsing and the rest of the party learn of Dracula and start taking steps to thwart him, he doesn't bother to do anything but attack Mina to use her as spy (which backfires spectacularly because she can spy on him) and to burn their notes while they are all sleeping when he could have killed them.
  • I Do Not Drink Wine: While the famous line doesn't appear in the book Jonathan Harker does notice that he never sees the Count drink or eat...food.. The line that does appear in the book is "I have dined already, and do not sup", meaning that he has already eaten an early evening meal, and does not eat late. However, Dracula does apparently keep a good wine cellar for guests, as Harker comments very favorably on the "... excellent bottle of Old Tokay" he is served with his first supper at Castle Dracula.
    Dracula: You will, I trust, excuse me that I do not join you; but I have dined already, and I do not sup.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Dracula's attack on Mina in her bedroom reads very much like a rape scene, particularly when he reveals that this isn't the first time she has... sated his thirst.
  • I Made Copies: The Count breaks into the heroes' headquarters and burns the Scrapbook Story they've been keeping of the ordeal. How is the reader still able to read it? They had a backup copy in a safe. All this before the days of hard drives!
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Dr. Seward and Quincey lose to Arthur in wooing Lucy, but they're good sports about it. Both of them give blood to save Lucy without hesitation.
  • Ill Girl: Lucy when Dracula starts feeding from her; her mother could also count.
  • Immortal Immaturity: Dracula is a bit complicated in this respect. As explained by Professor Van Helsing: "Well, in him the brain powers survived the physical death. Though it would seem that memory was not all complete. In some faculties of mind he has been, and is, only a child. But he is growing, and some things that were childish at the first are now of man's stature. He is experimenting, and doing it well."
  • Informed Ability: Vampirism is really vague in this story and it's not really clear what it does besides what's shown. Most known is that it turns the victim into a monster, they gain a few powers and they drink blood. Okay fine, but outside that we only get hints that it's the worst thing ever for the victim, because apparently their souls are either trapped in their bodies or taken over by the monster they become (Lucy's sudden shifts in demeanor as she's dying lends some credence to this). Or the person becomes corrupted and evil just from turning. Outside of feeding on humans, it never really goes into too much detail on the specifics of what's causing the change. But that might just add to the mystique for the sake of horror. Dr. Van Helsing also mentions a few vampire powers that are never used, like using a victim's tomb as an alternative sanctuary or animating normal corpses to do their bidding.
  • It's a Small World After All: The Count's identity and nature are exposed because his lawyer's wife's best friend's ex-suitor's onetime mentor just happens to be an expert on vampires.
  • Kavorka Man: Count Dracula. His physical description shows him as being rather ugly, even after he grows younger, and he has hairy palms. However, he has three vampire wives and manages to put several women into his hypnotic spell. He's more of a Dirty Old Man/sexual predator than the more modern Vampires Are Sex Gods trope.
    • It should be noted that aside from the women in his castle, there are no women interested in him. His 'hypnotic spell' is a violent assault that turns women into vampires.
  • Kiss of the Vampire: The kiss/bite of the vampire is an analogy for rape. Dracula tricks Renfield into inviting him in and physically forces Mina to drink his blood against her will, leaving the traumatized girl to go through periods of denial, anger, and depression while viewing what she suffered that night as a Fate Worse than Death than which nothing could possibly be worse. Since most Gothic literature of the 18th and 19th centuries used the word "seduce" where we would use "rape," Stoker gets major points for being possibly the first author since Edmund Spenser to recognize the difference between seduction and force.
  • Knife Nut: Quincey Morris carries around a large bowie knife as part of his characterization as an American cowboy. Later he's upstaged by Arthur Holmwood, who busts out a kukri from his days in the military.
  • Kukris Are Kool: Jonathan Harker wields a kukri and attacks with enough ferocity to force Dracula to retreat. Then decapitats the Count with it after Quincey Morris stabbed him in the heart with a Bowie knife.
  • Lean and Mean: Drac himself. For adding slimming power he could slip through the cracks of doors if necessary.
  • Liquid Assets: The Count starts off as an elderly man and becomes younger in appearance over time through drinking blood. Also, when Lucy becomes a vampire, she looks healthier "dead" in her coffin than she did alive.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Arthur and Lucy become engaged, but Dr. Seward and Quincey Morris are in love with her as well. Van Helsing seems to grow to love both Lucy and Mina, even though he's technically married to a madwoman, and there's plenty of Ho Yay between him and Dr. Seward. Mina marries Jonathan, and the surviving six form a True Companionship where they all love everybody.
  • Madness Makeover: Lucy gets all slinky and sensual as she falls under Dracula's spell. Oddly this is not considered an improvement by her faithful suitors.
  • Madwoman in the Attic: Doesn't appear, but Van Helsing reveals he's married to a madwoman. Well, what would a Gothic horror novel be without one?
  • Magic Versus Science: One of the themes in the novel is the old age of superstition and magic embodied by Dracula versus the new age of science embodied by the protagonists. Initially, magic aka Dracula has the edge because the scientific worldview has no place for him and refuses to accept that vampires exist. Dracula does not work the way science says the world works so he can act with impunity. Ironically, only by getting rid of the conflict and combining the two in Van Helsing is Dracula defeated. Van Helsing accepts things outside of the scientific worldview and uses those unorthodox methods to fight Dracula. At the same time, he uses modern scientific advances such as technology and criminal theory to predict Dracula's movements and eventually defeat him.
  • Make Sure He's Dead: After staking Vampire-Lucy, Van Hellsing has her head removed and then filled with garlic. It appears, given later Vampire-deaths, that removing the head of a dead vampire removes their Immortal Inertia and they revert to a human corpse of appropriate age. Since Lucy's corpse was too fresh to immediately rot (as, for example, Dracula himself did), filling the mouth with garlic is probably a way of making sure it doesn't come back as something undead in the meantime.
    • In an example of Fridge Brilliance, he's actually combining several methods of vampire killing. He didn't know WHICH myth was true!
  • Manipulative Bastard: Dracula gets very far on nothing but his charm. He's so good at it that its all but stated that he has some sort of hypnotic powers.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: This was one of the first stories to treat vampires in this way, as opposed to the earlier depictions of them (from various myths and legends), in which they were more animalistic and demonic in nature.
  • Mind Control: Dracula intends to do this with Mina, but it backfires on him once he realises that if she can show him whatever the heroes are up to, she can also show them whatever Dracula is up to.
  • Missing Reflection: The Trope Maker. Soon after his arrival at Castle Dracula, Harker observes that the building is devoid of mirrors. When Dracula silently comes into Harker's room while he's shaving, Harker notices that Dracula, who is standing behind him, does not appear in the shaving mirror as he should. The Count reacts violently and flings the mirror out a window. The missing reflection is the first solid evidence of his vampiric nature that Harker directly observes.
  • Monster Lord: Dracula is a count, and the other vampires mentioned in the book clearly view him as superior... but this may be less to do with his title and more to do with the fact he's implied to be their husband and/or father and also happens to be a badass.
  • Monster Misogyny: Dracula feeds on men to survive, but the only new vampires he creates are women. Many critics note the sexualized nature of the violence between men and women throughout the story, with blood-sucking and stalking being seen as metaphors for sex.
  • Monster Progenitor: Dracula is this, of course. It's known he's the original vampire of his line of vampire, but not if he is the first vampire ever.
  • Monstrosity Equals Weakness: While never exactly weak, Dracula is an unnatural and horrifying old man in the first act when all he had to feed from were slaves and Transylvanian commoners that were in low supply. After gorging on the blood of the crew of the ship he stowed away on, and several weeks of terrorizing Londoners, he became stunningly attractive and seductive.
  • Motif: The imagery of red-against-white is repeated over and over again — wolves with red tongues and white teeth, Dracula's red blood-stained lips against his pale white skin, a red wound on a white shirt, etc.
  • Must Be Invited:
    • Tricking one of the inmates of an insane asylum into inviting you in apparently counts.
    • Also Inverted: The Count is apparently forbidden from doing anything that could be construed as forcing Jonathan Harker to enter his castle or forbidding him from leaving, so stays firmly behind the threshold until he chooses to "Enter freely and of your own will," and when Jonathan insists on leaving, Dracula is quite willing to open the gates, but when Jonathan hears the wolves outside, he asks Dracula to close the doors again. Or Dracula could've just been a dick on a power trip.
    • Another possibility is that since it's ambiguous whether Dracula (at this early stage of the book) is genuinely Affably Evil or Faux Affably Evil, his invitation might be some form of courtesy that modern readers don't get; while his famous invitation may stand out a lot nowadays, Jonathan does not seem to think there is anything strange about it.
    • It's possible that Dracula doesn't realise that humans are not bound by similar rules about invitations; Van Helsing talks at some length about how Dracula is ignorant about the full extent of his own abilities (something which never seems to make it into the films), so maybe Dracula thought Jonathan required an invitation just like he would.
    • Dracula's invitation to Jonathan is never brought up again, not even in the form of Jonathan lamenting the irony that he willingly entered the castle, so it might not have been intended to be particularly important. As noted in the intro, the idea that The Fair Folk etc. could not exercise their full power over humans without some kind of consent is Older Than Dirt, so maybe Stoker was deliberately trying to invoke this trope. Dracula has certain other traits normally associated with The Fair Folk, and it's apparent between this and other elements of subtext that the Dracula story is in at least some part an allegory of the relationship between imperial England and Ireland.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Johnathan starts the story as a simple solicitor on a business trip, unaware that the supernatural even exists. Naturally he's horrified that he practically gave Dracula a pass to spread his evil to modern day society.
  • Name Order Confusion: The Count accidentally calls Jonathan Harker "Harker Jonathan" and explains that he slipped into his country's tradition of giving the family name first. Transylvania was part of Hungary at the time, and Dracula claims to be a Székely note  in the same chapter.
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: The only women in the main cast are the fiancées to others in the team. Also something of an inversion in that most of the team is composed of "Lucy's suitors" and in most of the bits of the book happening after Transylvania, Jonathan appears as "Mina's husband" rather than the other way around, even though Mina does first appear as "Jonathan's fiancée".
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: During one of Mina's entries, she records a long rant by an old man concerning the practice of this. Remarking the grave (which the girls are close to, having to decide to picnic in the church yard) belongs to a sorry sourpuss and wasn't even missed by his "hellcat of a mother."
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The five male members of the party insist that Mina Harker stay home while they do the dangerous work and frequently talk about what a relief it is that she's safe at home while they're hunting down the vampire because a woman surely couldn't handle it. Dracula deliberately takes advantage of this as an opportunity to bite Mina and metaphorically rape her. Nice job with the chivalrous misogyny, heroes!
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Nice job giving the heroine a VIP pass to your mind, Dracula.
  • No Body Left Behind: Dracula and his Brides are said to crumble into dust on death. Justified in text as a side effect of their unnatural preservation being removed and centuries of decay catching up with them. Subverted with Lucy, whose body remains intact, as her mortal death had occurred only a few days before her Vampiric one. This opens a plot hole that dozens of stories by other authors are built on: turning into a dust cloud or mist and traveling in that form is explicitly one of Dracula's powers.
  • No Immortal Inertia: Dracula rapidly dissolves into nothing when stabbed in the heart. Notably, none of the other vampires in the story did this, and although it isn't explicitly stated the implication is that it's because he was so much older than them, and that when he was stabbed centuries of decay instantly caught up with his body.
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: Dracula plays host (and after Jonathan realizes he's a prisoner) and jailer to Jonathan Harker, and provides him with delicious meals. Although it's more than likely that Dracula does not eat... food, he's apparently a Supreme Chef (or else his "brides" are), since there are no human servants at the castle.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Killing the original vampire before its bitten victims die (and subsequently resurrect as vampires) returns said victims to normal. Otherwise it's permanent (Can't exactly bring a walking corpse back to normal after all). Justified, in that bitten victims will simply heal naturally. Mina was bitten a few times and survived, and even Lucy required multiple, increasingly violent visits from Dracula, thanks to Doctor Van Helsing successfully resuscitating her.
  • No Time to Explain: Prior to needing to stake Lucy, Van Helsing's answer for everyone's confused questions amounts to, "I can't explain now, just trust me. You'll know everything soon enough, but you'll wish you didn't. Did I mention within the last five seconds that you just need to trust me?"
  • Non-P.O.V. Protagonist: Dr. Abraham Van Helsing is the Big Good who leads the manhunt for Dracula, but we never get to see his POV, except from brief glimpses of it from the narrators' accounts and his sparse letters.
  • Not Himself: Lucy when she becomes a vampire. It's implied she's even aware of it when the transformation nears completion and the vampire part of her briefly surfaces to try and seduce Arthur as she's dying.
  • Not That Kind of Doctor: Dr. Abraham Van Helsing is that kind of doctor (and a professor of medicine), and not a vampire hunter, as adaptations often turn him into; he's just smart enough to know enough about them to improvise.
  • Occult Detective: Dr. Abraham van Helsing is the Trope Codifier. Although he doesn't start this way, he quickly becomes one. Yet while most adaptations portray Helsing as an adventuresome monster hunter, in the book he is just a doctor with very eclectic experience, who approaches vampirism as he would any other disease, albeit one that has symptoms including supernatural belligerence and fantastic powers and weaknesses.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Jonathan Harker's escape from Dracula's castle. Justified because Jonathan was in no condition to write about that experience in his diary afterward, and nobody else was there to write about it either. The only snippets he manages to reveal is that he got out by crawling down a castle wall and was chased by something (either the brides or wolves in the area or both) before managing to elude them.
  • Old-School Chivalry: Van Helsing and the rest of the heroes decide it's best if Mina Harker stays safe at home while they go out each night vampire-hunting. They do it because they think it's for her own good, in her best interest, the right/gentlemanly thing to do and they'd be cruel and reckless if they included her. It backfires and they learn their lesson.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist:
    • Van Helsing is a doctor, scientist, occultist, detective, lawyer and holy man. This all comes in handy for hunting vampires. It's also stated that he has at least three doctoral degrees, one of which is an MD.
    • Dr. Seward is a general practitioner, every type of surgeon and a psychiatrist to boot.
  • One Degree of Separation: Dracula's first victim just happens to be Lucy Westenra, the best friend of the fiancée of Jonathan Harker, who is probably the only living human who's seen him for what he really is. Not only that, but Dr. Seward, one of Lucy's former suitors and the good friend of her husband, not only owns the mental institution right next door to Dracula's new house, but is also the protegé of Dr. Van Helsing, perhaps the only practitioner of modern medicine who can recognize vampirism and knows how to treat it. Also, one of Dr. Seward's patients, Renfield, happens to have a strange psychic connection to Dracula.
  • One Steve Limit: Dr. John Seward is often called Jack by the other characters so as not to be confused with Jonathan Harker. Of course, it doesn't help that Van Helsing still refers to him by his given name.
  • Orient Express: When Dracula escapes from England to Varna by sea, the cabal sworn to destroy him travels to Paris and takes the Orient Express, arriving in Varna ahead of him.
  • Our Vampires Are Different:
    • Dracula does not follow the standard rules, largely because he predates most of them. The Count is stated to be a student of Satan, having been turned into a vampire through his own necromancy rather than through The Virus, and his classic vampire powers are implied to all be more black magic rather than innate to the vampire's body.
    • Dracula establishes the idea of vampires mixing blood with humans à la Interview with the Vampire, The Lost Boys, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, though this is bastardised by them into becoming the method of turning a victim into a new vampire. In the novel, blood mixing is purely for Dracula to be able to link his mind directly with Mina's. What is actually stated in the book by Van Helsing is that all it takes for a vampire to make more vampires is to bite a victim and their death whether swift or eventual will be enough to make them rise again, which is the version seen in From Dusk Till Dawn, John Carpenter's Vampires and Blade.
  • Painting the Medium: Thee book is a series of letters between many of the characters. The reader is intended to interpret the novel as a bound collection of letters, and each includes headers with dates and signatures. It's very effective at drawing some readers in, especially since the viewpoints sufficiently show different characters' personalities, but it can also seem disjointed, since it switches around a lot and (usually) looks like normal fonts pretending to be letters.
  • Parental Incest: The two dark-haired sisters are described by Jonathan Harker as having "high aquiline noses, like the Count's". It has been suggested that this comparison means the two are Dracula's daughters, extending the sexuality metaphor of vampirism to incest. However, even though it is never made clear, it is possible that the term "sister" wasn't meant in the literal sense and refers instead to the relationship of the women and not what they are to Dracula.
  • Parental Substitute: Mr. Hawkins for Mina and Jonathan.
  • Poirot Speak: Van Helsing's style of Poirot Speak is more the "Dutch grammar, English vocabulary" type.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Not to any malicious degree, and really only noticeable to modern readers, but Dracula waxes philosophical about how his Proud Warrior Race Guy ancestors routed foreign invaders and insists that peasants need to be led by the nobles. This showcases how out of touch with the times he is due to having led an unnaturally long life and apparently having never attempted to leave his land before now. His attempt to spread his vampirisim is to keep his sense of monarchy alive.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Van Helsing is understandably reluctant to tell anyone his theory that Lucy is being attacked by a living corpse each night, but Mrs. Westenra surely wouldn't have tossed out the garlic had she known the stakes. Similarly, had the gang seen fit to include Mina in their conferences, she might have been saved from Dracula's attacks. The moment she is included in the discussions, she puts the pieces together that leads the group to finally confronting Dracula. An Aesop on the importance of including women in important conversations?
  • Power Born of Madness: Renfield tries to Exploit this. "It is said that madmen have incredible strength. I am mad, or was, and I resolved to use all of my mad strength to attack him".
  • The Power of Blood: Types A (binding), B (symbolic), and O (disturbing).
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Dracula — and most other vampires since him — have to drain the blood, or life force depending on variation, of living people just to survive.
  • The Precarious Ledge: How Harker gets into Dracula's room at the castle.
  • The Professor: Van Helsing. Is there nothing he doesn't know about? Could also be seen as a forerunner of the idea of the genius with the funny foreign accent (he's Dutch) as well as a medley of eccentricities.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Dracula boasts about his warrior heritage to Harker, saying how his family historically defeated the Turks in combat.
  • Psychic Link: Dracula forms one of these with Mina Harker as a step towards Mind Control. Unfortunately, he's forced to block the link himself when he realizes that, if he can spy on the heroes through Mina, Mina can spy on him and share information with the rest of the heroes, which is how she eventually leads them to him.
  • Psychic Radar: This goes both ways with the link between Mina and the Count. He can use it to spy on and know the movements of the heroes, but they can do likewise if they place Mina into a hypnotic trance; so she can sense the Count and his surroundings and roughly how far away he is.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Mina Murray draws upon the new science of Criminology to profile Count Dracula and describes him of being of the "typical" criminal mind- childish, in thought and behaviour.
  • Rail Enthusiast: Mina Harker describes herself as a "train fiend".
  • Reading Ahead in the Script: A variation. After Mina transcribes everyone's notes and voice recordings, Van Helsing orders the vampire hunters to read the compiled book. Because the book is epistolary at that moment, the reader and the characters have both read the same 2/3 of the novel.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • When Johnathan arrives in Transylvania and set to go to Dracula's castle for his business deal. Alot of the residents turn out to be quite fearful upon hearing where he's headed. A few even trying to talk him out from going. Problem is they don't tell him exactly why going to the castle is bad, just give vague hints. So Johnathan just passes it off as superstition.
    • During his stay at the castle, Dracula warns Johnathan not to go any further into the castle past nightfall, largely under the pretense of sentimentality. However after staying for a few days locked in and getting fed up with not being able to go outside. Harker decides to disobey him and end up in a parlor while writing a letter to Mina. Not surprisingly, he ends up right in the dwelling of the Count's brides who nearly bite him. This is likewise a positive example though as, after the encounter, Harker now knows something otherworldly is going on and makes to escape.
    • A lot of media always paint Abraham Van Helsing as this hardcore expert in vampires and knowing how to deal with him. In truth in the novel, while somewhat composed, even he knows he's in a bit over his head since the supernatural isn't something simple medical science will explain or have a concrete solution to. When he sees Lucy, it takes awhile to come to the conclusion that she's being attacked by a vampire and, by then, Dracula has bitten her twice. His counteractions are a just simple wards at best and it doesn't take much for it to be ruined and Dracula to finish feeding on Lucy. He's just as horrified when Lucy starts turning on her deathbed and even more so when having to actually confront her vampire form in the cemetery, just barely preventing Arthur from being bitten by her (twice!). Is likewise just as shaken when he finally confronts Dracula at night and does indeed become scared for Mina during the trip up to Dracula's castle. Heck, the whole encounter with the brides when they attack the camp Mina and he were in was an on-the-fly plan since he wasn't really sure if the makeshift holy circle of wafers he made would really protect the two, which luckily for him, did. The point of this is that, at the end of the day, he wasn't this super vampire hunter. He was just a simple doctor trying hard to keep up with the situation as best he could.
    • Not telling Lucy or her mother what the garlic was for ends up working against the heroes. Because they just assume it's a simple sickness and don't treat it as seriously as they could've. It was because of this that Dracula managed to continue his attacks.
    • When Helsing has to convince the others (Arthur, Quincy and Seward) that Lucy is now a vampire after she first dies, he knows they won't take his word at face value. So he brings Seward with him first, since he's his trusted student, to show proof of what's going on by watching Lucy's crypt that night. Once Seward is convinced, does Helsing proceed do so with the others as he now has someone to back up his claim.
    • Likewise they don't tell Mina about what's really going on either under the impression that she'll become hysterical if she knows the truth. Due to this she ends up bitten by Dracula and forced to drink his blood, cursing her to become a vampire if Dracula isn't soon killed (this is unlike Lucy who needed to be drained for the curse to kick in). The irony to this is, after getting over the initial attack, she actually takes the news rather well and composed, meaning all their secrecy was utterly pointless.
    • In a nice bit of clarity, when the hunters talk about how to deal with Dracula, Van Helsing stated that they need to kill him when he's asleep in his coffin. If they try to do so when he's awake (especially at night) there would be no way to fight him. He has various powers to get around their wards, bullets wouldn't hurt him since he's, well, dead already and it would be like shooting into puddy (they're essentially fighting a walking corpse) and having supernatural strength means he could kill them with ease in a direct confrontation.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Count Dracula has black and red. He's the Trope Codifier for what the description talks about this trope and vampires in their capes.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Dracula has red eyes. His houseguest, Jonathan, being British, does not comment on this.
  • Red Right Hand: When Van Helsing tries to set a holy wafer to Mina's forehead, it burns her and leaves a red mark. When Dracula is defeated, the mark vanishes.
  • Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: Decapitation is actually the only way to kill a vampire. Driving a stake through the heart is used to immobilize the vamps so it's easier to take the head off.
  • The Renfield: Trope Namer, but is actually an Unbuilt Trope here, seeing as he attempts to foil Dracula twice, the second ending with the loss of his own life. While he certainly seems willing to become Dracula's slave, being locked in at Dr. Seward's sanatorium rather limits his options and the Count seems to more or less ignore him throughout. (Until he finally visits him in his cell and kills him.) Renfield at one point demands that he be moved so that Dracula will not compel him to let him into the house to attack Mina. When this fails, the second time Dracula enters, he grabs Dracula and tries to kill him with his bare hands, while the Count is in mist form. And he would have succeeded, too, if Dracula hadn't used his Hypnotic Eyes.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Dracula goes after Mina when he realises her husband and friends are hunting him.
  • Robbing the Dead: A thief steals the crucifix placed over Lucy's mouth, disrupting one of the plans Van Helsing had.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: In the early chapters of the novel, the private correspondence between Mina and Lucy are very passionate, they almost read like love letters, as both girls express their love and adoration for one another. In one letter Lucy writes: "Mina, we have told all our secrets to each other since we were children. We have slept together and eaten together, and laughed and cried together..." and "I wish I were with you, dear, sitting by the fire undressing, as we used to sit, and I would try to tell you what I feel." Later in the novel, when Mina and Lucy are together, they sit on a bench by the seaside and are so moved by the beautiful view that they hold hands.
  • Rousing Speech: There's a speech from the Count himself. Though the context is wrong for this trope, the content is certainly worthy of a particularly good one. Plus, after the discovery that Dracula used to be a human lord who was also a great general, one can very easily imagine him giving a true Rousing Speech that could have said many of the same things.
  • Sanity Slippage: Jonathan Harker and Renfield experience this thanks to the Count. Harker recoveres; Renfield, not so much. Renfield started out as a mental patient with a fixation on eating life. Dracula makes him considerably worse, but Renfield does recover enough to try and save Mina from Dracula though he's killed for his trouble.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Lucy's suitors function in the story as little more than that. Arthur (who is the one that gets the girl) only hopes for Lucy's affections and then mourns her death. Quincey doesn't get the girl and only contributes owning a hunting knife to the fight with Dracula and getting killed off so Dracula could kill someone. Lucy's third suitor Jack avoids this. He is more developed, as he works in a mental hospital where the patients sense Dracula's presence and it's he who first notices something wrong with Lucy.
  • Savage Wolves: Made even more threatening by being at Dracula's command.
  • Scarpia Ultimatum: Although Dracula can put women in a trance before he bites them, the third time he bites (and metaphorically rapes) Mina, he leaves her completely aware and instead threatens to kill her unconscious husband lying next to her if she resists or screams for help. For the Evulz?
  • Science Hero: Van Helsing is an eminent scientist and a makeshift Vampire Hunter. Rather than the action-hero he's portrayed as in other media, he approaches the conflict like a clinician encountering a new disease.
  • Scrapbook Story: Compiled by Mina.
  • Sex Is Evil: The story is often interpreted as a metaphor for female sexuality and how a sexually active woman is dangerous to civilized Victorian society.
    • The book might actually be a subversion of this trope. Lucy dies while she's assumedly still a virgin, before she was able to marry. Mina on the other hand marries Jonathan and thus is quite probably intimate with him before she is attacked.
  • Shaped Like Itself: When Van Helsing opens Lucy's coffin, revealing it empty, to try to prove to Dr. Seward that she's now a vampire:
    Dr.Seward: I am satisfied that Lucy's body is not in that coffin, but that only proves one thing.
    Van Helsing: And what is that, friend John?
    Dr. Seward: That it is not there.
    Van Helsing: That is good logic, so far as it goes.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Dracula, unlike modern vampires, is not killed by sunlight. However, he is unable to change shape from sunrise to noon, and from noon to sunset. He can only change shape at noon exactly and, of course, any time at night.
  • Shoot the Dog: Quincey mentions that he had to shoot his horse when he was in Pampas when vampire bats drained its blood.
  • Shovel Strike: Jonathan Harker strikes The Count with a workman's shovel while he is in his coffin. This proves ineffective at slaying the vampire, merely creating a large scar on Dracula's forehead.
  • Skeleton Crew: The ship that transports the Count to Whitby runs into the docks with its crew missing and the captain's decomposed body lashed to the wheel by his hands, while holding a crucifix.
  • Skeptic No Longer:
    • Harker at first thinks the village is just being superstition despite being an outsider to Transylvania (though they don't really tell what the danger is, just that it's a really bad idea to go to Dracula's castle). But after meeting the count, finding how strange he and his dwelling are and ultimately nearly being bitten by his vampire brides, it doesn't take long for him to become a believer.
    • Later after Lucy dies from Dracula succeeding in draining her blood, Van Helsing tries to convince Seward, Arthur and Quincy that she will become a vampire and be a danger to all. Naturally they think he's coo coo, So Van Helsing decides he needs to show them first. He starts with Seward, his trusted student, as they watch Lucy's coffin and indeed find it initially empty then after waiting a bit, find it filled again with her body, only to discover she hasn't decayed since she was interred and in fact much more beautiful then ever. The following night, Van Helsing gathers the rest of the men and confront Lucy directly as she prowling the night. Indeed, seeing her bearing fangs with bits of blood on her lips, acting not at all like the Lucy they know (feral and seductive instead of kind and caring), acting fearful of a cross and using her powers to flee back to her coffin is more then enough proof to the men that vampires and the threat they pose are real.
  • Slashed Throat: Half of Dracula's fate (the other half is being stabbed in the heart.)
  • Sleepwalking: Lucy is a chronic sleepwalker who sleepwalks all the way across Whitby to the cemetery overlook the night she's first bitten by the eponymous vampire.
  • Slow Transformation: Due to Dracula nightly visits to feed on Lucy, she becomes weaker over time and observes that her senses have suddenly become keener but she continues to have nightmares of dark beings. By the third visit, she's lost so much of her blood that her bite wounds eventually close up on their own, she gains fangs and her demeanor is uncharacteristically more seductive, signifying to Helsing it's too late to save her from becoming a vampire. Mina's transformation is slightly different due to Dracula feeding her his blood, cursing her to turn regardless if she stays alive or dies as long as he's alive. Indeed, she starts showing signs due to losing appetite for food, her canines slowly turning into fangs, sharing a psychic connection to Dracula and being unable to stay awake during the day but being much more lively at night.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Dracula himself. He actually only appears "on screen" in a handful of scenes, but he dominates practically everything that happens in the book.
  • The Soulsaver: The vampire-hunting protagonists are said to be saving the souls of the undead from a presumably rather uncomfortable state of limbo.
  • Southern Gentleman: Quincey Morris, Texan, and a very positively portrayed American; typical in British works of the day but surprising today.
  • Spiritual Successor: Has been compared to Frankenstein from the time it was released, as both of them are Scrapbook Stories that took old-school horror tropes and placed them in modern (at the time) settings with modern (at the time) technologies, to great effect. This comparison, as well as Universal's and Hammer's movies, have ensured that the two works remain widely associated with each other to this day.
  • Staking the Loved One: Van Helsing shows the men first hand of Lucy's undead form after she "dies" and seeing she's more monster then human. He forces her fiancee Arthur to do it claiming a loved one should set her soul free.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: The males think it's best if Mina is shielded from knowledge of their plans to kill the villain. This enforced ignorance means she's a sitting duck for the very man they wanted to protect her from. After their actions lead to Dracula attacking her, they quickly change their philosophy.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Mina doesn't develop Sympathy for the Devil until after he's bitten her, and after she previously decided that the Thing that did that to Lucy doesn't deserve a drop of pity. She still believes that he should be killed; not only to save mankind, but to save Dracula's own soul. She turns out to be right.
  • The Strength of Ten Men: The Count himself is said to have the strength of twenty men as one of his many powers.
  • Super Window Jump: Dracula only does this once despite his preference for windows above doors. In other instances, he either slides into cracks between the window and frame, or he has something else break the glass for him. In the example of this trope, however, it's daytime and he can't change forms, but is still tough enough to just leap through the pane.
  • Supreme Chef: When Harker is staying at Castle Dracula, he notes in his journal that the food is very good. Later, it's revealed that there are no servants (it would be tough to get people to work for a, y'know, vampire) and Dracula has been doing all the work, such as cooking. Apparently, when you're an undying abomination you have time to pick up a culinary hobby. Either him or his wives.
  • Surprisingly Good English: Dracula is remarked on as speaking very good English, and spends a lot of time with Johnathan Harker in an attempt to become not only good, but fluent as well. He explains that if his handle on the language isn't perfect, he would just be seen as another Funny Foreigner in England, and he is too proud to let that happen.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: During the trip to Dracula's castle, Mina shows Van Helsing a shortcut trail towards it. When Van Helsing asks her how she knew, she claims it was in Jonathan's journal. But Van Helsing severely doubts that since Jonathan was in the castle most of the time and never took note of which specific way he went. And what's more the trail hardly seem used at all, leading Van Helsing to believe the vampire change is growing in her and giving her information to reach her "master".
  • Switching P.O.V.: The novel is composed of a collection of journals. It slips up in one case, where Mrs. Harker refers to herself in third person in chapter XXVI (where she is writing a journal but mentions the others made details that she didn't hear.)
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Mina mentions that she does pity Dracula. Not the monster that he is, but rather for his soul and how it could be looking for peace from his curse.
  • The Team Benefactor: Lord Arthur Godalming aids in funding the hunt for Dracula by providing transportation, lodging, and the like. While Abraham van Helsing helps with his knowledge of vampire lore.
  • Team Dad: Van Helsing. It helps that he's the oldest by a fair bit.
  • Team Mom: Mina. It's a little muddled at times, what with her also being the Distressed Damsel, but it really shows at the beginning of the third act. With team morale failing, Mina talks to each of the men and convinces them to keep fighting, not just for her sake, but to avenge fallen friends and to cleanse the world of evil.
  • Team Spirit
  • Terms of Endangerment: Even when threatening him, Dracula refers to Jonathan as "my friend".
  • This Is My Name on Foreign: The Count poses as a Count de Ville (Dracula = "son of the Dragon", de Ville = Devil - get it?
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: There are a couple long stretches that read like this. Notably, Jonathan's diary entries get like this, especially if read taking into consideration exactly how his sense of time passing has been screwed up. It's definitely a viable Alternate Character Interpretation that the main cast are all pretty cracked.
  • Token Super: Mina is the only member of Van Helsing's Vampire Hunter crew who has supernatural powers, due to an, uh, close encounter with the title villain half-way through the book. These allow her to "tune in" into Dracula's head, letting Van Helsing track his movement.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The Heroes (See Unwitting Pawn).
  • Took a Level in Badass: Jonathan goes from terrified vampire victim to hunting Dracula with a kukri.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Mina is a "New Woman" of the times of emerging feminism, while Lucy is far more sweet and girly. They're best friends.
  • Tongue-Tied: This is one of the things Count Dracula does to Mina Harker after biting her and forming a Psychic Link so he can spy on the heroes (Dr. Seward observes that her "tongue seems tied" and she seems desperately to want to speak at certain times but can't), undoubtedly to prevent her from turning the tables on him and sharing his plans with her teammates. Unfortunately for the Count, Mina finds a way to break his control during the magically-critical times of sunrise and sunset and provides very helpful Psychic Radar.
  • To the Pain: Dracula's speech to Mina.
  • Transhuman Treachery: Defied. The brides and Dracula try to force Mina to help them, but she refuses. Albeit with a little help from Van Helsing via his charms (she's still under Dracula's spell after all and the charms counteract his hold on her).
    • Van Helsing presumes that Dracula initially was looking into occult magic to help his country during the war and turned himself into an undead. But as time went on, forgot the reason he did so, became corrupted by said power and now seeks to spread the vampirisim.
  • Trope Maker/Trope Codifier: Defined most of the standard vampire tropes; vampire folklore varies wildly throughout the world, but Stoker's winnowing of these inconsistent myths results in the standard set of vampire powers and weaknesses. However, some of Dracula's attributes didn't catch on, most notably his unhandsome appearance and weakness to Cold Iron (probably cribbed from Irish vampire-like fey the dearg-due).
  • True Companions: Jonathan and Mina Harker, Van Helsing, Dr. Seward, Lord Godalming, and Quincey Morris form one when they vow to slay the vampire that killed Lucy. Later, after Mina gets an evil scar following her own encounter with the Count, as Jonathan embraces her in her anguish, their friends silently join them:
    "Then without a word we all knelt down together, and all holding hands, swore to be true to each other."
  • Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: Abraham Van Helsing, M.D., D.Ph., D.Litt., etc., etc.
  • Tyke Bomb: When one thinks about vampire Lucy's attacks, considering she's now a servant of Dracula by that point, her biting kids can be seen as this. If she had continued unopposed, they would've eventually died with no one the wiser about what was truly happening other then a mysterious sickness (since unlike Translyvania, London is unaware of vampires. Something Dracula is banking on). The children would then arise as vampires and spread more of the vampirism and build up Dracula's undead forces.
  • Überwald, with tastes of Ruritania, and even a bit of Oireland.
  • Unbuilt Trope: The book was published when "vampires" were ghoulish specters of Satan rather than rape allegories, and Stoker was more than happy to deconstruct both at the same time; as such the Count bears little resemblance to the vampires we know and love today. Dracula is less suave master of the night and more old cranky warlock. He was only handsome if he could be arsed enough to shapeshift; his default form was a wrinkled hairy man. He was bad at seduction and resorted to hypnosis or kidnapping for most of his food, and his female victims were setups for tuberculosis imagery instead of anything sexual. He was a Daywalking Vampire. His vulnerability to the old medieval superstitions (requires soil from his homeland to rest in, cannot cross running water without a boat, Must Be Invited, etc) leaves him easy pickings for Van Helsing and makes him easy to track when he tries to flee back to his castle. Most egregiously, he's not killed by impaling stake or silver, but an (admittedly pretty cool) beheading by kukri knife!
  • Undeath Always Ends: Dracula, his three vampire "brides" (who were probably turned years beforehand) and Lucy Westenra (changed into a vampire) are all killed.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Within the context of the novel, the story exists as a series of transcriptions of letters and newspaper clippings about the eponymous vampire; about midway through the novel, Dracula destroys the originals by tossing them into a fireplace in order to discredit the protagonists should they ever wish to make their story public. The transcriptions are kept by Mina Harker, a trained secretary, who foresees the usefulness in keeping backups. However, Mina herself undergoes some pretty severe trauma throughout the course of the novel; apart from the whole vampire-hunting thing, her best friend is turned by Dracula (and then staked by her friends), and she very narrowly escapes being turned into a vampire herself, which brings her mental state and her reliability as a recordkeeper into question.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Lucy's mother is partly responsible for killing Lucy by opening the window and removing the garlic so that Dracula can get into the room.
  • The Vamp: Dracula's three vampire companions, and Lucy when she becomes a vampire.
  • Vampire Hunter: Van Helsing is never described as a vampire hunter; he's merely a doctor with knowledge of exotic diseases. It's never explicitly said, but Van Helsing clearly demonstrates perfect knowledge of vampire weaknesses and is instantly willing to make use of his knowledge after noting that Lucy's symptoms match those in the legends, without so much as a hint of skepticism. This would seem to imply that he has some previous experience with vampires or other supernatural phenomena, even in the original novel. note 
  • Vampire Monarch: Count Dracula is described as the "King Vampire", with direct control over other vampires. While this nobleman only has three vampiric brides, it is beyond doubt all vampires in the story only answer to Count Dracula, and the fact that the person whom he was named after, Vlad the Impaler, was an actual monarch.
  • Vampire Procreation Limit; The exact details are unknown, but it seems that contrary to populair believe, not every victim from a vampire bite becomes a vampire him/herself since none of the ship's crew Dracula ate on his journey to London rose as vampires. The Count forces Mina to drink his blood, forming a mental link between them, but he's not shown doing this to any of the other women he turned.
  • Vampire Refugee: Lucy Westenra and Mina Harker. For Lucy, it wasn't known what was weakening her till Van Helsing was called in. She would've probably been cured were it not for a few too many bad circumstances. Mina is a bit more fortunate, since Dracula has to flee before he can fully transform her. She feels his presence within her spying on the hunters. And, when confronted by the brides near the end of the story, senses the vampirism welling up in her.
  • Vampire Vannabe: Renfield seems to be trying to emulate vampirism, though with less understanding of the mechanics as we know it today... by eating flies, spiders, and small birds. And at one point he asks for a kitten...
  • Vampire Vords: Subverted: Dracula speaks excellent English, and has called Harker to his castle to, more than anything, help him get rid of his accent so that he won't be seen as another Funny Foreigner when he has moved to England.
    • Omniglot: When semi-delirious and first approached by the Brides of Dracula, Harker can fully understand their language, as they speak to each other, and the Count's furious rebukes. Harker is said explicitly to know good German, but no mention of him knowing either literary Romanian or Hungarian, leave alone an ancient dialect spoken between themselves by beings undead for 400 years. Unless the Count and the Brides were so eager to learn English they used the language even as they quarreled with each other. Also when Mina is approached in the forest by the Brides calling her "sister", both she and Dr. van Helsing understand their speech with no effort.
  • Vampires Are Rich: Count Dracula is the go-to example. Dracula lives in a big castle and summons Jonathan Harker to Transylvania to help him buy land in England. Harker notes that Dracula doesn't have any servants, but we later find out that it's because no local will come near the place. Dracula's continuing source of income seems to be buried treasure that is marked by Will-o'-the-Wisps one night out of the year.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods:
    • Well, that's the subtext. Dracula is actually described as fairly creepy from the outset, with rotten breath to boot.
    • Female vampires, on the other hand, seem to become impossibly beautiful and seductive.
  • Vampire's Harem: Dracula is the Trope Codifier, though it's something of an Unbuilt Trope since the three female vampires are merely implied to be his wives, but never outright confirmed. If anything, it's heavily implied they might be blood-related since two of them share the same physical resemblance to him. Of course, this doesn't cancel out the other alternative, since vampirism is used as an metaphor for sexual deviancy in the book.
  • Vampires Hate Garlic: Van Helsing attempts to protect Lucy from Dracula by giving her a garland of garlic flowers to wear, and rubbing garlic around all the entrances of her bedroom.
  • Vampires Sleep in Coffins: The rules in Bram Stoker's original novel were actually way more complicated. Dracula lost his powers in the daylight and still had to rest sometime. He could only do so in a coffin containing soil from his homeland, and leaving a fragment of blessed Communion wafer in the coffins ruined them for his use. A large part of the early hunt for Dracula was eliminating all his coffins and safehouses in England.
  • Vasquez Always Dies: Inverted. The sexually curious yet feminine Lucy is killed by the eponymous villain. However, Mina, the maternal yet logical wife of Jonathan Harker, survives. Indeed, Van Helsing even describes Mina as having a 'man's brain'.
  • Victorian Novel Disease: Parodied, or Played for Drama, or used as a Red Herring, depending on how you read the novel. In classic literature, tuberculosis was used as a stock disease. It was rarely referred to by name, but the symptoms were always the same: a young lady would become pale and sleepy, and a blush would show on her sickly face. When Van Helsing refuses to name Lucy's illness, the reader of the era would have assumed that she has tuberculosis. But actually, Van Helsing realizes that she's becoming a vampire.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Stoker seemingly overestimated widespread knowledge of vampire lore, creating a situation where the fandom rather than the author is widely Sadly Mythtaken. Dracula is destroyed by a knife through the heart rather than a stake. Sharp steel or iron objects like needles or knives are effective vampire kryptonite in Slavic mythology, yet adaptations, sequels, and even "scholarly" annotated versions of the novel jump on the lack of a wooden stake as proof that Dracula is Not Quite Dead.
  • Villainous Incest: Dracula has three companions called "sisters": one blonde and two brunettes. The two brunette vampires are described as having facial features similar to Count Dracula. Meanwhile, the blonde bride is described as having authority over the other two. Many readers have speculated that the blonde bride is the mother of the two brunettes, and that Dracula is the father.
  • Villainous Widow's Peak: Dracula does have one, though it's given less attention than his other, more strange features.
  • Virginity Makes You Stupid:
    • Jonathan Harker. It doesn't help that every time he does get a chance to hop in bed with his wife, a certain somebody tends to interrupt. With blood-drinking.
    • Lucy Westenra even more so. The only character who is explicitly not a virgin, in fact, is Abraham Van Helsing, the Omnidisciplinary Scientist Mentor Smart Guy. Subverted by the fact that, after Van Helsing, the second-most-competent person around seems to be Mina Harker, who is almost certainly a virgin (although Dracula does symbolically rape her at one point...)
  • Virus Victim Symptoms: We see it gradually with Lucy as more of her blood is taken. Starting with becoming weak and pale, then becoming susceptible to Dracula's power. And finally, as she dies the first time, the bite marks on her neck suddenly heal, her canines become sharper and her demeanor suddenly becomes more lustful.
  • Wacky Americans Have Wacky Names: Quincey P. Morris. Although he isn't exactly comic, he is a rootin', tootin' and shootin' American man of action.
  • Wall Crawl: One of the first obvious hints that Dracula is something other than human occurs when Jonathan Harker witnesses the Count crawling down the castle walls face first.
  • Weakened by the Light: Subverted. Dracula is weak only at sunup and sundown. Being in sunlight has no direct harmful affect on him (he's seen approaching Lucy before the sun goes down), though he does suffer from Shapeshifter Mode Lock during daytime. However since he's weak at sunup and sundown they use this to great effect when they open his coffin just as the sun sets.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The book averts most of the popular traditional vampire weaknesses; for example, Dracula can't be killed by most conventional means, and can use his shapeshifting powers during dawn, noon, and dusk. However, he does have unique weaknesses; he can only cross running water during high or low tide (this amounts to 12 hours and 25 minutes per day), needs to keep a small amount of Transylvanian soil in his home, and needs to be invited inside before he can enter a building (considering this is Victorian era England and he is a noble, this is a non-matter).
  • The Weird Sisters: Invoked by Jonathan Harker in his journal, when he refers to the three Brides of Dracula as "those weird sisters".
  • Who You Gonna Call?: Van Helsing, though originally as a consultant on abnormal medical phenomenon rather than a vampire hunter. Luckily, he also happens to be the latter, too, and formally initiates his 5 new friends into a team of vampire busters.
  • Wicked Cultured: Dracula comes across as a fairly refined, rich old gentleman before he's revealed as a vampire.
  • Wine Is Classy: Dracula does not drink... wine. He does serve it to his guests, however. Jonathan Harker even comments on the "bottle of excellent Old Tokay"note  he is served with his first dinner in castle Dracula.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: All the vampires, whose souls are unable to find peace until their bodies are destroyed, and who are described as bearing tranquil expressions once they have been "purified". Mina even grows to pity Dracula, and to consider his destruction a mercy.
  • Would Hurt a Child: After Lucy was turned into a vampire, children were her favorite targets.
    • One of Dracula's most monstrous actions in the book is feeding a child he has just abducted to his vampire brides. Said child is even kept in a sack.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: The wound to the forehead that Harker gives the count early in the novel never heals. Whether this is because Dracula, being already dead, cannot heal wounds, or simply because not enough time passes, or something else, is never made clear.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Most of the dates in the journal entries make no sense when compared with characters' descriptions of events in the text.
  • You Are the Translated Foreign Word: One extract has four of them. In this case though, he's not saying the same thing twice himself, just reporting something he heard and providing a translation, presumably for his own future reference.
    "I must say they were not cheering to me, for amongst them were "Ordog" — Satan, "Pokol" — hell, "stregoica" — witch, "vrolok" and "vlkoslak" — both mean the same thing, one being Slovak and the other Servian for something that is either werewolf or vampire. (Mem., I must ask the Count about these superstitions.)"
  • You Are Too Late: When Seward summons Van Helsing, he notices the bite marks on her neck getting bigger (due to Dracula exacerbating the wound with his bites). After his third attack, they try to give her a blood transfusion but by then they notice she's much paler then usual. When Arthur comes near her, her demeanor changes to being uncharacteristically lustful and Van Helsing notices her bite marks have vanished and fangs have formed in her mouth. This confirms, to his dismay, that she is beyond saving and is becoming a vampire.
  • You Are Worth Hell: Vampirism is considered inevitably a Fate Worse than Death (becoming undead, change of personality to evil, feeding on living blood, etc). Which makes it a rather disquieting when Jonathan Harker, faced with the possibility that his Vampire Refugee wife might not be saved, resolves that, no matter what, she will not meet that fate alone.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: Mina knows something is wrong when Jonathan calls her Wilhelmina.

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