Hi, I’m Laura from trips down imagination road, big thank you to Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! For inviting me to take part in Monsters, Madmen and Mayhem! Oh My! Especially cause October, and Halloween, is my favourite time of year!
When Stormi said scary I had to get thinking, I don’t really watch scary movies (because I get bored), and actually I don’t read that many scary books (what can I say, I just love a happy ending), though that got me thinking about the horror genre, and I have read several gothic horror books, including Frankinstein, The Picture of Dorian Gray and one of my all time favourite books Dracula. So then my head thought, there we are…talk about Dracula!
About Dracula (because I’m guessing not everyone has read it!) Published 1897 by Bram Stoker.
Dracula is told through a series of letters and diary entries from the various characters. Jonathan Harker travels to Transylvania to meet an esteemed client for his law firm, Count Dracula, while at Castle Dracula, Jonathan learns the truth and narrowly escapes. Back in England, in the coastal town of Whitby, Lucy is entertaining her various suitors with her best friend (and Jonathan’s fiancée, Mina). With Jonathan missing, Mina is very worried and frets about it, particularly after a storm when there is a boat smashed to pieces against the coast with just one member of crew left (and dead, tied to the wheel). Dracula, who was on the boat, now takes a fancy to Lucy and her health deteriorates leaving her friends confused until they call Dr. Van Helsing to assist. Though it is too late to save Lucy, the friends now know what they are facing and journey to attempt to defeat Dracula and save Mina from a similar fate.
So one of the main settings in the book is Whitby, North Yorkshire, and coming from North Yorkshire myself (though I have now moved) I’ve been visiting the town since I was a little girl. The photo is actually one I took myself of the Abbey (which plays a role in Dracula) whilst I was on a camping trip last summer…and I’m sure you can see how the location has potential for spookiness! The whole town has an old world feel about it, and that is only added to by the steps (all 199 of them, and yes I have counted, more than once. The amount never changed for some reason) up to the Church and Abbey. While there we’d always have to look for the pirate’s grave (its upside down, apparently so that he was facing hell, which I guess kind of defeats the point of burying him in consecrated ground). I’d also insist on going to the Lucky Duck shop which makes ducks out of glass that are supposed to be lucky (I own 4 from various trips, though my brother has borrowed them without the intent of return), but apparently no one outside of Yorkshire actually knows what they are!
Vampires (OH MY! – sorry Stormi, had to get that in somewhere!)
One of the reasons I’m such a fan of Dracula is because he is the ultimate vampire. There’s no sparkles, no love and certainly no redemption and it makes him such a great bad guy. He truly drinks blood because he is damned by the devil (for whatever reason, its never really discovered). Though I am definitely guilty of reading (and enjoying) stories about the romanticised vampires that are published today, you say to me think of a vampire and I think of Dracula. Able to turn into a bat, can’t come near garlic, stake to the heart and then burning will get him Dracula. There is just something about him being a villain and not being saved that makes him the go to vampire in my head.
Though just for the record, nothing against today’s vampires, especially considering my own book has several vampire characters, though one of them is definitely a Dracula type vampire the others are the main characters.