World Dracula Day is celebrated every year on May 26. The international holiday commemorates the publication date of Bram Stoker’s famous novel “Dracula,” published on May 26, 1897. The holiday was created in 2012 by the Whitby Dracula Society 1897. One of the most famous Gothic literary works in the world, “Dracula” was mostly written in the 1890s. While on holiday in the town of Whitby, Stoker found the name ‘Dracula’ in the public library and assumed it was the Romanian word for ‘devil.’ While writing, Stoker mostly drew inspiration from Transylvanian folklore and history.
History of World Dracula Day
World Dracula Day was created in 2012 by the Whitby Dracula Society 1897, based in the town of Whitby Abbey, England. Founded in 1897, the society celebrates the cultural importance that Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” has had over the last century. Interestingly, the town is the spiritual birthplace of the novel — it was inspired by Gothic architecture. According to the Society’s Facebook page, “The Society works hard, on a daily basis to promote and curate all aspects of the heritage of Dracula, Stoker and all other related gothic interests in Whitby, and undertake regular walking tours covering all the key sites of interest to both vampire buffs and the general public.”
“Dracula” was written in an epistolary style, the plot is narrated through diary entries, letters, and newspaper articles. It tells the story of a solicitor called Jonathan Harker who visits Count Dracula at his castle in the Carpathian Mountains in order to help him purchase a house near London. While there, Harker discovers Dracula’s vampirism and manages to escape the castle alive after Dracula himself flees to England and plagues the town of Whitby. Manhunters, led by Abraham Van Helsing, hunt down Dracula and kill him in the end.
After its publication, the novel received mostly positive reviews but on the flip side, some criticized it for being too frightening. The novel has become so ingrained into popular culture that the novel’s characters have inspired many archetypal versions in other literary works. The character of Count Dracula has been adapted for film over 30 times, and an American edition was published in 1899.
World Dracula Day timeline
Stoker finds the name Dracula in a public library in Whitby Abbey.
Stoker begins writing the novel “Dracula.”
“Dracula” is published by Archibald Constable and Company.
An American edition of the novel is published by Doubleday & McClure.
“Dracula” is translated into Icelandic by Valdimar Asmundsson.
World Dracula Day FAQs
Did Bram Stoker invent the vampire?
No. Vampires were already a popular legend before Stoker’s “Dracula” was written.
Why is Dracula called Count?
‘Count’ is a title of European nobility, meaning that Dracula was a noble in his region.
Why does Dracula fear the cross?
Dracula is said to be afraid of the cross because it represents the courage of Jesus and being brave enough to sacrifice his life, something that Dracula lacks.
World Dracula Day Activities
If you’ve never read the novel, now is a great time to start. If you have read the novel before, take time out to go through your favorite passages again — you might find small details you never noticed before!
Leave a review
When you’re done reading, feel free to share your thoughts with others. You could leave an online review or a breakdown to help others who are trying to decide if they should give it a try or you can share by word of mouth. Alternatively, you could leave your comments on a book review page or participate in discussion forums.
Learn from Stoker
There are a lot of fascinating tidbits about Bram Stoker and his journey to literary acclaim. Learn those facts and see what knowledge you can glean from them.
5 Interesting Facts About "Dracula"
The book only cost six shillings
When “Dracula” was published in 1897, it cost only six shillings, but a first edition would now cost around $8,000.
Stoker didn’t make a lot of money
Stoker didn’t earn any royalties for the first one thousand sales of “Dracula.”
Stoker’s widow sold his notes
In 1913, Stoker’s widow sold his preliminary notes on the novel to a New York book dealer for only two pounds and two shillings.
The notes made their way to America
Purchased in 1970, the notes are now owned by the Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia.
“Dracula” is always in print
Since its publication, “Dracula” has never been out of print — it is a timeless classic, after all.
Why We Love World Dracula Day
Stoker did lots of research
While doing preliminary research for “Dracula,” Stoker prepared over 100 pages of notes. This included plot outlines and chapter summaries, also drawing from real-world traditions to make his work accurate. This meticulousness and attention to detail are commendable.
The legacy of “Dracula” lives on
Despite being written centuries ago, “Dracula” is often the first thing that comes to mind when vampires are discussed. In addition, the novel has been adapted into film numerous times and has been the inspiration behind other literary works. This proves the great legacy of Stoker, even long after his death.
Upon its publication, the novel was well-received by critics. Today, it is recognized as one of the most famous pieces of Gothic fiction in history.
World Dracula Day dates