Almanac: The rise of Dracula

Almanac: The birth of Dracula

The immortal vampire first saw the light of day when Irish author Bram Stoker published his horror novel "Dracula" was published on May 26, 1897 – a day to chill the blood.

Loosely based on the sinister Transylvanian folk legend figure Vlad the Impaler, "Dracula" told the story of a human vampire who thrives for centuries by feasting on human blood.

Stoker never enjoyed much commercial success from his book, but in 1931, "Dracula" made it big as a motion picture, with Hungarian actor Bela Lugosi in the title role:

"Listen to them – children of the night. What music they make!"

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Bela Lugosi in "Dracula" (1931). Universal Pictures

With his cloak, mesmerizing stare, and of course that accent, Dracula's sinister ways became the stuff of movie legend.

Renfield: "Aren't you drinking?"
Dracula: " I never drink ... wine."

Shocking in its time, the movie made Dracula a fixture of popular culture, inspiring literally dozens of movie and TV vampire dramas over the years.

Like the legendary figure on which he is based, Count Dracula and his vampire ilk seem destined to endure forever.

Like the legendary figure on which he's based, Count Dracula and his vampire ilk seem destined to endure ... pleasing young and old alike. 

GALLERY: Vampires - The bad and the beautiful

       
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Story produced by Charis Satchell.