Count Dracula is one of popular culture’s greatest and best-known monsters: an instantly recognizable bogeyman with the undoubtable power to terrify, yet somehow still liked enough to shill breakfast cereal and candy bars on television. Of course, our hunger for Dracula goes far beyond sugary treats. Hardly a year goes by without a new take on Bram Stoker’s immortal novel, many of them expanding the original story in new and inventive ways. Here’s five of our favorites.
Dacre Stoker and JD Barker
Dracula is one of the most popular horror novels of all time, but what if it’s a true story? In this prequel to the novel, young Bram Stoker’s childhood encounter with a sinister housekeeper sets the stage for an adult confrontation with the living dead — and a future as a horror legend. Co-author Dacre Stoker is Bram’s great grand-nephew, so this is going to be as close as you get to a fully authorized spin-off.
Fifty years before the publication of Dracula, a young man named Arkady arrives at Castle Dracula with the intention of managing his beloved great-uncle Vlad’s estate. Arkady soon discovers his Uncle Vlad is not as harmless as he seems. He is a monster, thirsting for the blood of new victims, and Arkady, as his servant, is expected to provide them. Arkady is determined to stop Vlad, if not for the people of his land, then for the sake of his own family.
Renfield’s brush with Dracula shattered his sanity and ultimately prompted his commitment to an asylum. What really happened in Transylvania? These and other questions are answered in Barbara Hambly’s account of the short, tortured life of Renfield, a man condemned to be a puppet of evil.
Dracula portrayed Mina Murray Harker as a woman in need of rescue. In fact, Mina was a woman in love. Seduced by Dracula, she fell deeply under his spell. This is Mina’s side of the story, as revealed in her own journal. Prepare to have your impression of Mina forever changed in this intimate account of supernatural passion.
Dracula arrived in London plans to conquer the city, only to have his ambitions thwarted by Van Helsing and his fellow vampire hunters. What could he have gotten up to before his eventual expulsion? In this anthology, an all-star list of authors imagines the Count’s encounters with many of the city’s most notable residents: Nikola Tesla, Prince Edward, and many others.
Looking for more chilling tales? Try this list of 25 Horror Classics You Need to Read, and So You Want to Read Zombie Fiction: Here’s Where to Start!