Cutting his teeth: how Bram Stoker found his inner Dracula in Scotland

Author’s method acting approach to writing terrified local people in Aberdeenshire as he perched on the rocks like a bat.

In August 1894, at the end of a month-long stay to research his embryonic novel, Bram Stoker wrote in the visitors’ book at the Kilmarnock Arms on the Aberdeenshire coast that he had been “delighted with everything and everybody” and hoped to return soon.

According to new research, though, the feeling was not entirely mutual. Stoker, a genial Irishman usually known for his cheeriness, was experimenting with what would become known as “method acting” to get under the skin of his new character, one Count Dracula. Local historian Mike Shepherd, who has spent seven years researching Stoker, says the author’s links with the London theatre inspired Stoker to try inhabiting his character in a different way.

Remains of Polish vampire found

Remains of a female 'VAMPIRE' pinned to the ground with a sickle across her throat to prevent her returning from the dead are found in Poland

  • The remains were found during archaeological work at a 17th century cemetery in the village of Pien, Poland
  • Professor Dariusz Poliński said sickle was placed over the neck to 'protect against the return of the dead'
  • In addition to the sickle, the skeleton was found with a padlocked toe as another precautionary measure
  • Researchers also found a silk cap on its head, indicating she had held a high social status
  • Poliński said other measures used at the time would have involved cutting off the head and legs

Alnwick Castle vampire

Some 800 years before the publication of Dracula, and long before the term "vampire" was popularized, an English historian, William of Newburgh, recorded a tale recounted to him by a devout and reputable priest. He told of a most dishonest sinner who escaped the law by retreating to Alnwick Castle. 

Witten Bloodsuckers: Daniel and Manuela Ruda


Due to early associations of blood-drinking with revenant spirits or demons, there has emerged a modern-day confluence of Satanism and vampirism, though the two are more often than not exclusive to one another (i.e., real vampires are not necessarily Satanists, nor are Satanists vampires).  

Video submission: Vampires Make it Into Academia

 A group of academics met at the University of Hertfordshire in England to discuss the "Americanization" of the vampire genre. WSJ's Javier Espinoza reports.

The Legend Of Jure Grando, The First Person Described As A Vampire

Jure Grando was a peasant who lived in the small village of Kringa, just outside of Tinjan, Croatia. He died in 1656, leaving behind a widow and a wake of terror that haunted Kringa for the next 16 years.

Every night for those 16 years, the good people of Kringa would hear knocks throughout the city in the middle of the night. The knocks were warnings, a promise that someone who lived in a house that had its door knocked had little time left on this world.

The Terrifying Story of Bela Kiss, Hungary’s Most Murderous Bachelor

For centuries, the vampire has captured imaginations and inspired nightmares in communities around the world. And while Romania’s Transylvania region has long dominated the vampire-related conversation, for a few decades in the early 20th century the most feared blood-drainer in the world was not Dracula, but a person from Romania’s neighbor to the west: Hungary.

Video submission: In Search of the Highgate Vampire

David Farrant, one of the world's leading psychic investigators, takes you on a strange and terrifying journey into the realms of the undead. This program deals with the true life events surrounding the sightings of the ghostly apparition known as the Highgate Vampire. 

Shot in 1997, this film represents the first foray of the BPOS into independent film making. Directed and produced by BPOS stalwart Dave Milner in association with his then film company Darkhouse Productions, it rapidly became an underground cult classic through its distribution at 'outsider' outlets such as Forbidden Planet.