Books People

‘Dracula’ author has family connection in Aiken

Aiken has ties to one of the most famous literary monsters in the world – Dracula.

Twenty years ago, Dacre Stoker, an Aiken resident who is the great-grand nephew of Dracula author Bram Stoker, knew little about his famous family member’s literary classic.  Now he’s a foremost expert on Bram Stoker and his creation, traveling the globe giving tours and lectures in addition to writing his own novels, nonfiction works and papers.

From left, Dacre Stoker, Andrea St. Amand and Braxton Williams. The three created a dramatic program related to Bram Stoker at the 2022 Piccolo Spoleto Festival. Courtesy photo

 “I’ve been working on Dracula Reconstructed, a digital Dracula with 160 videos that essentially are video annotations – including 45 images of Dracula notes from the Rosenbach Museum. They’ve been integrated in digital in place where It’s obvious from his notes,” said Dacre Stoker who is getting ready to head into his busiest month of the year.  The international bestselling author is in high demand around Halloween.

The full title of Dacre Stoker’s current work is Dracula Reconstructed: The Definitive Dracula Digital Edition. It will be published through BookVolts. Stoker said he hopes for a fall 2023 release.

A native of Canada, Stoker knew about the famed author in his family tree, but he didn’t read the novel until he was in college. He went on to write his first paper on the book while a student.

Around 2003, he met Ian Holt and together the two of them created Dracul: The UnDead, which was published in 2009. The book was a sequel to Bram Stoker’s Dracula constructed with the help of Bram’s meticulous handwritten notes and other scholarly resources. Stoker had many ideas that never made it into the final edition.

“One hundred and two pages were taken out of it,” said Dacre Stoker, noting that Bram Stoker’s first three chapters met the chopping block.

Stoker is also working on another piece with Leverett Butts, a professor from the University of North Georgia. It’s inspired by the many tidbits on his great-grand uncle that he’s collected over the years.

 “We’ve taken history turned it into fiction including the struggles he (Bram Stoker) goes through. When he gets writer’s block, there’s a supernatural power trying to stop him from telling the story of Dracula,” he said. “Its roots are in the Scottish and Transylvanian superstitions.”

Bram Stoker studied those for his novel. He also had a few real-life inspired horror stories from his mother who lived through a cholera epidemic in the 1830s. Many people were prematurely assumed dead and buried, but later they climbed out of the mass graves.

Dacre Stoker. Courtesy photo

Stoker said that’s another tale he’d like to turn into a graphic novel. That story the Charlotte Stoker told her son influenced the creation of the character of Dracula.

Dacre Stoker has traveled to the places where his great-grand uncle wrote the novel, and he’s visited places contained in the book including some legendary ones that Bram Stoker only read about — Transylvania. Each year, Dacre Stoker takes tour groups to Romania to show the reality behind the novel.  In June, his tour included Victoria Price, the daughter of Vincent Price.

 “We try to go every June. It’s the perfect month. That’s when snow is gone from the pathway in the Carpathian Mountains and it’s not too hot,” he said.

 The tours are coordinated by Experience Transylvania.

These are some of Stoker’s newest projects, but they aren’t the only ones related to the bloodsucking count.

With author Chris McAuley, Stoker has created StokerVerse which features novels, comics and games, and a newly created website offers a portal into the world.

And if he wasn’t busy enough, Stoker is also working on a documentary film.

Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News, has covered Augusta’s news for 35 years. Reach her at Sign up for the newsletter here.

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