Count Dracula

title character of Bram Stoker's 1897 gothic horror novel Dracula

Count Dracula is the title character of Bram Stoker's 1897 gothic horror novel Dracula. He is considered the prototypical and archetypal vampire in subsequent works of fiction. Aspects of the character are believed by some to have been inspired by the 15th-century Wallachian prince Vlad the Impaler, who was also known as Vlad Dracula, and by Sir Henry Irving, an actor for whom Stoker was a personal assistant.

Bela Lugosi as Dracula, anonymous photograph from 1931, Universal Studios.

One of Dracula's most iconic powers is his ability to turn others into vampires by biting them and infecting them with the vampiric disease. Other characteristics have been added or altered in subsequent popular fictional works, including films, cartoons and breakfast cereals.