This is the story about the immortal Castlevanian vampire, Dracula, who seduces an innocent mortal girl. It can seem naive to the modern readers, but this book was the very first that established the whole vampiric saga genre where a vampire is portrayed as eroticized eternally young seducer, more like incubus or succubus than a hungry undead beast.
Dracula returns to life with his three equally immortal vampire “brides”. But he isn’t satisfied with his ruined castle and a handful of peasants living nearby. He decides to find another place to live, full of life and fresh blood. Dracula studies the current world map and chooses England. As an immortal being he has all the time on Earth to study a huge number of books, newspapers and magazines about modern England. He learns the language, traditions and laws and is ready to move to England. The last thing he has to do is to buy a place to live there. He wants to start his new life as a perfectly law-abiding aristocrat, so he hires a lawyer to help him with that.
But the lawyer he chose, Mr. Hawkins, suddenly falls ill and, unable to travel such a long distance, he asks his assistant, Jonathan Harker, to go to the client instead. Jonathan agrees and goes to Castlevania, but when he is about to arrive to the castle, the peasants nearby try to warn him about an unspeakable evil living inside. Taking these superstitions easy, Harker finally meets his client - an elderly but handsome Count who is well-educated and pleasant to talk to, despite his slightly eccentric behaviour. After a few days, the Count insists that Harker should be his guest for a month, no less, just to clear every legal issue with the new house.
A month is way too much for Harker, his fiancée Mina is waiting for him at home. After several polite refusals the young lawyer just leaves the castle to go back home. But on his way Harker is assaulted by three incredibly beautiful and lustful women who are teasing him and preparing to devour their new plaything. Luckily for him, Dracula rescues him just in time. From now on Harker understands that he is now merely a prisoner in the castle and the peasants weren’t outright wrong when they warned him.
Every piece of the puzzle now is at its place: Dracula’s demonic hungry look when Harker cut his throat while shaving, the strangely locked doors in the rest of the castle, the three women who looked not like any other women he saw in his life. The rumors about the old bloodthirsty vampire living in the castle are correct. And now, when he delivered and signed all the necessary papers, Harker isn’t needed anymore, so it’s only a matter of time for him to become another prey of the Count. After he learned that next morning the Count will depart, leaving him to his brides to eat, Harker decides to escape the castle by all means. All the doors are locked and the only way he sees is to jump out of the window, climb down the wall and hope that he will survive the possible fall and will have his legs intact to run away. Even if he dies, at least he will save his soul from devouring by lustful demons.
Dracula leaves the castle in the morning to the port city of Varna. He hired lots of porters, but all his baggage consisted of huge boxes. Before the departure Dracula buried himself into one of these - the earth from Castlevania graveyard let him renew his energy. The boxes are all loaded to the Russian cargo ship “Dmitry” going to Whitby - another port city not far from London. Dracula stayed in his box during days and at night he prayed on sailors, choosing the healthiest of them. Finally the disappearances are noticed by the crew officers but they can’t do anything. One of the officers, driven mad by fear, jumps into the water preferring to drown rather than to be taken by some malevolent force on the ship. The captain dies the next night and the ship is completely abandoned now.
Understanding that he needs to conceal his arrival, Dracula creates a storm with the strong wind and fog. He himself is steering the ship, and when the ship is close to land, Dracula deliberately crashes it, so now it looks like a shipwreck. Dracula transforms into a wolf and leaves “Dmitry” until someone discovers what happened there. He doesn’t have to worry about his baggage - the boxes are safe and intact, they already have the instruction attached to them, so they will be delivered to his new mansion in Carfax.
In the next chapter we meet Miss Mina Murray, the fiancée of ill-fated Harker. She lives near Whitby, spending her time with her best friend Lucy. Mina gradually becomes more and more worried about Jonathan, he should have returned already but didn’t even send a letter about his delay. She and Lucy walk along the beach at night to calm Mina down, but one particularly windy and stormy night they see a strange ship approaching the shore and crashing into it. It is “Dmitriy”. They look at the ship, shocked, not knowing that Dracula sees them also.
Several nights after the shipwreck Mina discovers that Lucy became a sleepwalker. Once the girl secretly followed her friend just to see her going to the graveyard to sit here. Mina sees the dark red-eyed shadow vaguely shaped like a human behind Lucy, but when she wakes her friend up the shadow disappears. Still, Lucy continues to sleepwalk, gradually becoming weaker and paler. Neither Mina nor Lucy herself can’t tell what is happening with her. Even Dr. Seward, a skilled doctor and Lucy’s former suitor, who urgently came to see the unusual patient can’t explain the little twin red marks on Lucy’s neck.
A few days later Mina finally receives news from Jonathan - he is alive but is in hospital of St. Joseph, suffering of brain inflammation. Mina immediately goes to him. Harker refuses to tell his fiancée the story of his trip, but he gives Mina his diary, asking not to open it without dire need and stays in the hospital to nurse him back to health. Soon Mina and Jonathan get married, in a haste, afraid of his deteriorating health.
Meanwhile, Lucy is dying. Knowing that the hellish being calls her in her dreams every night she decides not to sleep as long as she can, but it only makes her condition worse. Desperate, Dr. Seward calls for his teacher, Professor Van Helsing and Lucy’s fiancé, Arthur Holmwood. He asks them both to come: the former to see if something still can be done and for the latter to say his farewells in the worst case. Both men come as soon as they can, but Professor is the first to arrive. Van Helsing immediately states that the patient is suffering from critical blood loss without any signs of hemorrhage. He asks the other inhabitants of the house and understands that the dark shadow of wolf, bat or man is a vampire he heard about from his family. Despite this solution denies any scientific reasons, he orders to put as much garlic as possible into the room and make a garlic “necklace” for Lucy’s neck. But she is still too weak and Van Helsing decides to perform the blood transfusion. The donors is Professor himself, Dr. Seward and Arthur, who finally arrived to see Lucy. It seems that the unconventional therapy does help and Lucy gradually gets better. But one night, a big wild wolf controlled by Dracula smashes the window covered with garlic. Lucy’s mother has a fatal heart attack out of terror and dies at once. Now, without garlic protecting the entrance, Dracula comes inside the room and finally kills Lucy.
When the men return in the morning they see that Lucy is barely breathing. Devastated, Arthur leans to kiss her goodbye, but Lucy almost bites his neck with her new long sharp teeth. This is the last thing she does before her death. Lucy and her mother are buried in the family cemetery.
But Van Helsing knows that Lucy isn’t dead for real. Of course, he is still a scientist and he can’t rely on superstitions only, so Van Helsing keeps silent until the children nearby start to disappear while sleepwalking. Both doctors examine those who show the same symptoms that Lucy did and find the same twin red marks on their necks. Some witnesses say that they saw a demon resembling a young lady who eats these children. The last evidence is the diary of Jonathan. Mina and recovered Harker return back to mourn Lucy and hear the awful story about her death. After reading the diary and hearing Jonathan’s evidences no one can deny the truth anymore.
Now Arthur and another Lucy’s suitor, an American named Quincey Morris, who also came to help, have to believe Professor Van Helsing. With a heavy heart Arthur agrees to open the coffin of his deceased beloved and sees that her body isn’t tarnished. But still he doesn’t allow to conduct a ritual that seems horrible, until the men see with their own eyes that Lucy does raise at night and hunt the children. Now everyone is convinced that it isn’t Lucy anymore and the being that possesses her dead body must be destroyed. While the undead Lucy was resting in her coffin, Arthur, Morris, Seward and Van Helsing plunged a stake through her heart, severed her head and stuffed her mouth with garlic. Now Lucy will stay in the coffin forever, but they still want to avenge her death and keep searching for the one who turned her into a vampire.
They start to search for every evidence about the Count and finally understand that he is somehow connected to the boxes of earth that were on “Dimitry”. But Dracula himself also plans his revenge. Mina has to hide in the hospital of Dr. Seward when other men track the vampire and destroy the boxes with earth, one by one, but one of his patients succumbs to Dracula’s will and lets him in. Dracula finds Mina and forces her to drink his own blood to become obedient to him. The men return just in time to save her - but now they are even more limited in time: after several days Mina will die and turn into another vampiric “bride”.
The hunters manage to find and destroy every box with earth except one. They find out that the last one is now sent back to Castlevania. They decide that Dracula tries to escape back to his castle, divide and start the pursuit. Van Helsing takes Mina with him either to aid her or to kill her if her condition becomes hopeless. But Mina appears to be rather useful. They arrive to the castle ahead of the Count and cleanse it, killing the three “brides” and performing the sealing rituals to keep them from raising again.
Dracula’s cart driven by local gypsies was almost near the castle when Quincey Morris and Harker traced it. They chased it, having to break through the defence of locals who protected the Count. But finally they managed to stop the cart and throw the box to the ground. Indeed, inside was Dracula himself. Morris and Harker performed the ritual, stabbing the heart of the vampire and severing his head. The gypsies looked in terror as the dead man crumbled into dust in mere seconds before their eyes.
The deed is done and Lucy is avenged - but Quincey is also heavily injured in the fight with the locals. He collapses to the ground, covered in blood from his wounds. Jonathan comforts him in his last moments and Morris dies happy knowing that the evil is defeated.