Vampires have existed in human culture for hundreds of years. Appearing in different folklore around the world, with each region having it’s own take or equivalent of the creatures of the night. They Ludlow start to more reassembles what we think of today as pale, undead creatures who live in castles and thirst for blood in the 19th century, when various vampire literature would be written, such as John Polidori’s The Vampyre and Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla. These would go into be the inspiration for the most popular and well known vampire of all, Count Dracula, who first appeared in the 1897 novel Dracula by Bram Stoker.
It wouldn’t take long before vampires took over the silver screen, with 1922’s legendary silent film Nosferatu being the first. Bella Lagosi would be the first actor to truly portray Dracula on screen in Universal’s Dracula (1931). The character would reach new heights of popularity though with the Hammer Horror series, being portrayed by Christopher Lee. Vampire movies would continue to appear in every decade, with some notable examples being Blacula, Salem’s Lot, The Lost Boys, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Interview with a Vampire, Blade, Underworld, Twilight and Dracula Untold. With TV shows including Being Human, True Blood and Angel.
Count Dracula has existed for over a century now and continues to be one of the most fascinating and beloved villains in all of fiction. He’s appeared in in countless books, plays, films, TV shows, cartoons and comics. His traits of a wealthy, sophisticated, intelligent and cunning vampire are established in the novel and have carried over to this day. Attributes such as his appearance, his castle, his powers and his immortality have all remained, though he is often changed.
What has helped Dracula ensure for so long is the freedom to alter things to fit the story and the times. Compare how he looks when portrayed by Christopher Lee to Gary Oldman and you see how the character can be radically adjusted but still remain true. He can be a serious villain or he could be a lovable father, as seen in Hotel Transylvania, or even The Count from Sesame Street. Being ever changing allows to the character to stay fresh and evolve.
Video games are a common place to find vampires, with series such as Darkstalkers, Guilty Gear, Metal Gear and Legacy of Kain feature vampire characters, while Dracula himself is a video game star. The Castlevania series is the most prominent use of the character in games as he appears as the antagonist in nearly every game in the series. He would be playable in some the Castlevania games showing his origins in Lords of Shadow, being a platforming mascot in Kid Dracula and a playable combatant in Castlevania: Judgement. Dracula has also appeared in series of games by Microids and even in a slot from casinoeuro.com. The fact he can appear in many different types of game cements the character’s popularity and flexibility.
Where vampires and Dracula will show up in the future and in what form is a mystery, but the Count will allows be lurking in the shadows before his next appearance.