As you can probably tell from the fact that I write for this site, I’m a huge fan of the original Dracula novel. So getting to meet Dacre Stoker, the great-grand nephew of Bram Stoker himself, was nothing short of an honor.
We started the tour by heading to the Golders Green Crematorium, where Bram’s ashes are interred. As you probably know, his son Irving Noel Stoker, who died in 1961, had his ashes placed in the same urn, whilst his wife Florence Balcombe, for reasons which we’ll probably never truly know, instead opted to have her cremated remains scatted across the crematorium’s gardens.
Anyway, whilst we were in the presence of Bram’s ashes on the third floor, Dacre reveled how the author’s death was overshadowed by the sinking of the Titanic, which occurred several days prior. He also took this opportunity to reveal how a study claiming that Dracula was released to a modest response from critics was taken from a survey of just six reviews, one of which was predominantly negative, and the rest were mostly positive. In other words, the book was actually warmly received by most critics at the time of its release.
Although he died in Los Angles, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari star Conrad Veidt also has his ashes interred at the same crematorium, so I was sure to pay him a visit too before we left.
After this, we headed to the three properties that Stoker called home whilst he was living in London, and whilst we weren’t allowed to go inside any of them, we were able to get some pictures outside whilst Dacre described his great grand-uncle’s history with each property. I was particularly surprised to hear that Bram was even awarded a medal because he almost saved a man from drowning in the River Thames, which lies just outside one of the properties, even though the man ultimately died after Stoker was unable to resuscitate him.
Dacre, who admitted to being fond of both Dracula Untold and the Twilight franchise, is currently co-writing Dracul with JD Barker, which will be the first authorized prequel to Dracula. The book is set to arrive in stores later this year, and you can look forward to our exclusive interview with Dacre about it closer to the date of publication.