Spoilers below!

Summary: Dracula

Solicitor Jonathan Harker travels to Transylvania to facilitate the sale of property in England to Count Dracula and to demonstrate a total ignorance for superstition. Dracula imprisons Harker and travels to England (NOT to seduce his long-lost love), causing the deaths of all on board his ship. Meanwhile, Harker’s fiancee Mina, nervous about her missing betrothed, confides in her friend Lucy. Lucy, however, has real problems, as she is courted by Arthur Holmwood (a future Lord), Quincey Morris (a rich Texan, with a big knife), and Dr. John Seward (a broody brain doctor). (She accepts Holmwood’s proposal, but the others are good sports.)

Dracula’s arrival in England corresponds with sleep-walking bouts by Lucy and maniacal ravings by Renfield, Dr. Seward’s mental patient. Lucy grows ill and Seward, baffled, calls his mentor Abraham Van Helsing. Van Helsing performs four blood transfusions, surrounds Lucy with garlic, and gives no one a clue what the heck is going on. She dies.

After much circumlocution, Van Helsing eventually explains that Lucy is a vampire, turned by another vampire. He and her three suitors destroy her in her coffin. Van Helsing contacts Mina so that she and Jonathan can get in on the vampire-hunting action.

A whole lot of searching goes on while the boys track down Dracula’s houses and destroy his coffins (where he must rest during the day). While they’re doing this, Dracula is preying on Mina. They discover this after Renfield turns on his master and is brutally beaten. They corner Dracula in the Harkers’ room, but not before he feeds Mina his blood, cursing her to become a vampire after death. Dracula flees, retrieves his last box of earth, and heads back to Transylvania.

Our heroes, in hot pursuit (which takes about a week to get ready), follow and, after many mishaps, finally catch up to the Count at his castle as the sun sets. Just as his powers are returning, Harker and Morris manage to kill him. Quincey dies, but Mina’s curse is lifted.

Summary: Post-Dracula

Mina is still “cursed” and suffering from fatigue during the day, sensitivity to sunlight, and nausea. She’s been keeping this a secret from her husband, and, when cornered, explains her symptoms by telling him she is pregnant. She has recently shared her secret with Seward, who suspected it after finding out the Lucy’s victims had not been similarly “cured” upon Lucy’s second death. Seward destroyed one vampire turned by Lucy, but another is still loose in London.

Meanwhile, Van Helsing has decided to quit medicine and join the priesthood, Quincey is busy haunting Transylvania, and Harker is trying to sell Dracula’s property.

To be continued in 2012

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