A Mystery Story
by Bram Stoker – 1897 edition
Edited by Dell Sweet © Copyright 2018.
This book is in the public domain
How these papers have been placed in sequence will be made manifest in the
reading of them. All needless matters have been eliminated, so that a history
almost at variance with the possibilities of latter-day belief may stand forth
as simple fact. There is throughout no statement of past things wherein
memory may err, for all the records chosen are exactly contemporary, given
from the standpoints and within the range of knowledge of those who made them.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1 Jonathan Harker’s Journal
2 Jonathan Harker’s Journal
3 Jonathan Harker’s Journal
4 Jonathan Harker’s Journal
5 Letter From Miss Mina Murray To Miss Lucy Westenra
6 Mina Murray’s Journal
7 Cutting From “The Dailygraph”, 8 August
8 Mina Murray’s Journal
9 Letter, Mina Harker To Lucy Westenra
10 Letter, Dr. Seward To Hon. Arthur Holmwood
11 Lucy Westenra’s Diary
12 Dr. Seward’s Diary
13 Dr. Seward’s Diary
14 Mina Harker’s Journal
15 Dr. Seward’s Diary
16 Dr. Seward’s Diary
17 Dr. Seward’s Diary
18 Dr. Seward’s Diary
19 Jonathan Harker’s Journal
20 Jonathan Harker’s Journal
21 Dr. Seward’s Diary
22 Jonathan Harker’s Journal
23 Dr. Seward’s Diary
24 Dr. Seward’s Phonograph Diary
25 Dr. Seward’s Diary
26 Dr. Seward’s Diary
27 Mina Harker’s Journal
Jonathan Harker’s Journal
(Kept in shorthand)
3 May. Bistritz.–Left Munich at 8:35 P.M., on 1st May, arriving at
Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but train was
an hour late. Buda-Pesth seems a wonderful place, from the glimpse
which I got of it from the train and the little I could walk through
the streets. I feared to go very far from the station, as we had
arrived late and would start as near the correct time as possible.
The impression I had was that we were leaving the West and entering the
East; the most western of splendid bridges over the Danube, which is
here of noble width and depth, took us among the traditions of Turkish
We left in pretty good time, and came after nightfall to Klausenburgh.
Here I stopped for the night at the Hotel Royale. I had for dinner,
or rather supper, a chicken done up some way with red pepper, which
was very good but thirsty. (Mem. get recipe for Mina.) I asked the
waiter, and he said it was called “paprika hendl,” and that, as it was
a national dish, I should be able to get it anywhere along the
I found my smattering of German very useful here, indeed, I don’t know
how I should be able to get on without it.
Having had some time at my disposal when in London, I had visited the
British Museum, and made search among the books and maps in the
library regarding Transylvania; it had struck me that some
foreknowledge of the country could hardly fail to have some importance
in dealing with a nobleman of that country.
I find that the district he named is in the extreme east of the
country, just on the borders of three states, Transylvania, Moldavia,
and Bukovina, in the midst of the Carpathian mountains; one of the
wildest and least known portions of Europe.
I was not able to light on any map or work giving the exact locality
of the Castle Dracula, as there are no maps of this country as yet to
compare with our own Ordnance Survey Maps; but I found that Bistritz,
the post town named by Count Dracula, is a fairly well-known place. I
shall enter here some of my notes, as they may refresh my memory when
I talk over my travels with Mina.
In the population of Transylvania there are four distinct
nationalities: Saxons in the South, and mixed with them the Wallachs,
who are the descendants of the Dacians; Magyars in the West, and
Szekelys in the East and North. I am going among the latter, who
claim to be descended from Attila and the Huns. This may be so, for
when the Magyars conquered the country in the eleventh century they
found the Huns settled in it.
I read that every known superstition in the world is gathered into the
horseshoe of the Carpathians, as if it were the centre of some sort of
imaginative whirlpool; if so my stay may be very interesting. (Mem.,
I must ask the Count all about them.)
I did not sleep well, though my bed was comfortable enough, for I had
all sorts of queer dreams. There was a dog howling all night under my
window, which may have had something to do with it; or it may have
been the paprika, for I had to drink up all the water in my carafe,
and was still thirsty. Towards morning I slept and was wakened by the
continuous knocking at my door, so I guess I must have been sleeping
I had for breakfast more paprika, and a sort of porridge of maize
flour which they said was “mamaliga”, and egg-plant stuffed with
forcemeat, a very excellent dish, which they call “impletata”. (Mem.,
get recipe for this also.)
I had to hurry breakfast, for the train started a little before eight,
or rather it ought to have done so, for after rushing to the station
at 7:30 I had to sit in the carriage for more than an hour before we
began to move.
It seems to me that the further east you go the more unpunctual are
the trains. What ought they to be in China?
All day long we seemed to dawdle through a country which was full of
beauty of every kind. Sometimes we saw little towns or castles on the
top of steep hills such as we see in old missals; sometimes we ran by
rivers and streams which seemed from the wide stony margin on each
side of them to be subject to great floods. It takes a lot of water,
and running strong, to sweep the outside edge of a river clear.
At every station there were groups of people, sometimes crowds, and in
all sorts of attire. Some of them were just like the peasants at home
or those I saw coming through France and Germany, with short jackets,
and round hats, and home-made trousers; but others were very
The women looked pretty, except when you got near them, but they were
very clumsy about the waist. They had all full white sleeves of some
kind or other, and most of them had big belts with a lot of strips of
something fluttering from them like the dresses in a ballet, but of
course there were petticoats under them.
The strangest figures we saw were the Slovaks, who were more barbarian
than the rest, with their big cow-boy hats, great baggy dirty-white
trousers, white linen shirts, and enormous heavy leather belts, nearly
a foot wide, all studded over with brass nails. They wore high boots,
with their trousers tucked into them, and had long black hair and
heavy black moustaches. They are very picturesque, but do not look
prepossessing. On the stage they would be set down at once as some
old Oriental band of brigands. They are, however, I am told, very
harmless and rather wanting in natural self-assertion.
It was on the dark side of twilight when we got to Bistritz, which is
a very interesting old place. Being practically on the frontier–for
the Borgo Pass leads from it into Bukovina–it has had a very stormy
existence, and it certainly shows marks of it. Fifty years ago a
series of great fires took place, which made terrible havoc on five
separate occasions. At the very beginning of the seventeenth century
it underwent a siege of three weeks and lost 13,000 people, the
casualties of war proper being assisted by famine and disease.
Count Dracula had directed me to go to the Golden Krone Hotel, which I
found, to my great delight, to be thoroughly old-fashioned, for of
course I wanted to see all I could of the ways of the country.
I was evidently expected, for when I got near the door I faced a
cheery-looking elderly woman in the usual peasant dress–white
undergarment with a long double apron, front, and back, of coloured
stuff fitting almost too tight for modesty. When I came close she
bowed and said, “The Herr Englishman?”
“Yes,” I said, “Jonathan Harker.”
She smiled, and gave some message to an elderly man in white
shirtsleeves, who had followed her to the door.
He went, but immediately returned with a letter:
“My friend.–Welcome to the Carpathians. I am anxiously expecting
you. Sleep well tonight. At three tomorrow the diligence will
start for Bukovina; a place on it is kept for you. At the Borgo
Pass my carriage will await you and will bring you to me. I trust
that your journey from London has been a happy one, and that you
will enjoy your stay in my beautiful land.–Your friend, Dracula.”
4 May–I found that my landlord had got a letter from the Count,
directing him to secure the best place on the coach for me; but on
making inquiries as to details he seemed somewhat reticent, and
pretended that he could not understand my German.
This could not be true, because up to then he had understood it
perfectly; at least, he answered my questions exactly as if he did.
He and his wife, the old lady who had received me, looked at each
other in a frightened sort of way. He mumbled out that the money had
been sent in a letter, and that was all he knew. When I asked him if
he knew Count Dracula, and could tell me anything of his castle, both
he and his wife crossed themselves, and, saying that they knew nothing
at all, simply refused to speak further. It was so near the time of
starting that I had no time to ask anyone else, for it was all very
mysterious and not by any means comforting.
Just before I was leaving, the old lady came up to my room and said in
a hysterical way: “Must you go? Oh! Young Herr, must you go?” She
was in such an excited state that she seemed to have lost her grip of
what German she knew, and mixed it all up with some other language
which I did not know at all. I was just able to follow her by asking
many questions. When I told her that I must go at once, and that I
was engaged on important business, she asked again:
“Do you know what day it is?” I answered that it was the fourth of
May. She shook her head as she said again:
“Oh, yes! I know that! I know that, but do you know what day it is?”
On my saying that I did not understand, she went on:
“It is the eve of St. George’s Day. Do you not know that tonight,
when the clock strikes midnight, all the evil things in the world will
have full sway? Do you know where you are going, and what you are
going to?” She was in such evident distress that I tried to comfort
her, but without effect. Finally, she went down on her knees and
implored me not to go; at least to wait a day or two before starting.
It was all very ridiculous but I did not feel comfortable. However,
there was business to be done, and I could allow nothing to interfere
I tried to raise her up, and said, as gravely as I could, that I
thanked her, but my duty was imperative, and that I must go.
She then rose and dried her eyes, and taking a crucifix from her neck
offered it to me.
I did not know what to do, for, as an English Churchman, I have been
taught to regard such things as in some measure idolatrous, and yet it
seemed so ungracious to refuse an old lady meaning so well and in such
a state of mind.
She saw, I suppose, the doubt in my face, for she put the rosary round
my neck and said, “For your mother’s sake,” and went out of the room.
I am writing up this part of the diary whilst I am waiting for the
coach, which is, of course, late; and the crucifix is still round my
Whether it is the old lady’s fear, or the many ghostly traditions of
this place, or the crucifix itself, I do not know, but I am not
feeling nearly as easy in my mind as usual.
If this book should ever reach Mina before I do, let it bring my
goodbye. Here comes the coach! …