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Aiken Resident Carries on Vampire Literature Tradition

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To learn about Stoker’s upcoming project, read our story here.

Despite his family’s literary heritage, Dacre Stoker never intended on taking that career path.

The great-grand-nephew of Bram Stoker, who created one of the most well-known characters of all time, Dracula, evolved into his current role. He’s an author, speaker and expert on all things Stoker. The Aiken resident is also the manager of the Bram Stoker Estate.

The 62-year-old never even read Dracula until he was in college; now he’s written two novels and has his hand in recreating some of Bram’s lesser-known, but not less creepy works into graphic novels. “The Virgin’s Embrace” will be out in March, and “The Cholera Horror” will be out in the summer.

 “One of the stories that inspired Bram to write Dracula was a story his mother told him as a boy,” said Dacre.

Bram’s mother, Charlotte, was 14 during the cholera epidemic of 1832, which decimated the town of Sligo, Ireland, killing more than half its residents. Dead bodies were dragged out of the city and buried hastily in mass graves. The haste led to mistakes, and people were sometimes buried alive.

“She told him about one of her friends dragging himself out of the grave,” Dacre said. “She told him that when he was 5 or 6 years old.”

Dacre said he thinks Bram would embrace the concept of the graphic novel because Bram was an amateur artist who enjoyed sketching.

Dacre first started developing his role as the Bram Stoker expert more than 15 years ago.

Born in Canada, Dacre was interested in sports and athletics when he was growing up. He trained in the modern sport of the pentathlon and was part of the Canadian Olympic team. His Olympic dreams never materialized as the Canadians boycotted the Olympics the year he was scheduled to compete. But he continued to coach high-level competitors.

He taught physical education for 20 years. He’s also a real tennis enthusiast and currently trains a world-ranked real tennis player.

 But he began researching his famous family relation and discovered there was so much more to the Dracula legend that Bram never published. Hundreds of pages were edited from the manuscript and notes are held in collections around the world, according to Dacre.

Dacre’s first foray into the literary world came in the mid-2000s when he teamed up with Ian Holt and started writing a sequel to the famous novel Dracula. Called “Dracula the Un-Dead,” the two crafted it from many of the notes and edited material Bram Stoker had left behind. It took a few years to write and was published in 2009.

He also worked on a book with Elizabeth Miller on a scholarly look at Bram’s notes. It was published in 2012 on the 100th anniversary of Bram’s death. It was called “The Lost Journal of Bram Stoker: The Dublin Years.”

 “Dracul” is his most recent novel written with J.D. Barker. It was released in 2018.

Until the pandemic hit, Dacre traveled the world speaking. He’s also done tours in Romania highlighting some of the places in Bram’s book. He’s done some virtual speaking as well as virtual tours. He said he misses it and is ready to get back to speaking again.

Not only are the graphic novels in the works, but there are some video games planned as well.

Charmain Z. Brackett is the Features Editor for The Augusta Press. Reach her at charmain@theaugustapress.com.

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