About Dacre Stoker

Dacre Stoker is the great grand-nephew of Bram Stoker and the international best-selling co-author of Dracula the Un-Dead (Dutton, 2009), the official Stoker family endorsed sequel to Dracula. Dacre is also the co-editor (with Elizabeth Miller) of The Lost Journal of Bram Stoker: The Dublin Years (Robson Press, 2012). Released in October of 2018, Dracul,  a prequel to Dracula, co-authored with JD Barker, was the UK’s # 1 Bestselling Hardcover Novel in Horror and Supernatural in 2018, and a top 5 finalist by the Horror Writers Association for the Bram Stoker Award® for Superior Achievement in a Novel. Film rights for Dracul have been optioned by Paramount Studios.  

Dacre’s most recent work The Virgins Embrace (AUK 2021) with Chris McAuley, a graphic novel adaptation of Bram Stoker’s short story The Squaw (1893). Additionally, three short stories with Leverett Butts, Last Days, appeared in Weird Tales Magazine  January 2021, The Tired Captain, featured in FX Sherlock Holmes Anthology,  and upcoming The Lost Warrior, in Dracula UnFanged Anthology in 2022. 

A native of Montreal, Canada, Dacre taught Physical Education and Sciences for twenty-two years, in both Canada and the U.S. He has participated in the sport of Modern Pentathlon as an athlete and a coach at the international and Olympic levels for Canada for 12 years. He is also an avid player and coach of the unique game of Real Tennis.  In May of 2016 an athlete he had been coaching for the past 4 years, Camden Riviere, won the World Championships of Court Tennis. 

Dacre has consulted and appeared in recent film documentaries about vampires in literature and popular culture. The Real Vampire Files (2010 History Channel),   The Tillinghast Nightmare, (2014 Historical Haunts), Secrets of the Dead (2015 PBS),  Mysteries at the Museum, (2017 Travel Channel) Legend Hunter (2019 Travel Channel) He currently hosts tours to Ireland to visit places in Dublin where Bram Stoker lived, was educated, worked, and researched.  He also leads groups to Transylvania to explore both the life and times of the historic Vlad Dracula lll and also the locations where Bram Stoker set his famous novel.  

About Chris McAuley

Dr. Chris McAuley is an acclaimed comic book writer, artist and character creator for DC and Marvel. He most recently won an award for the Scottish comic The Lang Walk Hame in 2019 and his artwork has featured in the Glasgow Museum of modern art. He is familiar to fans of Judge Dredd having been the assistant colorist on several 2000AD comic strips. He has also inked various Marvel titles such as Hulkvarines and also Vampirella. He is the co-author and creator of the Stoker Verse with Dacre Stoker, which currently features six comic book ranges, several novels and a board game in production. He is also a novelist whose reach has included The James Bond Franchise and Alien. Chris has also assisted Legendary Disney Imagineer Terri Hardin Jackson on the Star Wars franchise as a concept artist for The Mandalorian.


by Dacre Stoker and Dr. Chris McAuley


The leather armchair was comfortable; it seemed well suited to embrace his frame, the rich burgundy contrasting with his conventional dark blue suit. The light of the fire played across his handsome features, warm hues reaching up to caress his face for brief moments of time. His fingers were curved around the glass of brandy which also helped to keep the damp cold of the Irish winter from his bones.

This time of Samhain he held in special regard: a time where the twilight of the world of the world began to recede into a slow, gentle embrace of darkness. A time where spirits of the dead flitted back to life, some pausing to remake their acquaintance. Old school-friends lost to tragedy, family members whose faces were summoned to brief remembrance in his mind.

A spark flew out of the open fireplace. He shifted out of the chair quickly. Florence would be angry if anything stained her beloved rug. It had been gifted too her by a close cousin just before she fell pregnant. As he bent down to ensure that the spark would not ignite the sheepskin, he heard another voice. The intonation was slightly accented and its strength undeniable. It was the whisper in the darkness that he had been hoping to hear. 

“Bram, it will soon be time to breathe me into existence.”

Even with his proximity to the flickering flames, a familiar chill seemed to surround him. The accent brought with it a sense of unhappy days from his childhood past. As he stood, steadying himself with the heavy mantle of the fireplace, the months of sickness which plagued him were brought to mind. Weak and unable to join the outside world, it had marked him, separated him from possible friendships, from play and from laughter. As isolating that his childhood had been it had also gifted him with an inquiring mind and an imagination that very few could equal

The voice reminded him of Ellen Crone, the mysterious lady with the ever-changing aspect. A face which flitted between the young and the old. A source of wisdom, and then even a source of comfort. In moments where his whole body seemed to rebel against the notion of taking one more breath, she had been there. She had ensured his survival. Hazy memories of rich red lips and impossibly sharp teeth shining in the darkness began to assert themselves.

Again, the voice spoke.

“My story will redefine the meaning of terror. Through your words, I will travel across the East of Europe to England and my name will also be known in the New World of America.”

Bram settled back into his armchair. His mind full of visions of an imposing Castle, wolves baying at a full crested moon and a young man imprisoned; his soul in danger of damnation. This was the beginnings of the story which the voice had always promised him.

He was confined to his bed, afraid to go outside. This voice, the promise of a great story was to be told through him, had always skirted the edge of his consciousness. Lately, however, the voice had become manifest. These rich, cultured and accented tones were the reason that he stayed up late tonight. The paper-thin wall between the living and the dead being torn asunder seemed to inspire and fire his imagination. He was seeking a crowning glory, a Gothic novel to rival that of Poe and of dear Oscar.

From the darkness behind his armchair, a deep heaviness of an unseen hand began to settle on his shoulders. The fingernails protruded in a fashion which gave them the appearance of claws. Some dirt was present under them as if the owner had recently dug their way from the ground.

As the ghostly fingertips pressed against Bram’s shoulders, he felt a chill like no other enter his body. From his head traveling down through his spine, a gnawing cold which could never be sought to be warmed invaded him. Once again, a swathe of images danced in front of his eyes:

A nobleman from remote Eastern Europe began to travel through the forces of history to reach England. Dead bodies began to animate and beings were brought to life; madmen issued words like prophets as they consumed insects. A lean face, smiling in a rictus-like death grin—his mouth and face covered in blood, the gleaming yellow eyes which peered from his distinctive face.

All through these hellish visions, Bram felt as though someone was leaning over his shoulder. He could swear that he even heard the armchair creak a little. As the voice spoke for the final time that night, he felt a breath against his cheek. It brought with it an unwelcome intimacy for he could also detect the diseased smell associated with the recently deceased. For those awful moments, he found he could not move.

“When you tell them of me, it will cause men and women to check their doors and windows at night. Children will scream as they look out their windows and believe to see my face smiling at them in the moonlight. My name will gift you with immortality and a legacy as no one else on earth can share. Through your words, nations will once again tremble at the name of Dracula”.

The hands and the voice left him. Bram once again found movement in his limbs. As he looked for reassurance in the bright light and heat of the fire, he reached for his notebook resting on the table in front of him.

1895, London. The Publishing Offices of Archibald & Constable.

Bram slid the piece of paper across the large wooden table. It was heavily stained with ink, testament to the long-standing traditions of manuscript submissions over the years. The editor peered over his wire rimmed glasses; his cheerful expression melted into confusion.

“What’s this, Bram? A request for publication in European territories? I think there’s a market for the story in the Germanic regions but first I would like to concentrate distribution in the British Isles and your homeland of course.”

Bram held the editor’s gaze. Its unflinching and probing nature planted a seed of disquiet in his heart. This was a most unusual occurrence, because throughout their correspondence concerning the manuscript, Bram had been courteous and social. His reputation as being the manager of the famed Sir Henry Irving had preceded his literary work and had produced a willingness for the publishing house to accept the macabre story.

Bram nodded his head in the direction of the scrap of folded manila paper. The editor in a similar emulation of silence placed his large left hand on the proffered object, unfolded it and examined the words.

“Everything I have written is true.”

Bram thought it was a simple statement, but a series of words exploded from the publisher. He expressed a wave of emotions which ranged from puzzlement to incredulity. Eventually the latter won out.

“My dear Bram, if this is an attempt at some form of controversy with a hope to further publicity, I’m afraid it may backfire with a story as fantastical as—what did we agree to call it? Dracula? The undead walking the streets, young women being seduced in the beds by vampires. The public is prepared to suspend belief for the tales of Mr. Dickens or perhaps even Conan Doyle. This, however, goes against the grain, dear boy.”

His point made; the corpulent form of the editor rested back in his leather armchair. He tossed the offending note on the table. Through this directed tirade, Bram’s eyes had been unwavering. His steely gaze was matched with the conviction in his voice as he addressed his detractor.

“Sir, I can assure you that each moment which has been divulged in the manuscript held in the safe below your desk corresponds with factual events. The names of the participants have been altered but the Harker’s, Van Helsing, Qunicey Morris and yes, even Dracula, do exist. This book is a warning against a very real evil which exists among us and is gaining strength even now!”

Bram further emphasized his final point by jabbing his forefinger on the top of the editor’s desk. Unfortunately, the experienced publisher was unmoved by further demonstrations of conviction. He shook his head and said one further word before Bram rose and left the office.


Bram briskly left the agencies offices and stepped aboard an awaiting carriage. Anyone who observed the small door closing would have noticed an elaborate and familiar seal embossed along the side.

As the carriage began to navigate through the busy London streets, a figure shrouded in shadow leaned forward. Addressing Bram in a voice which manifested and carried through the air as a whisper, the owner enquired.

“Will they publish it as it is written?”

Bram turned towards the familiar figure, and with a florid face borne of exasperation, replied, “No, he wants to redact elements and rewrite the main narrative to make it more suggestive and palatable for the English market.”

A gloved hand reached from the darkness and placed itself on top of the wrist of the frustrated Irish writer.

“A pity, this would have been a more direct route and time is running out. However, there are other avenues and literary markets. Let us explore dual publication through the international newspapers. It is vital that our warning reach as many as possible in the time we have left.”

Bram nodded. He would redact elements of the original story for the English market and then publish the full story elsewhere. After all, it would not be long before the monsters who had visited him from childhood would make good on their promise and come to drag him into the dark with them.

He began to write.