Northern Ireland

Give Dracula an immortal home in Ireland

Bela Lugosa as Dracula
Image caption A right pain in the neck - Bela Lugosi as Dracula

An Irish historian has made an impassioned plea to give Dracula an immortal home in Ireland.

Dennis McIntyre, director of The Stoker Dracula Organisation said the famous vampire's creator - Bram Stoker - is "the forgotten man of Irish literature".

"People never see Stoker as Irish, but he was born at 15 The Crescent, Clontarf in 1847," he said.

Stoker's most famous creation was Dracula.

He is a vampire who spawned 1,000 films and still holds millions in thrall throughout the world.

Many people connect the blood sucking vampire with Transylvania, but Mr McIntyre said Stoker's story of Dracula was very much an Irish one.

"The word, Dracula, comes from the Irish 'Droch Ola' which means bad blood," he explained.

"Stoker's mother was from the west of Ireland and I am from the west of Ireland, that word is in common use. People will be talking about a dispute or some kind of trouble and will say; 'Oh, but there was droch ola there'".

Mr McIntyre said Bram Stoker's mother told him stories of the cholera epidemic which swept across from China in 1832.

'Haunted'

"She saw and wrote about people being buried alive because they had cholera. People didn't want to touch them so they pushed them into large graves with wooden poles while they were still living."

Perhaps the idea of the dead coming back to life and haunting the living for what they had done, came from this, he suggested.

The Stoker Dracula Organisation was set up 20 years ago. Members have gathered a wealth of information on the writer and his most famous creation.

Now, they are appealing to any individual, business, club or institution with a premises or building to contact them. They want to set up a suitable research/memorial centre in Stoker's honour.

Given the power and fame of Dracula - after the Bible, Dracula is among the biggest selling books of all time - Mr McIntyre said it was a "sleeping giant" in terms of tourism and interest in Ireland.

"We appeal for help to create something immortal, eternally everlasting - like Dracula!" he said.

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