Earlier this month, I treated my sister to a night out to celebrate 125 Years of Dracula with Dacre Stoker at the Winchester Mystery House. I have been loving all the special events Winchester has been hosting for their centennial celebration. Naturally, this evening was no exception. My sister is a huge Dracula/vampire fan so this served as a perfect excuse for a night at Winchester.
For this visit, our “tour” didn’t begin until after closing at 7pm. And so, we decided to stop by the giftshop to explore the gardens. This romp included a preview of Winchester’s Unhinged outdoor displays.
I loved seeing the gardens transformed into a haunted midway. There was so much to see including a wheel cart from Hollywood Haunters. However, the evening had even more excitement in store! Since there was still time to kill, we crossed the street to Santana Row for some food.
Time to Discuss 125 Years of Dracula
Finally, the event check in time was upon us. Entry to the event was through the Daisy gate. Then, staff directed us to the carriage house. Outside was table where a podcast was finishing up an interview with the guest of honor. Across from them was a table full of his books and merchandise to purchase. Dacre was signing books as fast as he could. As he signed, he chatted up the guests making it through the line.
Inside, the carriage house had chair and a podium set up for a presentation. What transpired was not what I expected. However, in a way, it went beyond that. Dacre took everyone on an amazing journey through Bram’s steps to creating Dracula. He was full of family knowledge, historical documentation and more. Although we didn’t actually traverse through Winchester’s halls as implied in the event description, the time Dacre helped us transcend was even more of a treat. I took so many notes, I felt like a student!
After two hours of too short of a lecture, Dacre wrapped up. He formed guests that he would be outside to sign books and take photos. Since we both already had copies of Dacre’s prequel, Dracul; we picked up his sequel.
I was not expecting to enjoy this event as much as I did. In fact, I wished Dacre actually did a set of classes because two hours was NOT enough time. You can tell how impassioned he is by Bram’s life and stories which felt extremely genuine. Moreover, this inspired the goal for me to read both Dracula and Dacre’s prequel, Dracul before the year is complete.
Which poses my next question! Have you ever read Dracula? I have not, but I’m curious to know if I’m the only one who hasn’t.
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Check out all the awesome crypt keepers helping you count down to Halloween this year!