Content warning: discussion of rape and sexual assault. Lots of things in this Let’s Read so far has eroticized dubious consent with Dracula and Jonathan. I’m not doing that today, but I do look really hard how Dracula’s horror monster assault can be seen as real human rape, and reckon with that as it is. I imagine if you’ve read this far you know what you’re in for, but I wanted to warn you just in case.

Falling behind on Dracula Daily! Today is October 7th, which is Thanksgiving Weekend in Canada, which means I’ve got a bunch of social stuff to do on top of my usual work. The great benefits however are that I get to eat a lot.

I did also take Scruffy to the vet on Thursday which was pretty draining. The good news is that the vet isn’t worried about him. Scruffy’s going to get an upgrade in the food department as soon as I can get off my butt to go to PetSmart. He does seem to be feeling better, but more furious with me than ever after the vet trip. Alas.

I’m going to hope I can get through all this massive Dracula day in one go but that might be easier said than done.

October 3

Oh right. So last time Renfield had an accident. Dr. Lobotomy reports that he’s all fucked up, bleeding from his battered face. The attendant believes Renfield’s back is broken and wonders how, if the damage to his face was self-harm, he could do it with his back broken. Dr. Lobotomy calls for Van Helsing who walks in wearing his pajamas, looks at Renfield, announces that he’ll help Dr. Lobotomy look after him once he gets dressed. When he reappears with his surgical gear Van Helsing suggests that the attendant be sent away so that he isn’t around when Renfield wakes up. Dr. Lobotomy does so, telling “Simmons” to do his rounds. The attendant leaves and Dr. Lobotomy and Van Helsing discover Renfield has a serious skull fracture.

Arthur and Quincey show up and sit and watch the operation from the bed.

I do really enjoy the pairs that these people operate in. Van Helsing with Seward, Jonathan and Mina, and Arthur and Quincey. Really, what I like is shipping Arthur and Quincey.

Van Helsing wants to do “trephining,” which is the same as trepanning, which I see more often. For some reason they have to wait a while before they can do it. Dr. Lobotomy spends that time fighting anxiety and waiting for jumpscares.

I could almost hear the beating of my own heart; and the blood surging through my temples sounded like blows from a hammer.

When it seems Renfield might die, Van Helsing does the trepan and shortly after, Renfield wakes up.

He tried to turn his head; but even with the effort his eyes seemed to grow glassy again so I gently put it back.

This scene definitely has the vibes of a movie where the hero holds their lover as they die.

They ask Renfield about his dream but he assures that it really happened. He realizes death is coming for him and that he has to tell all quickly.

On October 1st he was begging to be released, “He” arrived, heralded by barking dogs. Dracula comes up to Renfield’s window through the mist, and Renfield did not welcome him in right away, but Dracula begins to make promises “by doing them.” In other words by compelling flies and spiders to Renfield, and apparently also Death’s Head hawkmoths. Dracula brings him a sea of rats outside Renfield’s window.

He held up his hand, and they all stopped; and I thought he seemed to be saying: ‘All these lives will I give you, ay, and many more and greater, through countless ages, if you will fall down and worship me!’

I really love that this is probably the shit that he pulled on Lucy. He is bisexual after all.

Renfield seems compelled to invite Dracula inside.

The rats were all gone, but He slid into the room through the sash, though it was only open an inch wide—just as the Moon herself has often come in through the tiniest crack and has stood before me in all her size and splendour.

There’s something extremely sexual about this line. Is it just me? Sliding in through a crack—through the sash—even if it’s a tight fit, and standing there fully erect, dick out, moisturized like the moon in all her size and splendour.

The next evening, Dracula lets himself in.

When he slid in through the window, though it was shut, and did not even knock, I got mad with him. He sneered at me, and his white face looked out of the mist with his red eyes gleaming, and he went on as though he owned the whole place, and I was no one. He didn’t even smell the same as he went by me. I couldn’t hold him. I thought that, somehow, Mrs. Harker had come into the room.”

So October 1st had a love bomb and October 2 it’s taken away. Probably because he doesn’t feel like he needs Renfield anymore. Renfield says that when Mina visited him on the 2nd, she didn’t seem the same. Renfield is pissed that Dracula is leaving him for a woman. When Dracula comes through Renfield’s window he tries to stop it, and Dracula assaulted him before slipping away into the asylum.

The boys forget all about Renfield and go on a Dracula-hunting trip. First stop is the Harkers’ room. The door is locked so Arthur bashes it in, and Van Helsing goes flopping onto the floor, which is a cute detail.

On the bed beside the window lay Jonathan Harker, his face flushed and breathing heavily as though in a stupor. Kneeling on the near edge of the bed facing outwards was the white-clad figure of his wife. By her side stood a tall, thin man, clad in black. His face was turned from us, but the instant we saw we all recognised the Count—in every way, even to the scar on his forehead. With his left hand he held both Mrs. Harker’s hands, keeping them away with her arms at full tension; his right hand gripped her by the back of the neck, forcing her face down on his bosom. Her white nightdress was smeared with blood, and a thin stream trickled down the man’s bare breast which was shown by his torn-open dress.

Wow, what?

My god this shit is juicy.

Dracula tries to lunge at the Scooby gang but he’s halted by a raised communion cookie. Dracula recoils and, in a brief moment of shade, turns to mist and flees under the door. The prose doesn’t mention it but it seems that Quincey runs off in hot pursuit.

Mina rouses and screams and Jonathan, so deep in Dracula’s thrall, doesn’t wake. Arthur runs out of the room. The doctors try to wake Jonathan while Mina bawls her eyes out. While Van Helsing wakes Jonathan with a wet cloth, Dr. Lobotomy opens the window and sees Quincey running around in the yard for some reason, like he’s a character in a stealth game.

Jonathan rouses and this line is interesting to me.

His wife was aroused by the quick movement, and turned to him with her arms stretched out, as though to embrace him; instantly, however, she drew them in again, and putting her elbows together, held her hands before her face, and shuddered till the bed beneath her shook.

This whole deal is very much written like a sexual assault took place and while it makes sense considering everything in this novel so far I still find myself surprised. Dracula’s ex leaves him, so he shows up to incapacitate Jonathan and rape his wife in the bed they share. It’s some real Golden State Killer horrific shit.

I am really desperate to see one more conversation between Jonathan and Dracula. I hope we get it. Tell us how you really feel.

That Mina opens her arms to her husband above only to recoil and hold herself makes me think of the sense of feeling used and dirty that one feels after assault; that your body no longer belongs to you. I think that is an angle that people could explore more in vampire fiction—as far as I know; as we all know, my vampire fiction knowledge is limited. Agency is one of my favorite themes to explore and enjoy in fiction; I’m always drawn to stories about body sharing and stuff like that. Are there vampire stories that really get into how being a vampire gives as much as it takes away?

Dracula could have had a sip of Jonathan after all of this, but he chose Mina. Dracula is acting out of a vested interest to demoralize Jonathan and let him feel helpless and disempowered, as has been his effort from the beginning. I think about that scene where Jonathan was comforted in those rooms that the vampire sisters lived in, with the mark of femininity. In a book where everyone’s been talking about how the big men have to protect the helpless woman, even the big men are helpless. Dracula makes everyone a helpless victim.

To make up for that, Jonathan flies into a rage.

With a quick movement he jumped from bed, and began to pull on his clothes,—all the man in him awake at the need for instant exertion.

Again, the manliness being called out here. Helpless for a bit there (feminine) and now active and pissed (masculine).

Jonathan tries to take off to hunt Dracula but Mina gains her senses and begs him not to go. She worries about his mental health, even while she’s the one suffering the active fallout from assault, which makes me ten years older than I was a minute ago.

Mina leans against Jonathan and gets blood all over him, then recoils in horror. She feels like she will be the one to cause him harm while trying to protect him, but Jonathan reassures her that nothing will come between them. It’s adorable. Jonathan holds her tight and when she’s calm, asks Dr. Lobotomy what happened.

I told him exactly what had happened, and he listened with seeming impassiveness; but his nostrils twitched and his eyes blazed as I told how the ruthless hands of the Count had held his wife in that terrible and horrid position, with her mouth to the open wound in his breast. It interested me, even at that moment, to see, that, whilst the face of white set passion worked convulsively over the bowed head, the hands tenderly and lovingly stroked the ruffled hair.

This reminds me of the bit from Reading the Vampire about the danger of a man moving his money around, divorcing it from its country and economy of origin. It’s kind of a nationalistic sense of property that the vampire eschews. I don’t think that Reading the Vampire got into it, and maybe it’s more of my modern view as a doomed-to-rent millennial, but I think the housing that Dracula is purchasing operates on a similar theme. Obviously housing isn’t a property he can pick up and take elsewhere with him, but when he’s established in a new home with his necromancy soil, one might see him as “infesting” London. He won’t be a stranger in a strange land, he’ll be a stranger who makes the familiar land strange, like British colonial occupiers in their many places. Like Dracula is colonizing London with the past, he is also colonizing Mina. He’s been colonizing Jonathan’s life as best he can for months.

Arthur and Quincey return from their foray. They couldn’t find Dracula, but Dracula had thrown a bunch of Dr. Lobotomy’s phonographs into the fire. Good news, Mina wrote them all out so they have duplicates. But none of that saved Renfield, who has died. RIP. Dr. Lobotomy feels like Arthur isn’t saying something, but he lets it go.

Dr. Lobotomy wasn’t there to hold Renfield as he died but, as a responsible doctor, he also didn’t really care. Typical.

Quincey reports that he saw a bat fly westward from Renfield’s window, and that the sun is rising, so they won’t need to worry about Dracula for a while.

All that in the open, they move on next to Mina. They’re done keeping stuff from her.

You must be brave and strong, and help me through the horrible task. If you only knew what an effort it is to me to tell of this fearful thing at all, you would understand how much I need your help.

Before she can really get into it she has to be like “Jonathan can you not make this about you for ten minutes please.”

She says she took the sleeping aids and still had trouble sleeping, but somehow didn’t wake when Jonathan came to bed. When she did wake, she was full of anxiety, and Jonathan was beside her but wouldn’t wake when she tried to rouse him. Dracula manifests at the foot of the bed and tells her if she wakes Jonathan, Dracula will kill him. He grabs Mina for a drink, which he tells her he has done already more than once.

I was bewildered, and, strangely enough, I did not want to hinder him. I suppose it is a part of the horrible curse that such is, when his touch is on his victim. And oh, my God, my God, pity me! He placed his reeking lips upon my throat!” Her husband groaned again. She clasped his hand harder, and looked at him pityingly, as if he were the injured one, and went on:

Of course he’s the injured one, his ex who he hates has assaulted his property! I mean, his wife.

Dracula tells her that she and everyone else will see soon what it means to cross him, he who has commanded and fought for nations for hundreds of years.

And you, their best beloved one, are now to me, flesh of my flesh; blood of my blood; kin of my kin; my bountiful wine-press for a while; and shall be later on my companion and my helper.

Damn, invoking those communion words.

Dracula declares her his thrall and to do so he opens his shirt and cuts a vein with his claw, stuffing Mina’s face into it so she’s forced to swallow or suffocate. Mina is horrified and disgusted to recall it, and “rubs her lips as though to cleanse them from pollution.”

The sun rises and they agree to keep someone around with Jonathan and Mina for extra security. “the sun rises to-day on no more miserable house”.


I scrolled down to see how much more we had and it turns out that my email didn’t even have the whole day’s content in it. Dracula Daily has never been more inconvenient than from October to November.

We switch to a diary from Jonathan who is hoping to use his diary to collect his thoughts and keep from going nuts. His faith is shaken too. Van Helsing and Dr. Lobotomy catch Mina and Jonathan up on what happened with Renfield. The attendant can’t be sure if he heard one voice or two coming from Renfield’s room. Dr. Lobotomy has to deal with the awkward position of having to write a death certificate without being able to really research or explain the cause to anyone.

They agree that they might as well keep Mina in the loop from now on. Mina isn’t sure how anything could be harder for her to endure than what she’s already been through. Mina says she’s willing to kill herself to avoid harming anyone she loves. Van Helsing tells her she can’t die until after Dracula is dead, lest undeath come for her.

You must struggle and strive to live, though death would seem a boon unspeakable. You must fight Death himself, though he come to you in pain or in joy; by the day, or the night; in safety or in peril!

This goes for all of you reading this!

Jonathan gives Mina a job to work on keeping records, which she is happy about, in the sense that a stressed person desperately needs something to do.

Van Helsing is already thinking ahead. It was probably for the best that they didn’t do anything with the dirt that they found in Carfax, or Dracula would have known what their intentions were and what they were capable of. Van Helsing says that today is the day that they sterilize his lairs and the dirt therein while Dracula is unable to transform into mist, while the sun is up. They have to be diligent and check the house in Piccadilly for any evidence of other houses that he owns, keys, etc.

then we do what our friend Arthur call, in his phrases of hunt ‘stop the earths’ and so we run down our old fox—so?

This doesn’t make any sense to me at all but I’m amused that he might be out here fucking up more idioms.

Jonathan is ready to call the cops and get them to let him into the Piccadilly house but Van Helsing tells him instead a story about a dude who went to Switzerland and while he was away a burglar broke in, sold everything in the house, and then the house, before the owner came home. His moral here is that they can get into the house legally — or at least in a way that looks legal.

There’s a little aside where Jonathan looks at Mina and says this:

She was very, very pale—almost ghastly, and so thin that her lips were drawn away, showing her teeth in somewhat of prominence. I did not mention this last, lest it should give her needless pain; but it made my blood run cold in my veins to think of what had occurred with poor Lucy when the Count had sucked her blood.

This reminds me of when he encountered the vampire sisters and couldn’t bear to admit that he got a boner. Now he’s reassuring us that he’s not looking at his wife and thinking “she looks ugly,” he’s actually just thinking about how terrible it must have been for Lucy. I ain’t buying it.

Dracula’s other boxes have been put at Bermondsey and Mile End, and Arthur says he’ll look into it. But first they’ll destroy the house in Carfax, since it’s close by. Van Helsing, Dr. Lobotomy, and Jonathan will move from Carfax to Piccadilly and stay there as Arthur and Quincey go to Walworth (wasn’t it Bermondsey?) and Mile End to destroy the safehouses there. Van Helsing imagines Dracula will show up to Piccadilly, but might be late after sleeping off his large meal.

The polycule sits for breakfast and then embark, armed with the stuff Van Helsing gave them on their first raid on Carfax. He sets Mina up with weapons too in the off chance that they don’t come back before sunset, but when he touches a communion wafer to her forehead it leaves a burn. This horrifies Mina, who is faithful. She fears she will have that mark on her head until judgement day. Van Helsing says she might have to bear the cross that long, but no longer. Reassured, Mina and Jonathan kiss his hand.

Then without a word we all knelt down together, and, all holding hands, swore to be true to each other. We men pledged ourselves to raise the veil of sorrow from the head of her whom, each in his own way, we loved; and we prayed for help and guidance in the terrible task which lay before us.

Polycule, like I said.

They leave Mina and Jonathan considers turning into a vampire with her so she won’t go alone, which is a little surprising after all he’s gone through.

At Carfax, nothing has changed, so they get to work. They open each of the remaining coffins and place a communion wafer in the dirt before closing it shut again, sanctifying it with the flesh of my main man Jeez. They leave Carfax and Jonathan spies Mina in the window. He waves, and they go to the station to catch their train to the next spot, where Jonathan has written all of this for us.

Jonathan picks the journal up from here later, at 12:30 in Piccadilly. Arthur advised everyone to stay in Green Park while he and Quincey went to fetch a locksmith, so their mischief wouldn’t seem too fishy. Jonathan and the doctors hang out and smoke cigars while Arthur and Quincey are gone.

The minutes seemed to pass with leaden feet as we waited for the coming of the others.

They arrive eventually and a policeman saunters by while they’re setting up to work on the lock. Jonathan watches from the park as the whole thing is taken care of and the locksmith leaves. The doctors and Jonathan cross the street and enter the Piccadilly house. Arthur complains about the smell.

They scour the place, understanding that it seems to be Dracula’s safehouse of choice. They find the boxes, but only eight of them when there should be nine. They do the procedure with the communion wafers on the ones that are there and then explore the house more thoroughly, as Dracula didn’t seem to be there. On the dining room table they find deeds to Dracula’s new houses and a bunch of keys. Arthur and Quincey take the keys and move on to their next task, leaving the doctor/lawyer squad at Piccadilly.


Time to shift back to Dr. Lobotomy, who says that Van Helsing is working hard to keep Jonathan in good cheer.

The poor fellow is overwhelmed in a misery that is appalling to see. Last night he was a frank, happy-looking man, with strong, youthful face, full of energy, and with dark brown hair. To-day he is a drawn, haggard old man, whose white hair matches well with the hollow burning eyes and grief-written lines of his face. His energy is still intact; in fact, he is like a living flame. This may yet be his salvation, for, if all go well, it will tide him over the despairing period; he will then, in a kind of way, wake again to the realities of life.

Van Helsing distracts by yammering about vampires. He says that Dracula himself was pretty cool while he was alive; smart, tough, and brave. He’s still intelligent, but Van Helsing compares him to a child, though he is growing in his strength and experimentation, stretching his wings to see what he can do. But after sterilizing the boxes of dirt, he has nowhere to go.

A telegram arrives at the door from Mina, who reports that at 12:45, Dracula left Carfax and departed south.

I really have to make a map but these posts are so long and I’m so very tired.

Half an hour later they get another knock and let in Arthur and Quincey. They report that both houses had six boxes each, which they destroyed. They arm up for a dramatic encounter.

Nota bene, in Madam’s telegram he went south from Carfax, that means he went to cross the river, and he could only do so at slack of tide, which should be something before one o’clock. That he went south has a meaning for us. He is as yet only suspicious; and he went from Carfax first to the place where he would suspect interference least. You must have been at Bermondsey only a short time before him. That he is not here already shows that he went to Mile End next.

I really feel like I’d get so much more out of this if I knew London at all.

They hear a key in the lock.

In all our hunting parties and adventures in different parts of the world, Quincey Morris had always been the one to arrange the plan of action, and Arthur and I had been accustomed to obey him implicitly. Now, the old habit seemed to be renewed instinctively. With a swift glance around the room, he at once laid out our plan of attack, and, without speaking a word, with a gesture, placed us each in position. Van Helsing, Harker, and I were just behind the door, so that when it was opened the Professor could guard it whilst we two stepped between the incomer and the door. Godalming behind and Quincey in front stood just out of sight ready to move in front of the window.

I’m charmed that Quincey is usually the ringleader of these events, but he has clearly just totally, confidently, let Van Helsing lead on this stuff from the beginning. Evidence of a man who isn’t insecure at all.

Dracula steps into the house slowly and then leaps into the room to catch them from behind. Jonathan leaps in front of him before he can barrel through the door on the other side, and everyone closes in on him. In this scene he is compared to a panther and a lion: predators. Jonathan cuts a hole in his coat which throws a bunch of Dracula’s money onto the floor, which he grabs before running and leaping out of a window.

Through the sound of the shivering glass I could hear the “ting” of the gold, as some of the sovereigns fell on the flagging.

I don’t get to enjoy many onomatopoeia in prose, so I just want to stop and savor this one.

Dracula runs through the yard to the stable that the house shares a backyard with. He pulls a door open and turns to yell back at his assailants; our heroes. He admits that he’s lost his resting places, but that he has more. He will get his revenge over centuries. All of the girls they love already belong to him, and soon they themselves will be too. He slips through the barn and locks the door behind him. Apparently Quincey, Arthur, and Jonathan run after him and arrive too late.

Van Helsing is heartened at the revelation that Dracula fears them. They are his hunters now, whether he’s a predator or not. Van Helsing wants Piccadilly to be useless to him, so he takes Dracula’s money and deeds, and throws the rest into the fireplace, which he lights himself.


The boys regroup and are discouraged; they didn’t kill Dracula today, but the sun is going to set and Mina needs them. Mina welcomes them back to the sanitarium and they eat supper.

We had a sort of perfunctory supper together, and I think it cheered us all up somewhat. It was, perhaps, the mere animal heat of food to hungry people—for none of us had eaten anything since breakfast—or the sense of companionship may have helped us; but anyhow we were all less miserable, and saw the morrow as not altogether without hope.

I too cheer up when I eat food.

They tell Mina the whole story of what happened. When they’re done she stands and reminds them of Lucy’s undead self, totally divorced from her true self. She says that Dracula too probably lives under the same shadow. His true self is helpless and overshadowed and needs to be released out of love and mercy from the grips of his undead self. Jonathan says he would rather send him to hell, but Mina scolds him. If she must turn into a vampire herself, she wants to be killed out of love and mercy. The monologue makes everybody cry.

Van Helsing decks out their room for their safety (presumably garlic and crucifixes) so the Harkers can sleep easily. He also gives them a bell to ring in case of an emergency. The others decide to sleep in shifts so they can be on alert.

Oh my god we’re almost done this long ass day.


Jonathan writes again close to midnight. He’s distracted by wondering where the last box is. He goes on about how great Mina is again.

We are all drifting reefwards now, and faith is our only anchor.

Jonathan writes again after falling asleep. Mina was startled, saying someone is in the corridor. Jonathan went out to see and found Quincey chilling on a mattress in the hall. And this is how they discover the bachelors are standing guard.


Jonathan says he’s not sleepy but I am! Goodnight my fellow pervs.

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