The Bram Stoker novel Dracula is perhaps the best known work of vampire literature. It inspired a lot of today's vampire stories, even modern pulp action movies like Van Helsing. But Dracula also drew a lot from real life, such as real people for the characters. Even many of the places it was set in are real places. Let's look at the major settings of this famous story.
This area in the Carpathian mountains that Jonathan Harker passed through is portrayed as a dark, foreboding place, full of cliffs, dark forests and wild animals. An article about it, The Land Beyond the Forest by Emily Gerard, paints this picture of a strange and wild land. Today, it is a more populated area, with modern roads, although much of the forest and mountains remain. But it continues to be a place that arouses much interest and imagination, simply for being a mist-shrouded area of danger and mystery.
Until today, many people are wondering what the real Castle Dracula was. Today, Castle Bran in Romania (pictured) is being marketed as such, but it was only visited once by the suspected inspiration for Dracula, Vlad the Impaler. The closest to a real Castle Dracula is the nearly ruined Poenari Castle in Romania, where Vlad actually lived. However, it is likely that there is no Castle Dracula. Stoker just made up a fictitious castle perched on a crag somewhere in the Carpathians. A forbidding place that only gypsies or creatures of the night dared go near. Modern renditions of the castle may be fashioned according to the artist's imagination.
Whitby is a harbor town in the county of North Yorkshire. This is where Dracula first landed in England after the Demeter ran aground. This is based on a real account, wherein a ship called the Dmitry ran aground in 1890. The general atmosphere of the town, the cliffs, and the unique ruins of the Abbey provide great scenery for vampire stories.
Compared to the other places in the novel, Piccadilly Circus is a busy part of London, ablaze with life. Even the Beatles sang about it recently. But this highlights an important problem of the story: Dracula has reached civilization and endangers the people of London and later all of humanity. The vampire had actually taken up residence in a home near the circus. see more on Piccadilly Circus