A man collects a bottle at a shop and walks down the street at night, and sees someone following him. He bumps into a pedestrian and drops his bottle, and blood spills out. The man continues running and finally comes to a door. He pounds on it and Arthur opens it. Arthur greets his friend Bram Stoker and Arthur ushers him inside. As he pours drinks, Arthur points out that Bram has claimed other men have threatened him in the last week. He figures that Bram is nervous with the upcoming release of his book, but Bram doesn't believe it.
A few drinks later, Arthur takes Bram home. They find the maid Glynnis Conway dead on the floor, a wooden stake in her chest.
The next day, Arthur brings Adelaide and Harry to meet with Bram. Harry is impressed with Bram's writing. He admits that he's a big fan, but Bram isn't impressed. Arthur explains that they've been friends since childhood and distant cousins. Adelaide gets down to business and Bram confirms that the last time he saw Glynnis alive was 24 hours ago. He met with his publisher and then ran a few errands, but refuses to say what errands. Bram suggests that she find the man who followed him, and Bram says that he encountered once before in his study. The man said that he was a protector of the innocent and complains that Dracula has glorified evil. He threatened to kill Bram unless he stops the publication of his next book, and then walked out.
Bram dismisses the man as an obsessed fan, and admits that he underestimated his appeal to those on the fringe. He didn't call the police for fear of giving them attention. They go to Bram's house and Arthur asks his friends to employ the utmost discretion with the case. He explains that Bram isn't fond of any form of touching, and Adelaide points out that Bram is wearing makeup. Arthur and Harry both believe Bram's story, and Harry sympathizes with an artist pursued by fans. Adelaide admits that she considers Bram a suspect, and Arthur insists that his friend is incapable of such a crime. He figures that they should ask the publisher to hold up the publication of the book to keep his friend safe, and Harry tells Bram that he's coming with him.
At the Metropole, Bram takes a suite under the name "Hollister." He insists on taking his meals in his room and has no interest in socializing with Harry. Arthur has hired a bodyguard, Pumley, and made it clear the man wasn't to talk to Bram or enter unless invited. Bram assures his friend that will never happen and goes into the next room.
Harry goes to his suite and Cecelia asks if Bram checked in. She wonders why Bram is there, and explains that when she read Dracula it stirred memories of the "strigoi"--the undead--on the edge of her village when she lived in Hungary. Cecilia admits that it's old world superstition and tells Harry to go.
At Bram's house, the trio search the place. Arthur and Harry point out that Adelaide was curt earlier and wondered if something was troubling her. Adelaide shows them the threatening note and admits that it may have come from the same anarchists that may have killed Benjamin. She refuses to hire a bodyguard and says that no fingerprints were found on the murder weapon. Neighbors saw nothing, but have heard large arguments in the house. Adelaide found a letter Glynnis was writing to a friend, complaining that Bram has gone hostile. Glynnis called Bram a "bloodless freak of a man", and Adelaide points out that Bram showed up at Arthur's house at the perfect time to establish an alibi. Arthur refuses to consider it and goes to meet with a professor Bram referred him to who has made a study of vampire cults.
Arthur meets with Professor Esmer Havensglin, who says that vampire cults had died out in the Industrial Age until Dracula gave them a fresh start. Esmer confirms that "protector of the innocent" is a term the vampire hunters often call themselves. Mentally ill people became vampires, and self-righteous zealots hunt them. Both groups have disrupted his lectures, and some of the "vampires" drink blood. Esmer suggests that Arthur search Southwood Cemetery where the would-be vampires lurk and sleep in coffins. He warns that the cults don't take lightly to the outside world interfering in their war.
Adelaide finds Harry going through Bram's records. Bram went to every cricket match that Arthur played in and took notes from starts to finish. There's a photo of the two of them together, and Adelaide points out that it's at a place that Benjamin took her before they were married. He taught her to fish at Lake Como near Milan in 1894, and then proposed to her in the pouring rain. Adelaide stares at the photo for a moment, and then shows Harry Bram's ledger. He was paying Glynnis an exorbitant amount on a weekly basis. The phone rings and Adelaide answers it.
That night at Southwood, the trio searches for the vampire cult and Adelaide tells Arthur their theory that Glynnis was blackmailing Arthur over an affair. Arthur insists that it's a wild goose chase, and suggests that vampires are a result of evolution. Three people emerge from the fog and warn that the trio are trespassing in their home. Harry dismisses them as frauds, and Arthur assures them that they mean them no harm. When Arthur describes the man that confronted Bram, the vampires' leader Xxx claims that they know nothing about him. Harry doesn't believe him, and Xxx insists that only they know how to protect their own. The vampires disappear into the mist and Arthur wonders what they meant by calling Bram "their own."
At the Metropole, Bram is working in his suite and notices the makeup on his nose peeling away. As he reapplies his makeup, the candle blows out.
In Harry's suite, Cecelia hears something at the window and goes to investigate. She sees Bram walking away from the Metropole and he glances up at the window. Cecelia ducks back and when she looks out again, Bram is gone. Harry comes in and his mother tells him that Bram has left the Metropole. They go to Bram's door and Pumley says that Bram didn't leave past him. They go inside and find Bram there. He says that he didn't go out, and insists that he's trying to work.
At home, Adelaide is going over the clippings that she's gathered on the anarchists. She finds a page of her husband's journal referring to Lake Como in 1894, and realizes that it's the same time as a bombing in Milan.
Back in their suite, Cecelia insists to Harry that she's sure it was Bram. She complains that the hotel gets quiet and she thinks about salt-water taffy and Coney Island. Harry realizes that she's homesick, and he suggests that she go back to the States and see the family. Cecelia insists on staying with him.
Arthur is in his study reading when the candle blows out. When he relights it, Arthur sees one of the vampires in the room. The vampire, Liliana, says that the others would be angry if they knew she was speaking to him. Liliana tells Arthur that the man he described is a vampire hunter, Lachlan McBride. She says that the police must find Lachlan before her fellow vampires do, and starts to go. Arthur wonders why Liliana is helping him, and Liliana explains that Lachlan broke their secrecy by killing Glynnis. Therefore the human authorities should deal with him. The candle blows out again and by the time Arthur relights it, Liliana is gone.
The next day, Adelaide and Harry question Bram about any debts that Glynnis had. He realizes that they searched his private records, just as Arthur comes in. They figure that Glynnis was blackmailing Bram, and Bram finally admits that Glynnis discovered something private about him. She threatened to expose it to the public unless he paid her to remain silent. Bram refuses to tell Arthur in private, but insists that it has nothing to do with Glynnis' murder. They leave and Arthur tells his friends about Liliana's visit. Adelaide goes to track down Lachlan's address.
As Adelaide and Arthur leave, Harry notices Cecelia upstairs on the staircase and goes with her to their suite. She explains that she had a dream that Harry left her forever. Harry figures that she's spooked and suggests that they both go home, and promises that he's not ever leaving her.
That night, figures move past Adelaide's window and there's a knock at her door. Harry and Arthur are there, and they point out that they have Lachlan's address instead of her. They wonder why she's there, and notice her wall of clippings. Adelaide explains that the anarchist group was involved in assassinations around the world. One occurred near when she and Benjamin were at Lake Como. Harry pockets a copy of Adventures of Tom Sawyer since Twain is one of his favorite authors, and promises to return it when Adelaide says it was Benjamin's favorite book. She then says that on the same date as all seven anarchist assassinations, Benjamin was within 50 miles of the event. Adelaide figures that Benjamin was working as a government agent trying to stop the assassinations, but Harry points out that Benjamin failed to stop any of them. She doesn't believe that Benjamin would deceive her, but Harry doesn't believe it.
The trio goes to Lachlan's address and find vampire-hunting equipment. Lachlan is in the next room, dead... two gaping puncture wounds in his neck. As the undertakers take Lachlan's body away, Gudgett arrives and confirms out that the doors and windows are locked from the inside. Adelaide figures that Lachlan knew the murderer and let him in. Arthur points out that Bram has been under guard for two days, just as an officer delivers a note from Pumley. The trio returns to the Metropole and Pumley says that Bram has vanished. There's an open window, and Harry says that he knows where to start looking.
Harry leads Adelaide and Arthur to the street that Cecelia saw Bram turn down the other night. Arthur admits that he doesn't know Bram as well as he thought, and they spot a broken window at a butcher shop. Inside is Bram, drinking a bowl of blood through pointed teeth.
The next day in a cell at the Yard, Bram tells the trio that he didn't kill anyone. He explains that he has a condition that makes him anemic, and drinking cow's blood gives him some relief. After his enforced stay at the Metropole, he went to the butcher's shop for blood. As for his teeth, Bram admits that he's always had bad teeth and he hides them by not smiling. He tells Arthur that he has many peculiarities, but being a vampire isn't one of them. Bram goes to the sunlight shining through the window and admits that he is sensitive to sunlight but it doesn't kill him. He says that it was easy to breathe life into Dracula given his personal experience.
Upstairs, Arthur admits that he's missed the signs of Bram's illness. Adelaide figures that's what Glynnis was blackmailing Bram over.
In his cell, Bram sits alone while mist drifts in through the window.
The trio goes to Merring and Arthur suggests that Lachlan killed Glynnis and then the vampires killed Lachlan in revenge. Adelaide points out that Bram still has a motive for killing Glynnis and Lachlan, and no alibi. Arthur says that Bram is no murderer, just as Gudgett comes in and tells them that Bram has escaped. They examine the cell and Harry says that he broke out of the same type of cell two years ago. The guard claims to have dozed off and saw nothing, and Gudgett suggests that they join the search. Arthur asks Harry if Bram could have done what Harry did without assistance. Harry admits that it's impossible, and Arthur suggests that they search Southwood.
That night, the trio arrives at Southwood and Harry suggests that they split up to cover more ground. Arthur refuses, but Adelaide points out that Bram's life may be in danger. The writer reluctantly agrees and they split up. Harry finds a decapitated woman on the ground, and someone knocks him unconscious with a shovel.
Arthur hears Bram yelling from a mausoleum and pushes open the door. Bram staggers out and explains that a woman took him from the jail, and claimed to be a vampire. She then brought Bram to Southwood and sealed him in, and then left after saying that the other vampires had fled London after they heard that Lachlan was killed. Something approaches in the mist, and Arthur has Bram hide in the mausoleum. Arthur and Adelaide discover that the new arrivals is Esmer, who says that he's there to kill Bram. He tells them that he's a vampire hunter, but says that Lachlan killed Glynnis. Lachlan was an overzealous follower who disgraced himself by killing a human. Esmer killed Lachlan and made it look like a vampire killing, and now he's going to kill Bram to stop him from recruiting more vampires. If they don't tell him where Bram is, he won't tell them where Harry is.
Harry wakes up inside of a buried coffin. He calls for help, but no one hears him.
Esmer explains that Harry is buried in one of the graves. Bram runs for it and Esmer goes after him. Arthur tells Adelaide to look for fresh soil and then chases after Esmer. Adelaide searches among the tombstones and hears Harry manage a whistle. He does so again and she follows the sound.
Esmer chases Bram into a nearby crematorium, and Arthur follows them both inside.
With his air running out, Harry uses his money clip to pry apart the boards.
Esmer grabs Arthur from behind and puts a knife to his throat, and calls Bram out.
Harry priest the coffin lid open and dirt pours in.
Arthur tells Bram to save himself and then elbows Esmer in the gut. They struggle for the knife and Bram runs over, shoving Arthur away. Arthur hits his head on a pipe, knocking himself unconscious.
Adelaide finds the fresh grave and digs with her bare hands.
Bram and Esmer struggle, and Esmer tries to throw Bram into the crematorium furnace. When Arthur wakes up, he sees someone burning in the furnace. Adelaide calls to Arthur, and he runs to help her. Together they dig and Harry finally pulls himself out. As Arthur explains that Bram and Esmer fell into the furnace together, Bram staggers out and says that he fell to the side and was knocked out.
Later at Bram's home, Arthur realizes that "Van Helsing" is an anagram of Havensglin. Bram admits that he chose it as a homage to Esmer, and Arthur asks him to inscribe a copy of Dracula to him. Bram does so, and Arthur says that Bram will lose his mind by he will live on through his books. He suggests that they each embrace the albatross around their necks, and Bram assures him that most people are forgetful. Bram gives the book to Arthur, who sees that his friend has inscribed it, "Forever, Bram Stoker."
Harry walks Adelaide home, and she says that she found Benjamin sent a telegram to a hardware store owner in Buffalo, NY. The gate to her home is open, and they go in to discover that someone has torn the place apart in their search. Benjamin's things are gone, and Harry says that they're going to Buffalo after he takes Cecelia home,
The next day at the Metropole, Harry finds Cecelia apparently asleep on the couch. However, when he takes her hand, he realizes that she's dead.
Written by Gadfly on May 3, 2016