New blog…

Killing the Dead is moving! This will be the last post.

Please join me at my new blog, “The Vampire Historian.”


Not exactly a vampire…

So, this semester I’m working on something a little different. He’s not a vampire, per se, but he is a legendary person that is very hard to kill.

My topic this semester is the Mad Monk, Grigory Rasputin.

I’ll be giving a lecture in April on the conspiracies surrounding his murder, especially some of the newer theories about what actually killed him and who planned it.

So, even though Rasputin isn’t a vampire, he was seen as someone who was dead, and then killed again, at least in legend.

Stay tuned for more…


Dracula Conference


Here is the website of the coordinator, for anyone that might be interested –

October Updates

This has been a very busy semester. I am travelling quite a bit, although always within Texas. Last week I gave the first in my busy schedule of Dracula related talks for this month. We have a few English classes at the college that are reading Frankenstein  and Dracula  this semester, and I am speaking to all 4 classes twice as they work through the books.

So, last week, I spoke to two of the classes as they finished Frankenstein and prepare to begin Dracula. I talked about the summer at Geneva and a general overview of the literature from Frankenstein to Dracula, focusing on Polidori’s The Vampyre; Varney the Vampire; and Le Fanu’s Carmilla. I then briefly touched on Stoker, since these particular classes haven’t actually started the book yet.

Tomorrow (Monday), I will speak to the other two classes. They have finished Frankenstein, and are beginning Dracula, as well. But, for these classes, I will focus more on the historical context for Dracula, although much of it will be the same.

On Wednesday, I will do the first of the public lectures, The Real Dracula: Separating Vlad the Impaler from the Fictional Count. It will be repeated the next week on a different campus. This lecture will focus on Vlad the Impaler’s life, and what it Stoker actually knew about it, which is not much. I’ll also talk about the various films that have meshed the two together, including the newest one, Dracula: Untold.

I’ll also be Skyping into a Dracula party that our honors society is having this Friday, and I’ll be talking to them for a little while about Dracula on film. I’ll expand on that again later in October and in November when I revisit the 4 English classes towards the end of their Dracula readings.

And, that’s about it, except that I think I will start working on a sequel to my article for the Vampire Edition of IndieJudge. There have been a few more Draculas on screen since then.


Fall Lecture

The past year or two have seen the resurgence of Dracula on the screen, both big and small. We’ve had Argento’s Dracula, which made me feel bad for Rutger HauerNBC’s attempted reboot of the Dracula story, which had some merits; a horrible Romanian production distributed by Lionsgate called Dracula: the Dark Prince, which may have killed John Voight’s career, and almost seems like an Asylum attempt to come straight to video before this fall’s big movie, Dracula: Untold. These three outings weren’t readily available when I wrote my article for IndieJudge last October.

This last movie, the big budget Dracula: Untold, starring Luke Evans of the Hobbit  moviesis another attempt of matching Vlad the Impaler with the vampire Dracula. Coppola’s film was one of the first mainstream films of the last 30 years to do this, and it has caught on in several other versions. Dan Curtis’ 1973 television adaptation of Dracula starring Jack Palance also made the connection, as did a few other films in the early 1970s. Even in the USA Network Movie The Dark Prince, which is really a bio-pic of Vlad, he still becomes a vampire at the end.  I’m sure that Dracula: Untold will probably be a good film for what it is: total fiction.

This has led me to plan my next set of lectures for this fall, that will happen the week of the movie’s release here in Texas. It’s titled: The Real Dracula: Separating Vlad the Impaler from the Fictional Count. I will be describing the life of Vlad Tepes, as well as the fictional character of Count Dracula. We have some English classes here this fall that will be studying Stoker’s book, so this will tie in nicely.


This is the fourth distinct vampire-related lecture that I have put together since 2010, although I have given them several times. The other lectures are:

From Vlad the Impaler to Edward Cullen: Origins of the 21st Century Vampire in Myth, Literature, Television, and Film.

Vampires in 19th Century British Literature.

Killing the Dead: Burial Practices in Eastern Europe from the 1500s to Today

NBC’s “Dracula”

So, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything at all here. My time kind of shifts between fields of study. As I’m preparing for another lecture in February, this will begin another time of vampire study. But, for now, I plan to write something about NBC’s “Dracula” series once the season finale has aired this Friday. If nothing else, it is an interesting twist on the story.

Why We (Heart) Vampires!

Why We (Heart) Vampires!

Apparently, NBC News will be airing a one-hour special title “Why We (Heart) Vampires” tonight at 8pm ET/7pm CT. You can read a description at the link above.