Raymond Rudorff – The Dracula Archives
Posted by demonik on August 5, 2007
Raymond Rudorff – The Dracula Archives ( Sphere, 1973)
“Non-fiction”? Well, according to the Pocket edition (also 1973) it is.
The novel – a prequel to Dracula – begins with The Last Confession of Franz Von Langenfels, September 1876. Three hedonistic students – Karl, Reinhold and Franz himself – spend the night in the ruins of the reputedly haunted Castle Cjesthe, once home to Countess Bathory. After a brief history of her life and crimes, Reinhold gives them a guided tour of her torture chamber, at the foot of which they discover a secret room containing a stone sarcophagus. The trio are stupid enough to loot the tomb whereupon supernatural vengeance takes a hand. Karl is crushed and spiked inside an iron maiden while Franz flees, still wearing the Countess’s ring which proves impossible to remove. Elizabeth pursues him to his doom. “I know our intrusion into the vaults of the castle and our ghastly violation of the secrets of the tomb have released her monstrous spirit from its confinement.” A cutting from a local newspaper, dated September 24th, tells of his subsequent suicide.