Thursday, August 20, 2015

Dracula: Horror at Sea

By Artist: George A. Traver, (1864-1928) Engraver: F. A. Pettit [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
USS Enterprise

The above image is the USS Enterprise (not the one from Star Trek), which is a schooner similar to the schooner Demeter, the ship which carried Dracula into England. The imagery in the book as the newspaper correspondent describes the mysterious ship outside the harbor in full sail during a violent storm, which no one on shore imagined the ship could endure, is really creepy! Then a thick foggy mist blows into the harbor only lifting after the ship miraculously makes its way to safety within the narrow treacherous harbor. Slick one, Stoker! 

After the ship runs aground, the storm abates and when the coast guard seems shocked after boarding the ship, everyone runs to find out what's so shocking. The correspondent is allowed to board the ship with a few others and describes the corpse of the ship's captain bound by his hands to the wheel, the cords cutting right to the bone, a crucifix wound around his hands.

Apparently, the captain learned that he could ward off the scary stowaway with a crucifix, or maybe he just assumed or hoped it would. After reading his notes kept in the bottle tied around his neck about the evil monster on board that killed his entire crew, the townspeople still assumed the captain had gone mad and made the whole story up, just as the captain had thought about his terrified mate.

No one suspected the large dog that bounded from the ship could be the monster in disguise. No one suspected that the dog had done the killing. They all searched the town for it in hopes of adopting it as a pet! Nice doggy!

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