Dracula (radio drama)
"Dracula" is an episode of the American radio drama anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air. It was performed as an episode of the series on Monday, July 11, 1938, and aired over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network. Directed and narrated by actor and future filmmaker Orson Welles, the episode was an adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel Dracula (1897).
- Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Arthur Seward. I am here tonight to bear witness to the truth of certain events which you may find it hard to believe, but I ask you to believe them. I have here certain documents, telegrams, clippings from the press of the day, memoranda and letters in various hands. All needless matters have been eliminated. Through the history almost at variance with the possibilities of contemporary belief, they stand forth as simple fact. I present you, first, with excerpts from the private journal of Jonathan Harker.
- Ladies and gentlemen, This is Dr. Seward. Mr. Harker's journal terminates at this point. I now present into evidence a clipping dated August 8th of that year from the Yorkshire Telegraph from my correspondence in Whitby. One of the greatest and sudden of storms on record was experienced here today. The weather has been somewhat sultry, but Saturday evening was fine, the band was playing, the piers were crowded with holiday-makers. The winds went away entirely in the evening, and there was a dead calm. There were but few lights at sea. The only sail noticeable was a foreign schooner, under full canvas, that was seemingly going westward. A little after midnight came a strange sound from over the sea, and high overhead the air began to carry a strange, faint, hollow booming. Then, without warning, the tempest broke. And there, with all sails set, was the foreign schooner rushing with terrific speed toward the shore. A searchlight was turned on her, and there lashed to the helm was a corpse, with drooping head which swayed horribly to-and-fro at each motion of the ship. A moment later, she crashed. Then a strange thing was seen. At the very instant she touched, a huge dog sprang up on deck from below, and running forward, jumped from the bow onto the sand and making straight up the east cliff toward the graveyard, vanished into the night. The coast guard going abroad at dawn found the dead man fastened to a spoke of the wheel, tightly clutched in one hand was a crucifix. The man must have been dead for quite two days. In the pocket of the dead man's coat was found a bottle, carefully corked, containing a roll of paper. This proved to be an addendum to the ship's log. There was found on board only a small amount of cargo and that of a most unusual nature. Apparently the ship carried nothing but earth, common earth, packed away in wooden boxes – shaped much like coffins.
- Ladies and gentlemen, I shall now explain that six months before the events recorded here, I had become engaged to a young lady, Lucy Westenra. We were to be married in the Spring. My old teacher, Professor Van Helsing, arrived at four the next afternoon. I took him at once to Lucy's house. She lay in her bed, asleep. She was ghastly, chalky pale. The red had seem to have gone even from her lips and gums. And the bones of her face stood out.
- Ladies and gentlemen, all the evidence in this case is now before you. I've added nothing. And to the best of my knowledge, I have omitted nothing that might help to throw light upon the extraordinary events of the year 1891, which culminated on that terrible evening in the Borgo Pass. There remains only this one last report.
- I, Jonathan Harker, lawyers clerk, articles to Peter Hawkins, Esquire of Exeter, England, am writing this journal in the hope that if misfortune overtakes me, it may one day come to the eyes of those who love me. I set out from London on the last day of April to visit one of our clients in Eastern Europe. On May the 3rd, I arrived in Budapest and came after nightfall to Klausenburgh on the border of Transylvania. At Bistritz, there was a letter of welcome for me from our client informing me that his carriage would await me at the Borgo Pass. It was signed: "Dracula".
- This castle is on the very edge of a terrible precipice. A stone falling from the window would fall a thousand feet without touching anything. I explored. There are doors, doors, doors everywhere! All of them locked. The door to the great hall, the door to the courtyard, every door in the castle is closed, bolted against me! Castle Dracula is a prison, and I am a prisoner.
- Morning, June the 30th. These may be the last words I ever write in this diary. God preserve my sanity! I have never seen Count Dracula by day. At sunrise, at the first cock-crow, he is gone. I...I don't understand these things. I only know that the wolves are baying and that he is a man with hair on the palms of his hands, with sharp teeth and no blood on his face. He casts no shadow. He cannot be seen in a glass. And he moves like a bat across the shear face of the castle walls. He eats no food, and is mortally afraid of the crucifix. As I write this, I hear in the courtyard the rolling of heavy wheels and the cracking of whips. And there is in the passageway below a pound of heavy boxes being set down, boxes shaped like coffins, and I know what they hold. The boxes are filled with holy earth from the chapel beneath the castle. The last box being nailed down. And now I hear the heavy feet tramping again. The door is shut, and the chains rattle. In the courtyard and down the rocky way, the roll of heavy wheels, the cracks of whips. Help! Help! Help!! The wagons have gone. I'm alone in the castle. I'm alone in the castle. I'm alone in the castle! I'm alone! I'm alone! I'm alone!!
- August 4th. I am all alone on my ship – and still the fog. I dared not go below. I dared not leave the helm. So here, all night, I stayed. And in the dimness of the night, I saw it. I saw him! God forgive me, but the mate was right to jump overboard! It was better to die like a sailor in the blue water. But I am captain and I must not leave my ship. I shall tie my hands to the wheel – when my strength begins to fail – and along with them, I shall tie that which it dare not touch – my crucifix! I am growing weaker, and the night is coming on. God and the Blessed Virgin help a poor, ignorant soul trying to do his duty.
- [to Lucy] You shall be flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood...
- [to Mina] You shall be flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood...blood of my blood...
- You waste your bullets, gentlemen. You think you baffle me. You with your pale faces all in a row like sheep in a butcher's. You think you have left me without a place to rest, but I have more. And time is on my side. The one you love is mine already. I have known her. Already my mark is on her throat. Flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood. She is with me always, over land or sea!
Professor Van Helsing
- My friends, there are such things as vampires. Had I known at first what now I know...one so precious a life would have been spared for the many of us who loved her. The vampire which is amongst us is of himself so strong that he can direct all the elements – the storm, the fog, the thunder – he can command all the meaner things, the moth and bat, the owl, the fox, and the wolf. How then are we to begin our stride to destroy him? How shall we find his place? And having found it, how can we destroy? My friends, it is a terrible task that we undertake. To fail here is not mere life or death. If we fail, we become as him – foul things of the night. As him.
- My friends, we, too, are not without strength. The vampire flourishes on the blood of the living. Without this, he cannot live. He throws no shadow. He makes no reflection in a mirror. He can transform himself to a wolf, to a bat. He can come on moonlight rays as elemental dust. He can see in the dark. He can do all these things...yet he is not free. His power ceases at the coming of the day. Then, until night, he must remain in the shape in which he finds himself and, except in his coffin home – in those earth boxes – he cannot rest. When we can confine him in his coffin, then, my friends, if we obey what we know, we will destroy him!
- When Mina Harker seized the stake and hammer from her husband, I believe she was under some form of hypnosis. She herself remembers nothing, but whatever influence was at work on her, she must at the last moment have rejected it. For at the exact instant the sun disappeared, it was Mina Harker who drove the stake through the heart of the thing that called itself Dracula. At that same instant, even as we looked, the wound on the side of her throat was no more. As for Dracula, before the screams of the creature had died from our ears, the whole body crumbled into dust and passed from our sight. In that final moment of dissolution, there was in the face a look of peace such as I never could have imagined, might have rested there.
- October 2nd. Soon after they left, I fell asleep. I remember hearing the sudden barking of the dogs – and then they were silent. I got up and looked out of the window. There was a thin streak of white mist moving across the grass along the wall of the house. It dawned on me that the air in the room was heavy and dank and cold. The gaslight came only like a tiny red spark through the fog. I could see through my eyelids! The mist grew thicker and thicker. Then, as I looked, the spark divided and seemed to shine on me through the fog like two red eyes.
- Arthur Seward: [narrating] September 12th. Late. Only resolution and habit can let me make an entry tonight. We found her sprawled on the floor, and there was a draft in the room from the broken window. The throat was bare, showing the two wounds, looking horribly white and mangled.
- Professor Van Helsing: We are too late, my friend. We have failed. God's will be done.
- Seward: She is dying?
- Van Helsing: Yes, she is dying. Stay beside her. It will make much difference, mark me, whether she dies conscious or in her sleep.
- Seward: [narrating] It was late in the afternoon before she opened her eyes.
- Lucy Westenra: Arthur! Oh, my love, I'm so glad you've come.
- Seward: [narrating] I took her hand and knelt beside her. Her breath came and went like a tired, peaceful child. And then the light from the setting sun fell on her face and then, insensibly, a strange change came over her. Her eyes grew suddenly dull and hard – her breathing was heavy – her mouth opened and the pale gums drawn back, made the teeth look large and sharp!
- Lucy: Arthur... Ah, my love, I'm so glad you've come. Kiss me. Bend down and kiss me...
- Van Helsing: [approaching] Run for your life! Run for your living soul and hers!
- [Lucy screeches]
- Seward: Lucy!
- Van Helsing: She's dead!
- Seward: Poor girl. She's peaceful at last. The end.
- Van Helsing: Not so! It is only the beginning. Wait and see!