In 1462, Vlad Dracula, a member of the Order of the Dragon, returns from a victory against the Turks to find his wife, Elisabeta, has committed suicide after receiving a false report of his death. The priest proceeds to tell him that his wife’s soul is condemned for committing suicide. Enraged, Dracula desecrates the chapel and renounces his faith, declaring that he will rise from the grave to avenge Elisabeta with all the powers of darkness. He then stabs the chapel’s stone cross with his sword and drinks the blood that pours out of it.
In 1897, newly qualified solicitor Jonathan Harker takes the Transylvanian Count Dracula as a client from his colleague Renfield, who has gone insane. Jonathan travels to Transylvania to arrange Dracula’s real estate acquisitions in London, including Carfax Abbey. Jonathan meets Dracula, who discovers a picture of Harker’s fiancée, Mina and believes that she is the reincarnation of Elisabeta. Dracula leaves Jonathan to be attacked and fed upon by his brides, while he sails to England with boxes of his native Transylvanian soil, taking up residence at Carfax Abbey. His arrival is foretold by the ravings of Renfield, now an inmate in Dr. Jack Seward’s insane asylum.
In London, Dracula emerges as a wolf-like creature amid a fierce thunderstorm and hypnotically seduces, then rapes and bites Lucy Westenra, with whom Mina is staying while Jonathan is in Transylvania. Lucy’s deteriorating health and behavioral changes prompt her former suitors Quincey Morris and Dr. Seward, along with her fiancé, Arthur Holmwood, to summon Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, who recognizes Lucy as the victim of a vampire. Dracula, appearing young and handsome during daylight, meets and charms Mina. When Mina receives word from Jonathan, who has escaped the castle and recovered at a convent, she travels to Romania to marry him. In his fury, Dracula transforms Lucy into a vampire. Van Helsing, Holmwood, Seward and Morris kill the now undead Lucy the following night.