Vampire conference led by Hatfield-based University of Hertfordshire academic includes visit to Bram Stoker’s ashes

A SYMPOSIUM on vampires, organised by a University of Hertfordshire academic, took in a visit to Bram Stoker’s ashes – 100 years after the author’s death.

It was a case of ‘fangs for the memories’, as Dr Sam George, who lead the Open Graves, Open Minds: Vampires and the Undead in Modern Culture research project at the Hatfield-based uni, was joined at Golders Green Crematorium on April 20, by the Dracula author’s great grandnephew Dacre Stoker.

There were speeches and toasts to mark 100 years since Bram Stoker’s death, and discussions on vampires past and present in literature and popular culture.

There was also a visit to Keats House in Hampstead.

Speaking about the event, Dr George, a literary lecturer, said: “It was an inspirational two days, full of ideas, enthusiastic conversation, fantastic food and drink, and lovely people in a perfect setting.

“The Stoker symposium was a thing of beauty.

“Many tributes were paid to Bram, and Dracula was established as the undisputed king of vampires holding out against the sweetie vampires of Twilight and putting British and Irish vampire fiction back on the map through the work of Kim Newman, Paul Magrs and Marcus Sedgwick.”

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She added: “Dracula is the most filmed literary character ever.

“The celluloid Dracula is now the most familiar and we are in a unique position of revising or re-introducing the Dracula of the novel, but it was Dracula in all his various manifestations that we were celebrating.

“For as Van Helsing says ‘he is known everywhere that man has been’, ‘he lives on and cannot die by the mere passing of time’.”