Jonathan Harker arrives at the castle of
Count Dracula near Klausenberg, posing as a librarian. He is
startled inside the castle by a young woman begging for help,
claiming to be a prisoner. Dracula then greets Harker and
guides him to his room, where he locks him in. Jonathan starts
to write in his diary, and his true intentions are revealed:
he has come to kill Dracula.
John Van Eyssen as Jonathan Harker. Freed
sometime later, Harker again is confronted by the desperate woman.
She begs him for help but then bites his neck. Just as she
does, Dracula arrives and yanks her away.
When he awakens in
daylight, Harker finds the bite mark. He hides his journal in
a Virgin Mary grotto outside the castle and descends into the
crypts, where he finds Dracula and the unnamed woman in their
coffins. Armed with a stake, he impales the woman. But
when he turns to kill Dracula, the count has already awakened and is
waiting for him.
Dr. Van Helsing then arrives in
Klausenberg, looking for Harker. The frightened townsfolk give
him Harker's journal. When he arrives at the castle, it is
deserted; a hearse carriage speeds by with a coffin in it. In
the crypt, Van Helsing is horrified to discover Harker lying in a
coffin as a vampire. Staking Harker, he leaves to deliver the
veiled news of Harker's death in person to a wary Arthur Holmwood
and his wife Mina, brother and sister-in-law of Harker's fiancée
Lucy is ill, so the news is kept from her.
But, when night falls, Lucy opens the doors to her terrace and lays
bare her neck—already, it bears the mark of a vampire bite.
And soon Dracula arrives and bites her again.
Mina seeks out Van Helsing's aid in
treating Lucy's worsened health, but Lucy defeats his anti-vampire
prescription and dies. Van Helsing turns over Harker's journal
and reveals the truth. Vampire Lucy lures away a young niece,
but the girl is saved by Van Helsing and Arthur. Arthur
refuses to use Lucy as a means to find Dracula, so Van Helsing
stakes Lucy in her coffin.
Van Helsing and Arthur travel to the
customs house in Ingstadt to track down the destination of Dracula's
coffin (which Van Helsing saw carried away when he arrived at
Dracula's castle). Meanwhile, Mina is called away from home by
a message telling her to meet Arthur at an address in Karlstadt—the
same address Arthur and Van Helsing are told the coffin was bound
for—and Dracula is indeed waiting for her.
The next morning, Arthur and Van Helsing
find Mina in a strange state. They leave for the address they
were given, an undertaker's, but find the coffin missing. When
they decide to set off again, Arthur tries to give Mina a cross to
wear, but it burns her.
During the night, Van Helsing and Arthur
guard Mina's windows outside against a return of Dracula, but
Dracula nonetheless appears inside the house and bites her. A
remark by the maid leads Van Helsing to the coffin's location: the
cellar of the Holmwoods' own house. But Dracula is not in the
coffin and instead escapes into the night with Mina.
A chase then begins as Dracula rushes to
return to his castle near Klausenberg before sunrise. He
attempts to bury Mina alive outside the crypts but is caught by Van
Helsing and Arthur. Inside the castle, Van Helsing and Dracula
Van Helsing tears open the curtain to let in the
sunlight and, forming a cross of candlesticks, he forces Dracula
into it. Dracula crumbles into dust as Van Helsing looks on.
Mina recovers, the cross-shaped scar fading from her hand as
Dracula's ashes blow away and leave only a ring behind.