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The classic Bram Stoker tale retold. A young girl is progressively being drained of her life-force and must stake the responsible vampire to save herself.



Air Dates

  • First Run - May 2, 1974
  • Repeat - July 27, 1974
  • Repeat - January 6, 1978
  • Repeat - May 26, 1979
  • Repeat - October 31, 1980





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35 Responses to Episode 0085

A fairly pedestrian version of the classic horror story. For me it was distracting to have the 20-something Mina Harker character played by an older actress with a distinctively older-sounding, gravelly smoker's voice. The voice for the 20-something Lucy Westenra was a better match for the age; too bad she didn't play the lead female role of Mina. Would have made for better listening.


Interesting that this version of Dracula is so abridged that the character of Dracula himself is purely secondary. Even his defeat is only mentioned in passing by E.G. Marshall at the end! Vampire story.


I thought it was an effective Dracula story - even with the vampire overkill in entertainment of late (Abe Lincoln, anyone?). Flawed but Dracula's a classic character for a reason. Several chills thru-out...


When was this set? if it was in the 50s-90s Hungry was under communist rule adn they did not have coun ts! There is reference to automobiles in this episode.

john clones

I think it's set in an unspecified Eastern European country and purposefully kept vague. I like the actor p,saying Van Helsing in this - he's quite effective.

Horace Cordier

One must admit this is one of the most amazing casts that the Mystery Theater ever assembled. The cast consists of Mercedes McCambridge playing the main character: Mina Harker. Marion Seldes playing Lucy Westenra, Paul Hect playing Dr. Seward, Stefan Schnabel playing Dr. Van Helsing (Dracula\'s nemesis), and Michael Wager playing Count Dracula. All play their parts very well, but the main stand outs would have to be Michael Wager and Stefan Schnabel. Wager plays a magnificent yet charming Dracula while Schnabel plays a defiant yet learned Van Helsing. Wager\'s Dracula is, in my opinion, the epitomy of performances of Dracula. Not even Bella Lugosi played a better Dracula than Wager. The story was adapted from the 1897 novel by George Lowthar. While the adaptation does take seemingly HUGE liberties with Bram Stoker\'s orginal, such as: Dr. Seward and Lucy being married, the elimination of key characters such as, Jonathan Harker (Mina\'s husband and the main character in the original novel), Renfield, Quincey Morris, and Arthur Holmwood. The story is edited tastefully and intelligently. (Let\'s face it, we cant have the whole novel on Mystery Theater.) I won\'t get into the story too much, (as I\'m sure you know the story well enough) but the basic plot is that Mina Harker is driving to the estate of her friend Lucy Westenra and Lucy\'s fiance Dr. Seward. While driving she notices a large bat following her car and hears the howls of wolves. What will she discover when she reaches Lucy\'s estate? All I can tell you is that it is beyond the powers of Mina and Dr. Seward, who must employ the powers of Seward\'s teacher: Dr. Van Helsing of Amsterdam, Holland. The rest is for you to enjoy and discover. While nearly all of the music in Mystery Theater is taken from the scores for \"The Twilight Zone\", (Both franchises were owned by CBS who just carried the music over.) the music works very nicely in \"Dracula\". During the climax, the scores from the TZ episode \"The Invaders\" works very well with it\'s string tremolos and explosive timpani. The rest of the episode features the normal intro and ending music. A very good episode worthy of praise and repeated listenings. The good: Excellent Cast, Good music, and good story. The bad: A few continuity errors (but I\'m just nitpicking). \"Until next time, pleasant... dreams?\"


The music is just CBS stock library recordings. It turns up in many CBS productions for tv and radio, not just TZ and most notably much music heard on TZ (as well as the CBSRMT theme) can be heard on tv's Perry Mason.


Thanks for the thoughtful and detailed critique Bob. While I'm not quite as enthusiastic about the episode as you are I think it is very strong overall and along with a few others like THE RAT and TILL DEATH DO US JOIN it holds up on repeat listening. One of the most depressing things about being obsessed with CBSRMT is how little is written about it on the net - even this terrific site is mostly dry info. I'd love to see more comments and analysis overall. I'm seriously considering starting a blog where I review each episode one by one!

Horace Cordier

Sex and vampirism are inextricably linked from the time of these stories (And the Byronic Lord Ruthven of "The Vampyre") so if anybody has any quibbles about it - They're here, they're Drear. Get used to it! Good episode!

Ronnie Madrid

A retelling of the Stoker tale of the undead. A young woman is terrorized by the Prince of Darkness. McCambridge McShines in her role as the damel and distress and lifts this retelling to another level. Recommended.

Romarico Gangan

I thought this episode was quite well done, considering they’ve taken an 800 page narrative and crunched it down into 10 pages of pure dialogue. E.G. Marshall uses traditional conventions of gothic fiction warning the listener to beware, to turn away if faint of heart, and vouching for the veracity of the tale to come. I won’t bother describing the story because everyone knows it already. This rendition is well worth the listen and may even encourage some to pick up the original novel and give it a read. A challenging task, to be sure, but filled with memorable scenes. My wife watches Days of Our Lives… the character of Van Helsing reminded me of the Rolf character from Days. What kind of accent is that?!

Derrick Volks

I have been a longtime fan of CBSRMT since I was eight and now at 45, it still holds me. I love horror movies let alone I am always up for a great horror story. I enjoyed this particular DRACULA episode immensely. It is one of the best horror stories adapted by CBSRMT. It has a great creepy narrative with an eerie, haunting feel and like all the other radio drama episodes, always well acted. Play it on Halloween!

Luis Gutierrez

This adaptation of "Dracula" was great; I really enjoyed it. George Lowthar wrote and did something brilliant--he made Dracula a secondary character in this episode. He also developed the characters which drew me into the story. As always, the cast acted out the story fantastically. 5 stars.


Count Draculer!?! I actually heard Dr. Seward say "We had a visit from Draculer." See if you can catch it when you listen. WOW!


Interesting twist on the original by Bram Stroker

Gina Schackel

This show is perfect. It's its own version, and always sounds nice and creepy :) I've listened to it many times since I first heard it that spring night when it premiered on May 2, 1974 beginning at 10:30 pm on the local CBS station.....pleasant dreams???


Dracula is a suspenseful and very gripping episode! This is a pretty grisly story and one I just discovered and like a lot, especially the ending. I love how dry the Professor is in taking on the morbid tasks presented to him. The score is great and almost seems written for the episode rather than the repeated (though good) music common to other episodes. AS AN ADDED BONUS there is a lot of fantastic contemporary news after the episode pertaining to President Nixon during the Watergate and White House tapes cases. I give Dracula five stars out of five - JUROR #4


To Horace Cordier - Thank you for listing some of your favorite episodes! I wish more folks would list theirs, especially ones that can be listened to repeatedly. For me these are MURDER PREFERRED, THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER, PRISONER OF THE MACHINES, THE HAND, and THE END OF THE RAINBOW. This site should have a special page where people can list their top favorites of all time. Pleasant dreams??? - JUROR #4


pretty good adaptation of Dracula!

terence m. jones

A fairly decent adaptation of part of the Dracula story. It certainly wasn't perfect, but in order to get it within the time limit things had to be done to make it fit. Still a very good listen.


This episode I have listened to several times and would rate it in my top 20 episodes. I have only heard about 1/3 of the episodes but some of my favorites are Black Widow episode 265, The Diamond Necklace episode 276, and The Acquisition episode 1273. Bill I commented on the 40th Anniversary of CBS RMT. I listened on WIBW in Topeka. I remember episodes starting at 10:07pm during the winter months and they started around 10:30pm from April to September after Kansas City Royals games. I have a bad habit of listening to my favorite episodes and need to start listening to some episodes I have not heard before. I gave this episode 5 Stars!

Don Heiland, Jr.

George Lowthar wrote terrific adaptations on the classics of Robert Louis Stevenson, Edgar Allan Poe, and Guy De Maupassant. But for this Bram Stoker classic, he wrote the story in the middle where the minor characters became the main characters and there's no mentioning of the other characters in the vampire book. Just like NEFERTITI, THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII, THE LEGEND OF ALEXANDER, and LES MISERABLES, this story should've been expanded into a 5-part episode. Picture this: in PART 1, Jonathan Harker deals with Count Dracula in Transylvania. In PART 2, Dracula searches for Jonathan Harker's fiancee, Mina, where we introduce the other characters: Lucy Westenra, Dr. John Seawrd, Quincey Morris, Arthur Holmwood, and Renfield. In PART 3, Professor Abraham Van Helsing investigates on the bloody horrors that Dracula does. In PART 4, Dracula continues his bloody actions, but Van Helsing gets the upper hand. And finally in PART 5, everyone is on the hunt to kill Dracula as the vampire tries to make it back to his castle. Now that would be epic! Anyway, I did like E.G. Marshall's embark on vampirism, especially when he warns the CBSRMT fans that the horror is building up as we go along. However, at the end of ACT-3, he mentions Dracula's demise like it's a death report on the news and ends it right there. I also liked how the cast played their parts: Mercedes McCambridge (as Mina Harker), Paul Hecht (as Dr. John Seward), Stefan Schnabel (as Professor Abraham Van Helsing), and Marian Seldes (as Lucy Westenra). However, Michael Wagner (as Count Dracula) didn't bring much horror out of him to feel like he was the blood thirsty count. I can picture Fred Gwynne, E.G. Marshall, or even John Lithgow as Count Dracula. But what I enjoyed the most was the music & sound effects. The music had a combination of tunes that were mystifying in ACT-1, horrifying in ACT-2, and chilling in ACT-3. The sound effects of the howling wolves, the flying bats, the ringing doorbell, the footsteps, the wine glasses clinking, the wine bottle breaking, the howling winds at the graveyard, the opening of the gates, the coffin lid, the bell ringing, and the rooster call were perfectly suited for this CBSRMT episode. I do recommend this episode to everyone. I also recommend Ep. #1245-THE JUDGE'S HOUSE, another Bram Stoker classic.


I loved this CBS retelling of Dracula. From the sound of it, it appears to be set in the 1970s in England (possible) or USA (probably, as Whitby is mentioned), the date of airing. Dracula has been told so many times and the BBC has done 3 - 4 splendid dramatized full cast radio version's of Dracula, so it's almost a relief that it open's at midpoint of the book where Mina has been bitten and is in the process of turning. Dracula is the friendly suburban neighbor aka - think fright night (1985), the lost boys (1987). Van Helsing is a professor who knows about Vampires and they track the Vampire Mina, Dracula to a crypt, where she is feeding on children. The ending is not hopeful as vamp Mina is killed, and the others characters wondering what's next. It's one to keep listening to over again, great tribute to Stoker's novel.

Shawn t

Dracula is my favorite


Dracula (with Mercedes McCambridge) is my favorite one.


I listened to this on first days of the new year. The latter minutes contain a news report on Watergate, which happened during my last years of high school. I got a very strong deja vu feeling. Your mileage may vary, which may depend on your age.


I hate that what I’m about to say affects me, but anytime Mercedes McCambridge is in the cast (especially the lead) I have trouble getting into the episode. Does anyone else have this problem? Her, Howard De Silva and Fred Gywnn were the three I had trouble with. Not only is her voice grating, you can always tell she’s reading script. Compare her to two of the best, Norman Rose and Marian Seldes, and you can see the difference between great voice actors and ones that read script with no emotion and no semblance of normal conversation. Why they kept using her I’ve no clue.


I agree, Gary. For me as well, a Mystery Theater actor who just never did it for me was Fred Gwinn. I loved almost anything that Teri Keane or Tony Roberts were in, which is probably why Murder Preferred is one of my favorite episodes of all time.


Dracula, what else needs to be said? A very good read, so to condense it down into a single radio broadcast I believe it was well done. Wish they had used the voice of someone other than McCambridge, just was not emotional enough. A stronger interaction between Van Helsing and Dracula would have been good. But the sound effects were really good and as stated this was a radio broadcast and you can only squeeze in so much from such a novel. News of Nixon and commercials added to the entrainment.


I love to listening to old time radio it reminds me when my older brother and i would listen to the radio and after three or four episodes i was a sleep i'm so happy to hear them again.

Barefoot Rick

I have many fond memories of listening to CBS Radio Mystery Theater back in the mid 1970's. Thank you for making these shows available again. This Dracula episode is one of the best. Good acting and very atmospheric with the wolves howling, bats squeaking, and the wind moaning. Theater of the mind is a relaxing and enjoyable form of entertainment.


Good episode, but Mercedes McCambridge and Marian Seldes - two fine actresses - are distractingly far too old for the roles Himan Brown gave them.


Welcome, to the CBSRMT, come in, you are about to hear the scariest Halloween story, no don't run, come in, you willl enjoy it. Be aware, vampires, bats, and werewolf's will be joining you for our adventure? But surely you don't believe in them? Enjoy the best of The Fear you hear! Oh and um, happy Halloween!

A. Fan

on a cold and wintery night, this story warms me with delight! very good scary story, acting, writing, sound effects all done perfect. I remember when I first heard this back in the 70's on AM radio WJW 850 Cleveland, as a kid. Great stuff.

A. Fan

Just a great story! Sleep easy, don't be scared. It's the best of CBSRMT Enjoy!

A. Fan

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