“Welcome to my house! Enter freely and of your own will!”
He made no motion of stepping to meet me, but stood like a statue,
as though his gesture of welcome had fixed him into stone.
With these words we are introduced to one of the most famous figures in literature, Count Dracula, as he greets the unsuspecting Jonathan Harker at the door to his eerie, mist-shrouded castle in Transylvania in one of the most enduring classics in the horror genre, Dracula, by Abraham “Bram” Stoker (1847–1912). What I have done here is assemble a group of his stories which all relate in some way or another to that great novel: some pre-dating it and revealing how his love of the weird was leading him inexorably towards its creation, and the rest subsequent works which show how its influence was never far from his mind when he took up his pen again. —adapted from the Introduction