An event with Dacre Stoker incorporates dramatic flair from Andrea St. Amand and Braxton Williams (pictured above) | Photo by Ruta Smith

Literary horror royalty will step inside Charleston Library Society during Halloween week. Dacre Stoker, the Aiken-based descendant of Dracula author Bram Stoker, is slated to speak Oct. 28 and 29.

Dacre will be joined by Andrea St. Amand, an evidential psychic medium, expert in the paranormal, and scholar of Dracula and the occult, along with local actor Braxton Williams, who will portray Bram Stoker in a dramatic presentation that is both educational and entertaining. 

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International bestselling author Dacre Stoker has spent the last 12 years researching his famous great grand-uncle and uncovering the facts behind the myths. This event, Dacre told the City Paper, is really about bringing to life “the story behind the story.”

Normally around this spooky time of year, Dacre travels around the world to share his research. With much about Bram and the research and creation of Dracula shrouded in mystery, Dacre has rare access to notes, journals, edits and marked-up copy from the book — not to mention his own family’s lore.

But Dacre’s Charleston event is different from his usual presentation, which he has done in 20 countries over the last 12 years. This time, he will add in the dramatic element of having Williams portray the Irish author, who was also heavily involved in theater, managing the Lyceum in London’s West End while writing the horror classic.

Dacre, who spent 22 years as a schoolteacher, said the dramatic element helps impart a new approach to the story. 

“It keeps the memory of the theatrical side of Bram alive, while we combine it with Dracula, the Gothic side, the writing side,” said Dacre. 

For years, Dacre wanted to dramatize his findings so his great grand uncle’s personal story could be brought to life. When he met St. Amand through the Horror Writers Association, the two found they had many similar interests. Not only in Dracula, the occult and Gothic literature but also in adventure. The pair has traveled to Transylvania to unlock more of the secrets of the Dracula story, leaving no stone unturned, traveling from Romania to the British Isles — even to the actual mountain top where Bram placed Castle Dracula.

Dacre said he is happy to be home this year, especially since Charleston is one of a few American places where Bram actually had a connection. Bram visited Charleston in 1896, with the Lyceum’s Henry Irving and an entire theater troupe, within the seven years he spent writing Dracula. To learn more about Bram’s time in Charleston, you’ll have to attend the presentation at the Library Society, according to Dacre.

As a special feature, rarely seen ghoulish items in the collection of the Charleston Library Society will be on display, such as poet Henry Timrod’s blood-splattered final manuscript and haunting works by Italian artist Piranesi, rumored to have inspired the likes of Mary Shelley and Lord Byron. 

“Those are things you can’t Google,” says Andrea. “You can’t see something online and get the look and feel of seeing it in person.”

Dacre said it’s not necessary to have read Dracula to enjoy the Library Society talk.

“If you’re interested in literature, we pull the curtain back on one of the most famous works of English literature. If you like anything to do with Dracula or vampires — that’s a good place to start, but it is not necessary.”

This event will take place over the course of two nights. Tickets are $25 for Charleston Library Society members and $35 for nonmembers. Tickets can be purchased at charlestonlibrarysociety.com or by calling (843) 723-9912.