In 1885, Jonathan Harker arrives at the castle of Count Dracula near Klausenburg to take up his post as librarian. Inside, he is startled by a young woman who claims that she is a prisoner and begs for his help. Dracula arrives, greets Harker and guides him to his room. Alone, Jonathan writes in his diary, and his true intentions are revealed: he is a vampire hunter and has come to destroy Dracula.
Sometime later, Harker again is confronted by the desperate woman. She reveals herself to be a vampire and bites his neck. Dracula arrives and pulls her away as Harker passes out. When he awakens in his room in daylight, Harker discovers the bite marks on his neck. He writes a final entry in his journal and hides the book outside the castle. He descends into a crypt, where he finds Dracula and the vampire woman resting in their coffins. He stakes the woman and she withers to old age and dies. When Harker turns to Dracula's coffin, he finds it empty. Dracula, awakened, closes the door to the crypt, trapping Harker.
Days pass and Doctor Van Helsing arrives in Klausenburg, looking for Harker. An innkeeper's daughter gives him Harker's journal. When he arrives at Dracula's castle, he finds it deserted, though he comes across the portrait that Harker had of his fiancée Lucy Holmwood, with the photos now gone. In the crypt, Van Helsing finds Harker in Dracula's coffin, transformed into a vampire. Van Helsing stakes Harker before leaving for the town of Karlstadt, where he delivers the veiled news of Harker's death to Arthur Holmwood and his wife Mina, brother and sister-in-law of Lucy, who is ill. When night falls, Lucy opens the doors to her terrace and lays bare her neck—already, it bears the mark of a vampire bite. Soon, Dracula arrives and bites her again.
Mina seeks out Van Helsing's aid in treating Lucy's ailment, but Lucy begs the maid Gerda to remove his prescribed garlic bouquets and she is found dead the next day. Van Helsing turns over Harker's journal to Arthur. Three days after Lucy is interred, an undead Lucy lures Gerda's daughter Tania to a graveyard, where Arthur has found Lucy's tomb empty. Van Helsing appears and wards Lucy off with a cross. He explains to Arthur that Lucy was targeted to replace the woman that Harker killed. Van Helsing suggests using her to lead them to Dracula, but Arthur refuses, and Van Helsing stakes her in her coffin. Arthur takes one final look at Lucy's body and sees her at peace.
Van Helsing and Arthur travel to the border crossing at Ingolstadt to track down Dracula's coffin. Meanwhile, Mina is called away from home by a message telling her to go to the address of an undertaker in Karlstadt, where Dracula is waiting for her. The next day, Arthur and Van Helsing visit the undertaker's, but find Dracula's coffin missing. Later, Arthur tries to give Mina a cross to wear, but it burns her, revealing that she is turning into a vampire herself. During the night, Dracula appears inside the house and bites her. Arthur agrees to give her a blood transfusion administered by Van Helsing. When Arthur asks Gerda to fetch some wine, she tells him that Mina had forbidden her to go down to the cellar. Upon hearing this, Van Helsing bolts downstairs and finds Dracula's coffin, but it is empty. Dracula has escaped into the night with Mina, intent on making her his new vampire bride.
A chase ensues as Dracula rushes to return to his castle before sunrise. He attempts to bury Mina alive outside the crypt but is interrupted by the arrival of Van Helsing and Arthur. Pursuing Dracula inside the castle, Van Helsing struggles with the vampire before eventually tearing down the curtains to let in the sunlight. Van Helsing forms a cross with two candlesticks, and Dracula crumbles into dust as Van Helsing looks on. Mina recovers, and the cross-shaped scar fades from her hand, while Dracula's ashes blow away in the morning breeze, leaving only his clothes and ring behind.
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