One might imagine he could make the flight as a bat or some other way transport himself.

Is it possible that the sea is an obstacle or simply that his ability to travel as a bat is limited?

  • 12
    Just to confirm, since Dracula appears in a character in so many stories, are you asking about the original Bram Stoker novel?
    – IMSoP
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 10:17
  • 22
    Probably would be hard to transport fifty boxes of earth from his home without a ship.
    – Showsni
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 10:19
  • 2
    Practical reasons: spending longer period of travel undisturbed (cargo not moved after being loaded onto a ship), avoiding the sun altogether for the whole sea journey, food always nearby (without means to escape).
    – p4ulie
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 12:24
  • 2
    I believe it's also a Vampire trope that they can't / don't like crossing running water. And the boat might mitigate this like a bridge.
    – NinoM
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 13:08
  • 5
    "I just flew in from Transylvania. Boy are my arms tired."
    – Pete
    Commented Aug 22, 2023 at 5:59

1 Answer 1


According to Van Helsing in Bram Stoker's book, Dracula

" .... It is said, too, that he can only pass running water at the slack or the flood of the tide...."

In some versions of vampire folklore, the vampire cannot cross such water because their souls are not firmly enough lodged to their bodies, and so an attempt to cross such water would separate the two, the same reason why one of the ways to end a vampire involves submerging them in running water for a time. It's not uncommon, in vampire lore, or the vampire to be able to cross such water while transported by others, or while in a dormant state, so it seems that Dracula found a dodge, much like how the same ship carries his native soil, the only surface on which he can rest.

  • 1
    I like this ad hoc mythology. Either Stoker or some random bed-time story teller just tossed this mundane "fact" into the folklore. Grandpa, but why??
    – releseabe
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 22:03
  • While you mention it- why does he have to sleep in his homeland's dirt? That never made sense to me- even by the questionable logic of vampire lore.
    – Nu'Daq
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 22:28
  • 2
    While the water issue is more fundamentally the problem - if it didn't exist the more well known pop culture dirt problem makes just doing a fresh start in a new country as distant as the bat flies impossible. Look what happens when the hotel maid vacuums up your native soil! youtu.be/UzD5XP7Tggg Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 23:10
  • 1
    @Nu'Daq I think part of this relates to Dracula, despite being an evil monster, was respected as a patriot perhaps even today in real life. He fought the Turks as has more emphasized in recent films -- I think Coppola may have been the first to mention this in an early scene.
    – releseabe
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 23:14
  • 1
    @nu'daq: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/244274/…
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 23:45

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