In May 1885, Jonathan Harker arrives at the castle of Count Dracula near Klausenburg (Cluj), to take up his post as librarian.
Inside, he is startled by a young woman who claims she is a prisoner and begs for his help.
Dracula then appears to greet Harker and guides him to his room, where he locks him in.
Jonathan starts to write in his diary, and his true intentions are revealed: he is a vampire hunter and has come to kill Dracula.
Freed sometime later, Harker again is confronted by the desperate woman. She begs him for help but then bites his neck.
Just as she does, Dracula ï¿½ fangs bared and lips bloody ï¿½ arrives and yanks her away.
When he awakens in daylight, Harker finds the bite mark.
He hides his journal in a shrine to the Virgin Mary outside the castle and descends into the crypt, where he finds Dracula and the vampire woman resting in their coffins.
Armed with a stake, he impales the woman, who, as he looks on, immediately ages from young to old. Whilst he does this, the sun sets, and when he turns to Dracula's coffin with the intention of killing the vampire, he finds it empty. Looking up, Harker is in time to see the Count shut the door and they are both plunged into darkness.
A few days have passed Dr. Van Helsing then arrives in Klausenburg, looking for Harker. An inn keeper's daughter gives him Harker's journal.
When he arrives at the castle, it is deserted; a hearse carriage speeds by with a coffin in it. In the crypt, Van Helsing is horrified to discover Harker lying in a coffin as a vampire and drives a stake in him.
Van Helsing leaves to deliver the veiled news of Harker's death in person to a wary Arthur Holmwood and his wife Mina, brother and sister-in-law of Harker's fiancï¿½e Lucy Holmwood.
Lucy is ill, so the news is kept from her and Lucy's little niece, Tania.
But, when night falls, Lucy removes the crucifix from round her neck, opens the doors to her terrace and lays bare her neck ï¿½ already, it bears the mark of a vampire bite.
And soon Dracula arrives and bites her again.
Mina seeks out Van Helsing's aid in treating Lucy's declining health, but Lucy begs Gerda the maid to remove his prescribed garlic bouquets, and she dies.
However shortly after she's buried, Tania is spirited away into the night and is returned the next day, claiming Lucy had beckoned her.
Realizing that Lucy has arisen as a vampire, Van Helsing turns over Harker's journal and reveals the truth to prove his claim.
The next night, Lucy, now undead and evil, lures away Tania once more to a graveyard with the intent to feed on and turn her into a vampire.
But the child is saved when Arthur, curious of Van Helsing's claim, spots them and calls out to Lucy.
Lucy turns her attention to him but Helsing manages to ward her off with a cross and forces her to flee back to her crypt.
Van Helsing takes Tania home and returns to find Arthur still at Lucy's crypt.
He explains that Lucy is both Dracula's revenge against Harker and a replacement for the bride killed by him. Van Helsing suggests using Lucy as a means to find Dracula. But Arthur refuses as it runs the risk of her biting someone else, plus not wanting to see Lucy corrupted any further. So Van Helsing stakes Lucy in her coffin.
Van Helsing and Arthur travel to the customs house in Ingstadt to track down the destination of Dracula's coffin (which Van Helsing saw carried away when he arrived at Dracula's castle).
Meanwhile, Mina is called away from home by a message telling her to meet Arthur at an address in Karlstadt.
It's the same address Arthur and Van Helsing are told the coffin was bound for ï¿½ and Dracula is indeed waiting for her.
The next morning, Arthur and Van Helsing find Mina in a strange state. They leave for the address they were given, an undertaker's, but find the coffin missing. When they decide to set off again, Arthur tries to give Mina a cross to wear, but it burns her, revealing that she's infected by vampirism and is slowly turning into a vampire herself.
During the night, Van Helsing and Arthur guard Mina's windows outside against a return of Dracula, but Dracula nonetheless appears inside the house and bites her.
A remark by Gerda leads Van Helsing to the coffin's location: the cellar of the Holmwoods' own house. But Dracula is not in the coffin and instead escapes into the night with Mina, intent on making her a new bride. A chase then begins as Dracula rushes to return to his castle near Klausenberg before sunrise.
He attempts to bury Mina alive outside the crypts but is caught by Van Helsing and Arthur. Inside the castle, Van Helsing and Dracula struggle.
Van Helsing tears open the curtain to let in the sunlight and forms a cross of candlesticks.
Using the makeshift cross, he forces Dracula into the sunlight.
Dracula crumbles into dust as Van Helsing looks on. Mina recovers, the cross-shaped scar fading from her hand indicating she's been saved, as Dracula's ashes blow away, leaving only a ring behind.