8

I recently watched "Bram Stoker's Dracula" from 1992.

When Johnathan enters the castle of Dracula, some sort of blue rings appear in front of the castle door. What do they do?

3 Answers 3

11

The source novel mentions a blue flame barrier but these aren't explained by the author, other than being a sort of general foreshadowing to the fact that "Dracula has mysterious eldritch powers ... WOoooOOoo".

In the film, the flames just appear to be a sort of general mystic forcefield kind of deal, again for much the same effect:

Suddenly, away on our left, I saw a faint flickering blue flame. The driver saw it at the same moment; he at once checked the horses, and, jumping to the ground, disappeared into the dark- ness. I did not know what to do, the less as the howling of the wolves grew closer; but while I wondered the driver suddenly appeared again, and without a word took his seat, and we re- sumed our journey. I think I must have fallen asleep and kept dreaming of the incident, for it seemed to be repeated endlessly, and now looking back, it is like a sort of awful nightmare. Once the flame appeared so near the road, that even in the darkness around us I could watch the driver's motions. He went rapidly to where the blue flame arose it must have been very faint, for it did not seem to illumine the place around it at all and gathering a few stones, formed them into some device. Once there appeared a strange optical effect: when he stood between me and the flame he did not obstruct it, for I could see its ghostly flicker all the same. This startled me, but as the effect was only momentary, I took it that my eyes deceived me straining through the darkness. Then for a time there were no blue flames, and we sped onwards through the gloom, with the howling of the wolves around us, as though they were following in a moving circle.

...

I asked him of some of the strange things of the preceding night, as, for instance, why the coachman went to the places where he had seen the blue flames. He then explained to me that it was commonly believed that on a certain night of the year last night, in fact, when all evil spirits are supposed to have unchecked sway a blue flame is seen over any place where treasure has been concealed. "That treasure has been hidden,"

1

To further expand on this topic - Although Stoker does not explicitly explain the reason for the blue flame in the story, he does provide the hint concerning hidden treasure.

It is likely that Stoker was drawing upon wider folklore, present in British traditions and elsewhere, where blue flames would issue from ground and mark a treasure. These stories are morally didactic in nature and usually end up with the finder resisting the temptation of treasure given by evil spirits or Satan. Many stories involve rustic labourers and farmers and the main takeaway is that one should reap an honest reward from the land rather than any the Devil may offer. Some stories involve futile attempts at digging for the treasure, or draining pools, only for the earth or water to suddenly reappear as though no attempt at recovery had ever taken place. In Dracula, the role of the coachman could suggest that in his role as an evil accomplice of the count, he may have no problem accepting cursed riches from such a phenomenon as a form of payment for transporting Harker. It is possible Stoker intended something more complex because he does describe the coachman approaching the flames and manipulating rocks into a sort of device. As the flames symbolically mark an opening between the worlds of demons and the living, then it could be a symbol representing Harker passing through into a realm or otherworld of evil. This would make sense in the context of Dracula's domain where he forsook his Christianity.

Sources for the traditions of blue flames are found in British works such as Chambers' Popular Rhymes of Scotland in 1826 (and later editions), and in Skinner's Myths & Legends of Our Own Land in 1896. Many journals and magazines as well as parish histories published in the 1800s make frequent reference to blue fire in relation to dark spirits and moral lessons of good vs. evil.

-2

I know why, for I have proof from the book AND I played the game called Dracula: resurrection. In the book Dracula said that’s where people’s belongings have been buried. In the game the innkeeper lady said it’s where treasure has been buried after Jonathan found the dragon’s ring in the cemetery. In the game the innkeeper said “Did you see blue flames? Blue flames only appear when the demons have broken their chains. They would always point to the spot of the buried treasure! My grandmother would always tell me the stories of the invaders that attacked our country. The peasants decided to bury their belongings instead of watch them fall into the hands of the barbarians. It is said that their gold is cursed! GET THAT RING AWAY FROM ME!” In the book it says:

I asked him of some of the strange things of the preceding night, as, for instance, why the coachman went to the places where he had seen the blue flames. He then explained to me that locals believed that on a certain night of the year last night, in fact, when all evil spirits are supposed to have unchecked sway a blue flame is seen over any place where treasure has been concealed.

2
  • Can you add the quote from the book or provide any source to backup your answer?
    – A J
    Jun 24, 2020 at 2:16
  • Sure but I have to go get the book and find the page Jun 24, 2020 at 13:55

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .