"Dracula" would be Bram Stoker's best work, and there was a reason behind it. He penned a collection of short stories, which could have been creepy if he lived long enough. His shorts lacked the sudden twist in the end, which would confound readers. It wouldn't be fair to judge them as fair effort, as the Irishman knew a great deal on ghost stories.
"Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories", which was first published in 1914, would be remembered for "Dracula's Guest". This was supposed to be the first chapter of the classic novel, if not an introduction. Jonathan Harker was in Munich, and Walpurgis Night was being observed. He ignored the warnings of locals, as he ventured into a desolate forest. A snowfall forced him to seek shelter in a tomb, where he glimpsed a woman with red lips and rounded cheeks. Readers knew what would happen next.
The other tales in this collection (of shorts) deserved a reading. Roald Dahl, who once did a research on the best ghost stories, would like Stoker's tales. But he won't make comparison to Susan Hill's. (He believed the best ghost stories were written by female authors.) Let's have a look at some of them:
"The Judge's House". Perceptive readers would guess the gruesome end, and the how Stoker diabolically described an abandoned house at Benchurch. It was the site of ghastly executions. Malcolm Malcolmson was looking for solitude, which he found in a house once owned by a judge. The young man was a night owl, which allowed him to witness the rats coming out of corners. They kept him company, but they would leave when a huge rat went to the living room. It had baleful eyes, and they kept on looking at Malcolmson. The author would show how a haunted house could be a product of a frightened mind. Then again, the young Malcolmson was warned about possible happenings at nighttime. The moral of the story is to go to bed early.
"The Gypsy Prophecy". Everyone love fortune telling, even if they don't believe in it. But what if it's true? It can be coincidence, and Stoker would agree. This story was about Joshua and Mary, a young couple, who wanted a gypsy to predict their fortune. The nomad didn't like what she saw in their palms. (She dropped their hands, and shuddered at what was about to take place.) Most readers would be carried away, but the skeptical ones would be disappointed. But give credit to Stoker. He knew a thing or two in building suspense.
"A Dream of Red Hands". This was a redemptive tale of Jacob Settle, which seemed a bit too familiar. Those who fancy supernatural tales would know stigmata, which Stoker described in eerie details. This won't be for those with the faint heart.