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At the risk of being hopelessly behind the times, there’s something to be said for vampires that actually scare people.

Here’s a starting point: Michael Sims curated a collection of some of the best vampire lit ever written, dubbed Dracula’s Guest. (You can hear him gushing about it here, if you need more convincing.)

It’s all 19th century stuff, which means brittle Victorian morays, long craggy sentences and some genuinely terrified peasantry from heavy-hitters like Edgar Allan Poe and Guy de Maupassant. It’s a little stuffy in places, but if you’re going to make a turn through the bloodsucker backstory, this is the best ways to do it. And presumably you’ve already seen what the movies have to offer.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom