Title: Dracula Lives
Author: Robert Ryan
Published: May 30th, 2016
Recommended Age: 12+
Where is the line between movies and real life? Perhaps there isn’t one.
In Dracula Lives, Amazon bestselling author Robert Ryan once again takes us where no one should ever go.
Deep in the wilds of New England, a man who worked on the 1931 Dracula still lives. Haunted by the experience ever since, he has built an exact replica of Castle Dracula and become obsessed with bringing the movie vampire to life. But when one sets out to make monsters, there are risks—as Adam Quinn is about to find out. A lifelong fan of Dracula and the classic horror films from Universal Studios, he is invited to the castle. It’s a horror lover’s dream: the chance to find out what it was like to work with Bela Lugosi, Dwight Frye, director Tod Browning, and all the others. But dreams can turn into nightmares…
The castle awaits. Enter freely and of your own free will.
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The severed hand hitched its way up the stairs in its relentless drive to kill the person it was directed to kill.
The hand was not human. It was a webbed humanoid thing. Long, scaly fingers with inch-long, needle-sharp claws deftly hooked into the carpet covering the stairs, again and again, until the hand flopped onto the landing. It scuttled across the Persian rug to the closed wooden door of the bedchamber. Catlike, the hand used its claws to dig into the wood and skitter up the door. The instant it reached the top, it released its grip and began falling. With a precision that spoke of long practice, it broke its fall by grabbing the handle. The maneuver turned the handle and jostled the door open a crack.
The hand dropped noiselessly onto the rug. Righting itself, it squeezed through the crack and scrabbled across the floor as though possessed. Clamping onto the wooden bedpost of the canopied four-poster, it wriggled up and flopped onto the bed.
The sleeper lay face up, under a satin sheet pulled up to just below the neck.
A few feet away, a tall man dressed in black stood beside the bed, watching the scene unfold through a pair of oversized goggles. A large glove on his right hand mimicked the movements of the beast with five fingers.
The hand clawed its way across the sheet with deadly purpose. Seconds later, it reached the exposed neck and clamped down.
The sleeper’s eyes shot open.
The tall man dropped his gloved hand to his side. “Cut!” he said.
The hand from some alien world squeezed harder.
The sleeper’s eyes widened in alarm.
“Cut, I said!” The tall man yanked off the glove.
The sleeper struggled to pull the hand off, moaning in pain as the tugging only made the maniacal thing tighten its grip.
After an intense battle the tall man managed to pry the hand loose and toss it to the floor. Its fingers twitched erratically for a few seconds, then made a wobbly effort to crawl back to the bedpost. As the man bent to grab it, the hand fell over on its back and lay still.
Looking back at the sleeper, the man saw spots of red where some of the claws had pierced the flesh.
Annoyed, the tall man stared at his glove. “We shall have to test it again. All must be in readiness for our guest. There will be no time for retakes.”
He lived directly behind the neighborhood movie theater, and his mother took him to everything from the time he was barely out of diapers. When he reached the ripe old age of about six, he couldn’t wait for the Saturday creature features. Atomic mutants running amok, the monsters of Ray Harryhausen, Roger Corman’s Poe films, and the unabashed frightfests of William Castle were among the early influences that warped his writer’s muse into a breeding ground for—to borrow a line from Morbius in Forbidden Planet—his “Monsters from the Id.” In Castle’s The Tingler, when Vincent Price told us all to scream because the Tingler was loose in the theater, you better believe he screamed. On the literary front he soon discovered Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft and Robert Bloch, among others, and followed the trail they blazed into the “ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.”
It seems he has always been drawn to scary stories.
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