A connection between Jack the Ripper and revisions made to Dracula by Bram Stoker may not be as loose as we first imagined. An article published in the Daily Mail has revealed that Stoker actually removed the Met police from his novel and instead, replaced the characters with amateur vampire hunters.
A descendant of the famous author said that due to the murders in Whitechapel, Stoker felt the police’s failure to catch the culprit showed that the police force at this time, Scotland Yard, “was no place for heroes.”
Arguably, part of his anger towards the police force was because of people leaving theatres early in fear of what lurks in the night. The Lyceum theatre was actually forced to cancel a showing of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, “because people thought there was already enough horror in the East End.”
Stoker’s great grand-nephew, Dacre Stoker, discovered the author’s “lost” journal and claims that Stoker had thought up a concept, which would see ‘Detective Cotford’ and ‘Count Wanpyre’ head to head. He also said that Cotford was originally conjured up as a primary and expert detective hunting the Ripper, “who would have caught the killer by the time the book was published following seven years of research.”
In reality though, the case of Jack the Ripper landed in the hands of Scotland Yard’s CID (Criminal Investigation Department), which, unfortunately, wasn’t fortunate enough to have the tools we do today.
Because of the low morale at the time of the killings, and after original members belonging to the branch were prosecuted for “being in the pay”, Stoker decided to muddle around with names and characters. He changed his first ‘Count’ concept to Dracula, whilst the police force was replaced by vampire hunters.
Dacre commented on this, saying, “the book was written not long after Jack the Ripper – when the public had lost faith in the legal system.”
“People were scared to death about what would happen next – and Scotland Yard could not save them. The police, therefore, do not feature in Dracula at all, which is very strange when you think how many people get killed.”
If you’d like to find out more about the police force in 1888 and why they couldn’t catch the Ripper, join us on our Jack the Ripper tour.