Lucy Westenra
Dracula character
Created byBram Stoker
In-universe information
FamilyMrs. Westenra (mother)

Lucy Westenra is a fictional character in the 1897 novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. The 19-year-old daughter of a wealthy family, she is Mina Murray's best friend. Early in the story, Lucy gets proposed to by three suitors, Arthur Holmwood, John Seward, and Quincey Morris, on the same day. Turning the latter two down due to already being in love with Arthur, she accepts his proposal. Before getting the chance to marry, Lucy becomes Count Dracula's first English victim, and despite Seward contacting Abraham Van Helsing for help, she transforms into a vampire. Following her return as a vampire and attacks on children—dubbed the "Bloofer Lady" by them—she is eventually cornered into her crypt by Van Helsing and her suitors who destroy her, putting her soul to rest.

Lucy has appeared in the majority of adaptations of Stoker's novel, although many aspects of her character are changed, such as her and Mina having their names switched; one example being the 1927 stage play.

Character history

Lucy Westenra is a woman, "blonde, demure, and waiting for the right man to come along to marry her".[1] She is, however, not a passive woman: she has three suitors, and writes to her friend Mina that she would like to marry all of them, so none of them will feel sad.[1] All three propose to her on the same day—Arthur Holmwood, the wealthy son of Lord Godalming; Quincey Morris, an American adventurer; and Dr. John Seward, a psychiatrist—and she chooses Holmwood. Lucy falls sick, and much to the men's dismay, no explanation can be found as to why her strength is leaving her. It is then that Dr. Seward summons Dr. Abraham Van Helsing from the Netherlands, who is able to deduce that a vampire has been feeding on her. Helsing attempts to thwart Dracula by securing the house with garlic but is unsuccessful when Lucy's mother, not knowing the effects that garlic has against vampires, removes it. While Van Helsing and Seward are absent, a large wolf (either implied to be Dracula in a different shape or controlled by him) attacks them resulting in the death of Lucy's mother from a heart attack and her daughter is close to death when Van Helsing and Seward visit her with Arthur and Quincy the next morning. However, under the vampire's influence, she becomes prone to sleepwalking and is drawn outside, where the count fatally drains her of blood. In her final moments, her vampiric side emerges and nearly tries to bite Arthur, but Lucy regains her human senses and before dying asks Abraham Van Helsing to protect Holmwood.[2]

A week after her burial Lucy rises from the grave as a vampire, attacking children, which Van Helsing identifies by the telltale bite marks on their necks and the timing of her death and the start of the attacks.[3] While visiting her tomb after dark, the men encounter her undead corpse feeding on a child. Far from the pure, kind-hearted young woman she was in life, she appears as a predatory temptress. Seward describes the vampire as: “Lucy Westenra, but yet how changed. The sweetness was turned to adamantine, heartless cruelty, and the purity to voluptuous wantonness.”

She attempts to seduce her former fiance, but Van Helsing repels her with a crucifix. The vampire flees into her tomb as the sun rises, allowing Van Helsing and her suitors to open her coffin and drive a wooden stake through her heart, destroying the vampire and allowing Lucy to rest in peace. To ensure that Dracula will not reclaim her, they also fill her mouth with garlic before decapitating her and soldering the lid to her coffin. Lucy's death motivates her suitors and Mina to join forces with Van Helsing and Jonathan Harker in hunting and destroying Dracula in retaliation.

Historical background

According to Sally Ledger, Lucy "is at first sight an archetype of Victorian femininity" but later shares characteristics with the then-feminist ideal of the New Woman.[1]

Leslie Ann Minot pointed out, in a 2017 essay on Lucy Westenra and other 19th century female characters, that if Dracula is an overt portrayal of a sexualized monster then Westenra is problematic since her attacks on children would then equate to "the sweet Lucy sexually molesting toddlers"; Minot sees this as one reason why the character has received less attention than others. She historicizes the character (and the novel) by placing it against a backdrop of a number of well-publicized cases of molestation and abuse of children by mother figures, particularly in the context of baby farming, citing the case of Margaret Waters. Victorian society had begun to take an interest in the welfare of children, resulting in the Factory Act of 1891 and the foundation of the SPCC, which would become the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.[4]

Stoker was well aware of these developments and was close friends with W. T. Stead, the newspaper editor who supported the SPCC, published lurid accounts of child abuse and was himself jailed for the abduction of a 13-year old girl, which he organized as a demonstration. Stoker used newspaper clippings in the novel that are pastiches of the sensationalist writings of Stead and others about child prostitution, in particular Stead's "The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon", and he describes the lower-class victims in much the same way. Their childish talk leads to "bloofer lady" as a child's way of saying "beautiful lady". This "bloofer lady" talks to children and lures them with the promise of riches and games, and after returning, bearing bite marks, they become emaciated and weak and wish to return to the "bloofer lady". All this is described in language similar to that of newspaper reports on women seducing children into prostitution. Minot also called Lucy "a demonic mother-parody, taking nourishment from children instead of giving it".[4]


On screen

Year Title Actress Notes
1922 Nosferatu Ruth Landshoff Ruth (a character similar to Lucy) is the sister of shipbuilder Harding, in the 1922 German silent film[5]
1931 Dracula Frances Dade[6] Although the film is based on the stage adaptation, which switched Mina and Lucy's names, Universal's film retains the naming of Stoker's novel.[7] However, Lucy's last name has been changed to Weston.[8]
1931 Dracula Carmen Guerrero In the Spanish-language version by Universal of the same year, Carmen Guerrero portrays Lucia Weston.
1953 Drakula İstanbul'da Ayfer Feray In this Turkish adaptation, the character of Sadan is based on Lucy.
1958 Dracula Carol Marsh Lucy is depicted as Arthur Holmwood's sister, renamed Lucy Holmwood, with Jonathan Harker being her fiancé.[9] She becomes a victim, and later "bride" of Dracula as revenge against Jonathan for destroying his former bride.[9] Lucy meets the same fate as her literary character, although she tries to attack Arthur before being destroyed. Hammer's adaptation has been recognized as the first one to faithfully adapt Lucy's storyline from the novel of falling ill, becoming a vampire, and then finally dying.[10]
1968 "Dracula" Susan George Named Lucy Weston, she is depicted as taking an interest in Dracula, despite her engagement to Arthur. After becoming a vampire, she is the one who bites Mina.
1970 Count Dracula Soledad Miranda[11] This version of Lucy is portrayed faithfully to her counterpart in the novel.
1971 Hrabe Drakula Hana Maciuchová Czechoslovakian adaptation. Lucy's last name is never mentioned in this version.
1973 Dracula Fiona Lewis In Dan Curtis' television film, Lucy's character is depicted as the reincarnation of Dracula's wife.[12] This film marks the first instance of the "reincarnation motif", depicting either Mina or Lucy as the Count's former wife, appearing in a Dracula adaptation.[13]
1973 "Dracula" Charlotte Blunt in the 1973 Dracula episode of the Canadian Purple Playhouse TV series, Mina and Lucy are portrayed as sisters, with Lucy's full name being Lucy Murray.
1977 Count Dracula Susan Penhaligon In the BBC's adaptation, Mina is portrayed as a member of the Westenra family and Lucy's sister.[14]
1979 Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht Martje Grohmann In this version what was the Stoker's Lucy character is now named Mina, she is the one to be killed by vampire. What was Stoker's Mina character is now named Lucy Harker, she is wife of Jonathan Harker and Dracula’s second and main victim. She is played by Isabelle Adjani.
1979 Dracula Jan Francis In this version what was the Stoker's Lucy character is now named Mina Van Helsing, she is the daughter of Dr. Abraham Van Helsing.[15] What was the Stoker's Mina character is now named Lucy Seward, the daughter of Dr. Seward and fiancee of Jonathan Harker. This character survives Dracula's power, and only momentarily becomes his bride. She is played by Kate Nelligan.
1992 Bram Stoker's Dracula Sadie Frost In this version directed by Francis Ford Coppola, Lucy is eroticized much further than her literary incarnation, becoming more than seductive and coquettish, even tempting.She is drawn into Dracula’s claws because of her sleepwalking.She also has her three suitors present like in the novel.
1995 Dracula: Dead and Loving It Lysette Anthony The Mel Brooks' parody.
2002 Dracula Muriel Baumeister In this Italian miniseries in English language (also known as Dracula's Curse) Lucy is a modern girl, who wants to sleep in many beds, in many cities, have new experiences and live forever. She also has her three suitors present like in the novel.
2002 Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary Tara Birtwhistle It's a black and white silent film/ballet version by Royal Winnipeg Ballet directed by Guy Maddin
2006 2006 adaptation of Dracula Sophia Myles Her character remained largely unchanged from the one in the novel, although she serves as an unintentional catalyst for events as her husband, Arthur Holmwood, arranges for Dracula to come to Britain in the hope that Dracula will be able to cure him of the syphilis that prevents him from consummating his marriage to Lucy.
2008 Dracula Lakshmi It's the 2008 Indian Telugu-language television series for Gemini TV.
2012 Dracula 3D Asia Argento In this version she is named Lucy Kisslinger, she is daughter of the local mayor at the Transylvanian village.
2013 Dracula 2012 Priya Nambiar It's the Indian Malayalam-language film. Her full name is Lucy Thomas.
2013 Dracula Katie McGrath In this version, Lucy Westenra is a closeted lesbian and harbors secret romantic feelings for Mina.
2020 Dracula Lydia West In the BBC's 2020 miniseries, Lucy Westenra is re-imagined as a modern, promiscuous party girl, and a willing victim/associate of Dracula. However, after she is cremated before she can awaken as a vampire, she spends a few hours apparently deluding herself into believing that she is still beautiful before she is forced to face her true appearance, after which she commits suicide.
2021 Bram Stoker's Van Helsing Charlie Bond Film focuses on Dracula's attacks on Lucy, her transformation into a vampire and her eventual staking.

Characters based on Lucy

On stage

Lucy in Stoker's Dracula.

In novels

In comics


In 1938, the CBS radio series The Mercury Theatre on the Air made its debut with Dracula. Lucy appears in the middle of the broadcast as the ill fiancée of Arthur Seward, and it is only later established that she is a victim of Dracula. Elizabeth Farrell performed as Lucy, opposite Orson Welles.[citation needed]



  1. ^ a b c Ledger 101.
  2. ^ Stoker, Bram. Dracula (PDF).
  3. ^ Ledger 104.
  4. ^ a b Minot.
  5. ^ Cardullo 1987, p. 137.
  6. ^ Joslin 2006, p. 21.
  7. ^ Joslin 2006, p. 29.
  8. ^ Joslin 2006, p. 22.
  9. ^ a b Joslin 2006, p. 54.
  10. ^ Joslin 2006, p. 59.
  11. ^ Browning and Picart 50.
  12. ^ Joslin 2006, p. 84.
  13. ^ Joslin 2006, p. 85.
  14. ^ Joslin 2006, p. 90.
  15. ^ Joslin 2006, p. 103.
  16. ^ Browning and Picart 287.
  17. ^ Tardit, Patrick (16 December 2013). "Anaïs, reine de Disney" (in French). Vosges Matin.
  18. ^ "The Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  19. ^ Dracula Lives #10-11 (January 1975), Tomb of Dracula Vol. 1 #7 (March 1973), and Marvel Comics Presents: Dracula Vol.2 #2-3 (2010)
  20. ^ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #14 ("Book of the Dead and Inactive II", March 1984), pg. 30: "Vampires: Lucy Westerna"; and Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition #20 ("Book of the Dead", November 1988), pg. 38: "Vampires: Lucy Westernra"
  21. ^ Victorian Undead II: Sherlock Holmes vs Dracula #2-4 (Feb-April 2011)