Stoker visited the English town of Whitby in 1890 and that visit is said to be part of the inspiration of his great novel Dracula. While manager for Henry Irving and secretary and director of London's Lyceum Theatre, he began writing novels, beginning with The Snake's Pass in 1890 and Dracula in 1897. During this period, Stoker was part of the literary staff of the The Daily Telegraph in London and wrote other fiction, including the horror novels The Lady of the Shroud (1909) and The Lair of the White Worm (1911). In 1906, after Irving's death, he published his Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving, which proved successful and managed productions at the Prince of Wales Theatre.
Before writing Dracula, Stoker met Ármin Vámbéry, a Hungarian writer and traveler. Dracula likely emerged from Vámbéry's dark stories of the Carpathian mountains. Stoker then spent several years researching European folklore and mythological stories of vampires.
Dracula is an epistolary novel written as a collection of realistic, but completely fictional, diary entries, telegrams, letters, ship's logs and newspaper clippings, all of which added a level of detailed realism to the story, a skill Stoker had developed as a newspaper writer. At the time of its publication, Dracula was considered a "straightforward horror novel" based on imaginary creations of supernatural life.
According to the Encyclopedia of World Biography, Stoker's stories are today included in the categories of "horror fiction", "romanticized Gothic" stories and "melodrama". They are classified alongside other "works of popular fiction" such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, which also used the "myth-making" and story-telling method of having "multiple narrators" telling the same tale from different perspectives.
The original 541-page manuscript of Dracula was believed to have been lost until it was found in a barn in northwestern Pennsylvania in the early 1980s. It included the typed manuscript with many corrections, and handwritten on the title page was "THE UN-DEAD". The author's name was shown at the bottom as Bram Stoker.
Stoker's inspirations for the story, in addition to Whitby, may have included a visit to Slains Castle in Aberdeenshire, a visit to the crypts of St. Michan's Church in Dublin, and the novella Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu.
After suffering a number of strokes, Stoker died at No. 26, St. George's Square, on 20 April 1912. Some biographers attribute the cause of death to tertiary syphilis, others to overwork. He was cremated and his ashes placed in a display urn at Golders Green Crematorium. After Irving Noel Stoker's death in 1961, his ashes were added to that urn. The original plan had been to keep his parents' ashes together, but after Florence Stoker's death, her ashes were scattered at the Gardens of Rest.