There, in one of the great boxes, of which there were fifty in all, on a pile of newly dug earth, lay the Count! He was either dead or asleep. I could not say which, for eyes were open and stony, but without the glassiness of death, and the cheeks had the warmth of life through all their pallor. The lips were as red as ever. But there was no sign of movement, no pulse, no breath, no beating of the heart.
I bent over him, and tried to find any sign of life, but in vain. He could not have lain there long, for the earthy smell would have passed away in a few hours. By the side of the box was its cover, pierced with holes here and there. I thought he might have the keys on him, but when I went to search I saw the dead eyes, and in them dead though they were, such a look of hate, though unconscious of me or my presence, that I fled from the place, and leaving the Count’s room by the window, crawled again up the castle wall. Regaining my room, I threw myself panting upon the bed and tried to think.
– Bram Stoker
Dracula, Chapter 4. The real, true horror of Dracula is expressed in Jonathan Harker’s description of the Count lying in a box of newly dug earth in a vault under the castle. It is one of 50 such boxes in the vault. There is something not quite natural or human about the Count. Though Dracula’s lips are still flushed with blood, he has no pulse, is not breathing and appears dead or asleep. Harker wants to look for the keys to the castle on Dracula to escape his confinement, but he spooked and returns to his room.