Dracula begins with journal entries by the character Jonathan Harker. Harker, in the first part of the novel, travels from London to Transylvania to meet Count Dracula. His purpose is to explain to Dracula the particulars of his real estate puchase in London. Over the next couple of days, Harker realizes that Dracula is never around during the day, and eventually realizes that he is a prisoner in the Count's castle.
Harker writes to his fiancee to inform her that he is going to stay for a month. Dracula warns Harker that it is dangerous to wander the castle and to sleep anywhere but his own room. He ignores the advice and is almost bitten by three women, but saved by Dracula. Dracula informs the women that Harker is his prey and gives them a baby instead.
The mother of the baby stands outside the castle desperately pleading for Dracula to give her back her baby, and Dracula seeks a pack of wolves on her. Harker realizes the danger he is in, and climbs down a wall in an attempt to seek safety. He finds Dracula in his coffin, dead, with no hearbeat.
During the evening, Dracula reappears and Harker demands for him to be let go. Dracula somewhat gives in and opens the door to a pack of wolves. Harker realizes that Dracula is not going to let him go after overhearing him tell the women they can have him the next day.
In an attempt to reach safety, Harker tries to escape in the morning but to no avail. He finds every way locked. As a result, he decides to climb down a wall outside to find his way back to London.