I had always assumed that Dracula was the first vampire story. I was wrong.
When it was published in 1897, vampires had already spent a half-century or more in the public eye.
Most prominently, there was Varney the Vampire, a penny dreadful in 1847-9. And before that was John Polidori’s The Vampyre — a book written in the same holiday when Mary Shelley dreamt up Frankenstein.