Dracula Box

A collection of the classic book's component documents 

August 2015

Finished Product

  • Based on the original book Dracula by Bram Stoker which, in its original form, is presented as a collection of written works including journals, letters, telegrams, sea logs, newspaper clippings, and other artifacts written by the characters
  • The box's purpose: to present the component written works of Dracula as a collection of period-accurate documents so that the guest can read "the original source material"
  • Created during Schell Games Jam Week 2015 as a product prototype
  • Constructed over one week in collaboration with: Jesse Schell, Kirsten Rispin, Heidi McDonald, Anisha Deshmane, and Lauren Reed 

Several artifacts, such as the envelop addresses, were hand-inked 

The outer box was constructed from hardboard

The box was designed to open from the top and the front

The journals are contained in a secret compartment at the base

The box's first coat of paint

Back detail of the painted box

Concept sketches of how the box might look; steamer trunks and traveling secretaries were considered in the initial design

The inside of the box was lined with red velvet and gold-painted wood

White satin cloth was used to make the pockets and accents

Chest sealed for transportation 

Side view of the open trunk

A directory was provided to guide guests through the original reading order outlined through the novel

Most of the letter packets were stored in side compartments

Guests were invited to read through the box at their leisure

Telegraphs, newspapers, and hotel pamphlets

A bundle of letters sent to Lucy Westenraa

A letter opener was included to allow the sealed envelopes to be easily opened

Various telegrams sent by characters throughout the book

The reading-order list for all of the content

Smaller items like letters and telegrams were stored in side pockets

The box with all of the hidden artifacts revealed

Dr. Seward recorded all of his journal entries using a phonograph--the phonograph pictured here can be used to listen to clips of his journal from the Dracula audiobook

Some photos and artifacts belonging to the characters were included in the trunk: a locket, a necklace, a letter opener, etc.

The four journals included in the box were hand-bound by Anisha

Recipe cards for different foods mentioned in the book were included by Heidi as an extra bonus to the box

The completed Dracula Box as it is viewed when it is first opened

  • The box was designed to showcase the elements in a compelling way that also allowed for relatively easy access
  • The box was built with pockets and compartments for all of the included artifacts
  • My main contributions: box construction and assorted handwriting tasks for envelopes and letters

The Concept

Process Documentation

  • Prototype includes: four journals, several telegrams, dozens of letters, handwritten notes, work orders, a ship's log, a functional model phonograph with audio recordings, a few photographs and other mementos, and a directory that describes the reading order
  • Each document has a red number marked in one of the corners to help the reader determine its place in the reading order
  • The box contains a secret compartment at the base where the journals and other artifacts are stored