Criminal Insanity: Bram Stoker and the Inmates of Millbank Prison

Graduate Memorial Building

Venue: Graduate Memorial Building, Trinity College, Dublin 2

Saturday 28 October at 4pm

Tickets: €13 (including + €1 booking fee). 

A fascinating journey into prisons, asylums and other places of confinement haunted by Bram Stoker.

Years before the publication of Dracula, Stoker was granted unrestricted entry to the infamous Millbank Prison on the banks of the Thames in London. Inside these walls, he crossed paths with renowned criminals, fraudsters and killers. One particular encounter with an Irish prisoner, entangled in a web of violence spanning Ireland and Britain, left an indelible mark on Stoker’s imagination. 

These haunting real-life experiences may have served as the foundation for some of the novel’s most memorable characters: Renfield, the asylum patient and Dr. John Seward, the keeper of the asylum. 

Join Dr. Jason McElligott, Director of Marsh’s Library, for this captivating lecture; a deep-dive into the murky, real-life people and places which informed Stoker’s masterpiece. 

This event takes place at the Graduate Memorial Building in Trinity College, home to the College Historical Society (The Hist) both which Stoker was auditor of in his day. The Hist was recently recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest student society in the world. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to visit one of Dublin’s most storied venues. 

This event is presented in partnership with the College Historical Society at Trinity College Dublin.


Age Suitability: 14+. Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.

Duration: 60 mins

Latecomers: Latecomers will be admitted.

Please Note: Contains discussion of 19th century crimes including murder and aggravated burglary.

Accessibility: Venue is wheelchair accessible via platform lift at the entrance of the building. There is also a universal access bathroom on the ground floor.

The Graduate Memorial Building at Trinity College on Google Maps. Click here for a map link to the venue.