Christopher Lee Reads Five Horror Classics: Dracula, Frankenstein, The Phantom of the Opera & More


Image via Wiki­me­dia Com­mons

The great hor­ror actors of the genre’s gold­en age—the time of Drac­u­la, Franken­stein, The Mum­my, and yet more Drac­u­la—suc­ceed­ed on the strength of their high­ly uncon­ven­tion­al looks. Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, and Christo­pher Lee were not faces you would pass on the street with­out a sec­ond look. But they suc­ceed­ed equal­ly because all three, includ­ing Karloff, made use of some very well trained voices—voices honed for the the­atri­cal.

They have ele­vat­ed even the camp­i­est mate­r­i­al through the use of their voic­es, and fur­ther ele­vat­ed many already great sto­ries by read­ing them aloud. Bela Lugosi con­tributed his Hun­gar­i­an-accent­ed bari­tone to a read­ing of Poe’s “The Tell­tale Heart,” sound­ing in every line like he might break into “I vant to suck your blood.” Karloff, the more ver­sa­tile voice actor, nar­rat­ed Aesop’s FablesRud­yard Kipling’s Just So Sto­ries, and too many oth­er books to list.

Christo­pher Lee has also read Poe, a lot of Poe. And—rather type­cast or land­ing the best voiceover gig of all—he record­ed five clas­sic hor­ror nov­els: Drac­u­la, Franken­stein, Phan­tom of the Opera, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and The Hunch­back of Notre Dame. (Though we might argue about whether Vic­tor Hugo’s nov­el belongs in this cat­e­go­ry).

Lee read Drac­u­la once before, in an adap­ta­tion made for a graph­ic nov­el in 1966. Here, he reads Bram Stok­er’s nov­el unabridged, unlike some of the oth­er books. You can pur­chase these in a com­pi­la­tion CD. Or you can hear them on Spo­ti­fy for free, either in your brows­er or using their soft­ware. (Hear Phan­tom of the Opera here and The Hunch­back of Notre Dame here). How­ev­er you hear his read­ings, like all of Lee’s voicework—even his heavy met­al Christ­mas album—these nar­ra­tions prac­ti­cal­ly vibrate with omi­nous ten­sion and sus­pense.

Look­ing for free, pro­fes­sion­al­ly-read audio books from Here’s a great, no-strings-attached deal. If you start a 30 day free tri­al with, you can down­load two free audio books of your choice. Get more details on the offer here.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Christo­pher Lee Reads Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” and From “The Fall of the House of Ush­er”

Hor­ror Leg­end Christo­pher Lee Reads Bram Stoker’s Drac­u­la

Hor­ror Leg­end Christo­pher Lee Presents a Heavy Met­al Ver­sion of The Lit­tle Drum­mer Boy

Hear Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart” Read by the Great Bela Lugosi (1946)

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

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Comments (3)
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  • Lee says:

    Christo­pher Lee was one of the awe­somest peo­ple ever.

  • josé fernando da silva says:

    Lee des­de infan­cia que par­a­va em frente aos vel­hos cin­e­mas so para via­jar naque­la capa e sil­hue­ta esguia que denun­ci­a­va a figu­ra esbelta e alta aam o pro­prio conde da valáquia lee vc foi o uni­co do gen­ero saudades eter­nas deste fâ

  • Ran bowie says:

    I tru­ely enjoied this amaz­ing book2he ques­tion is how can the one who read it makes it more excit­ed?

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