Lucy Holmwood is based upon the character of Lucy Westenra as first depicted in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel, Dracula. The character has gone through many permutations, but is present in nearly all film adaptations of Stoker's work. This version of Lucy is the sister of Arthur Holmwood, and not his fiancée as depicted in other films.
Lucy Holmwood lived in the village of Klausenburg in the late 19th century. She resided at the mansion home of her brother Arthur and his wife, Mina. Lucy was engaged to marry a librarian and scholar by the name of Jonathan, but Jonathan's life was tragically cut short when he was killed while trying to destroy the vampire Dracula. Although Jonathan failed to kill Dracula, he did succeed in hammering a wooden stake through the heart of one of Dracula's brides. Killing Jonathan wasn't enough for Dracula. For taking the life of one of his brides, he decided to avenge himself by seducing and ultimately vampirizing Jonathan's betrothed.
Dracula began insinuating himself into the Holmwood household late at night, creeping into Lucy's bedroom and feeding on her. Lucy fell under the hypnotic sway of the vampire and was forced to obey his commands (which usually involved enabling him access to the house).
Arthur Holmwood and occult scholar Professor Van Helsing learned what was going on and tried to take precautions against continued threats to Lucy's life. Arthur and Mina had Lucy's room laced with garlic flowers, but Lucy later convinced their housekeeper, Gerda, to remove them so Dracula could gain access to her room. The following morning, they discovered Lucy's body, dead in her bedroom.
Three nights later, Lucy rose from the grave as a vampire. She began haunting the forests around Klausenburg and terrorized Gerda's young daughter, Tania. Arthur and Professor Van Helsing cornered the vampiric Lucy in a churchyard just before dawn and Van Helsing burned the symbol of the cross into her forehead. Lucy recoiled and returned to her coffin before the sunrise. Holmwood and Van Helsing followed her, and the professor put Lucy's spirit at peace by driving a wooden stake into her heart, just as he had done to her fiancé, Jonathan. When the deed was done, the crucifix-shaped burn mark across her brown disappeared.