Vlad The Impaler: The First Dracula!
Vlad The Impaler was born in Transylvania in the year 1431. His fame is notorious and is legendary throughout history as he was a fierce, violent ruler who impaled his enemies on spikes, hence his name. Vlad was born into the Royal House of Draculesti which is the name passed down on his fathers side which was to become known as Dracula. Bram Stoker the author loosely based his stories around the Dracula legend that hailed from Vlad The Impaler’s family.
Vlad’s reputation for being a famous and cruel warrior soon spread all over Europe while his victims numbered into the thousands making him a formidable plus much feared opponent. Tutored by Greek and Romanian scholars Vlad was to excel in combat, geography, maths, languages and philosophy being very well educated for the time.
Vlad’s father sent Vlad and his brother to serve at the Ottoman Court but Vlad did not settle well, unlike his brother, and was frequently beaten, whipped and imprisoned as a result. Vlads character was obviously shaped in these cruel years and they were to influence his behaviour for years to come. Well versed in Latin, horse riding plus trained well in the art of warfare Vlad would be a tyrannical leader.
Vlad married and had two sons. His first wife (he was to have three) unfortunately committed suicide by throwing herself from the tower of Poenari Castle after reading a note that intimated they were to be taken over any time soon. She would rather die than be taken captive so met her sorry end by her own doing.
Vlad had the formidable reputation for being a tyrant who was very sadistic and took great pleasure in torture of all kinds. Men women and even children would fall victim to his barbaric acts. Following his death in 1476 talk ensued regarding his victims, their numbers plus their modes of death. Impaling his victims on wooden spikes was his hallmark and that is why today we believe that vampires such as Dracula can only be “killed” by a wooden stake through the heart. They walk the earth as the “undead” feeding on the blood of their victims.
Bram Stokers Dracula was written in 1897 and was said to be inspired by Vlad The Impaler of the Dracula dynasty. The book does not however mention any connection directly, it is in very loose terms that the reader makes the connection. However none the less the Dracula stories certainly have some kind of origin that connects with this cruel historical character.
Christopher Lee plays Dracula
Many plays and films have been made about Dracula, indeed Hollywood film makers have made millions from the Count. We never seem to tire of Dracula in all his shapes and forms as we love to be frightened to death in cinemas up and down the country, in fact around the globe. I wonder what Vlad The Impaler would think if he had known, that centuries after his demise people not only would be talking about him from a historical point of view, but that a character inspired by him would be the subject of horror movies for years to come.