Vlad III, also known as Vlad Tepes (the Impaler), or just Dracula, was a three-time Voivode (ruler) of Wallachia, ruling mainly from 1456 to 1462, the period of the incipient Ottoman conquest of the Balkans. He is considered a folklore hero in many parts of Eastern Europe for his bloody battles to protect Orthodox Christianity from the invading Ottomans. As the cognomen “the Impaler” suggests, his practice of impaling his Turkish enemies is part of his reputation, while his lust for blood would make him, hundreds of years after his death, one of the most popular figures in pop culture history. Count Dracula in Bram Stoker’s famous 1897 novel was inspired by Vlad’s patronymic and reputation, while every film, TV show, literary work, comic book, or video game that has portrayed vampires has been inspired by him in one way or another. Of course, Dracula didn’t go out only at night to find innocent victims to drain of their blood as movies usually depict a vampire doing, but historical sources show us that Vlad did indeed have a taste for blood. After he impaled his enemies, he would dip bread into buckets of their blood and eat it. But if that’s the only thing you know about Dracula—the real man behind the myth—then get ready, because you are about to learn 25 Gory And Bloody Facts About the Real Dracula.