25 Gory And Bloody Facts About the Real Dracula

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.

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Former Romanian president Nicolae Ceausescu, the communist ruler of the country from 1965 to 1989, promoted Vlad’s patriotism to further his nationalistic agenda, which targeted Hungarians and other ethnic minorities in Transylvania.

Nicolae CeausescuSource: Vlad the Impaler: In Search of the Real Dracula, Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolae_Ceau%C8%99escu%27s_cult_of_personality#/media/File:TimbruNicolaeCeausescu.png
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Contrary to popular belief, the vampire is not part of Romanian folklore, and the word is not from the Romanian language. The word derives from the Serbian “vampyr.”

Serbian languageSource: Vlad the Impaler: In Search of the Real Dracula, Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_symbols_of_Bulgaria#/media/File:Old_Bulgarian_Alphabet.png
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A contemporary portrait of Vlad III, rediscovered by Romanian historians in the late nineteenth century, had been featured in the gallery of horrors at Innsbruck’s Ambras Castle. The original has been lost to history, but a larger copy, painted anonymously in the first half of the sixteenth century, now hangs in the same gallery. This copy, unlike the crypto-portraits contemporary with Vlad III, seems to have given him a Habsburg lip.

portrait of Vlad IIISource: Vlad the Impaler: In Search of the Real Dracula, Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vlad_the_Impaler#/media/File:Vlad_Tepes_002.jpg
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According to the book In Search of Dracula, Vlad had a sense of humor in his own strange way. The book describes how his victims would often twitch around “like frogs” as they were impaled. Vlad found this amusing and according to the book, he once stated about his victims, “Oh, what great gracefulness they exhibit.”

impaling2Source: Vlad the Impaler: In Search of the Real Dracula, Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impalement#/media/File:Empalement.jpg
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It looks like Dracula was into social experiments way before they became cool. To prove how much his citizens feared him, he placed a gold cup in the middle of the town square in Targoviste. He allowed people to drink from it, but the golden cup had to remain at its position at all times. Amazingly, during his entire reign, the golden cup was never touched, even though the city was inhabited by sixty thousand citizens, most of them living in extreme poverty.

Golden CupSource: Vlad the Impaler: In Search of the Real Dracula, Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trialeti_culture

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