The Dark Legend of Dracula

by Andrew Sanchez

The Legend of Dracula is much darker than many perceive it. It is based off a Romanian price named Vlad Dracul III, who was extremely brutal. During his reign, he killed and tortured somewhere between 40,000 to 100,000 people. He did many unspeakable acts, like feasting while watching the bodies of his impaled victims still twitching.

Vlad Dracul III was born in Transylvania, which is now  part of modern day Romania. His name meant “Son of the Dragon,” which would later be known as the “Son of the Devil.” He was born into power, as his father was the voivode, or ruler, of the principality of Wallachia. His father fought against the Ottoman Empire for years, and Vlad loved war just like his father. Vlad’s hatred for others only grew after being imprisoned by the Ottomans as a twelve year old. His hatred for others and love for war would be very transparent later on in his life.

After his father died, Vlad was in power, and he wanted to horrify his enemies. He was in a massive war with the Ottoman Empire, which was a superpower in his time. He became “Vlad the Impaler” after impaling thousands of his enemies. He impaled 40,000 to 100,000 people during his reign. Vlad left cities full of his impaled enemies to scare the other Ottoman armies. It is said that he dined while viewing their lifeless impaled corpses. Some say that he even drank the blood of enemies, which was an inspiration to the fictional story of Count Dracula.

In August 1462, the impaler was exiled from Wallachia, to Hungary. He was not able to defeat his greatest enemy, Mehmet II, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Vlad somehow regained power, but his triumph was short lived, due to being killed in an ambush by Ottoman soldiers. After dying near Bucharest, his head was sent to Mehmet II, and Vlad Dracul III was buried. His burial site is unknown, some think it is in a monastery church in Snagov, which is in the northern edge of Bucharest. Some scholars think he was buried at the Monastery of Comana, between the city of Bucharest and the Danube river. 

When we look at Bram Stoker's Dracula, we think it is purely fiction. While it is fiction, it is based on a very ruthless man, who did unspeakable things to others. Unlike Count Dracula, “The Impaler”, is dead.