Vlad the Impaler – Real Dracula!
There was in fact a real man on whom Dracula was based – the man, who lived a little over 500 years ago was named Vlad the Impaler. Although Vlad was a ruler of Wallachia (a region in Romania), by all accounts he was also a somewhat violent man, earning his nickname “the impaler” due to the fact that he liked to kill his enemies by impalement, which is to say that he would drive a stake through their bodies. They say that Vlad hated lies, stealing, and deception, and so you were most at risk of being impaled if you were a liar, stealer, or deceiver.
The Real Dracula?
Vlad himself was not known to be an actual vampire – he did not drink blood nor did he avoid the sunlight. But he was incredibly violent. He was also a Dracul and was actually called Dracula when he wa alive! Part of this is because Vlad’s father’s name was Vlad Dracul. (Dracula means son of Dracul.) When the author Bram Stoker developed his novel about a bloodthirsty vampire, he had also been reading the history of the area of Wallachia, and the idea of Vlad and the vampire seemed to go together. Count Dracula was therefore born. Interestingly Vlad’s surname “Dracul” also in the present day translation means “devil” which is especially fitting to the vampire Dracula. Vlad the Impaler was also born in Transylvania and had a castle – the same as Bram Stoker’s vampire Dracula.
Today, on Easter Sunday, about 553 years ago (the year 1457), Vlad the Impaler was fulfilling one of his longest wishes – he took revenge against the people that were responsible for the deaths of his father and brother by impaling them!
The castle that Bram Stoker used in his novel Dracula was a castle in Transylvania known as Bran Castle. Bran Castle has been dubbed “Dracula’s Castle” and has been turned into a museum. The actual home that Vlad lived in was Poenari Castle – this “Castle Dracula” is just ruins today.