Bram Stoker’s Dracula is derived from the former ruler of Wallachia, whose name was Vlad Tepes. He was also known by a few nicknames….Dracula or Draculea(Old Romanian), Vlad The Impaler and Vlad III. He ruled an area of the Balkans(Wallachia) in the 15th century. The word “Tepes” stands for “impaler”, so given to him for his penchant to punish victims by impaling them on stakes, then displaying them in public to frighten not only his enemies, but also transgressors of his moral code. It is said he killed between 40,000 and 100,000 people in this fashion. Here he is looking rather gleeful:
As he pertains to the idea, or concept of Dracula as we moderners know him, the only link I can find, but still can’t prove historically, as most of the documented information on Ol Vlad is from his enemies, is that he would wash his hands in the blood of his enemies, which is quite different than drinking it, although that was rumored about him as well, this author could find no proof of either. Here is a image of where Vladdy ruled:
King Sigismund of Hungary, who became the Holy Roman Emperor in 1410, founded a secret fraternal order of knights called the Order of the Dragon to uphold Christianity and defend the Empire against the Ottoman Turks. Its emblem was a dragon, wings extended, hanging on a cross. Vlad III’s father (Vlad II) was admitted to the Order around 1431 because of his bravery in fighting the Turks. From 1431 onward Vlad II wore the emblem of the order and later, as ruler of Wallachia, his coinage bore the dragon symbol. The word for dragon in Romanian is “drac” and “ul” is the definitive article. Vlad III’s father thus came to be known as “Vlad Dracul,” or “Vlad the dragon.” In Romanian the ending “ulea” means “the son of”. Under this interpretation, Vlad III thus became Vlad Dracula, or “the son of the dragon.” (The word “drac” also means “devil” in Romanian. The sobriquet thus took on a double meaning for enemies of Vlad Tepes and his father.) Ok….History lesson over kiddos…. 😉
Well, not quite. In 1922, there was an unauthorized version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula made, but because the studio couldn’t gain rights to the novel, names and details were changed and so forth, hence the birth of Nosferatu, which is this harmless looking bloke that follows:
Banana Hands right? He was Count Orlok as opposed to Count Dracula, Nosferatu instead of Vampire…..you get it.
As a kid growing up, I made the fatal error one night, oh I had to be about 7 or 8 I suppose, of sneaking out of my room to get a glimpse of what the folks were watching on television. Unbenounced to me, they were watching Salem’s Lot, A horror movie made in 1979 by Stephen King. It just so happens I peeked around the corner about the same time as the Vampire is doing his business…..I must have had nightmares for 6 months after that…..here is a picture of “Barlow”…..
In fact, here is the very scene I saw:
In modern times, Vampires seem to have been altered, feminized if you will, to have emotions…a conscience. The ability to feel love, or lust. Even bear children. A stretch from Dracula, or Count Orlok…..even our friend Barlow. Vampires hold a taboo fascination with our culture, they have since Bram Stoker. They are drafted to have this allure, this power that seduces thier victims. Also there is that whole immortality thing they have going on as well…. it is this Author’s opinion that the Vampire lore and the continued fascination cultures have with Vampires is the way Vampires play our fear of the different, the unknown…. the fringe. Or better yet, what is just past the fringe….who knows. Keep reading my friends. T