Vlad III - Vlad The Impaler

Inspiration of the Bram Stoker's 1897 Tale of Count Dracula

Vlad III, or Vlad the Impaler, is one this world's more intriguing and brutal tyrant rulers. He ruled mainly from 1456 to 1462.

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There are many versions of Vlad III's life story, and yet there are no truly accurate ones. He is probably best known for his inspiration of the Bram Stoker's 1897 tale of Count Dracula. I mean his father's surname just happened to be Vlad Dracul, or Vlad the devil, which he received once he was made a member of The Order of the Dragon.

Historically speaking, Vlad the Impaler is probably best known for the cruel methods of execution and punishments that he dispatched upon his enemies. These included impalement, torture, roasting, skinning, burning, and boiling people, and drowning, if he liked you.

Vlad III was born in the winter of 1431 in the Transylvanian city of Sighisoara. At the time his father was living in exile there. To this day, the house he was born in is still standing.

At the age of 11, he and his younger brother, Radu the Handsome, were traded to the Turks by his father as a tribute for Ottoman support of his throne. There they were imprisoned and held hostage by the Turks.

While imprisoned Vlad III was often beaten and whipped because of how he verbally abused his captors for trying to force the brothers into the life of the Islam faith. Radu was easy to control and convert, but Vlad was very stubborn and ultimately pretended to convert to secure his release.

The time spent in prison getting beat and dwelling on his father's betrayal had great influence in developing Vlad's psychotic character.

Vlad the Impaler is estimated to have caused more rivers to flow with blood than any other tyrant in the history of the world. He killed just to see and hear the suffering of his numerous victims, so he could bask in his own power and sheer pleasure that it brought him.

He would take dull, oiled stakes, half the circumference of a telephone pole, and ram them through the buttocks of a person out through the mouth. He made shish kabobs out of mothers and their children. Death by impalement was the worst. It was slow and agonizing, and it could be endured for hours or even days.

He would cut off limbs and feed people the flesh of their friends and relatives. Atrocities such as these seemed to provide sick delight for him, and at the same time help to keep his enemies afraid. It was nothing for him to kill tens of thousands at a time by forcing them over cliffs where he had spears below to impale them.

At the end of his era in 1462, Vlad The Impaler was forced to flee, overthrown, and imprisoned for 12 years. His wife jumped from the Vlad castle towers and commited suicide, rather than to be taken hostage.

During his time in prison, he somehow managed to sire two sons. He was also able to continue his favorite horrific hobby of torture. He caught birds and mice and they were either tortured and mutilated or impaled and beheaded.

He, himself, was finally beheaded in 1478 after a short two year stint back in his position as ruler.

It is easy to see how this sadistic ruler could be confused with an immortal creature of the night that has to feed on someone else's life force to survive.

In comparison Dracula is probably the lesser of the two evils. You can also reason that all of Dracula's actions were motivated by his basic survival need to feed, and Vlad was just a cruel murderer for pleasure. Either way you look at it, both of their notoriety will continue to be remembered from generation to generation.

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