The story of Dracula is undoubtedly a horrifying tale, however here are some misconceptions about the real Dracula that will make you wonder whether all that’s been told is true. Did Vlad The Impaler really inspire the story popularized by the media in the last two centuries?
NOT THE REAL DEAL
A common misconception about Vlad The Impaler is that he inspired famous Irish author Bram Stoker to create Dracula. Well, you can throw that theory away because it was actually Stoker who had a dream which inspired the amazing story of Dracula. What an anticlimax!
OOPS! ACCIDENTAL NAME
Even the name Vlad Dracula seems to be accidental since Stoker’s notes show no indication that he was aware of a figure named Vlad The Impaler. In fact, the name Dracula means Devil in Wallachian (as Stoker wrote once on a footnote) and this is the only evidence ever found of him making reference to that name.
The idea of Vlad drinking the blood of his victims is a scary one and it may all be due to a case of literal translation gone wrong. When a poem about his life was translated in the 20th century, a couple of scholars took some liberties with the source material, making this the origin of the whole blood-sucking.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
Up until the present there are still debates over the meaning and use of Dracula. Some argue it means devil, whereas others claim it refers to Vlad’s father, to identify Vlad III as “son of Drakul” or “son of the Dragon” for its ruthless reputation. What’s in a name anyway?
NO LOCATION FOUND
Transylvania has surely made a touristic profit due to this horrific story, but Prof. Curta, a professor of medieval history, suggests that he never lived in Bran Castle and that he may have been born in Sighisoara or Targoviste, the royal seat of Wallachia.
Vlad III was far from being the demonic man portrayed at present and in history books. In fact, he was considered a brave hero for his fight for freedom from the Turks. What a polarizing figure!
With the help of Pious II and the Church, it was Vlad who stopped the practice of paying an annual tribute of soldiers to the Turks and started impaling them on stakes to send quite a clear message. The message was received loud and clear.
A MYSTERIOUS DEATH
When nobody knows how you died, it surely fuels the mystery even more. One story says that he fell in battle when his forces were ambushed by the Turks. Others suggest that his own men killed him. Since he had just retaken his throne, some stories suggest that he was assassinated by men who would rather not go back under his rule.
Some stories claim him to be a just ruler. Yeah, even with the impaling and beheading and all. A sort of Robin Hood seizing money from the disloyal and giving it to the loyal. This part of the story has been lost to time.
WHERE IS THE BODY?
Since a mysterious death is clearly not enough, we also need to have no knowledge about the whereabouts of his body! Some stories say he was beheaded and the head sent to Sultan Mehmed. The rest of his body is either in Constantinope, or in a Bulgarian monastery, where monks hoped to save his soul.