Dracula: Myth or Reality?
THE history of Vlad the Impaler is still shrouded in mystery and legend and the truth is that nobody knows where the legend ends, to be continued with history. Being a historical but also a folkloric character, he was chosen by Bram Stoker as the main character in his well-known novel published in 1897.
There are numerous legends. One of them tells that his turning into Dracula (in Romanian the world drac means devil) sanguinary count is due to the fact that, back in those days, the winner of a battle would drink the blood of his victims to quench the thirst. Is this the truth about Dracula?
Vlad the Impaler was born in Sighişoara, a city in Transilvania region in Romania, in 1431. His father was a knight in the Dragon Order, the knightly order in Eastern Europe. The a at the end of the word Dracul is a way to establish the correlation between father and son – Dracula, the son of Dracul. The Impaler nickname was assigned after his death in 1476, inspired by his favourite way of punishment. Impaling was a cruel manner of killing where the victim is stabbed with a huge spike.
There are not many details about Dracula’s death, but there are some incomplete versions. The most popular story is that he was killed in a battle. Most historians consider Vlad’s body to be buried in Snagov Monastery and his head taken to Istanbul.
Archaeologist Dinu Rosetti investigated the monastery to discover the body of Vlad Dracula but he only discovered some robbed tombs. Some local legends were saying that he was buried in front of the monastery. Giving a chance to this legend, he continued his investigation with this place, where he found a tomb that was not robbed, in which a nobleman had been buried. However, the skeleton of this man was completely whole and it is a fact that Dracula’s body was not headless.
In the villages near the Bran Castle, there are legends about evil spirits called strigoi (vampires). These creatures appeared to be normal people during daylight but when night came, their soul was leaving their bodies to hunt. The Dracula character from Bram Stoker’s novel is inspired by these legends.