Spooky Season. The real Dracula.

Well it would not be Halloween or spooky season without talking about Dracula. Would it? So many movies, tv shows, video games and tales have been about Dracula. He is one of the symbols of Halloween and always at every monster mash. But what if I told you he was based off a real person? That’s right friends, Dracula was named by Brahm Stroker after a real person . Vlad III of Wachalia or also known as Vlad the impaler! Oh yes. By the way check out last spooky season’s post about the BOGEYMAN.

Get out your holy water and grab your stake. Let us crack this coffin open shall we? Oh yeah I went there.

Ok, so the similarities between the two end at the name although the Dracula in Castlevania does impale people. Good show on Netflix by the way. So let’s get into some of Vlad III background.

Vlad III was born around 1431 in Sighisoara, Romania . Some would say Transylvania although many scholars contest this. He was the second of four brothers and a part of a noble family. Son of Vlad II Dracul. (See where the Dracula comes from?) Dracul is from the Latin word Draco, which means dragon. Dracul was added to title after the Holy Roman Empire inducted Vlad II into the Order of the Dragon .This was created for the Christian Defense against from the Ottoman Empire.

In 1436, Vlad moved to Targoviste in Walachia . His father had gotten the leadership role of the Wallachian Voivodate or Principality. Then in 1442 Vlad and his younger brother were sent to the court of the Ottoman Sultan Murat II. They were supposed to be collateral to assure the sultan that daddy dearest would behave and follow the Ottoman empire’s rules. Then daddy Vlad was assassinated and in 1448 Vlad III returned back home to Walachia. Oh his elder brother was killed too. Anyways, he then began a long eight years of campaigns to get the voivodate. Even his own brother was against him the one that was still with the sultan. His brother was happy living with the sultan. I mean why not, with the Sultan they were living it up. Well one viewed it as living it up, Vlad was a moodier brother and wanted to go home and avenge his father and brother.

Now we get into the horrible stuff he did. The things that earned him the name we all know him by Vlad the Impaler. OK, I have to say, first time I heard about Vlad was DRUNK HISTORY.

SO, he was known for impaling people. He would impale them on stakes in the ground and leave these people to die. Oh yes. Hence the name Vlad the Impaler. It did not matter if you were from there, a local, or foreign. He would inflict this horrendous torture on anyone. In 1462, he was retreating from a battle and left a field full of impaled victims. Thousands of them. All done to hopefully scare the Ottoman forces. He escaped their capture. However, a year later he was caught by Hungarian forces.

Wood plank engraving of a 1499 pamphlet depicts Vlad III dining among the impaled corpses of his victims.

In one legend, that was circulating at the time of his Voivodate, he invited a bunch of Boyars to a banquet. He had his guests stabbed with the still twitching bodies impaled on spikes. Legend says he dined amongst the impaled corpses. He also impaled dozens of Saxon merchants in Kronstadt. Then some Ottoman envoys refused to remove their turbans when meeting with Vlad. Even though they cited religious custom, Vlad did not care, and he had their turbans nailed to their heads and also impaled them. He viewed this nailing the turbans to their heads as commending them on their religious devotions.

There was another story, this one from a book. Where Dracula/Vlad issued a proclamation where all the poor, the ill, the disabled, infirm, etc should come to the great hall that was built for the purpose of these people. The people all went thinking something grand would be happening to them or perhaps pity and such.And upon there they were well fed and had plenty to drink. After the feast Vlad said to them “what more do you need?” The people said to him “God and your majesty know. As god instructs you” Something like that. He then says to them “ Would you like me to take away your sorrow and suffering?” And for me, that would be some major red flags. I would be looking for an exit maybe. Anyways, the people say “YES!” So, he orders his men to barricade the doors and lock the people inside. Where He then set the building on fire with tons of people in there to be burned alive. Vlad turned to his Boyers and said that he did this to make it where the poor wouldn’t bother anyone. And that no one is to be poor in his land that all are rich. ALso, he stated that he “ended” their “suffering”. So mass murder basically. And another time two Catholic priests came to Vlad and taking alms. One priest he decided to make a martyr out of and had him impaled through the butt, ok the text said ANUS, but I am perpetually a 12yr old girl and that makes me laugh for some reason, and the other was given 50 bits of gold and would be taken home with guard of honor. He is as unpredictable as Elagabalus, Read that here.

And even though he did a lot of bad things he was still also celebrated for going up against the Ottomans. In a book called “ The tale of Dracula “ Written by a monk names Efrosin in 1490, Vlad was presented as a fierce but just ruler. Even the Pope, Pope Pius II was a bit impressed by his fighting off the Ottoman Empire . He did get a bit of a home life. During his time as a captive in Hungary, he married and had two children. But like most things it had to come to an end, right?In 1476, a small army of his was ambushed and Vlad was killed. There is still many speculation as to where his tomb is. Some say he was buried in a monastery Snagov. Others will say it is Montastery of Comana. Which is closer to where he was killed.

I guess, the whole thought of what Vlad was is very much a scary story to many of us. And no wonder the man may have slightly inspired a story of vampires. Although, I would say the blood countess was probably worse and more terrifying. Anyways, there is a castle that also may have had a hand in the inspiration for Dracula too. Bran’s castle can be visited as a touristy hotspot. Although Vlad never spent time there.however, a place he may have is Tokat castle in Northern Turkey. It is available for visit, but with Covid I am not so sure.

For this shoot I went more spookie. A black dress by Selkie and I felt my skeleton collection would be a great vibe. Dracula vibes. I chose moodier filters and editing. I put some spookier elements in there for a more vampire effect and yet not over doing it. Apps I used for editing is Lightroom for presets and picsart for additional effects. It takes a bit of time to edit pictures in lush greeen setting into a more grim one. Also goes to show if you don’t want to go and buy a costume you can just use what you have in your closet.

To purchase this dress you will have to go through Selkie’s website or instagram page. Selkie is a no waste fashion house. https://selkiecollection.com/pages/learn-more-about-selkie

Shop some things if you like that I have been wearing lately.

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Sources : Live science Brittanica. Tale of DRacula (translation to English) Vlad the impaler wiki

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