Vlad the Impaler Was No Sexy 'True Blood' Vampire

Vlad the Impaler gets a pretty bad name and with good reason. The 15th century Romanian warlord was the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula and an all-around cruel man who is most famous for impaling people (nice claim to fame, eh?). Prince Charles is now claiming to share lineage with the cruel nobleman in order to save the Romanian forests. It's a fascinating and somewhat frightening allegation when one considers the cruelty Vlad displayed. 

Vlad III Vlad Dracula and Vlad the Impaler (all names referring to him) was born in late 1431 in the citadel of Sighisoara, Transylvania. His cruelty became legendary and inspired Dracula, but he was actually far, far more sinister than a vampire who drinks only blood to live.

Here are some things you may not know about the real-life "Dracula." WARNING: These aren't for the weak-stomached.

  • He wasn't immediately intrigued by impalement: As a teenager, he found impalement disgusting, according to Court TV. Still he became used to the punishment that involved piercing a body lengthwise with a sharpened pole. The victim then died a painful death on the pole and it was often slow. Men were usually struck through the rectum, women through the vagina. "Dracula enjoyed watched the victims squirm, scream, hemorrhage, then die. He saw the crows pick at their carcasses that often remained under the hot Turkish sun until they were only blistered meat." Awesome.
  • He nailed turbans to heads: When visiting ambassadors from Turkey neglected to remove their turbans in his presence because it was their custom to keep them on, he had their turbans nailed to their heads with small iron nails and sent them home that way. Can you say OUCH? Politically correct Vlad the Impaler was not.
  • He slit open his mistress: In an effort to please him, his mistress told him she was pregnant. To prove it, he slit her open and let her die in agony. She wasn't, in fact, pregnant. So clearly, she deserved it, right?
  • The Golden Cup: Dracula had a golden cup placed near the fountain in a deserted square of Targoviste. People were so scared of him, no one even stole it!
  • He hated "lazy" women: When Dracula saw a man working in the fields wearing too short a caftan, he asked whether or not he had a wife. He said he did and Vlad brought the wife in and asked her what she did all day. Though she said she did the washing, baking, and sewing, Vlad told her she was a liar and cited her husband's short caftan as evidence of her laziness and dishonesty. He had her impaled and forced another woman to marry him, saying if she didn't work, she would also be impaled.

Sounds like a fun guy, no? And as a bonus: Vlad liked to dine among his impaled victims, some of whom were long dead, others of whom were still dying. Bon appetit!

Did you know these stories?

Image via secretagentmoof/Flickr

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