In honor of Jacob :)

Morbid Fact Du Jour, the February 12th entry:

Most authorities believe the character of Dracula in Bram Stoker?s novel was based upon the historical figure Vlad Tepes (pronounced tse-pesh), who intermittently ruled an area of the Balkans called Wallachia in the mid 15th century. He was also called by the names Vlad III, Vlad Dracula and Vlad the Impaler. The word Tepes stands for “impaler” and was so coined because of Vlad?s propensity to punish victims by impaling them on stakes, then displaying them publicly to frighten his enemies and to warn would-be transgressors of his strict moral code. He is credited with killing between 40,000 to 100,000 people in this fashion.

More than anything else the historical Dracula is known for his inhuman cruelty. Impalement was Vlad III?s preferred method of torture and execution. Impalement was and is one of the most gruesome ways of dying imaginable, as it was typically slow and painful. Vlad usually had a horse attached to each of the victim?s legs and a sharpened stake was gradually forced into the body. The end of the stake was usually oiled and care was taken that the stake not be too sharp, else the victim might die too rapidly from shock. Normally the stake was inserted into the body through the buttocks and was often forced through the body until it emerged from the mouth. However, there were many instances where victims were impaled through other body orifices or through the abdomen or chest. Infants were sometimes impaled on the stake forced through their mother?s chests. The records indicate that victims were sometimes impaled so that they hung upside down on the stake.

From: Vlad Tepes – The Historical Dracula


  1. See? No matter how many times I have read all about this over the years, I still shudder at the thought. Sometimes a vivid imagination is not worth the price of admission.

  2. Wait. It gets better. He probably did have a brother…
    named RADU!

  3. Here A…no, I can’t call the movies “good”. But I’m a bit of a freak regarding bad movies. I liked ’em a lot. The guy who plays Radu is however, good.

  4. Oh damn, I had forgotten (sanity-saving-amnesia) about that movie.
    I think I saw at least the first one back when I played ‘Vampire: The Masquerade’ and we did vampire-movie marathons to get character and campaign ideas.
    If nothing else I remember us dramatically going ‘The night… Has fangs!’ and arguments about how cool it’d be to have ghouls / vamp. spawn like that.
    But I still like the idea of a break-dancing street punk 80’s throwback vamp named ‘Rad-ucula’.

  5. “Tepes” means “impaler”; it’s not a family name.
    Vlad and Radu were sent as hostages ito the Turks in 1444, Vlad being 12 and Radu 9, for four years. The Turkish sultan took Radu as a “protege.” After Vlad’s death, Radu took the Wallachian throne but was defeated in 1473. Pulled out of The History of Murder, Colin Wilson.

  6. Here’s the next bit:
    Vlad Tepes often had the stakes arranged in various geometric patterns. The most common pattern was a ring of concentric circles in the outskirts of a city that was his target. The height of the spear indicated the rank of the victim. The decaying corpses were often left up for months. It was once reported that an invading Turkish army turned back in fright when it encountered thousands of rotting corpses impaled on the banks of the Danube. In 1461 Mohammed II, the conqueror of Constantinople, a man not noted for his squeamishness, returned to Constantinople after being sickened by the sight of twenty thousand impaled Turkish prisoners outside of the city of Tirgoviste. This gruesome sight is remembered in history as “the Forest of the Impaled.”

  7. Note to self: When wanting invading armies to turn back, greet them with the impaled remains of the last army that tried to invade…

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