Most readers know that Dracula was based on a real person. Bram Stoker, author of the novel “Dracula,” based his character largely on the 15th-century Romanian prince Vlad Tepes, also known as Vlad III, but nicknamed Vlad the Impaler later in life because of his preferred method of executing his enemies.
According to History.com, when Vlad III was only 11 years old when his father Vlad II, a knight of the Order of the Dragon, left their homeland of Wallachia in order to ask the Ottoman Sultan Murad II for help against the Transylvanians. The elder Vlad, dubbed “Dragon” or “Dracul” by his men, took his two young sons along. This was a mistake; the Sultan took the boys hostage to solidify Vlad II’s continued fealty. Thus Vlad III, or “Dracula,” meaning “son of the Dragon,” became an Ottoman prisoner for five years.
Indeed it was Dracula’s 1462 war against the Ottomans, and his subsequent slaughter of 20,000 of their soldiers by impalement on long spikes, which led to his barbaric nickname of “Impaler.” As the legends of his cruelty grew and expanded over the years, some superstitious folk believed Dracula was really a blood-drinking, inhuman monster.
To read the whole article, “Dracula’s Dungeon” Unearthed in Turkey, visit History.com!