Count Dracula is a fictional vampire featured in Bram Stoker’s novel, ‘Dracula’. Some people believe that when creating his famous vampire, Bram Stoker based him on the Romanian prince, Vlad III.

Vlad III, commonly known as Vlad the Impaler, born in Transylvania in Central Romania, was the second son of the nobleman Vlad II Dracul. He took the name Dracula, meaning ‘Son of Dracul’.

As the ruler of Walachia (now a part of Romania), Vlad III was known for the brutal tactics he employed against his enemies, including torture, and mass murder. His preferred method of killing was impalement, which is how he got his name, ‘Vlad the Impaler’. Some particularly gruesome accounts claimed that Vlad liked to dine among the impaled bodies of his victims, and would even dip his bread into their blood. These horrific details, as well as his legally adopted name (Dracula) and his birthplace of Transylvania, have convinced many scholars that Vlad the Impaler provided inspiration for Stoker’s famous vampire.

In 1476, while marching to battle with the Ottomans, Vlad the Impaler was ambushed, and killed.

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