Legends of Vampires go back centuries, but few names have cast more terror into the human heart than Dracula. However the fictional character, created by author Bram Stoker, was in fact based on a real historical figure called Vlad the Impaler.
Vlad the Impaler, also known as Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, was a 15th-century warlord, in what today is Romania, in south-eastern Europe. Stoker used elements of Vlad’s real story for the title character of his 1897 novel “Dracula.” The book has since inspired countless horror movies, television shows and other bloodcurdling tales. However, according to historians and literary scholars, such as Elizabeth Miller who has studied the link between Stoker’s character and Vlad III, the two Draculas don’t really have much in common.
Vlad the Impaler is believed to have been born in 1431 in what is now Transylvania, the central region of modern-day Romania. However, the link between Vlad the Impaler and Transylvania is a matter of some debate, according to Florin Curta, a professor of medieval history and archaeology at the University of Florida.